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Last Updated: Friday, 12 August 2005, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Thrower statue unveiled at show
Percy Thrower statue
Percy Thrower's television career spanned more than three decades
A statue has been unveiled of television gardener Percy Thrower.

His three daughters, Margaret, Ann and Sue, took the wraps off the bronze monument at the start of the Shrewsbury Flower Show.

Mr Thrower, who died in 1988 aged 75, worked as a parks superintendent in the Shropshire town before becoming Blue Peter's first gardener in 1974.

The statue has been created by local artist Jane Robbins, who is a cousin of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.

'International figure'

The Shrewsbury Flower Show, which is expected to draw up to 80,000 visitors over the next two days, owes much of its popularity to Thrower, whose career in horticulture blossomed during his time working in the town.

Flower show spokesman Russell Mulford said: "Percy made a major contribution to Shrewsbury, which is known as the town of flowers.

"He became an international figure because of his television programmes and made a major contribution to the continuing success of Shrewsbury Flower Show, which is one of the biggest provincial flower shows outside Chelsea.

"A lot of people who are exhibiting at the show knew him as a personal friend."

BBC regular

The statue was commissioned to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Mr Thrower's arrival in Shrewsbury and will stand on St Chad's Terrace, overlooking the 30-acre showground.

He become known to generations as the first keeper of the Blue Peter garden between 1974 and 1988.

He was also a regular on BBC gardening programmes, including Gardeners' World and an honorary adviser to the Shrewsbury Flower Show.

Mr Thrower's widow, Connie, was to have unveiled the statue but she died earlier this year aged 90.

Their eldest daughter, Margaret, now runs the Percy Thrower Garden Centre which he set up in Shrewsbury.

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