Author Archives: Jan

Veteran’s Badges Presented by Mayor

Thank you to Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington, who secured veteran’s badges for 5 residents of Middleton Hall.

The deserving gentlemen were delighted to be presented with the badges by Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Nick Wallis. Councillors Doris and Brian Jones, and Managing Director Jeremy Walford also attended the presentation and were pleased to spend time chatting with the recipients and their guests.

Age UK work tirelessly to research on behalf of those men and women born before 1950 and who have served in any of the UK armed forces. It is excellent work that brings priceless results. Congratulations to all those involved.

 

Middleton Hall’s First Arts Festival Coming Soon!

Easter Sunday Lunch - 1st April

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

This inaugural festival builds on the success of previous outstanding photography exhibitions and is also perfect to showcase some of the exciting work being produced from the new Middleton Hall Arts Studio, completed in 2018.

Talented potters, artists, photographers and painters have worked hard to produce some exceptional pieces. For some, art has been a lifelong interest, for others a new hobby started in later years. Whatever the level of expertise, the festival pulls together a fantastic range of exhibits that clearly illustrate a level of passion and enjoyment.

An Arts Trail will lead visitors through the exhibition of mixed media. In all, more than 100 items will be displayed, ceramics, jewellery, photographs, painting and drawings.  There will also be some ceramic exhibits and drawings from external artists.

In addition, some jewellery, photography and ceramics will be available to purchase.

An Arts Festival catalogue will provide details on all the displays and highlight how items can be bought.  No items can be removed until the festival finishes however.

The Arts Festival will open from 10.30am – 4.00pm Monday to Sunday and is free to enter.

Not only are there plenty of exhibits to view, there will be an opportunity to try out your own handiwork. A series of art and craft taster sessions have been organised, for residents and visitors to attend. Some are for participation, others are for viewing only.

A Photography Exhibition ‘Hobsons Choice’ produced and organised by The Middleton Hall Photography Group will be an integral part of the Arts festival showcasing a range of photographs on favourite subject areas including colourful food, farming, engineering, farming, the landscape, flowers and ‘Back in Time’. We are looking forward to seeing this unseen work.

Les Simpson, Waterside resident and keen potter has been key in the development of ceramics in the Village having studied this medium at Cleveland College of Art.  During Les’s regular Friday workshop session on the 28th June, the cleaning of the pots from a recent pit firing will be taking place. Visitors will be able to view a range of pots from the pit firing and Les will be on hand to discuss this and any aspect of ceramics at Middleton Hall.

Rosi Thornton, an external creative local artist will also hold a series of taster sessions. The ethos of her company, Rejig is to encourage people to take joy in creating something new from something old. A sustainable approach we love. This will form part of one of the taster sessions during the Arts Festival Week.  The other tasters will include paper printing and book making.

Some of you may have already witnessed the creative floral work of Gill Ashman. Gill, a carer at Middleton Hall and a former art teacher, will also help attendees to produce a floral piece from paper clay set in foliage within its own wicker display.

The Arts Festival Workshops and Taster Sessions are as follows, with more detailed information here:

  • Monday 24th June         2.30pm – 4.00pm        Art Group Session (Viewing only)
  • Tuesday 25th June        11.00am – 12.00pm    Paper printing – Rosi Thornton
  • Tuesday 25th June         2.30pm – 3.30pm        Book making – Rosi Thornton
  • Wednesday 26th June   2.30pm – 4.00pm        Make a ceramic flower – Gill Ashman
  • Thursday 27th June       2.30pm – 3.30pm        Make a Morsbag from recycled fabrics – Rosi Thornton
  • Friday 28th June            10.30am – 12.00pm    Ceramics Workshop – Viewing only
  • Friday 28th June            2.00pm – 4.00pm        Ceramics Workshop – Viewing only

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.

We look forward to welcoming lots of people to view this impressive and thought-provoking exhibition.

Jabberwocky comes to Middleton Hall!

Something very different happened at Middleton Hall today!

Jabberwocky Market’s Pop up Theatre came to visit. This local group is putting on two shows (11.00am and 2.00pm) each day on Friday and Saturday 10-11th May. Aimed at families, the lively performance of ‘Noisy Holiday’ appeals to all ages and involves a giant fish and a mountain rescue helicopter as well as screen, electric guitar and a bubble machine. Great fun.

Jabberwocky Market seeks unusual venues for it’s professional shows. Bristol-based Kid Carpet and the Noisy Animals produce and perform this particular show and thought that Middleton Hall would be an ideal place to be. We agreed! Today we welcomed nursery children and residents. The Saturday shows are almost sold out and we expect a mixed audience of all ages.

 

Allotments Going from Strength to Strength

The allotments are looking fantastic. Residents and staff have worked very hard together to develop the area, perfect for its sunny, sheltered position. They have;

  • painted the raised beds, sheds, gates, furniture and the new pergola
  • fixed up the potting shed
  • built a wonderful run and home for the chickens (the eggs are delicious by the way)
  • constructed more flower beds, and
  • built a BBQ of brick

…. and they’re not finished yet! Next on the list is renovation of the fences, installation of a pizza oven, development of an outdoor kitchen and bar areas, communal herb bed and a strawberry bed.

The allotment area has been christened as a social hub with a BBQ attended by abut 20 people. Roll on summer!

Village Show – Classes Confirmed

MIDDLETON HALL VILLAGE SHOW

SATURDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER 12 NOON – 3.00PM

Good news! the list of classes for the upcoming Village Show is confirmed, below (it’s two-sided – use the arrows at the end of page 1).

Everyone is able to get crafting, jamming, growing and painting. The inaugural Village Show in 2018 was spectacular and this year’s event promises to be another wonderful day showcasing the many talents of our community,

The programme will be available in early August. In the meantime, if you have any questions please ask at reception.

Easter Sunday Lunch - 1st April

Middleton Hall becomes Employee Owned!

A historic moment for Middleton Hall as Jeremy Walford, directors and trustees sign the deed of trust that completes the transition of the company to becoming 100% employee owned.

The signing is the culmination of a long period of planning. Employees right across the company have taken part in the process and Co-owner Forum Representatives and Trustees have been voted in.  Please read on to learn about the background and the benefits of this decision.

Trustees Now Voted in!

Congratulations! Sheenagh Young and Gail Jones have been voted by other staff members company-wide as the two employee trustees on the Trust Board.

Both are also representatives on the 8-strong Co-owner Forum. Here, they will air and debate the views and ideas of the staff in their own team groupings. As trustees, Sheenagh and Gail will take this role further, acting on behalf of the organisation as a whole.

Sheenagh joined Middleton Hall in 2010. She was first responsible for all Housekeeping and Front of House services before being promoted to Family Living Manager, now Middleton Oaks in 2014. Her commitment and passion in providing care to our residents is clear.

Gail began as a Carer in Middleton Gardens in 2011 and has since then got to know Middleton Hall very well by working in Family Living, the Accounts team and currently as Receptionist. She is well loved and trusted by staff and residents alike.

This is a very exciting time for Sheenagh, Gail and Middleton Hall as a whole. The organisation transitions to becoming employee owned on 2nd April. Everything is now in place!

29th March …. A Deal to Celebrate at Middleton Hall!

At the end of last year our project team debated about the dates for completion and celebration of Middleton Hall’s transition to Employee Ownership. We had always planned the completion of “the deal” for the end of March, our year end. Setting the day for the party to celebrate was slightly contentious amongst the project team as the obvious Friday was March 29th. “Surely we can’t have a party on Brexit Day” commented one of the team. Visions of our party being interrupted by Remain Activists assuming we were celebrating leaving the EU swirled around.

We concluded that it could be a good news story amongst all the Brexit angst. And at least one cynic stated the UK would not actually leave the EU on March 29th.

And it would appear that Parliament will not be having much of a party on 29th March and Brexit appears to have ground to a halt. Unprecedented chaos in the Houses of Parliament and a government without a Plan B. Or much of a Plan A as it is turning out. Listening to a weary Prime Minister repeat the same mantra that she would deliver what she had promised became increasingly hollow words.

Not so our smooth transition to Employee Ownership.

We have just held the first elections in Middleton Hall’s 119 year history to elect our Co-Owners’ Forum and then Employee Trustees following careful consultation and information. Legal documents in place. New name badges for all 190 Co-Owners ordered. Party planned in careful detail – “A Night of Surprises”.

Our “Night of Surprises” on March 29th will not include changing our mind. Four years of careful research and planning, complete commitment from the shareholders, enthusiasm from our employees, delight from our customers and a great project team to guide the process meant the deal would always be done. And on time.

For one part of the UK there is something significant to celebrate on March 29th.

The first Employee Owned Retirement Village.

An All Action Pancake Day!

Just a bit of fun they said …! The annual Middleton Hall Pancake Race was, as always, a competitive affair.

It truly felt like a village as people from all corners of Middleton Hall came to join in. Luckily chef Alan was on hand to replenish the pancake stocks. We found we had worked up quite an appetite!

 

 

 

The Orangery Erupts in Dancing!

Rat pack singer Trevor Myers proved to be a great success at our ‘Meet & Eat’ night. These sociable events are held twice a month throughout winter. Seasonable doom and gloom are definitely not on the menu.  ​Impromptu dancing broke out on this occasion!

Our talented team of chefs are taking in turns to create a menu – they can’t resist a spot of competition. All in all, a terrific night.