|SITEZINE: HOLY ISLAND'S E-MAIL MAGAZINE
- A bit from me...
- Crossman Hall
- HM Coastguard
- Lindisfarne Castle
- Remember when winters were winters?
- Peregrini Lindisfarne
- Lindisfarne NNR
- News from Ford & Etal
- From our Parish Church
- St Mary's notices
'St Mary's altar at Christmas' (under)
|A BIT FROM ME
'St Mary's at Christmas
Dear *|MMERGE3|* ,
As this is our first newsletter in 2018, on
behalf of all our writers, may we wish you a very happy 'New Year'.
Particular thanks if you were one of the many
who took the time to send us your seasonal
Sadly, our vicar, Rev Professor Dr Paul Collins, has now retired
and left to live in the south of the country. Paul's brief time with
us will be remembered for many things - probably characterised by
the substantial refurbishment work on the church structure, the
vicarage-office and his organisational skills in the Holy Island
Festival. However, amongst others he was involved in our
school, the new Village Hall and a trustee of our community
development. We are so grateful for everything you've done Paul.
Enjoy your retirement - you will be missed!
But the community has to move on and under the guidance of
the Archdeacon and Area Dean, preparation for the selection of a
new 'Vicar of Holy Island' is now underway. Churchwarden Sam Quilty,
on behalf of the PCC, will now oversee all church matters
during what is termed 'The Vacancy' period. Her contact email
appears later in the newsletter.
Indeed, since we last wrote, I would be surprised if visitors to
our church had noticed any differences. This is largely due to the
organisational skills of Sam and local groups of helpers.
Definitely worthy of mention was the fabulous adornment of the
church for Christmas; our Carol Service; 'Carols in the Square';
Midnight Mass and by no means least church cleaning!
In the cover of all this, the Crown & Anchor is now under new
management. Kyle Luke now hands this responsibility over to Paul
Davidson. Welcome to Paul who kicks off by including a Sunday Dinner on
his menu - roast beef, Yorkshire puddings roast potatoes, loads
of veg wonderful...
(Highways): Still no work has been carried out on the
Causeway and making it worse all the potholes seem to be joining
up... Please take care when using this tidal road particularly when the
tide has just ebbed clear of the road surface and particularly if you value the underside of
your vehicle and the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.
HOLY ISLAND VILLAGE
(entry): At the moment, as you leave the car park for the
village, substantial building works are underway. As I write
there's a digger outside my window
. Whilst I'm
sure the contractors are doing their best, there is often thick mud and an obscured pavement.
Work is likely to continue well into the year.
Weather-wise it feels like the mildest
Spring but remember that we're barely out of January. There's plenty
of time for it to change for the worse. And many are convinced that
we could really need a long cold snap
to kill off all those bugs.
But at the moment I can wash the car without losing my fingers to frostbite and
it will be keeping down the central heating bill...
We hope you will enjoy this month's rendition of our newsletter and
look forward to getting in touch again in March.
Aye well that's another one gone. I hope you
all enjoyed the Christmas and New Year.
It is good to note that at the end of our
financial year, the hall generated sufficient funds to meet our
Annual Running costs. Well done to all involved.
Bookings for 2018 are encouraging and it
looks like the new hall, like its predecessor, will become a popular
Dedication of Crossman
Circumstances conspired to delay the formal
opening of Holy Islands new Village Hall in 2017. Barring unforeseen
circumstances, a date has now been set for the formal naming; Friday
23 March 2018 at 14:00. The Causeway will be open from 09:00 until
The Hall will be dedicated by the late Lady
Rose's daughter-in-law Jane Crossman supported by her daughters
Alice & Sophia accompanied by Lady Rose's daughter Emma.
The event begins at 14:00 in the main hall
with a series of short opening remarks. Guests will then be invited
to view the hall and developing facilities followed by light
This small ceremony acknowledges the many
that made this community project possible and in particular to Lady
Rose who helped drive this community project forward.
Time Gone By
The first major event of the 2018 will
feature the Island in a combination of vintage Black & White
film and live music by Hector Gannet.
This event was premiered at the Low Light,
North Shields Fish Quay last year and was well received by the
audience of locals.
Black & white film footage will feature
of the Island; then clips remembering shipbuilding on the Tyne and
'Harvest of the Deep' showcasing the NE fishing industry and finally
'Causeway to the Island', revealing days from the Islands past. All
accompanied by live music commissioned for and played by the Hector
This is a great opportunity to look back on
days of hard work at the sea and the emerging visitor business on
the Island. The date; Easter Saturday. MORE DETAILS &
TIMES TO BE ANNOUNCED LATER.
You will recall we attempted to establish a
regular Pilates/Yoga class last year, but it appears that the
Teacher Julia Waters was unable to provide for a regular class.
At Christmas Rachel O'C established contact
with Trudy Morrison, Border Yoga. Trudy is able to run a monthly
class in the hall. She specialises in Yoga with classes last 90
minutes or so and needs 8 - 10 participants to run a viable course.
She can start a monthly class on request. The monthly fee would be
in the region of £8.00.
If you are interested please let me know
ASAP and classes could begin in late February/early March.
As we approach the new season, please
remember we always welcome donations of books & games etc., for
use on our charity table at Coffee Mornings. Thank you.
Finally it is pleasing to report that the
recreational facilities in the hall proved to be very popular during
the Christmas & New Year Holidays. As the hall facilities grow
in future we hope to provide additional fitness equipment.
Earlier in my Newsletter I promised more
information on the Easter Saturday Event.
Well it's turning into a bit of a block
buster! and further news and times to come, but for now an early
warning to consider booking when tickets are released. As well as
the previously announced programme, the Hall will provide a venue
Northumbrian piper and composer Kathryn
Tickell will perform with her long-time collaborator Amy Thatcher
(accordion & clog dancing). The pair will perform evocative slow
airs moving seamlessly into rapid fire jigs and reels. A very
special evening is in store from this sparkling duo.
event will feature Kathryn Williams an English singer-songwriter who
has released 14 albums to date. She has written & arranged for a
multitude of artists and was nominated for the 2000 Mercury
More to information to come in next month's
HM Coastguard is recruiting for Holy Island,
Berwick and Eyemouth Teams.
The teams form part of the 3,500-strong
Coastguard Rescue Service, whose 360 teams provide a 24/7 emergency
response to search and rescue incidents around the UK coastline.
Prospective recruits must be aged 18 or over and will undergo
medical screening and be subject to Disclosure and Barring Service
checks. Martin Lowe, senior coastal operations officer, said: "The
demanding nature of some duties performed by a Coastguard Rescue
Officer (CRO) requires a reasonable standard of health and fitness,
although pre-existing medical conditions do not necessarily exclude
membership. Dealing with occasional traumatic incidents can also
have an emotional impact." Trainees will learn various skills
leading to proficiency in a range of competencies, such as rope
rescue, search techniques, water rescue, first aid, radio
communications and helicopter operations.
Working closely with other emergency
services and maritime search and rescue resources, teams can be
called out to a variety of incidents, including cliff rescues,
vulnerable person searches, people stranded by the tide or at risk
of drowning, small craft in difficulties and found explosive
ordnance. Martin said: "We expect a high level of commitment from
all our team members, both in terms of regular attendance at
training sessions and response to incidents. "Coastguard rescue
teams are on-call on a 24-hours basis, which means making sacrifices
in their personal lives. We also encourage employers to allow CROs
to leave the workplace to attend incidents, when necessary. "They
should live within reasonable travelling distance from the coast or
their local Coastguard station, with own transport being essential."
The Coastguard Rescue Service also plays a key role in preventing
loss of life at sea by providing safety talks to youngsters and
community groups and undertaking coastal patrols.
Full training will be given so no experience
is needed but recruits must live or work within 20 minutes of one of
To apply please email email@example.com and one of the
area management team will be in touch or contact the teams on their
facebook pages. Applications close at the end of February.
Holy Island Coastguard:
I have now been apart of Holy Island
Coastguard for 10 years, 9 years leading the team as Station
Officer, however this sadly will be my last year.
As I now work and live in Yorkshire I can no
longer dedicate the time required. My final day as Station Officer
will be on the 1st of July 2018. To which, I am not looking forward
to, as I have really enjoyed my time with the Coastguard on Holy Island.
The current team move into 2018 in a great
position with a new Coastguard Station that is to be built on the
Island during 2018/2019.
My last task to complete before I depart
this year is to raise of compliment from 7 Coastguard Rescue
Officers to 9. So please give it real thought about joining up! Your
Country and Holy Islands needs YOU!
The New Year brings us ever closer to the
end of the works at the Castle, and although there will still be
some scaffolding being dismantled in the summer, we are getting the
internal spaces back (along with the main access road) in early
March ahead of opening on 1st April. This means it all of our focus
is on that process - getting essential materials back into the
Castle and getting ready to welcome the
We aren't returning the Castle collection
back to the building until next winter to allow plaster and
ultimately paintwork to have time to cure and dry. This then gave us
the prospect of opening with an empty castle; something even the
staunchest advocate of Lutyens' work may have struggled with! As it
happens though we had been in discussions with the artist Anya
Gallaccio about doing something with the empty space to have as our
main offer to visitors in the absence of the usual contents, so it
was nice to have this finally go public last week. We aren't quite
sure of the exact details yet (as I type on the 22nd January we
should know in the next few days) but the brief was to link the
artwork back to the Castle, its story, and the conservation project.
Anya has come up with an installation that will play on the
transitional phase the Castle is in - somewhere between a closed
building site and a Lutyens holiday home - and also the relationship
it has with the Jekyll Garden; especially the colour scheme Gertrude
used over there to such effect. The installation will be open to the
public on 5th May so for the first month or so the Castle will
indeed be empty (a rare thing indeed) but we will be telling the
story of the work that has gone on here over the period we have been
In terms of what is going on there now the
main story is linked to the above mention of the handover. The
interior rooms are the main focus and that is just as well given the
freezing temperatures we have had over the turn of the year. Little
or no lime work has been possible due to the risk of frost but
before Christmas - in a balmy week where temperatures reached 10?C -
the contractors were able to apply the external finish to the south
elevation gatehouse (more commonly known as the 'Loo with a View').
Inside the final skims have been being applied to the rooms and
final electrical fittings - such as faceplates and ceiling roses -
are being added. During this work the new fire alarm system will be
all connected up; the system has been running alongside the old one
having been installed during the 'opening up' period at the start of
the project (which seems ages ago). On that note we have been
replacing old wiring with MICC (fire-resistant) cabling throughout
the building and have been installing compartmentation in cable and
pipe runs to help stop fires happening. As we found during an
exercise with Fire Service and Coast Guard last summer, it will be
tough to effectively fight a fire at the Castle so we'd be better
off not having one in the first
I am still hoping to have a couple more
visits to the Castle before we reopen but given the amount of work
going on it is tricky to find any times when the contractors are not
there. If I don't get any organised in February then I will aim to
hold a couple of open days in March once we have the rooms
Some of you may have noticed that the NT
shop in the village is getting a bit of attention at the moment;
that is because Mel is very excited to be having a full refit
carried out. This will see the main counter moved and the back
window opened up for the first time in ages. We're hoping to be open
for February half term week so do pop in if you get a
01289 389244 (press 1, then 1903)
|REMEMBER WHEN WINTERS WERE WINTERS?
We seem to be having a very topsy-turvy
winter. So far it has alternated between short spells of extreme
cold with hard frost followed almost immediately by days when
temperatures have occasionally crept up towards double figures,
making it almost spring-like.
With these sudden swings in temperatures and
heavy winter clothing being donned and then shed in fast succession,
it's little wonder that so many folk around the island seem to be
suffering for flu and coughs and colds. It's not the ideal way, I'm
sure you'll agree, to greet the first dark weeks of 2018.
I really prefer winter to feel like winter
so those short periods with hard frosts, frozen ground and the
Rocket Field pools and the Lough briefly iced over are the ones
which always encourage me to leave the warmth of the cottage.
When I'm out and about in those very cold
conditions I often find myself remembering the words of the
Victorian poet Christina Rossetti about earth being like iron and
water like stone. I suppose her poem might have been long forgotten
had it not been set to music by Harold Darke in 1911 to provide us
with that favourite festive carol "In the Bleak Midwinter."
For the daughter of Italian political exiles
in London, Christina certainly caught the spirit of a good
old-fashioned British winter. Such winters seem to be a thing of the
past, replaced by the monotonous cycle of rain and generally
dull and damp conditions.
When they occur, those intensely cold days
usually bring other benefits for anyone out and about: wonderfully
red dawns and dusks, blue skies, little breeze, great visibility
westwards to the white tops of Cheviot and Hedgehope and glassy high
tide water on the flats. The general lack of wind means that sound
carries well on the still air.
They also show our winter birdlife to best
advantage. Standing on the Heugh or down on the beach at Jenny
Bell's, the resident Eiders and wintering Brent Geese show well on
the placid water or on the sandbars. In these conditions, the drake
Eiders quickly get into courting mode, cooing and displaying to any
brown female willing to watch.
Red-throated Divers, slim and pale grey, and
noisy, splashing parties of Long-tailed Ducks stand out at great
distance in the fine conditions as do the small parties of Slavonian
Grebes. These grebes in their black and white winter plumage always
look to me to be so small and delicate. It's an illusion as they can
cope effortlessly with the roughest sea conditions.
The cold weather has more effect on the Teal
and the scattering of Wigeon and other ducks congregated at the
Rocket Field. On freezing mornings, many of them will swim around in
the small patches which remain free of ice. Their movement keeps the
water open. When that fails, they have to move across to the Lough
where the ice takes longer to have an effect
Waders using the Rocket Field, particularly
the scattering of Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwings and Redshanks,
simply move off to the flats to continue their endless quest for
food. Some don't bother to go that far and simply flip across the
road to the Ouse.
On sunny freezing days I like to get across
towards the North Shore. One thing immediately noticeable is the
lack of smaller birds on the way. Apart from the resident pair of
Stonechats, usually using the fence line or the scattered bushes,
along the track towards the old kilns and golf course and a few Reed
Buntings the area is very quiet. A few Skylarks and Linnets remain
but are usually out of sight scouring the stubble fields for seed.
The last time I walked that way to the North
Shore there was one moment of sudden excitement as I crested the
last dunes above the ruined building. A young female Peregrine
slipped silently from the top of the gable end and raced low towards
Snipe Point. Less than half a minute later she returned, turned her
head to look at me as she passed, and shot off skimming the dunes
out towards the flats. Below the ruin tell-tale patches of white
splash and a few scattered wader feathers revealed that she'd be
using it as a plucking area and probably a regular look-out post.
My usual reason for visiting the North Shore
in mid-winter is to look for Snow Buntings. These sturdy
white-patched birds often glean the beach for wind-blown seeds with
others doing the same in island fields. Numbers wintering in Britain
have fallen dramatically in recent decades because less severe
winters just south of their high Arctic breeding range means that
they don't need to migrate so far.
In the past big parties were regular but
these days I count myself fortunate if I can find a dozen or so. The
island has the distinction of having once attracting the biggest
gathering of Snow Buntings ever recorded in Northumberland. During
the very severe winter of 1948 Richard Perry, author of A Naturalist
on Lindisfarne, recorded 5,000. In these days of instant
communications, such a stupendous gathering would attract birders
from throughout the country just to enjoy the sheer spectacle. Back
then, Perry's sighting was reported in a much simpler form, a
postcard to the Hancock Museum in Newcastle.
1,000 Snow Buntings were on the island in
December 1962 followed by 80 in 1993 and 2000. Since then numbers
have been much smaller. On my visit I found just eight feeding on
the tideline. Now that's something which would have given
Perry a good laugh!
|PEREGRINI LINDISFARNE LANDSCAPE PARTNERSHIP
||pp David Suggett|
poles maintain the way across the Lindisfarne
The line of poles marking the walking route to Holy Island have
been in place for decades, but recently some of them had gone
missing or become loose. As part of the Peregrini Lindisfarne
Landscape Partnership Scheme, the missing poles have been replaced.
The Peregrini scheme, which is funded by players of the National
Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) arranged for the
missing and loose poles to be replaced.
Ever since 635, when King Oswald gave the Holy Island of
Lindisfarne to St Aidan to establish his monastery, the island has
been a place of pilgrimage. The road was not constructed until 1954
and until then the vertical poles were the only indicators of the
safe route between the mainland and island.
Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: "The sight of the
poles stretching across the sand and mud is one of the most iconic
views in Northumberland and to walk the route away from the road and
follow in the footsteps of our medieval ancestors is a wonderful
experience. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players,
walkers and pilgrims to Holy island will have a complete set of
poles to guide their way across the sands."
Local fencing contractor Eddie Furnace was tasked with the job of
replacing the poles. Eddie said "This is one of the more unusual
jobs we've been asked to do and it wasn't without its challenges. As
well as the typical January weather, the poles sit in a mixture of
mud and sand which is very wet and the holes for the replacement
poles were filling up as quickly as we dug them. The boggy
conditions also meant that we had to carry the poles in by hand as
the quad-bike would've got stuck in the mud.
"The whole area is really important for birds and is designated
as a National Nature Reserve so we had to work closely with the
reserve staff to make sure the birds weren't unduly disturbed.
"The replacements are rough larch poles from a local woodland, so
they look like the existing poles and should last a long time."
Brenda Stanton, Chair of the Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape
Partnership said "More and more people are walking the Pilgrim's Way
to reach Holy Island every year. Whether you're reaching the end of
a long walk on St. Cuthbert's Way or just walking over to the
Island, to take of your boots and squelch barefoot across the mud is
a wonderful experience.
"When it was suggested that Peregrini Lindisfarne could replace
the missing poles as part of our Sacred Corridor project, we jumped
at the chance. As well as the replacement poles a new seat will be
soon installed on the Island, at the end of the Pilgrim's Way which,
as well as a place to put your boots back on, will be a place to sit
a while and reflect on your own pilgrimage."
Information on safely walking the Pilgrim's Way can be found the
Northumberand Coast AONB Partnership Website www.northumberlandcoastaonb.org
Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE NNR
On 2nd January we returned to work, that
morning we received a call to say a young pup, caught in fishing
gear was on Ross Sands heading towards Budle Bay.
It was raining and sleeting heavily when I
arrived on the deserted beach, I was joined by Steve Dixon a British
Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) volunteer who arrived with a dive
knife and seal carrying bag. We walked towards Budle Bay but after
almost 3 miles we couldn't see much and almost turned back. We
decided to go just a little further and spotted what appeared to be
marine litter on the shore, then we noticed tiny track marks.
The pup lay still and we thought we were too
late. As we moved closer she lifted her head, she was badly
entangled in a broken lobster pot and the poor thing was
Steve held her still, whilst I cut the net
from around her neck. She had a deep wound where the rope had cut
into her. We decided to lift her to the vets. We carried a handle
each as we hauled 19kg of seal pup back across 3 miles of sand,
dunes and farmland. Steve drove her to the vets.
She was tube fed and given antibiotics at
the vets in Alnwick before being released the same day, as other
than her injury she was a very healthy young seal.
Things ended well for this pup but it could
have so easily ended differently as it does for other marine animals
that become victims of pollution.
During our regular beach cleans, 'ghost
fishing' gear is commonly among the offending items, if people can
commit to even doing a 2 minute beach clean whenever they visit the
beach it can make a difference.
Get in touch if you would like to take part
in a beach clean this year. We will also be running outreach events
to raise awareness about wildlife on the reserve.
The first events will be 'Meet & Greet'
sessions during February half term.
Reserve staff & Volunteers will be in
the Window on Wild Lindisfarne with binoculars and wildlife
information on:-14th, 15th & 16th February 10:00-12:00.
We will be cleaning the beach at Budle Bay
on:-19th February, 10:00-12:00, meeting next to the white
Please contact me at the reserve office for
Tel: 01289 381 470
|NEWS FROM FORD & ETAL
Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre opens again for
the 2018 season in February.
Heatherslaw Cornmill and Heatherslaw Railway
(subject to weather!) will be open on 13th, 14th and 15th February
for half-term fun. Heatherslaw Cornmill is also open on Wednesdays
and Thursdays from 11am-2pm throughout the winter and early
Please check www.ford-and-etal.co.uk
for full details.
Appearing at Etal
Village Hall Saturday 24th February 2018
Finalists in the BBC Radio 2 Folk awards
2017 as best newcomers, FARA brings together four emerging musicians
at the forefront of today's young Scottish folk scene --Jennifer
Austin, Kristan Harvey, Jeana Leslie and Catriona Price's three
fiddles and a piano -- to produce a fiery sound rooted strongly in
their upbringing among the music of Orkney. Releasing their debut
album 'Cross the Line' in September of 2016, the band have gone on
to appear on some of the great stages of the world including the
Royal Albert Hall in London (BBC Radio 2 Folk awards 2017) and
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall where they appeared with Cherish the
Ladies at Celtic Connections 2017.
"Fara are certainly a quartet to watch.
Cross The Line is an ambitious, accomplished and beautiful debut
that showcases four musicians' superb and sensitive musicianship and
charming vocal harmonies. A delight." - **** Songlines
Tickets £12 please book and pay in advance.
Contact Steve or Helen on 01890 820566 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Payment by cheque to 22, Etal Village,
Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland TD12 4TW
or contact as above
to arrange payment by BACS
An Evening with Colin
Etal Village Hall, Saturday 3rd March,
6-7.30pm - hosted by Active 4 Seasons (sorry: http://www.active4seasons.co.uk is now not available)
Come and meet the brains behind the amazing
first circumnavigation of UK mainland by open canoe.
Colin Skeath MBE and his nephew Davis are
the first and only people to have Canoed around mainland Britain.
Completed in the summer of 2017 this was an amazing feat which has
not been repeated!
Colin is not new to physical challenge but
this trip was increadible and we are honoured to have him available
for this special event. Tickets must be booked in
Dates for your
Heatherslaw Light Railway opens for the
season on 25th March; Lady Waterford Hall and Heatherslaw Cornmill
on 26th March and Etal Castle on 30th March.
This April it is 200 years since the birth
of Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford and to celebrate there will be
an open weekend involving the Lady Waterford Hall, Ford Church
and Ford Castle on 14th and 15th April - more news to come next
Also, on the evening of 14th April a
celebratory Ceilidh and Supper will be held in the Lady Waterford
Hall and tickets will be on sale soon in local shops.
|FROM THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN
||Parochial Church Council|
At the beginning of 2018 our parish of St
Mary's went into Vacancy as Paul our vicar left Holy Island to live
in their new home. Although this time may seem unsettling and a
period of change and uncertainty it is also a time of discerning,
reflection and prayer. We are supported by Rob Kelsey our Area Dean
and Archdeacon Peter Robinson through this process and over the next
few weeks we will be putting together a Parish Profile which is our
opportunity to reflect our parish, our hopes and vision for a new
priest. We ask for your thoughts and prayers for those involved in
'Farewell Paul and Thank You'
Paul and family pictured as we gathered at the St. Cuthbert Centre
for his presentation on Sunday 26th November following him presiding
at Eucharist for the last time as our Vicar. - Photo: Thelma Dunne
On a practical note we have retired priests from
the Diocese coming to help with Sunday services and locum priests
coming to support us from March onwards which will be a valuable
support to those involved in daily services and to our parish as we
get busy through the year.
Our pattern of services in church will
remain the same until locums are in place and we are joined by
Archdeacon Peter Robinson from Palm Sunday for Holy Week and
Should you have any matters of concern,
particularly if you wish to arrange a visit to the church, in the
first instance please contact me at: email@example.com
ST. MARY'S NOTICES
( Churchwarden )
| Pattern of worship for Sundays|
| ||8am|| Holy Communion (BCP)
| ||10.45am||Parish Eucharist
| ||5.30pm|| Evensong
|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
meet our hospice team