Lennel Newsletter

Twiddle Mitts – We were delighted to receive a box full of hand crafted twiddle mitts from Katie Gilchrist who along with a team of volunteers and residents in Duns hold craft afternoons making these great items from spare wool, buttons ribbons, marbles, baubles, in fact anything that can be stitched into and onto the twiddle mitts giving our residents hours of fun.

It was a sad day for all at Lennel when our maintenance man Alan Marshall decided to hang up his tools and retire. Alan has been with us for many years and will be sadly missed by staff and residents. Alan was always at hand to fix everything and anything and must have spent most of his time at Lennel up a ladder changing yet another light bulb. We would like to wish him all the best on his retirement. We now look forward to welcoming Mark to Lennel as our new Mr Fixit – we’ll introduce Mark to you in next month’s newsletter!

Rug Making – We have been hard at work with our arts and crafts, and one of the items we all enjoy making is our wool rug It may take a while to finish, but I’m sure it will be a work of art when done. If you have any spare wool we would be delighted to give it a good home!

Our Garden – Well, we made it, it was touch and go but at long last patience paid off and we managed to have afternoon tea in the beautiful gardens here at Lennel. Everyone enjoyed feeling the sun on their face while tucking into some of the delicious home baking from our kitchen. Hopefully we will have many more afternoon teas outdoors, if you are passing by why not pop in and experience it for yourself.

Hanging Baskets – To bring a look of summer and to brighten up the drive Douglas, who is one of our residents, has been busy putting up hanging baskets which you must agree look lovely. We are hoping to do a lot of planting this year so if you have any spare cuttings we would be delighted to take them off your hands.

Jenny Pike recently celebrated her 100th birthday with family and staff. Jenny was born on 3 May 1916 in a farm cottage near Melrose. Jenny’s favourite subject at school was nature studies and this was perfect for her first job which was milking cows! Most of her life she worked as a housekeeper and moved between Gordon, Weststruther, Duns and Coldingham. One of her big loves in life is music, especially bag pipes and her favourite season is spring, which has helped make her 100th birthday celebrations even more special being in May. Jenny has been at Lennel House since 2010 and she is much loved by all the staff. Jenny was 10 when the Queen was born!

Chain Bridge Honey Farm – It has been many years since I was last at Chain Bridge Honey Farm, near Berwick, so you can guess my surprise when we had a lovely trip there recently. They now have a wonderful vintage double decker bus that is a cafe, which Alan thought was wonderful, as well as a vintage vehicle museum a visitors centre and of course, a shop with lots of honey products. We spent a lovely few hours wandering, shopping and eating. A good day was had by all.

Friends & Family Gathering with Cream Tea – We would like to invite residents relatives and friends to a ‘Friends and Family Gathering’ in the Beatrix Potter Room on the 22nd June at 3.30pm – or maybe on the terrace if the sun shines! Come along and find out what’s happening at Lennel and meet some of the staff while enjoying a wonderful ‘Cream Tea’ prepared by Leslie our own chef. Afterwards feel free to explore our garden area which we’re hoping to make more use of during the summer.

A snippet of Lennel history – Beatrix Potter: Lennel has a vast history and one notable period was when Beatrix Potter stayed for a summer in 1894 where some of her inspiration for her “Peter Rabbit” series of stories came from. As a tribute to Beatrix the bedroom she stayed in is now Lennel’s ‘Beatrix Potter Coffee Room’ for the residents and relatives to use and contains pictures of her work and herself Beatrix described Lennel House as “a splendid view over the valley to the Cheviot Hills”. During the family holiday that year Beatrix discovered and drew the important botanical fossil Araucarioxylon during one of their numerous expeditions into the Border country. Though Potter was typical of women of her generation in having limited opportunities for higher education, her study and watercolours of fungi led to her being widely respected in the field of mycology. Beatrix also recorded in her Journal in 1894 that ‘more or less in a year’ she had learned by heart six complete plays by Shakespeare – so a lot of that must have been at Lennel!

Raffle Donations Needed Raffle Prizes – We are planning a coffee morning soon to raise money for our activities fund. These funds go towards concerts, outings, birthday presents and little extras for our residents, so once again I am appealing to your wonderful generosity. Do you have an unwanted Christmas present lurking in the back of your cupboard, or the prize you won in the last raffle you entered that you would like to give a new home to? Then we would be pleased to take them off your hands.

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