Sunday, July 23, 2023

I do


On Saturday 15th July David and I got married. Thanks to the change is the law that was guided through Parliament by the then Lib Dem Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone, same sex marriage could take place from 2014. After 38 years of knowing each other, we decided to tie the knot. Apart from the rain just before the wedding, everything went to plan. Gateshead Registry Office did a great job and Sunniside Social Club did a grand job of hosting the reception. Samantha Cheeseman of Saltmarsh Catering in Dunston did a fantastic job of putting together a buffet that included produce from our farm.

We had a "honeymoon at home" over the past week. We are took busy on the farm to go away, especially with the recent birth of 5 goat kids, all of which we are hand feeding. We did however have some day trips, going to Beamish, Newcastle keep, the Baltic Art Gallery and Marsden.

Thanks for all the good wishes people have sent and thanks to the 100 guests who came along to the reception.

Northern Pride


I was in Newcastle yesterday for the Northern Pride parade. Gateshead Lib Dem councillors on the parade in addition to myself were Leanne Brand, Amanda Wintcher, Ron Beadle and Vicky Anderson. Sadly the rain also joined the procession which led to the event on the Town Moor being cancelled. Nevertheless, Pride is something we continue to need. Look at some countries such as Uganda, Malaysia and Russia and the repression and hostility to the LGBT community is horrifying.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Regional conference

In my in box yesterday was an email from the North East Lib Dems. I've just got round to opening it now. It's about the forthcoming North East Lib Dem regional conference and it is being held in Gateshead on 4th November. More specifically, it is to be held in the Little Theatre (hopefully not too small!) which is on the border between Lib Dem held Low Fell and Saltwell, gained by the Lib Dems from Labour in May. A good venue to celebrate! The agenda is not ready yet so we await the motions that will be debated.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Low Fell eFocus no. 126

 The Low Fell Focus Team have been hard at work as usual and their latest eFocus newsletter was published last week. Issues covered include:

  • Gateshead Leisure Centre to close on July 21st;
  • Consultation on walking and cycling lanes;
  • St Helen's Church Fayre;
  • Shoplifting in Low Fell;
  • Lyndhurst Bowling Club grant success;
  • Low Fell Volunteer Gardeners thank Sainsbury's.

You can read eFocus on this link.

Sunday, July 09, 2023

The icing on the cake


David and I will get married on Saturday. My sister Esther has made the cake. She sent me this photo of it. The icing is on but the decoration is still to be done. I am banned from seeing it until we get to the reception!

Suits you, Sir


It has been nearly 15 years since I last bought a suit. I had 6 months' wear out of it before I moved on from my office based job in Lib Dem HQ to the world of self-sufficiency. Since then, the suit only came out of the wardrobe when there is a full council meeting in Gateshead or I have to attend a funeral or wedding. The suit is now showing 15 years of wear and tear and a modestly expanded waistline has not helped! So off to Marks and Spencer I went. A new shirt and a suit were acquired.

36 years ago, at the age of 23, I was elected to Gateshead for the first time. I remember fitting into my shirts which were all 15 inch collars. I then took up swimming as a hobby and had to replace all my shirts as my collar size had grown to 18 inches! It has stayed at that size for the past 30 years. Alas, my waistline has gone from 30 inches in 1987 to 36 inches now. 

The point about this is that a new suit was needed not just to replace my Worzel Gummidge style tatters of a suit, but because my wedding is coming up and I guess I need to look presentable rather than having the appearance of a sack of potatoes! Hopefully, this new suit will last me another decade and a half.

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

The History of Chase Park


Tonight the Suniside History Society will enjoy a talk about the history of Chase Park in Whickham. The speaker is Richard Pears who has spoken to the Society on a number of occasions. The talk kicks off at 7pm in Sunniside Club.

The park has seen some controversy recently when Gateshead Labour Council decided to flog off the stable block and the main park entrance to developers. Labour cabinet member for housing, John Adams, claimed the areas to be used for new executive housing are not in the park but are "adjacent" to it! Labour Leader Martin Gannon repeated the same absurd claim. 

Perhaps both would care to come along to the talk tonight. It would be an opportunity for each to learn something about the park before they each next open their mouth on the issue.