Left to right; Colin Smith, Mark Kinnish, Michaela Bradley and Les Rowlands Deputy Mayor
Left to right; Michaela Bradley, Mark Kinnish and Les Rowlands, Deputy Mayor
On Friday 27th June at 2pm a plaque was unveiled by Deputy Mayor of Wirral Les Rowlands in memory of Edith Cameron nee McGrath and her Brother Bill McGrath. They had owned the Farm between 1920-1973. In attendance were myself, Mark Kinnish and Michaela Bradley who used to holiday at the Farm years ago These two photos show 1st photo of Colin the Deputy manager of the Farm bringing me on to do my speech ready for the mayor to cut the ribbon. And the second photo shows Myself, Michaela and the deputy Mayor after the unveiling. All in all it went very well and at least now the McGrath’s have some credit in there old Farm on there Plaque.
On behalf of the Dale Farm Trust I would like to thank all of you, visitors, staff, volunteers, trustees, service users and carers who helped to make the Plant Sale on 10 May a success. About £1200 was raised for the Farm.
Thank you once again for your time and effort.
David Chadwick, Chair, Dale Farm Trust
Mark Kinnish has been researching Dale Farm for some time now and has unearthed some fantastic photos. Here are some more. In his own words, here is what Mark has to say:
These photo’s are of Wendy McKeyown’s dad camping at Dale Farm in the mid to late 1930’s. It was very popular for people to camp round Wirral years ago and Heswall was one of them. wendy’s dad was called Josh Powell also known as (Joe) these photo’s show him with his friends at Dale Farm, the Dales and the Heswall shaw but mostly Dale Farm. By Mark Kinnish.
This photo is of Dale Cottage which is at the original entrance to the Farm to where it is today before the car park was built a number of years ago. Dale Cottage goes back to around the 1930’s and was built by George McGrath the then Farmer and owner of Dale Farm he built that place the old holiday bungalow and the now bootshed and cooler which back then was the old cow shed or in other words the shippon. George built the Old Dale Cottage Bungalow but because he lived in the Farmhouse he needed to rent it out. He had a couple of tenants one by the name of Donald and Kitty Cameron, also family. There were another couple but I was told they weren’t sure who they were. What I do know is a number of bombs were dropped round the Dales and Dale Cottage got a direct hit with one, no one was hurt though. Then from the 1940’s till early 2000’s it was owned by the Callisters Ena and Bob. Bob died in the 60’s and Ena died in the early 2000’s. Since then it has been used as the rangers office.
By Mark Kinnish.
One of our volunteers, Mark Kinnish, has been putting together a book about the history of Dale Farm. Whilst researching he has unearthed a number of fascinating photos.
This undated photograph is of the old Farmhouse and at the time the farm was still owned by the McGrath family. This has since been added to with the dining room extension.
This second photograph is from around 1988. It’s interesting to see how little has changed at this point.
Next time you are visiting Dale Farm, try to work out where these photos were taken!
Thank you to Mark for allowing these photos to be posted here.
As we come through the first month of 2014 it all starts gain. We are now starting to prepare the beds with manure and garden compost as it won’t be long before we start planting out our seed potatoes and onion sets and this will then be followed by lots of other things.
We have now ordered the new workshop (Log Cabin) the cost of which has been met with a very generous donation. The base has now been completed thanks to some hard work by Ken Howard and his team Michael and John. We are just finishing off some landscaping before taking delivery quickly followed by erection of the new Log Cabin.
It’s also about this time of the year that we start to think about our summer bedding plant sale which as usual will take place in May date still to be set.
December has been taken up with Festive activities although there has still been work to do on the Farm. Sales of Farm produce, manure and logs continued throughout the month.
Everyone has been able to spend a day bowling in New Brighton and last week enjoy a Christmas lunch at the Farm. A very successful Christmas Plant Sale was held on 14 December. This raised almost £1200 for the Farm.
Seasons greetings for Christmas and New Year to all.
The Wirral Branch of the Cheshire Beekeepers held their annual honey show at the farm on 2nd November 2013. It was a well attended event, with plenty of exhibits for all categories. Whist the judging took place a number of short films abouat beekeeping were shown as well as Doug’s talk and slide show about his recent visit to Uganda in November 2012.
As in previous years Dale Farm won numerous third, second and first prizes, as well as the best in show for their light honey. Due to the success of this years event Dale Farm have already been asked to host the event in 2014.
Dale Farm Trust
On a different topic the Dale Farm Association closed and transferred it operations and assets to the Dale Farm Trust on 4th November. The next Trust meeting is on 16th December.
In September we made the big move the current shop moved into the log cabin this has been very successful and with the help of PLT who has taken lead role with Carl to keep the shop stocked up and looking very professional which has seen an increase in the customers we are seeing of which a lot is word of mouth.
We have now taken delivery of the new chiller unit and this enhances the shop even more. This was made possible with a generous donation from The Your Wirral Fund.
We have also placed the order for the new Cold Store which is to be sited in the vegetable preparation room ( old shop ). This has been purchased by The Montse Benitez Foundation
As mentioned in last months report we have moved the shop into the new log cabin and with the help of PLT and Carl it is looking really professional and this has now been enhanced by addition of the new chiller unit which has been purchased with a very generous donation from the Your Wirral Fund. We are able to report an increase in customer numbers and we think this is down to word of mouth.
We are now progressing the work to bring the new vegetable preparation (old Shop) in to use. This again will be enhanced with the addition of the cold room when delivered which has been purchased by the Montse Benitez Foundation as well as the Benitez Family making a personal donation so as we can purchase new mowers and hedge cutting equipment to replace old and worn out machines.
In September most of our students were lucky enough to enjoy a great day out cruising down the Canal at Chester courtesy of the Wirral Community Narrowboat Trust who kindly donated us four separate trips. It proved to be good fun for everyone involved.
On the 28th September we joined in with the Heswall Festival were PLT and Mick took are new barrow up to the puddy dale in Heswall adorned with are organic vegetables and honey Paul said people were very interested in what we do asking lots of questions about the farm and seemed very impressed with the quality of our produce.
Colin Smith Deputy Manager and Cheryl Cooke Domestic have now joined the staff team at the farm after departmental restructure, the first month has now past and both have settled in really well getting to know the students and the volunteer staff.