Posts made in July, 2021

July 2021

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We were very sorry to have to cancel our Anniversary Fete in late June at short notice, to comply with the latest government guidelines on social gatherings. Notices were posted on social media and our website but may not have reached everyone. We apologise for the disappointment and any inconvenience caused.

To make up for the cancelled events, we aim to make the Horticultural Show in September a bigger event than usual. We hope more people will enter this year. If you grow your own fruit and vegetables, arrange flowers, bake, make preserves, sew, knit, stitch, paint, sketch or take photos, then there is something for you to enter. Schedules are available from the Challis Garden or can be viewed on our website. We would love to see more entries from children and encourage them to enter. There are several activities to choose from, in two age groups – seven years and under and eight to twelve years old. Entry slips to be returned by Thursday 2nd September, please.

The Twelfth Night production on 20th June was a great success, a highly entertaining performance by very professional actors. We are delighted that Half Cut Theatre are returning on Sunday 15th August with Treasure Island. There will again be two performances, at 2pm and 5pm. Book online at or call 07892 854658 to avoid disappointment. No pre-payment is needed, and you ‘Pay What You Decide’ after the performance. Gates open one hour before each performance to let you relax and enjoy a picnic or snacks beforehand. Please bring your own seats and blankets, if possible.

We are delighted that a start has been made on building the new Garden Museum. Footings have been dug and concrete foundations put in. Availability of building materials is an issue in the industry at present, but hopefully construction can progress smoothly during the summer months. The garden will open as usual, but for the foreseeable future, the main entrance to the garden is closed, so please use the side gate on the left-hand side of the car park.

Despite a very dry June, the earlier wet weather and rain in the first half of July has encouraged very vigorous growth. Many of the plants in the herbaceous borders are much larger than usual, with wonderful displays of flowers. The wildflower meadow in the centre of the main lawn is especially good this year, dominated now by scabious and knapweed giving mauve and purple hues. There seem to be fewer butterflies around this year – probably due to the cold, wet weather in late spring affecting the first generations – but lots of bees, bumblebees, hoverflies and ladybirds. Visitors have enjoyed these displays. Come and see for yourself!

Local artist Fran Godwood has produced a new garden design for our notelets and tea towels to augment our range of Challis gifts. Also available: honey from our hives, fresh garden produce, jams and preserves, house plants, garden plants and old bottles. Do have a look.

Two tiny ‘hoglets’ were seen by several people in the garden in early July, just 10cm long. Cute!

The archive remains closed to visitors, but work on cataloguing has continued and we hope to find some means of making an online catalogue available to the public. One of the features of the archive is that it holds complete sets of Sawston Scene and the Sawston Crier and a good selection of press cuttings about Sawston from the local newspapers since the 1980s. Anyone who would like to look at any items is welcome to make an appointment to do so. We also collect orders of service from the funerals of Sawston inhabitants to provide a permanent record of their lives in Sawston, and will be pleased to receive any of these, which can be posted in our post box.

We were recently very pleased to receive a generous donation from a member of the Challis family which includes books owned by Mary Challis and many other family artefacts and photographs, which we hope to display soon.
A recently catalogued file concerns the way the Festival of Britain was marked in Sawston, seventy years ago. There was a special week in July 1951, which included a concert, a tennis tournament, an exhibition and the Horticultural Show. There were also visits to factories at Thomas Evans, James Garnar. Eastern Counties Leather, Edward Towgood, the House of Spicer and Crampton’s. None of these enterprises now exists, illustrating how Sawston has changed in the interim. There is an archive photograph showing the opening of the Festival Week at the Village College.
Mike Redshaw & Mary Dicken
Published in the August–September 20221 Sawston Scene

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Treasure Island’ with Half Cut Theatre: Sunday 15th August at 2pm and 5pm

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Gates open one hour before each performance. Advance bookings only.

Book at Eventrbrite for the 2pm performance

Book at Eventrbrite for the 5pm performance

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Challis Horticultural Show 2021: Saturday 4th September, 2pm to 4.30pm

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Here is the updated schedule for 2021:

2021 schedule as a Word file

2021 schedule as a PDF

Staging of exhibits 9am to 10.45am, judging 11am, gates open 2pm.  Presentation of trophies at 3.30pm, followed immediately by an auction of exhibits. Admission: £1 for adults including exhibitors. Children free.

Admission: £1 for adults including exhibitors. Children – free

  1. Open to all.
  2. No fees to enter classes.
  3. Open classes (excluding children’s classes) are limited to two entries per exhibitor in any class, but only one will be considered for a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place.
  4. All entries must be made on an official form and returned by
    Thursday 2nd September to the Challis Garden or to 68 High Street, Sawston
  5. Entries that have previously been in the show will not be accepted.
  6. Staging from 9am to 10.45am. Judging from 11am. Public admission from 2pm. Presentation of trophies at 3.30pm, followed immediately by an auction of exhibits.
  7. No exhibit to be removed before 4pm.
  8. 3 points to be awarded to the winner in each class, 2 to the second and 1 to the third
  9. All trophies must be left for engraving.


The Garden News Trophy for the best exhibit in Classes 1 to 21

The Trustees’ Trophy for the highest number of points in Classes 1 to 21

The Frank Matthews Trophy for the best exhibit in the Domestic Classes

The Mary Challis Trophy for the Best Floral exhibit

The Women’s Institute Trophy for the best exhibit in the Handicraft Classes

The Sue Reeve Trophy for the best exhibit in classes for children who are 8 to 12

The John Falkner Trophy for the best exhibit in classes for children of 7 and under

The Chairman’s Trophy for the family winning the highest number of points in the show

The Norman Carver Trophy for the best exhibit in the entire show



All entries must have been grown by the exhibitor

1.             5 white potatoes

2.            5 coloured potatoes

3.            5 onions with necks tied and 2cm of root attached

4.            8 shallots with necks tied and 2cm of root attached

5.            5 beetroots with necks cut at about 5cm and roots attached

6.            5 runner beans

7.            5 French beans

8.            5 carrots with foliage trimmed

9.            an exhibit of any other vegetable

10.            5 tomatoes with short stems

11.            a truss of miniature tomatoes of any variety

12.            1 cucumber

13            1 head of lettuce

14.            5 cooking apples

15.            5 dessert apples

16.            a dish of stone fruit

17.            a dish of soft fruit

18.            an exhibit of any other fruit

19.            a vegetable marrow for weight

20.            the longest runner bean

21.            a presentation of herbs


22.            a miniature arrangement of flowers no taller or wider than 6 inches

23.            a vase of annual flowers

24.            5 stems of flowers, any variety

25.            a single rose bloom

26.            a single bloom of any flower other than a rose

27.            a green arrangement

28.            a buttonhole or corsage for a wedding

29.            a flowering pot plant

30.            a foliage pot plant


Jars for classes 31 to 34 should be clear 1lb jars with new lids, labelled with the type of preserve and full date of making, with no commercial labels attached.

31.            1 jar of jam made with soft fruit

32.            1 jar of jam made with stone fruit

33.            1 jar of marmalade

34.            1 jar of chutney or relish

35.            1 fruit cake – set recipe (appended)

36.            1 decorated celebration sponge cake – any recipe

37.            3 fruit scones

38.            3 chocolate brownies

39.            3 cinnamon buns  –  set recipe (appended)

40.            a loaf of bread of any recipe or shape

41.            a 1lb jar of clear honey

42.             3 eggs, any colour


All entries must have been made within the last twelve months

43.            a hand-knitted garment

44.            a machine-knitted garment

45.            a crocheted item

46.            an item of decorative cross-stitch needlework

47.            any other hand-embroidered item (not cross-stitch)

48.            a home-made stuffed toy, knitted or crocheted

49.            a sewn garment

50.            a painting of any subject in watercolour, acrylic, pastel or oil

51.            a drawing, engraving or lithoprint, any subject

52.            a photo of ‘close-up nature’, up to 8 by 6 inches, not framed or mounted

53.            a photo of ‘back together’, up to 8 by 6 inches, not framed or mounted

54.            an article made of wood


(in two groups: 7 years and under

8 to 12 years)

55.            a miniature garden on a plate

56.            an animal made from fruit, vegetables, pins and matchsticks

57.            an arrangement of flowers

58.            3 decorated biscuits

59.            a piece of craftwork

Please remember to make it clear if you don’t want your entry to be auctioned.

Please address any queries regarding anything on the schedule to Mike Redshaw either by email or telephone 01223 834511.


Fruit Cake                        Class 35

200g (8oz) SR flour

¼ tsp salt

100g (4oz) margarine

100g (4oz) caster sugar

2 eggs

225g (9oz) mixed fruit

1/8 pint milk

Pre-heat oven to 180°C

Line bottom of an 18cm x 7cm (7 x 3 inches) round tin

  1. Sieve flour and salt
  2. Beat margarine until soft, add sugar, cream until light and fluffy
  3. Add eggs one at a time with 1 tbsp flour, beating well between each addition; add milk and a little flour and beat well
  4. Stir in fruit and remainder of flour
  5. Put mixture in tin, bake for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes, cover with greaseproof paper when sufficiently brown on top.

Cinnamon buns                        Class 39 

Plain flour (cook decides how much!)

3 tbsp granulated sugar

2¼ tsp (7g packet) quick yeast

125ml water

65ml milk

2 tbsp butter

1 egg

55g softened butter

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

50g (2oz) brown sugar

125g (5oz) icing sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp water

Raisins or sultanas (optional)

Milk or egg for wash (optional)

Grease or line a 10-inch diameter or 13 x 9 inch tin

  1. Mix together flour, sugar and yeast in a large bowl
  2. Warm milk, water and butter gently until butter melts
  3. Stir liquid in to dry mix, add egg and knead well until no longer sticky; place in a greased bowl to rest for 5 minutes
  4. Roll out dough to 15 x 9 inch rectangle, spread with softened butter then sprinkle on sugar and cinnamon mixture. Add raisins or sultanas (optional). Roll up tightly and cut into 12 pieces.
  5. Place in tin and cover with greased foil, put in warm place to rise for 20 minutes.
  6. Make glaze by combining icing sugar, water and lemon juice.
  7. Remove cover, brush with milk or egg (optional). Bake in oven at 190°C for 15–20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven, glaze, leave to cool in tin. Break apart to serve. 

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