PICTURES: Villagers help raise more than £5k

The voice of St Martin's-in-the-Fields. Picture: Mike Beck
The voice of St Martin's-in-the-Fields. Picture: Mike Beck

Amberley’s first ever Sculpture Gardens event raised more than £5,500 for the St Michael’s Church Tower Appeal last weekend.

Held on Sunday, the event attracted more than 400 visitors, who enjoyed seeing some unique works of art in the stunning settings of five of the village’s most spectacular gardens.

Michael Joseph with 'Exhausted'. Picture: Mike Beck

Michael Joseph with 'Exhausted'. Picture: Mike Beck

Around 20 artists displayed a total of more than 60 items for visitors to look at.

There was also musical entertainment throughout the afternoon, provided by the Voices of St Martin’s from St Martin’s-in-the-Fields at 4pm, and jazz musicians from the Guildhall School of Music, who moved from garden to garden.

Teas were served in the Church Hall and visitors were offered a glass of sparkling wine or a soft drink, which were included in the ticket price.

Most of the works of art were available to buy, with prices ranging from as little as £45 to just under £10,000.

Ticket sellers: Kim Hope, Kate Losty and Mary Leonard

Ticket sellers: Kim Hope, Kate Losty and Mary Leonard

Sculptor Allan Mackenzie, who has a studio in East Sussex, summed up the feeling of many of those who exhibited.

He said: “The venues were perfect as a showcase for everyone’s sculptures.”

Chairman of the organising committee Valerie Galbraith said the feedback from visitors was also positive.

She added: “We attracted many people who had never been to Amberley before and who said what a beautiful village it was and what a wonderful community spirit existed.”

Jazz musicians from the Guildhall School of Music

Jazz musicians from the Guildhall School of Music

Next year is the popular biannual Amberley Gardens Open event, but it is hoped to repeat the sculpture display in 2019.

Amberley and North Stoke residents were also invited to bring their own picnics for a parish gathering on the Millennium Green on Saturday.

The event, which started at 12pm, included a display of country dancing by the pupils of Amberley CE First School.

There were a number of free activities for children, including face painting and a bouncy castle.

The Greyhound Brewery, which runs Amberley’s Sportsman Inn, sold beer and other liquid refreshments, alongside strawberries and cream.

Amberley Village Stores also held a special ‘taster’ table throughout the day.