Friday, 29 July 2016

Brewood Garden Party 2016

The Brewood Village Garden Party was held on Saturday, 16th July 2016. Once again, the venue was the garden at Brewood Hall.


Although the Garden Party was open for just four hours, preparations started many weeks before. A number of planning meetings were held at Brewood Hall, deciding exactly what attractions would be offered and allocating the various tasks to volunteers on the organising committee.

Part of the organising committee pictured at a planning meeting
(L-R: Andrea, Becky, Marion, Marilyn).

In advance of the event, advertising 'flyers' were distributed around the village and various posters displayed, including one on the wall of Brewood Hall. Repairs were also carried out on the garden paths at Brewood Hall.

Path repairs at Brewood Hall.

On the afternoon prior to the Garden Party, the tents, marquees, tables, chairs and all the paraphernalia required were transported to Brewood Hall, involving a number of journeys by the organisers involving cars and trailers. In the evening, a team of Scouts appeared and, directed by the Scout Leaders, the piles of equipment were erected, producing a large double tent for refreshments, a large single tent for the musicians, two futuristic-looking Coleman Event Event Shelters and the large, traditional canvas marquee. Then, all the tables, chairs and other equipment was temporarily stored in the various tents, in case of overnight rain. It was fairly late when all this work was successfully completed.

Setting up the Brewood Garden Party 2016.

Setting up the Brewood Garden Party 2016: Assembling the large Coleman Event Shelter with the completed refreshment tent in the background.

Erecting the large marquee.

The Scouts returned on Saturday morning to complete the setting-up. Fortunately, it had remained dry overnight. Volunteers from the Church arranged a major houseplant and produce stall. Donations for this had started to arrive on Friday afternoon and more arrived on Saturday morning. The refreshment tent required a major effort to prepare and lay out the food, set up the tables and chairs both inside and outside the tent and provide floral displays of real flowers on each table. Electrics were laid on for water heating and for the Public Address system. An elaborate tent clad in netting was assembled to house the Catapult Range in complete safety. Other games were also set-up. Various other tables, tents or gazebo were erected for the Pimm's stall, raffle, tombola and the Staffordshire Corps of Drums. Volunteers from Brewood Scout's own shop 'The Trading Post' brought some of their stock to set up a stall at the garden party and the large marquee housed a number of craft stalls. Later, the Friends of Cannock Performing Arts Centre manned their Sales Stand. After a lot of hard work by the volunteers, all was ready for the opening, advertised for noon.

I've outlined this "behind the scenes" effort to illustrate the commitment of the volunteers to ensure a good experience for all the guests.

The Garden Party

Admission was via the double entrance gates in Sparrows End Lane which were specially opened for the event. A few minutes before twelve, the first visitors started to arrive and after a while the garden was thronged with people discovering the wide selection of attractions.

Brewood Garden Party 2016: The Admission table.

The mild weather encouraged visitors to wander from stall to stall or sit at one of the refreshment area tables to enjoy a hot dog, a cream tea or a Pimm's.

Brewood Garden Party 2016: The Refreshment Area.

Brewood Garden Party 2016: Houseplant and Produce and Raffle Stalls.

Brewood Garden Party 2016: Raffle Prizes.

Staffordshire Corps of Drums.

One of the innovations in 2016 was the Catapult Range.

Queuing for the Catapult Range.

Once again, the accomplished musicians from the Cannock Performing Arts Centre entertained the guests, with performances by both the Wind Band and the Big Band.

Brewood Garden Party 2016: Two bands from the Cannock Performing Arts Centre entertained the visitors.

For the first time, Banjo the Donkey and his owner offered rides in a modern, two-wheel donkey cart.

Brewood Garden Party 2016: 'Banjo' the donkey.

At the end of the event, Ian Morris made a presentation of flowers and chocolates to Jan Ford and announced that proceeds would be divided between Brewood Scouts, the Church and the Jan Ford Foundation. There was then an 'official photograph' of representatives from Brewood Hall, Brewood Scouts and the Church.

Brewood Garden Party 2016: Jan, Ian and Jane.

I am happy to report that all the visitors I have spoken to, both during the afternoon and subsequently, have confirmed that they enjoyed the event.

Reports on earlier garden parties at Brewood Hall

Brewood Vintage Garden Party 2013.
Brewood Vintage Garden Party 2014.
Brewood Garden Party 2015.

More information on the charitable work supported by the Jan Ford Foundation in Myanmar (formerly Burma) can be found by following the links below:-

Education Support
Medical Support.

Pictures of the event

Brewood Garden Party 2016.