North East again supporting Fartown
There's not a lot to say about Spennymore. Wetherspoon's was good. We caught the bus to Durham.
The ladies stayed in Durham. A river walk and couple of coffee/scone stops. The men went by train to Newcastle.
Bishop Aukland has seen happier times. Square is great, but little cafe life or people. Must have been vibrant once. The miner's art gallery is brilliant. Tribute to grim reality and talent.
Good coffee bar in Town Hall.
We were staying in a rural apartment in Kirk Merrington, so going to Spennymore didn't help. Rang our hostess, Sue, who we subsequently learned was at a wedding. Went to the local - no help there. Went back to where we first thought of and down a very narrow lane confronted a tractor and man cutting hedges. He knew the property, but thought we were looking for a long-term let. More confusion until we looked beyond a private gate and there was the cottage, as per brochure-photograph. Next, how to get in? Friendly hedge-cutter to the rescue. Outbuilding and hook behind the door. Perfect.
Thank goodness for hedges.
I felt a bit guilty - had I read all the instructions? Yes. Sue mailed us and all was well.
Next day, on our way out to the village, another huge truck narrow track. Backed up and let us through.
The weather was kind enough for us to sit out for drinks in the evenings.
We lost to Wakefield at the RL Magic Weekend (St James Park). We were there 60 minutes before kick-off and enjoyed the media scrum preparations as much as the game, which no longer has scrums. £5 for a tin of Coors. I think it's lager. Vietnamese snacks from corner shop round the corner. Filling but sweet dressing on bacon and sausage.
Spennymore Settlement - 'To encourage tolerant neighbourliness and voluntary social service, and give its members opportunities for increasing their knowledge, widening their interests, and cultivating their creative powers in a friendly atmosphere.'
Started in 1930s to support a depressed community. Known as the 'pitman's academy'. Still meets regularly. Something nicer to say.
Called in at Bedale for coffee on the way home. Half hour later Pete couldn't open car door. Parked outside a flower-shop. The proprietor suggested locksmith who suggested more elbow. Success but the car alarm activated. Flower-shop lady phoned someone who suggested phone number of the garage in Leeming. Mechanic tried to solve it over the phone but needed in person.
We all agreed that complexity breeds more stuff to go wrong. Safe home.
Thank goodness for flower shops and their ladies.