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Tuesday, 02 June 2015

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Riding Mill village notes

THIS time last week, the marquee and gazebos were being erected, the bunting was fluttering and we were under starter’s orders! Village Day, Saturday, June 21, was to become a day to remember.

At 9.30am, the Prince and Princess of the pre-school, in all their finery, cut the ribbon to open the pre-school garden alongside the play park.

Teacher Suzanne Campbell-Barker and committee chairman Suzie Done presented Canon Alison White with a beautiful plate commemorating the First World War, hand-painted by assistant supervisor Shirley Hall with the help of pupils, who had created poppy petals with their thumb prints. This will be displayed in the parish hall foyer.

The starter pistol was fired at the cricket field and the community games commenced at 10.30am.

Former Commonwealth Games long-distance runner John Caine and chairman of the tennis club and pre school assistant Linda Humble, along with other club members, had organised a programme full of fun for the family.

The children competed like professionals and the parents revisited their childhood!

Proudly wearing their awards, the competitors moved along to the church cottage for refreshments, to St James’ church for a moving organ recital by Marc Bryant and to the parish hall, where the flower arranging, crafts, baking and children’s challenges were judged and prizes awarded.

Refreshments were plentiful, everyone was smiling and the sun was shining. Riding Mill was at its best and buzzing.

Elaine and Martin Raeburn, who asked not to be mentioned (sorry!), Val and Alan Thompson, Jean and Philip Latham, Pam and David Niven, Dorothea and Mark Joyner, Ena Clark, Gill Birkby and all the cafe volunteers, our wonderful treasurer Rosie Cummings, ably assisted by Eva Roddam, Sunniva Thompson and Drew Wilkie, representatives from all our clubs, who gave demonstrations or ran carefully- prepared stalls – you were all amazing!

The amount of funds raised for the future development of facilities in the village will be announced shortly, but it was the teamwork for which the day will be remembered.

Our well-established club members were joined by young villagers. Joshua Turner selling his beautiful cards to fund his charity challenge, young entrepreneurs Eddie and Catherine Plaskitt, Ruben Stokroos and QEHS band, the Mawsons, ensured the day finished with a bang and show that future events in the village will be in safe hands.

I know there are many more people to thank, but hope everyone involved knows how much their support was appreciated.

Before moving on, a special mention to Orchard House Veterinary Centres for sponsoring our first dog show.

PLEASE note that Susan, our resident barber, will be in the parish hall while the cafe is open this morning from 9.30am, and the Northumbria Healers will be in the parish hall tomorrow from 2pm until 4pm.