Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Week Commencing 22 may 2017

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Attended the Queens Garden Party at Buckingham Palace London



Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip with members of the royal family observing two minute silence for the people who lost their lives and the injured in the recent suicide bombing at the Manchester Stadium on Monday evening 22 May 2017. 

The Mayoress and I were honoured to be asked to attend the Queens Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London.  We arrived through the Grand Entrance, and after the formal security checks we proceeded through the main entrance to the palace courtyard where we met up with other dignitaries to view this awesome building and its fine architecture.

Buckingham Palace is a symbol and home of the British Monarchy, an art gallery and tourist attraction, it is the London residence and administrative headquarters of our reigning Monarch, the place is often the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It was first built in 1703 as a large town house for the Duke of Buckingham, over the years there have been a number of changes.

We were eventually escorted through the rear entrance of the building to the  Palace Gardens and were entertained by a number of military bands playing music of latter-day. After meeting up with some good friends, the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Councillor Olive Punchion and Mary French, we took a stroll through the Palace gardens.

The Palace gardens extends for over 40 acres and a lake which covers 3 acres  there is a  Rose Garden to the west where there are formal beds of hybrid tea and floribunda roses, there are also climbing roses behind the Admiralty Summer House. In the centre of the rose garden stands the imposing Waterloo Vase which was placed there in 1903, which was originally made for Napoleon,

Afternoon tea was served throughout the day until the Yeomen of the Guard came out to hold ground. The national anthem announced the arrival of  Her Majesty The Queen and members of the royal family, then two minutes silence was observed for the Manchester atrocity. Presentations were made to individuals in the garden near to the terrace steps, then the Gentlemen of Arms formed lanes for the Queen and members of the royal family to meet guests.

The Queen and members of the royal family took tea in the royal tea tent and eventually left in the late afternoon to the sound of the national anthem.

It was a tremendous day and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole occasion, I can imagine the day will be remembered by all, for a long time.


Thursday 25 May 2017

Attended the Ingleby Barwick Care Home Sensory Garden at Lamb Lane


Having a relaxing time with residents, family, carers, friends and Councillors.


We were delighted to attend the opening of the Indoor Garden Café and sensory garden at the Ingleby Barwick Care Home in Lamb Lane, Ingleby Barwick, Stockton.

The café along with the sensory garden at the home, has been made possible thanks to the family of the late Dorothy Robinson. It looks absolutely wonderful, I’m sure the residents and their families and friends who visit will enjoy spending time here.


Opening the garden café with residents, cutting the ribbon


Fitting words in the poem by Dorothy Robinson placed in the Sensory Garden for all to see and ponder 

Hill Care, who are the providers of the residential home, give short and long term care for residents including those living with Dementia. They promote the use and creation of individual care plans based on initial assessments carried out, encouraging families to be involved with their loved ones from the outset. This enables them to offer the best possible care for all the residents. 

We gave thanks from all of us on the day to the family of Dorothy Robinson, for their support and making it possible for the provision of the Sensory Garden and Garden Café, they have given a lot of pleasure to residents, family, friends and carers, it was much appreciated.


Attended the Hartlepool Annual General Council meeting at the Civic Centre, Hartlepool


Installation of the new Ceremonial Mayor Councillor Paul Beck. 

We attended Hartlepool’s Annual Council, including the ceremony for the installation of the new Ceremonial Mayor and Mayoress at the Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Hartlepool.

This year’s Mayor and Mayoress is Councillor Paul and Mary Beck, who are positive thinkers and passionate about Hartlepool and I’m sure will endeavour to promote their duties to the best of their ability, good luck and health to them for the coming year.

The retiring Mayor and Mayoress Councillor Rob and Brenda Cook have done a superb job in their Mayoral year especially with fund raising for their charities and the collective work they have done with local organisations, therefore we wish them all the best for the future, and maybe they will relax a little before getting back into the swing of things. 


Friday 26 May 2017 

Attended the Handover Ceremony of Durham Students to Newcastle University at Queens Campus, Stockton


With departing year 2 Medicine students, Professors and Doctors. 

We were invited to the final handover ceremony of departing year 2 Medicine students from Queens Campus Stockton to Newcastle University, in preparation for the start of phase 2 of their Medicine programme.

We were eagerly welcomed by Professor Simon Forrest, Head of the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health, Dr Steve Jones Director of Medical Studies, Professor Danny McLaughlin, Academic Director of Undergraduate Medicine and Professor Jane Macnaughton, Dean of Medicine, who gave an account of the proud achievements over the 15 year history of the re-establishment of medicine at Durham since 2001. But they are now moving on as Durham have now amalgamated the school into the faculty of Medical Services back to Newcastle University.

George Porter former MEDSOC President read an affirmation of a Code of Practice to the students of Medicine at Durham University, now preparing to join Newcastle University, affirmed by the students to continue their undergraduate vocational studies and expressing their duties of a Doctor.

It was wonderful to see that we have so many students in preparation to become Doctors of Medicine as we need more and more of these professionals in the Tees Valley area. 


Friday 26 May 2017

Attended the Durham University School of Medicine Pharmacy and Health’s End of Year Celebration at the Grand Marquee, Wynyard Hall Stockton


Professor Simon Forrest speaking in awe of the student’s achievements. 

Attended the Durham University School of Medicine Pharmacy and Health’s end of year Celebrations at Wynyard Hall, Stockton.

Professor Simon Forrest made a speech for the celebration of the completion of studies by the second year medical students, and praised them for their remarkable achievements and how they were going forward with the interlink between Durham and Newcastle University. The event also marked the progress of students studying within the Medical Pharmacy and the completion of their first cohort of students who joined them in 2013.

When talking with Dr Steve Jones we found that the pair of us shared a common bond: whilst I was working in Singapore, he was working with his wife Leslie in Johor Bahru, Malaysia - just a few of miles across the causeway from my office in Tuas. As the conversation went on we realised we could have been sat next to one another in The Raffles Bar since he visited Singapore on a number of occasions.

The climax of the evening was to join in on the dance floor with a Ceilidh band going full pelt, but a lot of the students were enjoying the celebration so much I thought better of it and not to swing the chains causing untold damage to someone, but of course we were in good company if it did.

On leaving the venue, we wished them all the best for the future and hoped that when the students Master, they would return to work in our Hospitals in the Tees Valley.


Sunday 28 May 2017

Attended the Richmond Meet at Richmond Town Hall and St Mary’s Church, Richmond.


The gathering of civics in the Richmond Town Hall. 

At the request of the Richmond Meet President we were invited to the Presidents Church Service at St Mary’s Church for morning service at 10am, in aid to raise monies for local charities

We met up with other civic guests at the Richmond Town Hall for light refreshments before parading down the winding hilly street slopes to the church.

From the common hymn book we sang along to a number of hymns such as

. Come let us join our cheerful songs.

. The head that once was crowned with thorns.

. Alleluia, sing to Jesus.

. Peace, perfect peace with dark world of sin.

After prayers, sermon and thanksgiving we returned to the cobbles and made our way back to Richmond Town Hall for lunch, which was much appreciated after the upward climb. The meal was excellent to say the least.


Ruth’s window designed and made by Alan Davis in celebration and memory of Ruth Frances Gedye


Friary Gardens supporting Richmond Meet Show charities. 

During lunch we were introduced to Dr Rosie Page, daughter of Alf White the well-known Yorkshire Vet, who spoke for the Herriot Hospice Homecare which provides home-based hospice care and other services across North Yorkshire. She talked about the Home Care local charities, helping and supporting people in their own homes and raising £1000 for the Bereavement, Complimentary Therapies, and End of Life Care. Funding was also provided from the NHS and withdrawn food provided by the Ladies Meet Volunteers.

We also walked to the Richmond Meet Show in Friary Gardens and supported other charities that were displayed during the afternoon. A good day had by all and after the event we thanked the Richmond Meet President for an excellent afternoons venue. 


Sunday 28 May 2017.

Attended the Service of Licensing and Installation of The Reverend Claire Anne Gibbs at St John the Devine, Stillington, Stockton.


St John the Divine church, Stillington. 

It was a privilege to be invited to witness, and to celebrate, the licensing and installation of Reverend Claire Anne Gibbs at St. John the Divine church in Stillington.

During the service the Bishop of Jarrow, The Right Reverend Mark Bryant with the area Dean conducted the proceedings, with Claire giving the The Oath of Allegiance, The Oath of Canonical Obedience, followed by the Licensing blessing and the Installation blessing. The area Dean invited representatives from other local churches, the local community and the Deanery to welcome Claire to her new position.

On behalf of the Stockton on Tees Borough Council, we warmly welcomed Claire to the Stockton County Parish and that she will enjoy her ministry in this wonderful area of ours and wished her every success and happiness for the future.

During the installation the Lynesack Evenwood and Cockfield Gospel Choir sang ‘For the beauty of the earth’ by John Rutter which was a pleasure to hear.

After the service we joined the congregation in Stillington Village Hall for light refreshments and thanked Katherine Young and Church wardens for looking after us and giving us an afternoon to remember.