Everything stops for tea

The Hollon Tea in Morpeth Town Hall 2011.
The Hollon Tea in Morpeth Town Hall 2011.

A TRADITIONAL Morpeth event made a welcome return on Saturday.

The re-branded Mary Hollon Fund under a new team of trustees resumed the ‘tea’ for all of its beneficiaries after a few years’ absence.

The Hollon Tea in Morpeth Town Hall 2011. Mary Hollon Trust secretary Andrew Tebbutt serves drinks to some of the guests.

The Hollon Tea in Morpeth Town Hall 2011. Mary Hollon Trust secretary Andrew Tebbutt serves drinks to some of the guests.

The charity was formed by former Mayor of York Richard Hollon in 1881 in memory of his wife Mary, who was born in Morpeth.

Seven women and seven men originally benefited from his generosity — today that number is almost 70.

Annuitants are determined by their age (75 and over) and length of residency in Morpeth.

The date of the Hollon Tea, held in the Town Hall, remained the same as Richard and Mary were married on November 5.

The grace and a short address about the Hollons were given by one of the trustees, Rev Ron Forster.

After the four-course meal there were scenes from the musical For The Love of Mary Hollon, performed by the St George’s Songsters. They also sang some regional favourites such as When the Boat Comes In.

The Mayor, Coun Phil Taylor, gave a toast to the donors over the years, which included many local individuals and organisations as well as Richard Hollon.

And the Fund’s Chairman, Coun Derek Thompson, gave a Vote of Thanks to everyone involved in the event.

Barbara Pringle, the only remaining trustee from the previous trustees, said: “It is wonderful that the Hollon Tea has been resurrected and a tribute to all past and present trustees that this long standing tradition continues.”

Among the Annuitants was Maisie Polwarth.

She said: “I would like to extend my thanks to Derek Thompson and his committee — a lot of preparation must have gone in beforehand to make the event a success.

“The tea was excellent and the entertainment was most enjoyable. Those who attended received a commemorative mug together with a substantial cash gift.

“Thank you to everyone involved for making it a splendid afternoon.”