A COLLECTION of 35 rose bushes stolen from outside Lincoln Cathedral three weeks ago (News, 28 April) have been recovered, and are now safely back in their bed in the cathedral’s east green.
Last month, cathedral staff discovered that all the bushes planted in memory of the late Duke of Edinburgh had vanished overnight. Vandalism was discounted, as the empty bed was carefully raked over. Other theories included an anti-monarchist gesture, and the possibility that the roses had been taken by a concerned gardener anxious to save the plants from an invasion of chaffer grubs infesting the adjacent lawn. The only clue the police had to go on was an eyewitness report of a person in the vicinity armed with a garden fork.
This week, the cathedral confirmed that the rescue theory had been the correct one. Michelle Andrews, the cathedral spokeswoman, said: “Following two sightings on the night the roses were taken, Lincolnshire Police were able to identify a person of interest, who then admitted to removing the roses due to concern for their health. The police were able to locate and recover the roses. No further action is going to be taken, and we’re happy that the matter has concluded in a positive way. This week we’re waking up to the sweet smell of them being back where they belong.
“Our gardener Andy will get back to nurturing them, and hopefully they’ll be looking their best again very soon. Thank you to everyone for your help and support, and here’s to a bloomin’ good summer.”