Flower & Scarecrow Festival 2015
For anyone who thinks differently a flower Festival doesn't just begin on the day announced. Prior to the start many groups and individuals around the villages are planning their flower arrangements. When someone mentioned umbrellas, you have to plan how to include it in your arrangement.
St.George's school and Mrs O'Mara very kindly produced our lovely posters which were on display everywhere. Susan Scott took care of our publicity.
The few days leading up to the festival, the church becomes a hive of activity. Watering cans, oasis, loads of flowers are strewn around the church while lots of ladies organise their displays. We were very lucky to have a lot of kind people who sponsored the cost of the flowers for our event. A list of our sponsors will be up in the church until mid - August.
Refreshment tables are set up, raffle, cakes, bric brac, and lots more components are busily set out ready for the start.
And finally it arrives. Friday the 26th June at 10am, D-Day!! Stewards man the church entrance, no charge - just donations. They have to give everyone programmes, offer quizzes, and answer any questions. Once inside you can see all the lovely displays, carefully thought out and beautifully executed. Umbrellas shown in ways never considered abound around the church. Visitors all decide on favourite displays and discuss what they see. As people leave they chat about the smells of the flowers in the church and how lovely they looked and as one person said, 'Not a Mary Poppins to be seen'.
Tasty cakes and drinks, ploughman's lunches disappear quickly. Guess the name of the Dog gets everyone guessing. Pottery for sale and an art exhibition tempt the wallet, Lucky dip and activities for the children.
On Friday morning, we were entertained by some of the children of St, George's school, Great Bromley. Led by Mel Bridle, their music teacher we all enjoyed our musical renditions. Throughout the weekend we had music played on the organ by Gregory or Stephen, so nice to hear. On Monday morning the Little Dragons children sang for us and were joined by Bishop Roger of Colchester.
On Saturday Fairtrade and the W.I. set up stalls with lots of lovely things for us to buy. David Wenden took several people up to the top of the tower to see the views.
The time passed quickly over the weekend, especially if you strayed off to see the scarecrows on the scarecrow trail or the Open gardens, during the rain on the Sunday afternoon.
Sunday afternoon saw local councillor, Carlo Guiglielmi present first prize in the scarecrow competition to Eve Barnham for her lovely entry. The quiz was won by Rowan Pannell who won a £5 gift voucher.
This was followed by the draw for the raffle. First prize was £100 which was won by Mr Ian MacPhearson. It is very important that we thank all of our wonderful sponsors for the raffle prizes and even the raffle tickets, as without them, there would be no raffle. A list of all those who supported us will be up in the church until mid - August.
At 6pm on Sunday, we welcomed over 80 people for the Songs of Praise.
On Monday we had a group from Harwich visit in the afternoon and we drew the winner for Guess the name of the Dog, Mrs Estelle Kemp who chose the name Fido. She won Fido.
There are so many people to thank who helped with the Flower Festival, it cannot function without lots of people to organise, serve, do flowers, make cakes, do the finances and be there. It also needs the visitors who make everything worthwhile. There are too many people to mention by name but we must say a special thank you to Jenny Nicholls who was the driving force behind the whole event.
The Flower Festival has raised over £3000 towards the church and we feel it was a great success.
Carol Cordwell and Susan Scott.