Last year, due to lockdown we held our AGM using Zoom but attendance was very poor. We therefore decided that, like many other local organisations, we would not hold an AGM this year but will do so next year when, hopefully, we will be able to meet inside when the new Sea Scout hall will be available.
We are grateful to the Co-op Community Fund and those Co-op members who chose the Memorial Orchard as their local good cause so that we could receive 1% of everything they spent. As a result we received two payments from the Co-op in 2020. The first on 9th April was for £635.82 and the second on13th November for £2254.82 making a total of £2,890.64.
Fiona and I laid a wreath at the orchard at 11.00a.m. on 11th November 2020. Unfortunately lockdown restrictions at the time only allowed two people from different households to meet outside. However, two individual passers-by stopped some distance away when we observed the two minute silence.
Work continued at the orchard between lockdowns in 2020 although during lockdown some volunteers worked alone or as a married couple. Our first official workday of 2021 was scheduled for Tuesday, 4th May but this was postponed until the following week due to heavy rain. We are particularly grateful to Geoff Hornby and Rob Lloyd who join action group members on a regular basis at our work sessions.
In order to know the variety of each tree we have tried several different labels but each one has faded over time. During lockdown in early 2021 Brian devised a colour coded labelling system using different coloured washers. He and Jacquie spent a lot of their time attaching the washers to each tree so that we can easily identify the variety using a code now displayed on the notice board.
Due to the unusual weather conditions in 2020 our circle of wild flower seeds sown in memory of WW2 service personnel did not produce as many flowers as we had hoped. Our thanks go to Brian who generously donated 100 native daffodil bulbs which we planted in the centre of the circle. The suppliers claimed that they would not flower for one or two years but we were treated to a glorious display of yellow in March this year. We have therefore planted another 300 this autumn. Unlike cultivated daffodils the native variety provides a vital nectar source for early pollinators such as the Queen Bumblebee and hoverflies. Each daffodil flower produces 20 seeds and each one that germinates will take five years to grow and produce a flower. Native daffodils were at one time known as ‘Lent Lilies’.
In April we were treated to another burst of yellow as clumps of cowslips appeared all over the orchard. These were soon replaced by a variety of other wild flowers. Our policy of only mowing at the end of summer/early autumn is having the desired effect which is to bring back the wild flower meadow which was seeded by the Woodland Trust many years ago.
We use the Weaverham News, The Hartford News and the orchard notice board to remember those who are named on our local war memorials as well as survivors of conflicts. Thanks to Eric Hulme of the Weaverham branch of the Royal British Legion and to past copies of the Northwich Guardian researched by Peter Clarke on behalf of Weaverham History Society we have a lot of information about many of those who are named on the Weaverham War Memorial. We have far less information about those named on the Hartford War Memorial. We are grateful to those who respond to our appeals for information about any of those named on either memorial or about those who survived.
In January 2019 The Weaverham History Society received an e-mail from Tom Hillier in Australia whose sister Judith had found a very moving letter from Edith, the mother of Ordinary Seaman Edward Ashton, Royal Navy. Tom and Judith’s mother had nursed the 18 year old from Weaverham in 1943 during the Second World War as he lay dying in Melbourne Hospital. Edith had written to thank her. They sent the letter to us as it was their wish that it should be returned to the family. I appealed in the Memorial Orchard contribution to the Weaverham News and on the Memorial Orchard notice board for help in tracing the family but received no response. This summer I repeated the appeal on the orchard notice board and received an e-mail from Andrew Pope, an investigator, who offered to trace the family. I am pleased to say that he succeeded in doing so and the letter has been returned to Edith’s granddaughter. It has been the centre of much attention in the family. Our thanks go to Andrew for all his hard work.
2020/2021 has been another unusual year due to lockdowns but the Memorial Orchard has, we hope, provided a place to recuperate and find peace whilst enjoying nature. Some visit the Memorial Orchard to picnic and for others it provides a place for quiet reflection. For others it is just part of Thorn Wood where they can exercise or walk the dog. It is there thanks to our sponsors, our sturdy band of volunteers and in particular to our action group members (who are, of course volunteers at the Memorial Orchard). I would therefore like to thank our secretary Mike Hornby not only for all the work he does on our behalf but also for his wit, our treasurer Brian Williams who drew up the orchard plan and organises the care of the orchard, Jacquie Williams who aids and abets him, Fiona Casson who maintains our bee hotels which she made a few years ago and who cares for the picnic benches, Peter Sayers who mows the footpaths and the grass in the children’s circle of bush Wareham Russets, Steve Doughton who is responsible for the website and John Freeman.
Lastly I would like to thank you all for your continue support.
Tina Johnson 233rd September 2021
STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS FOR THE PERIOD
1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021
BALANCE SHEET 2020-2021
Bank current account 3,416.68
Cash in hand 0.00
TOTAL ASSETS 3,416.68
Opening balances 1,572.86
Surplus/deficit for the year 1,843.82
TOTAL FUNDS AVAILABLE 3,416.68
Co-op Community Fund 2,254.82
CWAC Grant 0.00 580.61
Donation 50.00 125.00
Tree sales 0.00 75.00
TOTAL INCOME 2,304.82
Tree-related 0.00 121.48
Administration 161.00 259.32
Maintenance 300.00 695.87
TOTAL EXPENDITURE 461.00 1,076.67
Surplus for the year 1,843.82
Brian Williams, 2 August 2021
Charity Registered with HMRC. Registration No. EW23706