Wow! What a fantastic celebration we had on Sunday!
Pumpkin carving workshops started at 10am, with a happy band who enjoyed the unexpected Autumn sunshine as they created masterpieces with the specialised tools that we have to do unusual pumpkin carving techniques like peeling and 3D carving under the tutelage of our resident expert, Tracey.
People continued to drop in to carve as we started to get set up with the help of some brilliant volunteers. Helen Domleo realised some of our early-bird helpers had succumbed to the flu that's going round so she dived in to start things off, then we were joined by Toto Sugiarto and Li San, NTU students who kindly volunteered to support us, along with Hillary who joined us from Click, despite having had a fall (we are full of admiration for her determination!). We also got some great early support from Jules and Tony who responded to our note on Helpfulpeeps, which was brilliant, and of course, our regular volunteers who hadn't been felled by the lurgy arrived and got stuck in - massive thanks to Ash, Jon, Matt, Rosy, Kathy, Cicely, Claire, Bryan, Ni, Dianne, Derek and Jeremy. Mary, Mo and Rochester arrived to provide some delicious pumpkin-based treats to supplement Kathy's soup and cake, and Ni's pumpkin pie, whilst Claire got a crash-course in taming the clay oven ready for the pumpkin and herb topped pizzas and Jeremy started on the pumpkin pancakes with toffee sauce.
We decorated the site with the "show stopper" pumpkins that Kathy, Tracey and Cicely had pre-prepared, and Helen's impressive haunted house pumpkin, then added some fun decorations to the "spooky woods", including a crashed witch and some creepy crawlies! Whilst we were doing that, Di and Derek were setting up a tombola, with a star prize of a giant teddy, kindly gifted by Collins Cash and Carry, which made the entrance to the site look very festive.
We'd already had "biggest pumpkin" entrants ahead of the event from AMC Gardens, Bulwell Forest Gardens and Ray Armstrong from Precision Stitching, so we thought we already had a winning giant from Ray at 45kg and 1.63m in circumference, but just as we opened a massive pumpkin was brought in by Cat and Miran from their plot on Bar Lane allotments. It took 3 people to weigh it and turned out to be 49kg, earning the star growers a £15 gift card (thank you to Braai King Restaurant on Aspley Lane for gifting this).
Whilst we were doing the weighing, people were having fun. The polytunnel was rammed with happy pumpkin carvers with Ni on hand to give them tips, people were bobbing for apples, making apple slinkies and apple juice, scaring themselves in the Spooky Woods, playing pumpkin related games or sitting around the fire toasting marshmallows. The food area was also very popular, with queues to sample all the pumpkin-related treats.
We judged the best pumpkins from adults and children - the winner of the Adult category was Claire Salter who won cinema tickets from the Savoy, and the winner of the Children's competition was Asher - who won a family day pass from David Lloyd Leisure. Our thanks to both sponsors for
giving us the great prizes.
|Claire, winner of the adult competition|
|Asher's winning pumpkin from the children's competition|
It was the culmination of lots of hard work in preparation and many fantastic volunteers on the day. Thank you again to everyone who helped and all who attended. Thanks to Matt and Chris for the bulk of the photos, and to all who sent us photos on Facebook. Well done all!