Hundreds of visitors learn more about Berwick area's rich history

Heritage Open Days was a huge success as locals and tourists alike visited venues across north Northumberland.

Thursday, 15th September 2016, 09:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 13:00 pm
Heritage Open Days, Berwick Castle

The sunshine encouraged people to get out and about and discover some of the hidden gems of the area’s rich history.

There were 18 events in Berwick alone, plus others in Belford, Chain Bridge near Horncliffe and Kirknewton.

Organiser Jim Herbert, of Berwick Time Lines, said: “The visitor numbers are just coming in from the different venues but appear to be very good.”

Volunteers at the Coastwatch lookout tower on Magdalene Fields were delighted with the turnout.

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Station controller Leslie Wooler said: “It was absolutely marvellous. We’ve never seen anything like it.

“We had 496 passers-by and 195 visitors came up the steps to the tower to find out a bit more about us. We’d like to thank them for making it an incredible few days.”

Some 200 people attended the fishing shiel at Sandstell Road in Spittal over the weekend.

Among these were some local people who shared their memories of when the shiel was in use.

Spittal Improvement Trust thanked Tania Arnold and Natalie Todd for manning the event. “There were some encouraging comments about our proposals for the continuing use of the shiel, which were appreciated,” said a trust spokesperson.

The trust aims to restore the building and turn it into a bothy for walkers and cyclists, and a micro-pub/heritage museum, which will depict the salmon and herring fishing industries.

The event is also an important player in Berwick’s autumn tourism offer.

Mr Herbert said: “It’s great to be part of the Berwick Autumn Festivals programme, which is a fantastic opportunity to show off Berwick and remind residents why its such a good place to live, despite its difficulties.

“I had visitors from as far away as Canada, although I can’t say they came over specially for my tour!

“However, another couple from Sweden were on a mission to discover places in the North East to bring Scandinavian tourists.

“They were very impressed and I hope to help them get regular tour groups here.

“I’d just like to thank Berwick Civic Society and the many other groups and individuals for their assistance in running the individual events and to Jus-Rol for once more, and sadly the last time, supporting the weekend. And to everyone who came out to enjoy the weekend.

“We’ll be back next year, hopefully with even more events.”