FRIENDS and supporters of Cross Hills and District Allotments gathered to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

A weekend of events including the unveiling of a plaque, guided tours, refreshments and the sale of gardening-themed goods, coincided with the start of national allotments week, which ran from August 7 to August 13.

Ian Gibson, secretary of the allotments association, said despite the threat of Storm Antoni, the weekend turned out to be a mixture of sunshine and just the odd shower with many gathering to celebrate the allotments which have been in continuous use for more than 100 years.

He said: "The event was set up by an army of volunteers, putting up gazebos and a marquee, setting out tables for the stalls and chairs for visitors. Lots of donations of cakes, buns and biscuits for the refreshments, lots of tombola prizes, hand made crafts, fruit, flowers and vegetables, even a mountain bike for a guess the weight competition."

Other volunteers were on hand to show people around. Both days were well attended by residents, and family and friends of allotment holders, cakes and the tombola stall were a sell-out success.

Councillor Mike Ashdown of Glusburn and Cross Hills Parish Council unveiled a plaque commemorating the purchase of the land in January 1923 by the then Town End Close Allotments Society.

Cllr Ashdown spoke about what the allotments bring to the community, and how the site provided a safe place for families to grow produce to eat, to share with others, and to interact with others. He also said how children learned about nature, conservation and recycling.

He also talked about how the allotments had served the community for more than 100 years, through two world wars, the big depression, and many financial crisis and pandemics before reiterating his commitment to supporting the village and allotment holders in the quest to retain the allotments for the village and future generations.

In charge of refreshments was 81 year old Margaret Wainwright, who became a member a few years ago after moving from Nottingham where she had an allotment plot for many years. She has brought not only a wealth of allotment experience, but also of running coffee mornings and providing refreshments.

Mr Gibson said: "We owe Margaret a great debt of gratitude for pushing us to have coffee mornings, without her enthusiasm , energy, vitality, generosity and personal example and cakes, we would not have embarked on the open day events and probably struggled to hold a centenary event.

"She is a real credit to the management team, colleagues on the allotments and the community, she makes us feel that anything is possible if you can believe in yourselves and each other and make the effort.”

Sheila Stephens, whose home overlooks the allotments, was in charge of a craft stall and knitted toy hedgehogs as her contribution to the celebrations with a couple being raffled off with a guess the name competition.

Martin Pearce, owner of the Handy Man shop in the village, judged the various competitions at the event with the help of his wife, Helen; Mike Ashdown and Steve Rooke.

Mr Pearce said: "The excellent standard of all the entries made the task enjoyable, though choosing a winners was very challenging”.

Each winner received a certificate and a prize, and all entrants received a small gift. Presentations of vegetable boxes, flowers and certificates were given to the judges.

Martin was also presented with a certificate to recognise the value he brings to the village and the allotment holders.

A donation will be made to Manorlands Hospice from the proceeds of the event.