|SITEZINE: HOLY ISLAND'S E-MAIL MAGAZINE
- A bit from me...
- Crossman Hall
- HM Coastguard Holy Island
- Lindisfarne Castle
- Barn Owls - good and bad news
- Peregrini Lindisfarne landscape partnership
- Lindisfarne NNR
- News from Ford & Etal
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- From the community of Aidan and Hilda
- From our United Reformed Church minister
- From the Vicarage
- St. Mary's notices
'The Old Lifeboat Station'
|A BIT FROM ME
Dear *|MMERGE3|* ,
Welcome to our final issue
of 'SitEzine' until we return again after a winter break in February 2018.
Some of you may have joined us at St.Mary's on Sunday
26th November when Paul presided at the Eucharist for his last time
as the 'Vicar of Holy Island'. Thank you to Rachel for our
gathering afterwards at the St. Cuthbert Centre for refreshments
and Paul's presentation. We are grateful to you, Paul, for all you
have done for our community during your all-to brief time with us. May
we ask for your prayers as Paul and Pauline prepare to move from
the Island and begin a new stage in their lives.
Particularly, we wish them happiness in their new home and
better health for Paul.
And keep us in your thoughts as our parish will then go into
'interregnum' and begin the search for a new Vicar. Until one is
appointed, please remember that any matters concerning the
Church must now be referred to the Church Warden, Samantha
Quilty, at Marygate House, or the Area Dean the Revd Rob Kelsey at
On a more happy note, during half-a-gale of wind
earlier in this month, we conduced the formal opening of 'The Old
Lifeboat House'. None of this could have happened without 'Heritage Lottery
Fund' financial support. Of course, without the personal
energy and tenacity of Dick Patterson (chairman of our
development trust) the Peregrini project and many of the other new
and revived structures on the island may well not have come
Opening the Old Lifeboat House
Jane Crossman (centre) opens the Old
Lifeboat House with the help of Dick Patterson (Lindisfarne
Development Trust) with Ellen Creighton (Heritage Lottery
Despite the bitterly cold
and frosty morning a goodly, lifeboat house-filling crowd
turned up together with Sue from 'The Oasis Cafe' bringing a hamper
of grub and hot drinks to stave off 'Jack
Frost'! Readers of the 'Berwick Advertiser' will have noticed a
bobble-hatted press photographer posing the dignitaries and mingling
amongst the crowd. I wonder how many noticed Thelma, a key member of
the 'Archive Group' whose efforts resulted in the display
within; and Jon, without whose well-rounded management skills, the
Lindisfarne Trust would crumble; and that 'big bloke' moving around
taking these pictures...
Residents and members of the Lindisfarne Trust and St. Mary's PCC
were amongst the many visitors.
At the end of the month the
cold snap and strong winds continue so please heed
the causeway warning - even more so during these winter driving
conditions. For instance: yesterday throughout the day, in many
places, the sea never cleared the road providing a mile-long lane
of salt-sand mush to coat and corrode the bottom of your
car. Please check the crossing times and above all take
Returning home in the evening a note in my letterbox was inviting us
to: "Linda's Christmas Lights and Carol Singing at 5pm on Friday 1st
December in the market square." Unfortunately, due to his illness
Paul is incommunicado so I do not know if he will be
leading the carol singing or switching on lights on behalf
of our Parish Council. We will discover tomorrow night!
Do bring a torch as we have very sparse street lighting. Any
donations will go to 'Berwick Hospice' and 'Linda's Lights'.
For the community 'Linda's lights' signals the start of Christmas on Holy
Island. This is complemented by our church warden (Sam) who, at the
end of the newsletter, includes a list of 'Christmas Services' and an
update to the pattern of worship at St.Mary's over the winter
To those of you who receive a copy of the 'The Holy Island Times'
(our community newsletter): whilst HIT was completed on schedule and
print-ready, we face a delay in resolving bulk printing
Also beset by difficulty is Annie whose server problem
resulted in her NNR article arriving after HIT publication. Being
paperless, subscribers to our international version are fortunate in that
the article by our 'reserve warden' is included. Alongside this
are contributions from our other writers together with an input from
our local 'Citizens Advice Bureau' as a 'Catch 22' example of how
our everyday, essential, public services are reliant on support and
funding from the community that they serve so well.
On behalf of all our writers: wishing you all a wonderful
Christmas and a very happy New Year.
Enjoy our wintery issue - we look forward to writing for you
again in February.
PS: And finally, a poem from Mrs Zan S - a 'Friend of
Rock me like a lullaby
Blow me in the chancel
You whistling winds
high songs of storms yet to arrive
of the blue skies of summer
susurration of autumn brown
Serenade me on The
Sun play hide and seek
Between the cross
And the purple Cheviots
Groan with the countless years
Of people beyond counting
Tower in timeless
Count the sheep in the field
pebbles on the shore
Count the prayers to The Lord
faithful seeking God
Come to Aidan
In pain or in
From any corner
Arrive with the tide
As the month
draws to a close Trustees consider the use made of the hall locally
and by a wide range of incomers to have been satisfactory, with the
income matching annual running costs plus a little extra to begin
building a small nest egg.
The Trustees and other 'Charities' in
particularly, thank Islanders for their help fund raising during a
variety of 'Coffee Mornings'. The is nowhere quite like Holy Island
and The Ladies for providing for a successful fund raising event.
Well done everyone.
Less satisfactory has been the lack of
progress achieved by our legal advisors in acquiring an easement
across neighbouring land to run the rainwater drain to the main
It is not a contentious legal issue, so
quite why we are being delayed in completing this the final stage of
the hall build and 'official' handover is difficult to understand.
This has delayed issue of our the 'Certificate of Completion', as
well as exposing us to an accusation of failing to conform with
Planning Requirements. Nagging is now the order of the day as we
struggle to resolve this long standing issue.
Earlier this month I met with the Programme
Manager to discuss completion of the snagging list and as a result
the remedial works should be completed soon.
As the use of the
hall becomes quiet over the Christmas - New Year Period, we plan to
set up the table tennis and badminton kit in the main hall, in
addition to continuing to provide the tread-mill and static cycle.
To use this equipment, for now a small donation is required and
please remember children playing in the Hall must be supervised by
Don't forget as you're clearing out shelves and
cupboards, all books, games DVD's etc., have a value to the Hall and
other Charities. Donated items may be left at the Oasis Café or in
the Hall for the charity table. Thank you.
Now just before I go, I have to say that
bookings for 2018 are coming in at a surprising rate of knots and it
looks like we are about to have a proper booking secretary for
2018!!!! Wonderful and Yippee from me.
Before I end, on behalf of the Trustees I
wish Paul (our Church Representative on the Trustees) and Pauline
good luck on the next step into a new life. Thank you Paul for your
input into our new Hall.
My final job before Christmas; on behalf of
the Trustees we wish all our Volunteers, helpers and Friends of Holy
Island a Happy and Peaceful Christmas & New Year. "long
may ya big jib draw".
|HM COASTGUARD HOLY ISLAND
On the 23rd of November a joint exercise was carried
out between the Fire Service and Coastguard Service.
Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service
contacted Coastguard Operations Centre (CGOC) Humber just after 1800
to request assistance to deal with a holiday cottage kitchen fire on
As the Causeway was closed CGOC Humber
dispatched both Berwick and Seahouses RNLI All-Weather Lifeboats
(ALBs) to transport Fire Personnel from both Berwick and Seahouses
Fire Stations to Holy Island.
Both Lifeboats made best speed to Holy
Island and arrived at Holy Island Pier around the same time.
The Fire Crews were disembarked into the care of Holy Island
Coastguard Rescue Team Officers who transported them to their Fire
Station on Holy Island.
We are recruiting in 2018...
If you think you've
got what it takes to be a Coastguard Rescue Officer on Holy Island,
contact email@example.com or
call 01665710575 / 07824837263.
As the nights start drawing in work continues up at
the Castle, albeit with lighting now installed on the scaffolding for the occasional late finish.
I mentioned last week that the main stairway
was approaching completion and that is now all done. Last week (w/c
13 November) the final skim coat of lime plaster went on the walls
with the help of a fairly cosy scaffold in what is quite an awkward
space in which to work. After the scaffold was taken down then the
final finishing touches could be added. The walls aren't getting
painted just yet but it already looks amazing; particularly the old
medieval door (probably pinched from the Priory) which now stands
out as a feature rather than being lost in the old scheme of modern
masonry paint. If you haven't already you can read all about the
history of that stairway and the thought process behind the plaster
and paint scheme in last month's Island Times. The attached photo
though gives a 'before and after' of the stairway, showing the
undulating painted stone aesthetic introduced by Oswald Falk in the
1920s and the original scheme from 1906 he replaced. Hopefully the
new scheme more accurately reflects what Hudson and Lutyens intended
in the space,
although the 1906 photo also shows the walls
before they were painted - the same situation we are in now
- so it will be great to see them when the paint finally goes on.
It was about this time last year when we
moved almost the all the contents of the Castle away into storage,
including almost all of the historic collection. I suppose then it
is only fitting that a year on we commemorated that mammoth task by
moving some more furniture last week, although thankfully it was
only a few pieces and over a matter of yards. Three large pieces of
furniture remained in the Castle's Kitchen during the work as they
were too large to move; in fact they had to be simply 'boxed in'
where they stood, effectively creating a room within a room. The
rest of the Kitchen could then be worked on and now that work is
complete, the boxing needed to be taken down, the furniture moved
across the room, and the boxing re-erected. One item, a huge dresser
designed by Lutyens for the room, could not be moved. The dresser
has occupied the same space for the last 111 years and we weren't
about to change
that. The wall it sits against is internal
and so not at huge risk of water ingress, so the dresser
could be protected on its own while the other two pieces moved across the room.
Just after my article for the last issue was
fired off to Geoff, the news broke that we had seen Barn Owl chicks
successfully reared at the Castle this year. I think Ian Kerr might
be talking about this elsewhere in this issue but from my point of
view it has been a real privilege to follow the birds' progress over
the summer via the weekly updates from our ecologists. The birds
have now fledged but I did see a couple hunting in the field at dusk
recently so do keep an eye out for them if you are passing. A few
folk from the village are coming for a look around the Castle with
me in late November so maybe they'll get to spot the owls from high
up on the scaffold which is a great vantage point for birdwatching.
I'll do some more hard-hat visits
in the New Year if people are interested
in coming up, and might even squeeze a couple more in before
Christmas; dates and times will be circulated either in this noble publication or by email.
01289 389244 (press 1, then 1903)
|BARN OWLS - GOOD AND BAD NEWS
BARN Owls are among everyone's favourite
birds around the island and whenever people see them they usually
tell me about it. They're among
a small number of species, early Swallows being another, which seem
to have that effect.
This year there's both good and bad news
about our owls. The welcome and encouraging news for the future is
that pairs have bred in four different locations around the island,
the first time that's happened
since regular nesting resumed in 2008 after a gap of well
over half a century.
The bad news is that the success rate of
these local pairs was generally poor in a season when the species
had an excellent breeding
season on the mainland with large numbers of young successfully fledging,
including many second broods.
Barn Owls are given the highest degree of
legal protection under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside
Act so normally I would never give details of nest sites. Among the
main threats these days is disturbance from
photographers who will stake out nest sites for hours in the
hope of getting pictures.
This year things got so bad at one site
elsewhere in Northumberland they blocked the only flight line for a
pair feeding young to such a degree that
the behaviour of the adults was affected. Police had to intervene
and warn them off.
Here, I'll be making an exception and
referring to a pair which bred at the Castle, the first recorded
nesting there since the late 1940s. I mention it only because the
National Trust has
already publicised the fact and there seems little point in trying
to keep it secret.
The Castle pair used a cavity in the masonry
their eggs. The first attempt failed but they re-laid and fledged
four young during October.
Two regular nest sites around the village
were again occupied. At the first, the pair fledged three young in
May but shortly afterwards one of them was found wet, starving and
grounded. It died shortly after being taken into care. The pair
produced a second clutch of four eggs. Two young hatched but both
October, probably the victims of a Stoat which had been regularly
seen around the site.
At the second regular site the resident pair hatched
four young in May. Three chicks died shortly afterwards but the sole
survivor seemed to be doing well. But when it was fully feathered
and ready to fledge it also died from unknown causes.
Local people who passed the site daily walking
their dogs noticed that all adult activity had suddenly ceased. We
just don't know whether something had happened to the
adults or whether they had simply moved away when their youngster
died in the nest.
At the fourth site a pair produced three
eggs. Two hatched and one youngster fledged. The other perished
after apparently attempting to leave
the nest box when it was too young and not well
enough feathered to survive.
All in all, it was a pretty poor season for
productivity, the four pairs between them fledging only seven
youngsters which were known to have survived the early dangerous period
out of the nest.
The poor productivity of the island pairs
raises a lot of questions, particularly in a season when the
population of their favoured food, voles, appears to have been high
and when pairs elsewhere were enjoying a very high degree of
Four breeding pairs in such a small
area is highly unusual leading to the suspicion that some degree of
inbreeding may be taking place which could radically affect
productivity. Against that, we do know from recoveries of
ringed birds that "fresh blood" in the form of Barn Owls
from elsewhere does occur.
Regular readers may recall that back in
March I told the story of a ringed owl which was dashed to its death
against the Lough hide during violent storm. It had been ringed
during 2016 at a nest in Cambridgeshire and had travelled 401
kilometres northwards to the island, an astonishingly long movement
for a species generally regarded as
sedentary. It was one of the longest movements so far recorded
for a Barn Owl.
chicks at the Castle, the first there for over half a
Nick Lewis (National Trust)
A couple of years ago another dead owl bore
a ring fitted as a nestling at a site down the coast near Low
Newton, a much more normal distance for a youngster to disperse
after fledging. The arrival of these individuals probably means
that fresh blood is entering our local population which would seem
to rule out in-breeding.
Another possibility for poor success and
unexplained death is that our Barn Owls are the unintended victims
of poisoning. National
studies of dead owls have shown that many are carrying traces
of various powerful rodenticides.
Owls are at the top of the food chain and
are being affected by catching and eating mice, rats and other
target pests which have ingested poison. This toxic
build-up in their bodies can either prove fatal or simply interfere
with their breeding behaviour.
Another possibility is, of course, just had
luck. Barn Owls, like nearly all birds, have natural enemies.
Possible predation by Stoats has already been mentioned. They are
certainly around the island, although in
much smaller numbers than in the past when we had a
huge population of Rabbits.
Adult Barn Owls will vigorously defend eggs
or young. But Stoats are skilled climbers and clever predators and
in the absence of adults would certainly swiftly move in on
eggs or defenceless chicks.
The fact is that we simply don't know why
are island owls seem less successful than those on the mainland. But
the fact that four pairs bred this year really does give hope for
the future. It also means that this winter there are likely
to be Barn Owls regularly around the place to brighten up
many a winter afternoon.
|PEREGRINI LINDISFARNE LANDSCAPE PARTNERSHIP
A message from Helen Griffiths, Programme
This will be the final submission of news to the Holy Island
Times readers as after 3 years of hard work the Peregrini
Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership draws to a close. On behalf of the
staff team and Peregrini Partnership Board, I would like to extend
my gratitude to the editor for his continued support in submitting
our updates. We would also like to say a final thanks to those
residents who have participated in our events, activities and helped
shape some of the work delivered through the partnership.
Final call for the Peregrini Volunteer Conference - Book
The final conference to celebrate our volunteers and successes of
the landscape partnership will be held on Saturday 9th December.
Keynote speaker, Max Adams, author of best-selling titles including
The Wisdom of Trees and In the Land of Giants will speak about
'Landscapes of learning: travels in early Northumbria and beyond'.
Book your free ticket by Monday 27th November via the Peregrini
website. Refreshments and lunch are provided.
The Old Lifeboat House
The Old Lifeboat House, opposite St Cuthbert's Isle, has been
restored and officially opened.
As part of partnership's suite of restoration projects work on
the Old Lifeboat House was carried out with the support £1.37million
of Heritage Lottery Funding. It now contains interpretation boards
telling the story of lifeboat rescues.
The lifeboat house was
officially opened by Jane Crossman, daughter-in-law of Lady Rose
Crossman, who was a major benefactor on Holy Island. Before cutting
the ribbon, Mrs Crossman thanked all the volunteers "who have done
so much in order to make this a fantastic part of Holy Island."
At the opening, Dick Patterson, from the Holy Island of
Lindisfarne Community Development Trust, said: "It's 50 years since
our lifeboat was taken out of service by the RNLI. The memories have
faded a bit but I think this might revive the memories of the
lifeboat crews, men and women and the 10 lifeboats that have been
stationed on the island."
Chare Ends tree planting
In November the project planted 24 trees to help the
'greenification' of the view of the Chare Ends car park on Holy
Island. 10 Peregrini volunteers braved the rain, which fell all day,
and helped plant the new trees which include Hawthorn, Rowan and
New seat for The Pilgrims Way
As part of the Sacred Places Project, a new seat is to be
installed at the end of The Pilgrims Way. Inspired by pupils from
Lowick and Holy Island CofE First Schools the seat has been designed
by Anna and Richard Turnbull from Biteabout Arts. The seat has been
made from reclaimed wood, steel and willow and depicts the wing of
an Arctic Tern.
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE NNR
A Busy November
Natural England's chief Scientist reported this month that
Lindisfarne has the lowest nitrogen deposition of any National
Nature Reserve in England! No wonder we have such a great diversity
of plant life here.
The reserve staff and volunteers have worked hard cutting and
clearing the dune slacks. This clearing supports the new life that
will appear next spring. Dune slacks are the most biodiverse habitat
across the reserve in terms of floral species including eleven
species of orchids, one of which 'Lindisfarne Helleborine' is unique
to the reserve. We have also been removing scrub from the dune
system. The removal of regeneration of species such as hawthorn
allows the dunes to stay open so that other dune flora can flourish
which improves the biodiversity of the system.
Additionally, we collected our monthly seagrass samples with Dr.
Catherine Scott from Natural England's marine team. Samples have
been collected every month since 2012 to assess the calorific values
of the two species found on the reserve. Lindisfarne NNR boasts some
of the most extensive seagrass meadows in England, these plants are
a vital food source for several species of birds including
Light-bellied Brent geese that feed here every autumn/winter and are
a protected species due to their decline globally.
The upgrade of the fencing around the Lough which is the largest
body of freshwater on the Reserve is progressing well. We hope this
addresses the otter and fox predation issues that have blighted this
area in recent years.
And finally, 24 trees were planted at Chare Ends car park last
week by reserve staff and Peregrini volunteers who persevered
despite the rain. We think it's looking good!
The reserve staff would like to wish you all a very Merry
Christmas and a Happy 2018!
Tel: 01289 381 470
|NEWS FROM FORD &
Please checkout our posters below for
information on Heatherslaw Railway Santa Specials and Hay Farm
Heavy Horse Centre Christmas Fayre.
Phone: 01890 820338
| Citizens Advice Bureau
Year, New Challenge - make a difference
Volunteering for Citizens Advice has been described as 'the most
rewarding experience of my life' by one of our current
volunteers. Citizens Advice is a registered charity and we
rely on volunteers to provide the invaluable service which helps so
many people within your local community.
Last year, the Citizens Advice offices across Northumberland
helped over 13,700 people on a wide range of subjects. The problems
we are most often asked about concern benefits, employment, debt,
housing or relationships but we will help people who come to us with
any enquiry including consumer rights, legal matters, and
Citizens Advice Northumberland is currently looking for more
volunteer advisers, to join our teams across our offices in
Ashington, Berwick, Morpeth and Hexham. Training is given to help
you develop the skills and knowledge you need to help our clients
and we are able to cover expenses such as travel costs.
People volunteer with us for lots of different reasons, but one
thing that our volunteers tell us is that volunteering with their
local Citizens Advice is enjoyable, rewarding, challenging and
varied. For many volunteers, the best thing is getting to meet
a variety of new people, whilst for others it's learning new skills
and gaining confidence.
There's a real team spirit and we provide a supportive
environment to make sure that you get the most from your time with
Whatever your reason for volunteering, this is your chance to
make a real difference to the lives of other people. You can read
about volunteering opportunities at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/support-us/volunteering.
For more information, please contact Michelle Turnbull by
telephone on 01670 522008 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|FROM THE COMMUNITY OF AIDAN AND
||Revd Ray Simpson|
Links with Saint Hilda
November 17 was Saint Hilda's Day. Four Community of Aidan and
Hilda members renewed their vows on Holy Island and another
six at Berwick.
That week I led a retreat at The Open Gate. The retreatants voted
to forego my talk (!) and attend the Archaeologists' presentation at
the Village Hall instead.
Although we in the Community have always known that Aidan had a
link with Hild, it was news to learn of the links between
Lindisfarne and the monastery at Hartlepool that she developed. The
archaeologists informed us that the inscribed stones they have found
on the island are the same style as those found at Hartlepool's
monastic remains, and that both the monasteries were larger than
Some months back Ash Barker, one of our Explorers and the founder
of Urban Companions of Hope, which works among the most deprived in
Birmingham, brought some youngsters for a week on the island.
This month he is to be licensed by the Bishop of Birmingham and will
be supported by the Chair of our Trustees who is frequently on the
|FROM OUR UNITED REFORMED CHURCH MINISTER
The ending of the year is a time of short days and long
nights. And, into what could be a season of sustained gloom
bursts the light of Christmas. This is literally the case as
decorations go up around the village, and elsewhere. Hopefully, our
lives are also lightened by the giving and receiving of gifts and by
spending happy times with family and friends.
It seems that there is a human need to punctuate winter with a
time of celebration. Pre Christianity there were festivals to
mark the winter solstice and the changing of the year. Some
believe that Dec 25th was chosen for the celebration of Christ's
birth so as to build onto existing traditions - there is no way of
knowing precisely when Jesus was born.
The celebration of Christ's birth doesn't detract from the human
need to mark the turning of the year, but should address other human
needs, such as the need for hope in a world that can seem hopeless,
and the knowledge that beneath all human experience is a Love that
will not let us go.
Jesus, the Son of God, arrives in the world in the humblest of
surroundings and immediately embodies a knowledge of what it is to
be human. Angels, and a bright shining star point to his
divinity, but he is soon fleeing for his life from King Herod.
Whatever the complexities of our life, or the state of our world,
the birth of Jesus points us to the Good News that in times of
darkness and of light God is with us.
In the opening verses of John's gospel we read of Jesus:
"What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the
light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it."
May you and your household know light and love in this
Rev Rachel Poolman
St Cuthbert's Centre
ST. MARY'S NOTICES
|Services for Christmas at St Marys
|Sunday 10th December 4pm Christingle Service
|Sunday 17th December Carol Service 6pm
|Christmas Eve BCP Holy Communion 8am
|Christmas Eve Crib service (with Parish Communion) 10.45am
|Christmas Eve Midnight Mass 11.30pm
|Christmas Day Family Service 10.45am
(followed by short communion service afterwards)
|Pattern of worship for Weekdays [Winter]|
|Morning Prayer||8am||Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
|Holy Communion||8am||Wednesday and Friday
|Evening Prayer||5.30pm||Every day
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