Excavation of the rose bed commenced on the 26th September, the work being carried out by IWMGAG Members Jeff Godden, Peter Knight & John Bowers who were ably assisted by Francis Castro (Vision-Redbridge) and his small army of Park Volunteers together with Margaret Godden and Aldborough Ward Councillors Vanessa Cole and Debbi Thaira.
The existing roses were removed and the contaminated soil dug out to a depth of approximately 2 1/2 feet. The heavy underlying clay was then aerated prior to being covered in 6-8 inches of well-rotted manure & leaf mould following which the trench was back-filled with some 28 tons of fresh topsoil.
During the course of back-filling, a sealed small blue earthenware container (a time capsule) was buried in the trench. The contents of the capsule included selected pages & images from this web site, a 90th anniversary RBL poppy pin & booklet, four 2012 Olympic 50 pence coins and a letter requesting the finder to hand the contents to the authorities for safe keeping.
Details of the exact location of the capsule have been recorded and placed in a sealed envelope which will be held in trust by IWMGAG Chair Cllr Ruth Clark and / or any successive IWMGAG chairpersons, however, as it is thought unlikely that the rose bed will ever be excavated to the same depth again, the capsule could remain undisturbed for 100's of years.
Due to the inclement weather over the winter months, the re-planting, with Rose Bonica edged with Lavender, eventually took place in April. Now completed, the "Cross" Rose Bed provides a lasting & fitting tribute to all UK service men & women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
The IWMGAG is much indebted to everyone who gave freely of their time (and muscle) to bring this long awaited project to a timely conclusion
It is, perhaps, a sad reflection of modern times & attitudes that, in the past few weeks, someone decided to STEAL some seven Lavender Plants and two Rose Bonica bushes from the newly planted Cross Rose Bed. Unfortunately, the Rose bushes & Lavenders cannot now be replaced until early next year (2014), so, as a result of this person's thoughtless actions the Cross Rose bed will not be seen in its prime condition for the 2013 Remembrance Service.