THOUSANDS of people flocked to Cawthorne at the weekend for the village’s popular open gardens event.

And organisers say they were blessed with the weather. So much so, rain didn’t start until 45 minutes after the display ended on Sunday.

“We couldn’t believe our luck,” said Cawthorne parish councillor John Walker. “After all that rain earlier in June, it stayed fine until we were all done and dusted.”

Just short of 20 local gardens had been groomed to perfection for the biennial event and all these were on show both Saturday and Sunday.

“It was a fantastic weekend,” said Coun Walker. “Really, really good.”

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He praised all the volunteers who had helped out. “Everyone worked so hard,” he said. “When it was all over I felt as though I had jet-lag.”

The horticultural treat was so popular, caterers ran out of food and had to replenish stocks. One garden providing refreshments took around £4,000 in afternoon teas.

“Everyone benefits from this event,” said Coun Walker.

Barnsley mayor Coun Pauline Markham attended and, according to Coun Walker, spent several hours looking round. “She seemed to really enjoy herself,” he said.

Proceeds are in aid of much-needed repairs to All Saints Church, and the Exodus Children’s charity in Barnsley. Many village organisations will also benefit. But the total amount of money by the event raised won’t be known just yet.