Garden centre marks 150 years

One of the UK?s oldest garden centres will celebrate its 150th birthday this weekend.

There will be donkeys, party games, face painting, treasure hunt and birthday cake (cake cutting at 1pm). All activities will be in aid of Overgate Hospice, Elland.

There will be some very special offers, priced at ?18.64 and ?150, while stocks last!

There will also be the chance to join the new Club 1864, where members will receive special offers and a regular newsletter. Anyone joining on the day will receive 18.64 per cent off their first purchase (excludes sale items).

Kershaw?s Garden Centre, on Halifax Road, Brighouse, was established in 1864 by Charles Kershaw as a nursery and seedsmen.

It was acquired by Samuel Yates in 1928 and has since passed through four generations of the Yates family.

Charles Kershaw was famous for rose growing on fields now occupied by St Joseph?s Primary School and Brighouse High School.

A rhubarb variety known as paragon, grown on the fields, has been revived by the RHS Gardens at Harlow Carr.

The nurseries also grew the first pink sycamore tree (Acer Brilliantissimum); the original tree is in the garden of a house adjacent to the garden centre.

Vine House, where the Kershaw family lived, remains on the site. Nowadays the main emphasis is on the garden centre and related shops on site, which as well as a caf? now include a gents hairdresser, accessories, ladies gym, craft centre, ironing service, traditional sweet shop, cycle repair, home brew centre, school uniforms and bespoke pine furniture workshop.

Manager Mark Yates said: ?We pride ourselves on our plants and friendly service often sidelined today by the large multiple garden centres.

?Over several generations of growing we have learnt a thing or two about plants and so we can solve most gardening problems quickly and simply, whether you are a Kershaw?s customer or not.

?We are proud supporters of local events: we sponsor schools for Yorkshire in Bloom and are the main sponsor of the world famous marching band contest held every July in the town centre.?

On Saturday, August 2, and Sunday, August 3, Kershaw?s will be a hive of activity, with numerous activities and events taking place to celebrate its 150th birthday.

Stars such as Ant and Dec, Homer Simpson, Harry from One Direction and Bill Oddie have been lined up for the birthday party.

Although they won?t be appearing in person, life-size cardboard cut outs will be present for visitors to pose with for photos.

There will be games, stalls, competitions and many special offers throughout the shopping village.

A special cake has been commissioned from Maria Webster of Brighouse, the design of which is a closely guarded secret.

Mark Inison and his donkeys will swap the golden sands of Blackpool for the green grass of Brighouse to help Kershaw?s celebrate its 150th birthday and raise money for Overgate Hospice.

And the garden centre?s mascot Oggie the dinosaur has been given a special makeover by Danielle Whitaker, a fine art student at Leeds College of Art. Oggie hopes lots of children will come and visit him over the weekend.

The 150th birthday celebrations will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 4pm each day.

For more information, call 01484 713435.

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