A growing tribute to hall campaigner

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A TREE has been planted in memory of the late Lilian Mina MBE, who campaigned tirelessly to save the Royal Hall.

As well as the famous building which was restored in 2008, Mrs Mina loved the Valley Gardens and would often be found strolling around them.

She could also see them from the windows of her first-floor apartment in Valley Drive - so it was a natural choice for her family when looking for a site for a memorial tree.

Having already placed a seat in the gardens in her memory, her children Joe and Mitzi, along with grandson Leo and son-in-law Greg Rubinstein, planted a Wedding Cake Tree, or Cornus controversa Variegata, to recognise her achievements. It was chosen because of its flamboyant looks and striking display of flowers, echoing Mrs Mina’s character, and because it would be at its best in April, the month when she died.

Mrs Mina was made a a Freeman of the Borough of Harrogate in recognition of her work to save the Royal Hall, which was closed in 2001 after major structural problems were discovered. Facing the possibility that it could be permanently closed, she led a campaign which columinated in a restoration costing more than £10m, including more than £2.7m of fundraising from the community.

Mrs Mina died in April 2008, just three months after the Royal Hall was officially re-opened by the Prince of Wales, the patron of the Royal Hall Restoration Trust- and five days before the official opening to the public.