Kimpton Church holds Flower Festival
15 Jul 2001

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The Parochial Church Council of Kimpton Church raised funds for its restoration hy holding a Flower Festival, Produce and Vegetable Show.
Extract from Programme.


The Parochial Church Council of Kimpton has embarked on the task of restoring its beautifuL 13th Century Church and, in consequence, has been seeking funding in the form of grants to enable the work to be carried out.
After negotiations over a period of three years, we are pleased to say that, earlier this year, we received confirmation from English Heritage of a grant for £28,330, representing approximately 50% of the estimated cost of essential repairs. We are required to start the work in July this year. We have also received pledges of an additional £5,000 from our own parishioners, which is very gratifying in a small village the size of Kimpton. The Flower Festival and Flower, Produce, and Vegetable Show, now in its second year, is one of a number of events we hold during the year to raise money for the balance we need. Your support and encouragement is very much appreciated.

Kimpton Lodge was completed in 1837 as a large country gentleman's residence of 162 acres.
Edwin Hillier, the butler's son, became apprenticed to the head gardener in his early teens. Edwin moved on to work for a whole series of aristocratic employers, including W W Cubitt the Lord Mayor of London and the Duke of Northumberland at Sion House.
In 1864 Edwin bought a business in Winchester that he set up with his own son Edwin Lawrence. Together, they became renowned experts in all aspects of horticulture. Edwin Lawrence's son, Harold, continued his father's work and was responsible for setting up the Aboretum, which culminated in royal recognition and a knighthood.
Edwin's great grandson, Robert, now runs the present day large and famous firm of Hilliers. In 1999 Robert became aware of the family connection with Kimpton Lodge. In consequence, he has very generously donated a cup to the Kimpton Church Festival of Flowers in memory of Edwin Hillier, who started to learn his trade in these very gardens nearly 150 years ago.
Hilliers have exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show since 1913 and have won a Gold Medal 53 consecutive times. Robert Hillier OBE is on the Council of the RHS.

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