Tree serves as lasting memorial to Ferring plant lover

A lasting memorial for a villager who played a key role in Ferring life, including planting trees, has been unveiled.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 3:25 pm

Sheilah Smith was a long-standing member of Ferring Horticultural Society, serving on the committee for many years before taking on the role of show secretary and then president.

She played an active part in village life, having lived in Ferring for many years, and had a keen interest in the plants and trees around the village.

The society, now known as Ferring Gardening Club, arranged for a Tibetan cherry tree to be planted in Little Twitten Recreation Ground in February 2020 to recognise her long service, after Sheilah died in November 2019.

Sheilah Smith at a Ferring Horticultural Society show in 2015 with her winning orchid. Picture : Liz PearceLP1500505
Sheilah Smith at a Ferring Horticultural Society show in 2015 with her winning orchid. Picture : Liz PearceLP1500505

Last Thursday, club members were joined by daughter Ruthanne and sister Millie at a gathering to remember Sheilah and place a plaque at the base of the tree.

Don Nice, publicity officer, said: “The tree was chosen as it not only flowers but also provides additional interest with its shiny ribbon bark.

“Sheilah was a key member of Ferring Horticultural Society. In 1973, she played a major role in the planting of the trees we see today along Sea Lane.”

Sheilah's daughter Ruthanne and Sheilah's sister Millie with the Tibetan cherry tree planted in her memory
The plaque was unveiled last week by Ferring Gardening Club, formerly known as Ferring Horticultural Society