The League of Friends of
Bexhill Hospital -
Working for the good of
Local patients since 1952
Reg. CIO Charity No 1169175 Sunbeams 41 Broad Oak Lane Bexhill-on-Sea TN39 4LG Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Faithful supporters defy Storm Miguel
Miguel did its best to wreck the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital's annual Garden Party.
But faithful supporters turned out in force to an event to which local organisations has responded by contributing a bumper number of stalls and sideshows.
Stilt-walking “pirate” Dolly Delicious braved the gusts to strut the sloping site and take the unwary by surprise at pistol-point.
Two gazebos were blown to destruction. Wind speed was judged to be too high for the planned bouncy castle. Bexhill Floral Group moved its delicate blooms into the Health Centre, where The Exiles folk group had taken refuge and were entertaining supporters as they enjoyed tea, coffee and cakes.
But for league chairman Mark Sivyer and his hard-working committee the early-morning gamble paid off. The skies threatened throughout the afternoon but the sun shone for the most part and there was a carnival atmosphere.
New Town Mayor Cllr Cathy Harmer told supporters it was an “absolute pleasure” to open the event. The league's late chairman, Stuart Earl, had been a very dear friend. “Please have a great time. Spend lots of money for this great cause and enjoy yourselves.”
The Town Mayor proceeded to do just that, touring the stalls and trying on an Air Raid Warden's steel helmet from Bexhill Museum's WWII collection.
Irvine Unit physiotherapist Ashley Barker had put himself in the stocks and was liberally pelted with wet sponges and cream pies on behalf of newly-formed Hospital in Bloom.
Together with a dozen fellow volunteers he is caring for the hospital's overgrown grounds. Already they have removed 10 one-tonne builders' bags of garden waste. They are attracting sponsorship for planters and are tending league-funded features such as the Millennium Garden and Peter Plumley Memorial Garden for the enjoyment of patients and staff. New flower beds are planned.
Together with the Museum, organisations such as Bexhill Talking Newspaper Association were taking the opportunity to publicise their work.
Entrepreneurs such as Mrs Barker's Kitchen, Karen's Candles, Mrs McGoo's home-made fudge and Lizzie's Homemade Cards were displaying their wares.
The Seagirls Women's Institute were proudly showing their hand-made banner and despite losing their protective gazebo to the gale, committee member Pearl Easton and her stalwart helpers staged yet another massive raffle.
Hospital departments such as the Irvine Unit, Dowling Unit and Ophthalmic Day Surgery Unit had their own supportive stalls.
Bexhill Lions kept the hungry satisfied with their barbecue, Bexhill Rotary Club entertained with their hoopla and Bexhill 100 Car Club members displayed their classic cars.
The event is expected to have raised about £ 3,575