Autumn blooms at Flower Festival

Udimore Flower Festival 2017
Udimore Flower Festival 2017

St Mary’s Church, Udimore was ablaze with colourful flower displays last weekend for its Autumn Flower Festival.

The event, held on Saturday and Sunday October 7 and 8, heralded Autumn with a vast array of beautiful blooms.

Thirteen favourite novels had been ingeniously depicted in St Mary’s Church by a talented team of Udimore flower arrangers. These imaginative novel-inspired arrangements combined with warm autumnal colours of some additional floral displays produced a very striking effect, which were much admired and commented on by visitors.

Nadia Florence-Marshall, who organised the flowers says though the weather initially made a difference to visitor numbers, it did improve considerably. “We had a slow start to the Flower Festival with drizzly rain on Saturday,” she said. “On Sunday, the weather was much better and visitors began to arrive.

“Some might say it’s not the best time of year to hold a flower festival but the autumn colours in the arrangements were magnificent.”

“The group of ladies who look after the flowers at St Mary’s were joined by friends and neighbours who are also involved in the festival in our sister church, St George’s in Brede. With their knowledge and involvement, they helped us complete the task as they have been holding a flower festival in St George’s for 40 years.

“The arrangements were stunning and, although St Mary’s is quite a small church dating back before the Normans, put their mark on it; the quality of interpretation to the theme was inspiring.”

The Friends of St Mary’s provided refreshments on both days and Nadia says many scrumptious home-made cakes gave visitors a huge range to choose from, adding: “A big thank you to all who donated them.”

Along with showcasing the talents of those who arranged the floral displays, the event had something else to celebrate. Nadia said: “The Friends also launched a new recipe book ‘Good Things to Eat’ beautifully illustrated by Michael Edwards, a local artist.

“It was good to talk to visitors from Bexhill, Appledore, St Leonards and Hastings who didn’t know the church existed because of its ‘tucked away’ location but all agreed it was worth the discovery.

“Visitor numbers topped around a hundred! The last time we filled the church like this was for the Queen’s Jubilee. I think once you apply your mind to the task all sorts of great ideas come forth. We just hope that for the first one of its kind that we made some funds to look after this special building of ours. The visitor’s book with lovely comments made all the hard work worth it.

“Another big thank you to the team at St Mary’s Udimore!”

The sale of refreshments and local produce raised approximately £500, a useful contribution to the overall net profit of the Festival, which will help towards the cost of the forthcoming church roof repairs.