So I started work full time in September and thought that would be the end of volunteering at Wallington - but as they say "never say never again!" The hall had pulled me back.
I helped out with some of the wartime activities at Wallington the other weekend - Glenn Miller played out; the sun shone; jeeps and soldiers were shining and children were making gas mask boxes. A great family fun day. A spitfire simulator kept children and dads intrigued. Whilst everyone was surprised to hear about the evacuees at Wallington and a 1940s wedding expert gave a fascinating insight into traditions of old.
After the poor weather of previous months, September began with the hope of an 'Indian Summer'. My first day volunteering at Wallington this month, was on a day, which can only be described as changeable. We did manage to do some of our work during some sunny spells. The Walled Garden continues to change and provide visitors with some wonderful areas of colour and imaginative planting to admire during their visit.
Trees in East and West Woods are starting to change colour. Autumn is making an early appearance this year! The property still has a large number of events to stage before the end of the year. It continues to be a very busy time for all of the staff and volunteers.
It has been another really busy week in the constituency. I have had meetings with scores of constituents regarding a range of issues and concerns and I have also met with numerous local businesses and organisations.
This culminated on Saturday when I visited and officially opened a new community hub in Bedlington, The Lodge, which is based at the main entrance of St Benet Biscop High School. The Lodge will be open to students, families and the local community and will offer a myriad of activities and workshops for the whole community of all ages.
This project took two years of planning and fundraising more than £130,000. I was extremely impressed with the facility and the desire and drive of those involved who are determined to ensure that The Lodge can be enjoyed by the whole community. I congratulate everyone involved and wish them every success in the future.
I listened to Nick Clegg's speech to the Lib Dem party conference and despite his rhetoric the reality is that actions speak louder than words and people will not be fooled by him. He sought votes pledging to fight savage Tory cuts and then joined a Tory-led Government days later and backs cuts that go too far too fast. He has broken a list of promises from tuition fees to the VAT rise.
Successive reports and economic forecasts are deeply concerning for us here in the UK and also the world economy. Surely it is about time that the Chancellor realised we need more people in work to really get the deficits down.
Here in Wansbeck and throughout the UK, families and businesses want to see action now, they want see action to get the economy growing and get people back to work. We need a real plan for jobs and growth in Wansbeck, in Britain and around the world, and we need it quickly.
Mr Robert Clark was a member of a family who had been farmers on the Morpeth Castle estate of the Earle of Carlisle for 300 years.
His father, grandfather and great grandfather were tenants of Park House Farm, which formed part of what was known as the Great East Park of the Barons of Morpeth.
They were not only farmers, but also did a large business as timber merchants when wood was in great demand for ship building at Blyth, and on the banks of the Tyne.
They purchased extensively in oak and other timbers whose bark was in demand for tanning, a trade that was of great extent and importance in Morpeth for centuries.
They also did a big business in brushwood or undergrowth of plantations and copses, as the dressed rods of hazel and others were in great demand at the collieries and wharves for the making of "corves", in which coal was raised from the pits and lowered into the ships.
Mr Clark left the Park House in 1872, and settled in Bullers Green, Morpeth, where for some time he continued to buy and sell timber.
Clark's wood wagons were a well-known feature in the trade of Morpeth, and a wide district lying north, south and east of the town.
He prided himself on the quality of his horses and on the steadiness of the wagoner's he employed. Though their work in woods and along rough ways was often highly dangerous, no serious accident ever happened to them.
For more than 30 years he farmed a considerable acreage in what was formerly the West Park of Morpeth Castle, in connection with which he had a dairy of fine shorthorns. That he gave up, but only relinquished his holding on February 12, 1907, and at the end of February, 1907, his horses, wagons and farm implements were sold by Messrs Robert Donkin and Son.
Mr Clark was in poor health then, and sadly passed away at his home in Bullers Green at the age of 77. His wife eventually died too, in 1915.
Tuesday 4 October, 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m .
Join Wallington's Tree Experts for a walk and talk as we take a trip around the world without leaving our East and West Woods! Learn about our wonderful tree heritage, veteran trees and how they came to be at Wallington. Debate the Scottish Plane and find out which trees are fire proof! The walk and talk will be followed by a delicious light lunch in the Clocktower Café.
£20 per person, including refreshments and lunch.
Booking essential through the Estate Office on 01670 773600.
Sunday 2 October, 1.00 - 3.00 p.m.
Join our Gardening Team on a special tour through the Wallington Garden to discover the secrets of pruning and learn how to keep your garden in tip top condition.
Meet at the Clocktower.
Normal admission charges apply.
Also: Peter Charlton Sings Bass in the Central Hall
Sunday 2 October, 1.00 p.m. & 3.00 p.m.
Enjoy a selection of songs from musicals and operetta in the beautiful setting of the Central Hall as Peter Charlton sings Bass accompanied by Ray Scott.
Normal admission charges apply.
Saturday 1 October, 10.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. & 2.00 - 4.30 p.m.
Ever wondered what it's like to be a forester, ranger or gardener at Wallington? Come along and find out at this taster event, where you could get the chance to join our team in a variety of activities from coppicing trees along the river walk to repairing a bridge. There will also be demonstrations throughout the day and the chance to talk to members of the team about volunteering and our conservation work at Wallington. Normal admission charges apply.
Booking essential if you want to take part in the practical activities by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Autumn is closing in fast - in fact, it has felt like it's been closing in since May - and there can be no argument that this is the most visually stunning time of year in Northumberland.
While there are few things more refreshing than a crisp autumnal morning, the official arrival of autumn this week will, without a doubt, leave many households concerned about how they'll keep warm this winter.
A children's choir brought the sounds of Africa to Morpeth at the weekend when they performed live for crowds in the town's centre.
The Pearl of Africa Children's Choir from Uganda held an open-air concert in Morpeth Market Place on Saturday to kick-start their tour to raise much-needed funds for schools and orphanages back home. Throughout the afternoon they wowed passers-by with a mix of traditional African music, dance and drumming.
The choir is touring England this autumn to support the work of UK-based charity Pearl of Africa Child Care. The charity raises money for the Molly and Paul Child Care Foundation in Uganda, which aims to give young people, from one of the world's poorest nations, a safe place to live and the chance of an education.
The talented singers, dancers and drummers are some of the 2 million orphans in the African nation as a result of HIV/AIDs, disease and war. They are currently being cared for in schools funded by the Foundation in the country.
The tour is the main fundraising method used to raise the £325,000 it costs to keep the schools open every year, ensuring the Foundation can continue to give over 2200 children the chance of a brighter future.
Last year, the choir raised over £14,000 in the North East alone thanks to generous donations from local residents and businesses.
Before their performance in the Market Place, the choir members enjoyed a special reception with the Mayor of Morpeth, Councillor Phil Taylor. The reception, which was held in the Mayor's Parlour at Morpeth Town Hall, gave Councillor Taylor the opportunity to welcome the choir back to the town and see them perform.
He was also able to meet some of the local residents who have worked tirelessly to bring the children to the North East again for the tour. Whilst the choir is in the area they are staying with a number of host families and using Morpeth Methodist Church as their base.
Councillor Phil Taylor said: "We really look forward to having the choir in Morpeth. It is a very worthy cause and we want to support them in any way we can. I will be attending the performance at Morpeth Riverside Centre on Saturday too."
The choir followed up the concert in the Market Place with performances at Scots Gap Methodist Church and Hirst Park Middle School in Ashington.
This week they have also spent time with local school children at Stobhillgate First School and Collingwood School and Media Arts College, giving workshops in singing, drumming and dancing.
Morpeth resident, Kim Black, who is a Trustee for Pearl of Africa Child Care, said: "The performance in Morpeth Market Place was a great way to kick-start the tour and as always the choir has been met with a very warm welcome from people in the local area. On behalf of the organising committee in the North East, I would like to thank everyone who has shown their support so far by attending concerts and giving generous donations.
"There is still a long way to go to reach our fundraising target and we hope that many more people will come out to see the choir and help us raise money for the charity at the remaining concerts."
Tickets for the concert at Morpeth Riverside Centre on Saturday cost £5 and are available by ringing 01670 514 665.
The choir is also performing at Bothal Middle School on Monday and Ashington High School on Wednesday.
If you would like to make a donation to the charity online, visit www.pearlofafrica.org.uk. You can also donate £5 by texting 'Care38 £5' to 70070.
The chief executive of a North East-based advice service has urged people not to struggle alone after it was announced this week that unemployment in the UK has rocketed by 80,000 in just three months - with almost a quarter of the increase attributed to the North East of England.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that between February and April 2011 unemployment in the North East increased dramatically by 18,000. This leaves the region with the highest rate of unemployment in the country with 10.7 per cent out of work.