A big lunch at Greenlight

It may have been very wet for early July, but there was a Big Warm Welcome for everyone who braved the elements and joined the folk at Greenlight Garden Centre, Ballycastle for a very special Olympic Big Lunch during the holidays recently.

The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project in Cornwall. The simple aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

As Ann McIlroy of Greenlight says, ‘We were delighted to welcome so many friends and family and new visitors to Greenlight at our recent opening on June 2nd with Paul Clarke and a host of guests. We really wanted though to throw open our doors in this Olympic Summer and bring people together with us to share a Big Lunch in a more relaxed and fun way than we could ever mange on our busy opening day. This was a simple way for us to say thank you again and for us all to meet and shared some food and fun (and some flowers, no doubt) with our neighbours and friends old and new’.

And Fun it was with a capital ‘F’. There were special Olympic challenges in the new outdoor gym and hunts and trails for all ages. As one wit remarked, ‘ We could have run a swimming race if we had a spare allotment’. A special guest was Kevin Bartlett of USEL, who recently carried the Olympic Torch through Ballycastle, and many of the visitors took the unique chance to have a photo holding one of the official torches. Kevin himself was a font of stories, insight and knowledge about the Olympics and his enthusiasm never faded through a very wet and blustery day. Although you would have to have been there to fully understand, Carol The Hat, as she is known provided some amazing recycling ideas and crafts in the large polytunnel as all sorts of amazing noises and music was heard through Ballycastle. The Food was great and so was the craic, despite the weather and as another visitor wisely remarked, ‘There is no such thing as bad weather here, just being badly dressed for it’.

As we were recently reminded by all the gang at Greenlight, ‘Even if you missed the big opening or The Big Lunch and haven’t yet experienced Greenlight Garden Centre and the wonderful Big Lottery Peoples Millions project, you have no excuse…not that you ever need an invitation…to sample the beautiful refreshments at the new Coffee Shop, pick up an idea or a bargain bloom at the Garden Centre, or simply pick up a bat and play Swingball in the New Fresh Air Gym. There is no admission charge for any of this and plenty for folk of all ages to see and do. We’ll see you there.