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Norham Caslte lit up at night sent in by Aaron Page

Norham Caslte lit up at night sent in by Aaron Page

Have your say

Animal Aid doing more harm than good over hens

HAVING read the report denouncing the welfare conditions at the Sunny Hill poultry farm in the October 4 issue, I have to say I completely disagree with the comments made by Animal Aid, and their means of sourcing this information.

I was recently invited for a week’s work experience at Detchant farm, and found the living conditions of the birds first class.

The farm’s free range status means the birds are allowed access to outdoor conditions during the day, something that many hens never experience. Also, the technology within the interior of the barn, with regards to temperature and air flow regulation, is enviable by human standards and certainly maintains a comfortable environment for when the birds are indoors.

The hens’ expertly formulated diet is not only highly palatable but is specifically designed to contain all of their nutritional requirements. Needless to say the birds’ welfare conditions are far from “shocking” as Animal Aid described them.

Animal Aid must realise that trespassing on the property is also highly detrimental to the birds’ welfare. Not only does it spread disease, but it also frightens the birds, as unknown human presence greatly distresses them.

The picture that accompanied the report was taken in poor lighting and omits all of the farm’s many welfare features that are provided for the benefit of the birds. However, the hens I observed in the image appeared well fed, were fully feathered, had brightly coloured combs and had no noticeable welfare concerns whatsoever.

So I feel this report unfairly displayed Detchant farm and the British egg industry in a poor light, when they do a brilliant job of caring for the animals as well as providing safe, delicious food for us, the consumer.

I would suggest that Animal Aid focuses its welfare concerns on the producers still adopting cages or the more intensive areas of the industry, so that we can maintain this excellent farming practice.


Gainslaw Hill Farm, Berwick

Marygate Moaners should try other parts of town

I AM getting very tired of the endless laments about the state of the shops in Berwick. These seem to come mostly from people whose experience of shopping in the town is limited entirely to the stretch between Castlegate car park and the Town Hall.

It is true that Marygate is looking a bit depressing at the moment, with several empty shops, but other parts of the town are thriving.

Perfectly able-bodied people seem to think they ought to be able to park right outside whatever shop they are visiting, and their opposition to any restriction on cars in Marygate has resulted in the traffic in this part of town being so dangerous at busy times that some of us pedestrians are now avoiding it for that reason.

If locals and visitors could exert themselves to put one foot in front of the other as far as Bridge Street or the upper end of Castlegate they would find many excellent independent shops which give Berwick the ‘retail distinctiveness’ that all those consultants tell us we ought to strive for.

Indeed, I am now rather concerned that Bridge Street is moving too far in the direction of antique shops and expensive restaurants and may soon be nothing but a tourist trap.

Upper Castlegate has a couple of very good cafes, a smart looking beauty salon, a wonderful second-hand bookshop, Berrydin, and a new book and CD shop, Mediamania, which is now closing down because not enough people think of turning right when they leave the car park beside the Co-op instead of left. So at least get along and support its closing down sale.

Tweedmouth Main Street is also looking very encouraging, with several previously empty properties being renovated and turned into upmarket shops. The Watchtower gallery in Tweedmouth, though not of course a shop, also deserves a mention as a significant building rescue project and a fantastic venue for the town. But I reckon some of the Marygate Moaners never cross the bridge.


Quay Walls, Berwick

Seagulls have a special place in mariners’ hearts

BACK in the 1960s , my husband worked as an AB Seaman on a German tramp steamer that travelled all over the world.

Being the only Englishman on the ship, the captain wanted to learn English from him. They were out at sea, and on the deck one day when the captain pointed to a seagull, on top of the ship’s mast. The captain said to my husband: “That is a lost sailor drowned at sea.”

The captain explained that there was a belief dating back to the medieval days that seagulls carry the lost soul of dead sailors who never came back to shore. The seagulls follow the boats, hoping to find a port. The seagulls also see the trawlers safely back to port.

Sailors will not hurt a seagull. It is considered taboo. The dead souls of those lost at sea find their way back to port/dry land, through the seagulls.

Ask any mariner and he will tell you that this belief is known throughout the maritime world. So think about this the next time you think about harming a seagull.



Filthy alley needs urgent attention once more

ONCE again may I through your letters page draw attention to the disgrace of Crawfords Alley. It has been allowed to go to weeds in the car park, and behind Card Factory, Phones 4 U and Burtons.

No matter what time you go through the alley you will always see all kinds of litter, tin cans, wine bottles, pizza boxes and chip wrappers. It’s disgusting.

This after all the good work done last time and a new fence put up, and volunteers painting over the graffiti on the walls.

But we are also going to have a roof garden: the gutters are full, not of flowers but weeds. Would it be possible to have them cleaned?

Drain covers are missing and blocked with all types of rubbish so that when it rains the water pours from the alley onto Marygate.

Please could we have gutters, drains and rubbish kept under control? But most of all eradicate the weeds, please, and whoever uses the alley as a toilet please don’t.


Chapel Street, Berwick

Getting medical treatment can be a real struggle

YOUR correspondent Mr John Crawford (Letters, BA October 4) was perfectly correct and justified in his comments regarding Berwick Infirmary. A visitor with a lacerated leg who visited the minor ailments unit in July was told that he would have to go elsewhere as sutures were required in the leg. He was told how to get to Wansbeck almost 60 miles away – but at least the nurse did apply a temporary dressing.

Not I, it appears my face does not fit! After failing to contact my GP surgery three times as their telephone was engaged due to pressure of work, I visited the former A & E dept where a receptionist upgraded my record on her computer. She then told me to sit in the waiting room.

About five minutes later, a stern-looking nurse appeared and said “Right, Eric, come through here, please” which I did. I explained I had a sebaceous-style eruption in the groin which had burst. I never was given a chance to tell her that I had been unable to contact the practice nurse in the surgery I use owing to an increase in the workload there.

I was snappily told “Right, get dressed – I’ll be back in a few minutes.” I was perplexed as she failed to clean the wound which was discharging mucus, thus impregnating my underwear which I had to burn on my return home.

The nurse, on re-appearing, thrust 28 flucloxicillin into my hands and told me to take one every six hours. “Don’t come here again,” she said. “Call and see your practice nurses.”

Perhaps our so-called Northumbria Healthcare (North East) can advise what to do at weekends and after 6pm. They’ll probably suggest DIY nursing!


Tweed Street, Berwick

Historic Old Horseshoe has to be preserved

I WAS fascinated by Ian Smith’s account on the current activities occurring both within and outwith the Old Horseshoe smiddy at Ford (Advertiser, October 4). It certainly appears to be a most enterprising venture by the Two Peters; I wish them well.

With the evolution of time the world has moved on considerably since the smiddy was built in 1863 by the good lady, Lady Louise Waterford. Long gone are the days when young children peered into the smiddy to watch the friendly blacksmith, Fred Weatherston, shoeing the Clydesdale horses brought in from the adjacent farms on Ford Estate.

The Old Horseshoe is much photographed by tourists from around the world. It is for this reason and out of respect for the late Honourable Lady that the location must not be allowed to deteriorate into a Steptoes back yard. It must be policed like the antique and second hand junk shops in Portobello Road and Golborne Road by the market inspectors in West London.


Buccleugh Close

St Boswells

Detachment commander’s award well deserved

WE, the Berwick Detachment ACF, wish to congratulate Sgt Debra Jerdan, our detachment commander for the award she recently received.

Sgt Jerdan is an inspiration to all of us and is extremely supportive; she is also a great detachment commander.

This award was well deserved. Congratulations from all Berwick’s Cadets.


Prior Road, Tweedmouth

Charities Cup support for HospiceCare appreciated

ON behalf of the patients, volunteers and trustees I would like to thank the Berwick Charities Cup for their recent donation of £300 to HospiceCare North Northumberland.

HospiceCare has been very lucky to be a regular recipient from the Charities Cup in recent years and we do greatly appreciate the hard work and effort that goes into raising a substantial amount of money each year.

Thank you for supporting us to provide palliative care to the people of North Northumberland and may I apologise for not managing to make it to your presentation.


Trustee, HospiceCare

North Northumberland

Generous donation to Northstar Centre

THE Northstar Centre would like to thank the Berwick Charities for once again supporting us with their generous donation.

The money raised will be used to provide additional resources and equipment to support the service users of the centre.

Berwick Charities raise money to support our local community, and we would like to applaud their efforts in providing many of our local groups with vital funds.

Once again many thanks.


Service Manager

Northstar Centre, Berwick

Thanks to all who helped raise £500 for Day Centre

I WOULD like to thank everybody who supported the St John Ambulance coffee morning at Berwick Day Care Centre on Saturday, September 15.

A very special thank you to General Mills, who very kindly donated a cheque for £100 towards the day, bringing the grand total to £500.

I would also like to thank Asda for kindly donating a raffle prize and a very big thank you to all of our day centre clients, family and friends who as always donated an unbelievable amount of fantastic raffle prizes.


Day Centre manager

St John Ambulance

Coffee morning aided Cancer Care charity

THE School Council at Tweedmouth Prior Park First School would like to say thank you to everyone who supported our coffee morning and own clothes day, on September 28.

Your generosity and support helped us to raise £418.75 for Macmillan Cancer Care.



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