Putney Station's 'memorial boats' temporarily moved into storage

Wandsworth Guardian: Putney Station's 'memorial boats' temporarily moved into storage Putney Station's 'memorial boats' temporarily moved into storage

The two flowerbed boats which have resided between platforms two and three at Putney Station since 2009 have been temporarily moved into storage while the £9m redevelopment takes place.

The boats were 'planted' as a rowing-themed memorial dedicated by the family of Michael Valentine, a long-term Putney resident and keen rowing enthusiast.

But they were lifted out yesterday evening by contractors and transported to Imperial College, in South Kensington, where they will lie until works at the station are completed.

Mr Valentine, who died in December 2007, lived in Putney for most of his life and was a member of Putney Rowing Club.

His wife Shirley and two of his three children still live in Putney, one of whom, Jo, is now Baroness Valentine of Putney, and was the brainchild of the memorial.

Baroness Valentine noticed the weed-infested patches between platforms two and three and had the idea of turning them into a memorial garden for her father.

She enlisted her friend and garden designer Diana Ward to plan the planting, with the Boat Race theme emerging from the connection between Mr Valentine’s rowing and Putney being the start of the famous boat race.

The first boat, delivered by train, was donated by Cambridge University because Mr Valentine was a student at Corpus Christi.

The second boat came from Regents Park College, Oxford, and was ‘planted’ a little later.

The original planting was covered by the Wandsworth Guardian under the headline, "The next train at Platform Two will be…a boat".

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