Thirty Mothers’ Union members including friends of members enjoyed a lovely Summer trip out to Ripon Cathedral, North Yorkshire, followed by a beautiful visit to Newby Hall and Gardens, a Grade One listed building, home to Richard and Lucinda Compton.

We set off at 9.00am prompt and arrived home safely at 5.40pm, thanks to our excellent driver, John. We were blessed to enjoy our day out with Hilary Smith who now lives in Wrea Green and to meet up with our friends Pat Scott, who now lives in Ripon and Ann and Peter Lamb, who now live in Harrogate.

Ripon Cathedral has been a place of wonder, peace and inspiration since 672. A beautiful historic building – alive with prayer and worship, community events and over 100,000 visitors per year. We were pleased to see wedding flower bouquets being assembled in the cathedral by a florist based in Bury- our claim to fame! Ripon Cathedral is here for all of us.

We enjoyed a leisurely stroll round the simply stunning Newby Hall gardens, home to the longest herbaceous borders in England, that have inspired many gardeners, including my parents.

We admired the impressive Doll’s house exhibition, home to one of the finest collections of doll’s houses and miniatures in the world thanks to collectors Caroline Hamilton and Jane Fiddick. Designs included doll’s houses decorated with William Morris fabrics and wallpapers, Biedermeier furniture, and designed in the style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, architect and artist, to name but a few – very impressive.

We progressed to the Gyles Brandreth’s Teddy Bear collection where we were able to see our favourite bears at work, rest and play in a series of collectable teddy bear scenes. The scenes brought back fond memories for us all with our own teddy bears!

We ended the day with a lovely Afternoon Tea in the Garden Restaurant, where we were very well looked after by the staff in the splendour of a simply beautiful setting. The food was scrumptious and the company a delight, in a way that provided friendship and enjoyment on a wonderful day!

Thank you Isobel and Mavis for organising the trip. Many of us have said we’ll certainly be back to pay another visit, next time visiting the Hall…

Frances xxx