Bluebell Walk 2023

SEAFORD ROTARY was privileged to have the opportunity again to provide the refreshments on two days, Thursday and Friday 20th and 21st April at the Bluebell Walk at Bates Green Farm, Arlington.

During the 5week period when access to the blue carpet in Beatons Wood is made available to the public, Seaford Rotarians welcomed the visitors and manned the café and the entrance gate booth.

This year was the 50th year of the Bluebell Walk, and on both days there was a wonderful display of the delicate white wood anemones and some stunning bluebells.  As the visitors arrived at the gate house a notice advised them that:

‘The beautiful blue haze is starting to emerge in the sunnier parts of the wood.

White wood anemones glow and shine and these will gradually be superseded by the bluebells.

The cold nights are slowing the emergence of the bluebells but this may result in a longer display.

Bird song and activity are abundant.  Enjoy your stay.’

On entering the wood, the visitor could see a blue haze over the predominant white wood anemones, and depending on the route taken, you could see either localised patches of blue amongst the white carpet, individual clumps of blue or a swath of blue leading to a white carpet in the distance.

The weather on the Thursday was dry and sunny although a cold northerly wind greeted the wandering visitors, and this may have contributed to the café being well populated in the morning and at lunchtime as warmth and sustenance was sought.

Visitors were able to enjoy hot leek and potato soup which soon ran out due to its popularity, jacket potatoes with tuna mayonnaise, beans or cheese fillings, cheese, ham and vegetable quiche salads as well as a ploughman's lunch or various sandwiches.

 There was a marvellous selection of homemade cakes provided by the magnificent catering team, from which the hungry could choose with vegan, dairy free and gluten free options available as well as the traditional Victoria Sandwich, Fruit, Chocolate, Coffee and Walnut, Carrot and Lemon Drizzle cakes.  The most popular cake is still the Coffee and Walnut Sponge with several needed over the two days and an overnight bake necessary for the second day.

This tempting display could not happen without the brilliant support and help of the Rotary ladies baking the delicious cakes and savouries etc. for which we, as well as the visitors, are very grateful.

 In addition, there were freshly baked scones, plain, fruit or cheese, rock cakes, short bread and brownies and bread pudding available.

For those people wanting a little treat, there was the option of choosing a cream tea.

The weather on the Friday was not so good as the preceding day with light rain showers throughout the morning.  As a result, the trade in the café in the morning was disappointing.

The sun did however make an appearance in the afternoon, along with a 48—seater coach whose passengers were on a day trip from Epsom.  Consequently, there was a steady stream of visitors investigating the available choices of hot food, cakes and teas and coffee.

We are grateful to the wives and volunteers who helped in the kitchen and servery, all under the guiding supervision of Rotarian Janice Vince and Honorary member Pippa Logan, whilst Janice and I managed the visitors payments, either digitally or with cash, all recorded in the new cash register. 

The table clearers and washer uppers were kept busy thereby ensuring that the café kept running smoothly.  The many trips to and from the kitchen always ensured continuous supplies of clean crockery and cutlery.

As a result of the sterling efforts of those who helped, initial estimates indicate that over £2,800 was raised.  This will be used to support both local charitable and international Rotary projects.





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