Conversations from a bench in Beadnell

A BBC Radio programming will be coming from a North Northumberland village this weekend.

Friday, 7th October 2016, 13:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 19:35 pm

Anna Scott-Brown returns to hear more stories from the people who stop to sit beside her on benches around the country in Conversations on a Bench on Sunday at 4.30pm.

In this edition she is joined on a bench overlooking Beadnell Harbour by holiday-makers, environmentalists and some members of the last remaining fishing families of Beadnell.

Throughout the programme, a specially-commissioned work by poet and Beadnell resident Katrina Porteous draws on the words of locals and passers by.

The harbour was a once thriving departure point for the lime produced in the kilns behind the bench, and for the traditional coble fishing boats, now almost completely gone.

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Today, the village has one of the highest percentages of holiday homes in Britain, and traditional ways of making a living are under threat, but Anna is joined by those whose communal memory goes back to the heyday of this once close-knit working community.

Now the only viable industry is tourism, and the beach below the bench throbs with the noise of watersports during the summer months.

As migrations of salmon, arctic tern and human incomers ebb and flow, Katrina Porteous’s poem evokes the cycles of seasons and millennia, the history locked within a disappearing dialect, and the constant reincarnation of communities, landscapes and ways of living and being.

The show ill be presented by Anna Scott-Brown and is produced by Adam Fowler.

If you miss it on Sunday it will be repeated on Saturday, October 15, at 11.30pm and will also be available on BBC iPlayer.