A Thank You Party, at the end of the 2016 Season of The Norton Festival of Gardens Open, provided an opportunity to reflect upon the Event.
Thirty-nine gardens were opened over the season with seventy-one Hosts sharing their hobby and joy with the larger community. The effort and care put into the gardens of the village were clear for all to see. Many were tucked away and normally unable to be viewed.
Although fundraising was an element to the season it was, to some degree, played down. Only the Programme for the Season, which gave location, dates and notes, was actually sold. All other money received, for entry and cream tea, was by donation. The generosity of those who visited the gardens reached a total of £4408.70 for the Season and this was shared equally between The Triangle Trust, which supports the local Medical Centre, and Norton Parish Church. No expenses were claimed by anyone for anything so the Church and Trust receive £2204.35 each.
Apart from the ‘surprise’ that awaited visitors in seeing most of the gardens for the first time and the delight of spending ten very pleasant Sunday afternoons, mainly in fine weather, a frequent comment was that the Festival drew the community together and enabled people to socialise in a way that otherwise would not have been possible.
Over one hundred and forty people were actively involved in the organisation and these were thanked, with an invitation to a Wine and Nibbles Party in the Church, together with the Hamdon View Coordinators of the Event.
A photographic display and album may be seen in the Parish Church.