A Report by Cllr Mel Beynon
What a lot of excitement there had been around the village and indeed around the country! It was Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee! We were determined to honour that by making our event something special too.
On arrival, our guests were offered a glass of Prosecco to enjoy while we awaited the arrival of our Mayor of Guildford Cllr Denis Booth and his delightful wife Mary. They were like old friends, given that in the previous year, the Mayor was unavailable and his deputy, the same Cllr Booth came along to deputise for him. The added bonus was that both The Mayor and his wife are very keen and knowledgeable gardeners.
We also welcomed a new judge to our panel. Clare Bevan is well known in the area as the owner and creator of a hugely impressive wild garden in Ockham. Biodiversity and sustainability are her particular gardening forte. She kindly took the stage and gave a very interesting and clear explanation of the way to maximise biodiversity in our gardens. This was particularly relevant since, thanks to the very generous support of Janet and Martin O’Hara, we had a new category, that of Biodiversity Champion, complete with a new trophy.
The silverware gleamed on the “high table”, the Mayor had arrived, the audience had been mellowed by the glass of bubbly and off we went.
The evening began with Glenesk School Staff receiving their award before having to shoot off to attend a staff event. We moved to the Children’s section. There was an almost record number “Potato in a Pot” entries. The winner was Ellis Hypher-Thomas, second place went to Quinton Stewart, third came Devon Hypher-Thomas and finally in fourth place William Stewart. We clearly have two mini dynasties of potato growers in the village. Sincere thanks to Celia Chapman and Janet Claydon for their commitment and enthusiasm to the youngsters.
This year, at the suggestion of Matt Link the head gardener at West Horsley Place, the “Potato in a Pot” took place in the field immediately in front of the barn. After all, Matt reasoned, the potato was brought back to England by Sir Walter Raleigh whose widow had lived with his sons at West Horsley Place. Logic was served.
The senior categories in West Horsley in Bloom were just as well supported. The first part of the prize giving was therefore, as usual a marathon. Each entry was given a sentence or two of appreciative comment, but despite all efforts the first half ran for fifty minutes. Time then for a glass of wine, some tasty canapés and lots of chatting and laughter. In the background a loop of photos of the various entries.
Soon it was back to the most pleasurable part of evening, that of giving out the prizes for the category winners. The trophy for the overall winner delighted everyone one as it was won by West Horsley Place. The trophy was taken back for a year at least from whence it had originated.
Since our competition, her Majesty has sadly passed away. The Coronation of her son King Charles III will no doubt engender some excitement too and we will try to reflect that in next year’s competition.
For information on how to get involved with West Horsley in Bloom please contact Cllr Mel Beynon at [email protected]. Alternatively Join our Mailing List - West Horsley Parish Council to receive regular news and events updates.