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With reference to your recent article ‘Beadnell housing plan hits new snag’. As you would expect from Mr Wall, his brief but inane comments expressed in the above article are entirely in keeping with the intellectually vacuous nature of his ongoing attempts to make capital out of the Beadnell village coastline.

With reference to your recent article ‘Beadnell housing plan hits new snag’. As you would expect from Mr Wall, his brief but inane comments expressed in the above article are entirely in keeping with the intellectually vacuous nature of his ongoing attempts to make capital out of the Beadnell village coastline.

It has become ever more clear with the passage of time and the accumulation of events, that the Beadnell Harbour Fisherman’s Society (BHFS) are but a pawn in his own financially motivated ambitions.

His comment “The rights of way don’t affect our plans as we expected the decision to go that way” underlines the utter contempt he must feel not only for those who oppose his plans but also for his supposed allies whom he thinks nothing of embarrassing and wasting their time at enquiries he admits he expected to lose.

It is surely a measure of the absence of a wider community spirit when he doesn’t flinch, at a time of severe local authority cutbacks, at burdening the county council with a bill of many thousands of pounds for an enquiry that “doesn’t affect our plans”.

His position that the housing scheme is the only viable option to provide funds to protect the future of the harbour also warrants yet further rebuttal.

It is now over two years since the Save Beadnell Association presented its ‘Harbour Sustainability Plan’ which illustrated, beyond any doubt, that the harbour and its ongoing future are easily managed. Beadnell harbour runs on a tiny budget and by adopting our plans not only could the harbour be maintained in perpetuity but extra income over and above harbour needs could be generated to benefit other areas of the village.

Mr Wall refuses to countenance this plan because it doesn’t include property development and by this omission is therefore diametrically opposed to his entire raison d’etre.

However, those who support our efforts in keeping the AONB coastline free from development will be heartened in the knowledge that all persons in decision-making positions are in possession of it.

Mr Wall continues to demonstrate that his only interest in this whole ongoing saga is to exploit village coastal land that he does not own, purely for personal financial and material gain.

The baffling aspect to this whole sorry saga is why Peter Rutherford (Northumberland Planning Dept) continues to offer his support to build luxury houses on protected land.

Mr Rutherford would do well to evaluate his position with regard to any present or future planning applications within the Beadnell coastal area and to take into consideration its special status.

Mr Wall and Mr Rutherford are but passing ships in the night. Unfortunately, they are capable of doing permanent and everlasting damage to our environment. The north Northumberland coastline is a place of beauty, a haven for wildlife and is of major historical significance. Who among us, when thinking about the Northumberland coast, does not visualise its sweeping and breathtaking loveliness?

It is the duty of this present generation to ensure that we leave it not only protected and conserved but enhanced and magnified for both present and future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

Jim Norris

Save Beadnell Association


I read Andrew Marshall’s article (Opinion, Berwick Advertiser, 28/3/13) with interest.

March 30 is indeed a significant date in Berwick’s and possibly Scotland’s history. It might seem fanciful, but if Edward I had not attacked Berwick with the severity he had, Berwick might have gone on to be capital of Scotland, such was its importance economically.

However, Mr Marshall makes the common and understandable mistake of seeing this event through 21st century eyes, comparing this to the war crimes we have seen more recently in various parts of the world. These are war crimes as we have a morality laid down in the Geneva Convention that all parties know they should abide by.

The 13th century was a far more brutal period. There was a code of war based on honour. Edward I was encamped at Coldstream before the attack.

He summoned the burgesses of Berwick to “discuss a peace” which was probably something along the lines of “surrender the town or it’s going to be a really bad day.”

Now I’m no apologist for Edward, but when after a day of waiting no-one had even bothered to turn up, what was he supposed to do? By the standards of his day, he was obliged to attack the town. Some have said that he need not have gone so far but he was probably sending a message to the rest of Scotland that he meant business.

The really strange thing is, why didn’t the burgesses attempt to meet Edward? They surely would have known they couldn’t defend the town with its rudimentary defences.

In answer to Mr Marshall’s suggestion that we mark this date in town, I would suggest caution. By all means utilise the unique position Berwick has – its changing nationality – as a tourism hook. But these are events from 700 years ago and remembering them might stir up animosity in some quarters.

Jim Herbert

Railway Street, Berwick


The area between the Rowing Club and the bottom of Bankhill may be a ‘key’ entrance to the parks but this area certainly does not need a ‘revamp’.

It is a lovely natural wild 
area for birds, trees and flowers. In the spring the blackbirds, wrens and robins all nest there and it is full of lichen covered twigs, brambles, bluebells, celandines and other wild flowers. Too many trees have already been cut down in the area.

I have spent so many happy hours walking this natural path enjoying its natural beauty. To ‘revamp’ generally means to tidy up, cut back, cut down and that is not good for nature. Leave the area alone and save money which could be spent more wisely elsewhere.

Tessa Bennett

Bridge Street, Berwick


I agree with Peter Gallett of Wooler (letters, March 21) when he says that Berwick town centre would benefit from a fully pedestrianised market place.

The road leading down to the town hall is narrow with only one pavement going around it. When you cross the road you are taking a some chance because the cars come round the corner quickly. I am an elderly citizen who walks with a stick. I can’t run any more.

There are not enough places to park in Berwick either, especially if you want to stop at one particular shop. There are not many parking places in front of shops.

Berwick is a lovely town, but too many shops are closing down. I hope someone can find some answers.

Mrs A Lofting

Curlew Court, Wooler


Which planet does Do Shaw live on? Of course, parking spaces are needed in Mary-gate. Shoppers are the life-blood of this street, without them the shops will close: 
Julian Graves, H Samuel etc.

Most people want the convenience of shopping with a car, to save lugging heavy bags from shop to shop. Elderly and disabled people especially need consideration. For my money, I would lift all the granite blocks and remove the posts, which destroy prospective parking places and also the perspective of the Guild Hall. A wide pavement should be installed and the whole of the street from Home Bargains to the Guild Hall should have free one-hour spaces.

The market, which nowadays has very little to do with the old Charter market, should be moved to the Parade or Stanks, to enable existing shops paying a high council tax, to have a reasonable chance of customers. Fifteen to 20 one-hour spaces would ensure a turnover of customers too.

It’s all very well for Mrs Shaw to try and dictate what happens in Marygate. She is not trying to make her living by being a shopkeeper on this street. I note that she had to tell us she is chair of the local civic society – why? Who cares? – it is irrelevant.

If she really wanted to be useful she could add her voice to those wishing adequate parking on Marygate, or better still, press for the social services car park behind Home Bargains, which lies largely empty, to be brought into use, especially on Saturdays in the summer.

Lastly, Mrs Shaw should take a run to Kelso. The square there has two-hour free parking – it is never congested and the shops are thriving.

Martin Trainer

Tranent, East Lothian


Everyone has seen the very distressing recent images of sheep being rescued from snowdrifts and we have heard members of the public understandably asking why this has happened and what could have been done to prevent it?

In common with other areas, parts of our region have been hit not only with heavy snow but also strong winds that have caused severe drifting – blocking roads and burying dry-stone walls.

Hill farmers and their stock are well used to and well equipped to deal with snow during winter – this is a natural part of the changing seasons. What has made this so exceptional is the quantity of snow, the prolonged low temperatures and strong winds so much later in the season when sheep are at their most vulnerable in late pregnancy or early lambing.

In response farmers have done everything possible to prepare and care for their stock – bringing them down to lower levels where possible, stocking up on fodder and for sheep used to coming indoors, bringing them into available buildings.

For many hill sheep ‘hefted’ to the moors, bringing them inside is simply not an option. They are bred to live outside and spend their whole lives on their home range or heft.

Bringing them inside during late pregnancy would be far too stressful – in fact many simply refuse to leave their heft. These sheep are natural foragers and often do better on the moor than on lower land near the farm where they are cooped up and reliant on the farmer for food.

In these circumstances, the farmer’s challenge is to provide additional food and spend as much time as possible with them – assisting where individuals may have got caught behind walls in drifts.

Most farmers in our area report that while it may not be the worst snow event they have faced in a lifetime, it is the worst spring they can remember. This is something they cannot control, only do their best for their animals at a time of tremendous adversity.

Hans Pörksen

Chairman, NFU North East Livestock Board


On behalf of Berwick and District Motorcycle Club I would like to thank everyone for their kind donation of Easter eggs (over 400) for the clubs annual Easter egg run which takes the eggs to different homes and hospitals for kids though our area. We delivered eggs to Berwick’s Grove School, Border General Hospital, Seaton Hall and Garden House. Without your support this would not have been possible so a big thank you.

Robert Jeffrey,

Berwick and District 
Motorcycle Club


Through your column we would like to thank the following companies for their support by giving raffle prizes to help to raise money for the heart unit.

These are Kristie at Tesco in Berwick, Roy at the K.A.R. Hot Wash, Ann at the Parade School Guest House and Chris Hart at Berwick Repair. Also we would like to thank everyone who gave us raffle prizes and books to sell and for everyone who came to support this event on March 23. We have raised £94.50 so far.

Mr and Mrs Bruin



I would like to comment about the proposals for new houses to be built west of Highcliffe estate. I realise the need for new houses at so called affordable prices but I cannot understand how permission was granted to build on green field agricultural land.

With the population increasing all the time we will need all the good agricultural land. Once it is built on it is gone forever. I am not a NIMBY. I think it is a terrible mistake when there are other more suitable sites available.

C R Falla


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