Review of the year part 3 – Barnard Castle CC go so close to national cricket glory
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
TWO founding members of the Teesdale branch of Cancer Research UK announced they were stepping back after clocking up a combined 94 years of service.
Throughout the past five decades, Maureen Bainbridge, 85, and Brenda Thwaites, 82, have organised coffee mornings, sponsored walks, domino drives, afternoon teas, Christmas fairs and a whole lot more to help the group raise more than £1million to further research into a cure for cancer.
They decided to step back from their roles as chairwoman and treasurer of the organisation.
It was a big day for the Castle Players as live theatre returned for the first time since lockdown with the group’s performance of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged), an outdoor performance in the grounds of The Bowes Museum.
In a further signs that things were beginning to return to something akin to normal, the new-look Cotherstone Carnival committee unveiled details of how this month’s events would be staged, with activities spread across three days including a scarecrow trail and parade around the village.
The return of live music to the Scarth Hall, Staindrop, was also unveiled and Teesdale Operatic Society announced the start of rehearsals for the group’s inaugural production of Joseph and The Technicolour Dreamcoat at The Witham, in December.
Elsewhere, WI branches were beginning to meet up again in person after being forced online.
In Barney, the WI members got together in the grounds of The Bowes Museum for a game of charades.
On the sporting front, things were also looking up. Raby Castle CC was chosen to co-host a national youth tournament and in a precursor of things to come, Barney Castle CC won through to the final of the Kerridge Cup. It wasn’t to be their only tilt at silverware this summer.
Barnard Castle Bowls Club members were also enjoying a busy summer, with the popular Monday night league fixtures continuing, along with a resumption of the mid-week fixtures.
Members of Barnard Castle Tennis Club were also back in action, with Clare Trevett and Karen Tomlinson winning the Mary Hanson Memorial Salver, presented in memory of the club’s former chairwoman.
TRAVELLERS set up camp on the lower Demesnes, in Barnard Castle, causing misery for those living nearby.
At one stage, some 25 caravans were parked on the beauty spot, along with horses, dogs, carriages and other vehicles.
Barnard Castle Town Council, which manages the area, said entry had been gained after a lock and chain on the gate had been broken off with a hacksaw.
Police received 12 calls related to the traveller encampment, with reports of anti-social behaviour and minor damage.
Once the travellers had left for Appleby – the fair had been put back this year due to a delay in easing Covid restrictions – a private security firm was called in to ensure there was no repeat after the event had ended.
The travellers left a mountain of rubbish in their wake, including rabbit carcases, old appliances, dirt mess, empty gas canisters, food waste, toys and a dog kennel. Human waste was found in nearby bushes. There was also minor damage to the play area, that was effectively out of use during the encampment.
Former England footballer Dave Thomas told how he had set himself a new goal – to raise £100,000 for the charity Guide Dogs UK.
Mr Thomas’ sight has progressively deteriorated since he was diagnosed with glaucoma 20 years ago.
He began fundraising when he was paired with guide dog Hannah, who has helped transform his life and maintain his independence.
Having raised tens of thousands of pounds, his latest effort was to organise a one-man show at The Witham.
Meanwhile, a fundraising first proved popular with petrol-heads.
A classic car show was staged in the grounds of Barnard Castle School and attracted more than 70 vintage vehicles as well as hundreds of spectators, raising £2,000 for Barnard Castle Christmas Lights and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Volunteers at Stainton Village Hall were celebrating after reaching their £20,000 target to provide improved catering facilities at the venue.
The fundraising effort began just before the pandemic – and they were already planning their next project to provide a better disabled access at the hall.
A SERIES of summer busking sessions at Barnard Castle’s arts centre provide hugely popular with visitors – and raised £1,000. More than 70 performers entertained visitors to The Witham during ten weekends.
The outdoor sessions led to centre trustees commissioning a special stage and plans are afoot to repeat the event in 2022.
The popular agricultural shows returned to the dale in September after missing 2020 due to the pandemic.
Taking top honours at Bowes was Jeffrey Teward’s gimmer shearling Texel, while best in show at Eggleston was a beef shorthorn cow and calf, shown by Joanne and Megan Souter, from Marwood.
At Langdon Beck, Robert Hutchinson’s gimmer shearling was judged supreme champion.
On the sports front, Barnard Castle CC capped an excellent summer with an appearance in the National Club T20 final against Tunbridge Wells.
The game was played at Northamptonshire CCC's ground and saw pro Samarth Seth fly back from India to take his place in the line-up.
Barney went into the game having already won the NYSD’s T20 competition, the Macmillan Cup and the 100 tournament, as well as making the final of the 40-over Kerridge Cup.
Sadly, the National T20 proved to be a step too far with Tunbridge Wells running out five wicket winners.
In the Darlington and District Cricket league, Lands CC earned promotion to the A division after finishing the season unbeaten, while Raby Castle ended runners-up in the A division, having already bagged three cups.
Teenage golfer James Watson hit the headlines when he hit two holes-in-one on the same day at the Barnard Castle club.
The 15-year-old Teesdale School pupil hit his first ace with a seven iron on the 160-yard third hole, following up with a perfect four iron on the 175-yard eighth.
Regulars raised a glass to the reopening of the Bridgewater Arms, in Winston. At the helm are Thomas Brown, the former front of house manager, and his wife Christine, who recruited head chef Matthew Waters to run the kitchen aided by sous chef Harry Lawson.