SITEZINE: HOLY ISLAND'S E-MAIL MAGAZINE
1st November 2016|
- A bit from me...
- Crossman Hall
- Lindisfarne Castle
- Goldcrest invasion from northern forests
- Natural England Lindisfarne NNR
- Lindisfarne Priory
- News from Ford & Etal
- From the community of Aidan and Hilda
- From the Vicarage
- Parish Diary
- Pause for thought
December - Village Hall!
|A BIT FROM ME
Welcome to our November issue of Sitezine
Our indian summer continues and our car
parks filled with visitors, particularly this past, half-term,
holiday week. Winds lightened at the beginning of the month and
the falling Autumn leaves that I mentioned last month seem to have
clung on with an extended lease of life. Mind you, if you are
one of those who visited the island recently you will have noticed them now falling in
Amidst all your hustle and bustle the community closed silently
together to mourn the loss of two of our number. Many will remember
Sylvia Shell, who was a frequent writer for our 'Holy Island Times'
and Patrick Dunne, who some will remember from the past selling
those fabulous, soft-whippy, icecream cones from the corner shop
which he ran with wife Thelma. Rest in peace dear Sylvia and
Patrick. You are sadly missed.
Thank you to all
our authors who have written in this month. We
hope you enjoy the fruit of our work. We wish
you a healthy and happy month and look forward to getting in touch again on
God Bless - Geoff Porter
PS: I note the continuing success of the
'European Space Agency' with our Mars orbiter arriving safely
on station with pin-point accuracy at a minmum (!) distance
from Earth of 34 million miles. ESA experts are currently looking
into the reason the 'Schiaparelli' lander seems to have
developed a failure during its final descent phase utilising
photographs sent back from the orbiter. They are pictures covering
the 30-foot area of ground where the lander alighted but no sign of 'little green men'!
| CROSSMAN HALL (formally HI Village
Apologies for missing last month, I was away
and did not return until the end of the month missing
However, little has happened reference the completion of the
snagging, the delay is caused by slow progress acquiring a legal
easement to cross land to connect our rainwater drain to the main
drain. When that is sorted the contractor will arrive on site and
set the drain and complete all outstanding works.
We have had a cluster of bookings from a range of institutions
during October and our big day was providing facilities for 120+
year 5 little darlings. They were charming, but how Teachers cope
with so much noise is a puzzle to me.
They came, on a damp day, did their fieldwork, completed their
worksheets and had a picnic lunch in the hall.
Lesson learnt: - Allow for two people and two+ hours to clean-up
after they depart!
October has been, on occasions chilly. So with guidance from the
internet I managed to set up the two independent heating systems.
System one under-floor heating in the main hall, having read the
online instructions, the air heat exchange system is managed using a
digital pictograms display in the control window. Got it working and
it's quite cosy, so far.
The heating control for the anterooms and hot water system uses
the same technique of pictograms, but there is a longer and maybe
more complicated menu. This area is now warm but the supply of
hot/warm water to the hand basins is not yet quite right. I think I
require a tutorial from the systems installer.
Our negotiations with the Big Lottery Fund continue reference the
installation of the kitchen using our Grant underspend.
As we draw towards November that time of year when the Nation
remembers the fallen and wounded of many conflicts. I am reminded
that the people of France hold those who fell and were wounded very
close. In the area of Normandy I visit regularly there are many
British and Allied Servicemen laid to rest in local churchyards.
Some cared for by the War Greaves Commission and others looked after
by the local community. In my hamlet, La Roque, the local churchyard
has a greave dedicated to fighter pilot shot-down during the
Normandy invasion. He was recovered from his downed aircraft and
interred by locals before the enemy arrived on scene.
Earlier this year, the oldest member of the community, the late
farmer and Mayors, wife died. I remember well the story of her first
encounter with the advancing relief forces; In the candle lit dairy
she was readying for the first milking of the day, the cattle were
restless and then a quiet knock on the door. Alarmed she
slowly open the door and saw a dirty mud spattered man carrying a
rifle wearing what appeared to her as a skirt and others like him in
the farmyard. He was an advance scouting patrol from the Highlanders
who had just crossed the River Seine seeking information.
Later, how she laughed at the thought of being saved from the
Nazi rear-guard by men in skirts. The Highlanders!
Before any of the planned works at the Castle can
go ahead, the important job of emptying its contents needs to be completed.
Well it's here. By the time you're reading this it'll be November
and that'll be another season done. As I write though it is still
half term and the island seems busy enough; a decent end to a funny
As soon as the castle closes on the 30th October we start the big
pack-up. The first lot of volunteers are due in on the morning of
the 31st, and once we've divided up into teams we will begin the
process of packing the contents ready to be moved out of the
building. The volunteer job consists of two distinct roles - packing
and documenting. The teams of four or five will consist mainly of
packers with one documentation volunteer overseeing the work. It is
very important that we record which object goes into which crate and
ultimately, which shelf that crate ends up on in the store. Our
accreditation as a museum is granted by the Arts Council on the
basis that, at a given time, we could locate any object we have in
our collection. The packers will be carefully placing objects into
crates lined with bubble wrap and surrounding the items with bubble
wrap 'sausages' (bubbles on the inside). We won't be wrapping items
individually as this would make it more difficult to locate
individual pieces in the crates.
A large chunk of the collection is made up of ceramics so
obviously a fair amount of bubble wrap is needed. However where
metals are concerned - pewter, brass, copper etc - we use acid-free
tissue paper to protect items in crates. This is because over time
the bubbles on bubble wrap can find themselves slightly stuck to
metallic objects - just enough to leave a pattern of circles on the
object when the wrap is removed. Inside the crates, 'shelves' can be
made of bubble wrap to divide up layers of objects while
conservation-grade foam (Plastazote) can be use to make upright
dividers or more rigid shelves. Many of our objects won't fit into
the crates, such as framed prints and larger ceramics, or at least
will fit but won't allow the lids to shut. It such instances we can
either use cardboard boxes, or make cardboard covers to protect
items while in transit. We can also use Tyvek - a material resistant
to liquid but not to vapour, making it breathable - to wrap large
While the volunteers are getting on with the packing, myself and
some other staff will be taking down some of the more complex
objects we have in the building. The wind indicator panel in the
Entrance Hall was designed and painted by Macdonald Gill for Lutyens
in 1913 and apart from a couple of conservation jobs over the years,
it has barely been off the wall let alone out of the castle. Our
joiner Craig is making a 10' by 5' frame to which the panel will be
screwed before being covered in Tyvek. Once in store, the panel will
be secured to a wall again. The Ship Room has of course a model ship
hanging from the ceiling - that also has to go so is leaving in a
specially-made crate after being detached from its pulley system The
rest of the large furniture is relative easy to dismantle; most of
it was effectively 'flat-packed' when it was made. However a couple
of Lutyens' own design seem to have been made rather more solidly
and must remain in place for the duration of the work under plywood
All being well we should have the building clear by the middle of
the month. As the last items are being removed we will probably pass
people coming the other way bringing scaffolding poles, Harris
fencing, and a huge temporary roof. I think that is when this whole
project will finally seem very real and very immediate.
If you would like any more information on what is going on please
let me know. Hopefully in the next issue I will be able to introduce
you to the people who will actually be doing the works, if they
haven't already done so themselves.
All the best
firstname.lastname@example.org // @NTLindisfarne // 01289 389903
| GOLDCREST INVASION FROM NORTHERN FORESTS
In what has proved an incredible autumn season for small migrants
on the island, the smallest of them all has really stood out.
Goldcrests have been everywhere. I've found
them feeding on grass verges in Chare Ends, in the car parks and on
lawns and bushes in just about every garden in the village.
Elsewhere, the lonnen hedges have been buzzing with them and even the isolated bushes in the dunes
have all held little parties, busy gleaning away for tiny insects,
spiders and their eggs. Many hundreds, if not thousands, have been present.
With their striking yellow crown stripes,
Goldcrests are Europe's smallest birds. They weigh no more than a
five pence piece but are capable of long and dangerous migrations across the Baltic and North Sea before they arrive
on the island. I shudder to think how many don't make
it and go down in the sea or are taken by gulls.
Most of those we see have been shown by
ringing recoveries to come from the vast conifer forest areas east of the Baltic and well into
Russia. Others arrive from northern Scandinavia. Many will remain to winter
in Britain while others will move onwards down into Spain and Portugal.
Old-time naturalists didn't believe that such
tiny birds could possible cross the North Sea unaided. They fondly
believed that they hitched a ride on the backs of migrating Woodcock which tend to
arrive at the same time. Tales abound of sportsmen shooting Woodcock
and seeing Goldcrests scramble out from their plumage and fly to safety.
That earned them the old name of the
Woodcock's Pilot. It was sheer nonsense, of course, but a nice explanation for their appearance in
autumn. Many people have commented to me about their tameness, often
feeding unconcerned just a few feet away, seemingly oblivious to us humans.
In the past I've had Goldcrests perching on
my boots and even binoculars. During this latest invasion both Paul
and Lesley Douglas had close encounters. Paul had a Goldcrest on his
shoulder while their boat was off Emmanuel Head. Back at home,
Lesley found one snuggling into the top of her furry boots in the
house porch after she'd left the front door open. It gave her a
wonderful chance to have a really good look at this tiny bird with its golden Mohican stripe. That stripe, of
course, provides their name and also an older title, Golden-crested Wren,
although in reality they much more closely related to warblers than wrens.
The mass arrival of Goldcrests was
accompanied by many other northern species in
the best numbers for years. These included Redwings, Fieldfares, Brambling, Mealy
Redpolls and Siskins as well as many Scandinavian Blackbirds and Song Thrushes.
There were also some real star birds, all
wanderers from Siberia and mainly normally wintering in South East
Asia. These included a White's Thrush, a big and strikingly mottled
black, brown and white relative of our own Blackbirds and Song Thrushes.
One which spent a day in Robert's willow
plantation at the north end of the Straight Lonnen was only the
third ever seen in Northumberland. By coincidence, the first was on the island
in 1914. If it takes another 102 years for the next
to appear I'm afraid we're all going to miss that one too!
This mega-rare thrush takes its name from the
Reverend Gilbert White (1720-1793), a country parson at Selborne in
Hampshire, who first described the species in 1790. White is much better remembered for his
delightful book The Natural History and Antiquities of Selbourne. It was
first published in 1789 and has never been out of print since.
Even rarer was a Siberian Accentor, a yellow
striped cousin of our humble Dunnock, or Hedge Sparrow to give its
older name, which most of us are very familiar with in our gardens. This species hadn't been recorded in
Britain until October 10 when one turned up in Shetland, causing
great excitement and more than a little panic in the birding world.
Others quickly followed in East Yorkshire,
Cleveland and County Durham before Britain's fifth was found on the
dunes path between the North Shore and Snipe Point on October 18.
There seems to have been a westward movement of these birds this autumn as others have
turned up in Sweden and Finland. With every birder in Britain
on high alert to their presence no doubt others will be found.
The other outstanding rarity, and perhaps the
most beautiful of all, was Pallas's Warbler, tiny yellow striped
birds which are always one of the most sought-after species of
autumn. A friend once aptly described them as like "flying mint humbugs."
Several have appeared on the island after being absent since 2009. Normally only one or
two occur in Northumberland annually but this autumn well over a
dozen have been found along the coast making it a record year.
An autumn Goldcrest caught
beautifully by regular island birder and photographer Andy Mould.
Two were at the Snook and other sightings
came from the Straight Lonnen, gardens at Chare Ends and the
Vicarage. It's always difficult to work out numbers as these small
birds wander from one feeding area to another. But it seems that
five or six have been present. These delightful visitors are named after a
German zoologist, Peter Pallas, who first found them breeding in some
of Russia's most remote regions during scientific expeditions in the 18th Century.
A lot of people have been in spoken to me or
been in touch through text and e-mail about my new book, The Birds of Holy Island. The publishers
and I are delighted to report that it's now selling well,
thanks to the island Post Office, the Lindisfarne Centre and the internet.
I would like to thank everyone who has
supported the book. I gather some have bought it as a small Christmas present for
friends and relatives elsewhere who love the island. Full details are
available on the island website and on that of the Lindisfarne Centre
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE
Autumn migration has certainly been hotting up recently and at
the end of October we have had several birdwatching and craft events
to celebrate Migration Watch. Aimed at children we had a craft event
where visitors made Light-bellied brent puppets and migration badges
at the Window on Wild Lindisfarne while others were given the
opportunity to view some our migratory geese and waders up close at
Fenham-le-Moor hide and Budle Bay. They were well attended and
thanks goes to The North Northumberland Bird Club for attending the
bird watching events.
There has been a great spectacle to show people at our events
with large numbers of pink-footed geese are roosting at Goswick and
Budle Bay - up to 7,000 have been present over the past couple of
weeks. Also, there are around 2,600 light-bellied brent on the
Reserve but we can have up to 50% of the world's population. Wigeon
numbers are also high with up to 16,000 visible in the middle of
October. There was a great write up about bird numbers and migration
as part of our Migration Watch events in The Newcastle Journal. The
beginning of October saw winds and weather aligning to bring a drop
of some other smaller migrants with flocks of goldcrest, fieldfare,
stone chats and redwings amongst others darting through the scrub
throughout the Reserve but particularly at Chare Ends.
Sheep and cattle moved onto the Reserve on the 12th of October
and have been making themselves at home. Both do a great job in
removing some of the invasive plants such as Michaelmas daisy. As
with most years there are signs up to let visitors know where they
are likely to come across livestock and particularly a reminder to
keep dogs on leads or close at heel. We've been able to increase the
scale of the grazing thanks to additional funding from Peregrinni
Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership. Following a summer helping with
the Shorebird Project, Alex has returned as a seasonal warden to
help during winter - it was great to welcome her back.
Reserve Warden, Beal Station,
ED: Mhairi's blog and facebook page can be found at http://lindisfarnennr.blogspot.co.uk/
| LINDISFARNE PRIORY
We're reaching the end of a very successful
season welcoming thousands of visitors and opening our new
accessible holiday cottage in the old Coastguard's House. The team
at the Priory are looking forward to a well-earned rest over the
winter! Just a reminder that the priory will move onto winter
opening hours from 1 November and will be open weekends only
10am-4pm over the winter months. We open daily during February
half term (18-26 Feb 2017) and then it's back to weekends again until the new season on 1 April.
|NEWS FROM FORD & ETAL
12th November - Live Music at Etal
Massey & Mairearad Green
Two of Scotland's most revered
multi-instrumentalists, Mairearad Green (accordion and bagpipes) and
Anna Massie (guitar, banjo, fiddle) are a truly captivating duo,
providing a highly energetic performance with an instantly warm and
friendly stage presence. Having played alongside each other
for over ten years, they revel in an intuitive approach to each
other's musical ideas and interpretations, and an "almost telepathic
communication" on stage (Hi-Arts), where they create "music more
than the sum of just two parts" (The Scotsman), effortlessly
showcasing the fruits of duo partnership to the highest level. Now
based in Glasgow, Mairearad and Anna both grew up in the Scottish
Highlands amidst very similar musical backgrounds (most notably,
mandolin playing Dads!), and so share an innate understanding of
Scottish culture and music. As a duo they have enjoyed many
successes, including five stars in The Scotsman and high praise from
KT Tunstall, becoming
a much-loved live act.
Contact Helen or Steve for tickets and
further information. All 'Etal Live Music' events have a bar.
Tickets £12.00 - can be paid by cash or cheque by calling at 22 Etal
or Taylor and
Green's furniture workshop at the riverside, or by post to Steve
Taylor, 22 Etal
Village, Cornhill-on-Tweed TD12 4TW.
7.30, music starts 8pm
Sunday 27th November 11am -
Ford Christmas Market
Over 50 stalls selling crafts, local foods
and seasonal gifts, all under cover of a street marquee and inside
the beautiful Lady Waterford Hall in Ford Village. Plus Santa
and his horse, kids' carousel, music and a range of refreshments
from hog roast to vegan, dairy and
gluten free sweet and savoury dishes. Free parking. Shuttle bus runs
throughout the day
from Etal and Heatherslaw.
Santa Specials with Heatherslaw Light
Railway 10th, 11th, 17th & 18th December
Enjoy a winter ride on Heatherslaw Light
Railway, meet Santa and enjoy seasonal refreshments; all children
receive a gift. PRE-BOOKING ESSENTIAL! £10.00 per
person. Tel 01890 820244 or visit www.heatherslawlightrailway.co.uk
more information or
to book your tickets.
|FROM THE COMMUNITY OF AIDAN AND
A Sense Of Place at Berwick Literary Festival
I binged on eight events in one week-end at
Berwick's Literary Festival. 'On the Edge' was this year's theme.
Berwick is, of course on the edge of both England and
Scotland, and on the edge of land and sea. What the
organisers did not realise is how, in one
event after another, the importance of place
would come to the forefront - and that included Holy Island.
Alistair Moffat, author of 'Scotland: a
history from earliest times' revealed this history almost entirely
by telling stories about places. Louise Ross, the crime fiction
writer whose first novel 'Holy Island' was an Amazon bestseller,
locates all her mysteries in Northumberland. She explained that she
does not have a pre-determined story - the plots unfold, not only from the nature of
the person she portrays, but also from
the nature of the place in which the crime takes place.
It was a delight to listen to our old friend
Alice Burn as she accompanied the poet Katrina Porteous on the
Northumbrian pipes. Katrina's book of poetry 'Two Countries'' threw
light on the shifting relationship between landscape and community.
By far its longest poem is entitled The Refuge, and thrills us with
sights, sounds and insights linked to the island. Archeologist
Professor Richard Hingley bid us experience Hadrian's Wall. As it
has been restored over the years, it tells us much about
unity in diversity, about the spirit of a
place, and of how communities flourish when
they feel protected and yet can travel to the next place.
Why is this sense of place so important?
One answer is that if we don't
know where we are we won't know where we should go.
This month I become tenant of a residence in
Berwick, near the river Tweed. This river, that carries so much
wonder, history and gunge of Scotland, flows into and shares it all
with England. Then it becomes purified and freed by the
healing salt of the vast ocean that
goes to the world. We are all linked by the sea.
The International Community of Aidan and Hilda
|FROM THE VICARAGE
||Revd Dr Paul Collins|
There is a tradition that
November is the month of Holy Souls, beginning with All Saints Day
on 1st followed by All Souls Day (Commemoration of the all the
Faithful Departed) on 2nd and from the twentieth century Armistice
Day on 11th and Remembrance Sunday. All Saints Day and All Souls Day
sit in the year (in the Northern Hemisphere) when darkness is
beginning to last longer than daylight. It is psychological moment
to reflect on life and death - to remember those things upon which
life depends: light, water and air, and to ask ourselves what we
value in our lives, what being alive means for us. Also to reflect
on the lives of those whom we love and whose mortal existence is
Some texts used in the liturgy of Holy Souls may help us in our
De profundis ... 'Out of the depths, have I cried to thee
O Lord' These are words from Psalm 130 which is traditionally used
at funerals, and at times of prayer for and remembrance of the
departed. It resonates with the shock and sorrow and loss which the
death of a loved one means to those whose lives are left emptier by
their decease. The church's liturgy seeks to help us recognise and
express our feelings before God as we are faced with the change in
our lives which death means.
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord; And let light perpetual
shine upon them. In this short response is expressed so much of
the Christian Tradition's understanding of the value and meaning of
each person created by God in his image and likeness. God's promise
in Christ is that life has 'eternal' significance: we might say
limitless value and significance: and the metaphor of 'light
perpetual' resonates with the need for light for our mortal
existence: the Light which gives us mortality also promises life
transfigured into the likeness of Christ crucified and risen.
In paradisium this is often the concluding text in
musical settings of a Requiem Mass - such as we find in the works of
Fauré or Duruflé.
In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant
te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem.
Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere
ĉternam habeas requiem.
"May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive
you at your arrival and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem. May
choirs of angels receive you and with Lazarus, once poor, may you
have eternal rest."
Here we have a beautiful picture of the communion of
saints, and of the biblical metaphor of heaven as the new Jerusalem,
into which the departed soul is made welcome. This text suggests how
the communion into which we are invited through our baptism and
which we enjoy in our lives lived in faith, is but the first stage
of a limitless indwelling in God's own life of love and fellowship -
as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
So we pray for all the faithful departed:
May the heavenly host sustain you
and the company of heaven
In communion with all the faithful,
dwell this day in peace.
Saturday 12th November: Choral Evensong - sung
by Bondington Voices at 5.30pm
Remembrance Sunday (13th November):
Service in St Mary's at 10.45am followed by laying of wreaths at the
war memorial on the Heugh.
|Sunday 27th November:
|Sunday 4th December:
||The Parish Eucharist 10.45am - visit of Bishop Christine of Newcastle
|Sunday 11th December:
||Christingle Service at 4pm
|Monday 12th December:
||School Christmas Performance at 5pm
|Saturday 17th December:
||"Journey of the Magi" (see below)
|Thursday 22nd December:
||Service of 9 Lessons and Carols at 5.30pm
|Saturday 24th December:
||Christmas Midnight Eucharist at 11.30pm
|Sunday 25th December:
||8am Holy Communion (BCP)
10.45am Family Service & Holy Communion
Journey of the Magi
- a Christmas Story for all ages -
Saturday 17th December
in the Village Hall
Tickets available from the Vicarage
(Tel. 01289 389 216)
£6 per adult // £4 per child
Family Ticket 2 Adults and up to 4 children £18
|PAUSE FOR THOUGHT
||Revd Canon Kate Tristram|
SANTA CLAUS and ALL THAT.....
Do you believe in Santa Claus? If you say "yes" and are old enough to read
this you must do some explaining. You say you really mean "the
spirit of Christmas" or something like that, and no-one can then
quarrel with you.
Or do you mean an actual person, who lives
somewhere up north, has reindeer, and comes down
the chimney (if you have a chimney) with presents. So perhaps
you are not more than 5 years old, and if you are
lucky you may actually meet Santa in the local supermarket. People may expect
you to enthuse about him. They may even ask you, "What is
Santa going to bring you for Christmas?" as if you could
possibly answer that!
Does it matter that our children are subjected to this
total fiction? Perhaps for many, no. They just swallow it as a game
the adults like to play. But there are others who can be
shattered when they discover the truth. For basically this is a
question of truth.
I remember reading of one little boy who came
down to Christmas breakfast furious, because he had just discovered that Santa
did not exist. He refused to eat and slammed out with the words,
"Now I'm going to get to the bottom of that Jesus thing
as well." His parents had deceived him once. What else must
he now disbelieve?
My own opinion is that we should
never tell children, as a matter of truth, something we do
not ourselves believe.
What do you think?