2004 Public Service

The public service

Some three years after it opened to the public, Allendale Lions Club took a group of less able folks to visit the Gateshead and Newcastle quaysides and cross the Millenium Bridge.

Inadvertently tucked into the same photo archive file as the images from the Allendale Fair ’04, this shot of the Millenium Bridge is the only photographic memento I can find of the club’s first public service.

Fortunately, Steph Jamieson had saved a clipping from another introduction to the Allendale Lions featured in the Hexham Courant, which traced the journey in August ’04 from Allendale to Cullercoats and on to the quayside at Newcastle/Gateshead. In that article Club Secretary Prue Rushman waxed enthusiastic about the Allendale Lions public service event for older or disabled people. Her words make fascinating reading as an insight into the hopes and aspirations for community support that we all held in high regard.

‘This was a free mystery trip and we took 34 residents, who thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We covered a large area and one lady said she thought she’d never see the sea again, and many of them were delighted that they could see the Quayside as it is now, and the Millenium Bridge.

‘It is tremendous that we can provide these kinds of opportunities and the day was a great success. We hope to arrange other activities for the older people and the mystery trip will take place every year.

‘It is all about having fun and raising money. It takes in the energy and community spirit of the Dale which is fabulous.’

And so said all of us, as we thanked the friendly helpers and wheelchair pushers and in particular the Baynes Travel enterprise that had laid on the bus for the adventurous day trip.

There would be more public service ahead, as planning for a Charity Auction (it would be the second this year, after the successful auction in February of chattel from Deneholme) and the Russian Night grabbed club members’ attention.

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