Paul McCartney at Kew Gardens, March 2001

Happy Birthday Paul McCartney! One of the nicest times I met Paul was in Kew Gardens on 26th March 2001. Paul was there to launch some scarves that had been designed by Linda – to raise money for the Kew Gardens Seed Bank.

I arrived at Kew Gardens at about 1pm and went straight to the Temperate House and immediately saw Geoff Baker and some press photographers. I knew I was in the right place. Initially I decided to stand by the press photographers – even though I didn’t have a press pass. However in the end I thought there were so many press guys there I decided that I wouldn’t get any decent pics there and moved to where some friends were standing.Paul arrived dead on time at 2.30pm. He posed for the photographers and then gave some brief TV interviews.

Surprisingly there weren’t many fans there – mostly employees of Kew Gardens. After the press session was over Paul stopped to sign some autographs. I rushed over as I wanted my copy of Blackbird Singing signed. He recognised me straight away and said ‘Hi, how ya doin’. One lady wanted an autograph but didn’t have anything for Paul to sign. She was frantically asking people there for a piece of paper for Paul to sign. While this was going on I was taking the pictures you can see below. I then got my book signed.

Heather Mills accompanied Paul to Kew Gardens but made very sure she was not photographed with him.

Later Paul was given a tour of Kew Gardens and attended a special function for invited guest only – not me worst luck but I enjoyed seeing Paul again.

My wife Esther had passed away only 3 months earlier – and it was the first time I’d seen Paul since Linda’s passing. Both Esther and Linda died from breast cancer. Esther and I were about to adopt a baby from China – but we had to stop it when she was diagnosed, which was heart-breaking. After she passed I kept in touch with a charity who helped prepare babies in Chinese orphanages for adoption. They had a scheme where you could sponsor a baby to go through the process. I had decided before meeting Paul that if I was successful getting my book signed that I would auction it to raise money to sponsor a baby. I told Paul my story and he was very happy to sign. The book sold for £800 and I sponsored a baby. Thank you for your help Paul!

Paul McCartney at Kew Gardens
Paul McCartney at Kew Gardens
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