Gardening Society Report - May 2017

The Stratford sub Castle Gardening Society

Thirtieth Anniversary Meal                                                                   25th May 2017

Cards, emails and phone calls all confirmed a successful event that provided friendship, laughter, happy memories, photographs and LOVELY FOOD! The Reading Room looked very special with colourful table settings and flowers and everyone was very relaxed on a warm, sunny evening.

The Chairman welcomed members, some partners and friends of members, guests who would shortly be opening their gardens with us and – especially – Margaret and Dan Matthews. Dan was the Founder Chairman of the Society who, thirty years ago, got a Committee together and started this club which is such an asset to the village. Gardening gives such pleasure to many people and gives physical, mental and artistic opportunities as well as making the place attractive for everyone. Even with TV and the internet giving us answers at a touch, a club provides much more. It has a teaching role and gives answers to questions that we did not know to ask and introduces plants that are reliable locally, garden worthy and available, sometimes just for asking. All credit to Dan for his vision.

A photograph session followed, with Charles Villiers as official photographer for the evening. A photo of all forty six people present was followed by one of just the founder members. In this, along with Dan and Margaret were John and Elizabeth Winders and Yvonne Fox. Even after thirty years, Elizabeth is still a keen Committee Member and Yvonne, aged 101 years, regularly attends meetings.

Next came the meal and masses of food disappeared very quickly – always a good sign. (As with all entertaining events, you always find something in the fridge at the end of the meal even though you had searched for it when it was needed.) The catering team, Jan Alder, Judy Villiers, Steve Mayall and myself with vital advice and help from Heather Platt, felt pleased that all the planning, shopping and cooking gave mission achieved. The celebration cake was spectacular and would easily have served 60 people and this was served with coffee to round off the meal. Judith Meyrick and Maureen Hall kindly volunteered to make the hot drinks for everyone.

Quite a few people went home with a gift as free ‘raffle tickets’ accompanied each place setting and these were drawn to round off a most pleasant evening. ‘A lovely way to celebrate thirty years’ was one message I received the next morning - and so it was.

Dorothy Richards

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