Two visitors to the open house were Nancy and Jim Clark from South Shields. Nancy had heard by chance that a friend was planning to come to an open day, “When she told me it was Minsteracres she was coming to I couldn’t believe my ears,” explained Nancy. She knew the name because she had heard her mother telling stories of working here as a chambermaid in 1936 when she was just 16. Not only that, but she also had with her a letter, written by her grandmother and sent to her mother at Minsteracres care of Mrs Cowen the then tenant of the house.
“I wish I could have brought my mother here before she died,” said Nancy. Her mum died in 1987 at Wentworth Grange in Riding Mill. “She used to tell everyone that she had worked down the road, though I’m not sure if they believed her. When I had the chance to come and see for myself I couldn’t resist!”