The ‘Lavender Lady’, Stoney Middleton

Recent Photograph of The ‘Lavender Lady’ (Stoney Middleton)

This ‘Lavender Lady’ stood in the gateway of the garden to ‘The Nook’ ('Spa Cottage') during Well Dressing week in the 1950s with a basket full of lavender bundles that people would “buy” from her by placing money in the collecting box. An old musical box was hidden under her crinoline dress which would play music. She was dressed every year in a different crepe paper outfit, and survived for several years.

A contemporary newspaper account (1954) reports Christopher's grandfather (who lived in Spa Cottage at the time) saying “I don't think there can be a bit of lavender left in Stoney Middleton”. He cut off every sprig from the bush in his own garden to keep the Lavender Lady's basket full!

1954 was the first time for 6 years when there was no village Carnival, and it was decided to have a house decoration competition instead. Some of the winners handed back their prize money, to help with the collection of funds for the year's chosen charity.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Image contributed by Chris Fordham on 31st March 2004.
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