Village battles road closures to ensure open gardens and fete are a success
Residents in Berden have been negotiating with a broadband provider to ensure roadworks do not disrupt the village's two big events of the year.
Gigaclear is installing ultrafast fibre in Clavering Road between Berden and Manuden. Closures and diversions are in operation between June 20 and August 7.
The provider has confirmed it will ensure the road is kept open for Berden's open gardens event on Sunday June 30 and the village fete on Saturday July 13. Ordinarily the highway would be shut from 9.30am to 3.30pm each day during work, but restrictions will be lifted on those two dates.
Parish council clerk Sue Griffiths said: "We're really pleased that we've been able to work in partnership with Gigaclear to make sure that the roads are kept open so that people from all over Herts and Essex can come along, discover our beautiful village and have fun with family and friends at our open gardens and fete."
Berden's second annual open gardens event on Sunday June 30 takes place between 2pm and 6pm.
Organiser John Tippet said: "In 2017 we had lots of people who came and discovered our beautiful village and enjoyed the open gardens, helping raise over £1,500 for the local church and village hall.
"This year we have ten gardens open, each with their own individual colour and character. Enjoy sweeping lawns and stunning countryside views, water features, beautiful flowers and borders and vegetables too.
"It's £5 for a 'passport', children are free and this gets you access to all the gardens."
Attractions include a working 17th-century water treadmill at Berden Priory, the 13th-century St Nicholas Church, refreshments, jazz music, woodturning demonstrations, plants for sale, a quiz for children, a woodland walk and information about beekeeping and rearing chickens.
Berden village fete takes place on Saturday July 13, from 2pm to 5pm. Amanda Coomber, chair of the organising committee, said: "This year we'll be bringing the party into the heart of the village and will be creating a street party atmosphere."
There will be a grand draw, bottle stall and unique news tombola plus traditional fete games including bowling for a pig, wet sponge stocks and crockery smashing.
Amanda said: "We have a few new things planned this year and we're delighted to be able to offer short rides around Berden on a vintage bus.
"Calamity Clown will be entertaining the children in the beautiful grounds of our church, and in addition to our fabulous barbecue and cream teas we are excited to introduce our new Prosecco tent, so you can add a bit of fizz to your day!"
All proceeds from the open gardens event and the fete will be donated to the St Nicholas Church and village hall improvement funds.