A sunny day made two village events a big success at the weekend, with record visitors and bumper takings in aid of their respective churches.
The villages of Bulmer and Boxford threw open their gardens on Sunday and residents were delighted to find the weather had, at last, been kind to them, with the sun shining and a blue sky overhead.
Angela Tolputt, organiser of the 16th annual Boxford Open Gardens, said: “The weather was perfect. Someone was obviously smiling down on us, especially after the terrible rain we had on the day last year.
“But this year was a different story, and the sunny day definitely helped to bring people from far and wide.
“We had 21 gardens open in the end and about 500 people came along. We had some great feedback and it seemed people really enjoyed strolling through our village.”
The event raised a record £4,600 which goes towards St Mary’s Church. In addition, £142 – made from trips to the church tower – will go towards the church’s bells fund.
In Bulmer, the village held its first open gardens after a break. Margaret Mills, who organised it, said she did not remember when it was last held. “It was the first time we have had one in a very long time and it was very successful because we raised a total of £1,200 for St Andrew’s Church,” she said.
She said 12 gardens on show had brought in a total of 200 visitors. The gardens varied from small to ones with many acres including woodlands and chickens. Retired builder Tony Dixey had even used materials such as scaffolding poles and metal objects for recycling to make a feature of his garden on show.
Homemade cakes and teas with scones and jams helped boost the takings.