Mark Charnock, aka chef ‘Marlon Dingle’ from Emmerdale, visited Hambleton Grange care home in Thirsk for their summer fair. Mark mingled with residents, staff and the local community, signing autographs, posing for pictures and chatting about life in the Yorkshire soap.
Mark was also asked to officially open the home’s brand new art room which will be used to host regular painting, drawing and craft classes for the people who live at Hambleton Grange. Resident Dorothy Staynes, spoke to Mark at length about what the new art room means to her. She said “I look forward to the classes every week and I have found out that I have quite an artistic side.”
Mark, who has played Woolpack cook Marlon Dingle for 22 years in the soap, was then called to test his kitchen skills against Hambleton Grange’s own chef in a fun cake decorating competition. Ellie Cook said: “I was nervous but Mark was so friendly he put me at ease straight away. I just got on with decorating the cakes but Mark was making me laugh all the way through – I think he was trying to put me off! He didn’t succeed though as one of our residents judged me as the winner. Mark did look a bit disappointed but it was all good fun!”
Residents had decorated the home with handmade Emmerdale bunting and there was a BBQ and Pimms, stalls from local shops, a raffle, entertainment, face painting and much more. Mark took to the microphone while residents and guests from the community fired questions at him including, “is the beer real in the Woolpack?” and “are you married?”!
Nicola Clark, Lifestyle Manager at Hambleton Grange, organised the event. She said, “There has been such a buzz in the home – we all love a party and these events create lasting memories for our residents and their families. Everyone was keen to meet with Mark and he made time to speak to each resident, finding out about them and their life. It really was a day to remember!”
Dorren Purchan, who has lived at Hambleton Grange for over three years, said “We all had a wonderful time. The party was fabulous and Mark was such a gentleman.”
Mark commented, “Hambleton Grange was great fun – I received an extremely warm welcome and they definitely know how to put on a party! One thing I have to say is that the bond I have seen between residents and staff is amazing – there is so much warmth and compassion that is evident as soon as you walk through the door. It does feel like a great place to live.”