Flower Festivals


Members of Ninfield Flower Group enjoy showing their flower arranging and interpretative talents and  the Group stages flower festivals every two years, raising money for charity.  Much fundraising takes place during the interim period, allowing the Group to give away the majority of the festival income to the nominated charities.  

 

Around £45K has been given to charities since the Group’s inception.   A different charity is chosen by the membership for each festival and most of the charities have had local links or have specific links to the membership.


2019  'For the Beauty of the Earth' was the title given to this festival, which saw the Group return to St Mary Church, Ninfield and Ninfield Methodist Church for the first time in many years.  Based on the hymn by Folliott S Pierpoint, arrangements were based on the beauty of the Sussex coast and countryside.   £2000 was donated to the churches and a further £100 to Ninfield Church Wood.



2017 'Forty Years On' Flower Festival saw Ninfield Flower Group celebrating its 40th anniversary, with its most successful festival to date raising over £4000 for the chosen charities of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Bexhill Street Pastors and Ninfield Memorial Hall.  


The arrangements were an eclectic mix of events which had happened during the life of the Group, ranging from the London Olympics, the Poppies at the Tower of London commemorating the start of WW1, DNA fingerprinting being introduces, the Queen going to both China and Ireland, and the opening of the M25 and the Channel Tunnel. 

 A wide ranging festival indeed.  With over 800 visitors, the festival was a great success.  The 'People's Choice was won by Ninfield Church Wood being donated to the village. 





2015  'On the Box' Flower Festival held in Ninfield Memorial hall over the August Bank Holiday, with interpretations of television programmes including Sunday Night at the London Palladium, Frozen Planet, Call the Midwife, Mr Selfridge and the Great British Bake Off as well as television sets through the ages.   Nearly £4000 was donated to various £1150 to the following: Medical Detection Dogs, Dragonflies (Bexhill), which helps children cope with Bereavement and Dementia Care.  A further donation of £300 was given to Ninfield Memorial Hall.  The Great British Bake Off won the People's Choice.


2014    'Songs of Praise', Flower Festival was held in the Ninfield 
Chairman Christine Purkess presents Pam GIbson, President of Sussex Kidney Trust with a cheque for £750

Methodist Church, Church Lane, Ninfield TN33 9JN over the weekend 2nd -3rd August.   £750 will be donated to the Sussex Kidney Trust (Charity No 254265) and £150 to the Ninfield Methodist Church.   Ninfield Methodist Church subsequently donated part of this money to Sussex Kidney Trust.



                                                                                         Chairman Christine Purkess presented Pam Gibson, President of the Sussex Kidney Trust with a cheque for £750


2013   'A Festival of Festivals', held in aid of the Sara Lee Trust.  


£3000 has now been donated to the Sara Lee Trust, together with two 'pull up' banners.   An additional £500 has been donated to Ninfield Memorial Hall. 


A cheque was presented to Michael Lear, the Chairman of the Sara Lee Trust by Christine Purkess, chairman of the Flower Group at their open meeting on 6th December.  Michael described the work of the Trust and thanked the Flower Group for their significant donation towards its work.  £3000 will allow an additional 75 people to be offered their support.




The 'People's Choice' arrangement was won by the Hastings Music Festival as arranged by Jennifer Collett - pictured here with her award.








2011: 'On with the Show':   This festival depicted stage musicals, with the interpretations varying from My Fair Lady and Buddy the Musical to Peter Pan and Chicago.      The Group donated £3000 to St Michael's Hospice, Hastings and a further £500 to Ninfield Memorial Hall, where the festival was held. 

 

In memory of long standing member, June Marshall, the committee decided that there should be an award for the most popoular arrangement – which was to be chosen by the visitors.   This inaugural award was won by the Wizard of Oz.

 

Pictured (L to R) Chris Jones, Fundraising Manager, St Michaels Hospice, Christine Purkess, Chairman Ninfield Flower Group and Pat Eldridge, Trustee Ninfield Memorial Hall

 

On receiving the cheque, Chris Jones said he was overwhelmed but very grateful o receive such a “magnificent and unexpected sum”.    He went on to explain that the hospice costs £9,000 a day to run and relies heavily on support from the local community.  He was very aware how much time and effort had been given by the members,  not just for the festival but also in the planning stages.  Chris also thanked Kevin Barton, Ninfield Flower Group’s electrician, who donated his fee for lighting the festival to the hospice.

 

 

 

2009: 'Women of Substance'    This festival was to raise money for Breast Cancer Care and was appropriately, a celebration of the achievements of many famous women.   

The Women of Substance depicted included a wide range of women, from Boudicca and Cleopatra to Grace Darling, Gertrude Jekyll,   Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Aung Sang Sui Kyi; included too, was Minnie Mouse – very much a woman of her time!

 

The Festival was opened officially by journalist Beverley Thompson   who was presented with a ‘small’ bouquet by Lynn Carter.  Beverley said “Congratulations on the most amazing show.  I can’t believe my eyes”.   She then spent a long time talking to the arrangers and visitors alike.

 

£2500 was donated to Breast Cancer Care with £350 to the Memorial Hall

 

Pictured (L to R) Christine Purkess, Beverley Thompson and Lynn Carter

 

 

2008:   'Over the Rainbow'  was the title of a festival arranged in Ninfield Methodist Chapel  raising £550 for their funds.

 

The theme of colour ran throughout the festival and arrangements depicted song titles such as Lady in Red,  Lily the Pink, The White Cliffs of Dover, Green Green Grass of Home and Over the Rainbow.

 

 

2007: 'Back to the Future' celebrated the 30th Anniversary of Ninfield Flower Group, when the arrangements depicted one event from each year and  Better than Chelsea” was just one of the many compliments received during the Festival. 

 

Starting with Virginia Wade winning Wimbledon back in 1977, through to a vision of the future, the arrangements included the eruption of  Mount St Helens, the appearance of Halley’s comet , the opening of the Eden Project, the death of Dame Margot Fonteyn,  Margaret Thatcher becoming the first woman Prime Minister and many others.

 

The Group donated £1700 to Sussex Air Ambulance and another £300 to Ninfield Memorial Hall

 

Delaine Shearman, Sussex County Fundraiser for Sussex Air Ambulance said   “All the crew and staff here really appreciate the time and effort given by the members of the Ninfield Flower group in order to raise the amazing sum of £1700 to support the newly launched Sussex Air Ambulance.    Flying at 150mph the helicopter is able to reach the whole of the county within a matter of minutes with its crew of highly trained doctors and paramedics on board.  At a cost of £4,000 a day support from groups such as Ninfield Flower Group  will help us to keep it flying 365 days a year for anyone who may need it.  Please accept our very grateful thanks. “

 

 

 

2005: 'The Silver Screen'  Visitors were welcomed into the festival by arrangements including the box office, the icecream and popcorn sellers, before entering the hall itself, where they saw the Director’s chair before moving on to   depicted films – from childrens’films (including Finding Nemo and the Lion King to David Lean’s films (Great Expectations, Passage to India and Dr Zhivago)      

 

£1500  was donated to the AGAPE Trust in Hastings and £200 to Ninfield Memorial Hall

 

 

2003: 'A Good Read' depicted a walk round one’s local library.  Themes included crime books, hobbies, including gardening and DIY), travel, autobiographies (including Dickie Bird and Torvill and Dean) and childrens’ books  £700 to St John’s Ambulance,

£700 was donated to James House Children’s Hospice and £200 to Ninfield Memorial Hall

 

 

2001: 'Rejoice' depicting Christ’s journey from the Shepherds hearing the news to the Crucifixion.   £1373.70 was donated to Demelza House, £250 to St Mary’s Church Ninfield and £250 to Ninfield Methodist Church



1999:   ‘Footsteps in Time – a Sussex Miscellany' when the Group gave £500 to Macmillan Nurses, £500 to the AGAPE Trust and £308.56 to Ninfield Memorial Hall for the purchase of new tables.   Arrangements include the Battle Bonfire Boyes, Herstmonceux Castle and observatory, Glyndebourne, Bexhill complete with girders for De La Warr pavilion, Batemans (home of Rudyard Kipling),  The Brassey Family and yacht Sunbeam, Pevensey Castle and so on.



1997: 'If Music Be……'       with donations of £580 to Ninfield Medi-Walker appeal

£300 each to both St Mary’s Church and Ninfield Methodist Church.    

Once again, the arrangements covered a wide range of music – Anthem, Sonata, Percussion, the Choir, The Music Makers, Come Follow the Band as well as an Interlude at Glyndebourne (complete with picnic)

 

 

1995: 'Remember When?'   In the hall, with arrangements as diverse as the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, Tutankhamun exhibition, inventions, maypole dancing and the blitz. Donations were £1000 to St Michael’s Hospice and £250 to Ninfield Village Society

 

 

1993: 'Saints and Sinners,' held in St Mary’s Church with £500 being donated to RNLI Eastbourne, and £500 to St Mary’s Church.    An unusual title for a festival in a church but the arrangements included the four Patron Saints of the United Kingdom, a tribute to the lifeboatmen, but also included sinners such as Sweeney Todd, complete with barber’s pole, Al Capone and others



1991:  'Into the Realms of Fantasy' (held in the Memorial Hall) £500 to Battle & District Nurses; £250 to the Sussex Kidney Trust.   Arrangements included flights of fantasy, an Enchanted Wood, Secrets of the deep, the Arthurian legend and a space odyssey amongst others


1989:      That’s Entertainment  (in the Memorial hall)

Themes included operas, ballets, various TV and radio programmes, music hall, dancing of many types, ice skating, disco and Hollywood.  The Group gave  £250 to Ninfield Children’s Playground and £250 to St Michael’s Hospice

1987 (?)   Merrie England

1985 (?)   It's a Wonderful World         Raised £400 for the special baby unit at the former Buchanan hospital, Hastings

1983 (?)

1981     Country Life        Raised £300 for charity

1980:    Events in the Life of Mary (Mother of Jesus)




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christinepurkess@btinternet.com,
15 Mar 2018, 12:49
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