Star of the Garden – February

Senecio greyii ‘Sunshine’  (Brachyglottis)

I couldn’t resist putting this plant in.  I think this shrub is great.  It gives lovely soft, evergreen structure to the winter garden, some people say it is common, true. It is used a lot, but that is only because it is a V.F.M. plant (value for Money) plant. It is easy to grow, nuclear proof and looks great too with pretty yellow flowers that bees like in summer.  Every spring we cut this back to contain it or it will collapse over the paths by mid summer.  It also keeps the foliage young and fresh.  I caught this last month after it had been visited by Jack Frost.

What’s Cooking in the Central Lodge

I had just had to mention what a wonderful post by Chris!  It gives a lovely insight into her role and how we all feel about our roles in Stewart Park.

What’s been happening in the Central Lodge?  It’s seems to be getting very busy.  The contractors found an old range hidden behind boards over a fireplace. It’s a bit battered but still there. It kind of reminds me of the building, battered but still standing.

The work on renovating the Central Lodge is gathering pace and spaces are being uncovered and reworked. It’s exciting and strange at the same time. It feels like it’s being pared back and it is giving up some of its past with the finding of the range, the bottle and newspaper, some old lino and a boxing flyer.  I guess it’s like looking down the back of your sofa!  Rather a strange sofa, but intriguing any way!

I can’t wait to see how the building looks when it’s finished and to hear voices and see people using the spaces.  I think the building will be a fantastic facility and it would meet with past tenants’ approval.

Related post: Lost and Found – Newspaper Articles and Disinfectant.

In the Walled Garden, Where a Spade is a Spade.

Hi, I feel I should introduce myself.  I’m Chris Brown and work in Stewart PArk for Askham Bryan College as a Horticultural Technician.  I was based at the Guisborough Centre for a long, long time, but I have been given “time out” for good behaviour and have moved to Stewart Park.  Guess what – I absolutely love it.  I have the pleasure of working with loads of fantastic people in such a wonderful, big, beautiful park. I’m here waiting for more staff to bring students in September when the renovation to the Central Lodge will be complete.  I can’t wait!

I mainly look after the walled gardens and courtyard areas, but can’t help escaping every now and again – mainly led by the Friends Of Stewart Park – to visit the park as a whole, and as I said before, it is wonderful.

Continue reading “In the Walled Garden, Where a Spade is a Spade.”

Lost and Found in the Central Lodge

I always think it’s a privilege to work here at Stewart Park, especially on the Central Lodge project.  No two days are ever the same.  Yesterday it was “we found an oven, come and look!”; today it’s “we found this in the wall!”   So here I am with a sheet from the 6th of February 1923  (I think it’s the Yorkshire Post) and a small broken bottle.

The bottle says that the substance is poisonous and has ribs down it.  “‘(something) Cresol’ A safer and more powerful disinfectant than Carbolic Acid.  For use in the home, workshop, schools, hospitals, sick rooms etc.’  Made by (something) Ness & Co., Darlington.”  I am quite glad its empty as it sounds like it’s pretty tough stuff.

The newspaper has the shares prices on one side and the main article on the other is ‘Football, The Late Lord Kinnaird, Tributes by Association Council, His great services as player and legislator.’  It’s fascinating!  Who put them in the Central Lodge wall and why?  1923 is a significant year in the history of Stewart Park as this is the year that Thomas Dormand Stewart buys the hall and park and then gifts this to the council for use as a park.  Was this left by the last of the Bolckow estate workers who lived in the Central Lodge, or one of the new parkies?

A Door Opens…

Victorian-Door-Original-Architecture-Central-Lodge-Stewart Park-Middlesbrough

Welcome to our first blog post!

The idea of this blog is to chart the Heritage Lottery Funded Central Lodge Project at Askham Bryan College at Stewart Park, but also to hear the voices of the rest of staff who work here – from the hardworking café team through to the busy Rangers.

So, as this blog door opens and the development starts, I’m sure this blog will grow and change.  This is a new experience and I’m sure we’ll make few detours and maybe even get a little bit lost but I can’t wait to take you on this tour of the project, the Central Lodge and the park.  Come and join us!