Have your say

Visual arts funding has been wasted at Maltings

WHEN I first heard about a Visual Arts first time artist-in-residence in Berwick, I thought what a wonderful idea, especially in this current economic climate. How fantastic it is possible to create space, energy and funding for such a new venture.

Now, just having seen a poster advertising this new venture: inviting people to come to the Maltings Travers’ studio to discuss ‘’crime in Berwick’’ with Cecilia Stenbom, the artist, I feel disappointed and angry.

The sessions will be recorded in order to create a fictional crime story set in Berwick...

Is this not only a very negative theme, but also a wasteful use of art funding?



Irresponsible dog owners must control their pets

I WOULD just like to know what is it with some people in Berwick who think it’s okay to walk their dog off the lead when they know it might attack?

I was out walking my 11 year old Westie on Monday night around East Ord at about 8pm, when we walked past the green, at this time it was obviously dark and I vaguely made out two figures and what I could make out to be a dark coloured cocker spaniel called Bailey, the dog made a beeline for my dog which was on a lead and straight away started to growl and snap at my dog, I tried to keep my dog away from it and kept it away using my leg.

After this the youngish couple late teens/twenties a male and female shouted for the dog and walked past me and my wife and daughter with not so much as a apology. I shouted at them that they should control their dog and keep it on a lead to which they ignored me and carried on walking.

This isn’t the first time it has happened to me. A couple of years ago my dog was attacked on Hide Hill by yet another spaniel to which my dog received an injury that had to be looked at by a vet, again my dog was on a lead and the other dog was not.

If people took more responsibility for their dogs when walking around in public and kept them on a lead these kind of attacks would never happen.


Police Commissioner – tax rise with no accountability

I AM concerned with the news that recently-elected Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has hiked her portion of council tax on Northumberland’s residents by 3.5% at the first opportunity.

Although the amounts of money involved are relatively small, just a few pence per week, there are a number of issues of principle which are raised by this which I believe Ms Baird needs to answer.

Liberal Democrats in Northumberland have managed to freeze council tax again this year. If a council dealing with budget cuts of tens of millions of pounds can protect frontline services without resorting to tax rises, why could Ms Baird not do the same?

If Northumberland County Council were to propose a rise in council tax of more than 2%, it would be forced to submit the proposal to a referendum of every household in the county.

Who has Ms Baird consulted on this tax rise, if anyone? We know from bitter experience that the default setting for Labour politicians is to tax and spend, but in the difficult economic situation she and her party created in government it’s disappointing that Ms Baird could not (or would not) seek alternatives.

The supposed plan for police and crime commissioners was to inject some accountability to the police but, having been elected on a laughably poor turnout, it seems Ms Baird is commencing her job by taking more money from us with seemingly no accountability.



Keep control of dogs during lambing season

As it is approaching lambing season can I ask your readers to please keep a special watch and control their dogs when walking in the countryside.

Worrying of sheep is a serious problem and sheep farmers are entitled to shoot any dog that is suspected of chasing sheep.

On a personal note, on our farm we have had five cases of killed and mauled sheep in the past fortnight, so if anybody knows of a dog chasing sheep please let us know, and can I ask anyone walking dogs in the sand dunes from Cocklawburn to Goswick please keep their dogs under very close control.


Goswick Farm

Flodden anniversary could renew interest

The finding of the remains of the English king, Richard III, under a car park in Leicester, is indeed fascinating and has naturally drawn much media attention.

Attention is now being turned to to look to discover the final resting place of King Alfred, in Winchester. This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, when on September 9, 1513, King James IV was killed with many of his nobles and common soldiers.

A body, thought to be that of James, was recovered from the battlefield and taken to London for burial. The embalmed body however, lay unburied for many years at Sheen Priory in Surrey and was lost after the Reformation. It is alleged that the king’s head was removed by a glazier and eventually buried at the church of St Michael’s Wood Street in London. The church was demolished in 1897 and a number of the bodies were disinterred from the churchyard and reburied at Brookwood Cemetery in Woking, Surrey.

Given the excitement shown in finding the remains of King Richard III, the last English king to die in battle, and given the timing of the Flodden anniversary, it is time for a renewed interest in looking to discover the resting place of the last Scottish king to die in battle.


Leamington Terrace,


Anti-wind campaigners put on spot by nuclear ‘no’

THE vote against a nuclear waste repository in Cumbria has implications for the north east. It means effectively a delay in the building of new nuclear plants.

For a decade and a half now, we have been able to enjoy a nuclear-free Druridge Bay. At the same time, the anti-wind campaigns have been building up.

All our lifestyles depend on a reliable electricity supply. The nuclear industry, no longer in the control of British business, is now negotiating with the government about a future guaranteed price for electricity. It is a subsidy by another name.

If they get what they want, you and I, our children and grandchildren will be bound to pay for nuclear-generated electricity. And Druridge Bay, although out of the danger list at the present time, remains a possible site.

If we find that unacceptable, we must accept alternatives. This means fossil-fuel generation, gas, coal or oil, with their associated carbon dioxide emissions. Or renewables. The anti-wind campaigners need to bear this in mind.


Old Bakehouse Yard, Morpeth

Time to track down more Thomas Tait clocks

I AM part of a group in Belford researching Thomas Tait, a clockmaker in Belford in the early 1800s, as part of a project on Belford’s Dissenting History funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

After Thomas left Belford he opened a shop in Fenkle Street in Alnwick where he plied his trade until 1829. Thomas Tait was a member of the Erskine Presbyterian Church in Belford and made its magnificent clock in 1812 which still works today.

The 200th anniversary of the clock was celebrated last December in Belford by a specially-written play ‘Marking Time’ which it is planned to repeat later this year.

So far this is the only clock we know of made by Thomas Tait. There must be more! If not standing in pride of place in someone’s living room, possibly lurking in an attic or outhouse. If you have a clock bearing his name we would love to photograph it and learn about its history if possible.

If you can help us please contact Valerie Glass (e-mail vglass@clara.co.uk). We would be most grateful.



Writers, do you have 
‘A Spittal Tale’ to tell?

IT is not too late to write your story for Spittal Improvement Trust Writing Competition. The story can be fiction or non-fiction and under 1,000 words.

The title for adults is ‘A Spittal Tale’. Everyone knows what a special place Spittal is and how it is steeped in history from medieval times when monks walked through it on their way to Holy Island and how people came to drink the water from the Spa Well.

There are lots of prizes on offer and entries will be published in the Berwick Advertiser and The Point Newsletter, and if there is sufficient interest, a book will be published. There is also a children’ s competition ‘A Happy Day in Spittal’.

You can enter as many times as you like, and the fee is only 50p per entry for children and £2.50 per entry fee for adults.

Send your entry to Mrs S Heckels, 131 Main St, Spittal, Berwick upon Tweed, TD15 1RP. For further details and enquiries, tel 01289 331994 or e-mail sheila.heckels@btinternet.com



Can you help with history of a 1954 Land Rover?

I’M looking for any information to help me trace the history of a vehicle I have recently acquired. The vehicle in question is a Land Rover Series 1 86” in Bronze Green, manufactured in 1954.

The vehicle carries the registration number of BSH 12, and was delivered from the Land Rover factory to Rossleigh Ltd. in Edinburgh in 1954 and then registered in Berwickshire the same year. From here the trail thins out.

I am thinking the Land Rover may have had a link with Aitchinson and Sons Garage, Murray Street, Duns. The whereabouts of the Land Rover in the next years is what I hope to discover.

I know it is a long time scale but any information or ideas that may help me would be greatly appreciated. Phone 07720458910 or email rumandreggae@btinternet.com


‘Snow White’ shone 
bright on Friday night

I WISH to express my enjoyment at the pantomime ‘Snow White’. It was a brilliant show all round and we still love the local talent to entertain us. It just fitted in with the weather. I send my good wishes to the SVG cast and wish them all well in further productions. Thank you all for a lovely night.


Yard Heads, Tweedmouth

All the right answers at Lifeboat Guild Quiz Night

BERWICK-upon-tweed Ladies’ Lifeboat Guild would like to thank all who supported the Quiz Night held for the RNLI SOS Day when events are arranged specifically to raise money to provide equipment for the lifeboat crews.

We are particularly grateful to David and Sharon Purvis of the Black and Gold and to Meg Smith of Till Veg Ltd for their generous support and also to Rod Hardy for the preparation and presentation of the quiz and Lesley Rimmer for the delicious supper. It was both an enjoyable and a successful evening, the amount raised being £567.


Berwick Ladies’ Lifeboat Guild

Emergency Services Pantomime a big success

ON behalf of the Emergency Services Pantomime we would like to thank all who helped to make this year’s production of ‘A Trio of Cleos’ such a tremendous success.

As well as our sponsors and donors of prizes etc, thanks should go to all those members of the cast and crew who have contributed their time as well as their talents, preparing and rehearsing for the show.

In addition we would like to thank Matthew Rooke and his team at The Maltings for all the help and assistance they have given us up to and during the production.

Finally of course – a big thank you to all the people of Berwick and the surrounding districts for their support on performance nights.



Berwick Emergency Services

Pantomime Group

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