Author Archives: Emily Bowering

Running the Extra Mile…

Image result for great north run 2020
Image taken from the Great North Run website.

At Middleton Hall, we’re well aware that everyone who works here is incredible, but sometimes a Co-owner will go that little bit further, and we just have to talk about it.

Sarah Ratcliffe

Sarah Ratcliffe from Middleton Court has made the brave decision to run the Great North Run in September this year. She’s doing it to raise money for Brain Research UK, in memory of her Auntie.

“She always instilled in me to be kind to others, to have strength and to look to a hopeful future. This is her continued legacy.”

The Great North Run (for those who don’t know much about it) is a half marathon that stretches from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne to South Shields, and this is its 40th year. This is just over 13 miles (21km), which is an amazing goal to aim for, and a great thing to do for charity.

Please donate to Sarah’s JustGiving page – the link is below. Every pound counts, so forgo that bottle of wine and throw a few pounds in Sarah’s pot this week. There will also be a sponsorship sheet going up in the Co-owner’s break room. And don’t forget to wish her luck when September rolls around!



Unfortunately, due to the developments in the Covid-19 outbreak in the United Kingdom, Middleton Hall have decided to cancel the Open Day scheduled for the 12th of March.

This is a precaution we are taking in order to protect our residents from any unnecessary outside contact, in line with us entering ‘Phase 2’ of our contingency plan. We do not wish to alarm anyone, as we do not currently have any reason to believe anyone in Middleton Hall is testing positive for the virus, but we would rather be proactive in our approach. A lot of our residents have vulnerable immune systems, and any steps we can take to protect them will be seriously considered.

‘Phase 2’ also includes restricted access from outside visitors in general unless absolutely necessary, so please ring Reception on 01325 332207 if you plan on coming to Middleton Hall for any reason over the next couple of weeks to check on the current recommendations.

Thank you for your understanding and your patience.

Second World War veteran Captain Jack celebrates 100th birthday

Article taken from The Northern Echo.

A SECOND World War veteran has celebrated his centenary alongside army corps with which he served.

Captain Jack Wolstenholme, who lives at Middleton Hall Retirement Village in Middleton St George near Darlington, celebrated his 100th birthday on Sunday, February 16. He was joined by friends and family to mark the occasion, as well as representatives from the Royal Corps of Signals, which is also celebrating its centenary year.

He said: “I don’t feel a day over 70 and I’ve still got a full head of hair. Everything has been marvellous. A lot of old friends have come.”

Capt Wolstenholme, who lived in Stockton before moving to Middleton Hall, joined the Royal Signals in 1942 and was posted to 8 Corps Signal 41 line section at Catterick Garrison, where he completed his training.

He served in Italy from August 1943 and in 1945 was posted to New Delhi, India, where he dealt with the closure of the Colombo Station. After being de-mobilized in 1946, he went on to enlist in the overseas civil service and was posted to east Africa, working in Tanganyika, part of modern-day Tanzania and Dar es Salaam.

The Princess Royal with Officers of a Corps Signals, Home Forces

It was during that time he met his wife, Wendy, who was the daughter of his mentor Scotty Purvis. The couple married at Egglescliffe Church in 1958 and went on to have three sons, Robert, David and Paul. Both David, who attended the event after travelling from Afghanistan, and Paul, who fought in the Falklands War and died in an accident in 2010, went on to serve in the army.

During the next three decades, Mr Wolstenholme travelled the world, working with ICI and the Overseas Development Agency, working on agricultural projects, before taking up a series of contracts in places as varied as Malawi, South Yemen, Peru and Tanzania.

In 1988, the keen gardener retired to Stockton with Wendy, until her death in 2003, and moved to Middleton Hall in 2015, aged 95.

Manager Debby Lamont, speaking on behalf of managing director Jeremy Walford, said: “He is a hugely respected and much loved member of our community. He always brings charm and knowledge to any conversation.”

The event was attended by Darlington Mayor, Councillor Nick Wallis, Captain Barry Hunter, of the 50 squadron Royal Signals, VP RSA Ray Jeffrey and vice Lord Lieutenant Alasdair MacConachie, who presented Mr Wolstenholme with a card from the Queen.

His son, Richard said: “We are as proud as punch. Congratulations to the Royal Signals on their centenary and a huge thanks to them for coming along to help dad celebrate and allowing him to celebrate with them.”

Deck the Halls!

Green Christmas cheer at Middleton Hall’s wreath-making workshop

Article taken from the Northern Echo

Garden waste from Middleton Hall’s grounds has been put to festive use by eco-minded staff, residents and their families at Middleton Hall.

A wide range of sustainably gathered plant material from the Hall’s 40 acres of gardens and woodland was used to create over 20 Christmas wreaths.

Families and residents from across Middleton Hall Retirement Village made the traditional decorations at a seasonal wreath-making craft session led by the Hall’s grounds staff.

The wreaths will now add a festive feel to doorways and corridors as Christmas celebrations take hold of the retirement village at Middleton St George near Darlington.

Middleton Hall’s Head Gardener, Thom Robinson, said that the workshop had been a huge success.

“We all had great fun. We always love getting people across the village together and it is extra special when it’s at Christmas.”

The wreath-making workshop was carefully tailored so that it was accessible for anybody who wanted to take part.

Thom added: “It was designed to be inclusive so everybody was able to feel the sense of satisfaction that comes from making something.

“Over 90% of the materials used were from the grounds including leylandii, holly, laurel and blackthorn and sloe cuttings. We’ve had a glut of cones and the holly has nice, lush, red berries this year so the wreaths looked stunning.

“The wreath structures we used were stored from last year’s session so the event was also totally waste-free, which perfectly reflects Middleton Hall’s environmental ethos.”

Everybody enjoyed mulled wine and home-made mince pies as they worked which were provided by Middleton Hall’s Orangery restaurant.