|SITEZINE: HOLY ISLAND'S E-MAIL
- A bit from me...
- Crossman Hall
- Lindisfarne Castle
- Mother nature gets her boots on!
- From the community of Aidan and Hilda
- News from Ford & Etal
- St Mary's notices
Sheila's last Easter Garden
|A BIT FROM ME
Dear *|MMERGE3|* ,
reader, to the May issue of 'SitEzine' - our 'Stay-In-Touch'
Following on from the aerial photograph we included
in last month's issue, I am delighted to tell you that our
Island Gallery has been brought up-to-date and now includes a 'Drone
Gallery' for Paul together with one from the Island's own
professional photographer, Emma Rothera. The galleries can be
viewed at www.holy-island.com/gallery/ .
COUNTY COUNCIL: Visitors beware! The severity of
potholes can be disguised by puddles of water and might be hiding a
threat to your vehicle's safety. Surely there are others just
as puzzled over the effectiveness and
economy of pothole-repair by simply pouring tarmac into
untreated gaping, sea water-filled holes in the road surface....
NCC safety actions from previous meetings
with Holy Island Parish Council include: regular sand and seawater
clearance both from the causeway and island road;
bridge maintenance, traffic flow. We continue to complain that
this work is hardly ever addressed by them. We remind NCC that this
is the only road for the community and its hundreds-of-thousands of
annual visitors to reach the island.
VILLAGE: Building work is completing and the
grass verges are being re-turfed. Please observe car parking
advice and if continuing to drive into the village beware of
pedestrians, wheelchairs, cycles etc. Some of our pavements are
extremely narrow and much of the village does not even have
PAROCHIAL CHURCH MEETING: Thank you to those who attended
the APCM on Tuesday 24th April 2018. We are delighted to announce
the election of our new Churchwardens: Maureen Bushnell and Simon
Bevan. May we express our gratitude for the diligence and work
carried out by our retiring Churchwarden, Sam Quilty.
VACANCY: During the interregnum period, in all parish matters, in the first instance you should contact:
Simon Bevan or Maureen Bushnell (Churchwardens) firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I write the time for 'pressing the
button' has now arrived and I am without a formal input on
behalf of either St Mary's Church or St Cuthbert's Centre. I
must apologies to the many who will be disappointed that
publication will take place in their absence.
However, thank you so much to those who have
made time to send in their monthly renditions.
Lastly, on a sad note: Many who visited the
island on St George's Day ( 23rd April) may have been temporarilly
restricted from the grounds of St Mary's as the village joined
together with the family at the funeral of a mother and very
dear friend Sheila Wilson. Cousin and assistant Churchwarden,
Thelma, reminds us 'of the loss of a key
member in our team who served our church for many years and was
noted for her flower creations and arrangements'. Some pictures
of her last creations are included herein.
Enjoy our May newsletter and we look forward
to getting in touch again in June.
PRESS: Don at Marygate has asked me include a
music event that is taking place at St.Mary's on 8th June. Please
see at end of the newsletter. (Ed)
It has been a busy month with the fitness
and games area well used, but I'm less certain about the progress of
the Yoga classes.
May also saw the Hall hosting its first
Wedding Breakfast; congratulations Rosemary & Dave.
Contact has been re-established with the Big
Lottery Fund (BLF) reference the final payment covering the last
phase of the project; the installation and restoration of the land
along the track of the rainwater drain that connects with the main
Additionally, several meeting were held with
the Project Manager(s), the Principal Contractor, the Occupier of
the land and ourselves. It's all moving ahead and work will be
It is some time since a list of
Trustees/Committee Members was published. Set out below is list of
those who managed the Hall. If you have any queries please contact
any one of them and they will bring any issues that they cannot
resolve to a full meeting.
During the demolition of the old building
and construction phase, a tree planted honouring the memory of
Melville Walker was removed. We had hoped to plant another tree
dedicated to Melville's memory. However, an opinion voiced by the
County Archaeologists Department that tree roots may damage the
We have now decided to remember the late
Melville, a dearly missed friend, by naming the principal meeting
room the Melville Walker Room.
I know a number of Islanders have
photographs of Mel and I would like to borrow and copy some for
display in his room. The photos, would, after copying would be
returned. Please let me or any Trustee know if you have a picture
that we can borrow and copy for display.
Summer Concerts by Andy & Margaret
Andy & Margaret will play a range of
traditional music from Northumberland and beyond. Featuring the
small-pipes, fiddle, guitar, voice and nyckelharpa.
The dates are:
Tuesday 12 June at 19:30
Tuesday 10 July
Thursday 23 August at 19:30
Tuesday 18 September at 19:30
It was good to see the Highways bucket &
spade gang out trying to infill some of the more extreme holes in
the road. It's not the workers fault that the results are short
lived resulting is more holes and bumps. In many places, is like a
third world track. Come on NCC Highways spend some of the thousands
you make in a day from Parking fees and make our road safer and
reduce the rust promoting sludge that frequently gathers along the
The Castle has been open for 8 weeks now and
it almost feels like we're back to normal. The first few weeks after
Easter saw the 'Empty Spaces' experience in the Castle which gave
that rare chance to see the place for what it is - devoid of
distractions like historic furniture or rugs on the floor. The
architecture shone out like never before and was really popular with
visitors, many of whom want to come back and see the place again
Since 5 May we have had the Anya Gallaccio
art installation in the Castle and after a busy opening weekend with
Press and VIP visits, the public have been able to see the pieces in
the rooms and hear about Anya's thought process via leaflets and a
short film being shown in the West Bedroom. Reaction has of course
been both positive and negative as with any artistic display but it
is generating a discussion in the building about her influences -
notably Lutyens and Jekyll - and also the impact of the ongoing work
on light levels in the rooms (along with the occasional bit of
hammering or drilling coming from outside).
Speaking of which, we are now finally
nearing the end of the main works at Lindisfarne. Remaining on the
job list are tasks such as sneck-harling the Upper Battery
elevations and the West building and re-leading the Upper Gallery
roof now that the new joinery is complete (hence the white temporary
roof). We also have a few additional jobs away from the restoration
work, such as the installation of a new water supply up the north of
the crag, and improvements to the drainage in the 'Loo with a View'
on the south side. One or two jobs have had to be put off until the
coming winter; both due to the complexity of the work and the
relatively low priority they have - one such job is to paint the
place of course, but another concerns a few changes to the Lower
Battery water tanks under the surface, something which would be
almost impossible to do while we are open to visitors.
The work on the Upper Battery will be
complete in the next few weeks and then the temporary roof can be
removed. One of the jobs the massive scaffold is doing - aside from
giving working access to those high elevations - is supporting the
weight of the temporary roof so with that gone, the scaffold can
start to be dismantled. Without wanting to put a definitive date to
when we'll be clear it should be sometime in the summer holidays,
It is worth noting that in the shop we are
selling plants grown in the Jekyll garden including the very popular
sweet peas and a range of herbs, all from £2.00. There is also a
promotion on ladies accessories starting on 24 May and running until
the 6 June. When you are in there you'll see that Lorraine has taken
on the supervisor's role from Biddy who has moved on to pastures
new, but you'll still see Mel, Pauline and Maz from time to time
01289 389244 (press 1, then
|MOTHER NATURE GETS HER BOOTS
spring which started so late is now rapidly moving into summer and
the island is certainly looking at its best and most colourful.
Many folk have commented on the suddenness
of it all. We seemed to go from a cold early spring which lasted
most of April into full-blown spring within the space of a couple of
weeks. We certainly missed out on the usual slow and rather
leisurely transition with greenery gradually and sedately
It was almost as if Mother Nature, left
groggy by the battering of that famous Beast from the East with its
freezing temperatures and snow, had suddenly awakened. She seemed
then to have suddenly looked at the calendar, realized it was almost
May, got her boots on and decided to do something about it fast.
The result was that the appearance of lush
spring growth, greenery and early blossoms was compressed into just
a fortnight instead of the usual couple of months. This was
particularly noticeable in the lonnens. The transition from tiny
pinpricks of green to full leaf seemed to take no time at all. Trees
in the village were the same, small buds unfurling into full leaf in
what seemed just a matter of days. One crab apple tree I noticed in
bud on a Friday was in full blossom just three days later.
That wonderful spell of warm and sunny
weather we all enjoyed over the early spring bank holiday certainly
supercharged everything. The village gardens now look magnificent,
banks around the Heugh and Jenny Bell's are blazing yellow with wild
Wallflowers and I noticed that the first balls of Thrift or Sea
Pinks in the most sheltered and sunniest spots also burst open
during that period.
By the time you're reading this hopefully
that whole areas of salt marsh alongside the road past the Snook
should be glowing pink with thousands of bursting blooms.
The suddenness of it all brought the
long-awaited big influx of Swallows which until then had been
nothing more than an early trickle. In no time at all pairs moved
into the regular prime sites and started nest building and
refurbishment. Many will now be on eggs or even have small young. It
has all seemed to happen with breakneck speed.
Because of the sunny and settled conditions
which marked the first half of the month many migrant birds seem to
have given the island a miss. When conditions are favourable they
tend just to press on northwards without needing to come down to
rest and feed.
Nevertheless there have been surprises. Each
spring birders like me look out eagerly for "overshoots." That's the
term used for migrant species which turn up, because of wind and
weather or simply poor navigation skill, hundreds of miles north or
west of their intended destinations.
During most spring periods birds which had
intended to occupy nesting areas around the Mediterranean or
eastwards across Europe and even into Asia, tend to turn up in
Britain, much to our delight because many of them are great
There was a classic example at the end of
April when a Glossy Ibis arrived at the Lough. These birds winter in
Africa and breed in marshes in the eastern Mediterranean, the
Balkans, the Black Sea and on into Asia. Long-legged and with long
curving bills, they are closely related to our familiar herons and
egrets and behave in much the same way, feeding in muddy or sandy
areas on small fish, amphibians, invertebrates and insects.
Judging by its plumage this was a sub-adult,
probably one of last year's young. If it had been an adult its dark
brown plumage would have carried the wonderful sheen which provides
its name. It was obviously well off course, perhaps due to
Picture: Mike S Hodgson
There have been around a dozen previous
individuals in Northumberland but this was the first for the island
and Lindisfarne area in general.
It fed in the muddy area at the back of the
Lough but flew off with a group of Mallards and didn't return. An
hour later it turned at the Druridge Pools nature reserve where it
remained in the general area, feeding in the shallow water in
flooded fields, for more than a week. It was extremely approachable
and often delved unconcerned by people just 15 or 20 yards away.
As if that wasn't enough, shortly afterwards
an even rarer spring "overshoot" was found on the edge of the
reserve at Waren Mill. This was another marsh dweller, a little
bittern, normally a very secretive species even in areas around the
Mediterranean where they are a reasonably common breeding
There had been only nine previous sightings
in Northumberland, the last at Gosforth Park in 2014, but some going
back to the Victorian era. It proved to be a one-day wonder but at
least was present for long enough to enable a good number of folk to
get along to see it.
These two new birds took the species list
for the reserve and island up to a very impressive 339 and, I'm
afraid, came just too late for inclusion in an updated version of my
book, The Birds of Holy Island, which was at the printer's even
while they were gracing the area. To paraphrase the old song, the
author's lot is not a happy one!
|NEWS FROM FORD & ETAL
Bubble Trains - 7th & 28th May at Heatherslaw Light
Bank holiday fun - make the biggest bubble
train ever! Free bubble pots for kids travelling on trains from
Heatherslaw, all day (while stocks last!)
Pop Up Markets
with St Abb's Traders - 7th & 28th May at Etal Village
A range of locally produced foods and crafts
along with a selection of clothing, accessories and gifts available
to browse and buy. Markets will also take place every
Wednesday and Thursday throughout July and August, with stalls
varying from week to week.
Festival - 5th & 6th May at Hay Farm Heavy Horse
The Festival is a celebration of all that
heavy horses have been used for over their working life. Visitors
will be able to see horses working in the field on springtime jobs,
along with ridden and driven displays. Admission adults £5.00,
Northumberland Bird Club Annual Dawn Chorus Walk
The North Northumberland Bird Club (NNBC)
annual Dawn Chorus walk is a wonderful opportunity to get out and
about in our beautiful countryside, and to learn something about the
birds in the area. The walk is open to NNBC members, with
non-members welcome for a small donation to the Club. Meet at
Ford Moss Shepherds Cottage (NT 969 379), 5am. After the walk
as is tradition there will be a breakfast at Etal Manor - with
donations welcome to support a local charity.
Please ensure that you wear suitable
The Dough Zone
More school holiday fun in the Dough Zone at
Heatherslaw Cornmill. Kids baking sessions at 11.30am and
2.30pm on 28th, 29th & 30th May. Pre-booking
// Phone: 01890 820338
|FROM THE COMMUNITY OF AIDAN AND
Tides and Seasons
Now that I drive in and out of the island
more often I notice changes. For example, the posts and pot holes
along the causeway, and the changing sands.
When I think back to when I first lived on
the island a generation ago I notice many changes. The renovations
to the castle, the large new village hall, and so many houses
Maybe the mix of reasons why people come to
the island is also changing: bird watching and nature, a day out by
the sea-side, pilgrimage and prayer, history and space to
I met David Adam last month at a church
service on the mainland. It reminded me of his lines: 'Ebb tide,
full tide, how life's beat must go'. They are in his book
Tides and Seasons, in which he writes 'yet in the ebb and
flow, nothing is lost, only changed... Even in times of despair,
we are made aware that there are other shores, eternal reaches, and
that after the lowest ebb, the tide will flow again.'
I have recently had reminders of the low
ebb. After travelling 27 hours back from a USA native location we
were put out of the train at Newcastle, because someone had thrown
themselves on the line. Then I heard of someone I know who had
attempted suicide. Mental health issues are increasing.
In July I lead a retreat on the island on
the theme of Tides and Seasons. I better re-read that book!
Founding Guardian, The
international Community of Aidan and Hilda
ST. MARY'S NOTICES
||Pattern of worship for
||Holy Communion (BCP)
||Parish Eucharist |
|Pattern of worship for Weekdays|
(Monday - Saturday)
|ST. MARY'S PARISH CHURCH|
Friday 8 June at 7:00 pm
Richard Durrant celebrates the launch of Stringhenge the double album
by cycling his solo show from Orkney to Sussex throughout the month of June.
Catch one of these shows along the way as the maverick guitarist
cycles to the heart of
free entry with a retiring collection
Photo by Kris Pawlowski
meet our hospice