The Week in the Life column with Keith Tordoff

Tim Scott, who is retiring, myself and Paul Hartas. The gardeners help create Pateley's excellent flower displays.
Tim Scott, who is retiring, myself and Paul Hartas. The gardeners help create Pateley's excellent flower displays.

The hanging baskets have gone up and the green painted wooden planters outside many of the shops on Pateley Bridge High Street are now full of flowers.

The hanging baskets and planters are organised by the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade – the umbrella organisation for the Pateley Bridge in Bloom group. The two groups which I chair liaise with Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) over the floral displays which will adorn Pateley Bridge ready for the Royal Horticultural Society Britain In Bloom judging in August.

HBC Parks and Gardens team have been out and about in Pateley Bridge, planting its many borders.

Tim Scott is one of the HBC team of gardeners and is very well known to many people in Pateley Bridge.

He has worked for HBC for 42 years and on the 19th of this month he is retiring.

I was pleased to be able to thank Tim for his hard work in making Pateley Bridge look florally fantastic over the years and wish him well in retirement. Tim unbelievably still uses the same trowel to plant things out that he has used since he started working 42 years ago! I am sure everyone wishes Tim a long and happy retirement.

The Pateley Bridge in Bloom group is hoping for plenty of sunshine to help its plants flourish ready for the Britain in Bloom judging, so bring me sunshine.

The best comedy duo of all time Morecambe and Wise are known for singing Bring Me Sunshine as well as doing their famous walk away to the tune.

Bring Me Sunshine was the title used for the launch of an initiative at an event I had been invited to attend in Knaresborough.

The event involved Dementia Forward, the Alzheimer’s Society, North Yorkshire and Harrogate Borough Council bringing people together. It is hoped the Harrogate district will become dementia friendly.

Invited speakers gave accounts of how they are living with people who have dementia and others talked of how they are supporting people affected by it.

I was honoured to have been invited to speak at the event in my role as a Patron of Dementia Forward which is a registered charity based in Ripon. I was able to talk of the journey that my family took for six years with my mother whilst her dementia got inevitably progressively worse. Of course it was very sad to see my mother who had been a teacher and who loved her work, almost I suspect as much as she loved her family, mentally deteriorate but there were also pluses. In the early stages my mother saw life in the past and recounted happy times growing up even smiling as she recalled boys she used to fancy!

During the day, mum would sit in our conservatory watching the wildlife and no doubt wondering why I didn’t care for my garden as she had her own.

One evening when Gloria and I returned from working in our shop, my mum told us that while sat in the conservatory, she had had visitors – cows!

Gloria and I looked at each other knowingly only to find out from the local farmer that his beasts had escaped and been rounded up from our garden!

As a family we watched old TV programmes including Morecambe and Wise which as they do, have everyone laughing out loud (LOL as they say now).

Yes dementia at times was a case of ‘what do you think of the show so far Ern? ...... Rubbish!’ – but as sad as it was, the journey with mum also gave us many happy memories. Bring me Sunshine, bring me love – and it did.