A career change is blossoming for Charlotte Meyler, who swapped forensic photography for floristry.
Charlotte worked with the Metropolitan Police in London and gathered evidence after the 2005 7/7 tube and bus bombings.
Her work in the wake of the bombings, in which 52 people were killed and more than 700 injured, earned Charlotte a Commissioner’s Commendation from the then Met chief, Sir Ian Blair.
The photographic evidence helped the police and intelligence services understand what had taken place and how the plot was put together.
Four Islamic extremists detonated homemade peroxide-based bombs packed into rucksacks both on the tube system and on a bus in Tavistock Square.
Charlotte, 39, of Newark, is not allowed to talk in detail about her involvement, but she worked underground at King’s Cross/Russell Square.
“With the forensic photography, I was providing a visual record of crime scenes or post-mortems for the courts to assist the judge and jury and to provide a voice for the victims and answers for their families,” she said.
Charlotte was a medical photographer in Nottingham and then in London before joining the Met in 2002.
She was posted to major crime and counter-terrorism, attending fires, murders and assaults.
She left the Met in 2007, which, she said, was a difficult decision, and when deciding on a new career went back to floristry, which she had done as a teenager.
'It is labour-intensive, but very rewarding'
Charlotte grew up in Bingham and was a Saturday girl in one of the town’s florists.
She retrained, worked as a florist and then bought a shop in Hertfordshire, but it was a chance remark in the flower shop, Zinnia, in Bingham Market Place that saw her return to her roots last year.
“I was in Zinnia with my sister and one of the owners overheard me remark on an unusual type of rose,” Charlotte said.
“He asked me how I knew about it and, when I explained, he asked me if I wanted a job.
“I then went on to buy the business with some much-appreciated help from my family, who are always around to pitch in if it’s busy or with deliveries.”
Just like her forensic work, Charlotte’s floristry skills haven’t gone unnoticed. She produced flowers for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Pictures of two little girls presenting posies, made by Charlotte, to the Queen were featured in Hello! magazine and the Daily Telegraph.
“Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas are our busiest times,” she said.
“We are in wedding season now so it is busy in the shop. Every wedding is unique and we work closely with the bride and her family to make sure they have just what they want.
“It is labour-intensive, but very rewarding. It was a move that I am glad I made.”