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Book of Benefactors

Members who have left legacies to the Society or financial benefit to the Society

Chris Philips(1928-1977)

At the age of only 24 Chris became ATV's first transmission controller but TV lost its allure and he became a theatrical agent and then set up his own fireworks business. Chris retired to Worcestershire in 1983. He had trouble in tracking down various plants and started a database on where the plants could be bought. Hearing of the Nottingham Group's Hardy Plant Directory he came to HPS and asked if they would be interested in backing the publication of a book he planned to call The Plantfinder. Jack Elliott, Chairman, at that time agreed and HPS benefited significantly from supporting the early publications.

Charles William Neville (1922-2004)

Charles was born in Oxford, the eldest of four children. He was educated in Oxford and after War Service he pursued a successful career in the Scientific Civil Service. He was a member of the team participating in the Hydrogen Bomb Test on Christmas Island. On retirement he divided his time between his workshop and his garden. His passion was hellebores and many were sent to the HPS Oxford and Bucks Branch. He derived great pleasure from his garden, although in his final years he was not able to look after it as he would have wished. He remained a bachelor all his life.

Jane Sterndale-Bennett (1942-2005)

Jane was one of England's foremost gardeners. Jane, with her husband Barry and three children, moved to White Windows her Hampshire garden in 1980 and shortly afterwards she joined the HPS. When Miss White died unexpectedly just before an AGM in 1987 Jane was one of the team who went to her house to rescue the Society's records. She was at the heart of the Society for the next 20 years becoming Newsletter Editor, Events Organiser, Vice Chairman and Chairman for five years from 1996 to 2001. Her skill as a lecturer led to her representing the Society all over the world.

Veronica Mabel Moss (1921-2006)

Veronica was from gardening stock; her name was inspired by a Hebe border. She married Eric Arthur Frederic Moss in 1944 and they had five children. Veronica worked as a nurse and a secretary when not being a full-time mother. They lived in Surrey until 1974 when they moved to Devon. She was a member of The Hardy Plant Society from the 1960s and went on the Committee in the 1980s when the Society was reorganised, and was involved with the Southern Counties Group.

Stephen Taffler (d 2005)

Steve worked and trained as commercial photographer but fell in love with variegated plants. He would spot the slightest form of variegation at 100 yards. He was particularly fond of ivies and started the British Ivy Society. He was a member of the HPS for 38 years and started the Variegated Plant Group and ran it for many years, first as secretary, and then Chairman and he also edited their journal, The Sport. Together with his wife Gill he was the Society's archivist for 20 years.

Kenneth John Black (d 2008)

Kenneth Black lived in North London where he was a gardener, probably with Enfield Borough Council. He is known to have particularly liked dahlias. He was probably an early member of the Society and chose to leave it a substantial legacy.

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