24 October 2008

a trumpton moment


My fantasy about living a village life in London was tested yesterday when we went to the Town Hall for the "Tower Hamlets in Bloom "prize giving. For a start, our Town Hall is a modern high rise block at the far edge of the borough on the reclaimed East India Docks where all the roads are named, somewhat incongruously, after herbs and spices. Not quite the sort of building you would find in Trumpton, though the rest of the evening was rather more in keeping with a sort of village life.

What is the collective noun for gardeners? A barrow? A truss? An eccentricity? Whatever. We were gently guided into the planning chamber and formally welcomed by the Head of Public Realm, surely a job title straight out of a fairy tale. We sat patiently and applauded generously while the Mayor, a tiny man with a lovely smile who seemed too small for the heavy chain of office, presented the prizes for the various categories - "educational establishments", hanging baskets and balconies, community gardens, pubs, gardens hidden from view, allotments (a new category) and so on. Everyone who entered got a certificate of merit and a trophy - we like to be inclusive in LBTH - delighted older ladies,, sprightly gents, frailer looking folk who clearly adored their gardens and tubs and hanging baskets. .

After the ceremony, the Mayor thanked us most graciously and we were ushered off to a feast and slide show of the very best of the blooms that Tower Hamlets had to offer this year. I didn't detect any petty jealousies, just a great deal of pride and pleasure in the celebration of their efforts.

Most definitely an eccentricity.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Nobody does gardens like the British! You never here about gardening clubs or anything like that here. Your post does read like a page from a cozy little story in a fairytale. :)