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Beeston Open Gardens 2008

Blessed with beautiful weather once again, The Open Gardens Event in the village on Sunday 8th June was an outstanding success for the community of Beeston. There is such a good feeling of festive fun and co-operation in the village on the day, with everyone pulling together in the same direction. It was an afternoon thoroughly enjoyed by those who visited, and those who opened their gardens. The team spirit was tremendous. The village hummed with community spirit, humour, goodwill, and a touch of nostalgia.

So many thanks are due to so many people: the owners who worked tirelessly for months to present 10 such attractive,  different, intriguing uses of open space to the public; to the committee who worked enthusiastically throughout the year; to all the donors of raffle prizes whether individuals or local firms who so generously gave 30 wonderful prizes; to everyone who cooked the simply scrumptious homemade refreshments and to  those who served them; to all who lent marquees and gazebos, to those who ran the adventure in art; to those who grew and sold the plants from the plant stall; to all who came who were so pleasant; to everyone who contributed so cheerfully on the day no matter how menial the task from washing up the tea cups,  to selling raffle tickets, programmes or plants and tickets or organising the  car parking.

Huge yellow balloons supplied by Malcolm Abrey bounced at the entrance of each opened garden setting the joyful tone. The gardens opened were 3, The  Cloches, 21 the Knolls, Magnolia Cottage, 16 The Green, 8 The High Road, 35 The High Road, 16 Orchard Road, 30 Orchard Road, Cos Lodge, and 19 The Green, and it was astonishing how varied and colourful the gardens were.

A Lancaster flew overhead mid afternoon to add to the excitement, and the resident barn owl put on a spectacular by successfully hunting over the Cos Lodge meadow mid afternoon.

Over a thousand pounds profit has been raised which now will be allocated to good causes. Last year the raffle raised £128. This year it raised £163! If you have a suggestion for the use of the money please inform a member of the committee.  Suggestions proffered so far include Biggleswade Hospital, a willow tunnel on the Green for children to play in, Hospice at Home; Keech Cottage;  Water Aid; ORDA the Organization for rehabilitation and development in Amhara in Ethiopia, which helps needy communities to maximise their potential, and a  float to start the history group in Beeston and for plants and bulbs such as  bluebells, primroses or snowdrops to be planted in the village.

Raffle prize winners were: garden chair Valerie Rutt;  banana plant Jeanne; whisky name unknown; sherry Cathy Woodhouse; cuddly dog  Joan Redhead; encyclopaedia Merryweather family; £5 voucher Ros Hill : coffee set Tony Castell; £5 voucher Pitman family; crockery Steward family; axiom bag Barrett family; £5 voucher Tony Castell : Divinci Code DVD Penny Fattori; cuddly giraffe Mary; neck warmer Maureen Cushman; cuddly giraffe Danny; secateurs Linda; neck muff Joan Redhead; welcome sign Pat Young; Great British Gardens book Northwood family; talc Jean Castell;  Caribbean Twist drink Pitman family; bottle of wine Green family; window box  cake Emma; chocolates Valerie Bickerdike, sunflower cake John Tester; crochet bag Angela Earl; Book of Bear Stories Marianne Attfield; Beeston Gardens DVD  Victoria and the basket Betty.

Next year ten different gardens will be opened, some new and never before seen. Make a date in next years diary for Sunday 14th June, the second Sunday in the month, and make sure you enjoy the fun. Beeston is so fortunate to have such a wealth of gardens to open.


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