Pumpkin competition to raise money for waterwheel


Fundraising to save attraction at Merton Abbey Mills


By Gemma Francis

A POPULAR tourist attraction in Wimbledon is raising money and awareness by holding community events.

The most recent event, a ‘Guess the Weight of the Pumpkin’ competition, aimed to raise funds to fix the famous waterwheel, which has not been turning for a month.

The pumpkin weighed in at 33lbs, and the event raised £210, but the organisers still hope to raise more cash by running a sponsored walk to be undertaken by the 1st Wimbledon Beavers in coming months.

Stephen Llewellyn, Caretaker and Manager of Stephen Llewellyn Pottery, organised the competition and was very pleased with the response from local people and visitors.

He said: “It was a fantastic turnout, it really got people’s imagination going.”

“The competition is now closed but the bigger picture is that we are raising money to repair some of the more fragile parts of our dear old waterwheel.”

The wheel has been in place for 200 years, and for 15 years as a tourist site at The Wheelhouse, where its main duty is to turn the potter’s wheel, the only one to be directly driven by water power in the country.

Lis Parham, who took part in the guess the weight of the pumpkin, said: “It’s an important historic site, and schoolchildren and visitors go to see it.”

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