Why cheque from the Queen was never cashed

Barbara Tabor who has run Constance Webster Florists in Thorpe St Andrew for 50 years

Barbara Tabor, 83, who has run Constance Webster Florists in Thorpe St Andrew for 50 years. In 1980 she made up a bouquet of 12 yellow roses from the Queen for a patient at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

She has provided bouquets for three generations of families, buttonholes for the Canaries for the glorious 1985 Milk Cup final victory and even took an order from Her Majesty.

Barbara Tabor, 83, from Thorpe St Andrew, has been proprietor of Constance Websters Florist, for 50

Barbara Tabor, 83, from Thorpe St Andrew, has been proprietor of Constance Websters Florist, for 50 years. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

But after receiving a cheque to cover the Queen's order Barbara Tabor decided not to cash it but instead hang on to it as a keepsake.

Barbara is celebrating 50 years at the helm of Constance Webster Florists, in Spinney Road, Thorpe St Andrew, 50 years after taking it on from the former .

Barbara Tabor, 83, from Thorpe St Andrew, has been proprietor of Constance Websters Florist, for 50

Barbara Tabor, 83, from Thorpe St Andrew, has been proprietor of Constance Websters Florist, for 50 years. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Reflecting on her career, Mrs Tabor, who grew up in Lakenham and now lives in Thorpe, said: "I started working here in 1972 after coming into the shop to buy some flowers for a friend. Mrs Webster suggested she needed a van driver."

After just over two years delivering bouquets around the city she moved to the shop floor and spent four years training in the art of floristry before become the new owner in 1978 when Mrs Webster retired.

"I love this place and love the people around here. As long as my health is fine, I'll stay here.

"I cannot sit at home. I would go crazy," said Mrs Tabor.

Barbara Tabor, 83, from Thorpe St Andrew, has been proprietor of Constance Websters Florist, for 50

Barbara Tabor, 83, from Thorpe St Andrew, has been proprietor of Constance Websters Florist, for 50 years. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

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She added the business also kept her going after the death of her husband in 1988 and she and her staff were very particular in their flower arranging.

"I have customers who bought their wedding flowers from me and have since made their children's and grandchildren's wedding flowers."

She added she treated every customer the same and originally thought the call from a Buckingham Palace official asking for an order of 12 yellow roses, costing £9, from the Queen to a patient at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in February 1980 was a practical joke.

Barbara Tabor, 83, from Thorpe St Andrew, has been proprietor of Constance Websters Florist, for 50

The cheque for the bouquet of flowers ordered by the Queen in 1980 - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

But she soon realised it was a genuine order for who she believed was a staff member of the Queen.

Mrs Tabor added: "I felt proud and remember the bouquet, wrapped with a yellow bow, as clear as day."

Proud Norwich City manager Ken Brown with the spoils of victory Picture: Archant

Proud Norwich City manager Ken Brown with the spoils of victory Picture: Archant - Credit: Paul Hewitt

The grandmother and great-grandmother, who can work 10 hours a day, was also proud to make over 20 yellow carnation buttonholes for Norwich City players and staff for the 1985 Milk Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

And despite running a florists, she often does not have blooms in her home adding: "I see them every day."