Chairman’s Report – Autumn 2014

Where does all the time go?

It seems like a couple of weeks since we opened up the Windmill for the spring/summer and now I am writing my autumn report!

Overall, I don’t think we can complain about our summer this year, we have had some periods of good weather and sunshine. This has enabled us to fulfil our planned events on the Hill with great success. From the marking of the centenary opening of King George’s Way by the Mayor of Wirral in March, we have had Windmill openings, tree/rhododendron walks, Morris Dancers on May Day, teddy bears’ picnics, a spiral dance to mark the summer solstice, fungal foray trails, forest schools, Bidston Bounty and Back to the Woods, so there has been something for all! In addition, on the mornings of Windmill openings, our friends and owners of Bidston Lighthouse are kindly providing tours which are free to Friends of Bidston Hill, Friends of Leasowe Lighthouse, Friends of Hilbre Island, Bidston Community Archaeology Group and International Lighthouse passport holders.

Late August we had our panto play ‘Robin Hood’ presented by Off-Book Theatre. This was well attended and a great success with lots of cheering and booing from the audience, especially the kids, who took great joy in showing their distaste for the notorious Sheriff of Nottingham, played very well by our good friend Nic Harding.

On October 31st we will be having our popular Halloween Ghost Walk, so if you don’t mind a bit of a ‘spine chilling’ experience be sure to come along. Keep visiting our website for information on how to book for the event.

Each week we have a Friday Group that do various tasks on the Hill, this is organised by our local Ranger, so if you have some time to spare and don’t mind getting ‘stuck in’ why not come along at around 10.00am on a Friday morning? We meet at the Tam O’Shanter Farm and have a cup of tea and a friendly chat before starting work. Tasks include; litter picking, pruning of trees, shrubs and gorse, path maintenance and a whole lot more. We are a friendly lot and you will be providing a very useful contribution to the work done by our volunteers.

So, as you can see, there is a lot happening on Bidston Hill. We will continue to plan events for the future, details of which can all be found on the ‘events calendar’ on the site.

Ending on a sad note, on Sunday 18th May, Bidston Hill lost one of its longest residents when Mary Connell of No1 Lighthouse Cottages died suddenly at Arrowe Park Hospital aged 79. Her neighbours, Mandy and Stephen Pickles, got to know her very well so I asked if they would let me have something fitting to put in our newsletter.

This is what they said:

Mary came to live in Lighthouse Cottages with her family at the age of 3. She described her childhood on the Hill with her younger sister Pat as idyllic and came to know every nook and cranny. As an adult she would walk her dogs before going to work as a Funeral Director and then again in the evening, making some good friends in the process. Mary walked the Hill until she was 74 when her health broke down and she couldn’t get about any more but she still took a great interest in what was going on.

Mary was a real character – a strong, feisty woman with a fabulous sense of humour and a heart of gold. Wary at first of her new neighbours in the Lighthouse, we all soon became firm friends and she was a great source of knowledge of all things pertaining to the Hill, Lighthouse and cottages and the Observatory. Mary loved the Hill with a passion and never wanted to live anywhere else which, happily, she was able to do until the end.

Our note on her funeral flowers :

“We will cherish ‘God’s little acre’ with you in our hearts for as long as we live but it won’t be the same without you.”

Thanks Mandy and Stephen.

That’s all for now, hope to see you out and about over the coming months. If you have something you would like to say or comment on regarding the Friends Group, you can do it either through our website or use my email address below.

Roy Caligari

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