The committee do not hold monthly meetings in the summer months but Chris Russell plans all the coach trips for members and arranges the Annual Holiday with Johnson’s Coaches. On June 14, there was a visit Stockton Bury Gardens at Kimbolton. Later we travelled on to Brobury Hall at Bredwardine. On July 5 thirty two members set off on Johnson’s coach for a 5 days holiday staying at The Old Swan Hotel Harrogate renowned for its links with famous crime writer Agatha Christie.

It was also the location for the film “Agatha “ starring Dustin Hoffman and Vanessa Redgrave. As we journeyed on after a coffee we stopped off to visit the Hardwick Hall near Chesterfield made famous by formidable Bess of Hardwick and her grand daughter Lady Arbella Stuart who had a strong royal lineage and was the niece to Mary Queen of Scots. During the morning of June 6, the group explored Harrogate and were impressed with the green spaces, tree lined avenues and glorious gardens.

On Tuesday, July 7, the group visited Castle Howard and Gardens at Ripon a magnificent 18th Century residence home for the Howards over 300 years.

Cecilia’s Garden, Sundial Garden and the Venus Gardens were wonderful.

The harvested produce is used in the kitchens or sold in the shop. On Wednesday July 7, the group travelled to Thirsk to visit the World of James Herriot.

It was extremely interesting to see all the collections, posters, ornaments, instruments in memory of vet and author James Alfred Wight.

On the way home on Thursday we called in to visit Nostell Priory near Wakefield built in 1733. Inside the house were many priceless paintings by Brueghel, Hogart and Kauffman.

The luxurious house had beautiful hand painted Chinese wallpaper, masterpiece artworks ,decorative plasterwork and a Georgian doll’s house.