TV agony aunt Denise visits back lane paradise’s charity open day

BLOOMING: From left, Beth Fowler, Denise Robertson and Sue Jackson open HamiltonTerrace back lane.
BLOOMING: From left, Beth Fowler, Denise Robertson and Sue Jackson open HamiltonTerrace back lane.
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FORGET Wimbledon – green-fingered neighbours served up an ace treat that attracted crowds away from the tennis final.

Visitors sacrificed watching the famous tournament’s men’s final to go and see the award-winning back lane garden of Hamilton Terrace, West Boldon.

Residents raked in more than £1,000 for charities by inviting over 300 visitors – including TV agony aunt Denise Robertson – to enjoy their horticultural handiwork at their annual open day.

Sue Jackson came up with the idea of revamping the run-down lane into a lush green space 12 years ago and the project still continues.

She said: “It was a wonderful day. It was the perfect day with the perfect whether, we sold everything we needed to sell and everyone had a fantastic time.

“I just want to say how enormously thankful I am not just to all my friends and neighbours who helped run everything, but to all the visitors who came along to support us.

“Without their support it would be nothing.”

She added: “Every year I say this will be the last, but it never quite works out.”

Among the visitors was broadcaster and writer Denise, who lives in Boldon.

“Denise is wonderful and very supportive,” said Sue. “Everyone is great. I’m so fortunate to have so many lovely friends and neighbours.”

The lane, which lay derelict and unwelcoming a little more than 10 years ago, has won a string of awards and was featured on BBC Gardeners’ World.

* THE Hamilton Lane gardeners are now busy preparing for their next challenge – the Northumbria in Bloom Awards.

Sue said: “If we win this time, it will be the 10th award.”

The back-lane garden received support and donations from gardening centres, including Red Fox, Tubs and Shrubs, and Halls of Heddon-on-the-Wall.

Funds raised from the annual open day will be split between Sunderland’s St Benedict’s Hospice, the PDSA animal charity and East Boldon Scout Group.