SITEZINE: HOLY ISLAND'S E-MAIL
1st June 2016|
- A bit from me...
- Holy Island Causeway: user safety
- Holy Island village hall rebuilding appeal
- Lindisfarne Castle
- Exotic visitors brighten the island Spring
- Natural England Lindisfarne NNR
- The "new" Berwickshire and Northumberland marine nature partnership
- Shoot for the 2017 visitor guide cover
- Guided walks celebrate ten years of
- News from Ford & Etal
- From the community of Aidan and Hilda
- From the Vicarage
- Pause for thought
|A BIT FROM ME
Welcome to our June issue of
Following a hot and sunny May the dull
skies are with us as I write after a very wet day yesterday. But
with the weekend upon us it is becoming much drier and things feels on
the up-and-up once more. Our Swallows have returned safe and sound and
are busily rebuilding over
the front door. Summer is definitely on the way...
Those who visited last weekend may well have been surprised by an
island wedding going off with a traditional bang as the newly-weds
led their guests out of the churchyard beneath a 'shotgun arch'. You
might have passed the 'Oasis Cafe' and noticed the two bright-red,
London buses on hire to take the party off-island for afternoon
celebrations. What a pity that our new village hall couldn't be
ready in time to host it as its first village event.
If you stayed over, you might well have
enjoyed the professional performance of the wedding choir, 'Weighton
Waytes', in St.Mary's. Well done musical director, Carole Readman, I look forward to next year. Thank you so much to
church warden, Mark, who, on behalf of the PCC
fascilitated a memorable event. And it has to be said that,
whilst wedding flower arrangements are always superb, never have I seen
the fronded chancel arch looking more beautiful.
LINDISFARNE ON LINDISFARNE!!
Michael has written with details of the Holy Island
Festival. Being Holy Island, obviously the headline act must be the
group 'Lindisfarne' who will be appearing at the new village hall
(Crossman Hall) on 25th June. And there's lots of other worthy
performances to suit most tastes taking place during the
Quite unexpectedly and out of the blue, Paul, who is on sick
leave, sent in his reflections on "The funny thing about
faith". You are missed, Paul, and we sincerley hope this is a sign
that you are now on the road to recovery. For a vastly different
reason we are again without an input from Rachel who is
on sabbatical leave and expects to be back during early Autumn.
We look forward to you both returning - with fully-charged
batteries! Thank you to all who are helping to keep our churches
alive during their absence particularly 'Canon Kate' who has
once again stepped so ably into the breech. This month she has again
sent in another thought-provoking article, 'what do the angels
Regular author, Elspeth includes a host of
forthcoming events which might also enhance your holiday in 'North
Northumberland'. Checkout 'Airship Northstar' and steampunk and
dieselpunk. Whatever they are it must be worth a look! I remember
when we first came to the island and Birdman, my friend the late
John Collins, pointed out that our 'Straight Lonnen' had held the
British bird record for the largest number of bird types seen in a
single day. Ian Kerr's article is as always topical with
'Exotic visitors brighten the island Spring '. From the castle, Nick
reports on even more work underway to protect it from the elements.
Mhairi talks about the seasonal work on the nature reserve and has
included a picture of children from Lowick and (our) Holy Island
school lending a hand. Ray's article, perhaps, is another 'pause for
thought' reminding us of our own falibility. David, recounts the
tortuous pathway followed by the village hall committee which
led to our unbelievably-fabulous new "Crossman Hall". After all the
hard work I'm sure that the equipping of the kitchen isn't going to
take long to overcome.
Finally, I make no apology for re-publishing
Claire's Summer events programme together with "Shoot for the 2017"
which gives readers information on how they might get their photo on
the front of next year's Northumberland visitor guide - and pick up
£150.00 in doing so! I also include dates for walkers'
diaries "Guided coastal path walks" with Iain Robson.
We hope you enjoy our
newsletter and look forward to getting in touch again next month.
God Bless - Geoff Porter
PS: Many overseas readers may well have
heard that a nationwide referendum is being held on Thursday, 23rd
June to decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the
European Union. Feelings seem to range between acute and
apathy - possibly because, of neccessity, information from either
side is sparse and seems full of spin. Readers have reminded me in
the past that our newsletter must remain apolitical. But I will say:
whichever way your feelings, reasoning or inclinations
persuade you I urge you not to sit on the fence. Take that step and VOTE!!
|HOLY ISLAND CAUSEWAY: USER
Road were discussed under 'matters arising' at the meeting of our
Parish Council on Monday 16th May 2016. It was reported that, at
Dougie Watkin's suggestion, PC councillors had attended the 'NCC
Area Meeting' on May 9th which presented an opportunity to raise and
discuss the problem with relevant council departments.
Whilst the finer detail has not yet been
agreed it is understood that to deter sea water from lying on the
road surface: drainage ditches are to be dug on either side of the
road between the Snook and the Bridge.
So far as the salt marsh adjacent to the
roadside between the Snook and Chare Ends is concerned, HIPC will
attend a 'Causeway Meeting' in the next couple of weeks to have
further discussions with appropriate senior NCC management and
decide upon a plan - and hopefully agree time scales.
|HOLY ISLAND VILLAGE HALL REBUILDING
It began more than 15
ago and although there are several jobs to be completed, rather than
hang about until all is ship shape and Bristol fashion, the hall is
ready for use.
It is worth remembering as we enter a new
stage of community activity on the Island that the new hall is not
just for use today, it will also provide for our children,
grandchildren and for generations to come.
The project began in
2001. Independently the Trustees and Community raised over
£300,000. Along the road to realising our dream we lost several supporters each who worked tirelessly
to see this vital project completed. The new Crossman Hall stands in tribute
to them all.
There has already been a mention that
The Crossman Hall is ready for use and that Lindisfarne, the group,
will be first to perform in the hall on BBC Radio 2.
I expect the successful building of a new gathering place on this
small Island will be picked up by other media as we prepare for
an official opening.
It's good to remember the milestones of our
mammoth task which was organised in three stages. At every
stage we have jumped, tapped danced and hula hooped
through various processes and procedures to achieve our goal. It's fair to
say we have all become Hula Hoop aficionados, just ask us to give
you a demonstration!
Here's a brief synopsis of the road
we have travelled.
Stage 1. Acquire consent
to demolish, jump through a range of bureaucratic hoops; appoint a demolition contractor
and consultant Archaeologist.
Stage 2. Seek financial support from
grant aiding bodies. Involve University of Newcastle in planning
exercise. Hold a competition to appoint Architects &
appoint a successful Practice. Survey Islanders of how they would
like to use the new build and discuss with the Architect. Jump
through more bureaucratic hoops. Arrange a geotechnical ground
survey and appoint an Archaeologist. Acquire Planning
to install foundations and services. Hold competitive tender for Principal building contractor.
Planning Consent was secured, but all works still had to be approved by
the County Archaeologist.
Stage 3. Leading up to the third
phase, we bid for help from the Big Lottery Fund (BLF). After a
long three stage project evaluation, the BLF granted the project a
substantial award. With finance secured the full Team of
Professional advisors came on board; Structural Engineers; O&M
Specialists & Quantity Surveyor and of course our friendly
Consultant Archaeologist. A group of contractors were
invited to bid for the construction work and MT Richardson was
and has delivered a great work, the proof is there for all
to see. However, we still had to wade through those bureaucratic hoops. But
it's done now.
Incredibly the job has come in under
budget, according to the Quantity Surveyor, by £34,000, which is no
mean feat on a project of this stage, scale and
The Trustees were of course delighted and we immediately flagged up an
application to use a 'variation' to spend some of that underspend on providing
the kitchen/bar area.
Disappointingly, although we are
below the total award made to the project by the BLF, there is
resistance to permit a variation of unspent funds to provide the
vital small kitchen and bar area. As we are so very nearly finished
a kitchen, that leaves us limited in what we can use the
hall for. The saying, don't spoil the ship for a hapeth of tar
springs to mind.
Enough of my moaning; We've
got a great
that will work for most needs, but just remember when you come
for a pie & pea supper, to warm the pie at home and
fill your flask.
Again, thank you all, near and far, for your generous
support and encouragement.
|LINDISFARNE HEADLINE HOLY ISLAND VILLAGE HALL
The Lindisfarne Story Band will christen the
brand new, state-of-the-art £1million village hall to top this
year's Holy Island Festival.
The group - including Lindisfarne founding
drummer Ray Laidlaw and frontman Billy Mitchell - will play the new
hall's first-ever gig on Saturday June 25.
Although the Tyneside 1970s folk-rock outfit
took their name from the historic island off the Northumberland
coast, they never played there professionally - but they did
rehearse in the old village hall. Now, 45 years on, the band will
perform their smash hit 1971 album Fog on the Tyne at the hall where
it was born.
The group - also comprising Tom Mitchell on
guitar and piano, Michael Bailey on bass, Mark Anderson on guitars
and Rachael Bailey on violin and accordion - will play the entire
Fog on the Tyne album in sequence.
The seminal LP, which was the biggest
selling UK album of 1972, features anthems like Meet Me on the
Corner and the title track Fog on the Tyne - the song that got the
group banned by the BBC. The 90-minute show will be topped and
tailed with other classic hits including Run for Home, Lady Eleanor
and Clear White Light.
The photoshoot for Fog on the Tyne was done
on the island and the inner LP sleeve featured scenes and characters
the band knew well from their stays there, including the Britannia
B&B and the former Northumberland Arms, now the Ship Inn.
Ray said: "We've never forgotten our roots.
I've had friends on Holy Island for 50 years and some of them are
still there. Others have been away and returned. That's the power of
Holy Island - it draws you back. In the very early days of the group
we spent a lot of time there. Our most successful album Fog on the
Tyne was born on Holy Island and now we are bringing it back home.
"I remember the old village hall fondly and
when I was up on the island on holiday recently for my 40th wedding
anniversary, I saw the new village hall almost complete and
contacted the Holy Island Festival to see if we could be the first
band to play there. We're thrilled to be doing it - it's completing
Rhythm and brews
Island businesses including the Crown and
Anchor, the Ship Inn, Pilgrims Café, and Oasis Café actively support
the event. A bespoke festival ale - appropriately called Lady
Eleanor - is being created especially for the occasion. Venues will
host other musicians from the region too including Anna and Martha
Raine, Jenny Lascelles, The Pastures, Pons Aelius, Small Hall Band,
To the Blue, Treble in Mind and the Tweed River Jazzmen. There will
be dance performances from Anthony Lo-Guidice and Lizzie Koltz.
Meanwhile The Unthanks - who have just won
the prestigious BBC Radio Two Folk Awards album of the year with
their Mount the Air release - will headline the festival bill on
Sunday night at St. Mary's Church.
David O'Connor, trustee of the Holy Island
Village Hall, said: "We are delighted that Lindisfarne will play the
first concert at the new hall as part of this year's Holy Island
Festival. This is a fulsome and exciting tribute to the island
community who have worked hard to rebuild their hall."
The new Crossman Hall is named after the
Crossman family, owners of the Island and long-time supporters of
the Island. Lady Rose Crossman MBE gifted the land for the hall to
the trustees. The rebuilding appeal received a substantial grant
from the Big Lottery Fund, supported by local donations and generous
benefactors from near and far. The old hall was closed for safety
reasons in 2005 and demolished in 2007.
Before its closure, the hall was used by the
Mothers Union, knitting circle and keep-fit clubs, as well as for
billiards, bowls, boxing and dances. Most of these are expected to
re-start when the new centre formally opens, along with a book
exchange, health clinics, youth club and a choral society.
The new hall will also be used by the parish
council, Fishermen's Society, Holy Island Development Forum and
Development Trust, plus tourists and pilgrims.
This year the Holy Island Festival is
partnering with the Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership. The
Heritage Lottery funded project is being delivered over the next two
years and aims to increase awareness of the north Northumberland
coastline, its beautiful natural and built heritage and provides a
number of volunteer and education opportunities.
As part of the festival, the partnership
will deliver a range of cultural and natural heritage activities
which link to some of the projects being completed as part of the
scheme. This will include showcasing the Community Geology,
Archaeology and Archive projects. Members of the landscape
photography project, being delivered by Emma Rothera of
yourbeautifulphotography.com and a resident on Holy Island, will
also be exhibiting photographs in the Window on Wild Lindisfarne
building. Festival-goers will vote for their favourite photos with
the winners receiving prizes.
Newcastle-based Let's Circus - the resident
professional circus of the North East - will showcase their
acclaimed family show on both Saturday and Sunday and amateur youth
partner Circus Central will provide workshops for the young and
young-at-heart to try their skills such as trapeze, juggling and
acrobatics in the black-and-white big top The Magpie.
Chair of the Holy Island Festival group
Reverend Dr Paul Collins said: "Celebrations in 2013 for the
Lindisfarne Gospels identified an interest in more events for
visitors, islanders and residents across Northumberland and the
"Last year's inaugural summer festival
celebrated four days of performing arts including music, singing,
dancing, circus and theatre, offering something for everyone. We are
really excited at this year's great line-up and we hope the festival
will become an annual event."
Anne Graham: 07790 675 849
Hamilton: 07976 365 776
The project has been ticking over nicely in the background for a few
months now since the major works in the winter came to an end, but
in the last few weeks things have intensified again at the Castle.
Those of you who have been this way recently may have noticed a
scaffold tower on the Upper Battery - this is so masons can get at
the south wall of the western building where they have hacked out,
filled, pinned, pointed, and rendered the wall. This is the same
treatment given to the adjacent south west facing wall (part of the
Upper Gallery bay window) and means we now have a much larger
surface area which, on the outside at least, has been fully
restored. We have also done work to the unusually high (5 foot)
parapet above this wall. All of this is to ensure the structure is
breathable so we can run plaster trials on the inside face and this
should all happen later in June and be evaluated later in the year.
One relatively new item to report is that the part of the work which
will be repairing of existing windows in the Castle will now include
the reintroduction of opening windows in some areas. This will allow
ventilation to be brought to some areas of the Castle which get
little or none at the moment and is also a more controllable way of
getting air into the building than having big doors standing open
all day. Our glazing specialist is going to be fitting one of these
openers to the Kitchen window range soon so we can test it out,
along with all the other trial works.
A few Mondays ago we had a major drainage survey which sought to
understand where all the drains and pipes were and what sort of
condition they were in. We could bash on with works like those
mentioned above but if our roofs, gutters, drains and downpipes are
not working we'd be in trouble. Cameras were inserted through most
of the network of pipes under floors and behind walls, while it felt
like most of the Lower Battery had its flagstones lifted. I don't
envy the engineers trying to compile all of the information they
gathered on the day, but it will certainly make for a comprehensive
survey when all said and done.
for later this year and next year are ongoing and hopefully there
will be more definite information available on what is happening
soon. A lot depends on the tendering process and the work programme
that will come out of that. Stay tuned.
At the shop Mel is getting a new plant bench for the back garden, which
sounds trivial, but in fact means that she can expand her garden
range to include more variety of plants. Given the poor weather and
frosts in April it is just as well she has left this until now!
Inside there are plenty of promotions going on and with summer due
on the Island anytime (!) there will be related stock arriving soon
so look out for that.
|EXOTIC VISITORS BRIGHTEN THE ISLAND SPRING
island has always had a reputation for attracting rare and exciting migrant
birds and this spring has certainly lived up to expectations, keeping
it very firmly on the birdwatching map of northern England.
May is always eagerly anticipated by birders
as it's the peak period when species moving
from Africa to breeding areas in the Arctic, Scandinavia, the Baltic states,
Russia and other parts of northern Europe, regularly pass up the
east coast and, hopefully, drop in to feed and rest.
So it's proved this year with two really beautiful species,
Red-backed Shrike and Red-spotted Bluethroat, which both breed in
Scandinavia. To add to the mix was an
extreme rarity from the Mediterranean, a superb male Western Subalpine Warbler. They
breed in Italy, Majorca and other Western Mediterranean islands and so
this one had strayed far northwards from its usual range.
The male Red-spotted Bluethroat in the Straight Lonnen willow patch. Its fleeting appearances made it extremely difficult to photograph. [ Photograph: Mike Carr]
The male Red-backed Shrike caught during one of its swooping visits to the Vicarage lawn. [ Photograph: Mike Carr]
Red-backed Shrikes are really
handsome creatures. The males have a wonderfully rich chestnut
back which provides their name, pinkish-white under-parts and
grey crowns. They also have a bold, black bandit's mask as befits
a species which, although feeding mainly on large insects, is quite
capable of hunting and killing small birds, mammals and reptiles.
A male turned up in one of our regular rarity hotspots, the Vicarage
garden, where it remained for two days. It would
lurk quietly in the cover of shrubs and
then swoop down to the lawn to snatch small insects it had
obviously spotted from its perch. It would then flash back into
cover to enjoy its tiny meal before repeating the process.
close relatives of our own familiar Robins except,
as the name implies, the throats of the males are blue with
a red central spot. The females have white throats and a
broad 'necklace' of black. Both sexes have bold white eye-stripes.
Bluethroats always seem to come in two
extremes, the bold and confiding and the
very shy and skulking. During May a male and
a female were on the island. The male
was in Robert's rapidly-growing willow patch at the top of the Straight
Lonnen. The female spend a couple of days around the first
lime kiln near the old golf course at Chare Ends.
Male Bluethroats, if lady readers will
forgive me for saying so, are the ones birders
prefer to see, simply because they are so striking.
But in the usual run of things, this
particularly male was extremely shy and very difficult to see. It would
come into the open for a few seconds and then vanish
again for hours and, obviously, just wouldn't play for photographs.
In contrast, the female at Chare Ends was
quite the opposite. She would regularly appear on the high mounds around
the kiln and then run down to feed in
the damp patch on the path between the
dunes and fence, almost oblivious to passers-by. If you stood still on
the path she'd often approach fearlessly within a six or seven
yards, to the obvious delight of visiting birders and photographers.
Quite often in birdwatching rarities can
come in twos. So it
proved at Chare Ends. Folks watching the female Bluethroat
caught a glimpse of a small warbler feeding
in the scattered Hawthorn bushes a few yards away. It proved to
be the Subalpine Warbler, a species which turns up perhaps once
every couple of years on the island, usually in spring.
This bird appeared rather paler than usual with a pinkish rather
than brick-red chest which might be expect in a spring male in full
breeding plumage. This immediately led to suspicions that it was a
member of the western race which very rarely occurs in Britain. The
races can be identified because they have slightly different songs
but birds on migration seldom sing so that presented a bit of a
problem. Also not many British birders have ever heard them
Back in the cover of the shrubs, the shrike enjoys its insect meal. [ Photograph: Mike Carr]
However, on its
second day, this bird did give a brief burst of song. Among those
who heard it was a birder who'd listened to them singing
in Majorca while on a holiday the previous week. So the identification
was finally clinched providing the island and Northumberland in general
with another very rare record. I've said it before and I'll no doubt
say it again: spring is a wonderful time on the
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE
Our shorebird season has kicked off and the Shorebird wardens we
introduced last issue have settled into life on the Reserve. The
protective fencing and information signs are all up throughout the
Reserve and birds are starting to nest. Visitors have been very
helpful and many have enjoyed hearing about the birds and how they
can help give them a room to breed. We were even given a
helping hand by Lowick and Holy Island 1st schools who helped us to
make tern decoys as part of the Northumberland Little Tern Project
to be used on the Reserve and elsewhere in the country. The decoys
made will even be helping other sites in the project around the
country and some will be winging their way to South Cumbria very
We celebrated World Migratory Bird Day on the 8th of May along
with 1000's of other people throughout the World. It was great to
explore the amazing migration stories that we have on the Reserve
such as arctic terns which travel here every year to breed. It is
thought that they can travel the equivalent of three trips to the
moon in their lifetime! Last weekend we had a Natura2000 walk around
the self-guided nature trail where we were able show everyone the
habitats and species that make Lindisfarne NNR part of the
Natura2000 network of sites. Natura2000 sites cover a staggering 1
million km2 of sites throughout Europe and includes 27,000 protected
sites. Last year we launched a new Colouring In and Sketch Book
depicting scenes from the Reserve and they are now available at our
events as well as at Berwick and Sea houses Tourist Centres .
Common and Arctic terns have come back to the NNR and can often
be seen diving and fishing in the shallows. There has also been 100+
Sandwich terns using the North of the Reserve roost and feed prior
to breeding elsewhere. The dunes have been alive with skylark and
meadow pipits lately and some of our early species of orchid are
beginning to flower.
Reserve Warden, Beal
Tel: 01289 381 470
Mhairi's blog and facebook page can be found at http://lindisfarnennr.blogspot.co.uk/
|THE "NEW" BERWICKSHIRE AND NORTHUMBERLAND
MARINE NATURE PARTNERSHIP
Summer 2016 Events Programme
Berwickshire and Northumberland Marine Nature Partnership
21st July 10.00am - 11.30am
Join us on a short walk along
the shore to survey stranded jellyfish. Learn about jellyfish
ecology, species identification, and how the results help us to
understand about the effects of climate change. Family event but
participants must be able to walk for about 1km along the shore.
Children must be accompanied by an adult. To book your places and to
receive your joining instructions please follow this link www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/jellyfish-walk-tickets-24458474957
Places are limited so book early!
Contact Claire Hedley for
Tel: 01670 622 651.
Safari and Jellyfish Walk
The Berwickshire and Northumberland Marine Nature
Monday 22nd July 10.00am - 12.30am
Coldingham Bay, Berwickshire
Come and explore the wonderful plants and animals of the
rocky shore, then join us on a short walk to hunt for stranded
jellyfish. Learn about the influence of the daily tides, species
identification, jellyfish ecology, and fun facts about the plants
and animals living in the marine environment. The shore can be
uneven and slippery so please wear sturdy footwear that you don't
mind getting a little wet. Family event but children must be
accompanied by an adult. To book your places and to receive your
joining instructions please follow this link www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rocky-shore-safari-and-jellyfish-walk-tickets-24458535137
Places are limited so book early!
Contact Claire Hedley for
Tel: 01670 622 651.
Rocky Shore Safari
Berwickshire and Northumberland Marine Nature Partnership
5th August 10.00am - 11.30am
explore the wonderful plants and animals of the rocky shore with a
guided tour from Claire Hedley, the Berwickshire and Northumberland
Marine Nature Partnership Manager. Learn about the influence of the
daily tides, species identification, and discover fun facts about
the different plants and animals living in the marine environment.
The shore can be uneven and slippery so please wear sturdy footwear
that you don't mind getting a little wet. Family event but children
must be accompanied by an adult. To book your places and to receive
your joining instructions please follow this link www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rocky-shore-safari-tickets-24458798926
are limited so book early!
Contact Claire Hedley for
Tel: 01670 622 651.
The Berwickshire and Northumberland Marine Nature
Northumberland Wildlife Trust - Living
Newcastle University - Capturing Our Coast
September 10.00am - 12.00 noon
us on a rocky shore recording bonanza! This is an exciting
opportunity to learn about marine plants, animals and survey skills.
Beadnell is one of the most diverse rocky shores in Europe, so we
should find plenty of interesting species. Open to all levels of
knowledge but participants should be 16yrs or older. The shore can
be uneven and slippery so please wear sturdy footwear that you don't
mind getting a little wet. Recording equipment will be provided, but
please feel free to bring your own ID guides if you have them. To
book your places and to receive your joining instructions please
follow this link www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rocky-shore-bioblitz-tickets-24458959406
Places are limited so book early!
Contact Claire Hedley for
Tel: 01670 622 651.
|SHOOT FOR THE 2017 VISITOR GUIDE COVER
The Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership is
holding a photographic competition this summer to find an image for
the cover of their 2017 Visitor Guide.
The winner will not only have their image on
the front cover of 50,000 2017 Northumberland Coast visitor guides
but will also receive £150 to spend at Stait Photo in Morpeth. Stait
photo has kindly provided canvas prints of their image for the runners-up prizes.
Photos submitted can be of virtually
anything, but to be eligible, the photo must have been taken within
the Northumberland Coast AONB in 2016. The closing date for entries
is the 3rd October 2016.
Paul Larkin, editor of the Johnston Press
Northumberland titles, Northumberland Gazette, Berwick Advertiser,
Morpeth Herald and News Post Leader, said: "We are proud to continue
our association with this competition and are looking forward to
seeing this year's entries.
"We find that beautiful images generate
enormous interest on social media and we encourage all photographers
to get out, explore the coast and keep an eye open for a special
image for the front page of the Northumberland Coast Visitor Guide."
Jane Coltman, Image Manager for Johnston
Press Northumberland titles said: "I'm excited to be involved in the
judging process for this competition. I was impressed by the range
and quality of the images submitted last year and I can't wait to
see the fantastic photos that I know will be submitted from people
who, like me, love the Northumberland coast. "
The image on the front of the current Visitor
Guide (shown here) was taken by Emma Rothera, a photographer who lives
and works on Holy Island. Ken Stait who runs Stait Photo in Morpeth
and Hexham is sponsoring the competition and is also a judge said
"We had quite a few sunrise photos to judge last year but the
simplicity and serenity of this photograph set it apart. We are
delighted to be involved in this year's competition."
Images need to be submitted in an electronic
format and be of a high enough resolution to be used on the cover of
the guide. More advice, previous visitor guide covers and the full
set of rules are on the AONB website URL removed by AONB .
|GUIDED WALKS CELEBRATE TEN YEARS OF COASTAL PATH
The Northumberland Coast Path is ten years old this
July and as part of the celebrations there will be a guided walk
along the entire length of the path.
Each Friday between the 1st July and 5th
August, Iain Robson will lead a walk along a section
of the path in the company of a coastal expert, maybe
a botanist, geologist, ranger or birdwatcher. You can choose to do one section
or them all, it's up to you.
Each walk will be led by Iain from the
Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership who originally developed the
route with colleagues from Northumberland County Council.
The concept of a continuous path was
realised through a European Union Interreg project called 'The North
Sea Trail' which provided funding to implement the trail on the
ground. The Northumberland section was one of 27 coastal paths in
seven different countries around the North Sea. The 62 mile walking
trail from Cresswell to Berwick-upon-Tweed was officially opened on a glorious summer's
day on 17th July 2006 in Boulmer. Since then the path,
which passes through some of the finest coastal scenery in Europe, has attracted
thousands of walkers from around the world.
Cllr John Woodman, Chair of the AONB
Partnership said "Walkers undertaking a long-distance route such as
the Northumberland Coast Path are good for the local economy.
Because they are travelling-light, they buy everything that they
need along the way: other than the money they
spend in local businesses and their footprints in the sand, they
leave nothing behind. But they take away memories of a landscape, a heritage
and a welcome that is collectively unsurpassed."
Organiser Iain Robson said "The
Northumberland coast has an excellent bus service which runs
parallel to the coast path. To encourage walkers to leave their cars
at home, the start time for walk coincides
with the arrival of a bus and we will return to
our starting point by bus. The second stage will be promoted as part
of the national 'Catch the Bus' week."
As well as the guided walks, there is a new
website for the path - www.northumberlandcoastpath.org
and a new passport scheme for walkers.
The guided walks are free to join but
booking is essential as places are limited. Details of each stage and information
on booking your place are as follows:
Stage 1 1st July Cresswell to Warkworth 10.5
miles (5 hours)
Start: 09:20 Cresswell Ices to coincide with the arrival of the Arriva
No.1 from Ashington (change here from Newcastle)
Stage 2 8th July Warkworth to Craster 13
miles (6.5 hours)
Start 09:30 Warkworth Market Cross to coincide with the arrival
of the X18 from Alnwick and Newcastle.
Stage 3 15th July Craster to Seahouses 9.5
miles (5 hours)
Start 09:30 Craster TIC to coincide with the arrival of the
418 from Alnwick and X18 from Belford/Seahouses
Stage 4 22nd July Seahouses to Belford 10.5
miles (5 1/2 hours)
Start 10:05 Seahouses TIC to coincide with the arrival of
the Travelsure 418 from Alnwick and Belford
Stage 5 29th July Belford to Fenwick 7 miles
Belford Market Cross to coincide with the arrival of the X15 from Alnwick/Newcastle
or the Travelsure 418 from the Coast.
Stage 6 5th August Fenwick to
Berwick-upon-Tweed 12 miles (6 hours)
Start 1035 Fenwick A1 Bus Stop to coincide with
the arrival of the X15 from Alnwick/Newcastle
Booking is essential: Book your place by
email to email@example.com
calling the AONB Partnership on 01670 620306.
|NEWS FROM FORD & ETAL
June Events at Ford &
5th June, 9.30am-5pm -
Festival of the Heavy Horse at Etal Showground. A
spectacular family day out, this event is dedicated solely to the
working heavy horse and is unique to the North of England. Visitors
can see horses being shown in hand and ridden and, of course, the
beautiful driving teams.
In addition attractions include horses working with machinery and
traditional crafters and industries including wheelwright and farrier, local food and craft stalls
Admission: £10.00 adults, £7.00
seniors, under 16s free. Ticket includes admission to
Heatherslaw Corn Mill.
June 19th, 9:00am-3pm - Farmers
Market - Hay Farm Heavy Horse Center
market is being held every third Sunday at the Heavy Horse Centre. Visit to buy
fresh locally produced food, gifts and crafts - and visit the horses while
June 19th, 10am-4pm Antiques &
Collectables Auction - Etal Village Hall
A perfect opportunity to bid for a bargain! Trade enquiries:
1st-30th June, Heatherslaw Mill -
'Coast, Castles & Beyond!'
by well- known local photographer Jim Gibson will be open throughout the month of June,
in the 'poultry shed' opposite Heatherslaw Cornmill. Free admission; prints, cards etc available
5th June-9th July - Display of work
by Rainbow Quilts at Lady Waterford Hall
The work of talented local crafter Caroline Morrell will be on display
- and available to buy - in the Crafters Display Cabinet at Lady
Bakers delight as Heatherslaw goes
Heatherslaw Mill has added
to its flour power by launching a new product specially made for cakes
Traditionally Heatherslaw Mill has only produced flours for the bread
baker but the new flour known as Heatherslaw Light is a traditionally made stoneground flour,
lightly sieved to reduce the bran content then given added raising agents for
Visitors to the mill at
Ford & Etal Estates on Bank Holiday Monday were able to try out the new
flour after Dave the Miller baked a Victoria sponge cake to awaken people's
"The flour when used with good eggs gives an
amazing yellow colour to the cake and a lovely light but moist
texture," he said.
"The flour is also being used in the tearoom
at Heatherslaw for Kathleen's delicious chocolate cakes.
the mill has only produced flours for the bread baker so this is a really
exciting time to make a flour that will appeal to cake and scone
The flour is available in 1kg bags exclusively from the mill shop
Steampunk comes to Ford & Etal -
24th to 26th June
Airship Northstar is a full weekend
celebration of steampunk, dieselpunk and victoriana created by Impossible Gears, the slightly bonkers
creators of Steamtown 2015 - music, laughter, food, drink, jetpack racing,
tea duelling, teapot racing, entertainment and general merriment of many sorts - plus a number
of attractions and activities unique to the historic and incredibly pretty Ford and
For those unfamiliar with Steampunk, it is a worldwide subculture of
creative people who embrace a combination of science fiction and Victorian style - it involves
a whole lot of dressing up, meeting new and interesting people and generally
For information and to book tickets visit http://www.impossiblegears.com/airship-northstar.html
|FROM THE COMMUNITY OF AIDAN AND
Our trustees in 2015 promised residents that
they would not purchase any more properties on the island. But new
wardens for the Open Gate (we hope to have
news next month) will require a house. So I have offered them, if needs
be, the use of my house.
This means that I must find rooms elsewhere, in
Berwick or on the island, and my community will pay the rent. If you
can help, please let me know.
Many people have to leave the island,
perhaps to get a job or go into a care home. We do
not find change easy. Research shows that a change of job, partner or house
are the three most stressful experiences.
The following saying, however, has helped
me. This is the story behind the saying: In 635, the same year that
Aidan, a Christian monk from Ireland, brought the Gospel to the
English, Aleban, a Christian monk from Iran, brought the Gospel to
China. His brothers wove the stories of Jesus into the language and
culture of China and wrote these down. Over the centuries their
followers became known as 'The Luminous Religion'. But under a later
emperor they were persecuted. They hid their writings in caves. In
the 1890's a wandering Taoist monk found some grottoes in Dunhuang.
They contained Library Caves with 50,000 documents that had been
sealed over nine hundred years earlier. Archeologists dug these up and studied them.
Among these were sayings that have been published as The Sutras of Jesus. This
is the Sutra that helps me:
The world is like an inn where you stay temporarily.
None of the beds or furniture are really yours.
We will all be gone soon,
for no one can stay long in an inn.
The International Community of Aidan and Hilda
|FROM THE VICARAGE
||Revd Dr Paul AM
The funny thing about faith ....
A recent survey has demonstrated that in the
few years since the last National Census in 2011 there has been a
sharp decline in those who self identify as belonging to a religion.
The survey reveals that 48% of the UK population now claim to have
no religion. Whereas 43% do self identify has having a religion.
This is apparently the first time that those with no religion has
exceeded those who claim a religious affiliation. While
statistically this may be the case the underlying reality may have
been more akin to this than many religious leaders have cared to
admit. What we are looking at now is a more open and honest
response to a question about religion.
As long ago as 1867 Matthew Arnold suggested
in his poem On Dover Beach that faith was ebbing away in our
society. Indeed he probably wrote the poem in 1851 but was concerned
to publish it because of adverse reaction. His understanding may
well reflect a much more sceptical population in the
nineteenth century than is often assumed.
Institutional religion has become
increasingly identified in our minds with sexual abuse, terrorism
and violence, outdated ceremonies and perceptions of human
relationships. Against such a background it is hardly surprising
that there has been a sharp increase among the population of those
who reject 'religion'. But perhaps more importantly religion appears
to have little or no relation to the realities of life. Yet each of
us lives life in the context of a set of values and routines and
perhaps goals which give meaning to the lives we live. The things we
hold dear shape our lives and the lives of those around us. What
informs those values, where do they come from? Are they not a kind
of 'faith' even if they have nothing
directly to do with any religion?
Most of us have faith in someone ... and in
the things and people we hold dear. These things relate to us at a
deep level ... a level which we might call the 'soul'. An
understanding which suggests that we are spiritual
as well physical and mortal beings.
It is easy enough to reject institutional
religion as outmoded, irrelevant, and unjust. It is another thing to
neglect one's own soul; and to fail to reflect upon one's values ...
the things we hold dear. The great religions for all their failings
have always invited their adherents to do just that. The Gospel of Jesus
Christ is just such an invitation:
I'm not sure that Jesus ever envisaged
anything like the churches we have today ... but he does ask us to reflect on what we
hold of ultimate importance and value.
|PAUSE FOR THOUGHT
||Revd Canon Kate Tristram|
WHAT DO THE ANGELS
The world is full of strange experiences; here is the story of
one. One Sunday a visitor happened to drop into a country
church during the service of Morning Prayer. It was just a
little church, with a congregation of village people and a cracked
organ, but they were doing their best. They sang, 'To Thee all
angels cry aloud....holy, holy, holy...' The visitor couldn't help
thinking how great must be the contrast between this struggling act
of human worship and the majestic harmonies of the angelic
choir. Then he had his strange experience. Out of the
corner of his eye he saw a faint blue smoke coming up between the
chinks of the stone floor. His first horrified thought was
that the church was on fire. But then it was clear that it was
not smoke, but what he called 'a soft haze of a violet
colour' Then 'the luminous blue haze around me was
transformed into sudden glory... But the most wonderful thing was that
these waves of light were crowded with forms of living creatures...The
heavenly hosts drifted through the human congregation, beings of
radiant beauty and clothed in shimmering raiment...' Then the
vision faded and the visitor found himself still standing there. The
whole experience had taken only a few seconds, and no one else had
noticed anything at all.
Clearly that was a very special 'moment of glory'; but very many
people have moments when they are aware of a depth of meaning in
life or a beauty in it beyond their normal awareness. In some form
or other they see the angels. In some form or other they
overhear their song of praise. Ordinary life offers everybody
this experience if they will but take it: to be lost in astonishment
or wonder at some lovely landscape, or music or other work of art,
or at some hardly believable tale of human goodness or
courage. We feel that here is something huge, altogether
bigger than ourselves
If we are given such moments let's treasure them, for this is the
beginning of worship. We can use them as pointers towards that
coming time when we too shall see and know God better, and join more
fully in the worship of heaven.
Holy Island Festival 2016
Friday 24th June
Royal Northern Sinfonia
Saturday 25th June|
HOLY ISLAND VILLAGE HALL
Featuring 'Lindisfarne' founding drummer Ray Laidlaw and frontman Billy Mitchell with Tom Mitchell on guitar and piano,
Michael Bailey on bass, Mark Anderson on guitars and Rachael Bailey on violin and accordion.
Saturday 25th June
Sunday 26th June
Festival Eucharist 10.45am
with the Scholars of St Martin in the Fields
preacher: Very Revd Christopher Dalliston
[Dean of Newcastle Cathedral]
Headline Concert: The Unthanks
also performing during the weekend
Anna & Martha Raine
The Five Ring Circus