Open day raises £2750 and welcomes special guest

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More than 300 people turned out for the Merrylee Plotholders Association Open Day on September 1.

Members and family provided home made soup, baking, flowers, jams and chutneys, amazing fresh fruit and veg and a lucky dip which raised over £330 – with £2750 in total.

The children’s funfair featured vintage side show attractions – knock the can off, coconut shye, hook a duck and face painting. There were also guided tours of the gardens and visitors were encouraged to explore.

Judith Ralson, BBC Weather presenter was guest of honour and presented the prize for the Tallest Sunflower competition which was won by Ian McCracken (390cm) and kid’s prize was awarded to Logan Bain (340cm).

Derek Livesey, president, said: “I am so proud of all plot volunteers who spent so much time and energy on behalf of the Association. The Open Day is our principle fund raising event of the year and I am delighted that we have reached such a fantastic total.

“This money will will be used to make substantial improvements to the site over the coming 12 months and will support members in maintaining their plots and the site as a whole. We were delighted to be joined by the local schools’ gardening clubs who were pleased to show off their hard work.

“Our Lady of Annunciation and Merrylee Primary School both have teaching plots on our site and a number of our members help run those gardening clubs to encourage the pupils.”

Ian McCracken, committee secretary, said: “Many of the visitors did not know quite how big the allotment plot was and were impressed that the whole area was so well looked after.

“Many visitors clearly fell under its spell because a few even wanted to sign up to join the association on the day!”

Judith Ralston said: “I love people with passion and the Plotholders at Merrylee work so hard and are so enthusiastic and proud of their achievements. All the plots look amazing and there are so many styles too.

“The committee has put so much into planning the event and I am delighted to be part of it. I hope I get asked back next year, although I may have to bring bigger bags to carry all this fruit and veg home!”