I think we should also take the opportunity to thank Eileen for her services to the local community.
I understand that as one of the remaining founding members of Easington Village Parish Council, Eileen will be standing down in May after 34 years of service.
The fact we are here today is testament to the hard work of Easington Village Parish Council, and all of those within this community who came together to preserve this wonderful building.
I am fond of saying that we take so much for granted.
This is true today.
It would be difficult to conceive of this book on Seaton Holme, had this building been lost to history.
The mental pictures I have of Seaton Holme as a crumbling structure, struts holding up the building, floors, walls and rooves in a state of dereliction.
I think Eileen was right to describe the task of restoration as “an impossible dream”
There was nothing inevitable about the transformation of Seaton Holme.
As reported by the Daily Telegraph a newspaper I am not often found quoting:
“A parish council whose main task is the upkeep of a village green and playing fields is buying one of England’s most historic houses. This is a major triumph for the nine-member Easington Village Parish Council that have already raised £250,000 towards the cost of repairs.”
The fortunes of Seaton Holme have ebbed and flowed with those of Easington, but its past, and future has been determined and safeguarded by those who care about our community.
We should not underestimate the foresight and scale of ambition that resulted in the restoration of Seaton Holme, and Eileen was right to describe it as “the jewel in the crown of East Durham”.
The book is fascinating, showing how Seaton Holme has served our community from time immemorial.
However, I am delighted that I have the opportunity to thank those here today who have ensured that Seaton Holme will continue to serve the community for many years to come as a well-known structural landmark of unique historic importance not just to Easington and East Durham but to the North of England.