BLACKFRIARS ROAD OASIS
MAGICAL TRANSFORMATION OF A FACTORY REFUSE YARD.
Messrs. James Pascall and Son, the well-known manufacturing confectioners, of Blackfriars-road and Mitcham, have long enjoyed the reputation of being foremost among considerate employers of labour, and they appear to be ever on the watch to add to the social enjoyment of their eight hundred male and female hands, who not only possess a Club and Institute, but also a Convalescent and Holiday Home at Leigh-on-Sea. Less than six months ago there was large refuse yard at the rear of their factory in Valentine-place, and it occurred to the head of the firm that it might be converted into a recreation ground garden. Twenty-eight of the employees were promised an equal piece of ground to cultivate, and they lost no time in setting to work. The refuse was cleared away, walks were constructed, half-a-dozen cartloads of good soil were carted from Mitcham, and a number of small trees were planted. Soon it was discovered that the female hands had been “left out in the cold,” whereupon Mr. Pascall offered to present plants to all who would undertake to cultivate them and compete for prizes this summer. The experiment was a success; fewer than twelve hundred plants were handed over to the young people, who watched with tender care the growth of the various flowers.
The first show in connection with the scheme was held yesterday (Thursday), when Mr. and Mrs. Pascall, accompanied by Mr. Sydney Pascall, took part in the prize distribution.
Mr. Pascall congratulated the competitors on the success of their efforts. The display was a most creditable one. They could not have a garden city there, but they could do their best to have a garden in the city. He thanked his employees for the way in which they had used the ground placed at their disposal, and expressed the hope that next year they would have even a better show. (Applause.)
Mrs. Pascall, in distributing the prizes, also expressed her satisfaction at the excellence of the show, and said an encouraging word to those who had not been successful in winning prizes.
Mr. Sydney Pascall playfully observed that they had long been famous as the producers of sweet things, but now they were famous as the producers of the wonders of Nature. (Applause.)
The cut flowers exhibited at the show were sent to the Evelina Hospital.
Appended are the names of the prize winners:—
Garden Plots.— Mr. Barrett, 1; Mr. Richardson, 2; Miss Russell, 3.
Geraniums. — Miss Norris, 1; Miss Punter, 2; Miss Burke, 3.
Fuchsia. — Miss Punter, 1; Miss Smith, 2; Miss E. Brigden, 3.
Ferns. — Miss M. Booker. 1; Miss Punter, 2.
Marguerites. — Miss Sanders, 1.
Petunia. — Miss Tuker, 1; Miss Kearney, 2.
Verbena. — Miss Isaac, 2. No 1st awarded.
Cut Flowers. — Miss Smith. 1. No 1st awarded.
Prize for best Garden Plot (A Department).— Mr. Richardson.
Special prize for General Excellence. — Miss Punter.
Source: South London Press – Friday 07 August 1908 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)