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We met this month in a ground floor room at The Ship Hotel as the stairs to our usual venue are proving a problem for some of our members.

Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 8:00 am

President Tony Willis opened the meeting by announcing that Iain Hume, one of our founder members, has been made an honorary member. Iain left the area a few months ago to live in Yorkshire.

The president then told us that at a recent meeting with Alan Glen, of The Ship Hotel, a lift was planned for easy access to the upstairs room.

The committee has set Wednesday, October 3 for the annual lunch. It will be held at Bamburgh Golf Club, as last year.

Secretary Fraser Suffield reported that 18 members attended the December meeting and that new lists of members and speakers for 2018 were still available.

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The treasurer Forbes Grant made a brief statement that the funds were healthy and only a few members’ subscriptions were still outstanding.

The president then introduced our speaker, George Scott, whose topic was The Amazing William Nightingale, a one time preacher at Craster Methodist Church.

George’s family have lived in the area for many generations and are strongly associated with the Methodist Church. His wide knowledge of the community showed in his talk.

He became interested in a mystery surrounding William Nightingale when, as a youngster, he sat in front of the fire at his grandmother’s house in Craster, chatting about local events in the past.

As William Nightingale was associated with the Methodist Church in Craster, George started by giving the fascinating background to the Methodist movement in this area. Several of our members had relatives from the 1900s mentioned.

The mystery is about a girl, Ruth Swan Brown, from Alnmouth, who went missing in the 1890s when staying in the Leeds area and the suspicion which fell on William Nightingale. George ended with the cryptic comment: “She was never seen again, so what do you think happened?”

After a short question and answer session Michael Ledston gave the vote of thanks for what was an informative history of Methodism in our area and the mystery surrounding William Nightingale.