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Steel, William (Bill)

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Steel, William (Bill)

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  • Bill Steel

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1910-1970

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Bill Steel was born around 1910, probably in Lanarkshire where his family were farmers. At some point the family ceased farming and moved to Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire.
In the mid to late 1920s Bill studied agriculture and horticulture at several locations including the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the West of Scotland Agricultural College.
Theer is some evidence that during the 1940s Bill ran a business from Musselburgh / Edinburgh involved in the supply of plants.
Bill married Eliza (Ella) Macleod Paton in the late 1940s and they eventually moved to Busby in Renfrewshire and ran a market garden and nursery. Around 1960, due to ill health, Bill gave this business up and he and his family moved to Longniddry in East Lothian. He maintained his interest in gardening and established a fine garden there, continuing to keep notes and diaries until close to his death - he died of leukaemia on 5th January 1970, aged around 61. Ella continued to tend their garden until her death in 2002.
The above, and further biographical information is from a biography written by Bill's grandson, Chris Ostler, who acquired Bill's papers on the death of his mother who was Bill's adopted daughter - the papers pertaining to agriculture / horticulture were donated to RBGE by Chris in February 2015.

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GB 235

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