|SITEZINE: HOLY ISLAND'S E-MAIL
- A bit from me...
- Spaceman seen on holy island?
- Crossman Hall
- HM Coastguard
- Lindisfarne Castle
- First signs of spring around the island
- Lindisfarne NNR
- News from Ford & Etal
- From our United Reformed Church
- From our Parish Church
- Holy Week and Easter services
- St Mary's notices
- Pilgrimage to the Island
'St Cuthbert's Island'|
|A BIT FROM ME
Dear *|MMERGE3|* ,
Welcome to our March newsletter on a day of
countrywide disruption as the bitter winds sweep across from
the siberian plains. And as snow obscures my window I wonder if the
island electrical services will stay in tact long enough to
complete our newsletter.
COUNTY COUNCIL: Firstly, having made a few trips to the mainland
recently I notice that the highways department seem to be honouring
the request made on our behalf, by our County Councillor, for
regular causeway sweeping. So thank
you to our Parish Council, NCC and Roderick
Lawrie. 'Part-one' of the plan is working - now let's get
the road safe for ourselves and our visitors!
VILLAGE (entry): Work continues along part of the
'beautiful tree-lined avenue' into the village. Even in the
midst of a blizzard the workmen persist perhaps driven to get the
pathway and verges clear in time for the fast-approaching
Eastertide. And there certainly will be throngs of pilgrims and
other visitors continuously passing their building site.
VACANCY': The Holy
Island Parish is now without a vicar. Until the Bishop appoints a
new one a period of interregnum exists. Our Church Warden
assumes responsibility for the running of the church reporting to
and guided by our 'Area Dean'. The PCC is currently describing the
situation to be faced by an incumbent in the form of a 'Parish
Plan' to assist the Bishop and potential applicants. Please
note that in all parish matters, in the first instance you should
contact: Sam Quilty (Churchwarden) E-mail: email@example.com or
phone : 07933925450 .
For those considering visiting the island
over the holiday period you may well be interested
in 'Pilgrimage To The Islands' to be held in our new
village hall on Easter Saturday 2018. This is programmed to be an
all-day, cultural event celebrating a healthy mix of art. film,
music, nature and tradition of the north east coastline, industry
and heritage. Click here for
We hope you will enjoy our March newsletter
and look forward to getting in touch again in April.
In the meantime we wish you a
reflective and Happy Easter.
|SPACEMAN SEEN ON HOLY
photographing "things" on the Island I thought at first that the
builders had, for a joke, erected a dummy climbing a scaffold
On closer examination at home and enlarged,
what I thought was a NASA spaceman looks to be a meteorological
station relating to the building works.
Shame that it wasn't ET !
ED: Thanks for
getting in touch Mike. We've been walking past this on most days and
never noticed - as have thousands of others since
maintenance work commenced. As I grow older I seem to be
increasingly looking without seeing...
I must start with a slice of humble pie.
I forgot to acknowledge the generosity of
International Company Tree Locate, based in Belford, specialists in
artificial trees, plants and flowers. Company principals the
Nesbitt Brothers, donated a selection of trees, plants and flowers
to the hall, in memory of their father Roger Nesbitt.
The shrubbery and plants greatly improved
the character and atmosphere of the hall. The Trustees thank the
Nesbitt Family for their generosity.
the Crossman Hall - Reminder
The Crossman Family will attend the
dedication of the hall at 14:00 on Friday 23 March. The Trustees
invite all Islanders to the afternoon celebration and enjoy a drink,
a tea or coffee and a bun.
The first Coffee Morning of the year will be
held on 2 April, Easter Monday. Any items for the stalls can be
handed in at the Oasis Café or left at the hall on Easter Sunday
when the tables will be set up.
This first Major event of 2018 will be held
in the Hall on Easter Saturday.
The Hall will provide a venue for a unique
cultural event. The day will see two headline performances from the
regions most respected artists. The evening will see a solo
performance by former Mercury Prize nominee Kathryn Williams, who
found inspiration among the greats such as Silvia Plath and Nick
Kathryn Tickell, the world's foremost
exponent of the Northumbrian pipes. Composer, performer and very
successful recording artists, has played with many well-known
musicians, will play with her long-time collaborator Amy
A major feature of the day is the live
soundtrack played to black & white film of the Islands and the
Farnes', as well as vintage film of North Sea fishing and ship
building on the Tyne, the music is composed and performed by Hector
A range of other music included jazz from
the talented trio 'In Other Words' will be staged in the Hall during
As well as music, there is an intriguingly
titled talk by Dr Audrey Verma - 'The Darker Side of Birding' which
gives a perspective between twitchers and their targets as they
strive to get another tick on the life list.
Food will be available and the bar open all
Ten or so individuals have expressed an
interest in joining a Yoga class. I will pass the information to
Trudy Morrison, the tutor and let you all know as soon as I hear
back from her.
THE EASEMENT TO
CROSS NEIGBOURING LAND
Just as I finish these notes, I have heard
from our Solicitor that we are on the home straight. As always there
is some paperwork to work through, but it means before long the rain
water drain will be connected to the main sewer. At last. Hurrah!
Don't forget to come to the Hall for the
dedication and enjoy a celebration drink.
start of 2018 thankfully hasn't been a busy one for us. We have
responded to two incident in February. Both of these incidents have
been medical related, working with both the North East Ambulance
Service and the Great North Air Ambulance.
Thus, our main business so far this year has
been training. We continue to improve our skills in First Aid
working very closely with the Ambulance Service as Co-Responders.
The main focus for the early part of this
year will be on recruitment. As one of the busier Coastguard Rescue
Teams in Northumberland we responded to 65 incidents last year. To
ensure that we have a turn out to each incident we need a variety of
personnel all with different availabilities. So if you're aged
between 18 and 65, have a passion for helping people, you're a team
player and live or working within 20 minutes of the Coastguard
Station we are looking for you!!
Maritime Operations Officer
We get the keys to the Castle back in less
than a fortnight, so as you can imagine things are growing fairly
frenetic from our point of view. Leaving aside the remaining
snagging work to be completed up on the hill, we also have the not
inconsiderable task of moving our little office out of Elm House and
back up the ramp. Thankfully we have some help from the good folk at
Shunters but given how much we managed to cram into these two little
rooms above the shop, it will still take some doing.
I mentioned last month that we weren't
returning the Castle's contents until next winter to allow the lime
plaster to cure. Well that wasn't entirely correct; next week I'll
be bringing back all the Castle's lighting which is of course needed
for our visitor route. We will need a whole induction session with
the electricians before we move back in as there have been several
changes to the Castle's wiring, not to mention a brand new fire
& security alarm system having been installed.
In terms of the conservation works, a big
moment happened recently when the East (Lower Battery) scaffold came
down. This was an urgent piece of work as its presence prevented the
flagstones being lifted to allow drainage works to take place, but
the real significance of the dismantling was that for the first time
in a year the Lower Battery elevation was uncovered, revealing the
new sneck harl finish. Elsewhere on the south elevation the
scaffolding has begun to come down, and should be completely gone in
the next couple of weeks. Suddenly the Castle will look very
lopsided with a huge scaffold on the north and nothing on the south.
As I said last month that north scaffold will remain in place until
the summer, along with a building compound so the public visiting
the Castle will be diverted along a scaffold path around the
compound (it will all make sense when you see it!). The present
routes to the garden and headland won't be affected.
The next job inside is snagging and a final
clean before handover on the 8th March, when we will then move in
and do our own clean and prepare for the opening on 1st April.
I have shown a fair few people round while the work has been in
progress but now that we are nearly done I thought it would be good
to organise an open day on Tuesday 27th March. It is a closed tide
so I'll open the doors around 11.00 until about 13.00. If you want
to come up please let me know so I have an idea of numbers.
On your way up (if you haven't done so
already) it might be worth having a look in at the shop. With all
the work going on at the Castle it may have gone under the radar
that the shop has had a full refit over winter. It is looking
fantastic at the moment, and as Mel gets her Spring stock in it will
only get even better. The new layout has the till over by the gable
end and the back window - reopened after having been blocked by
shelving units for ages - floods light in and allows shoppers to see
all the plants that will soon be on offer in the back garden.
01289 389244 (press 1, then
|FIRST SIGNS OF SPRING AROUND THE
One of the things I most look forward to at
this time of year is the gradual development of spring song and
courtship from our regular island birds and the first appearances
offshore of seabirds on the move.
On a dull and drizzly morning at the end of
January I stepped out into the back garden and heard my first Song
Thrush in full and glorious voice high in the Sycamores in the
Crossgates car park. The first drifts of snowdrops were out, another
very early indication of the coming spring.
You'd imagine one of the bright and sunny
dawns we've been enjoying would prompt birds into song. But I've
noticed before that it's often the damp and dreary mornings which
produce the first songs. Robins and Blue Tits were also singing that
morning. Since then I've heard the first tuning up rather than
actual songs from Blackbirds and Skylarks.
Song Thrushes, with strident triple notes
pouring into the cold air, are still common around the village and
the lonnens. That's not the case in many other areas where they have
vanished, their numbers nationally having crashed by half in recent
I think the reason we've kept our birds is
the super abundance of their favourite food, snails, which seem to
lurk under every stone and in every damp crevices in our walls and
gardens. Thrush "anvils" where they've battered open snail shells on
stones are still a common sight around the place. Elsewhere,
the use of slug pellets and other toxic herbicides by gardeners
seems to have played its part in ridding areas of pests but at the
same time depriving thrushes of their main food supply.
Other island birds are also getting into
spring mode. At the Rocket Field, our smallest wintering ducks,
Teal, are also in full courtship mood, drakes head-bobbing to
females with their continual piping calls. Over the next few weeks
we'll be seeing fewer and fewer of them as they begin to move off
for their main breeding grounds in Scandinavia, the Baltic States
On still morning off the Heugh the Eiders
are also courting. Competing drakes are busy surrounding females and
trying to impress them with their crooning calls. Further out,
scatterings of Long-tailed Duck are also calling and splashing in
wild courtship chases. Some of the resident Shags already have their
breeding crests and the other day I noticed my first Black-headed
Gull back in breeding plumage with a full dark chocolate head.
On the open sea things are happening too.
The other day I noticed a sudden gathering of gulls about half a
mile offshore. First, half a dozen Herring Gulls began dropping to
the surface. Over the next few minutes they were joined by a few
Black-headed Gulls and a couple of passing Fulmars. They had
obviously discovered a shoal of fish near the surface. Soon a little
feeding frenzy was in progress, birds continually and excitedly
dropping to snatch at members of shoal who'd ventured too near.
As I watched, two adult Gannets, gleaming
white against the grey sea, appeared out of nowhere to home in on
the gathering. They were the first I'd noticed this year. Both began
to make shallow dives into the midst of the gathering, as if showing
the others how it should be done.
The little frenzy was soon over. No doubt
the shoal had gone deep out of danger. The birds quickly dispersed
leaving the spot quiet again.
Gannets with their six-foot wing span are by
far the largest of our seabirds. They are also the most spectacular
because of the way they take fish by plunging headlong into the sea,
often from heights of sixty or seventy feet. Evolution has
reinforced their skulls to cope with the impact of hitting the water
at high velocity.
They normally swallow their fish while
underwater before rising to the surface. They then have to beat hard
to get airborne again to rise and circle ready for their next dive.
We occasionally get big feeding frenzies, particularly in late
summer, involving scores of Gannets and they are always something
really special to watch.
Apart from their black wing tips and ochre
yellow heads, the pure white plumage of the Gannets must be the envy
of washing powder manufacturers. No other white can match it in
terms of purity. It really does make our gulls look dull by
|Song Thrush - one of the island's earliest spring vocalists. [
Andy Mould ]|
A few Gannets remain in the North Sea in
winter but the vast majority migrates to spend our colder months off
West Africa and around the Mediterranean. They start to return to
Britain very early, like the two I saw offshore, and these numbers
will now increase rapidly over the next few weeks.
Once we are into March long lines of Gannets
on the move northwards will become an increasingly common sight out
towards the horizon on calm days or perhaps closer inshore when
conditions are rough.
Gannets are one of nature's success stories
in Britain at a time when the numbers of other seabirds are
declining. They are such a common sight off the island between March
and October because of our closeness to the world's biggest Gannet
colony on the Bass Rock at the mouth of the Firth of Forth where
more than 150,000 congregate.
Gannets will travel long distances to fish,
particularly when they have hungry young to feed, making continual
passages of parties such a familiar sight for us during the summer
months. Occasionally in the first hour after a summer dawn I've
counted well over a thousand an hour heading back towards the colony
after long-distance fishing trips.
These really are birds worth looking out for
from now onwards.
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE NNR
Launch of the Reserve's New Events
(Photos courtesy of
Lindisfarne NNR volunteer, ©Ceris Aston)
February may have been cold but it was full
steam ahead on the reserve! We undertook beach cleans at the far
north of the reserve, Goswick Black Rocks and to the far south at
Budle Bay. Half term was busy, as expected on Holy Island, despite
the inclement weather. We celebrated our love of birds on
Valentine's Day and continued the theme of 'Love Bids' for 4 days.
We spent time with around 330 visitors, highlighting the wonderful
array of wildlife that inhabit the reserve.
We provided binoculars, telescopes and
identification advice for the watching of birds on the Rocket field.
Additionally, we enjoyed bird crafts and games designed to educate
visitors of all ages about the resident and migratory birds of
Lindisfarne. All of the activities were focused on key conservation
issues and how visitors can help to support the protection of
vulnerable species across the reserve.
For information regarding upcoming Reserve
events, contact the Reserve Manager: Annie Ivison - Reserve
Warden, Beal Station
Tel: 01289 381 470
|NEWS FROM FORD & ETAL
This winter the facilities at Lady Waterford
Hall have undergone major refurbishment with a new storage room, a
catering-standard kitchen and new toilets, including a fully
accessible WC, being installed. These new features alongside
the unique and beautiful main Hall will help to make the building a
very desirable venue to hire for events, wedding receptions
etc. Enquiries should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hall will re-open daily for the 2018
season from 26th March, with a special celebratory weekend on
14th/15th April to mark 200 years since the birth of Louisa
Waterford. As part of the celebration of the life and legacy
of this remarkable woman the Lady Waterford Hall Trust is
running a raffle offering an unique opportunity - the
chance to win an original Louisa Waterford watercolour sketch (c.
1840) of a young girl.
Tickets are priced at £1.00 and are
available exclusively from Lady Waterford Hall. The raffle will be
drawn on 31st October 2018.
Raising funds for the future upkeep and
maintenance of the Lady Waterford Hall, Museum and Gallery
(Registered Charity no 248898).
Other attractions at Ford & Etal open
for the season as follows:
Hay Farm Heavy
Horse Centre: Tuesdays - Sundays and most bank holiday
Mondays from 13th February
Heatherslaw Light Railway: Daily from 25th March
Heatherslaw Cornmill: Daily from 26th March
Castle: From 30th March, Wednesdays - Sundays
March Events at
Ford & Etal
3rd March: An Evening with Colin
Skeath MBE, Etal Village Hall 6pm. Tickets in advance http://www.ford-and-etal.co.uk/events/event/909-an-evening-with-colin-skeath-mbe
23rd March: Northumberland Theatre
Company present "The Adventures of Johnny Armstrong and other
|FROM THE COMMUNITY OF AIDAN AND
Celtic Journeys is sponsored by the
Community of St. John Baptist, an Episcopal religious order for
women in Mendham, New Jersey. Since 1999, these trips have been
organized by Sister Margo.
Several times a year she takes groups of
fifteen to Ireland, Wales and Cornwall - and Northumberland,
but they like Holy Island so much that they spend their whole time
here - apart from a trip to Farne Isles.
I met Sister Margo last Autumn at one
of our hotels. She asked me to talk to them after their arrival meal
even though they had jet lag! Last month I met her latest
group. None of them had been before - they just felt drawn to
I asked them what they were drawn to. 'The
light', several said, 'especially in the afternoon. It has a
special, liminal quality'. Another said 'I want space where I
can just be myself'. They decided to have periods of time when they
did not talk.
Sometimes I get emails from a would-be tour
organizer asking if I can advise them, and I have to reply that I
can't be a travel agent. But Sister Margo is happy to advise https://www.celticjourneys.org/greetings-1
|FROM OUR UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
As I write the Island has enjoyed beautiful,
clear frosty days with occasional hints of Spring, but, as usual in
the UK climate, there is nothing predictable or consistent in our
weather at this season of the year.
Throughout March the Christian church walks
through the season of Lent, with Easter Sunday falling on April
1st. The great message of Easter is of God in Christ, with us
in death and always pointing us to new life and new hope. It
is a great over-arching theme for all creation and humanity, and for
all time, an ultimate hope which offers, in the words of Jesus, 'a
peace that passes all understanding'.
However, belief in ultimate truths does not
mean that we can avoid living through the seasons of life, and we
are constantly reminded that they can be as unpredictable as the
At this time of year, there are reminders in
our gardens, of how shrubs that have been cut to the quick will
produce new growth once more, and of how bulbs that inhabit darkness
have stored energy to flower again when the time is right. We
cannot predict, or control the seasons of life, but the strength
stored up from good relationships and memories can sustain us when
we are forced to live through times of uncertainty.
|FROM THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST MARY THE
As part of the appointment of a new Vicar
for Holy Island the PCC is tasked with producing a 'Parish Profile'
which is our opportunity to reflect our parish, our hopes and vision
for the future in a document or 'powerpoint presentation' which the
PCC will present to Bishop Christine and which will inform all
prospective applicants when we begin advertising for a new
To reflect a true picture of our parish we
will be inviting island residents and regular worshippers at St
Mary's to give us feedback through a questionnaire which we will be
sending out in the next two weeks in which we would appreciate your
thoughts, opinions and ideas.
If you have any concerns or need us to visit
please do not hesitate in contacting:
Sam Quilty(Churchwarden) Tel 07933925450
Rob Kelsey (Area Dean) Tel 01289 382325.
Holy Week and Easter Services
joined by Archdeacon, Peter Robinson, who will lead us from Palm
Sunday through Holy Week and Easter.
( Churchwarden )
Holy Week and Easter 2018
|Saturday 24th March
Sunday 25th March
||10.00am ||Gather for Palm Sunday
procession and Coffee at St Cuthbert's URC|
||Liturgy of the Palms and
procession to St Mary the Virgin|
||Liturgy of the Passion at
St Mary the Virgin|
|Monday of Holy Week
Monda 26th March
||Holy Week reflections at
St Cuthbert's URC|
|Tuesday of Holy Week
Tuesday 27th March
||Holy Communion (BCP)|
||Holy Week reflections at
St Cuthbert's URC|
|Wednesday of Holy Week
Wednesday 28th March
||Holy Week reflections at
St Cuthbert's URC|
Thursday 29th March
|Eucharist of the Last
Supper, Foot washing and Vigil|
Friday 30th March
||Seven Last Words of
||Good Friday liturgy|
||Hot Cross Buns in St
Saturday 31st March
||Easter Vigil and
Sunday 1st April
||Dawn service on
||Holy Communion (BCP)|
|Monday 2nd April
Note: any revisions
to service times are posted on the notice board in the church
ST. MARY'S NOTICES
( Churchwarden )
until Saturday 24th March
|Pattern of worship for
| ||8am||Holy Communion
| ||10.45am||Parish Eucharist |
|Pattern of worship for
|Morning Prayer||8am||Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and
|Holy Communion||8am||Wednesday and Friday|
|Evening Prayer||5.30pm||Every day|
Pilgrimage To The Islands
is an event which is being held in Crossman Hall at The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, on Easter Saturday 2018. Celebrating a healthy mix of art. film, music, nature and tradition of the north east coastline, industry and heritage.
Please note this cultural event is of
very limited capacity
Confirmed Artists & program to include:
- *Kathryn Tickell &
Amy Thatcher - Northumberland Pipes with Accordian and Clog Dancing.
- *An intimate solo
performance from Kathryn Williams
- A Nature Walk - Bird and wildlife watching with
a local expert (limited places only)
- The Darker Side of Birding - A talk by Social
Scientist Dr Audrey Verma.
- The Pitmatics - Art inspired by life and work
in Ashington, Northumberland.
- Hector Gannet - Performing their live
soundtrack 'Moving North: Coastal' to historic archive local film
- St James Infirmary - Performs 'How The North
Was Won, and Lost'.
- Sally Wheatley - Johny Brown; Band of Holy Joy,
& Gary Chaplin: Quarterlight in collaboration.
- Keep Breathing - An exquisite acoustic
performance by one of Tyneside's best live bands.
- The Horse Loom - Northumbrian Guitarist, a
marriage between British folk music, avant garde guitar playing and punk
- Ordinaryson - Lush acoustic sounds and melodies
from Berwick Upon Tweed
- In Other Words - a remarkably gifted teenage
Jazz trio from Tyneside
- Coach travel available from Newcastle and
Northumberland (selected areas) for full day event.
- Day tickets on sale now at special price for
*limited time only.
- Locally sourced food & drink will be
- A chance to 'Walk The Pilgrims Route' from the
mainland to the island (weather permitting)
- THIS TICKET
LINK includes option of ticket and return travel - limited
* please consider booking as soon
as tickets are released.
meet our hospice