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Helen Cushing Rose

Discussion in 'Roses' started by Cookie Monster, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Gardener

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    Mr Cookie and I are great fans of the good old days of British Horror Films. One of our favourite actors of the time was Peter Cushing.

    In 1986, he wrote to Jim'll Fix It to request that a rose be developed in memory of his late, dearly beloved wife, Helen. This was granted and a rose was developed specially in her honour and was named ... Helen Cushing!

    Recently it was the anniversary of Peter Cushing's Birthday and the 50th anniversary of Hammer Studios which made him famous. James (Mr Cookie) tried to see if we could get hold of a 'Helen Cushing' to plant in our garden as a memorial but we could not find out anything at all regarding its availability or otherwise. Even emailing the RHS was a dead end.

    Does anyone know whether it is possible to get cultivars of privately commissioned roses or are we onto a loser here!

    From Wikipaedia....
    Death of his wife

    In 1971, Cushing withdrew from the film Blood from the Mummy's Tomb when his wife died (Hammer stalwart Andrew Keir inherited the role). He and actress Helen Beck had been married since 1943. The following year, he was quoted in the Radio Times as saying "Since Helen passed on I can't find anything; the heart, quite simply, has gone out of everything. Time is interminable, the loneliness is almost unbearable and the only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that my dear Helen and I will be united again some day. To join Helen is my only ambition. You have my permission to publish that... really, you know dear boy, it's all just killing time. Please say that."[2]
    Six years later, his feelings were unchanged: "When Helen passed on six years ago I lost the only joy in life that I ever wanted. She was my whole life and without her there is no meaning. I am simply killing time, so to speak, until that wonderful day when we are together again."[
    In his autobiography, he says he attempted suicide the night that Helen died, by running up and down stairs in the vain hope that it would induce a heart attack.
    In 1986, Cushing appeared on the British TV show Jim'll Fix It. His "wish", "granted" by Jimmy Savile, was to have a strain of rose named after his late wife. Cushing's letter to the show, in copperplate handwriting, was shown, as was the identification and naming of a rose named "Helen Cushing".





    A sad tale of true love and loss :(

    [​IMG]

    Anyone any ideas or suggestions?
     
  2. youngdaisydee

    youngdaisydee Apprentice Gardener

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    CM, I had a lump in my throat reading this, Sorry, I know nothing about roses, but Thankyou for posting This incredible Love story...Dee...
     
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  3. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Gardener

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    Glad to have touched you with this story Dee - I know the love story between Peter and Helen Cushing really struck James and I when we heard it...

    From his autobiography...

    ...Here is part of a letter Helen wrote to a friend about her first meeting with Peter: "...There was an aura about this beloved vagabond. His hands told me he was either a musician or an artist; they reminded me of those drawn by Albrecht Durer and when he bent over one of mine to kiss it, a faint and quite delightful waft of tobacco and lavender water hung upon the air. I knew I would love him for the rest of my days and beyond." ... ... At this late point in this condensed biography I think it is worth mentioning how devoted Peter Cushing and his wife Helen were and how important she was in Peter's career, giving him support and encouragement. If you read his autobiography or even listen to the tapes narrated by Peter, I think you will find it touching and haunting how he communicates his love and his loss, as well as the trials and triumphs of his eventful life....


    I know it is going to be pretty well impossible for James and I to trace this rose - let alone be able to have one ourselves, but I would urge folks to look into the life of Peter Cushing to see just what an extraordinary gentleman he was, commanding the respect and love of everyone who were fortunate enough to know him. He was a skilled watercolourist and designed jewellery too - not your typical Baron Von Frankenstein! He and Helen made their home in Whitstable and there is a museum to his memory there and a bench dedicated to him and Helen looking out to sea from his favourite spot.

    I can't even find a picture of the rose on Google - I vaguely remember seeing the Jim'll Fix It show but can't remember who the horticulturists were who developed the rose - nor even what the colour of the rose was - I think it may have been a yellow rose but my memory is chronically awful.
     
  4. youngdaisydee

    youngdaisydee Apprentice Gardener

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    Cultivated by Christopher Wheatcroft. Dont know if this will help Cookie...
     
  5. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Gardener

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    I'll do some Inspector Morse work on this ...! Thank you Dee.

    I notice the throbbing heart smiley has gone, but you can just imagine it here Dee!



    ... sometime later.... Well YDD, I have done some sleuthing on Christopher Wheatcroft! Sadly, the garden centre that he established in Nottingham was taken over in 2000 by the Group NWF (North West Farmers), so I have not been able to contact him directly, but have emailed NWF's General Enquiry team and if they cannot help, hopefully they may know contacts who can.

    I have very little hope of achieving this quest for this rose - but fate works in mysterious ways and nothing ventured and all that! It certainly is a fun challenge and I hope Mr and Mrs Cushing are looking down from somewhere and are glad that the memory of them remains alive and well!

    Thanks for being my partner in crime Dee :thumb: What I would really love would be to get hold of this rose, plant it with a nice little plaque in front of it and surprise James with it - the look on his face would be a moment for me to treasure - he really rates Peter Cushing so highly as not only an actor, but a human being.
     
  6. wiseowl

    wiseowl FRIENDLY OWL WITH A LOVE OF ROSES

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    Hi Cookie I have numerous friends in the Rose trade and have emailed all of them to See if we can track down this Rose for you I have done some work
    in the past for the biggest Rose Nursery in Kent and Harkness Roses and others But at the moment no joy but will make some phone calls today.
    I just love a Challenge :D In the meantime this is a site i use a lot.
    www.findthatrose.net Good luck with your search.:)
     
  7. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Gardener

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    :eek::eek: WOO!

    Bloomin' Nora !

    Thank you so much for doing this for me.
    You have almost rendered Cookie lost for words!!! :eek:

    You guys and Gals on this board remind me every day what brought me here.

    You are fab people! :o

    Cookie Monster made incredibly happy!
     
  8. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Gardener

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    Hi Folks

    Received this today from the Wheatcroft Plant Manager....

    Ah well - just one line of enquiry closed.
     
  9. glenw

    glenw Gardener

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    having googled, I read here about the rose and how it was possibly planted in Peter's garden.

    http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/hammerfilm/message/12915

    googling the name 'joyce broughton' took me to here.

    http://www.petercushing.co.uk/

    maybe you could get in touch with them, see if you can get any more information about the rose, who originally grew it etc?

    from the original link, the author says hes got some jpegs of the rose, maybe a photo will be useful and you could get a similar rose, in recognition?? I know it wouldn't be the same but???


    sorry i can't be more help
     
  10. wiseowl

    wiseowl FRIENDLY OWL WITH A LOVE OF ROSES

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    Hi Glen Thanks for that, I am trying to help Cookie on this quest for the Helen Cushing Rose ,I am going down to Whitstable where he and Helen lived its not far from me and that's where his Museum and House are.:):thumb:
     
  11. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Gardener

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    Great Glen and WOO!

    When Mr Cookie went to Whitstable, there was a special exhibition to Peter Cushing in the museum - he is not certain if this was a transient thing or whether they have a permanent exhibition in his name.

    WOO - if you go, could you take some photos for us!!!! There is a bench with a sign called "Cushing's View" looking out to sea from the front. James was quite sad that when he visited a few years ago - the sign had not been kept painted and was in quite shoddy condition. Apparently the Cushing's had donated this bench from their own garden to the public to share in a view they loved.

    James has heard of Joyce Broughton - she was Peter's secretary for many years. Since he has no surviving family, I guess she would be the most likely person to know what came of the rose. Thanks again Glen and WOO - you are both brilliant!
     
  12. Jack by the hedge

    Jack by the hedge Apprentice Gardener

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    I can't help with tracing this rose I'm afraid (I remember the Jim'll fix it programme) but It's nice to see something on this site about Peter Cushing, one of my very favourite actors. I wrote "fan letters" to him several times and he was always gracious enough to reply, just a few lines but much appreciated considering the amount of correspondence he must have had to deal with.
    I regret never having met him, as all those I have spoken with who did so agree that he was a really lovely man.
     
  13. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Gardener

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    That's lovely Jack - thanks for posting.

    I am really glad to hear how much you thought of him too. Peter seems to have endeared himself to so many peoples' hearts. Treasure those words he sent you!

    Kath
     
  14. andy cleary

    andy cleary Apprentice Gardener

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    The Helen Cushing rose was a cross between Silver Jubilee and Deep Secret and was pink in colour, i have found the video clip of his appearance on the Jim'll fix it show and have posted a link to it below which i hope the site admins will allow, sorry it features mr savile but the clip does show how to create the rose and i thought cookie monster may like to try to breed it if commercially it is unavailable.
     
  15. Sheal

    Sheal Got it sown up!

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    Welcome to Gardeners Corner Andy. :) I'd just like to point out this thread is over five years old and Cookie Monster hasn't posted for over a year.
     
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