Chairman’s Report November 2016


There being little news of substance relating to the estate I shall restrict this update to further extracts from Estate Committee minutes, in particular the missing bench.


It is a little history of the estate to bear in mind if you find yourself struggling up “Adams Bank “and perhaps wishing that the Estate Committee had at some time since 1896 taken up the opportunity to place a seat on that small corner of land at the top of the hill donated by Edward Adams that now contains the Apperley Road sign.


Between the 23 November 1895 and 24 October 1896 the Estate Committee conducted meetings at the Temperance Hotel which used to stand opposite the Stocksfield railway station. Little was discussed other than the allocation of lots, the fixing of building lines, the positioning of roadways and securing a water supply to all properties on the estate.


On 24 October 1896 Mr Adams offered to provide a small corner of ground on which to place a seat. It is not evident from the minutes whether or not a seat was ever to be placed at the top of what is still colloquially referred to as “Adams Bank”, the short steep hill at the bottom of Apperley Road. Mr. Adam’s offer represented something of an attempt at rapprochement between him and his fellow covenanters, in that in the preceding 12 months there had been issues of dispute which evidently led to exasperation, high dudgeon and strong words during meetings. The genesis and subject matter of this dispute is now difficult to precisely identify absent the plans with which Mr Adams was particularly concerned. Various extracts from the minutes nonetheless give something of the flavour of the atmosphere that […]

By |November 2nd, 2016|Uncategorized|

Chairman’s News – September 2016

The infrequency of these newsletters is not merely the product of my natural indolence but more, I hope, a reflection of the stability of the estate. Apart from observing that there has been a flurry of properties sold and purchased over the spring and summer there is little news for me to advance.

As an adjunct to the news section of the website I propose in future to include extracts from the minutes of Estate Committee meetings from the inception of the state to date with further reference to a few other additional documents. I have only recently come into possession of the original minutes. They are contained in hardback gold embossed books with proceedings recorded in immaculate cursive script. Most striking is that there are no deletions or corrections whatsoever; it is self-evident that the perfected minutes were subsequently compiled from contemporaneous notes kept during meetings. The minutes are comprehensive and meticulous. I trust that it does not do less than full justice to the successive secretaries for me significantly to edit and restrict to mere extracts the minutes that I include. It has been necessary for me to adapt the format of the original minutes to the extent that the old practice of recording headings as margin notes is abandoned. I shall also include some other documents of interest.

April 26, 1895

The Estates known as Merryshields, Birches Nook, Painshaw Field and Batt House Farms, Stocksfield in the county of Northumberland were offered for sale by public auction by Mr Thomas Blandford auctioneer at the County Hotel, Newcastle upon Tyne on Tuesday, 30 April 1895 at 2 PM in three lots: Lot 1 Merryshields Farm, lot 2 Birches Nook and Lot 3 Painshaw Field and […]

By |September 12th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Chairman’s News April 2016

There is nothing I can write which can sufficiently express the gratitude of the Covenantors for the recent generous donation by Alan and Rosina Brown of their extensive and painstakingly compiled collection of photographs of the estate chronicling its development over many years. The collection will not only be of interest but will also constitute a valuable resource for those who continue to research the development of the estate from its inception by the liberal Northern Allotments Society to date. Typically of Alan and Rosina their only concern is that their collection should be safely preserved and freely available to all. The Estate Committee has therefore undertaken to scan and exhibit the collection on this website.

At the AGM of 2016 it was agreed that an Estate Committee working group will support an environmentally important project on the Common Land which was conceived by Mark Robinson. I can do no better in explaining the project than set out the written proposal originally submitted by Mark:

One of many attractive features of the Estate always has been the ‘Common’ in the corner between Meadowfield Road and Painshawfield Road. This remains an important and much valued open space, accessible to all, particularly popular with those of us with dogs. However it is felt that more could be made of this space, making it even more attractive and accessible to all residents of the estate, eventually making it the focus of community based activities. At the same time it could be made more of from an environmental and ecological point of view. In particular a scheme to manage the common in order to restore it and turn it back into a traditional wild flower and hay meadow. In the […]

By |March 28th, 2016|Uncategorized|