It’s an unusual sight on a Saturday morning (August 5) to see three swish black limousines sweep down Love Lane and park outside the Community Garden. This must be her, we thought, as two tall and useful looking body guards climbed out of the lead car. We then smiled to welcome Amber Rudd, MP and Home Secretary, as she walked towards us in the Community Garden.
Luckily it was a gorgeous sunny day and ideal weather to show off the abundance of the lovely garden. Ms Rudd was all smiles as Katharine Manning and Pip Al-Khafaji explained how the garden was reclaimed, and entirely through the efforts of the volunteers was tamed and not only made to look good but produces beautiful vegetables and includes an impressive row of apple trees – Sussex heritage varieties of course. We showed off the large pumpkins grown by the local Brownies, who are actively involved in growing crops in the garden, and how the bright red stems of rhubarb look ripe for picking.
Our MP had come to discuss the potential of a Great Get Together or Big Lunch next June, 2018, in the Rye Community Garden. The Big Lunch is a lottery-funded initiative for communities all over the UK to join together in shared spaces for good food and good company. More than 100,000 Great Get Togethers have been held in 2017, inspired by Jo Cox, the Yorkshire MP who was killed in 2016. The Rye Community Gardeners have a plan for a BYO picnic lunch with sun and fun for all to enjoy. We can’t guarantee the sun but Ms Rudd was pleased to lend her support to this brilliant idea and saw it as an opportunity for inclusion of all our community groups and the leaders of other political parties. We explained to her the idea was to support inclusion in a simple event for everyone in Rye to connect to one another and have fun.
The community garden is an ideal space for a community picnic. Everyone could enjoy it and volunteers for the garden are always welcome. Updates on progress of the Rye Great Get Together will follow.
Photo: Rye News library