Hardwick Park was bought by John Burdon, a Newcastle merchant, in1748. It was designed as a pleasure park which was already in disarray by the end of the century but has been brought back to life and more by Durham County Council. I go there to have lunch with friends and I always go a couple of hours early and walk around the lakes and then go into the cafe and have coffee before the others arrive. Last week I went there with the Sorops. as a summer outing. We got a circuit walk around the serpentine lake, past some of the follies which have been restored over a period of several years and then had supper.
I used to go to Hardwick Hall dancing when I was very young and the Young Farmers dances were all the thing. Not that I was a young farmer or that my boyfriend was either but his best friend lived in the country and they had gone to college and then university together, so very often, the summer that I was nineteen we went to dances. You used to go to the pub first -of course - and then to the dance and there bands, they were rather like Oasis, very loud, very creative and we knew them all and I love dancing and he loved dancing and there were a great crowd of us. Everybody knew everybody which is always fun.
There was only one fight that I remember - it was at Hardwick - and my friend, Linda and I had to hold back our boyfriends - literally - why can men not stay out of these things?? One lad got his shirt ripped off his back and Linda's boyfriend, who was very large, banged two lads' heads together.