Lee Moor diary May 2010

Plinthers have their say!

May 1st is a traditional day of celebration and indeed protest, so it was great to see the market place in Alnwick being used as a literal platform for entertainment, inspiration and indeed education. The Alnwick Plinth was part of a funding package from the Leader fund and I had the pleasure to be at the AGM in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, where we celebrated the funding and the outcomes that are already committed to, while looking at those areas where projects have been slow to come from, such as bioenergy.

The world is a different place at 0440hrs?

Hedgerow birds at dawn, Lee Moor 2nd May 2010

As you get older the idea of getting up at dawn rather than creeping in at dawn becomes a bit more bearable! Honest! So it was that on May 2nd at Lee Moor we had another a successful dawn chorus, followed on May 15th by a bat and moth evening. (The yard cricket and barbeque were available but supplementary!) These events were set up by our friends Sarah and Martin from Northern Wildlife Experience. Their blogs and photographs are well worth a look, and Lee Moor gets a number of shout outs. It is fantastic for me to see the progress at the farm in terms of the holding capacity for wildlife that now exists and thus the pleasure others are getting by using the site for so many uses.

Four leaf salad, just next to the pond on the left!!

I am increasingly becoming involved in Transition Alnwick. It is about 'peak oil ', but also about so much more. I have joined the energy and food groups... yes, I know, it kinda makes sense. A few weeks ago I also attended the Hexham Energy Fair on behalf of Sustainable Heating Solutions and P & H Energy Uk Ltd; well done to John for getting so many renewables companies into the church hall. So the Transition Alnwick visit to Lee Moor involved some foraging, and then a site visit to see the wood-fired heating system, and then went on to the Farmhouse Kitchen where our leaves could be used as ingredients. So, nettle soup all around, and fantastic to realise many farming and garden weeds can be eaten... 'sweet revenge', I hear you say?

Helen Scott hits a special half century

On the death of my father Eddie on 10th November 1986, Thomas and Helen were in one of our cottages because Thomas worked for my Dad (and of course for me after he died). It was thus great to catch up after the passing of time and I realised just how much they had helped me in the days when I had much to learn... I have failed to achieve many of my stark ambitions from that time, when Wall Street 1 was out at the cinemas and greed was perceived as good. At the party Helen said 'Would you like some of your Dad's whisky?'... hard to refuse. Years earlier, when asked if she wanted any duty-free from my fathers' 'business' trip to the Paris Agricultural Show, Helen had said, 'Yes Eddie, some perfume would be nice!' My Father had returned with a bottle of 10-year-old Glenmorangie. This bottle of whisky had been 80% drunk over the intervening 25 years, but frankly all good things do come to an end... I saw it as paying for my father's sins to finish the whisky and pledge to get the perfume the next time I'm passing through duty-free.

On a separate issue, and right up to date, thanks to Helen for suggesting the mole course come to Lee Moor – the next course is on Saturday 9th October 2010.

So, Happy Birthday, Helen. It was a great party - and thank you also for the 'thank you' poem, you are giving my Lindsay a run for her money on the rhyming front.

Banks Group members posing in front of a dumper truck, May 2010

Where do you get your energy from?

The CBI leaders have been turning their attention to energy, so a day of site visits was organised by Hilary and Sarah. We went to Rio Tinto Alcan, where they have a coal-fired power station (with some co-firing of biomass) for the smelting of aluminum ingots, NAREC to see the new renewables agenda being delivered, and then to visit Old Man Coal at the surface mine at Shotton. These were fascinating visits and you can see the joy of the boys and girls with their dumper truck toys in the group photo.

Back to the Land Girls?

A massive 'well done' to Abi and Sam in their performances in Back to the Land Girls and also to the director's dad, John, on technicals. It was a Badapple production, and it went down well with young and not so young alike. To the girls I say, keep turning your dreams into reality on AND off stage. You know where I am when you are ready to move forward!

There is more entertainment in the autumn, so sign up for the RSS feed for these news reviews and it will come through to you next month.

I love Serendipity!

A family circumstance meant my ONEnortheast colleague Graham having to drop out of an event called 'Dealmakers' last Wednesday. The timing was good for me to step in as speaker, and I had plenty to say... no laughing at the back! It was a great day and well done to Lloyds Banking for sponsoring the event. We need places to do deals, the people and the opportunities brought together in one place with the finance easily accessible so it happens here now!

Welcome Rothco and Mezz-Rack!

A big welcome to Rothco to Lee Moor Business Park, and also to a friend who was here a number of years ago, John O'Grady of Mezz-Rack Systems. I hope you both have a great future here on the site.

Bong... Be +'ve Be-Pod

It is with great excitement that I announce the birth of a bouncing new business for the north east; Be-Pod was born just over a week ago. The business came from a brainstorm at Lee Moor Training Centre and the parents in descending order of shares are: Valerie Colling, Darren Wake, Ian Brown and Shelley Horn... this is one to watch. It is a space solutions business and look out for a work-from-home pod... frankly, the posibilities are endless.

Ian Brown



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