|SITEZINE: HOLY ISLAND'S E-MAIL MAGAZINE
- A bit from me...
- Crossman Hall
- Lindisfarne Castle
- The Day of the Redwings
- Lindisfarne NNR
- Enamel Christmas Decoration Workshop
- News from Ford & Etal
- From the community of Aidan and Hilda
- From our United Reformed Church minister
- From the Vicarage
- St. Mary's notices
St. Mary's Church
'Harvest Festival -
|A BIT FROM ME
Dear *|MMERGE3|* ,
Welcome to the November issue of 'SitEzine'.
St. Mary's 'New Sign'
The main holiday season seems
to be continuing on this year with many thousands visiting the
island despite the temporary closure of the castle for
renovations. Indeed, there can be few opportunities anywhere in the
world to see a 'tented' 16th century castle. Roll on next Spring
to when all can see the fruits of the National
What a busy November in the Crossman Hall
and perhaps like us you visited in October to discover the
'Pop-Up' market. We're now saving our pennies for the
Christmas-themed version on 12th
November - also Linda has been in touch with an
article about the 'Enamel Christmas Decoration Workshop'
they will be holding in the hall on 26th November. And last but
by no means least (!) don't forget the long-awaited
presentation by the archaeologists who were digging up our
island during the summer on Wednesday15th November. Beginning at
7pm, entry is
over the summer the county has done little to improve
causeway drainage or safety. Sea water (salt water) is extremely
corrosive both to vehicles and those affected by your spray. Please
drive courteously and be wary of underlying debris and potholes...
The winter period, with its darker nights and increasing likelihood
of bad weather adds significantly to crossing difficulties. The
North Sea does not suffer fools gladly. Islanders take note of the
published causeway crossing times. We advise you to do
Thank you to Annie Ivison, our new reserve warden at 'Beal
Station' for the Lindisfarne NNR and all the writers who have given
their time in contributing to this month's newsletter. But it is
particularly saddening to share our vicar's news with you. I am sure
that you will all wish to add your prayers to those of our
community for Paul and Pauline as they prepare for the next
stage in their lives. This month our final word is from our church
Warden (Sam Quilty) which includes, what is hoped to be, a
small change to service times in preparation for the forthcoming
(and hopefully brief) interregnum.
Enjoy this November issue - we look forward to
writing for you again in December.
PS: Best wishes for a
long and happy retirement to Maureen who, after 21
years' closes 'The Bungalow B&B' in exchange for 'living
the life of Riley', looking after her gorgeous, Goldendoodle puppy,
an errant husband and spending more time with the family.
PPS: Welcome incomers
Chris and Eileen who have moved onto the island from the 'deep
south' to join us as residents and neighbours on Holy
Charity Commission Annual
The annual return to the Commission, a document that
can be difficult to collate, was delayed, but with a
wing and a prayer we made our deadline.
October is our
renewal month and ensuring that all of the t's are
crossed and the I's dotted is time consuming.
For a so-called 'paperless' society I've done a fair bit of printing and circulating this
month, but that's the job done and we are well covered but we
need to monitor use of the Hall ensuring that those
we host do not compromise our insurance policy.
From the New Year we will let EON go
and enjoy a less expensive provider of electricity back-up supplementing
our PV panels and air heat exchange pumps.
Pilates & Yoga Class
contacted Julia Waters reference establishing a winter class in the Hall. But so
far Ms Waters has not responded with any dates or
times. Will keep you informed of any developments.
Berwick & District Cancer
Support Group - Coffee Morning
The Island turned out and gave fulsome support to this local Cancer Support Charity. We were
knee deep in cakes, large and small, scones, quiche, homemade jams & chutney.
Book stall, tombola, lucky-dip, raffle etc., produced at close of
play £1,036.00 for the Group. Well done everyone.
Sunday 26 November 2017
10.30am - 4pm
Enamel Christmas Decoration Workshop
with Scottish artist and designer
contact Linda to reserve your
During the month the Pop-Up markets were well attended by
visitors and they will be back for a Christmas Market early in
November and later that month will run a Christmas Market in the
Hall in November.
Their Organiser has suggested that
they would like to return on several occasions in 2018 and we will
discuss dates as they come to hand. Their payment goes
to part funding of our annual running costs.
A post Confirmation Service
of Tea & Buns was well attended and enjoyed by
the Confirmed and their Families and Friends mid-month.
Dr Ian Kille, Northumbrian Earth, held a fascinating learning day in the Hall
looking at the Impact of Ice on our land forms of today. He
will host another learning day on 25 November 2017 "Measuring
Coastal Change" from 10:00 until 15:00, lunch provided.
Don't forget, the Archaeologists on 15
November 2017, beginning at 19:00. Their presentation will partly
open the door on one Holy Islands' most important eras. The recent
exploration of parts of the Sanctuary Close and Heugh has produced
finds of great national and local importance. Come and learn how
important the work has been and what's next and entry is
It seems like the end is approaching, with
room completion lists and snagging conversations starting commence. There is though plenty
still to do in the Castle project so we mustn't get too excited or complacent.
One of the major steps forward internally is
the near-completion of the main stairway to the Upper Battery. This
is one of the oldest spaces in the Castle with a staircase having
been in this location as long as the building has been there.
Originally we think the walls would have been decorated with a lime
wash and plaster finish, which was then replicated by Lutyens in
1906. His finish though included the addition of a semi-circular
window over-looking the stair, and the intentional reveal of an old
doorway now leading to his Long Gallery, the long corridor he
introduced to link the two old east and west buildings together.
This doorway previously led outdoors to a stair going up to
the Queen Battery - the now covered-over third gun platform at Lindisfarne
which was introduced in the mid-18th century in response to the
Jacobite rebellion of the 1740s. The doorway itself is probably a salvaged bit
of Priory given that we have uncovered a rather nice late-medieval spandrel
detail on the lintel (one of four or five such doorways in
the Castle), so this will be a welcome feature to show off when we reopen.
Following the Lutyens renovation and after
Edward Hudson sold the Castle in 1921, his successor Oswald Falk had
the plaster hacked off in the stairway and the stones themselves
painted over in white. This work was then maintained for the rest of the century. The masons working at
the Castle today have been able to restore this original scheme by
building the layers back up, plastering over the stones to a
smooth finish and preparing the wall to be painted again. The photo of
Barby Lutyens taken in September 1906 shows the walls in a similar
state to that they will be in in early November 2017, just
after the skim coat of plaster has gone on but before the painting is done.
Outside the final phases of scaffolding are
nearing completion too. Originally we had planned to have the
scaffold going up in phases, mainly because there simply wasn't
enough scaffolding around to have all three phases up at once.
However because of delays to work on the north side, some areas have had to
remain up longer so we will have a period when most of
the building is surrounded. The giant buttress on the south side
is scheduled to come down soon though, which will allow the vast temporary
roof cover to come down from the east side. This cover will
then make its way on to the north and west roof, so
we will still have a tent over the Castle - just in a different place.
Finally, an interesting occurrence took place a few weeks
ago which was barely noticeable because of the scaffolding. For the first time
in a long time, the flagpole of the Castle was taken down to allow for the phase
2 roof to be installed. This is an unusual event and gives
us a great chance to inspect the timber, and the now-defunct
lightening protection at the top. The old rollers for the signal flags are
still present, along with the modern one we used up until recently.
On reopening I would like to fly a flag again, but not
an NT one as in the past. Perhaps the Northumbrian one, or the Union flag...?
Maybe that is a good place to end!
01289 389244 (press 1, then 1903)
|THE DAY OF THE REDWINGS
Everywhere I've been around the village in the past couple of
weeks one sound has
Watching the many rare species of birds which briefly visit the
island during autumn migration is fine but it's often the really
common species which provide the greatest spectacle.
So it proved on October 19th when, after almost three weeks of
constant westerly winds, conditions changed suddenly to provide a
light easterly breeze and hazy conditions on the island and sea.
Thousands of northern thrushes which had been held up in southern
Scandinavia waiting to cross the North Sea took advantage of the
conditions and provided one of the most impressive mass arrivals on
the island I've ever seen.
From before dawn, spectacular numbers of Redwings, small northern
cousins of our familiar garden Blackbirds and Song Thrushes,
literally cascaded down on the island. The Redwings came in two
categories: those which were fit and strong after their overnight
sea crossing and simply overflew the island and the tired flocks
which descended nosily into the fields, hedges, village trees and
Just about everyone who was out and about that morning has
commented to me about the wonderful sight of so many of these
colourful thrushes either racing on overhead and, more impressively,
spiralling down into the fields and village.
Before daylight, the lads out in their boats watched them caught
in their lights. In early morning, Robert and Alison were surrounded
by them out at the farm. From the back garden in Crossgates as light
broke, I watched party after party passing at rooftop height over
the village. All were heading in a south westerly direction towards
Most of these early birds either just overflew the village or
dropped into the taller trees to take a short breather before
carrying onwards, such was their migratory urge.
I later found around 60 evenly spread across the short grassed
areas of the Green Lane coach park as they searched for worms and
other invertebrates in the wet grass. A similar number were also
foraging quietly in Thelma's field. The scene was the same right
across the island.
Of course, October 19th was the morning the entire village
gathered with friends from far and near to bid a fond farewell to
Roger at St Mary's Church. As he was laid to rest, above the large
gathering parties Redwings were dropping into the tops of the
Redwings are the most attractive of birds. They are olive brown
with heavily streaked breasts and a startling white eye-stripe. They
are really misnamed as they don't have red wings but a wide blaze of
orange on their flanks, as our photograph shows so well.
They breed across a huge arc of northern Scandinavia, the Baltic
and further east across Russia. They are an abundant winter visitor
right across Britain, Ireland, the southern half of Europe while
others cross the Mediterranean to North Africa.
Redwings aren't particularly robust and in severe winters they
suffer badly. In the past when there has been snow lying on the
mainland, hungry little parties have appeared on the island. It's
slightly milder climate, even if it sometimes doesn't feel like
that, at least giving them a chance to find food and to survive.
In really bad conditions many other simply flood on westwards
across to swell numbers in Ireland. A colleague once told me that
during a period when even Ireland was largely snow-bound, he visited
a small western coastal strip which had escaped a white covering. He
found thousands of Redwings had sought refuge there.
On the day of our huge arrival, I estimated, or rather
guesstimated, that at least 5,000 crossed the village alone.
Colleagues who were around the rest of the island calculated seeing
at least another 15,000. If the two figures are added, this total of
20,000 at least equals the largest previous invasion on October 10th
1991 when huge flocks were briefly stranded on the island in heavy
The Redwings didn't travel alone. Large numbers of Blackbirds,
Song Thrushes and a scattering of Ring Ouzels also arrived. Large
numbers of beautiful Bramblings, northern finches in hues of orange,
buff and black seemed in every treetop, the presence revealed by
their high nasal calls. A few Redpolls and Goldcrests were also
involved but, strangely, very few Fieldfares, the large and bold
northern thrushes which often accompany such arrivals. However, they
do tend to be a bit later than the others so that's something to
look forward to in the next couple of weeks.
A few little travellers from much further afield also arrived in
the form of a sprinkling of Yellow-browed Warblers from Siberia.
Perhaps half a dozen were around the place including two which spent
a lot of time chasing each-other around the Sycamore in the Vicarage
garden. In the past they were extremely rare visitors to Britain but
these days they are by far the most regular and plentiful of the
An autumn Redwing, pausing to feed on migration: our picture shows
flanks which provide its rather misleading name.
Photograph: Mike S Hodgson.
The big influx continued on a lesser scale during the following
days when migrants remained prominent around the island. It only
petered out after five days when the winds swung back to their more
regular westerly direction, again producing headwinds for any birds
wanting to cross from northern Europe.
Of course, migration on this massive scale also involves the
inevitable casualties. Some birds exhausted by the long North Sea
crossing simply drop into the sea where they make very easy meals
for large gulls, always lingering expectantly offshore at these
Daniel told me that one Redwing came aboard their boat. It
skittered around as they tried to catch it to rest it in safety. It
then tried to fly off but was immediately snatched from the air and
eaten by two gulls.
At Crossgates, where newly arrived and obviously disoriented
migrants were flying around, Hazel and Michael heard a sudden thump
on the cottage window. Telltale small feathers floated down. I
checked outside and in the front garden found a dead juvenile Song
Thrush, a tragic end for a small bird which had probably just
completed the most arduous and challenging journey of its young
Bird migration is something I suppose most people know about but
comparatively few get the opportunity to actual see. On the island
we are very lucky in that respect: migration occurs before our very
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE NNR
A Month of Arrivals on the Nature
News from the Reserve Team
The beginning of October saw the arrival of the reserve's new
manager, Annie Ivison, Previously Annie has worked as a Marine
Education Officer at the Dove Marine Laboratory in Cullercoats. She
looks forward to supporting senior manager, Andrew Craggs and the
award-winning team of volunteers at Lindisfarne NNR.
The arrival on mass of wintering birds also continued, some were
just passing through but others will stay for winter, around 17,000
Barnacle geese have passed through, approximately 2,000 of these
have remained on the reserve for feeding. Additionally 4,000.
Light-bellied Brent geese from Svalbard are feeding on the
seagrasses that are abundant across the mudflats of the reserve.
17,000 Wigeon were also observed feeding on site as well as 8,000
Pink-footed and 125 Greylag geese.
Autumn/Winter Habitat Management
Thirty cows have been employed to open up the sward by trampling
and grazing, they also help to manage non-native flora such as
Piri-piri burr, this natural land management removes the rank
vegetation to support new growth of dune grasses and plants. The
moderate, natural disturbance the cattle provide encourages high
levels of biodiversity in floral and faunal species within the dune
We also graze twenty-four sheep on the dunes slacks with the same
purpose as the cattle. The difference in grazing management is that
the cattle graze extensively over a large area, whereas the sheep
provide intensive grazing, they are regularly moved from one
relatively small area to another.
The last of the 2017 events
occurred during October, we had three Migratory Bird Watches, the
final of which included a craft event for younger wildlife
enthusiasts. We also had a Halloween event which focused on bats.
These events provide the perfect opportunity to engage with the
public and highlight the wonderful diversity of habitats and species
here at Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve. Next year we plan more
public events that will focus on the natural history of the reserve.
We dicussed threats to bats, including loss of habitat; we made
bat boxes to provide new places for them to live.
There was face painting, finger puppet and mask making as well as
'True or False' a game to teach young wildlife enthusiasts key
facts about these amazing flying mammals.
.... most importantly we had FUN!
Reserve Warden, Beal Station
01289 381 470
|ENAMEL CHRISTMAS DECORATION WORKSHOP
artist and designer, Susan Macleod will be running an enamel
Christmas decoration workshop on Sunday 26 November 2017 at the
Crossman Hall from 10.30am - 4pm. Susie is an experienced jeweller
and artist who regularly exhibits her work throughout the UK and
runs enamel and jewellery design workshops in Edinburgh.
In a fun and colourful afternoon, budding artists will have the
opportunity to create their very own tree decoration and get to
grips with metalworking and enamel application. This course is aimed
at beginners looking to learn the basics of enamel on base metal and
guess will leave with a beautiful and unique hand-made decoration.
As an introduction to the possibilities of enamel, Susie will
explain the art of preparing base metal, enamel application and
final polishing and cleaning of unique enamel work. Techniques
With plenty of tea, coffee, chat and mince pies, this is the
perfect way to celebrate the festive season with some colourful
craft. To ensure there is plenty of time and one to one tuition with
Susie, numbers are limited to eight.
The day will end with a lovely glass of mulled wine with home
baked cheese scones and mince pies to round off the day.
To reserve your place, email Linda on email@example.com
or call 07904 920007
To find out more about Susie's work visit www.susan-macleod.com
|NEWS FROM FORD &
Our ever a popular event, takes place on
Sunday 26th November from 11am-3.30pm.
There's a great range of stalls selling
crafts, gifts and locally produced foods, kids ride, Santa and
Christmas Donkeys, a hog roast, wood fired fresh baked pizza and
other street foods, free parking and a shuttle bus from Etal and
|FROM THE COMMUNITY OF AIDAN AND
||Revd Ray Simpson|
I was able to attend the inspiring
service at St. Mary's Parish Church, Whitekirk. to celebrate
the launch of the Forth to Farne Way, the new Pilgrimage Route
between North Berwick and Lindisfarne.
The full length is 72 miles, but this has
been divided into eleven stages between 2 and 13 miles long. Most of
the route is on existing core paths. It takes us through areas of
outstanding heritage, coastal paths, and has strong links with
historic pilgrim routes dating back to the time of Saint Aidan.
The Steering Group has been supported by the
Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum, Northumberland County Council,
landowners, churches, businesses and community groups. For more
information visit www.forthtofarne.org
Whitekirk's minister, Joanne Evans-Boiten,
asked why 'a church in nowhere' was built so large? The answer, she
said, was Pilgrimage. Dr. Thomas Torrance thanked the Christians of
Lindisfarne who once evangelised as far north as Whitekirk. Lord
Wilson of Tillyorn unveiled a Pilgrimage Route Banner and led
pilgrims, after lunch, on a short leg to North Berwick.
In Scandinavia, churches and tourist agencies
combine to ensure there is accommodation along their reviving
pilgrim routes. This is already provided along Saint Cuthbert's
Way, and hopefully it will develop along the Forth to Farne
|FROM OUR UNITED REFORMED CHURCH MINISTER
November is a month of remembrance; firstly Bonfire Night, with
its slogan 'remember, remember the fifth of November', followed a
week or so later by Remembrance
Sunday when we bring to mind all those who have
suffered or been killed by war.
Remembrance can happen on many different
levels, it can be a fleeting memory of something inconsequential, or
an active reliving of something significant. I wonder how many
of us really bring to mind the gunpowder plot and its political
ramifications whilst enjoying bonfires and fireworks ? November the fifth
has become more of an opportunity to have a good
time, than an occasion of active
remembrance. (And thank you to all who ensure the bonfire
and fireworks happen on the Island).
Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day should
be another sort of occasion all together. This is a time to be aware
of the fact that in every generation there are (often young) men and
women who have been killed
in war, and many, many more whose lives have been
changed forever by conflict. This awareness
comes into focus at this time of year, but should
not be just a passing thought.
Active remembrance should involve doing what
we can to pray and work for peace,
and to support the numerous charities who support victims of
war around the world whether they
served in the armed forces, or whether they are other
victims of conflict around the world.
The prayer of St Francis is a famous prayer
for peace; it is thought that it wasn't actually written by Francis, but it embodies the
spirit of his teachings and the ideals of Christianity. It
was first circulated widely during the
First World War which gives it an added poignancy and
pertinence as we approach Remembrance Sunday.
The prayer of
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is
where there is darkness, light;
where there is
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Rev Rachel Poolman
Berwick Food Bank
We're reached the time of year when many of
us are aware of the rising costs of heating fuel. For many
households in our area, for many different reasons, people might be
having to make a choice between
eating and heating. Gifts to the food bank are always
welcomed, and can be left in
the porch at St Cuthbert's. Canned and non-perishable goods and
toiletries are welcomed, as are toiletries.
Thank you for your support.
|FROM THE VICARAGE
||Revd Dr Paul Collins|
As some of you will know I suffer from a disease known as
Ankylosing Spondilitis, which was diagnosed 40 years ago in
Earlier this year my consultant Rheumatologist advised me that
continuing to work was threatening my health both now and in the
longer term and advised me to seek early retirement.
After a process of some months I have been granted permission to
retire on grounds of ill health. And I will officially retire as
Vicar of St Mary's on 31st December this year.
Ankylosing Spondilitis primarily affects the spine but can also
affect any joint in the body. For me the disease has meant living
with constant pain and ongoing fatigue. This arises from the
disease's impact upon the skeleton and muscles; which means that
sleep and rest do not ameliorate the fatigue.
On occasion the pain can become very acute and joints can become
very stiff and inflamed. I am currently experiencing such a flare up
in my neck, shoulders and hands, which is why I am no longer
Nonetheless I have always sought to live life to the full. I have
sought not to be defined by this illness, although I am very aware
of the limitations it imposes upon me.
Disease can often be perceived in terms of weakness, failure and
imperfection. But the human person is a living organism and being
alive means being vulnerable and susceptible to disease. Our bodies
are mortal. How we perceive and deal with disease needs to be part
of how we understand being alive and living as responsible creatures
in God's creation.
May I ask for your prayers for Pauline and myself as we make
preparation to move and begin a new stage in our lives.
ST. MARY'S NOTICES
: This will be held on Sunday 12th November 10.45 at St
Mary's Church followed by a procession and service at the War
Memorial on the Heugh.
: As you know our vicar, Paul, is retiring and there will be
a special leaving service for him and Pauline at St Marys Church on
Sunday 26th November 10.45 followed by refreshments. Please come and
|Sunday services (unchanged) |
Communion (BCP) || 8am|
Communion || 10.45am|
Prayer || 5.30pm|
|Winter Pattern of worship for
Prayer || 8am||Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and
Communion || 8am||Wednesday
and Friday |
Prayer || 5.30pm||Every
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