Beth Chatto contributes

Beth’s Grey Friars Memories

We are delighted that the famous gardener and author, Beth Chatto, has contributed some memories just in time to be included in the book.

She recalled her time as a pupil of Colchester County High School for our ‘sharing heritage’ project and has proved to be enthusiastic and supportive of our work.

Beth Chatto Beth said, “I am very grateful to you for all you have done to research this little piece of local history, especially since I have such happy memories of Grey Friars.”

 The school pupils’ gardens

CCHS pupil garden

(left) CCHS senior school pupils at work in the garden of the North Hill premises in the 1920s

Beth said, “I had an individual garden at Grey Friars, as did other pupils. These small gardens adjoined the wall which separated the playground from Roman Road. A pathway ran alongside, edged with apple trees. We, the pupils, grew mainly annuals and we used to spend a few pence on packets of seeds at Woolworth’s. It may not have been apparent at the time, but I think the seeds of my future career germinated in these little gardens. Although I was an enthusiastic gardener, I never realised that I would become a professional one.”