Comedian Susan Calman joins green-fingered locals at Merrylee Plotholders Open Day

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The clouds parted and the sun shone for The Merrylee Plotholders Open Day last Saturday.

Nearly 400 visitors crossed the threshold to enjoy the fun and warm welcome of the Allotmenteers who had provided stalls selling home produce, freshly picked veg, plants and flowers and enjoy delicious, piping-hot, home-made soup and afternoon teas.

The visitors flocked to meet the guest of honour, local girl and star of Strictly, Susan Calman, who was joined by her wife, Lee.

Susan presented prizes to the winners of “The tallest sunflower competition,” and met lots of the Plotholders who were pleased to show off their hard work.

Susan was really inspired to discover the range and variety of growing techniques and was glad of advice as she has big plans for her own Southside garden.

She said: “we had such an amazing time, thank you to everyone for holding a great event. All the Plotholders were really generous and kind and we left with a great bounty of fresh, home grown veg.”

Not only that, but Susan also went on to win the “guess the weight of the cabbage” competition. She tweeted: ‘This is the face of a woman delighted that she won the “guess the weight of the cabbage” competition at the Merrylee Plotholders Association Allotment Open Day. What a warm welcome from wonderful people. And I won a 6 lb 4 oz cabbage. Delighted’

Derek Livesey, President said: “We were so happy that Susan and Lee accepted our invitation to join us, but we’re watching the weather forecast with a degree of dread as the weekend got closer. Gardeners are a hardy bunch, but were relieved when the rain stopped and the clouds cleared, just as the gates opened!

“The hard work preparing paid off as everybody had a lovely time - kids in particular love the traditional funfair with face painting and we were really delighted to raise nearly £2,400 which will be spent on establishing a sustainability and bio diversity programme, some new boundary fencing and other improvements across the site.