The idea of cultivating a rose to celebrate Maldon’s Millennium in 1991 was one of the many ways our Millennium Committee decided to celebrate this important year in Maldon’s history – the date of an epic battle between Vikings and Saxons in 991 AD.
Ron and Wendy Wood provided the sponsorship for the cultivation of the rose which would be a living reminder of our 1991 Millennium celebration. The grower was Jack Harkness OBE DHM who cross-pollinated two roses – ‘Southampton’ and ‘Wandering Minstrel’.
Choosing the name
‘Pride of Maldon’ was a combination of two names: ‘Maldon’s Pride’ suggested by Anna Blackwell and Cannon Brian Mahood and ‘Pride of Maeldune’ suggested by Brian and Margaret Day. The panel liked both names and decided to combine the two into ‘Pride of Maldon’.
The rose in the Millennium Embroidery
The motif of the ‘Pride of Maldon’ rose can be seen in the Millennium Embroidery (The Maldon Embroidery) on Panel 7, image 15 embroidered by Wendy Munnion.
Reviving the rose
In 2016, enquiries were made via the Maldon Standard and Maldon Life to find residents who still had the rose in their garden and were willing for cuttings to be taken. Two residents came forward and cuttings were taken from one during 2017. The project was successful and in November 2019 (the first orders were placed in November 1991 so 28 years later) orders were made for a limited edition of the rebudded ‘Pride of Maldon’ roses.
2020 proved to be an excellent year regarding the reviving of our Pride of Maldon heritage rose.
The re-budded roses were planted in January. Some photographs of their first flowering season can be seen at The Maeldune Heritage Centre as well as a photomontage created by local artist, Sue Mason and an information booklet about the history of the rose and how it links with The Maldon Embroidery.