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Residents, families and friends brought the colourful characters of Alice and Wonderland to life at Abbeyfield Darlington’s annual summer Garden Party.
Set in in the fairy-tale-like grounds of Danby Lodge, the former mansion of Darlington’s Lady Starmer, the party was attended by well over 100 friends and families of the society. Guests dressed up as their favourite characters from the Red Queen to the White Rabbit to Alice herself. The beautiful grounds were decked with marquees, playing cards, croquet sets and a giant Chess set, which many had fun playing with before afternoon tea was served and Pimms and lemonade was enjoyed from ‘Drink Me’ bottles.
The event was opened by Joan Lawrence, a childhood friend of Lady Starmer, who spent many happy years playing in the mansion and gardens. She bequeathed the mansion to the Abbeyfield Society some 40 years ago, on condition that the garden parties she enjoyed so much would never be forgotten.
Kathryn MacColl, General Manager of the Abbeyfield Darlington Society, said the event had been a ‘magical experience’ for all the residents, staff, friends and neighbours.
“There was a wonderful atmosphere and it was a very happy occasion,” said Kathryn. “It was a great opportunity to bring the community into the Abbeyfield family, and our residents were thrilled to join in with young and old to share the magic of Alice in Wonderland.
“We raised a significant amount of money which will be used to take our residents on a day out of their choice. We love to party and we always enjoy welcoming people in to see the splendour of our accommodation and landscaped grounds.”