Events - 2023

Tree-Dressing - Saturday 25th November 2023
It may have been cold, but the sun shone down all afternoon on a very special community event. This year we hosted children from four local schools – Warrender Primary, Coteford Infants, Field End Infants and Lady Bankes Primary School. Each school brought a choir and entertained us with festive songs. Our guests of honour – the Worshipful the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr Shehryar Ahmad-Wallana, and the President of the Friends of Eastcote House Gardens, Catherine Dann - led the dressing of the tree. 

In the Stables, there were beautiful crafts and also tea and cakes for sale. In addition, activities including a raffle, a Teddy Bear Hunt and a “Name the Elf” competition made sure there was plenty for everyone to do. We owe an enormous thank you to everyone who helped before, during and after the event to make it such a success: our tea stall helpers, our very talented craft team, raffle sellers, Teddy Hunt organisers, outdoor stewards and Audrey on the baubles and table decorations!

Each year we present the Hinman Shield – named for George and Margaret Hinman, who saved Eastcote House Gardens and Long Meadow from development in the 1930s - to celebrate young people’s involvement in community work. this year, the award went to Warrender Primary School.

Our historic yew tree is now adorned with hundreds of Christmas decorations – but there is still room for many more. We invite you all to add another bauble whenever you visit the Gardens!

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London in Bloom 2023
Once again The Friends of Eastcote House Gardens win the jackpop, achieving top marks in all categories!

Congratulations to the Friends for their unstinting devotion to the Gardens, which makes them a delight to explore for visitors of all ages. Here are details of the awards, with a quotation from each report.

Chris Groom and Keith Barnard receive the Walled Garden award.

A bumper crop of top awards!

Heritage Day and Classic Car Event - Sunday 10th September 2023
The day was a great success when many visitors took advantage of the good weather to view the seventy-plus immaculate classic cars on show. 
They also visited the historic Grade 2-listed dovecote, which was open throughout the day. There was a steady stream of people who appreciated the knowledge of the volunteer stewards, especially when demonstrating the revolving post (potence) and ladder used to collect the young birds. 

The Seventeenth Century Grade 2-listed Stables were also open for visitors to admire some of the original timber work. Inside there was a wide range of local history publications available for sale from the Friends of Eastcote House Gardens and the Ruislip, Northwood and Eastcote Local History Society. Hillingdon Borough Museum Service also provided a display of archaeological finds from excavations previously carried out at Eastcote House Gardens. 
Halfway through the day there was the presentation of the Community Shield by Catherine Dann, our President, to this year’s worthy winners, the Gardeners’ Group at St. Thomas More Church.

The many visitors enjoyed the two sessions of live music from ‘Simply Grey’ as well as the other Friends’ stalls, which included the tea tent, the raffle, crafts, plants and second-hand books. The event could not have succeeded without all the hard work and commitment of the volunteers.

Report by Susan Toms

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Eastcote Horticultural Society Autumn Show - Saturday 9th September 2023
The Autumn show was well attended with many exhibits. For the FEHG team it was a great success: we entered 27 exhibits and were awarded the following:

9 x 1st Awards
9 x 2nd Awards
6 x 3rd Awards
1 x Commended

We were also awarded a Gold Medal Diploma for the “Highest Points in Other Flowers” – these include the ferns, grasses, fuchsias, roses, flowering shrubs, etc.

A big thank you to my regular team who picked and exhibited on behalf of the Friends of Eastcote House Gardens.

Sue Place

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Eastcote Horticultural Society Summer Show -Saturday 17th June 2023 
Despite unusually hot weather in the run-up to the Summer Show this year, it was a great success for FEHG. We entered 32 exhibits, of which 20 were awarded the following:

4 x 1st Awards
9 x 2nd Awards
7 x 3rd Awards

A big thank you to the team who picked the flowers on Friday and staged them on Saturday morning.

Sue Place, Jane Neave and Linda Wells 

Class 3 Rose 1st, 2nd & 3rd 
Old English type  

Class 4 Roses – 1st
3 blooms Old English type

Class 11 Own rose arrangement – 2nd

Summer Picnic in the Park – Saturday 10th June 2023
Despite threats of possible thunderstorms, the weather continued beautifully hot and sunny for our annual Fete. Our fantastic team of volunteers worked very hard from the early hours to make sure that everything was ready in good time. 

There was plenty for visitors to do while they were there – stalls run by the Friends of Eastcote House Gardens included a Tea Garden, a tombola, Children’s Corner, a book sale, a raffle and a sale of home-made items from our weekly Craft Group. The Picnic is very much a local community event, so there were also stalls from a wide range of voluntary groups. The Dog Show in the park featured breeds of all shapes and sizes, and more physical challenges were provided by the Tug of War and the Scouts’ climbing wall.

Musical entertainment from Jazzology kept the crowds entertained, and children were able to listen to a storyteller in the Old Orchard. We were also delighted to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress of Hillingdon, Cllr Shehryar Ahmad-Wallana and Amtul Woud Wallana. As well as enjoying a walk around the many stalls, they also laid a plaque to commemorate King Charles III’s accession to the throne at our newly planted Coronation Tree.

The Fete was a great success: lots of local people enjoyed a fantastic afternoon out in the sunshine, and we raised much-needed funds not only for the Gardens, but also for a variety of local charities. A very big Thank You is due to everyone – volunteers and visitors – who made this year’s Fete such a great success.

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Eastcote Horticultural Society Spring Show – Saturday 11th March 2023
It was called the Spring Show, but what a week of weather we had – snow, rain and cold! However, the flower team managed to pick enough exhibits to put on a reasonable show. The event was attended by the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr Becky Haggar-Kaititis, who took a great interest in all the exhibits.

The Friends team entered 42 exhibits and were awarded the following:

I would like to thank Jane Neave, Janet Green and Linda Wells for their contribution in picking in freezing weather and staging the exhibits.

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