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Pensioner from Weston-Super-Mare reunited with the grandson of old friend
A CHANCE conversation at the Malvern Autumn Show unearthed a family connection between two strangers.
Mark Walker, of Walker’s Garden Retreats, used his late grandfather William Richard White’s cottage in Oddingley as inspiration for his stage garden inside the show’s Good Life Pavilion.
While Great British Bake Off star Mary Berry was on stage Mr Walker, from West-on-super-Mare, struck up a conversation with an elderly man who was having trouble viewing the stage and ex-plained the basis for his des-igns.
It turned out that the man, Colin Smith, was from the village near Droitwich and knew Mr Walker’s grandfather and Grange Cottage in Trench Lane.
Mr Smith has since visited Mr White’s grave at St James Church to lay a bouquet of roses on behalf of the family.
Mr Walker said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant to meet Colin.
“It was one of those one in a million chances or a twist of fate.
“Our family live in Weston-super-Mare and we haven’t been able to leave flowers on his grave for some time so it was a lovely gesture.
“My mum was so happy about my lucky chance meeting.”
Mr Walker and Mr Smith have swapped e-mail addresses and have kept in touch.
The stage, designed by Mr Walker, featured a model of the black and white cottage, hens, grow your own vegetables and popular 1970s toys such as a space hopper, act-ion man and scooter.
“I used to play there as a child and I have happy memories of playing in the beautiful garden.
“My grandparents were very rural and lived very simply, they were people who didn’t want to move with modern times.
“The stage design included all the things we would play and all those little elements of spending our childhood at the cottage.”
He has created charitable show gardens at the Malvern shows for many years as well as designed exhibition gardens at Hampton Court.
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