Tribute to the late Queen added to Melton's Heritage Gardens

Melton’s Heritage Gardens now contain a special tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Jerry Filor (left) with the renamed and redecorated replica canal barge in Heritage Gardens and (right) Melton In Bloom volunteers plant the gardensJerry Filor (left) with the renamed and redecorated replica canal barge in Heritage Gardens and (right) Melton In Bloom volunteers plant the gardens
Jerry Filor (left) with the renamed and redecorated replica canal barge in Heritage Gardens and (right) Melton In Bloom volunteers plant the gardens

A replica canal barge, which has been one of the main features of the gardens, which outside the borough council offices in Parkside, has now been renamed ‘Elizabeth’ in honour of Her Majesty.

It has also been decorated in the roses of traditional canal artwork in a nod to the canal basin and the former Melton Navigation, which was once where the gardens are now sited in the 1800s.

The work was carried out by Jerry Filor, of the Melton and Oakham Waterways Society (MOWS), at the request of the Melton in Bloom group.

The crews operating the barges would have lived in a tiny cabin and last year MOWS members added a replica cabin to the barge which has been ‘moored’ in the gardens for many years.

This year a small amount of weather damage needed repair and at the same time the name and artwork was added.

In the days when canals were built to transport cargo, the crews usually adorned their barges with fancy artwork and MOWS secretary Jerry looked back at old pictures before adapting the roses theme in red, white and blue. It was his first attempt at the distinctive art style.

Volunteers for Melton in Bloom, who look after the gardens, then moved in to plant out the area.

They are currently active throughout the town working to make sure everywhere really is blooming ready for this year’s official opening at the gardens on June 4.