Summer Solstice/Support Staffordshire Event

The longest day dawned: the start of a long weekend.

The debut of the “market barrow” I bodged up out of an old gas barbecue and some timbers. It’s collapsible and we wedged it into the car and set off for Perton. Sun hot and high in the sky. Outside position … and the pieces went together reasonably smoothly (though some bolts needed the gentle encouragement of a cobbler’s hammer). The idea to create this barrow came to me while we were at the Co-op A.G.M. I had been making plans to use scavenged bike wheels on a wooden frame, but about to put the barbecue on Freecycle I saw the opportunity. Et voila:


 This event was to celebrate the work of Support Staffordshire, formerly SSCVA, and bring together community organisations. As such it worked; although perhaps a little short on genuine Joe Public visitors. Both S.SC.V.A. and Support Staffordshire have been superb in supporting our efforts: fund raising and the community voice forums, so we were delighted to be invited and happy to play a part.

The event was opened by local M.P. Gavin Williamson, with a witty self-deprecating speech and a fanfare from another group represented.

We handed out free seeds, business cards, ur A4 calendar of events and chatted to other stall holders and visitors. There was  skittles game set up next to us and on the other side a young woman representing Age Concern. While across form us were the “Perton Wildlife Group”. Spectacularly both of their volunteers missed the amazing sight of a hedgehog carrying a young one (what are baby hedgehogs called? hoglets?) across the gateway from shrubbery to shrubbery.

The M.P came by and spent quite some time talking to us on the stand; having his photo taken – a true public christening for the barrow! (Thanks to William Hanford/Gavin Williamson for the following picture.)


During the day we collected contact details, advice and began to prepare for the Cheslyn Hay Open Gardens on the next day.

Later certificates were awarded to volunteers without whom – as Mr Williamson put it – “so much good work would go undone”. This speech of his was first class: respectful, humble and giving the feeling that he was very much aware of the locality and the characteristics of the many organisations represented.

And, taking the barrow to pieces we left: tired but satisfied. With the good feedback and appreciation shown.




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