George Harrison: Henley-on-Thames memorial garden planned


George Harrison on TOTP in 1965

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George Harrison was a keen gardener himself

Plans are under way to create a memorial garden for George Harrison in the town he made his home.

Kellie Hinton, mayor of Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, said talks had progressed with his widow Olivia and charity the Material World Foundation.

The Beatles legend moved to the Grade II-listed Friar Park in Henley, where Mrs Harrison still lives, in the 1970s.

A previous campaign to erect a statue to the former Beatle was halted following a request from Mrs Harrison.

But Ms Hinton said the charity had confirmed Mrs Harrison was in favour of a garden inspired by the singer and guitarist instead.

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Harrison moved to the Grade II-listed Friar Park in Henley in the 1970s

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PA

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Olivia Harrison is in favour of a garden inspired by her late husband’s memory

Ms Hinton said: “For a few decades, various people in the town including local councillors have wanted to create a memorial to celebrate that Henley was George and Olivia’s family home.

“Unfortunately nothing suggested has ever been quite right.

“The idea for a garden came about last summer as a result of conversations with local woman Emma Sweet. We wrote a joint letter to Mrs Harrison and asked for her permission and support.

“Discussions are still ongoing, with the aim of creating a peaceful, tranquil space for residents and visitors to enjoy in memory of somebody who meant an incredible amount to the people of Henley.”

The Henley in Bloom committee is now looking into possible locations for the site.

“Obviously the location and design are important to Mrs Harrison as well as Henley in Bloom, and if Mrs Harrison indicated that she was not in favour of the garden, in any way at all, we would not pursue the idea,” Ms Hinton added.

Harrison, who wrote hits including Something, Here Comes the Sun and My Sweet Lord, died of cancer aged 58, in November 2001.

A keen gardener himself, he is pictured on the cover of All Things Must Pass, his most successful album, in the grounds of Friar Park wearing Wellington boots and surrounded by garden gnomes.

Another memorial garden to the late Beatle was opened to the public in 2013, at Bhaktivedanta Manor, near Watford.



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