We seem to be full of Toms at the moment – our grandson Tom in Sydney, Tom Chambers – there’s more news about him shortly, my cousin Tom Jackson who has just successfully completed his cycle ride from John O’Groats to Lands’ End in 9 days, our nephew Tom Hall who is up in Derbyshire for a wedding at the weekend and of course Tom’s Barn – all very special Toms in their different ways. But this is about yet another special Tom, a particularly special one that we do want to tell you about.
Last weekend we went down to Wales to stay with friends. Corisande and Angus Grahame lost their Tom, their very dearly loved son of six, just before Christmas after a long and brave struggle with cancer. Their lives have been torn apart but they have two other children and they are all doing their best to carry on; one of the ways they have managed to do this is to set up the Tom Grahame Trust in his memory (Do have a look at their site.)
Their first big challenge is to raise enough money to build a playground for the children in Clyro where they live. I am not sure how much they’ve made yet but I gather they are not far short of the £75,000 they need to start the project. Last weekend there was a wonderful musical workshop and entertainment for children followed by a concert for their parents, with tea and cakes in the sunshine on the lawn, in between.The concert was laid on by the Aquila Trust Mid Wales Music Fund with the Cambria String Quartet and I gather the Trust extremely generously donated the entire proceeds to the Tom Grahame Trust playground appeal.
The whole event went like clockwork and was a delight from beginning to end. John and I sneaked in to the back of the children’s musical workshop and were entranced as the children, many of them tiny, watched and listened and concentrated so intently, both making music and listening to the musicians who conducted the workshop and played so inspiringly (cello, two violins and a viola). The adults also had a guest oboist who was quite superb (we just listened, no music-making for us!). John has loaded several photos of the event in our gallery which you may like to look at.
We had a lovely weekend. We would love to help Corisande and Angus spread the word about their playground appeal and the work of the Tom Grahame Trust. Do have a look at the website where you can donate if you are moved to do so, and have a look at – and hopefully ‘like’ – their Facebook page too. We feel they deserve all the help and support we can possibly give them.
Douglas’s Barn is available to book for short breaks 3 or 4 nights between 2 and 20 May 2016. Bookings usually start on a Monday or a Friday but if you want a break that starts on a different day get in touch. We are very flexible with bookings.
There are some new attractions added to the list of treats available with the Premier Cottages special privileges card. Amongst them are Renishaw Hall, Thornbridge Hall Gardens (new discounts), Hassop Station Cafe, Village Green Cafe Eyam, Carsington Water Sports and Leisure, Hartington Cheese Shop.
There are still a few free dates at the end of March/April in both Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns. Short breaks, 3 or 4 nights, which are not normally available are on offer. Please look at availability and give me a call or book on line.