HISTORIC Abbey House, the official residence of the Mayor of Winchester, will be given an extra splash of colour at the end of the month.

Otterbourne Flower and Gardening Club are mounting a fund-raising Flower Festival between July 25-27 in aid of the mayor’s charities.

The mayor, Eileen Berry, joined the Otterbourne club 12 years ago and recently invited the flower arranging enthusiasts to stage the first major fund-raising event of her charity year.

She said: “This will be a beautiful event and we couldn’t have picked anybody better to assist us than the Otterbourne Flower and Gardening Club.”

Launching the festival the mayor was assisted by Lawrie Morris, a member of the Blue Apple Theatre, one of her four chosen charities. The others are military charity SSAFA, Together Working for Mental Wellbeing and the Winchester Scouts.

Flower club committee member Carol Bailey said: “Eileen invited us to put on a flower festival at the start of her mayoral year. We were excited, both about being asked and about putting on a major event in Abbey House.

“Members have already planned their exhibits, placed their flower order, mocked up their design and they will finally arrange it on the set-up day.”

There will be 21 exhibits spread throughout the rooms of Abbey House, each display relating to the overall theme of King Alfred. The brightly-coloured and artistically-crafted displays will represent the burnt cakes, King Alfred’s Jewel, his attention to law and government, his role as a champion of education or his renown as a military leader.

The festival extends over the final weekend of July, doors will be open between 10am-5pm, admission is £5 (concessions £4) and tea and home-made cakes will be available for visitors.