A few points of history

I really enjoy the feature articles which you regularly publish.

Saturday, 11th November 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 8:30 am

Stephen Platten’s Borderlands was excellent (Berwick Advertiser, October 19, Page 31). I have never met the good Bishop, not sure how long since he has lived in these parts.

I hesitate to correct a man of the cloth but three paragraphs in his article clashed with my old Northumbrian memory.

He writes that ‘the vicarages of Elsdon, Embleton, and Alnham are all fortified’.

Embleton Tower and Old Vicarage, a 14thC peel tower with Victorian vicarage tacked on, was sold by the church authorities nearly 50 years ago.

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Once the home of historian and clergyman Mandell Creighton, like many vicarages, hubs of community life lost forever, the present vicarage a modern and distinctly unfortified dwelling.

The Bishop declares that the Borders General Hospital lies near to Berwick at Coldstream, would that it did, rather than an hour’s drive away, deep in the Borders at Melrose.

His praise of Coldstream includes that it ‘is the place which gave birth to a Guards regiment’.

Not so, The Coldstream Guards were formed in Northumberland as General Monck’s Regiment of Foot in 1650, their first home being Berwick-upon-Tweed from whence they went on to sack Dunbar, spending three weeks of 1659 in Coldstream on their return into England.

The name change to Coldstream Guards given by the King on his restoration, marking their march to his aid from Coldstream.

My Northumbrian father was a Coldstreamer and I shared many a Regimental Saint George’s Day with him.

More feature articles please.

David Gardiner,