The Hollon Tea returns after being cancelled last year

A group of residents enjoyed an afternoon of tasty treats and entertainment as a town tradition was ‘revived’.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 11:00 am
This year, Hollon Tea annuitants enjoyed a boxed ‘Posh Tea’ at the event.

After it did not go ahead last year due to Covid-19 restrictions, the annual Hollon Tea took place in the Corn Exchange of Morpeth Town Hall with some 50 annuitants present, along with two special guests.

In 1881, Richard Hollon donated a sum of money for the benefit of the elderly people of Morpeth.

This was in memory of his late wife, Mary, who was brought up in the area.

Dozens of residents are now annuitants under the Mary Hollon Annuity and Relief Fund and the Hollon Tea again took place on November 5. The date is always the same, the day that Richard and Mary Hollon were married.

It has been held for many years, including through both World Wars. Over the years, other donors came along and more people were added.

As it was the overwhelming desire of the annuitants, all of whom are well over 75 years of age, that the tea should return this year and the fact that all of them have been double vaccinated and most have received their booster jab, the trustees decided to proceed – although the 2021 event had some differences to previous years to take account of safety issues around Covid-19 infection.

Instead of the traditional three-course lunch, the senior citizens were served with a boxed ‘Posh Tea’ and actual table service was undertaken by the trustees rather than the caterers, who just provided the boxed teas.

Some 15 people who could not attend had the same boxed tea delivered to their homes by trustees.

The Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Christine Hardman, was invited to attend and she gave an interesting homily on her family experiences.

Mayor of Morpeth David Bawn, the other special guest, invited those present to drink the traditional toast to the many donors that have made this event possible.

Entertainment was provided by four students from the King Edward VI School, led by Ava Da Costa, and head of music Robin Forbes.

At the end of the afternoon, the traditional gift of money was distributed to the annuitants.