Feeding of the Five Hundred

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Woodland Walk Celebtation

Our TarvinonLine article on Saturday, 10th September, asked the question, "Will we get the whole village to join the celebration?" Tarvin folk did come along to the school in absolute hoards on Saturday afternoon, with the result that there was insufficient room in the school hall for everyone to watch the hand-over of the deeds of the new woodland. Stuart Exell (Trust Chairman) thanked a wide array of village people and organisations for the vast support that the Trust receives from the community. He went on to describe briefly the process of collaboration when Taylor Wimpey began planning and then building the Saxon Heath estate. Stuart Craig, Taylor Wimpey's Sales Manager talked about the firm's aspiration to provide good homes in congenial environments, before presenting Stuart Exell with the papers that will transfer ownership of the land to the Trust, and hence to the village.

Formalities over, the walkers en-masse set off across the school field to pass through the school gate into the woodland, on a walk sponsored by ActiveCheshire. The youngest person setting out was a babe in arms and the oldest was a very sprightly lady of 92! Their stroll, under a blue sky speckled with cotton wool clouds, took them to Townfield Lane, around the bridle way and through the new Taylor Wimpey woodland. They continued down Tarporley Road, into and across Saxon Heath estate and then passed into the 'old' woodland to return to school. Meanwhile, a team of scribes was busy completing a certificate for everyone who walked. These were collected, once the children had received their medals and all the walkers had been offered a lollipop. All the children were keen to have the lollipops but, strangely, some adults refused theirs!

In need of sustenance, everyone then headed for the school hall, where the picnic tea, which was provided by Taylor Wimpey, was set out. People could choose from ten different types of sandwiches, lots of different cakes, sausage rolls and crisps plus, of course, tea and coffee, and cup drinks for the children. Plates laden, the next move was to the field, where families enjoyed a picnic tea, seated on their picnic blankets, and the children could play together in the sunshine.

Not all the walkers gave their names on the way out and so the number of certificates was not a good indication of how many folk took part. None-the-less, there were over 300 certificates written, indicating that the new pathway was 'christened' by a good many sets of feet. To get a more accurate count, we ought also to include those people who were unable to go on the walk and just joined us for the picnic. Then again, of course, we should include all of the marshals, helpers, stewards and Trustees who, together, ensured that the day run smoothly. I know that not everyone ate a picnic but there were 460 plates used (and hence 460 people were actually fed), and so I feel it is safe to claim that almost 500 people were involved. No, that may not have been the whole village, but I was still amazed at how many folk did turn up to support us. What resulted was an extraordinary village event — a celebration which involved and was enjoyed by vast numbers of folk and which introduced a great many people to the new woodland extension (and, in some cases, even to Tarvin Community Woodland itself!)

Thanks are due to many people and organisations. ActiveCheshire sponsored the walk, while Taylor Wimpey generously paid for the picnic (as well as giving to Tarvin village a huge piece of land which, year by year, will become a more and more splendid part of our woodland). Tarvin Primary School, its Headmaster, Mr Andy Davies, and its staff, are always exceedingly helpful and are always enthusiastically supportive whenever the Trust runs events. And finally, the Trustees, our members and volunteers were in evidence everywhere and made sure that everything was exactly as it should be. Their indefatigable efforts made the day the success that it was.

To you all, and to all the folk of Tarvin, I would like to say a big: "Thank you". It really was a very special day — one that we will all remember for a long time!

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