On a sunny Sunday afternoon former Development Director, Penny Hubbard, hosted a Pimms and Cake garden party in Old Hunstanton for Norfolk-based alumnae to celebrate the first tree planting of the British Autumn season.
Principal Alison Rose welcomed the alumnae and their families, Professor Jenny Morton, Chair of the Newnham Gardens Committee, and Sarah Carthew, Director of Development and explained how Jo Burch, former Roll Committee President, and Dr Emma Mawdsley, had been ‘parents’ of the 150 anniversary tree planting project. She also thanked Penny and her husband Theo for their wonderful hospitality.
Each of the attending alumnae – and some partners, including alumni from Christ’s and Downing colleges – joined Alison and Penny in planting the magnolia.
“I always wanted a magnolia. It’s very special. My father had one for each of his three daughters,” Penny said.
Penny then entertained everyone with a lively snapshot of the history of the area. P G Woodhouse used to type his novels on a punt nearby; Hunstanton Hall is the ancestral home of the Le Strange family who became one of the most powerful Norfolk families in the 15th and 16th centuries. The family still owns the estate and the beach of Old Hunstanton, one of only 12 private beaches where the land between the high water mark and low water mark are not owned by the Queen. With this comes with the dubious pleasure of being responsible for clearing up dead whales that get washed up and dealing with any fires caused by barbecues! In medieval times the Le Strange family allowed the local population across the park on Thursdays to gather firewood. Although there is no longer a need for firewood the tradition of permissive access each Thursday has been maintained and it is a popular route amongst visitors, well worth a visit if you are in the area.