SITEZINE: HOLY ISLAND'S E-MAIL MAGAZINE
1st September 2016|
- A bit from me...
- Holy Island Causeway: user safety
- Beacon Brauhaus
- Peregrini Lindisfarne landscape partnership
- Holy Island village hall rebuilding appeal
- Lindisfarne Castle
- Where have all our swallows gone?
- Natural England Lindisfarne NNR
- News from Ford & Etal
- From the community of Aidan and Hilda
- From the Vicarage
- Pause for thought
From: HI Station Officer Ryan Douglas
|A BIT FROM ME
Dear Friend of Lindisfarne,
Welcome to our September issue of Sitezine
and as I write the glorious weather in northeast England continues on.
As another summer bank holiday weekend
passes with our car parks filled to bursting point, I wonder if you
were amongst the 650,000 visitors who passed our doors;
slept in our hotels and B&Bs; called on our heritage monuments;
ate in our cafes and restaurants; perhaps you bought some local
produce: fudge, Pilgrims coffee, mead from the winery,
strawberries, potatoes, honey from Coombes farm (see
right) ...; walked the dunes and huge expanse of
near-deserted beaches. Maybe you worshipped in our churches or tarried
awhile on one of our public benches in quiet
Whatever it was you did here we hope you enjoyed yourselves.
Thank you for coming - we look forward to seeing you again next
Ezine: Our ezine page (https://www.lindisfarne.org.uk/ezine/)
should now be up-to-date with 12 months of back issues:
Website: Did you manage to follow up
on our link to the Blyth 'North Sea Tall Ships Regatta 2016'
. Very well done to all involved in organising the event
and the sponsors who made it all possible. My fingers were crossed
that in the culminating race to Gothenburg, Sweden, some of
that magnificent fleet sail near the island on their way out. Sadly
the winds were not favourable.
Knowing the pressure that some of my
colleagues have been under, I am delighted to provide
information from St Mary's, The HI Village Hall, Lindisfarne Castle, HI Bird Expert, The Community
of Aidan and Hilda, The Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership, Ford
& Etal Estates, Natural England and our 'Pause for Thought' feature. We
particularly welcome a report from amongst our younger ranks Marcus who
writes about his new, island-brewed product!
Wishing you a healthy and happy start
to autumn until we get in touch again on 1st October.
God Bless - Geoff Porter
PS: The 'Yorkshire Post' ( reader
Malcolm Bentley ) has sent a link click
. I hope none will regard the newsletter as
taking a political stance. Our sympathy extends to all sides who become embroiled in conflict.
|HOLY ISLAND CAUSEWAY: USER
Contract for causeway works commencing October - approx.
unbelievably one hectare of saltmarsh to be relocated as part
of conservation consent---circa £25k of work jointly supervised by
county and English Nature - progress !!!! I can only apologise
for standing back two years ago but at the time thought leaving all
parties to sort it out was best solution - hindsight has proven you
probably can have too much consultation - I can
only pray it forms if not a total solution then a step in
the right direction - thank you all for your patience and support and
to both county parish residents and EN officers whom have all contributed and
worked together to get us here.
Northumberland County Council
ED: Well done
Doug! Perhaps the problem in leaving it with 'parties' to solve was
that none of the parties live here on the island
and have to cope with the situation daily. Hopefully, in their 'consultation'
will have listened to the economic solutions offered by some of those eco-minded folk
living here. We will be watching with
|| Marcus Hahn|
Ray Laidlaw with 'Lady Eleanor'
As many of the readers will have probably
heard, I have recently set up a little brewery at Pilgrims Coffee
House called Beacon Brauhaus.
The idea came about early last year after I started working for
Andrew again. Seeing him roasting his own coffee beans inspired me
to create something myself.
I remember sitting at the Crown and Anchor over a pint one night
when the revelation hit. I had the idea of maybe starting to make my
own cheese to be used at the cafe, however, I don't really know the
first thing about cheese and I'm not even particularly fond of it.
Upon taking a swig of beer, I looked at the glass and thought to
myself: "I do like (understatement) beer, however!".
In that moment, the idea for the brewery was born. Over the
following few weeks I looked into the process and shortly after that
ordered my first homebrew kit.
Fast forward a little less than a year, Andrew told me that he
agreed to supply a bespoke beer for the Holy Island festival. That's
when things started to get serious. I needed my brewery license and
of course the beer and a name for it. The latter was an easy
pick as I had just come up with a very tasty elderflower blonde and
I was already toying with the idea of naming one of my brews 'Lady
Eleanor' after the Lindisfarne song. So that was settled. All that
was left was waiting for the approval of the brewery to come through
and it did so just in the nick of time for me to get the beer
brewed, bottled and labelled. In fact, Andrew and I were still
sticking the last labels onto the bottles about 20 minutes before
they were meant to go on sale for the interval during the
Lindisfarne gig. It was a very close call but it all paid off in the
end. The feedback I received was outstanding and further motivated
me to get my business established.
Beacon Brauhaus is still in its infancy but progress is being
made every day and I am delighted with the results so
|PEREGRINI LINDISFARNE LANDSCAPE PARTNERSHIP
The Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership are excited to announce
the winners of their Landscape Photography Project.
Earlier this year, four photography workshops were held in iconic
locations across north Northumberland and helped local people
develop skills using their Digital SLR camera. The efforts were then
showcased in an exhibition held during the Holy Island Festival with
over 400 visitors voting for their favourite picture.
First prize went to Martin Lefevre with a stunning photo of
Cheswick Sands; second prize to Phillip Hanson with an atmospheric
black and white image of an up turned boat at Holy Island harbour
and third prize was awarded to Alison Woolley for her image of the
moon during sunset at Cheswick Sands. Prizes included vouchers and
professional prints of the photographs shown in the exhibition.
Brenda Stanton, Chair of the Peregrini Lindisfarne Board said
"The photography project has not only shown off the beautiful
landscape across north Northumberland but highlights the talent of
local people who took part on this exciting project"
Helen Griffiths, Peregrini Programme Manager also said "as part
of our creative arts project, the photography workshops and
exhibition was an opportunity for local people to get out into this
iconic landscape and capture it in all its glory. These images will
help develop a visual archive of the Peregrini area and contribute
to interpretation for other Peregrini projects"
Anyone interested in getting involved in other creative arts
projects being delivered can visit: www.peregrinilindisfarne.org.uk.
// Phone: 01668 213086.
|HOLY ISLAND VILLAGE HALL REBUILDING APPEAL
RAINBOW OVER LINDISFARNE PRIORY
(from: John and Linda Marrin)
There have been several encouraging
responses from national fund providers. But we would rather that the
Lottery allowed the Trustees to use the under-spend on fitting out
the kitchen and serving area. The discussion continues.
You may recall that that there were
concerns regarding the floor covering in the main hall.
Following discussion with the Contractor and our Advisors, a
site meeting was arranged with the supplier and manufacturer of the
At that meeting and following a detailed inspection by the
manufacturer it was agreed that the flooring did not meet the
required standard and a large section would be lifted and replaced
other smaller areas would be rectified.
The work was carried out
a short time ago and it appears to me that the flooring is now
satisfactory but the Professionals need to inspect and approve the
work before it is signed off.
BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS: The village hall book
stall, generously hosted by the Oasis Café, has had a busy
summer and there is a danger that they will run out of articles to
sell for hall funds.
Please check and if you have any spare
books, games, puzzles left by visitors. If so gather them up and
drop them off at the Oasis. They will help raise funds to meet
annual running costs. Thank you.
Commercial use of hall
Several expressions of
interest from 'commercial uses', have been noted, for example; a
farmers market or a sales table at coffee mornings It became clear
that we needed to clarify the attitude of HMRC and The Charity
Commissioner. Information received indicates that providing our
charity benefits from their fees by helping to meet annual running
costs etc. Limited commercial activities can be considered.
A draft document Village Hall Hires Charges and Term
& Conditions - 2016
This is in preparation and will
be presented for discussion, amendment and approval at the next
When approved it will be published on the Hall
web site, the most important section in this document will confirm
that the long standing arrangements for use of the hall by Islanders
will show little change.
Memorial Bench for Tinko and Clive
of donations have been received and are being held in a dedicated
account until the target is achieved and an appropriate bench is
acquired. Thank you for your generosity.
Since my last article
things have progressed somewhat on the Castle Project front, and
actually things are moving
so quickly that I am writing as fast as I
can before anything else happens to make this piece suddenly out of date.
The main headline though, as many of you
will already be aware, is that we have taken the not inconsiderable
decision to close the Castle to the public for the duration of the
works, which must be complete by March 2018. That means that along
with the two planned closed winters of 2016/7 and 2017/8, there will
be no access to the interior of the building during the 2017 season.
While this is a big decision for all concerned, there was never
really a viable alternative given the nature of the building and its
location. Our architects did draw up plans to phase the work but
ultimate this required it to be trimmed back to fit the cut off time
of March 2018, which meant some crucial bits of work had to be
prioritised over others. This was not an option as we don't want to
do anything like a project of this scale again anytime soon. The
timeline then (at time of writing) looks like this; August/September
- tender of works
submitted by contractors, September - chosen contractor appointed, late October/early
November - packing and removal of Castle contents, mid-November - handover to contractor.
The main item on my mind at the moment is
that removals job coming up in a couple of months. We need to have a
good sort out of what is in here and then begin carefully packing
and documenting the historic collection before it can be removed
into storage ahead of the work. Around about half a dozen items -
including a couple of bespoke bits of Lutyens furniture - are too
large to be removed, so are having to be left in the Castle and
protected in situ. Along with these few items, many of the features
in the rooms are to be protected by us and the contractor before
work can begin such as columns and arches, fireplaces, floors,
doors, wood panelling and more. To carry out this work we are being
helped out by a team of volunteers who will be doing most of the
packing and documentation but we have also had to bring in one of
from the Wallington Estate as many of the 100-year old
mantelpieces and shelves also need to be carefully removed and taken into storage.
In terms of things
starting to change on site visually, I doubt we will really start to
notice anything until later in the year once the building is handed
over and a lot will depend on the work programme the successful
contractor decides on. There will of course be scaffolding visible
at some point soon but the general consensus there seems that a
phased approach will be taken - so that sections of the building
will be scaffolded in turn as the work progresses. There will be
some sort of building compound near the Castle gate but quite how
that will look we don't know at this stage although I am hoping to
have some sort of staffed information point in place in that area
for the 2017 season too. Access along the road north of the Castle
will not of course
be affected being a public right of way, but the
road up to the main entrance will be part of the building site.
think that's all I have for now, but please give
me a bell if you have any questions or require more detailed information.
// @NTLindisfarne // 01289 389903
| WHERE HAVE ALL OUR SWALLOWS GONE?
It's a question which has been on many
island lips this summer: Why are there so few Swallows around
the village and the island in general?
Even around prime breeding sites, such as the fishing sheds at
the beach, far fewer birds have been flying around and breeding this
year. Elsewhere, some regular nest sites have not been used at all
or in spots where I'd normally expect three or four pairs only a
couple have been nesting.
It's certainly not just confined to the island. Everywhere across
the region the picture is the same with far fewer pairs than
normal. Recently, while ringing a brood at the stables near
the beach, I got into conversation with a farmer from the Yorkshire
Dales who told a similar story about the lack of Swallows back home
The answer seems to be that far fewer Swallows than normal
returned to Britain this spring from their wintering areas in South
Africa. Bad weather conditions, leading to a very large number of
birds perishing en route, is the most likely explanation. Those
which did return then faced a very cool April and early May and a
subsequent shortage of flying insect food just at the stage
where they needed it most to built themselves up again after the
rigours of the a journey of 9,000 or 10,000 miles.
In July I told the story of the Swallow I ringed as a nestling in
2011 in Tommy and Beatha's garage in Lewins Lane which was found
dead in the spring near the Crown & Anchor. This bird which had
just completed its fifth return trip to the island, covering well
over 100,000 miles in its life just on migration, probably succumbed
to starvation. I fear that's a fate that was probably suffered by
many more which did actually manage to return.
Having monitored and ringed Swallows on the island now for 15
years, I can say that it's the poorest season during that period
with breeding pairs down by half. However, that's just the bad news.
Those Swallows which did make it back and survived the weather of
spring went on to breed. Not just that, they also seem to have been
From the nests I've been able to monitor, pairs which have bred
have raised healthy broods and by July many youngsters were evident
around the village. Some pairs then went on to start second
families, indicated by fresh clutches of eggs in some nests from
which young had successfully fledged.
It's always difficult to know if the same adults are involved in
these second clutches and broods because Swallows will quickly take
over empty or vacant nests simply to save themselves the trouble of
building new ones. By the time you are reading this many of those
later broods will also have fledged to add to the number of Swallows
around the village, a welcome sight for us all.
Many regular readers may recall that in 2014 I wrote about the
discovery on the island of the first recorded instance in
Northumberland of Swallows using a natural nest site as opposed to
the usual locations in a huge range of buildings and other man-made
That nest, just six or seven feet above the high water mark, was
found by George Moody when he was out gathering shellfish. It was
tucked away in a sheltered crevice in the boulder clay sea bank near
Emmanuel Head. That year it fledged three young. Rather
surprisingly, the nest survived the winter of 2014-15 and was again
used by Swallows last year. However the nest became waterlogged
during heavy rain and young which were still naked and blind
Even more amazingly for such a vulnerable site, the nest survived
another winter and was used again this year, not by Swallows but by
a pair of Pied Wagtails. They fledged a very healthy brood of four
young. I wonder if the nest can survive yet another winter.
Populations of Swallows, like many other small migratory birds,
tend to fluctuate widely and I think we'll just have to write 2016
off as one of those years when numbers were low. That could all
quickly change with a couple of successful breeding season and, just
as importantly, favourable conditions while they are migrating to
and from South Africa.
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE NNR
This time of year is always seen as a
transition period as we are now saying farewell to our shorebirds
who make journey's to their wintering grounds in various parts of
the world including Africa and the Antarctic. In the next few months
we will start to welcome back ducks, geese and waders returning
to the Reserve in large
We had a successful shorebird season and
thanks must go in particular to our excellent volunteers as well
as shorebird wardens Alex, James and George who did a great
job this year. We also had visiting trainees from Natural England's
Nurturing Skill traineeship that helped out for a week on the
Shorebird project. It was great to be able to give them a difference
experience on different type of habitat than they were used to as
they normally work at Derbyshire Dales NNR. Thanks to the public for
recognising the importance of this work and putting dogs on leads
etc. Last week we also attended a Little Tern Networking meeting
where we heard
about other colonies around the
This year you may have noticed a different
design of sign on the Reserve. Over the summer month's signs were
placed throughout the dunes on the Reserve to give visitors
information about ground nesting birds such as lapwing, skylark and
meadow pipit. Ground nesting birds nest at ground level and
often you won't know you are near their nest until they shoot up and
away or start calling. In addition to the sign we also fenced off a
small area with temporary fencing just to give them
a small area free from
We have had a few events recently which have
been really well received. Our Seal Safari was a great opportunity
to show visitors one of the Reserves great spectacles. We were able
to set up telescopes and binoculars to give a great view of the
seals on the flats and they really did perform! We also had a yoga
event on the North Shore which was a great way to merge the
the Reserve with some quiet
Every year the MarClim project with the help
of NE staff survey the Rocky Shore on the Reserve this year it was
done on the 21st of August. The data collected feeds into a national
dataset which over time can tell us about species shifts and we have
some excellent pictures on the
Reserve Warden, Beal Station,
Tel: 01289 381 470
Mhairi's blog and facebook page can be found at http://lindisfarnennr.blogspot.co.uk/
|NEWS FROM FORD & ETAL
2nd - 5th September -
Retirement sale, 10am-4pm - in the Horseshoe Forge, Ford
Village. (NB The Forge is NOT closing). Antiques,
collectables, vintage - hundreds of items at massive discounts of
50% and more! Enquiries 01890 820521 or 0759 698 7080.
Please note that Antiques & Collectors Fairs previously
scheduled to take place in Etal Village Hall on 18th September &
27th November have now been cancelled.
4th September - Etal
Horticultural Show, Etal Showground. Gates open 12 noon,
marquee opens 2pm. Admission £3.00, children free, parking
free. Exhibition of vegetables, flowers, industrial, walking
sticks and children's classes. Attractions on the field
include chainsaw carving display, Coldstream Pipe Band, children's
sports, companion dod show, carousel, bouncy castle, rodeo
copetition, archery, craft stalls, vintage vehicles, heavy horses,
beer tent, car boot sale, refreshments.
10th September - Live Music
at Etal Village Hall, Jimmy Aldridge and Sid
Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith
play traditional and original folksong of the British Isles. They
tell stories of hardship, joy, struggle and celebration held
together with driving banjo and guitar arrangements and close vocal
They have been heavily influenced by the
songs and singers of East Anglia, where they both grew up, but their
music also reflects the diversity of voices within the folk and
acoustic world. They weave traditional English folksong with Irish,
Scottish and American tunes, and their own compositions draw on many
The songs on their new album have been
picked up from sessions, singarounds, gigs, recordings and learned
from friends. The stories are varied but there is a common thread of
political struggle and resistance, and the decline of the industries
that were the backbone of England for many generations.
As usual, tickets are £12 and can be booked
in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
or telephone 01890 820566. Doors will open at 7.30pm and the
music starts at 8pm
10th-17th September - Art
Exhibition, Heatherslaw (in 'the Poultry Shed' opposite the
Cornmill). Lowick Art Group return for the 3rd year with their
display of art works, open daily 11am-4pm; free admission.
18th September - Farmers
Market, Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre, 10am-4pm.
18th September-30th October
- Wildlife Photography Exhibition by Ron McCombe in 'the
Poultry Shed' opposite Heatherslaw Cornmill. Open daily
10am-4pm until 30th September; 11am-4pm during October.
Lady Waterford Hall:
Until 17th September the artists' display cabinet will
feature work by the talented Sue Shaw of Ewetree Crafts who makes
amazing needle felt pictures and objects - anything from cute
animals to dinasaours, fruit to musical instruments and much more
besides. Needle felting is a technique that uses a special
barbed needle that is pushed into wool fibres which presses them
down and blends them. Pieces take between a day and two weeks
to make and most of the fleece is sourced from Yorkshire and
From 18th September until 30th
October the popular Bright Seed Textiles returns with a
variety of cards by Jane Jackson.
|FROM THE COMMUNITY OF AIDAN AND
Last month a man walked all the way from the
West country to Holy Island. He had been inspired to do this by
Rachel Joyce's award-winning first novel 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of
Harold Fry'. Harold confined himself to a suburban house where he
attempted and shared nothing. But when a woman named Queenie, who
had worked in his office department twenty years before,
informed him she was dying of cancer in a Berwick Upon Tweed Care
Home he sent her a card saying 'I am walking to Berwick. Stay
alive until I arrive'. The long, blistered walk introduced him to
people, himself and a vision for life.
I, too, have been inspired by this book and
I am on my way to Berwick in the Autumn. The process of moving to
temporary and then longer term accommodation is difficult, so,
inspired by this book, l have turned
this process into a kind of pilgrimage.
Last month also Håkon Borgenvik, the new
leader of our dispersed Community in Norway, arrived on the
island after walking St. Cuthbert's Way with members of his previous parish
of Holem and his present parish Flekkerøya.
You may recall that Flekkeroya is an
island with links to Holy Island - five of its young men stole away in a boat when Hitler invaded
and landed on Lindisfarne which welcomed them.
Flekkeroya is part of the revival area. Most
of its two and a half thousand inhabitants attend a church. Hakon is
vicar. His friend Torbjorn is a gardener and poet. Some of his
prayer poems have been translated into English such
as this fragment that he sent me:
Jesus Christ, you were before everything
You made everything by your word
Let the power of God overshadow our ego
Let the Spirit
of God live in us
we may follow you in all things.
Although our new Open Gate Wardens Kevin and
Lesley Downham do not officially start until October 1. They will be
in and out this month as my
house here is adapted for their use.
The International Community of Aidan and Hilda
|FROM THE VICARAGE
How can we begin to say anything about
something which is both invisible and intangible?
But this is what those who believe in God
attempt to do all the time.
When we speak we often do so by referring to
something other than we are speaking about to convey our meaning:
she's a night owl or he's a road hog - these are metaphors. And we
use metaphor to speak of the divine: 'The Lord is my shepherd', and
Jesus says of himself: 'I am the true vine', 'I am the bread of
life'. These phrases suggest something about what we think God is
like or what we understand of Jesus. But what about 'God', the
divine, the Other? Are there metaphors which express what we seek to
mean by using these words?
The best metaphor for me is music: music has
the power to evoke memories and places and feelings. Music is
written in the form of musical notation - but music is something
which happens, is performed and heard and experienced and lived.
Music affects me profoundly. In performance there is the physicality
of singing or playing an instrument - as a solo or as a choir or
orchestra: and there is the physical experience of apprehending the
performance - hearing, sensing, feeling. Yet music in another sense
is invisible and intangible: it is here and then gone; it moves me,
but I cannot take hold of it, I cannot store the experience - it has
to be lived. So for me music, at least some music, sometimes, is a
metaphor for 'God'. And when that moment of being taken out of
myself happens it is sublime, and most often it is beyond words. It
has impacted upon me and changed me: I am different because of this
moment, this experience, this 'otherness'.
The work of various composers can be more or
less guaranteed to have such an effect upon me. One such composer is
Herbert Howells (1892-1983). He was an organist as well as a
composer and some of the music he wrote was to be performed in
particular places. One set of his compositions is entitled Collegium
Regale - these pieces were written to be performed in King's
College, Cambridge. They include settings of the texts for Morning
and Evening Prayer and the Holy Communion. In several of the pieces
the word 'glory' occurs: 'Glory be to the Father...' and 'glory
everlasting' - the chords which he produced to express this single
word in these pieces are for me the best metaphor for the divine
glory that I have ever encountered. I would go as far as to say that
these pieces have a sacramental quality ... they are the outward and
experiential expression of the reality to which they point; they
produce in the moment an experience which is sublime.
The reality of this experience is summed up
in the words of R S Thomas is his poem Pilgrimages:
He is such a fast
God, always before
and leaving as we arrive.
Are there moments and metaphors which
suggest the sublime and the divine for you?
|PAUSE FOR THOUGHT
||Revd Canon Kate Tristram|
WHO WANTS A BRIDGE,
We, the people of Holy Island, are
hospitable. We offer our guests all of two ways to get on to
the Island. EITHER you walk the Pilgrims' Way, 2 miles across
the sands: your feet will be wet and muddy, your leg muscles tired
out by the soft sand, your nose will be red from the sun or your
ears will drop off in the wind, and your heart may be pounding
because the tide is nearer than you thought. OR you can drive
along the causeway. You will be met by welcoming notices like:
'If the water has reached the causeway DO NOT CROSS.' The
refuge-box stands there as a haven, but also as a warning. The
sea is stronger than we are, and the sea always has the last word
on Holy Island.
So why don't we build a bridge? We
can't have one (too expensive). But do we want one? We
say bravely that we like the tides. We like the way the rest
of the globe is cut off from us twice a day. What would we do
if we couldn't tell the funny causeway stories (not the tragic
ones)? What would we do without our unique local water-sport,
known as 'racing the tide'? There is no totally safe way of
coming to Holy Island: there
is no permanent bridge.
Now let's be serious and take all of this as
a parable for life. Would you choose a life that was always
safe? Even small children, if they find their lives too easy,
invent tests and challenges for themselves. Adults who find
life too tame go out and take up a dangerous sport or hobby.
Would you choose a life without the possibility of risk? That
would be a world without courage, for courage can develop
only alongside risk.
Would you never have anyone in need?
Then no-one would learn
to be sympathetic.
A world without adventure and fortitude, a
generosity and compassion:
Would it be a better world than the
one we have?
Would you like a world without
failure? But, in a pause for thought, is it worth noticing
that, however successful we may be, ultimate failure is guaranteed
to each one of us? By all means let us race the tide and win
again and again. But one day the tide will get us, and carry
us out to another shore. And that is
a different story.