|SITEZINE: HOLY ISLAND'S E-MAIL
- A bit from me...
- 'Seven Stories'
- Crossman Hall
- HM Coastguard
- Lindisfarne Castle
- Spring at last after those beasts from the east
- Lindisfarne NNR
- Peregrini Lindisfarne landscape partnership
- Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership
- News from Ford & Etal
- From our United Reformed Church
- 10 years back - from a friend
- St Mary's notices
|A BIT FROM ME
Dear *|MMERGE3|* ,
Wishing you and all our subscribers a
wonderful Eastertide. I hope you like the special treat below from
Paul Armstrong's fabulous aerial gallery. Future island website
development will include a couple more on our home page and
inclusion in a long-overdue new-look to our picture gallery.
COUNTY COUNCIL: I think we would all echo David's
sentiment (below). In fact, I would go further and say that
thoroughfare from the country's prime (A1)
highway is a prestigious disgrace. Our civil engineering
forbearers, the likes of John Metcalf, Thomas Telford and John
Loudon McAdam, will be turning in their graves. Visitors beware, the
severity of potholes can be disguised by puddles of water and might
be hiding a threat to your vehicle's safety.
VILLAGE: When the council built our public car
park and pathways it seems that the planners never
envisaged the amount of footfall derived from 300,000 annual
visitors. On leaving the car park you will become aware of this
narrowness particularly where building work continues and
grass verges have become obscured. And if you ignore our car
parking advice and persist in bringing your vehicle into the village
- watch out! Narrow pavements increase the risk of pedestrians
stepping out onto the road...
VACANCY: In preparation for the appointment of a new 'Vicar
of Holy Island' our 'Parish Plan' is underway which will take
into account feedback from the PCC's residents' opinion
questionnaire. In the meantime, Sam Quilty, our Church Warden
assumes responsibility for the running of the church guided by our
'Area Dean'. So far as summer is concerned, their 'locum support
rota' is now operational and records the priests that are coming to
help. We are delighted to have Archdeacon Peter Robinson as our
Easter period locum.
During the interregnum period, in all parish matters, in the first instance you should
contact: Sam Quilty (Churchwarden) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or
phone: 07933925450 .
HALL: On 23rd March, at the invitation of the Trustees, the
Crossman family were joined by several who had contributed to the
building of our new village hall as well as many residents to
participate in the afternoon's dedication celebrations. On behalf of
the community David O'Connor expressed our gratitude to
all trustees as we now witness the fruit of their vision and
hard work. Particularly mentioned were those who sadly are no
longer with us: Lady Rose Crossman, Clive Massey and Tommy 'Tinko'.
Thank you to Sue Massey and her Oasis staff and all who contributed
towards the afternoon's success.
Just over a week later the hall is hosting
one of the biggest events in its hitherto short life. On 31st March
(Holy Saturday) 'Pilgrimage to The
Islands' will take place. Programmed to be an all-day,
cultural event celebrating a healthy mix of art. film, music, nature
and tradition of the north east coastline, industry and heritage,
please let David have your feedback?
Thanks to our writers we have a fairly full
newsletter for you this month. Those who visit us at Easter may
well understand the lack of input on behalf of our Parish Church.
Hopefully, I might be excused for looking back 10 years to repeat an
Easter message produced by a very-loved 'Vicar of Holy Island', the
late Br.Damian. His words seem as appropriate for us today as they
did then - including the weather!. I have also included a brief
notice about 'Seven Stories' from Jon Riley, an essential cog
in the wheel of our 'Holy Island of Lindisfarne Devevelopment
We hope you will enjoy Easter, our April
newsletter and look forward to getting in touch again in May.
At Seven Stories, where I do my day job, www.sevenstories.org.uk
we're doing a crowdfunding campaign called Life-changing Stories.
The funding raised is to put children with additional needs at the
heart of our story. There's lots of information at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/life-changing-stories
We've already reached our first target of
£7,000 and with donations still coming in we've decided to stretch
our target to £7,500 so we can introduce early evening openings for
children with autism and their families.
For people who make a donation there are
some rewards, such as signed original artwork or a special day
If anyone would like any further information
do let me know.
Thanks in advance!
of Lindisfarne Community Development
It has been another busy month with several
events closely involving the community, the most important being a
discussion between linked Primary School Governors from the
'cluster' of similar schools on the mainland and the Island Primary
School. I believe a report of that meeting will appear elsewhere in
HIT or the E-zine.
Late in the month was our most important day
the Dedication of the new Hall as the Crossman Hall. The event was
well attended by Islanders and Friends of Holy Island. Others
including representatives from Funding Bodies from across the
Country and our Architects and Project Managers from Ainsworth Spark
Associates, they were joined by the Principal Contractor MT
Richardson, Richard Burn Altro Ltd., who working with the British
Library, London produced three superb illuminated panels from the
Lindisfarne Gospel that are now prominently displayed at the front
of the building.
Over 100 attended the gathering enjoying
drinks before the formal part of the afternoon and that was led by
the Family Crossman who attended in strength and Jane Crossman
daughter-in-law of the late Lady Rose spoke on behalf of the Family
gave an appropriately short address.
Guests were then invited to enjoy light
refreshments provided by Sue Massey and her Team from the Oasis
The Annual Rate Demand was received earlier
this year and following an application to Northumberland County
Council the Hall was zero rated. Thank you NCC. Although, as a side
issue; NCC who maintain the road to this so called 'Jewel in the
Crown' of northern tourist destinations - the road is a
blooming disgrace with cars rattling through a collection of
potholes and lagoons of rust making salt water!!!!!!!! Get it
repaired and drained!
Our new energy provider after an exchange of
paperwork has, because we are a Registered Charity, reduced the VAT
payment on our electricity bills. Thank 'Squeaky'.
We are now approaching Easter a busy weekend
for the hall. On Saturday there is a Festival of Music and Vintage
B&W film footage of the Island and Fishing in the North Sea. The
music will feature two sets from Kathryn Tickell the superb player
of Northumbrian Pipes. To be reported on next month.
A Coffee Morning will be held on Easter
Monday as a hall fund raiser. If you are visiting the Island come in
and try the buns, buy a raffle ticket or look for an antique on the
Finally it is good to note that the ladies
of the Island and the children are making regular use of the halls
sporting and keep fit equipment.
Well we're back in the Castle now, although
with the bad weather at the end of February and the 'Beast from the
East' in March, things haven't exactly gone to plan since we last
spoke. We lost three days to the bad snow, although a small group of
plasterers were staying on the island so they were able to work
during the worst of it. They finally got home to County Durham on
the Sunday afternoon, only to then head straight back up the A1 on
the Monday morning. We also had a delay from a supplier which
impacted on the finishing work on the Lower Battery. A new water
pipe was being laid under the flagstones but as it was a bespoke
unit with a trace heater running the whole length (to prevent
freezing), it had to come in from Holland, where by all accounts the
snow was even worse than over here. The pipe was delayed for two
weeks but we were able to install a 6-inch duct underground and lay
the flagstones on top, so when the pipe arrived last week it could
simply be pulled through.
As you many have seen we received quite a
bit of local and regional media attention recently concerning the
discovery of wall paintings in the Castle kitchen. These pictures
have been on the wall for 350-plus years but were only just found
again last summer. We have conserved and consolidated the images - a
simple floral design - and they will be on show to visitors from 1
April. The other big news up here was the dismantling of the
remainder of the phase one scaffolding, which had been wrapped
around the east and south sides of the Castle since December 2016.
It was certainly nice to finally be able to get a van up to the
boatsheds again, although that came a few days too late for poor old
Shunters of Berwick, who had to try and help us move the office back
up from the village whilst squeezing past both scaffolding and
scaffolders hard at work.
We have also been deep cleaning the Castle
inside as rooms are handed back to us. This work is being done under
the supervision of our conservator and specialist conservation
cleaners, but appropriately for what was always a holiday home, we
are also using a local holiday cottage cleaning company to help get
the place looking great for opening.
We have a temporary exhibition of sorts
going in from our first open day on the 1st April which is going to
tell the story of the work at the Castle over the last few years. We
will have traditional information boards but also a couple of films
covering specifically the work to the windows and also a bit about
some of the people actually doing the work here and their
experiences of Lindisfarne. This will run up until the opening of
the Anya Gallaccio exhibition 5th May which will run for the rest of
Unfortunately some of the delays I mentioned
earlier meant I had to postpone the Open Day I had promised in the
last issue of this newsletter. I am hoping to hold another day soon
and may well have done before you read this.
The Castle staff has now largely moved back
up here but we will certainly miss our time above the shop in the
village. If you haven't been in to see Mel and her team in their
lovely newly fitted shop please do pop in. The garden out the back
is back open and the back window being open makes a lovely feature
as well as lighting the place up beautifully.
01289 389244 (press 1, then
|SPRING AT LAST AFTER THOSE BEASTS FROM THE
The pace of
spring is quickening across the island with many of our resident
birds in full song and we're only a week or two away from seeing the
first summer visitors.
In the village, Song Thrushes and Blackbirds
are all in fine voice. Robins, Dunnocks and Wrens are also singing
and overhead the Collared Doves and Woodpigeons are continually in
display flights. Across the fields, Lapwings are calling and
indulging in their rolling flying maneuvers and the number of
wintering ducks and waders seems to be dropping by the day as they
Our first early summer visitors tend to
begin to arrive by the final week of March. This is the period when
we hear the first Sandwich Terns screeching offshore. The first
Wheatears can flash along the rocky sides of the Heugh or on
the field walls and early Sand Martins race northwards across the
The occasional Chiffchaffs can also start to
appear flicking after flies and other insects in the gardens or
around the remaining churchyard trees after the loss of those two
venerable Whitebeams which were such a magnet for migrant birds.
Then, of course, in early April we can start to look out for the
Sandwich Terns, the largest of the five
breeding terns we have in the county, are always great to see and
hear, often from the Heugh. They tend to gather in noisy feeding
parties, often roosting at high tide on St Cuthbert's Island and the
Black Law before moving off to their regular breeding sites out on
the Farne Islands. Sadly, it's been a long time since this species
joined the Common, Arctic and Little terns in their colony on the
While their arrival is always welcome among
the early spring birds Wheatears are my particular favourite. In
their dapper plumage of grey, orange, white and black and with their
striking white rumps, they always look so smart that it's difficult
to believe they've just endured a long migration from Africa.
Their name is a bit of an oddity and a
Victorian invention. Before that period they had the rather rude
name, at least to our ears, of "white arse" on account of that bold
white rump, one of the things you really notice when they are in
flight. I'm afraid it was all a bit too much for 19th Century
prudery. These lovely birds which don't eat wheat or even nest among
it and whose ears are hidden, are stuck with it.
Occasionally, pairs of Wheatears do nest on
the island. Over the years I've come across odd broods of young
raised in crevices in the rocky area east of the Castle and around
the old quarry at Nessend.
The vast majority are merely passing through
the island for breeding grounds in the uplands of Scotland and
Scandinavia. Some move even further on to Greenland and even
northern Canada, giving them the distinction of being the only small
songbirds which regularly cross the Atlantic.
I always expect to see my first Swallows,
almost inevitably males, around the pier and fishing sheds or along
at St Coombs during the opening days of April. I think the earliest
I've ever seen one on the island was the 5th April although in some
springs it can be much later before they begin to appear.
It all depends, of course, on the weather,
not just the temperatures here but the conditions they have faced on
their epic migration of around 9,000 miles from their wintering
areas in South Africa.
It won't be long before Arctic Terns are returning to the Black Law colony for another breeding season.
Picture: Mike S
Cock Swallows usually appear first, flashing
in and out of the sheds and other regular nesting places, as if
staking a claim in readiness for the arrival of the females, usually
a few days later.
It's always difficult to make predictions
about when they are likely to arrive, especially as this column is
usually written a couple of weeks in advance of publication.
Look what happened last month! I was busy
waxing lyrical about spring and the piece unfortunately appeared
right in the middle of the worst winter weather we've experienced
since 2012. It was all down to the "Beast from the East" with its
Siberian winds, sub-zero temperatures and the island cuts off for
days on end. Since then, of course, we've had the mini-Beast with
more easterly winds and, thankfully, only a brief covering of snow.
Ah well, you can't win them all!
I know that Swallows are the favourites of
so many people around the village and their appearance around the
place really does give a much-needed boost to the spirits after what
has seemed a long winter, particularly with those particularly nasty
stings in the tail which caused so much trouble right across the
Over the next month of so they'll be
followed by other summer visitors. These will include their close
relatives, House Martins, which once again will be seeking out
nesting sites on buildings in the village, welcomed by some but not
so much by others.
Last year a few pairs of House Martins
nested in a natural site on the cliffs at Coves Haven.
Cliff nesting must have been normal for both
House Martins and Swallows before we humans took to living in
buildings no more than a few thousand years ago. These days both
species occasionally use natural sites such as the cliffs but it's
very unusual. It'll certainly be interesting to see if pairs are
back at the Coves this spring.
Once these birds are settled in the island
will become a stopping off point for many other species making their
way northwards. But more of them next month.
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE NNR
This month we celebrated British Science
Week (BSW) by highlighting a key species of the reserve by
publishing a fact file, every day on our social media platforms. We
also celebrated (BSW) with Lowick CoE first school by learning about
the species and habitats of Lindisfarne NNR. We thought about the
nesting birds, flora and butterflies of the sand dunes and we
thought about how we classify rocky shore animals. We made models of
the animals, making sure we applied what we learned about their
anatomy! Great work!
Additionally, the new 'Tern Wing' bench was
installed at the Island end of the causeway. Thank you to the staff
and pupils of Lowick CoE first School for braving the elements for
the opening and first seating on the new 'Tern Wing' bench that was
installed yesterday by Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve staff and
volunteers. The school's pupils designed the bench during a workshop
as part of the Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership, an HLF
For information regarding upcoming Reserve
events, contact the Reserve Manager:
Reserve Warden, Beal
Tel. 01289381470 // Annie.Ivison@naturalengland.org.uk
|PEREGRINI LINDISFARNE LANDSCAPE
have designs on a new seat for Holy Island
Pupils from Lowick and Holy Island Schools admire the new seat that was made using designs that they had created.
Thousands of people walk the Pilgrims Way
across the sands to Holy Island every year. Now a new seat
which has been designed by pupils of Lowick & Holy Island Church
of England First Schools, will provide a resting place for walkers
at the end of their trek.
The Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape
Partnership have been working with the two schools and local artist
Anna Turnbull to come up with a design for the new seat.
The Pupils drew inspiration for their
designs from the landscape and wildlife of the Holy Island area and
staff from the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve were on-hand to
help them understand why the area is so important.
Three designs by pupils Libby, Calum and
Oliver were chosen and combined to create a beautiful Tern Wing
design. The bench was crafted from fishing rope gathered from the
beach and Lindisfarne and Seahouses harbours and recycled wood from
Brenda Stanton, Chair of the Peregrini
Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership said "The seat is shaped like the
wing of a tern, a symbol that reminds people of the thousands of
birds that make their own journey to Lindisfarne every year. The
arctic tern has the longest migration of any bird, travelling from
the South Atlantic to the Northumberland coast each Spring.
"The seat also incorporates plastic rope
collected from our beaches. This serves as a reminder that this is a
fragile environment and that we all have a role to make sure it is
here for the birds in the future"
The Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape
Partnership has been made possible by a £1.37m National Lottery
grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF, North East said
"More and more people are walking the Pilgrim's Way to reach Holy
Island every year. We're delighted that money raised by
National Lottery players has been used to provide a place not only
to rest and put your boots back on, but a place to sit a while and
reflect on your own pilgrimage and the wonderful landscape in which
you find yourself."
The seat was officially unveiled by pupils
from Holy Island Lowick Schools on Friday and can be found at the
end of the Pilgrim's Way on Holy Island.
Northumberland Coast AONB
|NORTHUMBERLAND COAST AONB
New Small Grant Scheme for the Northumberland
The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership and the Coast Care Initiative are
launching a £5,000 Community Environmental Projects Fund, which will
be available from April.
This exciting new grant scheme will enable
local community volunteers to make a contribution to their village
or parish. Funding will be available for built environment or
environmental projects. It can be used towards the cost of tools or
Initially, £5,000 is available in the fund
until April 2019, although it is hoped that the scheme will continue
for further years. Grants will normally be in the range of £750 -
£1,000. In general, the scheme will provide 100% funding, although
this is at the discretion of the advisory panel.
Gary Campbell, Coast Care Project
Co-ordinator, said: "This exciting new funding opportunity will help
to give volunteers the tools to make a real difference in our area.
In so many different ways volunteers play a vital role in looking
after our coast. This grant fund will help to support and develop
this even further".
The grant scheme is open to those based in,
or operating in, any parish within or adjacent to the AONB (which
runs along the coast between Amble and Berwick). The scheme
complements the existing Sustainable Development Fund run by the
AONB Partnership, which provides grants of up to £3,000 for projects
that benefit the environment, communities and visitors to the
Anyone wanting further information on either
of the AONB grant schemes should contact Catherine Gray, Funding and
Communications Officer on tel. 01670 622644 or email email@example.com,
or any other member of the Coast Care team www.coast-care.co.uk
|NEWS FROM FORD & ETAL
An exciting season ahead at the beautiful
Lady Waterford Hall in Ford Village, which re-opens daily from 28th
Celebrating 200 years since the birth of
Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford, over the weekend of 14th and 15th
April the Hall, along with Ford Castle and Ford Church,will
mark this event with an 'Open Weekend' of exhibitions, tours and
talks about Louisa's fascinating life. There is also a
celebration ceilidh in the Lady Waterford Hall on the evening of
As part of the celebrations around Louisa
Waterford's life, throughout the 2018 season the Lady Waterford Hall
Trust is running a raffle offering an unique opportunity
- the chance to win an original Louisa Waterford watercolour
sketch (c. 1840) of a young girl. Tickets are priced at £1.00
and are available exclusively from Lady Waterford Hall. The raffle
will be drawn on 31st October 2018.
A schools art competition is also taking
place with work being exhibited at the Watchtower in Berwick from
26th May to 8th June.
Over the winter the Hall's facilities have
been upgraded to provide a new storage room, a catering-standard
kitchen and new toilets, including a fully accessible WC. These new
features alongside the unique and beautiful main Hall will help to
make the building a very desirable venue to hire for events, wedding
receptions etc. Enquiries about hire should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALSO IN APRIL:
Easter Activities across the Estate,
including trails, competitions, Easter Baking, bunny hunts and
2nd April pop up market at Etal Village Hall;
April farm market at Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre
4th & 11th
April canoe taster sessions (must be pre-booked)
21st April live music
at Etal Village Hall with Northlands
Visit www.ford-and-etal.co.uk/events for more
|FROM THE COMMUNITY OF AIDAN AND
We learn from the current TV series on
Pilgrimage that pilgrims, whether or not they are religious, value
tools which help them express their thoughts.
Over the years various churches have recited
words called the Benedicite that invites people to bless,
praise, or appreciate good things. In recent times new versions have
been composed, that can be used anywhere, and that focus more on the
good things of nature. These include various versions of a
Lindisfarne Benedicite. This is an extract from my favourite:
Rising suns and star-lit nights bless the
Elements and mighty winds bless the Lord.
and singing seals bless the Lord
Sheep and lambs that frolic
in the fields, bless the Lord
Sea birds that fill the air with
their clamor, bless the Lord.
Flowers that gem the earth with
color, bless the Lord.
Purples and rocks shaped through
countless ages, bless the Lord.
Sea creatures and kindly
fisher-folk, bless the Lord.
Aidan and Cuthbert bless the
Scribes and artists bless the Lord.
illumined Gospels bless the Lord.
Bird watchers and nature
lovers bless the Lord.
Pilgrims and kindly folk
of this place, bless the Lord.
Founding Guardian, The
international Community of Aidan and Hilda
|FROM OUR UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
April 1st sees the Western Christian
church celebrating Easter, a time when we mark the life, death and
resurrection of the Son of God.
One of my favourite stories in the Bible
about Jesus, after his resurrection, tells of him meeting his
friends on the seashore. They were fishermen and had been hard
at work all night with little success. Jesus calls out to them
to try throwing their nets on the other side of the boat, and
suddenly they had such a huge catch that they could hardly haul it
to shore. When they returned to dry land they had breakfast
I love the image of Jesus meeting us in the
ordinary - when we are working - and the domestic image of a group
of friends having a picnic breakfast together. There is
something in that story about touching the divine at any time or in
John's gospel records that, after
breakfast, Jesus took Peter aside for a personal chat about
the work that lay ahead of him. He told Peter three times
'Feed my sheep'. Peter and the other disciples went on to
become founder members of the Christian Church and throughout its
history taking care of others has been an important strand of its
mission. Of course, there have been inspirational figures like
Mother Theresa who embody this, but there are many millions more
people who quietly try to follow Jesus' command to love our
neighbours as ourselves.
The way we treat each other is important,
whether it is looking out for our physical neighbours, reaching out
with support for those in need elsewhere in the world, or simply
sharing a smile with a stranger, we can make more of a difference
than we realise.
It is also important to remember that Jesus
said that as well as loving our neighbours we should love ourselves
|10 YEARS BACK - FROM A
After that extreme set of experiences we
called 'March' (see that list of last month's activities, all now
past) I for one am looking for a quieter and more regular routine
for this month of April. So will the farmers with their lambs, so
will the school with its delayed Easter holiday, and definitely the
church who will simply be sailing through the Easter stories, with
flowers in abundance (and many thanks to the ladies who bring
outstanding beauty to our church) and a marvelous group of assisting
priests and readers (who add freshness to each day's worship at St
Of course we all wish for that
smooth-running, fulfilling, not-too-demanding way of life that, in
my case, never quite seems to emerge. Temperaments are different but
we think sometimes how much easier it would be if everyone thought
like I do! Very soon into the month I shall learn again that life
isn't that way, nor intended to be that way. I am part of a whole
and there is no greater joy than finding that we are accepted within
That seems to be an important challenge in
any small community. We do know each other very well - or think we
do. Yet I can bet very few, if any, really know what is going on
inside me, what my worries and cares are. And that can probably be
said a hundred times over on this Island, if we're honest.
The Easter message isn't about everyone
knowing everything, though perhaps heaven will reveal a lot of
secrets. The Easter message is about taking who we are, each one,
and letting God himself rise within us. It is recognizing that human
beings are not only physical, mental, emotional beings but also
spiritual beings: we belong to each other and we also belong
to God. And it is our relationship with God that lasts the longest.
Actually it sustains all the other relationships which we value and
nurture. I also believe the very nearest means towards a quieter,
more regular, smooth-running, fulfilling life is to share that life
first with the One who can rise up from within us and simply
Have a good April!
The late Brother Damian SSF
Vicar of Holy Island - April
ST. MARY'S NOTICES
( Churchwarden )
||Pattern of worship for
|Pattern of worship for Weekdays
(Monday - Saturday)
meet our hospice