Welcome to the SRT blog No. 102

27th May 2022 – Welcome to our blog post No. 102

They had a ball! Maggie and Tony – regular volunteers at Sunnyside sites, were invited to the Buckingham Garden Party following our Queens Award for voluntary service recognition last year. The date was 18th May and the sun shone beautifully for all the party goers, the band and Beefeaters. They even spotted the royals on the lawn before tea.
Here’s some notes from them about the day.
Hello Sunnyside, A big  thank you to you all! Last year I got a Queen’s  award, very classy badge from a man in full military uniform with an impressive sword. I was dressed in Sunnyside tee shirt, shorts and flip flops! I wasn’t going to be caught out again, so was suitably dressed for the Queen’s garden.(The palace issue strict dress code, nothing left  to chance).   The Queen has a large garden! Bigger than most town parks. She has enormous tents serving beautiful teas of mini wraps, miniature tarts and cakes and a cream tea with delicious mulberry jam. A first for me. The tented loos almost palatial.

There were two military bands and when the Royals appear a troop of Beefeaters form an effective barrier. The Duchess of Cambridge was there(absolutely stunning)and Prince Edward in morning dress. Other celebs I saw were Prue Leith, in most amazing colourful outfit and Lulu. The sun shone and we had a great time. It was great to share it with Maggie. It turns out we both owned the same house! Not at the same time.

Thanks again Sunnyside. You have given me some amazing experiences I never dreamed I would have. Anthony Smith – volunteer at Activity Centre

What can I add to Tony’s excellent description of our lovely day out? Just to say my own thank you to Sunnyside for a great experience and how we wished you could all be there to enjoy it with us. As Tony said there were strict dress codes which for us ‘ladies’ involved a ‘day’ dress (what is that exactly?) and a hat! So, there we were on Berko station looking rather overdressed with me in borrowed hat! At least we recognised each other.

It was a glorious day weather wise, warm and sunny and we thoroughly enjoyed the amazing gardens and did quite some people watching! The Duchess of Cambridge did look stunning as ever and I could only marvel at her ability to walk on the lawn in amazingly high heels! Prince Edward came across as particularly friendly as he joshed with the crowd. The Beefeaters were certainly good deterrents to racing across the lawn to get to Royalty as they had very large swords!

It was good to walk round the beautiful lake and admire the wildlife, it is a very big garden indeed!  We stayed from three to six o’clock when the last National Anthem played and we left to retrace our steps across Green Park. It was so good to meet fellow volunteer Tony and we had a lovely day. And yes, we did live in the same house in Boxwell Road, what a coincidence!

A great experience thank you all. And something to tell the grandchildren as they say! Maggie Ladkin – volunteer at Northchurch

The Jubilee theme continues at all the sites as well.


The Activity Centre were out in Berkhamsted High Street re-potting the planters outside the Civic Centre in the Jubilee red, white and blue colours. Lovely.













Back at base the team were making mango chutney for a change. Noreen and Roxy. Michael was helping to make vegetable soup.








Outside. Low hanging branches were cut away with the help of an extended tree pruner.












Oliver was very pleased with the wooden display boxes he made for the jams and chutneys in the farm shop at Norhchurch.










This weeks veg box prep included a dance off with Hollie and Chloe as the music played and they waited for the harvest to arrive!








Northchurch St Mary’s primary school resplendent in its newly planted red, white and blue bedding out front for all to see as they drive past on the main road.


















New sign for the farm shop finished. This was the one that Catherine and the team were painting last week.










All change! The farm shop has had a bit of an update for the layout. New seat benching is going in – wait to see what’s arriving.









Ella at HFG had an amazing weekend last week. She won 6 rosettes and a trophy for her horse riding at a competition over in Maidenhead. Brilliant. Well done!










Not only are jubilee bedding plants going in but the greenhouse has a patriotic makeover this week.








Union Jack planters. These have been refurbished with a lick of black paint and the gold medallions have been re-painted, after arriving from Dacorum Council looking a bit worse for wear and with trees in. Spot them outside the site entrance at the moment but they will be taken to Hemel Old Town, ready for next weeks’ Jubilee celebrations. Looking great team!
























Robert was hard at work weeding on an outside contract – what a difference a day makes.








The chickens are put away each night form their canal run. All the teams enjoy this.


















The first red strawberry on the allotment.








Tyler and Sarah on another outside contract this time in Apsley. Great team effort.












Summer bedding in full bloom.










Next week is the bank holiday celebrations, so no blog BUT do send in your photos if you celebrate the jubilee in some way, for the next one. Would be great to see and share them.


Have a great weekend….

…until 2 weeks time.