Commemorating end of WW1, RAF 100, John Mason Neale and the Lions

6 June 2018

Please note: this news article is in our archive. Articles were correct at time of publication, but should not be relied on for accuracy after the passage of time.

East Grinstead Town Councils Flower beds in the High Street have once again surpassed themselves and are this year, commemorating four very different anniversaries.


The East Grinstead & District Lions Club was formed in 1968 and 2018 sees the club reach its Golden Anniversary or 50th year. The bed marks this anniversary with the Lions logo; the heads facing both ways, to represent pride in heritage and confidence in the future. All the flowers are blue and yellow to bring out the colours of the logo. Our hanging baskets this year have also given a nod to the Lions anniversary with the predominant colours being blue and yellow.

RAF100 (Bed 2)

1st April 2018 sees the centenary of the formation of the Royal Air Force. Making it the oldest Independent Air Force in the world. It was formed by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF motto is per ardua ad astra (through adversity to the stars).
Our bed depicts three plumes to represent the coloured smoke often emitting from the red arrows (RAF aerobatic team); one each in red, white and blue. We also feature models of the planes through history from WW1 bi-planes, WW2 Spitfires through to Typhoons of today, and the RAF100 logo.
The Armed Forces Day on 30th June this year (11am – 3.00pm) held at Meridian Hall in East Court will feature 100 years of the RAF with a static replica of a bi-plane, activities and other free exhibits. All are welcome.


2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of John Mason Neale, Warden of Sackville College between 1846 and his death in 1866. He translated many ancient and medieval hymns from latin and greek, wrote many original hymns and also wrote the carol Good King Wenceslas. Our bed takes inspiration from Good King Wenceslas, the King and his page are setting out against the winters wild lament to take flesh and wine to the old man he saw gathering winter fuel.

100th Anniversary of the end of WW1 (Beds 4/5)

Inspired by the poppies at the Tower of London in 2014, the beds this year have taken our 2014 theme to new heights. These Beds in 2014 won the prize for South East in Bloom’s best War Memorial. Lest we forget, this bed will mark the end of the four years of 100th anniversary commemoration and will remain in situ throughout the remainder of 2018.
A special thank you to the East Grinstead branch of the Royal British Legion who kindly donated the poppies which form the draping sash.

Bringing the Beds to the Town each year is a full team effort, from selecting the theme and the tableaus to be depicted, to agreeing the design, liaising with the nursery for the flowers, designing and producing the props and then placing them all during the first week of June. The East Court Gardener, Outside Service Team, Estates Team and Town Clerk all play a part in bringing the beds to the town.

The Town Council took over the planting of the beds when Mid Sussex district council pulled out in 2011. Over the years the beds have won many admirers, they have become a focal point for locals and tourists alike and are eagerly anticipated each year. The themes to be depicted are now determined well over a year in advance.

Cllr Adam Peacock, Chairman of the Amenities and Tourism Committee said “these beds are such an important focal point for the town centre, the team take great pride in designing and bringing the designs to life, it is an example where our local knowledge that these beds should not be lost to the town have created, not just a display but a feature of the town throughout the summer months”