He may never have made it to the front cover but the reason the Florist Trade Magazine survived and, like the English football team, was a winner in July 1966 was actually down to Derek Marshall Foster who died at the age of 97 on 23rd December 2021.
Because it was Derek’s willingness to fund the purchase price and underwrite the printing and postage costs that allowed his wife Jayne to buy the magazine when the founder, Alexandra T Price, fell ill and the magazine was threatened with closure.
Derek knew nothing about flowers; he was a Naval Officer who moved into research
and development including one of the earliest ejector seats but he could spell (he proof read every article in the early days), was willing to pitch in and help wherever needed (he valiantly manned the book stand at Spring Florist Event for many years) and, above all, believed Jayne, herself a florist, could make a go of it!
Launched in 1949 as The Florist and Landscape Gardener, the magazine was the first independent trade title for florists and whilst the name may have changed slightly, has remained the market leader, created many new initiatives along the way and remained a family owned business like so many of its readers and clients.
Caroline Marshall-Foster, current owner and Editor of Florist Magazine said “my father was a quiet, unassuming person, with an encyclopedic mind, a total gentleman and a rock to the whole family. He wasn’t comfortable in the limelight, he left that to the rest of the family, but he was always there if needed.
I am not sure what would have happened if Derek hadn’t agreed to support Ma, certainly my career would have been very different!, but I like to think he made it possible for a florist based family to provide a whole host of support and services to an industry they loved that might not have otherwise happened.”
Derek Marshall Foster. Born 2.12.24, died 23.12.21. His wife Jayne pre-deceased him on 19.12.12. He is survived by his daughter and son, Caroline and Marcus who were with him to the very end, his brother Guy, four nieces; Sarah, Vicky, Elizabeth and Catherine and six grandchildren; Alex, Max, Harry, Annabel, Zoe and Millie.