Volunteers honoured for work at the Green

A party of local Soroptomists to look round the Millennium Green on a lovely summer evening.
A party of local Soroptomists to look round the Millennium Green on a lovely summer evening.

It’s been a busy summer for trustees of Morpeth’s Old Bakehouse Millennium Green – and the hard work continues with a free concert this weekend.

The award-winning public garden off Newgate Street is tended by volunteers to provide a green haven in the heart of the town.

Last month, the area earned a prestigious Green Flag Award for the 11th year running and last year, it was named Best Urban Project in the Love Northumberland Awards, presented by the Duchess of Northumberland.

In fact, she was so impressed with the work of the volunteers that she put them forward for an invitation to the Queen’s Garden Party.

And earlier this summer Chairman of the Trustees Val Stevens and member Joan Soames travelled to Buckingham Palace to represent the group at the event.

Mrs Stevens said: “It was a huge honour to be there and we had a great time.

“There were lots of other people and it was like being at a grand wedding, with everyone in their finery and the sun shining.

“It was Prince Philip’s birthday so that made it really special and there were quite a few members of the Royal Family there – Kate, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Princess Eugenie. We had a really good view as they were leaving.

“All of the guests were volunteers of some kind and I think it is good that Buckingham Palace recognises them. Without volunteers, I think the country would come to a stop.”

Back in Morpeth, the trustees were on hand to welcome to the Green a party of local Soroptimists, who spent time admiring the plants, flowers and features of the garden on a lovely, summer evening.

There was also a new addition for them to see in the form of a wicker sculpture of Northumberland Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison.

The statue has previously occupied spots in Carlisle Park and Sanderson Arcade, but it was felt that the Green would be more secure.

Mrs Stevens said: “We were asked by the town council if we would have Emily in the Green and she looks just right. It is a nice focal point.”

On Sunday, the garden will host its second Music In The Green event, with local musicians Colin Pearson, Kim, John and Meg, The Silver Singers, Wilf Rees and Gordon Laurie and Friends performing a range of styles, from folk to pop.

The free event runs from 2pm to 4pm and all are welcome to take seats or rugs along. Refreshments will be available.