with their proud owners as proficient as Chelsea exhibitors. In 1967 some were farmworkers; an art-school principal showed her students’ work in an outhouse, and an Old Etonian potter produced hefty bowls and dishes while singing hymns as the potter’s wheel turned. Now, there are less vegetable gardens, but beautiful statues and Monet-like bridges invite our visitors to cross and watch the swans. The gardens have evolved, but the enthusiasm still remains.
For those of us greeting visitors in one of our three Car Parks or handing out Teas, there are sometimes surprises. Like the family who came from Darlington for the day; 200 miles each way. Or the rally of VW Beetles who happened to pass by – dozens of them. The villagers produce more than 100 cakes, and endless jars of honey and jam for this event.
Gleaming Karzee Ltd. Potaloos are in place throughout the village, so there is no chance of a repeat of the trauma suffered by one visitor in the early years, when a sudden gust of wind lifted and blew away the tarpaulin surrounding the make-shift toilets behind the Victory Hall.
We know that many of our visitors return year after year to see what we have been doing through the winter months, to enjoy listening to the organ being played in the church, and to have a cup of tea and a slice of cake in a true English garden.