Traditional tea-time toast to Mr Hollon

Photographs: Hollon Tea Annuitants looking forward to their meal.
Photographs: Hollon Tea Annuitants looking forward to their meal.
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MORE than 70 residents enjoyed the latest staging of one of Morpeth’s oldest traditions.

It was in 1881 that Richard Hollon donated a sum of money for the benefit of the town’s elderly people in memory of his late wife, Mary, who was born in Morpeth.

And in accordance with tradition, the annual Hollon Tea for annuitants took place again this year in Morpeth Town Hall. As well as a four-course meal, a cash annuity was presented.

The number of annuitants under the Mary Hollon Annuity and Relief Fund today is a far cry from the seven women and seven men who originally benefited from Mr Hollon’s generosity.

In modern times, they are determined by age, over 75, and length of residency in Morpeth.

Trustee Barbara Pringle said: ‘‘It is wonderful that the Hollon Tea has been resurrected in recent years and a tribute to all past and present trustees that this long-standing tradition continues.”

The Grace and a short address were given by another of the trustees, the Rev Ron Forster. There followed entertainment of local and humorous songs and recitations from ‘2 plus 2’, which was much enjoyed.

Morpeth Mayor Mark Horton gave a toast to the donors, who over the years have included many local individuals and organisations, as well as Mr Hollon.

Finally, the fund’s Chairman Derek Thompson, who had provided the welcome to the annuitants, gave a vote of thanks to everyone involved in making the afternoon such a success.

He also looked forward to welcoming them to next year’s Hollon Tea, which will take place on Tuesday, November 5. The date is always the same as it marks the wedding anniversary of Mr and Mrs Hollon.