It’s not every day that you get a visit from Royalty. But in February 2011, we were honoured to receive His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent to our Smallford nurseries in St Albans as part of celebrations marking the centenary of the Lea Valley Growers’ Association. Welcomed by Joe Colletti, Sam Cannatella and LVGA chairman Gary Taylor, the Duke spent more than an hour at our fifty acre site.
During the visit he talked with our staff, met industry representatives including NFU vice-president Gwyn Jones, looked around our cucumber and tomato houses, and heard about the history of growing under glass in the Lea Valley. “We were able to show the Duke the whole process of growing, grading and packing,” said Gary Taylor. “It was an excellent business to showcase UK horticulture, just a stone’s throw from London.”
The following year, we were further honoured when Joe Colletti and Sam Cannatella were invited to meet Her Majesty the Queen at a reception hosted by the Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. The reception was held at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire – the ancestral Jacobean home of the Cecil family since it was built in 1611 during the reign of King James I.