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Maidenhall Allotments hosts Wonderland-themed tea party

PUBLISHED: 12:28 22 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:56 22 July 2018

The Mayor of Ipswich , Jane Riley, ActivLives' patron Roger Osborne, staff and volunteers all opened the event at midday Picture: SAM THURLOW

The Mayor of Ipswich , Jane Riley, ActivLives' patron Roger Osborne, staff and volunteers all opened the event at midday Picture: SAM THURLOW

Archant

It was a trip down the rabbit hole for visitors at Maidenhall Allotments – as guests took tea with the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat.

Stall holders dressed up like characters from Alice in Wonderland Picture: SAM THURLOWStall holders dressed up like characters from Alice in Wonderland Picture: SAM THURLOW

The quirky ‘Wonderland Tea Party’ was a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, with all the key characters getting involved – serving tea, selling plants and causing mischief.

It was just part of the 2018 Big Garden Party, run by ActivLives, which celebrated the 10th birthday of the People’s Community Garden at Maidenhall Allotments.

The bumper event was opened by the mayor of Ipswich, Jane Riley, and Ipswich Town legend and ActivLives’ patron Roger Osborne.

With stalls from numerous Suffolk-based organisations such as Ipswich Wildlife Group and Wildlife Gadgetman, to Suffolk Refugee Support and Suffolk Police and Fire Services, it was a lively collaboration of local groups and businesses.

The ActivLives' singing group Keep On Rockin' performing Picture: SAM THURLOWThe ActivLives' singing group Keep On Rockin' performing Picture: SAM THURLOW

While the Ipswich Wildlife Group were busy building bug boxes, the Wildlife Gadgetman showed off his photography hide, and the team at Suffolk Refugee Support cooked Syrian falafal for all to try.

Younger visitors were also spoilt for choice, with activities ranging from face-painting and hat-making to a carousel, drumming workshop and magic show.

The soundtrack to the day was provided by Saints Community Band, The Phil Jackson Rock ‘n’ Roll Band, and ActivLives’ very own Keep On Rockin’ singing group as well as a few local talents perfoming in the Welcome Area.

Sam Thurlow, from ActivLives, said: “With the theme of this years event being ‘Wonderland Tea Party’, visitors were promised ‘a day to join with all your favourite Wonderland characters for a cup of tea and some cake’ and they weren’t disappointed.

Live music stalls and ice-cream were a key part of the day Picture: SAM THURLOWLive music stalls and ice-cream were a key part of the day Picture: SAM THURLOW

“There was a tea party with the Cheshire Cat serving drinks, Alice selling plants, the Mad Hatter causing mischief and the White Rabbit seemingly running around all day – all of which were ActivLives staff and volunteers who spent the past few months organising this brilliant event.

“We think this quote sums the day up nicely: ‘Absolutely brilliant...the best Garden Party yet...it’s so much fun!’ said one of the visitors as they walked through the site with a strawberry tart in their hand on their way to try their luck in the tombola.”


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