In this blogposting…
* Alison Best
* Linda
* Spepere
And it’s all true…

Our Super Summer Sunshine Festival And Grand Extravaganza (no, really) took place as planned on Wednesday.

Well, not exactly as planned. The brass band backed out when my cheque bounced so we had to make do with the Delves Lane And Stoney Heap Under-8s Kazoo Ensemble, bless them. Also, the Full Monty Stripping Mad Monks got held up in Crook when their chara broke down ( - at least, that’s their story).

It didn’t end there, either. Flags Of All Nations (Grange Villa) Ltd mistakenly sent bunting in the national colours of Bolivia, the ventriloquist was drunk, only one member of the Hetton-le-Hole Honeyed Harmony Barbershop Quartet turned up (and was subsequently hospitalised after trying to sing all four parts of Sweet Adeline at the same time) and the juggler simply ran away.

All, however, was not lost, thanks to the redoubtable - nay, unbelievable - Neville Whaler and his perennially patient and generous colleagues at the Tanfield Railway. Thanks to them and them alone, the coffee and cakes were scrumptious, the crack was of a uniformly high order AND we got a free round trip on the train.

It was an awesome day out, as I knew it would be. If you weren’t there, it’s no more than you deserve for not getting your priorities right.

A big, big Thankyou to Vivienne, Hildie, Linda and Keith and, again, to the wonderful Sir Neville Whaler, whom I am recommending for a knighthood forthwith.

See you there next year!

As you may have seen from the Comment Val added to posting 296, there’s some heartwarming news about Alison Best, a loyal and lively truckshunter who died last year (see blogposting between 229 and 230, et seq).

Here’s a copy of the (slightly edited) newspaper article Val sent me a few days later.

'A NEW trophy will be presented this weekend in memory of a local artist.

The specially commissioned glass vase in memory of Alison Best will be one of the prizes on offer at this weekend’s Horticultural and Health Show.

Alison’s brother Don Williams presented it to North Tyneside Council on Monday, and it will be given to the winner of a new category – Best Floral Artist – at the competition, now in its sixth year.

Alison was well known in the region as a contemporary flower and plant artist, contributing work to the popular show.

The focus of her work was the natural world, while she also worked closely with Alnwick Garden on a design project, and together with Don co-wrote and illustrated a children’s book, Monkey Business in the Tree House.

Twice Alison had her work exhibited at the show, in 2008 and 2010, along with Iain Duncan.

But following a long period of ill health, Alison died last November at the age of 57.

Don said: “Talented, gentle and determined, she was an amazing artist and a valued friend to the arts in North Tyneside.”

Mike Brannigan, the council’s allotment officer, said: “Last year’s show was a big success.
“We had a wonderful array of exhibits that showed the region’s exceptional talents in cookery and crafts. And with the addition of the Best Floral Artist category, we hope to get more people involved, from novices to experts.”

I’m genuinely delighted that Alison’s name and work will from now on be commemorated in this way - in a branch of art for which she felt so passionately and innovated so beautifully.

The show in question was held last weekend but I have been unable to find out who won the very first Alison Best Trophy. Can anyone help?
This upcoming Saturday is Linda’s birthday.

Linda is, of course, an essential part of our glorious truckshunter panoply. Indeed, without her, our AGMs would be a lot less enjoyable, if also a little quieter!

It gives me very great pleasure indeed to wish her a VERY Happy Birthday this weekend. And many, many more of them, too.

Happy Birthday, Linda - from all of us.
Serge has been adding to his blog over recent weeks. Needless to say, I love the sort of stuff he posts - from chronicles and pictures of his daily life in the village to the frankly astonishing work he's done lately in his garden. There are some great pictures of animals and rocks there, too.

I think you'll like it, too. Take a look. Better still - become a Follower.

Just click on his picture in the Followers box on this page, then click on his name in the pop-up window.

And by the way, the Three French Hens which we bought at Chatillon market in July are doing well. They're developing into good layers!

Post comments on this blog or email me: truckshunters@googlemail.com


Serge Guinet said...

Hello bb,kisses
Happy Birthday Linda big kisses.
Hello Vivienne,Hildie,Linda,Keith and neville Whaler.
Je garde un très bon souvenir de ma visite a la gare de Tanfield Railway;
a bientôt j'espere

Hildie said...

Serge .... hello ....
we missed you yesterday, but we all felt that you were with us. In fact, you really were with us on the train, thanks to some incredible skyping .... a bientot
j'espere aussi ... bisous.

Vivienne said...

Happy Birthday Linda,

I hope you have a lovely day in spite of this dreadful weather!

Lots of love,

Vivienne xxx

Hildie said...

I hope you have a lovely day
and get spoilt rotten xxx
.... just like this lady in Consett, who I'm going to tell you about. It was Thursday, this week, I was in Consett ... I sat down on a seat in the town centre and a couple came and sat down beside me...
She said, "Don't bother getting me anything for my birthday."
He said, "I already have."
She said, "Ahhh."
He said, "Aye, I got you a box of chocolates, when the paper shop was selling them off."
She said, "That was a good idea."
He said, "Aye ... I got a £7 box for £1.50 ........... Cadbury's Milk Tray!"
She said, "Oh, nice."

What I want to know is ....
who said romance is dead?

Vivienne said...

Hi Neville,

Thank you so much for another super day at Tanfield Railway. I always enjoy the steam ride from St. Andrews to Sunniside, Causey Arch to East Tanfield and back. You even managed to provide lovely weather to match the beautiful scenery! We all appreciated our free trip. So many thanks from us all.

Lots of love,

Vivienne xxx

Linda South Shields said...

Hello Ian, Hildie, Vivienne, Serge, Neville and Truckshunters far and wide. Thank you, thank you for your lovely messages and Ian, fancy inflicting a giant image of moi on unsuspecting Truckies !!! Thank you all for your continued friendship xx

Neville and colleagues at Tanfield Railway, thank you for another fab day last Wednesday.

Much love and blessings to you all Linda xx

Nev said...

It was an absolute pleasure to have you all!