Matlock Town Council receives anonymous memorial gift to fund return of gardening and craft show

The future of an event celebrating the successes of Matlock gardeners and crafters has been secured for the next three years following a donation from an anonymous benefactor to the town council.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 7:41 pm

The Matlock Show is an annual extravaganza of horticultural and handiwork prowess which sees people display their proudest produce from the year’s harvest in a friendly competition.

The event was cancelled in 2020 due to pandemic but organisers are making plans for its return this autumn and have recently been handed a financial boost.

At the meeting of Matlock Town Council on March 1, it was agreed that a bequest from a resident whose wife recently died should be allocated to the show in her memory.

Irene Yarnell with her floral art entry for the Matlock Show in 2018.

Hurst Farm representative Helen Legood, who proposed the move, said: “This gentleman has been very generous and following discussions with him we agreed that the donation would be used for a project focused on our local environment.

“As a council we are pushing to make this a greener place to live, and the show seemed a fitting use for the donation as it does so much to encourage people to be aware of their environment and engage with it.”

She added: “The money should cover all the resources needed to stage the event, and the council will cover the time it takes from staff involved in running it.

The show’s principal partner is the Wellfield Allotment Society Liaison Group but it is not just allotment holders who take part.

A whole basket full of entries from Jean Nightingale in 2018.

Many entries come from home gardeners and those with other skills such as flower arranging, baking and needlework.

Coun Legood said: “Its open to all and sundry – the more the merrier – and an opportunity to share ideas and suggestions on how to grow things better.

“Even if you don’t enter anything, you can come along and people will happily share their tips with you.”

She added: “I struggle with my own garden but even I’ve managed to enter some courgettes and win second prize. I was very chuffed.”

Final details of this year’s event are still being thrashed out with various scenarios to plan for in terms of the public health situation.

A full announcement is likely to arrive in early summer, working towards a date in September at the Imperial Rooms.

But organisers already hope it will attract a bumper crop of entries, after 12 months in which many residents have been looking close to home for things to do and found more time to focus on hobbies.

Coun Legood said: “Particularly this year, it’s an opportunity to enjoy growing and producing. Together with our recent success in winning a substantial Green Recovery grant, we hope it shows how much we want this to be a town everyone is proud of.”

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