Making Friends:

Amy and Andrew Graham of Staindrop, England

By Ann Graham

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    For Amy (6) and Andrew (5) Graham, home is an eighteenth-century cottage (house) on the grounds of Raby castle in northeast England. They can see the magnificent castle from their front windows. Their father is Head Gardener for the 8 1/2-acre castle gardens. The castle was built in the fourteenth century (over six hundred years ago!) and is the ancestral home of Lord Barnard.

    Amy and Andrew’s cottage is set in the castle gardens, which is surrounded by a 200-acre deer park where there are two herds of deer, red and fallow. Also in the park are a herd of longhorn cattle and hundreds of sheep. Last spring the two children hand-reared two lambs from the Raby home farm.

    Amy and Andrew have a younger brother, Luke, and they love to help Mum take care of him and to play with him.

    Andrew likes to help Dad work in the castle gardens, too, and he looks forward to the time when he can go on a mission as his dad did. Andrew says that when he grows up, he wants to be a missionary, a daddy, and a dentist.

    Amy attends ballet class once a week—she loves ballet—and a swimming class. She is a Rainbow Guide, and her mother is a Guider (leader, like a Girl Scout leader). Each year Staindrop, England, holds a carnival. It is a fun day for all the children. This year the Rainbow Guides have a Wizard of Oz float, and Amy is Dorothy. Andrew gets to be a Munchkin on it, and Luke is Toto.

    Amy and Andrew travel by minibus to school in the village of Staindrop, which is about 2.4 kilometers (1 1/2 miles) away. The school has one hundred pupils, and the Grahams are the only Church members.

    The family travels 19.3 kilometers (12 miles) to attend church in the Newton Aycliffe Ward, Billingham Stake. Mum is first counselor in the stake Primary presidency, so Amy and Andrew often get to visit other wards and branches with her.

    Photos by Adrian Gostick

    Raby castle and some of its gardens

    The deer park

    A distant view of the beautiful Raby castle

    Main entrance to Raby castle

    Amy in her ballet outfit

    Andrew and Amy under the 200-year-old fig tree on the castle grounds

    The castle pond

    Andrew and Amy on a stump in the castle garden

    A Munchkin (Andrew) and Dorothy (Amy) on the Staindrop carnival float

    Andrew helping Dad in the castle’s eight acres of flowers, hedges, and lawn

    Amy’s friend Sarah Hall, Mum, and Amy in their Guide uniforms