BIRKHEADS: THE SECRET GARDEN
The needlessly arty and contemplative picture that newly graces my general profile was taken by the otherwise sensible Neville Whaler during my visit to the Tanfield Railway a few days ago. The photo you see above, on the other hand, was taken when the Big Blue Bus visited the site five years ago. You will not be surprised to learn that the kilt - of fine, handwoven Northumberland plaid - hasn’t fitted me almost from that day to this, more’s the pity. Why can’t you get kilts that don’t shrink?
I’m delighted to say that Neville was one of three folk who turned up at last night’s AGM at the Tyneside Cinema. The others were Hildie and Chris and a splendid time was had by all. Until, that is, we all got a bit of a shock when Hildie started to choke on an errant slice of cucumber. Believe me, this is no joke. It was an extraordinarily frightening experience for us, let alone for her. Our grateful thanks to the Coffee Room staff and to the members of the public who came to Hildie’s aid. I’m glad to report that she recovered fairly quickly and was declared to be as fit as a fiddle - well, more or less - after a visit to the General Hospital. Well done, Hildie - and well done, too, to Chris for looking after her so well.
As a matter of fact, I didn’t even get a chance to thank Hildie for bringing with her some information you may find useful. She has ‘connexions‘ (don’t ask) with Birkheads Nursery and Secret Garden. This is a truly awesome place where visitors can not only choose from a wide range of plants - many of them quite rare in these parts - but also slurp a lovely cup of tea and dribble cake crumbs all over the patio before wandering off to look at the ‘Secret Garden‘ and take in the fine views.
Hildie’s information? Well - although the season doesn’t start until March 14, the Nursery, Garden and Coffee Shop will be open for a special Snowdrop Weekend on March 7 and 8 between 1000 and 1630. From March 14, they will be open Tuesday to Sunday, 1000 to 1700. And that’s not all. Throughout March, entry fees will be reduced - two for the price of one (£3.50).
I know what you’re thinking. They’re paying me to tell you this. Amazingly, they aren’t. Believe it or not, there’s nothing in it for me.
Birkheads is just across the fields from the Tanfield Railway. How about visiting them both? What an awesome day out!
THE NEXT AGM
...as promised, will be on Saturday 21 March in the Coffee Bar of Sunderland’s Winter Gardens. I will be there from about 1400 to about 1600. Join me!
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