In Memory of Our Past Volunteers

We are very lucky to have worked with some fantastic, passionate and dedicated volunteers.  This page serves as a place to honour their memory and their contribution to Chiswick House and Gardens.

Fiona caring for our Camellia collection

Fiona Crumley

Fiona was our first lady Head Gardener from 2007 to 2012, and was instrumental in leading the implementation of the restoration of the Gardens. Described in the Financial Times as ‘The Lady of the Camellias’ she continued to support the Trust as a volunteer, advising and mucking in with the gardeners with the management and maintenance of our heritage Camellias. She was also a former member of the Chiswick House & Gardens – Garden Advisory Panel. Fiona passed away peacefully at home in January 2021 after a long battle with cancer. Fiona was passionate about historical and horticultural knowledge and the desire to share it throughout the horticultural world.  We have many happy memories of Fiona with her calming and reassuring approach to problem solving and practical hands on experience.


Tom enjoying a visit to the Gardens with his dog.

Tom McClure 

Tom was an enthusiastic member of the Kitchen Garden team. He took pride in his work and thoroughly enjoyed the people he volunteered with as well as the gardens as a whole. Tom passed away in December 2020 at the Royal Hospital For Neuro-disability after a courageous bout with an extremely rare case of Familial Alzheimer’s. His energy, friendship and outgoing personality will be sorely missed. Tom’s family are raising funds for a memorial bench in the Gardens, please donate here:

Former Trustee and Volunteer Dr Rosemary Day, enjoying our camellias in 2017

Rosemary Day 

As well as being a regular volunteer in the Gardens, Dr Rosemary Day was one of our original Trustees. She was instrumental in establishing the Trust in 2010 and making it operational. She passed away in September 2020, aged 77. Rosemary’s knowledge and love of horticulture coupled with her business acumen were a true blessing for Chiswick House and Gardens. We are eternally grateful for her contributions.

Marion, left, with our gardening team at the 2017 London in Bloom awards

Marion Scrine

Marion Scrine was with the Kitchen Garden team since it’s beginning and was instrumental to maintaining the beautiful space and training volunteers to look after our 280 fruit trees and took sole responsibility for the fruit in the fruit cage. Marion passed away August 2020. She is sorely missed.

Marion’s loved ones have kindly set up a collection in her honour, to be used in the Kitchen Garden that she loved so much. If you wish to donate please click here.

David Bignell in our sunny Kitchen Garden

David Bignell

David Bignell volunteered in the Kitchen Garden for over six years. He enjoyed the work and getting stuck in digging and planting vegetables. He was an easy-going, kindhearted gentleman with interests in politcs, art and culture.  David passed away February 2020. He was our master barbecue chef, and will be missed by all.

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