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Our 125th anniversary

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


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 so popular.
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.
Mags Jones.

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