Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Tree Planting at Mellerstain

Mellerstain house

Planting a Hornbeam tree.

Planting a tree in recognition of the work of volunteers working for Guide Dogs of the Blind in the east paddock at Mellerstain. This was one of the charities supported by Lord and Lady Haddington.

These snapshots I took show Lady Jane Haddington shovelling compost into the hole dug by Gordon Low, the gardener at Mellerstain. The picture below right shows Lord John Haddington watching the ceremony of the planting in readiness to take a photograph when he feels the time is just right!

The smallish lady in the centre is Miss Kay Brownlie. She was president of the local branch of the Guide Dogs for the Blind at Mellerstain for many years and has now retired from that post.

John Haddington is, in fact, a first class photographer and used to run a business as a pro photographer when he was Lord Binning, before acceding to the title of the 13th Earl of Haddington.
The first son of the Earl is always given the title of Lord Binning. The present Lord Binning is George Edmund Baldred Baillie-Hamilton, the only son. He is now 23 years of age; I've known him since he was about 9 years old. He is a great lad, now at Glasgow University after being at Eton.
We went to his 21st birthday party a couple of years ago and it was a truly happy affair. One of the tenant farmers gave a little speech as he gave young Georgie a new fishing rod. Tom S., the farmer said: "Young George, I wish you a very happy birthday and many, many happy hours of sitting in the wind and rain on the banks of the Tweed with this rod..."
What next in the chain of events? Well, hopefully in the not too distant future we shall hear the whisper that Georgie has popped the question to some nice young lady. Then the wedding. Then, with fingers firmly crossed, Lord and Lady H will have a lovely little grandchild. What a wonderful event that will be. Mellerstain


Argent said...

The Earl and Lady Haddington come across as delightfully down-to-earth people, for all they are titled. Why does the eldest son always have the title Lord Binning, I wonder?

Land of shimp said...

I got the giggles over the title Binning, I confess. I have a strange sense of humor and I couldn't help wonder if that was a title related to collecting garbage. Okay, I didn't seriously wonder that, but oh the mental picture I conjured was amusing. Then I tried to think of a coat of arms, and really laughed myself silly.

Sorry, I'm not trying to poke fun, or be irreverent. I think I've had too much coffee.

Are you able to go back and see the trees? I just ask because there is something so impressive about the slow, but steady growth of a tree. It gives one a sense of how time passes slowly, and only seems fast.

They really do seem like wonderful down-to-earth people.

By the way, are you familiar with the childrens book The Giving Tree? If you aren't, you may wish to avoid it. It's a very touching tale, but good gracious, it's so sad.

PhilipH said...

Hi Silver (I nearly said Hi-Ho...),
Re the Binning title. The wife of the 6th Earl persuaded hubby to create this woodland (Binning Woods) back in 1700 or so. The eldest son has since been styled 'Lord Byre and Binning' but for the last 100 years or so the 'Byre' bit seems to have been dropped. Jane Haddington always still calls her husband 'Binning' - which was his title when they first got together.
The two daughters, Susan and Isobel, automatically become "Lady (first name) Baillie-Hamilton" - though nobody actually calls them anything other than Susie or Isobel. Love 'em all.

PhilipH said...

To Lady Alane, Duchess of Shimpshire,

Cease giggling, if it pleases Milady. 'Tis a hanging offence in the UK for openly giggling at the title of a member of the peerage! To guffaw, laugh out loud or invite said peer to 'spin' on the finger is perfectly acceptable, but to giggle? Oh dear me no; that will not do Milady. You of all people should know this anyway! Your Scottish Grandmama will confirm all the above. As the late comedian, Frankie Howerd, used to say when admonishing his audience: "Titter ye not!" when giving his 'Ooh are, yes, err, no, no don't laugh missus...'

However, I have pled insanity in your behalf and Lord H has generously commuted you sentence to one of reading blogs for the next two weeks.

Yes, we are considered to be sort of 'trusty retired retainers' and have free access to all the estate. At Easter, when my Clare and family came up to stay for a few days I took them all to the west wing just to say hello and we all had a nice tea! Saved me a few bob and all the washing up!

Haven't heard of The Giving Tree. I have a heck of a lot of reading to get through just lately so I doubt that I'll be adding more to the list for a few weeks!

(Bows respectfully and backs away, tugging forelock...)

Land of shimp said...

Good sir, I thank you for your assistance in narrowly avoiding an international mirth incident. Trust me, I have on my most somber, respectful expression. I do, I really do!

However, I have pled insanity in your behalf and Lord H has generously commuted you sentence to one of reading blogs for the next two weeks.

Excellent! How wise of you to choose a defense for which there could be ample evidence, on any given day!

I'm off to have a conversation with the toaster, just to back up my defense. Well, that and for a toaster? Really, he's quite witty.

The Bug said...

The post was charming, but the Shimp & Philip Show is hilarious!

the walking man said...

Sounds to me like those of the titled class pretty much have the same hope and dream as those not of the peerage. May their first grandchild be a healthy child when the day arrives.

Pauline said...

Interesting to see that under all the titles there are some tree planters. It gives one a glimpse into our likenesses instead of our differences.

DUTA said...

Planting trees and walking dogs for the Blind - are indeed worthy of being mentioned and photographed. Both activities require volunteers and these people should be praised for their work.

Lynn said...

Hi Philip. I got tired of reading bee blogs this afternoon and decided something different would be fun. I found you at Barbara's Spot On The Blog. I honestly don't understand half of what you guys say, but I'll be following anyway. What a beautiful and entertaining blog you have!

Oh,and by the way, you should read The Giving Tree. It's one of my daughter's favorite books and we hope it will be one of her daughter's favorites.

Lynn said...

Yaaay! So glad you found me. I was just listening to Kenny Loggins singing about Christopher Robbins and Pooh. I'm following blogs in Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, London and several of our states. How wonderful to have you on board!

The bears were out early this morning. Thankfully, Jack was on duty.

Jo said...

I think I like Lady Haddington. She looks like a great gal ... oops, I mean lady.

Would you do me a favor, and tell Lord and Lady Haddington that Johanna in Vancouver says "hello". I like them.