Memorial garden for Kingsham’s Terry Talmage

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A memorial garden has been created at Kingsham Primary School in memory of a long-serving and well-known member of staff.

Terry Talmage had been a dinner lady, teaching assistant and caretaker in her 30 years at the Chichester school.

She passed away on March 9 last year, aged 66, just six months after being diagnosed with cancer.

A group of volunteers from Southern Railway teamed up with children from the school as part of a business in the community scheme to create the garden in her memory, as she was herself a keen gardener.

Bursar at the school Phil Gray was a described her as an incredible lady, who was not only involved at the school but on the Whyke estate, as one of the founding members of the Whyke Estate Community Association.

“She very much led by example, and she was a real doer,” she said.

“She was a very keen gardener and in her own time used to run various clubs one of which was a gardening club.

“I think she would have loved the garden. We have really struggled to replace her because she was quite unique. She was one in a million.

“She was involved with so much on the estate there were many people who knew her.

“She was one of those people who worked quietly in the background and just got on with things.

“We are very grateful to the for all the volunteers’ hard work. They worked solidly for the whole day.”

It is hope the garden, which has a cherry tree as a focal point donated by funeral directors FA Holland, will grow and evolve as the seasons change and children add to it.

Her partner Alan McBride, 60, said: “It’s the sort of thing the children can get involved with.

“She was attached to the school for a very long time, and was very involved in all their activities.

“When she died and the school said about creating the garden we were very pleased with that.”

The Prince of Wales’ Business in the Community charity organised the work for the 11 volunteers from Southern Railway, who came from offices in Croydon and Chichester.

Mike Toy from the organisation said: “It was great really, they did a fantastic job.

“It was a nice project, and a great example of what a small team can do.”

For more information about the Business in the Community project visit www.bitc.org.uk/sout_east or call 023 9223 0692.