There were a few nerves before the judges arrived at 10 am, but they soon put us at our ease and our 2 hours of judging started. The judges had already received copies of our Portfolio, containing background information on the village and photos of our progress in projects round the village as well as of attractive areas spotted through the year, so they came armed with quite a lot of knowledge about us. Peter Goodenough gave an excellent presentation, illustrated with photographs to fill them in on more recent activities.
They were then greeted by William Pitt, (alias Robert Crowley in full regalia) and two members of his entourage, Jasmine and Josh. The Pitt connection has been explained previously in these article and the concept worked perfectly. The judges were led to the "schoolroom" opposite the Village Hall by Pitt, Jasmine and Josh where they met "schoolmaster" Peter Staddon, who explained the ethos of the school to them, while showing them the forest garden etc.
By the time the judges has reached the Green country dancing was in full swing and this was enjoyed by both the judges and the children who were dancing. Next stop was at the church to view the fantastic flower festival displays and meet some of the ladies who were responsible for them. Then the judges were off to view the War Memorial garden. They were very impressed with the work that has gone on there and with the whole conceptual design of the garden. They crossed over the road to France and were greeted in French by members of the Twinning Association by the Twinning tree and garden, — they had put out a French flag and a Union Jack for the occasion. Onward up the High Street, with much admiring of the display on the walls on the left hand side, which had been organised by our members, who they met by the displays. They also appreciated — as we do- the displays which have appeared in support on the right hand side. From the King William they travelled by car to Stoney Lane, where they walked through Keith and Barbara Lancey's garden to Batty Piece meadow. They crossed the meadow to Holden's Way and viewed our community meadow, Eastfield, from there. They were impressed with the new information board at the entrance to Eastfield, which has pictures of many of the species to look out for while enjoying the meadows. Back in to the car and along the main road to the car park, where they met Kate Macey as a representative of local business, before returning to the Village Hall, where they enjoyed tea and cakes while looking at boards of photos and talking to members of the community.
Once the judges headed off to their next appointment we all breathed a sigh of relief before starting to clear everything away! The result will not be known until early October.
The war memorial garden could not have been kept looking so good without the tremendous work of the watering team and enormous thanks go to those who have already watered for a week and those who will do so in the future. The intention is to keep the War memorial garden looking great until after the Remembrance day parade in November (frosts permitting). There will probably be a public meeting before then to discuss plans for next year, as such a level of achievement in 2018 will need more support from the community, particularly from able-bodied men. If you think the displays were fabulous and lifted Curry Rivel's appearance to the world, please come forward to support the project in 2018.
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