A Leaf From Sycamore-January 2006

E-mail address sycamore@daycentre.wanadoo.co.uk(or
E-mail angela@kershaw.org
Web address www.sycamoreclose.com or www.sycamorehall.co.uk
Open Wednesday and Friday 10am - 3.30pm


First things first. Due to enormous pressures at work with the move to the new building etc, issue 8 of a leaf from Sycamore was written but not printed.
Please accept my apologies.

The last couple of months have seen an amazing change in the day care facilities here at Sycamore Hall.

We packed up all our kit and transferred to Sycamore Hall on the 13th of January. We found the building very large compared to Sycamore Close, light and airy, very modern and to be honest we felt a bit lost.

Since then with the help of Michelle, Karen, Christine and the residents and after sorting out a few teething troubles we have settled in well and are now quite at home in our new surroundings and waiting patiently for our broadband connection so we can e-mail friends and family and go on the Internet.

Mr Collinson from the Rose and Crown in Bainbridge has donated a brand new Belling cooker so the marmalade for fundraising and the cookery sessions can continue.

Another request we had was for “using your microwave”.
We are preparing a programme and sourcing the equipment needed to enable members if they wish to take part in these sessions.

One of the purchases coming up soon after discussions with residents and day care will be a table tennis table and equipment. A fun way of keeping fit and maybe after some practice there may be a little friendly in-house competition.

We are now having one joint activity event each month that will include Sycamore Hall residents, High Hall and the two day centres.

We have already done a bingo session and a mega Valentines' Party for about 40 people including visitors.

On Sundays in the morning there will be music in the foyer either of the salvation army band or organ music and traditional hymns by the St. Georges choir.

In the afternoon from 2.00pm we have an open house policy for residents if they wish to come down to the day care lounge to meet up and chat, read the papers, be creative if they wish, anything goes.
Afternoon tea is served and any visitors are made very welcome.

New Member

We would like to welcome a new member Mrs A Steele to the day centre and hope she will be happy with us.

We would also like to send our best wishes to Margaret Booth one of our members.

Calendar girls 2006

One of our bigger projects last year was the making of a calendar at Sycamore day centre for friends and family to show some of the things we get up to each month during the year.

The calendar was a great success and we had to print a second edition which seemed to take forever.

Many thanks to The Wensleydale Press at Hawes for getting us out of a fix and putting the binders on our calendars. Our machine did not work.

We are already taking photographs for next years calendar but this time it will be a combined effort from everyone at Sycamore Hall.
A new lady has moved in to one of the flats who has a great interest in digital photography and computing and we hope to include a couple of her photographs into the calendar.

Christmas Cards

Margaret and Dolly were well impressed with the NEW art package we have installed on the computer. Even I was impressed although it was press this and press that to see if it could, or would, and it did, as I had not tried this one before.

We managed to make a couple of personal Christmas cards for family and grandchildren.

Out shopping the other day I located some different coloured envelopes so our cards will now look more professional and interesting.

Willa one of the tenants has some interesting ideas for Christmas cards to make later in the year using up our old cards. Don’t throw your cards away.

The Red Cabbage

Out shopping one day I bought a red cabbage because it looked nice but when I got it home I couldn’t think what on earth to do with it.
It sat around on the kitchen work top for a couple of days. I was trying to think what we could make for our fortnightly cookery class when I thought of the said cabbage. Hunted out a recipe from an old Edwardian recipe book with black treacle and orange in the recipe which seemed interesting.
Took the said cabbage and ingredients to the day centre.

Dorothy spent most of the afternoon very finely chopping the cabbage, I wouldn’t have the patience.

Dolly made the marinade. It smelled and looked very interesting.
The recipe said to marinade for 24 hours. That tied in nicely for cooking it for two hours on the Friday but alas! The best laid plans and all that. On the Friday I was indisposed so I bunged the cabbage into the freezer and waited until the following week to cook it at the day centre.
Worth the wait, the cabbage was tender, very nice and very different. We all had some with our lunch and I have been asked for the recipe.

Cheese pasties

We made our own shortcrust delicious pastry in the food processor.

We have a fantastic thingy that you put your cut out pastry circle onto then your cheese filling and then you fold the thingy over bringing the two halves together and it make a perfect pasty.

Mary Johnson as usual did a good job rolling and filling but even she was impressed with the pasty mould.

As Stan could not eat onions and we had a bit of corned beef left from lunchtime Liz made a small mix of corned beef and mash and we made a couple of extra pasties. One for Stan and one for Liz.

The Last Supper

Our Luncheon Club outing to Owens at the Crown Inn Askrigg will probably be the last one before Owen steps down from the brewery trade and retires.

Everyone wished him well and a group photograph was taken for posterity and next years calendar.

As usual we had a superb meal. This time made even more special by the fact that the staff roasted a beautiful leg of lamb studded with rosemary especially for us.

We hope Owen keeps making his secret chutney recipe and hopefully he will let us buy a few jars.

After the meal we had a ride up to Sedbusk (in the community mini bus) where Mary Moore used to live. We then went round by Hardraw and back to Hawes to start dropping people off at their homes.


We had a group Bingo afternoon with lots of prizes but were a little short on people to help keep watch over tickets of people who were unfamiliar with the game or misheard the numbers.

Plenty of rushing about but a great time was had by all and Michelle our Court Manager was the compere complete with microphone. We learned a few new calling names for numbers i.e. number 10 Tony’s den.

It was also Stan’s birthday and Liz had been secretly icing a cake for him which had an old fashioned motor bike on the top similar to the one he used to ride. We also gave him a framed photograph of him and his mates taken during the war.

Sycamore Hall

Valentine Party

Preparations were going on for two weeks before the party with discussions, shopping lists, blowing up balloons and decorating the hall.

Thanks to Simon and Karen and Christine it looked great. We were making roses on the Sunday for decoration and hair ornaments but we had a little blip in the afternoon (say no more) so Julie and Willa made them on the Tuesday. Ta!

We got the cheese from the factory at Hawes and they gave us 20% off and some free stickers. Thankyou very much.

We also had little sweet holders for all the red sweets that decorated the table made by visiting friends.

On the Sunday we made a floral arrangement with red lollies instead of roses. A lot cheaper and they tasted better. A visitor whose floristry skills were an improvement on my own came to the rescue to help me tie up the arrangement in tissue paper. Thankyou.

People were very generous with their donations of raffle prizes and we made £69.50.

We had nearly every resident from High Hall, several from Sycamore Hall all the day centre folks and some visitors including two delightful children who came in with Maureen who works at High Hall.
They were her grandchildren.

There were around 40 people altogether and we had a great time. Mary’s table from High Hall won the quiz and a box of shortbread.

There is enough cheese biscuits and wine left to have another little party sometime.

Stuart Rutherford (site manager FHM) won the star prize of a cranberry and wensleydale cheese in the shape of a heart that was specially made.

Gigantic Icicle Askrigg 1820

  • This extract was from the Liverpool Mercury February 4th 1820

GIGANTIC ICICLE! – Wonderful Phenomenon - On Sunday, the 16th ultimo, the inhabitants of Askrigg and its vicinity were led by curiosity to view an icicle which had formed itself from a small fall of water, at the turn off on its course to drive a mill wheel: the form being a cone, with an opening of about six feet from its base sufficient to admit the body of any person to the interior, which was descended into by means of a ladder, its height twenty-three feet, and its base seven feet.

After further examination, another apartment was found, formed behind the first apartment by means of two grand pillars of solid ice, with a base of three feet and a half; both were proved by admission to hold twenty people.

In the afternoon a company of ladies and gentlemen, of not less than eight or ten, regaled themselves with a bottle of wine; the night being mild, several lights were placed in the inside, when the transparent view struck the eye with such splendid grandeur that it is impossible for any pen to describe.

At the same time a party of vocal and instrumental performers was placed in one of the apartments, and entertained the company assembled round with several pieces of music to a late hour."

A Golf Birdie

Scoring birdies at golf is a worthy achievement at any time, but to get two birdies on one hole is amazing.

In 1927 Miss Joyce Wethered a champion golfer attained this feat in a practice game. Her drive struck a swallow that flew over the fairway, but despite the accident Miss Wethered was successful in breaking par for the hole.

Fare Enough

In 1901 a lady boarded a tram with her 13 children and offered the conductor a penny.

“Pardon Madam” the conductor said, “we can’t carry a whole Sunday school for one fare.”

“And why not? They are my children and they are all under five years of age” she replied.

To settle the argument she produced the family bible and proved to the astounded conductor that none of her children was older than five.

The youngest children were six months old and the oldest were only four and a half years of age.

The lady had three sets of triplets and two pairs of twins in less than five years


  • The more you study
  • The more you know
  • The more you know
  • The more you can forget
  • The more you can forget
  • The more you do forget
  • The more you forget
  • The less you know
  • So! Why study?

Decorating Tips

  • To stop a skin forming on top of a tin of paint, pour a little white spirit on the top, cover with cling film and when you have secured the lid turn the tin upside down.

From J. Dinsdale Carperby.

  • If you are painting stairs paint the treads alternately and allow to completely dry, then the stairs can always be used.
  • Window cleaner will remove paint from your hands and doesn’t smell as strongly as white spirit.
  • Another way is to spray your hands with furniture polish and wash off with washing up liquid.
  • To remove the smell from a newly painted room cut an onion in half and leave it in the room.

The smell will disappear.

Medicine Through the Ages

The day centre at Sycamore Hall is in the process of presenting a display of how medicine and first aid has changed over the last 100years.

It is a huge project that will take quite a bit of time to complete. Eventually we hope to set up a display in the resource centre and have an open day and taster sessions of invalid foods through the ages. Get your thinking caps on about what you were made to take in the interests of your health when you were young.

A friend of mine turned up on the doorstep recently with a first aid box from the 1940 which I am now restoring and hope to fill up with things that were around in first aid at that time. Another friend is getting me a 21st century army field pack.

If anyone has anything they think may be useful I would be very grateful. Don’t throw anything away.

Letter From Lucy

Well here we are again. It seem like forever since I last wrote my column.

I’ve had another birthday and I am now two. I shared it with uncle Mac and my grandma and uncle Eddie came too. My day centre friends went to Hawes on my birthday and my daddy took me to the museum to see them. They were very surprised I can tell you.

At Christmas a nice man called Tom went in a wood and chopped a tree down for me. We took it home and they put it inside the house, very strange. Then they covered it in bobbles and lights and shiny things. It was pretty.

The night before Christmas I went to the cobbles in Askrigg and a man in a white beard and red suit gave me some chocolate.

The man with the red suit came up to my house when I was in bed. I saw him tippy toeing around with lots of presents.

On Christmas morning I went to Owens to see all my grown up friends and then my friends and uncle Eddie and uncle Mac came home with me for lots of lovely dinner.

I have been to stay with my Auntie Vicky and had a lovely time with my cousins Ben and William.
Mummy said she had a lovely time too. I thought she would have been bored without me.

I went especially to my friend Angela’s house to give her my card and a gorgeous flower arrangement in purple and cream for her birthday but as usual she was off gadding and I had to leave it on the door step.

Someone else had missed her too as there was another bag there with pressies in.

My friends from the day centre went for their Luncheon Club outing to my grandads in Askrigg and my friend Brian took me to see them. We all had our picture taken with grandad Owen because he is going to live in a new house soon that doesn’t have any stairs.

I have to grow now as I am going to my friend Shannon’s birthday.
I just want to tell you that my uncle Eddie has gone so I won’t be able to see him anymore which makes me feel sad but mummy says he will be able to see me so that's okay but I still miss him. Bye!

A Widow’s Weeds

A poor old widow in her weeds,

Sowed her garden will wild-flower seeds,

Not too shallow, and not too deep,

And down came April drip-drip-drip.

Up shone May, like gold, and soon

Green as an arbour grew leafy June.

And now all Summer she sits and sews

Where willow herb, comfrey, bugloss blows,

Teasle and Tansy, Meadowsweet,

Campion, Toadflax, and rough Hawksbit,

Brown bee orchid, and Peals of Bells,

Clover, Burnet, and Thyme she smells,

Like Oberon’s meadows her garden is

Drowsy from dawn till dusk with bees.

Weeps she never, but sometimes sighs,

And peeps at her garden with bright brown eyes,

A poor old Widow in her weeds.



  • 1½ oz butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into strips – also works well with turkey
  • 6¼ oz unsweetened orange juice
  • black pepper
  • zest of an orange
  • ¼ pint water
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon or 1 tablespoon dried tarragon


  1. Melt butter and oil in a pan. Brown chicken strips. Drain, remove from pan and put in the bottom of a 2 pint casserole dish.
  2. Chop onion put in the pan and cook in the remains of the butter and oil for 2 - 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in orange juice, water, stock cube, tarragon and fresh black pepper.
  4. Bring to boil and add chicken.
  5. Cover and cook in moder-ate oven 350 F for 1-1¼ hours basting occasionally.

To Thicken Sauce

  • 1 table spoon plain flour.
  • ½ oz sunflower margarine.
  1. Combine together in a small bowl
  2. When casserole come out of the oven (very hot) drop little walnut size pieces into the sauce and quickly stir in.
  3. Cool slightly, stir in double cream, and decorate with fresh tarragon or parsley.
  1. Serve immediately

Sycamore Hall


  • Friday, January 6th 2006
  • Friday, January 27th 2006
  • Friday, February 17th 2006
  • Friday, March 10th 2006
  • Friday, March 31st 2006
  • Friday, April 21st 2006
  • Friday, May 12th 2006
  • Friday, June 2nd 2006
  • Friday, June 23rd 2006
  • Friday, July 14th 2006
  • Friday, August 4th 2006
  • Friday, August 25th 2006
  • Friday, Sept 15th 2006
  • Friday, October 06th 2006
  • Friday, October 27th 2006
  • Friday, November 17th 2006
  • Friday, December 8th 2006
  • Friday, December 29th 2006

And Finally

If you hold a guinea pig by the tail his eyes will drop out.

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[Sycamore Close, Bainbridge]
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A Leaf From Sycamore-January 2006
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