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Homemade cake and a boat trip at Llanfoist Open Gardens

It was all hands on deck on Sunday 8th June when our village welcomed a few hundred visitors to the annual Llanfoist Open Gardens Day. Inspired by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the green-fingered villagers opened their gardens (some large, some small), visitors strolled up and down the village lanes admiring the contrasting gardens and the sun shone!

Behind the scenes an army of local volunteers organised the car parking, ferried visitors to the harder-to-reach gardens and served countless homemade cakes. Not least Beacon Park Boats' very own Sarah, who baked most of Saturday in the hope that there’d be plenty of hungry visitors on Sunday. And they came in droves! Her chocolate brownies sold out quickly, the Victoria sandwich went down a treat and the children loved the oaty flapjacks. 

Our canalside terrace was a hive of activity all day long, with local families, groups of keen gardeners and even overseas visitors – all eating cake, drinking tea and watching life pass by on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. Alasdair spent the day with his pride and joy - a beautiful steam-powered wooden boat called Bramble - or if you’re a boat enthusiast, a 27-feet ex-Naval lifeboat, circa 1900, converted to steam in the 1950s, using an 1887 twin-steeple compound engine, fired on Welsh steam coal, to drive the single propeller. Hope you’re impressed! Back and forth he went along the canal, taking small groups on, what was for many, their very first steamboat trip. Happy as a sandboy!

The sharp rain shower towards the end of the afternoon did nothing to dampen the spirits of visitors, who were still arriving at our boathouse and tucking into the last few of Sarah’s scones. And it was all for a good cause – over £800 was raised to support the National Garden Scheme's chosen charities and community activities at our village hall.

Have a look at what else is coming up in the local calendar with our list of upcoming events on our Things To Do page!