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Halstead OPEN GARDENS 2015Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent
Sunday 7th June 2015

10.30am to 5.00pm

**See post-event report/thanks below**

This year we will have 11 gardens open, plus an art exhibition and sale of paintings, as well as a plant sale on the Village Green run by the Horticultural Society.
Refreshments will be available throughout the day at the lovely village hall, with cream teas being served at the village school alongside live piano jazz. There will also be a range of menus on offer at the beautiful café and cakery Cabbages & Kings, and both country pubs situated in the village, The Cock Inn and The Rose & Crown. In addition, there will be fun activities for children and of course the Open Gardens Raffle with some lovely prizes.
Proceeds will be donated to St Christopher’s Hospice, as well St Margaret's Church and Halstead Community Primary School.
£6.00 in advance, £8.00 on the day.
Free admittance for children under 14.
How to get event passports:
Online from early April onwards by emailing, or in person: in advance at Cabbages & Kings, Hancock’s, The Cock Inn, The Rose & Crown or Village Ironing in Halstead - or on the day at the main information point at the village cross roads.
Further information:
Leslie Hawkins
Head Teacher of Halstead Community Primary School, and Head of Halstead Open Gardens Committee 2015
01959-532224 Mon-Fri 9am to 4:30pm
We look forward to welcoming you on the 7th June!




Halstead Open Gardens 2015
Parents And Friends Association of Halstead Community Primary School

Just in case you hadn’t heard... Halstead Open Gardens happened!
And what a lovely day it was. After months of hard work at what was definitely a first for some of us, it was absolutely wonderful to see the sun shine, visitors and villagers strolling through Halstead, and not least to feel a real sense of community throughout our village.

There are many things we could improve upon of course (starting the whole process earlier, better signage for gardens and parking on the day, to name two), and we are very grateful indeed to everyone who filled in event feedback forms*. A lot of useful feedback, a flood of positive comments and in-depth debriefs later – and we may just aim do it all again in 2017… Possibly with some interesting new features as well as improvements. Watch this space.

However, before we look ahead, we must first say a heartfelt thank you.

An enormous amount of time, thought and effort went into Halstead Open Gardens, and it is absolutely clear that aside from the weather, it was the hard work of all the garden owners and many volunteers as well as support from local businesses – both within the village and neighbouring communities - that made Halstead Open Gardens 2015 the event it was. An event that attracted hundreds of people and generated a profit of over £6,200, plus several full donation tins to boot. A real team effort and wonderful day in aid of St Christropher’s Hospice, St Margaret’s Church and Halstead Community Primary School. We appreciate each and every contribution, and would like to honour all those people who helped us make it happen. So -

A big thank you to all the lovely garden owners, without whom there would not have been an event – Nick & Sarah Amott, Ken & Shirley Austen, Helen & Simon Brown, Mary & Neil McLaren, Sally Nicholson, Adrian & Annie Stevens, David & Jane Taylor, Geoff Thomas, Shelley Ratcliffe & Rachel Tooley, Jane Whitby; and of course their wonderful volunteers on the day - including Edwina Beaumont, Tina Bennett, Sheila Bent, Margaret Ellis, Emma & Steve and Libby & Tiss Grice, Betty & Peter Lewis, Tara Lynch, Brenda & John Rogers, Lin Stevens and Carol Sales.

A special thank you for the completion of the stunning Sensory Garden at our school, created by the amazing Charlie Noble of Noble Gardens - with thanks to all the helpers and businesses who supported him, including Davd Collier, Paul Collier, Andrew Jeffries, George Porter and Joe Watts – as well as Homebase, Maidenhead Aquatics, P.J.Supplies, Rothervalley Timber, Silverland Stone and Tate Fencing.

Heartfelt thanks go to Cabbages & Kings, Hancocks, The Cock Inn, The Rose & Crown, The Three Horseshoes in Knockholt as well as Village Ironing – for not only kindly donating raffle prizes, but also embracing this as a village event and actively supporting us by taking on ticket sales, raffle sales as well as advertising. With special thanks to Cabbage & Kings for generously donating a percentage of proceeds from their one-off garden sale; and equally so to Village Ironing for the gift of painstakingly ironed bunting, of which there was rather a lot.

A big thank you for the generous donation of further raffle prizes goes to Sarah Collier, Beryl Rumgay and Jean Williams, as well as to Coolings Green & Pleasant, Cottage Farms, Chelsfield Golf Course, Hewitts Farm, Noble Gardens, Polhill Farm Shop and Warren Court M.O.T. Centre - and of course Polhill Garden Centre for their generous 1st prize of £100 in gift vouchers.

We are indebted to everyone who made all on offer at the Village Hall such a success, the range and quality of cakes raising many a compliment as well as a significant contribution to funds, as did the generous donation made by Iris Whitehead. So thank you to everyone involved, above all to team leaders Gail Baker and Edna Parker and their two teams for doing such a fantastic job, including Pat Benson, Gail Benton, Natalie Cater, Linda Dalton, June Johnson, Sandra Picton, Barbara Ryan – and Pat Emery, Ruby Lewis, Jean Jones, Chris Mottram, Peggy Richards and Heather Truslow.

Of course a huge thank you also goes to everyone who helped us open up our school grounds for gardens, cream teas, live music and more on a Sunday! With special thanks to the remarkable David Barnes for his wonderful jazz - and to all our lovely volunteers, including Emma Clarke, Val Collier, Kelly Smith, Sophia Storkey, Emma Thompson, Alicia Troth, Sue Ward, Nicole Welsh and Sheena Welch for all their help.

We are also very grateful to the Horticultural Society for kindly running the plant sale stall with such elan and success, with big thanks to Barry & Chrissy Blundel, Pam Kitcatt, Anne Rowlands, Margaret Sellers, Sally Shannon and her daughter, and Kay Spurrier; with a special thank to you Gerald Brooks at Curry Farm Nursery for providing plants at cost on a sale or return basis, and the kind donation of hanging baskets.

We were very lucky too to be able to maintain another Halstead Open Gardens tradition this year – thank you very much indeed to Brenda Haynes for organising everything to do with the art exhibition held in the Parish Rooms, and not least for the generous donation of its proceeds.

We were also very glad to be able to keep the car exhibition at the Village House on this year’s programme, with special thanks to Nick Beaumont, Brandon Hayward and Adrian Stevens.

Two other individuals whose contributions were much appreciated are Jenn Thomas, who provided a warm welcome and informative tour to all visitors of the church – and Mary Blake, who took beautiful photos of the open gardens, and generously donated a percentage of the proceeds from her card and craft stall.

We are also very grateful to Lewis Grey and everyone who helped him organize and manage the bus stop Information Point, including Nick Beaumont, Pat & Paul Lewis and Jill & Ken Sofocleous. And we are equally grateful to the parking team for preventing it all from going horribly wrong, with special thanks to Warren Card, John Evans, Jeff Highmore, Jock Rumgay and Vanda Wilson.

Then of course a big thank you must go to everyone else who helped with advertising – in particular Richard Foreman at the Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies; Kings Estate Agents in Sevenoaks and all who agreed to the putting up of their boards; Coolings and Polhill Garden Centre for the display of flyers on a larger scale; Pratts Bottom Village Fête Committee for the use of their posts – and Knockholt Horticultural Society for generously displaying flyers at their stall; to Otford Primary School, St Katherine’s Primary School, Pratts Bottom Primary School and Green Street Green Primary School for kindly agreeing to put flyers into book bags; the four postmen who equally kindly distributed flyers for us– Andy Clarke, Paul Collier, Graham Sharp and Mick Twort – and all the many of you who helped spread the word. It worked!

A huge thank you must also go to Lewis Grey and Tracey McCartney – both key members of the Open Gardens committee formed by P.A.F.A. from the beginning, whose contributions have been invaluable. And though technically a member of P.A.F.A. herself, we would really like to say again how much we appreciate the enormous input into Open Gardens – not to mention the ongoing support of our school - provided by Anna Porter. You never really leave, they say…it would seem so!

This brings us to someone who also merits a separate mention. Lisa Jones was P.A.F.A.’s chairperson extraordinaire and driving force for several years - and Halstead Open Gardens 2015 quite simply wouldn’t have taken place were it not for her vision and initiative. Thank you Lisa.

As P.A.F.A., we would also like to thank headteacher Leslie Hawkins for enabling us to organise such a wonderful village event, with the school at its centre. Halstead Community Primary School is a remarkable place, and as parents and friends of the school we are always pleased to see it further strengthen its ties with the village community, and vice versa.

Finally, to whoever was responsible for sunshine on the 7th - you’re hired!

Annà Rumgay, P.A.F.A., Halstead Open Gardens Committee 2015
Contact: Leslie Hawkins, Halstead Community Primary School, 532224 Mon-Fri 9am-4:30pm


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