Author Archives: caroline


The Village Show – Saturday 7th September 2019      12.00noon – 3.00pm

Last September, we celebrated the birth of the Middleton Hall Village Show, an idea inspired by both residents and co-owners.   We were amazed by the number, the quality and creativity of entries in an array of classes.  Pride was in abundance with entries of magnificent specimens grown in gardens and allotments plus baking delights from the kitchens.  Beautiful arts and craft creations were on display and the sights and sounds of treasured pets delighted all with their agility, obedience and character (mostly… down Fido!!) Stalls offered a range of crafts and gifts to purchase plus visitors were entertained with live performances from the Texas Toe tappers.

Following on from this enjoyable day, we are pleased to say The Middleton Hall Village Show is returning this year, building on last year’s success.   Saturday September 7th is the date for the diaries between 12.00pm and 3.00pm and of course, everyone is welcome.

The PROGRAMME OF EVENTS details the 36 classes, how to enter plus a full timed schedule of events for the afternoon.

This year, the show will once again be in a marquee, but this year located by the Pavilion and bowling green at Middleton Hall. Access is of course wheel chair friendly.

There is something for everyone. We do hope you will join us for what should once again be a fun and enjoyable afternoon.

Look forward to seeing  you on the 7th.


Blooming with Pride

Blooming with pride…… this was the headline in the Northern Echo this week reporting on the first ever open garden event at Middleton Hall as part of the charitable National Garden Scheme. And not even the good ole’ British summer weather with its howling winds and squally showers could dampen spirits.

Over 120 visitors braved the weather to enjoy the extensive gardens and woodlands. Residents, NGS volunteers and co-owners were all on hand to guide visitors. Many commented on the scale of the gardens, enjoying the diversity of the planting. Some favourites were the community allotments, the butterfly beds, the Mediterranean garden and the Woodland Walks.

The Plant stall was popular with people commenting on the range of produce available: eggs from our hens, vegetables from the allotments and greenhouses plus an array of flowering herbaceous plants.

And of course the scrummy teas served in the Pavilion by Pam and our lovely volunteers, Sonia, Sharon, Sarah, Ruby and Molly. The pavilion looked striking, decked out with vintage bunting sewn by residents and the walls were hung with pictures, appropriately with a floral theme taken by our treasured photography group.

Returning from informative tours led by Thom, Head Gardener, visitors enjoyed their refreshments listening to the tunes of the Northumbrian pipers.

Nearly £900 was raised for the NGS charities on the day. Thank you to everyone.

Many visitors commented they hoped the gardens would open again next year. We hope so to.



Our first ever arts festival has been hailed as a great success. Created and run mostly by residents the festival featured over 100 displayed artefacts including ceramics, jewellery, photographs, painting and drawings clearly illustrating the depth and breadth of creativity within the Village.

The Arts Festival was not only a magnificent display of talent, but it bought communities together and unveiled some fascinating stories, memories and emotions.

The workshops proved popular too, with some residents taking part in arts and crafts for the first time with everyone benefitting from the therapy of producing something creative. Such is the power of Art.

A highlight for many was the dramatic pit firing of over 50 clay pots, a method dating back over 30,000 years. This event organised by Les Simpson was coupled with a great get together at a festival BBQ. Joan Hardie, Editor of the Northern Potters Association newsletter commented “A most impressive undertaking that has completely changed my view of retirement villages!”

The event also attracted local media attention with BBC Radio Tees broadcasting live from the Hall.

Lovely stories were also uncovered. Ruby Barham displayed a fascinating embroidery. She worked on this in WW2 but was unable to finish it as she ran out of silks and these were no longer available. American soldiers based at her village, Stone-cum-Ebony in Kent, admired her craft work and had new silks sent over from US so she could finish it!

Alongside all the fabulous art exhibits, we were also grateful to Mary Burgoyne who shared a small collection of her fashion sketches and designs. A key London fashion designer in the 60’s, Mary designed outfits for many A-List celebrities. One, a silver knitted mini dress for Anita Harris was on display.

We’re already receiving calls for this to be an annual event, so like the Village show in September, it looks like it will definitely become another regular feature in the village’s calendar.


Middleton Hall’s Arts Festival Workshops

Monday 24th June will see the triumphant opening of the inaugural Middleton Hall Arts Festival Week organised by residents, co-owners and external artists.

The Arts Festival Workshops and Taster Sessions are as follows:

Easter Sunday Lunch - 1st April

These sessions are free but numbers are restricted for these sessions so please contact reception on 01325 332207 to book a place.

The festival will be open to all visitors from Monday 24th to Sunday 30th June. However some aspects of the festival including the photography exhibition will be able to view by Middleton Hall residents, staff and their families until Friday 5th July.

A visit from Kirkleatham Owl Centre

Residents were delighted to welcome new friends from Kirkleatham Owl Centre. The visit was the latest in the programme of Wildlife and Gardening Events.

Snakes, owls, a bearded dragon, and even rats were greeted with delight! The Kirkleatham staff gave lots of very interesting information about their posse. The animals themselves were beautifully behaved.

The group travelled to Middleton Gardens, Middleton Court, and Middleton Oaks. Other residents from The Waterside, Middleton Woods and Middleton Grove spent time in these places. It was a very sociable afternoon.




As CQC Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe has a very busy and challenging schedule. We were thrilled that she found time to visit Middleton Hall to see an outstanding community for herself.

Andrea toured the site, including Middleton Oaks and the medical practice. As well as expressing pleasure in viewing the facilities, she particularly enjoyed having lunch in the Restaurant with residents. Following the visit, she posted a couple of lovely tweets:


Andrea Sutcliffe @Crouchendtiger7

Thank you Jeremy & team at #CQCOutstanding @MHRetirement for my visit today. A special place & so many great ideas

Special thanks to Tom, Mani, Nanette, Julia & David for letting me join you for lunch & chat about @MHRetirement, art, poetry, enjoying life


Not content with its impressive rate of projects accomplished over the last few years, the photography group has set itself a new challenge. Or rather it wants the residents to set them one!

All are welcome to put their suggestions for photography themes to the group. Suggestion slips are available around the care services and at reception.

The group will take up as many challenges as they can over the coming months. We look forward to seeing the results, which will be on display in The Orangery.