As I’m sure most of you will have realised, on Sat. 1st May the Ashbourne Road District Allotment Association had the privilege of being the first Derby Council allotment site to open its gates to the general public under the National Garden Scheme. The day was well attended by the public with around 150 people coming through the gate which will have raised over £700 for the NGS charities, a most commendable figure for just 5 hours of opening.
Among the public during these 5 hours we had the pleasure of entertaining 4 officials of the NGS organisation including Jean and Peter Gardener who were our initial contacts. As they were leaving they had nothing but praise for our open day using words such as ‘absolutely fantastic’ and ‘brilliant’. This was then followed up by a most complimentary email to Elaine Crick which was most gratifying. It was also notable that most people, as they were leaving, were telling us how enjoyable their visit had been.
Of course none of this would have been possible without all the hard work and organisation done by our marvellous team of volunteers, all of whom had a part to play in the success of the day and it is to these people that I would like to say a big thank you. The first group of people tasked with moving the project forward are, of course, the organising committee headed by Elaine, ably assisted by Sarah Martin- Smith, Andy Culshaw, Kath Haywood, Liz Stafford, Gill Black and Cathy Hastie. Extra support on the day itself was provided by Mark Smith, Kevin Clark, Nicola Allen and her daughter, Helen Lintott, Alison and Martin Kent and Benita. I also would like to single out Dave Hancox (who opened and ran the shop for the day), Aiden (who did a great job with the plant sales), Glenys Gresham (a fantastic performance selling cakes, tea and coffee) and last but not least Mark Slater who spent all day welcoming the visiting public and our own members (not the easiest of jobs) along with providing IT support. Providing all the delicious cakes for Glenys to sell were Barbara Dawson, Jackie Lindley, Sarah Trouse, Helen Lintott, Carole McBride and Liz Stafford.
For giving more of an in-depth view of what we are about I would also like to thank all the 20 plot holders who were generous (and brave) enough to open their plots to visitors. A regular comment made by the visitors as they left was that everyone they had spoken to on the plots were so friendly and informative, so a big thank you and well done to all the plotholders.
Another group of important people who spent the preceding weeks ensuring the site looked at its best was our regular Tuesday volunteer group of Kevin, Martin, Gerry, Barry, Chris and Paul, so another big thanks to these guys.
If I have missed anyone out who helped to make the day such a huge success then please accept my apologies but rest assured you been included in my thank you’s. It is very encouraging to me to see so many of our plotholders coming together on projects such as this and I’m sure that our next NGS open day on 24th July will be an even better event (with a bit of luck it should also be a bit warmer) so once again a huge thank you to all who gave their time and effort on our first NGS day. Perhaps the first of many?