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Garden House plaque unveiled

Matthew Corrigan

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Brabyns Prep School Mr Sanders Dr Robina Shah MBE Melland High School Charles Bryant Randfield Associates Garden House

For once, the weather played it fair, bathing the assembled crowd of parents, teachers and schoolchildren in unseasonably warm spring sunshine. Accompanied by Mr Sanders, children from Brabyns Prep School joined pupils from Melland High School in Gorton to witness the ceremony in April.  Melland supports pupils with diverse special educational needs and SEN Teacher Assistant Debbie Mellows brings a group to the farm every Wednesday, where they gain valuable work experience.  

The plaque was unveiled (her first since being installed in the role) by the new High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, Dr Robina Shah MBE, who praised the 'inspirational work' done by Kevin and the team. Dr Shah was presented with a bunch of flowers by Alfie, one of the pupils from Melland, and given a tour of the facility.

Garden House

Funded by the Greater Manchester High Sheriff's Police Trust, the plaque marks the site of the remains of the Garden House itself. Built by industrialist Samuel Oldknow in the middle of the Nineteenth Century, the house was used by farm workers who tilled the land to provide food for his Mellor Mill employees. The building was demolished after being damaged by fire in 1958. Owner Kevin Swindells would like to rebuild the house, opening it as an educational centre to provide an insight into the rich history of the area. However, as reported previously in the Marple Review, the planning is currently in abeyance while the council considers various applications.

Also present was site architect Charles Bryant of Randfield Associates and Glen Lockett, Head of Income Generation for the High Sheriff's Police Trust. The trust has supported the Garden House since it opened, and is keen to build on the relationship.

As part of the 2018 programme of summer events, police dogs and horses from the Greater Manchester Police Hough End Centre will be visiting the Garden House (dates to be confirmed). Kevin is also looking forward to the forthcoming 'Teletubbies' weekend, in which staff will be dressing up as Laa Laa,Dipsy, Tinky Winky and Po (and yes, I did have to Google them). Full details are on the Garden House Facebook page and The Review's 'What's on' section.