The Friends held a small celebration on 7th September to mark the centenary of Mrs Homeyard starting work on the gardens and the creation of the magnificent new seat with ceramic stoneware decoration.

A very big thank you was given to all the volunteers whether it be those helping in the gardens, keeping the castle clean or serving teas and coffees from the castle terraces . Also to the Friends trustees and committee for help coordinating everything we do. A glass was raised to them all.

Many of our subscriber members attended the event and were thanked for their support and some very welcome generous donations in the last few years which help the Friends carry out their activities and put on twice yearly events for children. This is particularly important now that the council funding is so squeezed so that other than routine maintenance most of what goes on in the gardens is done by the Friends. Their interest and support is very much appreciated.

Wholehearted thanks were also given to the sponsors who contributed to the funding for the seat including :

  • The Marjorie and Geoffrey Jones Charitable Trust
  • Devon County Council ( Alistair Dewhirst)
  • Shaldon Water Carnival Committee
  • Artists at Homeyards Castle Open Studios group: Tina Hill Art, Pippa Ridley,Val Wilkie, Alison Miles and Cy Saens

The artists Michelle Greenwood Brown and Alison Miles have been working behind the scenes on the project for well over a year as well as holding several workshops for the community to contribute some of the interesting pieces which have been included on the lower panels and another workshop for help with painting the stoneware leaves and flowers. Some of the leaves are made by imprinting real leaves and the shells are pressed into real shells. The picture on top is of the original birdbath of which we have a photo and shows the view across the estuary. They have spent time walking round the gardens to take in the plants and animals and they have managed to come up with a very authentic and unique style.There have been numerous positive comments now it has been revealed and we are impressed with the huge talent, skill, imagination and sheer hard work which has gone in to producing it.

The event ended with the Friends’ sincere congratulations and thanks to both Michelle and Alison and the joint cutting of a ribbon with Parish and District councillor Chris Clarance (and an interesting looking cake!).


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