Spittal newly refurbished pier shown here at dusk. Photo by Stephen Green

Spittal newly refurbished pier shown here at dusk. Photo by Stephen Green

Have your say

Why we don’t need more parking in Marygate

I WRITE in response to your front page report on Coun Brian Douglas again trying to get more parking on Marygate, this time with some town council backing. Full marks for persistence.

However, as he has never answered any of the points which I’ve raised before in these discussions, I too will try again. Until my doubts and questions are answered I must remain opposed.

I’ll write to the councillors with a full list of the points which I have raised before but this is important for the town so I’ll summarise some of them here in the hope that others will join the discussion.

1) Shopkeepers’ concerns – their wish to help re-vitalise the town centre is absolutely right but we must beware of their vested interest and their (national) tendency to have a narrow view of how to do it. Many historic towns have over-ridden the shopkeepers and rejected central parking and now have vigorous town centres. If we think Berwick’s different, we have to show why. There is also more to Berwick shopping than just Marygate. None of our local independent shops are between the Advertiser and the Guildhall steps.

2) What the people of Berwick want – the originators of the local petitions and surveys show initiative but, as conducted, the findings are interesting but not conclusive. Incidentally another, perhaps more professional, survey (Buchanan) showed popular support for increased pedestrianisation of the town centre and placed Marygate parking at only ninth out of eleven options.

3) Decline of the town centre and empty shops – the causal link to insufficient Marygate parking must be shown. We know other factors are also at work, both here and elsewhere and have been for some time – see the factors listed by Portas – and perhaps there are weaknesses in our own shopping offer.

4) Pedestrian safety – more parking in Marygate would make things worse. There is indeed a strong argument for a pedestrian crossing at the top of West St, and perhaps elsewhere, but that’s not dependent on Marygate parking.

5) Should the shoppers’ permit be supplemented or even replaced by, say, making all existing parking free for an hour?

6) The previous experience in Marygate was apparently chaotic even though there were fewer vehicles on the roads.

7) The core of our distinctive visual and heritage offer needs enhancing.

8) Finally, will 20 extra places in Marygate turn round the town when we have a surplus of parking all around? From any of the central parking, even a 76-year-old crock like me, with a disability pension, a dicky heart and floppy legs, can get to any shop in less than five minutes – and we have about 40 disabled parking places.


Scott’s Place, Berwick

Drivers, please slow down for horses on the road

I FEEL I have no option but to write this in the hope that it alerts all drivers to the dangers of not slowing down for horses being ridden out on the roads.

It is becoming increasingly dangerous each time we go out on our horses. We have no option but to ride out on the roads as you are not allowed in the farmers’ fields. We are on the B6354 Berwick to Etal road and have been for years! Drivers should pass slowly and wide when approaching a horse; the main reason for this is so the horse, rider and driver of the vehicle stay safe.

It is now beyond a joke the speed at which motorists come past us. Today my daughter asked a wagon driver to slow down using the correct hand signals, but he totally ignored her requests and went flying past, leaving her and the horse in a ditch at the side of the road, just about knocked her out! Luckily one of the lads from Mick Cross was behind the wagon and stopped to help her. My daughter has her Riding & Road Safety Certificate and she is a very competent rider who has been riding since she was a small child, therefore should be able to ride happily and safely on the roads.

I have spoken to the transport manager of the said wagon and he is dealing with the driver, thank you for your help. Also a big thank you to the lad from Mick Cross.

Do folk have no comprehension of what will happen if a car, wagon or van hits a horse and rider? They weigh in excess of 500kg so if it hits your car you are not going to come out of it very well, the horse will die and it will cause death or serious injury to the rider! Surely common sense would tell you to slow down. Read the Highway Code, it fully explains how and why you need to slow down.

I understand not everyone likes horses or understands why they are out on the road but they have as much right as anyone else to be out there. Right now in Britain there are three million horse owners and most of them ride out on roads.

Please slow down when you see a horse and rider before it’s too late and something really awful happens. I am sure no motorist wants anyone, horse or human, to come to any harm.


Misleading ‘facts’ about power of wind turbines

I SPEND about half of my week in Northumberland and like most residents and visitors despair at the systematic destruction of this wild, unspoilt iconic county by gigantic wind turbines. It is especially appalling that they should be proposed in the Belford area so close to the beautiful coast. It seems never a week goes by with more being erected or proposed. Is there an end to it or will they keep going until the county is plastered?

Anyone doing a little basic research can find out how useless they are but in particular I refer to your front page article on November 15 in which the developer, Energiekontor, says that more than 11,000 homes will be supplied by nine turbines. The misleading implication being that the nine turbines will completely supply the needs of 11,000 homes, exclusive of the national grid. These statements are rarely challenged. What they mean is that if the wind blows at the right speed 24 hours a day every day and the turbines produce 100% of their capacity, they will generate 1kw of electricity for each of the 11,000 homes, or enough to boil a third of a kettle.

The existing turbines average about 20%, so a more realistic number would be an average of 550 homes, intermittently supplied.

It says much about the usefulness of turbines when misleading statements have to be resorted to, to make them acceptable. Are they being constructed to produce electricity or for profit targets, keeping the Lib Dems and environmentalists onside and providing foreign workers with jobs, whose governments in the EU imposed the targets on us in the first place?


The Meadows, West Rainton


Robb brothers pictures sought for exhibition

DURING 2013, as part of the Flodden commemorations, the Coldstream Museum is mounting an exhibition about the work of Andrew and Robert Robb who, during the 1860s and 1870s, operated a grocer’s and bookseller’s business in Coldstream High Street.

One of their special lines was to sell wooden souvenirs ‘made of wood grown on Flodden Field’, and indeed they presented a copy of Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Marmion’, bound in Flodden Field wood boards, to Queen Victoria, during her 1867 visit to the Borders. This book will feature in the exhibition.

It has been possible to gather quite a lot of material about the Robbs, but we lack pictures of either of them. Andrew died young at Coldstream in 1877, but had been superintendent of the Sabbath School and session clerk for the United Presbyterian East Church, secretary of the Border Horticulturists Show and a member of the Masonic Lodge – is it possible that the records of any of these institutions hold early photographs which might show him?

His younger brother Robert was a grocer in Lowick after his brother died, then living in Tweedmouth (1901) and Crieff (1911) but ended his life in Glasgow in 1915, aged 83.

If anyone can help with photographs of either of the Robbs, please contact Jane Bowen on 01668 219653 or email boward@hotmail.co.uk


Byers Close, Belford

Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal a big success

MANY thanks are due to all those who took part in the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal this year. More than 1400 boxes have been collected from an area extending from Eyemouth and Duns to Seahouses and Wooler.

The boxes will soon be on their way to orphanages in Bosnia, Serbia and Belarus. There they will be opened by children whose lives have been affected by conflict and poverty, and who know little of the pleasures we associate with childhood.

The number of boxes received was especially encouraging, in view of the economic difficulties affecting many local families. The generosity displayed by people who are themselves going through hard times was impressive. Our grateful thanks to all.


Co-ordinator, Berwick Shoebox


Magdalene Fields GC charity aid boost

WE would like to thank Kevin Atkinson, the captain of Magdalene Fields Golf Club, for very kindly choosing our charity as one of the beneficiaries of his Charity Golf Day.

The sum of £666 we received is a fantastic donation and we really appreciate the continued generosity of Magdalene Fields Golf Club, who have been incredibly supportive of our charity ever since we started in 2009.

The money raised will be used by Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research to help find cures and better treatment for people suffering from all types blood cancer. We have been overwhelmed by the support our charity has received in the last year and are very grateful.


North Northumberland

Fundraising Group

Leukaemia and Lymphoma


Riding for the Disabled lunch raises £1300

ETAL Group Riding for the Disabled recently held a lunch at South Hazelrigg Racing Yard, owned by Tony and Rose Dobbin. This was very successful and raised £1300 for the group.

We would like to thank Tony and Rose very much for their time and kind hospitality. Also our sincere appreciation to all those who came and supported us or helped in anyway, and to Buds Flowers of Tweedmouth who kindly gave us a beautiful bunch of flowers.


Howtel Farm House, Mindrum

‘Calendar Girls’ full of warmth and humour

MYSELF and my friend June spent a lovely afternoon at the Maltings’ ‘Calendar Girls’ on November 17. The cast was excellent. It was very humorous and a lovely warm story.

We enjoyed it very much as I’m sure the rest of the audience did. Thank you Maltings and cast for a lovely show.



Good Samaritan found and returned lost car keys

COULD I through your newspaper thank the person who found my car keys in Quay Walls car park on Saturday, November 17.

I didn’t see them on the front windscreen until my son had driven 190 miles with a spare set later in the evening but I’d like to thank the person for their honesty.



Autumn fair efforts are much appreciated

THANK you to everyone who came along to our autumn fair on Saturday, November 17. We raised the fantastic amount of £1073.47.

Thank you to everyone who donated prizes and cakes, sold raffle tickets and helped out on the day. It was a brilliant result.


Chair, Friends of Lowick and

Holy Island First Schools

£500 collected for cancer support group at party

MY wife and I had a joint 60th birthday party at Magdalene Fields Golf Club. At the party a collection was made for a cancer support group.

The amount collected was £500. We would like to thank people through your paper.


Eastcliffe, Spittal

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