On Sunday afternoon 11th June Beeston became alive again as a village! It was a fantastic day for the village and community spirit. People streamed in and gasped, Beeston is full of surprises, as they made their way around the twelve incredibly different, intriguing gardens that were open to the public that afternoon between 2.00pm until 6.0pm, providing a kaleidoscope of life in Beeston. It was an afternoon thoroughly enjoyed by those who visited, and those who opened their gardens.
The team spirit was tremendous, with goodwill and good humour to the fore. It was great to see former residents like, Derek Redhead, who left the district in 1976 having founded the Residents Association, North East Beds MP Alistair Burt, and Mid Beds District and Sandy Town Councillor Peter Blaine, Jamie Stewart, the youngest grandson of Maureen and Alan Richardson, and Jasmine, granddaughter of Margaret Hoy, both making their first visit to the village, and everyone else, particularly those who came to the village for the first time. Many thanks to everyone who contributed in any way to make it such a happy, co-operative and outstanding success. Penny and Frank Fattori, Valerie and Malcolm Abery, Gill and Malcolm Holt, Tina and Brian Keating, Pat and Mike Fowler, Betty and Kathleen Ambrose, Sheila and Brian Fensome, Natasha, Paul and Dylan Hetherington, Cynthia and John Tester, Doreen and Bill Lawrence, Poppy and Roger Cope, and Valerie and Mike Haygarth opened their gardens, and worked tirelessly throughout the afternoon escorting people.
The teas were impressively organised by Valerie Haygarth, with husband Mike, and Judy Baxter Katrina Bourne, and Ros Hill. The tea tent and urn had been kindly loaned by Valerie and John Bickerdike, where visitors could fittingly refresh themselves in the shade.
Many thanks to everyone who donated scrumptious cakes, and especially to Vicky Blackman who kindly donated a beautifully decorated garden cake to be raffled. Nicola Haygarth efficiently raised £40 with the raffle, which was won by Jane Kilby of The Knolls. Plants stalls were run by Valerie and Malcolm Abrey, Valerie Haygath and Tina Keating, and Gill Holt was responsible for the impressive artwork on the day.
It has been a long time since the village has seen such an inclusive, happy, community occasion. Even the weather was perfect. There was something of interest for everyone from the practical to the imaginative, colourful flowers beds, immaculate vegetable gardens, formal and wildlife, new and long established, tiny and large, simple and ornate, water features in abundance, and creative and artistic ideas.