CELEBRATING CRUISING: We have just returned from cruising the Danube after flying to Budapest and boarding the Oscar Wilde luxury ship, but as there had been no rain for months, the river on the Hungary side was too low for us to actually cruise anywhere. After spending three nights aboard and touring Budapest, we had to be transferred by coach to Eszstergom, our first port of call, where we transferred to their sister ship, the luxury Thomas Hardy. The river was higher this side due to the locks and thankfully, we commenced our cruising. Wonderful scenery all around. The architecture everywhere was stunning especially in Austria and so clean. This was our first river cruise and after a slightly shaky start, we had a fantastic time and the captain was able to sail us back to Budapest. We were incredibly lucky, as not only had the company pulled out all the stops and changed the itinerary around so we wouldn't miss any of our ports of call, but many ships had cancelled their cruises altogether. As this cruise was in celebration of our Golden Wedding Anniversary, it would have been devastating if it had been cancelled.

Friday, 7th September 2018, 6:00 am

GAS WORKS AND BUSES: Well, the chaos has started. Contrary to what the letter from SGN stated, on my return from the town this morning, East Way, the top of North Way, the top of Middle Way and Windover Crescent from the junction of North Way were all closed, which made a mockery of the letter. They caused so much chaos, our bins didn’t get emptied. I have no idea what is happening yet, but there are definitely no buses coming along Windover, North Way or Middle Way. If anyone has any further information, please let me know so I can put it in next week’s PP.

ST ANNE’S CHURCH: The Big Book Sale raised £780, thank you to all who gave or brought books. Smaler books sales continue with some of the left overs. Good homes have been found for the rest with other charities.

LANDPORT BOTTOM: There is now a dog waste bin by the motor road at the top of the tumuli field and bottom of the small field.

CHRIST CHURCH: Our Sunday morning service at 10.30am will be led by Rev Michael Davies and will include Holy Communion. We will also be taking a special collection for Christian Aid’s Emergency Appeal for the Kerala area of southern India, which has been affected by disastrous flooding after record monsoon rains over recent weeks. Christ Church Tots will be back after its summer break on Friday September 14 with weekly sessions for pre-school children and their carers from 9.30am to 11.30am each week. Last week we finished our series of Messy Summer sessions over the school summer holidays with craft activities, worship and a barbecue in the garden, which was blessed by beautiful late summer sunshine.

SUMMER SHOW: It was another successful St Mary’s Gardening Club Summer Show. Despite the extremes of weather this year we had 253 entries from 29 exhibitors. Visitors to the show were able to admire some stunning exhibits of vegetables, fruit, flowers not to mention some very eye-catching floral arrangements. A popular class was The Great Potato Challenge where entrants were given a potato (variety Picasso) and a black exhibitors bag in October. They brought back the bag minus the foliage to the show where the bags were emptied and the contents weighed. The winner was Annie Hobden with a staggering 13lb 1oz of huge potatoes. Well done, Annie; what is your secret? We were delighted to welcome the Mayor, Janet Baah who kindly handed out the prizes.

The St Mary’s Social Centre Perpetual Challenge Cup, awarded to the member with most points in Spring and Summer shows was won by Chris Gibson, who also won Elphick Perpetual Challenge, award to the competitor with most points in the flower, fruit and vegetable sections. The St Mary’s Shield, awarded to the exhibitor with most points in the flower arrangement classes in Spring and Summer shows went to Christine Gibson and she also got the Ladies Cup, awarded to the lady with most points in the show. Annie Hobden’s gorgeous pot plant was awarded the French Trophy and she was also the winner of the Peter and Joan Russell Memorial cup for the specimen rose class. The Walter Cup for Cookery, awarded to the exhibitor with most points in the cookery classes was won by Alison Soudain. The Turf Culture Cup for Fruit, awarded to the exhibitor with most points in the fruit classes had four joint winners: Cyril Bates, Malcolm French, Christine Gibson and Alison Soudain. The Charlie Earl Best Exhibit Trophy went to Chris Gibson for his tomatoes. The Banksian Medal for the largest total amount of points in the whole of the horticultural classes (winners in the previous two years excluded) went to Christine Gibson. Toby Corfield was the winner of the Children’s Summer Cup,(age up to 7 years). Certificates were awarded for Best Flower to Keith Brown (delphinium),for Best Vegetable to Chris Gibson (tomatoes), for Best Fruit to Malcolm French (pears), for Best Trug to Chris Gibson, for Best Flower Arrangement to Christine Gibson for her Bonfire arrangement and for Best Domestic item to Alison Soudain for her Frangipane tart.

The winners of the individual classes are listed below: Potatoes, coloured, Chris Gibson; Potatoes, white, Chris Gibson; Potatoes, salad, Stephen French; Potatoes, baking, Chris Gibson; Runner Beans, Chris Gibson; Beans, any other type, Chris Gibson, 3; Beetroot, Chris Gibson; Cabbage or Savoy with stalk, Agnes Hammond; Chilli peppers, Christine Gibson; Carrots, Cyril Bates; Tomatoes, Chris Gibson;Tomatoes, cherry type, Chris Gibson; Shallots, medium, over 1”, 10, Stephen French; Onions from sets, Chris Gibson; Onions from seed, Chris Gibson; Onions from seed, 12oz or over, Chris Gibson; Courgettes, Chris Gibson; Squashes, two of a kind, Chris Gibson; Any Other Vegetable not in schedule, Anne Brown; three named herbs in a vase, Christine Gibson; Trug of mixed vegetables, Chris Gibson; Plate of vegetables and vase of flowers, Christine Gibson; Plate of salad ingredients, Chris Gibson; My three best vegetables, Chris Gibson; Great Potato Challenge, Annie Hobden; Tastiest Tomato, Vicki Trenhaile; Largest Onion, Chris Gibson; Heaviest Potato, Chris Gibson; Largest Tomato, Chris Gibson; Longest Runner Bean, Chris Gibson; Weirdest Shaped Vegetable, Cyril Bates; Largest Marrow, Stephen French; Apples, dessert, Cyril Bates; Apples, cooking, Alison Soudain; Pears, Malcolm French; Berry fruit, Chris Gibson; Any Other Fruit, Christine Gibson; Rose, specimen, Annie Hobden; Dahlias, Pom Pom, Christine Gibson; Dahlias, cactus, s/m, Christine Gibson; Dahlias, decorative, slim, Chris Gibson; Dahlias, cactus or decorative, large, Christine Gibson; Dahlias, any other type, Steve Hammond; Dahlia, specimen, Christine Gibson; Chrysanthemums, any type, Steve Hammond; Chrysanthemums, sprays, Steve Hammond; Vase of any other flowers, Cyril Bates; Asters, Double, three of a kind, Brenda Greenaway; Begonias, heads only, Christine Gibson; Marigolds or Calendulas, five of a kind, Anne Brown; Zinnias, three of a kind, Christine Gibson; Penstemons, three of a kind, Vicki Trenhaile; One stem or spray of flowers, Keith Brown; Geranium or pelargonium in a pot, Vicki Trenhaile; Flowering pot plant, Annie Hobden; Flowering orchid in a pot, Alison Soudain; Non Flowering pot plant, Brenda Greenaway; Cacti or Succulent, Charlotte Soudain; Fuschia growing in a pot, Agnes Hammond; Soft Fruit Jam, Anne Brown; Stone Fruit Jam, Alison Soudain; Mixed Fruit Jam, Alison Soudain; Fruit Jelly, Christine Gibson; Beetroot Cake, Charlotte Soudain; Chocolate brownies, Charlotte Soudain; Frangipane Tart, Alison Soudain; Harvest Loaf, Alison Soudain; Cheese Scones, Anne Brown; Photograph of a local landmark, Christine Gibson; Photograph, The Flower Garden, Sue Murrell; A knitted item of your choice, Anne Brown; An item of handicraft, Charlotte Soudain; Children aged up to 7 years, A painted pebble, Toby Corfield; Bonfire flower arrangement, Christine Gibson; Arrangement in a vegetable container, Christine Gibson; Table arrangement for a harvest supper, Christine Gibson; Arrangement in an egg cup, Brenda Greenaway; Arrangement in a tankard, men only, Steve Hammond; Vase of flowers a foliage picked from your garden, Anne Brown.

The show is the result of team work on the part of the members who work hard to ensure its success. Special thanks should go to Jo Langston who organised the refreshments with the help of others.