Claremont Terrace opened its arms wide again this year to stage two street parties. The summer party coincided with a city-wide event called Bloom. We are a street that’s not short of artists and so our event was embellished with chalk sketches which were further enhanced by the children. The England Flag was hoisted for the World Cup match on the same day.
Autumn Back Street Party
On a colder evening in November the party was held in a more sheltered setting; the back street. An old dustbin became a red hot brazier. There were games for the children; hot food, drinks and lots of conversation. The new families who had moved into the street met their neighbours and good bonds were forged.
Joan enjoys working as a Learning Facilitator at the York Museums Trust delivering workshops for primary age children. She also fills the role of Social Secretary for the Claremont Terrace Residents Association. At church she continues to help with Twinklers, the name for the creche, she also makes some pastoral visits.
Barrie is busy as a churchwarden at St Michael le Belfrey and safeguarding representative for the PCC. He preaches from time to time too. He’s the chair of Restore (York) Ltd, the housing charity he started in 2010 for people who are homeless in York. This year he also helped to set up a new service where street sleepers can find shelter during the winter. And if that’s not enough he’s also chair of the Residents Association.
We both love making regular trips to Chelmsford and Cambridge to see our children and grandchildren, but this Christmas they will all be visiting us.
Since Warwick’s death his room had lain abandoned – looking sad and neglected. At the end of February the builders arrived to transform the bedroom extension into a garden/sun room.
It wasn’t without its drama. The plan was to rearrange windows, add new doors and replace the flat roof. The alterations soon showed up the shoddy workmanship of the original shell. We agreed that most of the walls should be demolished and rebuilt from the ground up.
The builder we had engaged was brilliant. Despite the change of plans he kept us updated on costs throughout and brought the whole project to conclusion only a little over budget. He co-ordinated the team of general builders, electricians, plumbers, joiners and decorators almost seamlessly. When it was finished it was so much better than we had first imagined. Now it is our favourite room in the house with its huge picture window, arched doorway opening onto the patio. We added furniture and rug to make it a really comfortable sitting room in winter and garden room in summer. We could rent out the rest of the house; we spend so much time in this room.
On the wall is a framed Ordnance Survey map centred on Studley Park near Ripon, where Warwick’s ashes are scattered. We’ll always call it Warwick’s room and had he still been alive he would have loved it; but he has a heavenly home now and we are at peace about that. Next month marks the third anniversary of his death.
The first family meal of the year with the Stephenson family met up in Kenilworth. It was a good evening although Jan and Bill were a little under the weather with a dose of flu.
In October Joan took on the mammoth task of offering to provide the Ashmore Family meal. She wanted to keep costs down and make the event as cheap as possible for the younger families with children. We hired the Burntwood Institute Memorial Hall so that the venue was with easy reach for families that wanted to travel home afterwards.
So with many hands making lighter work Joan set about providing a three course meal with three menu choices for over forty people. The event also marked what would have been Mum Ashmore’s 100th birthday so it was good to have a celebration that so many could attend. Sadly we were so busy not a single photo was taken.