ONE of the first employees at a county garden centre paid a visit to the current management as it marked its 60th anniversary.

Bob Hares started working at Pershore College Garden Centre and Nursery in 1964 as a 24-year-old propagator and grew to be manager of the nursery.

He keeps in regular contact with Josh Egan-Wyer, the current manager, and the two came together to share their fondest memories of the site as it celebrates its diamond anniversary.

When Mr Hares, now 81 and still living in Pershore, started at the nursery its annual income was just £1,300 per year – in April 2021 alone it took sales worth more than £78,000.

"When I joined the nursery, it had been running for four years and was starting to get more commercial and running as a separate unit to the college." he said.

"The first income I recall was around £1,300 a year – but that was still quite a bit for the size of nursery we had in those days.

"The early days saw a lot of changes, including moving from clay pots to plastic pots.

"When I first left in 1973, we were expanding over the road where the majority of production is still based today."

After a brief stint at his own nursery, Mr Hares returned to Pershore College in 1975 as head gardener.

Current manager Josh Egan-Wyer said the nursery has always had a family feel, with past staff still keeping in touch.

He added: "Currently working for us we have past students, apprentices, graduates and even the son of the first principal of the college.

"Over the last six decades the nursery managers have always had a great passion for horticultural excellence and doing what we can to drive the commercial venture forwards.

"Every purchase made at the garden centre and nursery goes back to supporting the education of college students too.

"It is fantastic for a garden centre and nursery of this size to hit 60 and we have a strong future ahead too, we are continuing to improve our offering and offer a wider range of plans all year round."