As one of the oldest allotment sites in Croydon, were we proud to celebrate our 125th anniversary in 2008.
We held a wonderful open day, which was well attended by the local community.
Article by Mags Jones
BENSHAM MANOR 125 CELEBRATIONS
In 2008 the celebration of 125 years of gardening in the Bensham Manor area of
Thornton Heath was a RESOUNDING success. Following weeks of rain when the
weekend came the weather seemed to be set fair and it was. We bathed in
sunshine all day long. For those wonderful committee members and the band
of staunch volunteers who have taken this project to their hearts the day
started at the allotments at 7a.m. Some of us the day had started a couple of
hours earlier and for some they did not bother sleeping at all the night before
but put heart and soul into achieving those extra cakes and finishing touches.
Stallholders started to arrive by 7.15 and by 10.00 when the public started
walking in the place was buzzing. Literally as we had a demonstration hive set
up by Croydon Bees and one of our own Beekeepers on hand to explain the
workings of the hive. The Cat Protection League, the Waterfowl and Wildlife
Trust of Barnes, and a run of Ferrets made sure the animal kingdom was
well represented. Bric a Brac, Books, BBQ and Beer Tent were kept
busy throughout the day, with specialist stalls of Create the Mood, a Local
History Society and Face painting ensuring there was plenty of interest for the
whole family. Then "our Chris" was working his legs off giving
Tricycle rides to children. We reckon he did 38 circuits of our site, no wonder
he looked tired at the end. Then of course were our normal cakes, jams, plants
and fresh vegetables donated by so many of our plot holders which always proves
Live Music was provided by 2 groups, Tuff the Band Rock, R&B from
all eras and Greg and partner playing Bagpipes, Fiddle, Bodrun drum and Guitar
with their range of folk Celtic and Classic music. Both groups of musicians
were a real bonus to our day. In between the live music Colin Prime (our
Webmaster) provided our background music and MC'd the event.
All in all it was a FANTASTIC DAY, the committee and helpers know it could not
have happened without their full support but then we also needed you the public
to come along and enjoy and from reports I heard that is exactly what you did.
Lets hope we all can meet up again soon in a similar convivial atmosphere.