Hildie and her daughter Kel - my favourite souvenir photograph of Hildie's birthday

Last week - on January 8, to be exact - we gathered in Dipton to celebrate Hildie’s birthday.  Sensibly, I didn’t make a note of the names of everyone who attended and I couldn’t remember all of them afterwards.  So I had to ask the Birthday Girl herself to send me a list….

* Mary Tweddle (Hildie’s sister)
* Kelly  Flood (Hildie’s daughter, who travelled up from Manchester)
And Hildie’s friends...
* Liz  Page
* Ann  Magee
* Trish  Fagan
* Margaret  Perryman and
* Doris  Reay

I’m delighted to say that there were three visiting truckshunters, too.
* Dave Shannon
* Vivienne  Mitchinson
and, of course, yours truly.

This impressive turnout meant that the house was full and happy.  I was full and happy, too, because the food was almost all home-made and quite extraordinarily delicious. 

There were Christmas crackers with paper hats, virtually pointless favours and really, really awful jokes.

One of my most fondly-remembered highlights, though, is the lengths to which Hildie’s sister Mary went to get the perfect photograph - which is what she’s doing here….

And this is the result…

A very big Thankyou to everyone for giving Hildie such a great party!
* * *

At the party, Vivienne showed me what must be a highly unusual personal memento.  It’s an old postcard of Bede Burn Road in Jarrow; the sort of postcard that local historians bankrupt themselves to obtain these days.

It features houses, cars, a bus and four young lasses on the pavement.  The one in the middle at the front is Vivienne herself. 

She hasn’t changed a bit, has she?
* * *
And Dave mentioned a poem I once read out, at his request, on the Nightshift.  It’s called Snowflakes and was written by the heroically-named Mary Mapes Dodge.  And here it is…

Whenever a snowflake leaves the sky,   
It turns and turns to say ‘Good-bye!   
Good-bye, dear clouds, so cool and gray!’
Then lightly travels on its way.   

And when a snowflake finds a tree,
‘Good-day!’ it says, ‘Good-day to thee!   
Thou art so bare and lonely, dear,   
I’ll rest and call my comrades here.’   

But when a snowflake, brave and meek,   
Lights on a rosy maiden’s cheek
It starts. ‘How warm and soft the day!   
‘T is summer!’—and it melts away.

Isn’t it nice?   
* * *
Our next AGM will take place at 1100 on Thursday 26 February in Newcastle.

I’m looking forward to it already because a splendid time is guaranteed for all.
* * *
* * *
Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com

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