Mayfield village hall restoration campaign gets boost from Helen Yemm

A FUNDRAISING event featuring gardening writer and broadcaster Helen Yemm has raised £1,000 towards Mayfield’s village hall restoration campaign.

The dinner event, organised by the village’s Horticultural Society, saw the Daily Telegraph columnist speaking about downsizing without tears at the village’s Memorial Hall. Helen donated her fee to the cause and, after costs, the event raised a whopping £940, which further donations then increased to an even £1,000.

Speaking to almost 100 local green-fingered enthusiasts, Helen secured the rapt attention of the audience.

She revealed how she was forced to move from a two-acre paradise to a modest property whose garden largely comprised weeds.

Helen explained how she rallied to create a space evoking the sights and sensations of her former garden.

Mayfield Horticultural Society chairman Eddie Du-Canne said: “Helen describes herself as ‘all muddy-gloves-and-wellies’ and the evening proved she’s not the sort of person to make a brouhaha out of a crisis. We’re absolutely thrilled to have raised £1,000 towards Mayfield’s vital village hall project.”

The evening was organised by MHS committee member Anne Richardson, who has also brought together Mayfield’s programme of evening talks from guest speakers this winter.

The series’ next speaker will be fruit expert Tom Maynard from Maynards Fruit Farm in Ticehurst, who’ll appear at the Scout Hut on January 21 to talk about growing fruit in a Wealden garden. Tom will look at optimum varieties, growing conditions, pruning techniques and more besides. His fee is donated to VSO.

Patrick Coulcher will discuss the wild flowers, birds and butterflies of the Isles of Scilly at a talk on February 18.