The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013
Newbrough, Fourstones and Warden
The Stanegate Editorial There are some villages which are clannish and where someone isn't accepted until they have at least two ancestors in the graveyard. Could we be accused of this crime? The answer is definitely, NO! Recently a new inhabitant said to one of our team that this was the most welcoming and open society she had ever experienced. Some newcomers might beg to differ - the fault may lie partly with them but also partly with customary Northumbrian reserve and wariness. (After all we suffered years of Scottish raids when we had to hunker down at the first sight of an unfamiliar face…) What advice would we give to a new face? The natives are friendly. You may have to make the first move. (It's easier if you have a child at school or are a dog walker.) You mustn't go preaching 'in my last village we did it this way'. Remember dishwashers and floor sweepers are more valued than chairmen, secretaries and treasurers. Start your journey at the bottom. “Entry level” can bring a variety of unexpected treats – you get to people watch with no expectation of having to make decisions, voice opinions or stump up any of the management type goods. You can test the water of new skills and society. Try out a new you or reinvigorate an old one that may have been forgotten in the business of life, kids, work. In the words of the credit card – membership has its perks. More specifically, membership of a village community has its perks. OUR village community has its perks with the cricket club, badminton club, bowls club and the Town Hall being name checked on a regular basis. There are many others – Shelley and her Zumba class, the youth club, messy church, The Railway pub quiz to name but a few. Even this very publication welcomes new blood to help the rapidly ageing team (the youngest member has now reached 40!) to compile this monthly blockbuster for your entertainment and education. Whilst participation is a “nice to do” when it comes to clubs and societies, we strongly urge you to exercise your democratic might on May 2nd in the upcoming Parish elections. It`s important, and ensuring the right candidate is elected is a responsibility we all share at a time when it can make such a difference to the rights we all enjoy. At the very least you should go and vote so that Ella isn`t on her own all day at the Town Hall… We hope that April brings our readers some better weather, a chat with Ella over a voting slip and some tentative new toes dipped into any of the local pools of community. Once you`re in, the water is just fine! Janice Baylis, Jo Grey, Pat Johnston & Rob Tindall
Produced and published by the Stanegate Editorial Committee Issue 95 April 2013
Send material to RobMTin@aol.com The deadline for the May issue is Monday 20th April.
The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013
Letters Dear Team, It is with considerable interest that I await the blooming of the daffodils on the verge near the Millennium Beacon. I suspect that they will be enormous or terribly distorted. And the reason for my interest? Someone on successive days has allowed their large (obviously) pooch to leave its massive excrement all over the shoots. If the flowers are super size the dog’s owner should pick up the poo and sell it to leek growers as the latest miracle fertiliser. If the flowers fail he, or she could bag it and sell it as lawn weedkiller. In truth I couldn’t care a jot about the offensive material’s ultimate fate so long as the owner bags it and takes it away before it gets on my carefully shined shoes, or worse still on some poor infant’s fingers. Yours, (A rather grumpy) Adam Neavitt
Stanegate Readers At our meeting in March we discussed ‘The Other Family’ by Joanna Trollope. This is the story of a talented singer, Richie Rossiter, who was born in the North East, who had married and had a son with his wife Margaret, but had then fallen in love with another woman and had moved from Newcastle to London and fathered three daughters with her. The other woman was Chrissie, who had loved Richie and had managed his career for twenty-three years, but had never been able to persuade him to marry her. The book opens with Richie’s sudden and completely unexpected death, and the novel unfolds to reveal the secrets he had kept from his second family and the emotional and practical difficulties both families experienced in coming to terms with his death. There is one strand in the story that details how folk music has developed in the North East and this was particularly well done. In many ways this is an ordinary story, not an unusual one in today’s world, but Joanna Trollope delivers a tale
that is an easy and believable read with her usual good characterisation and satisfying ending. We all enjoyed it and it would be a good holiday read.
Corner Shops Sweet shops, the delight of children 100 years ago. Corner shops, now almost things of the past, contributed enormously to the way of life in our childhood days. There seemed to be at least one shop of some sort wherever two streets crossed. Within a radius of four hundred yards or so from our home in Jefferson Street, there must have been at least twenty four shops carrying on various trades where, with only a little luck, the customer would find the purchases they required. At most of the little general dealers’ shops, and they were the most numerous, groceries, greengroceries, bread and hardware were obtainable, not to mention sweets and tobacco. Each had a sweet window (or part of a window) where opened boxes of sweets were laid out on display level with the base of the window frame, while bottles of boiled sweets were placed on side or back shelves, and on the ledge at the top of the back frame of the window. “Granny” Jackson had a corner shop at the corner of Barrington Street and Darnell Street opposite to our school’s main door – the entrance for staff and visitors. “Granny” was a little old lady with greyblack and steel rimmed spectacles. Her shop was stocked with all sorts of sweets which were eagerly snapped up by the Todd’s Nook scholars. Loose sweets cost a halfpenny for two ounces, and if one had a penny to spend, a wonderful assortment could be purchased. Mixed toffee, broken with a toffee hammer as it lay in the tray into which it had been poured at the toffee factory, was a “top line”, and Wigga Wagga, Kalibonkers, Everlasting strips, Hokee Pokee, liquorice strips, and “Telephone Wires” competed for purchasers with Packers Broken Milk Chocolate, or bars of Fry’s plain chocolate (one halfpenny) Five-boys chocolate, and
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The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013 Cream or Milk bars made by one of the three big firms of the time, Fry, Rowntree or Cadbury. Chewing gum was in the primary stages of its evolution, and came in lurid colours in flat packages. The taste did not last long and one was soon left chewing what seemed to be, in texture at least, a close relative of candle grease. Shopkeepers made their own ice cream in those days and were often pleased to have the help of youngsters to do the freezing of the confection. A sort of custard mixture was put into a small churn which was placed in a sort of pail. The space between the two containers was packed with broken ice and the helper turned a crank handle which rotated the mixture while beating it up. When the mixture was set, and after being duly “tried” by the shopkeeper (or helpers as payment for services rendered) it was pronounced as ready for sale in “pies”, “cornets” or sandwiches (popularly pronounced “sam-witches”). At Calvert’s greengrocer’s shop we could buy liquorice (Licorish) root. These long roots, about half an inch across at the thickest portion, looked like the thin tap root of a parsnip, and each could provide quite a few young “chewers” with “quids” which would far outlast most toffees, sweets or chewing gum. ( I have no idea what were the various sweets sold by Granny Jackson, apart from elsewhere in his accounts, my father described Kalibonkers as a sort of thick yellow toffee-like substance. I suspect Packer Broken Milk Chocolate was not a special brand, but was chocolate broken in the packing process. I recall that Five-boys chocolate had pictures of five boys faces on its packaging. What the ice-cream “pies” were, again I have no idea. S.S)
Time running out to secure your vote Northumberland voters could be denying themselves the chance to vote in the forthcoming county council election on May 2 because they are not on the electoral register. The countdown to the election is now on, and would - be voters need to make sure they are registered no later than April 17. Between mid-August and November last year, annual canvass registration forms were delivered to every one of the 150,000 houses in Northumberland and the results from this canvass were used to compile the electoral register. The majority of residents responded, but despite repeated written reminders, there are still thousands of residents who failed to register making them ineligible to vote.
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Residents who have never registered, and those who have not renewed their details this year, can still register by filling in an electoral registration form. Any Northumberland resident aged 17 or over can register, though only those aged 18 on polling day can cast their vote. Mick Miller, electoral services manager at Northumberland County Council said: “Every year many people go to cast their vote only to find themselves unable to, as their name is not on the register. If you do want to vote, visit our website, download and complete the electoral registration form and return it to us as soon as possible.” Electoral registration forms can be downloaded from www.northumberland.gov.uk/vote . Further information on applying for postal votes and proxy votes can also be found here. Forms must be with the council no later than Wednesday 17 April 2013 or your name will not be added to the register in time for you to be able to vote on May 2. If you have any queries please contact our elections team by emailing email@example.com or calling 01670 624811
Do You Speak the Language? It’s a sad fact of life at the Stanegate that articles produce no reaction from readers. In ten years feedback to members of the team has amounted to about one comment per year. Now the good news the dialect words we published last month has provoked one of our readers to comment on the list and provide her list of words remembered from her youth. Some Northumbrian dialect words used to change almost from village to village, certainly along the coastal strip. Others were more widely used. I recognised all but two of the words last month – eller was completely new – perhaps not surprising since no alders grew in the area. I had never heard of aud peg. Callant comes from the Borders. In the
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TODDLERS From Birth upward Toddler sessions run on Thursday mornings, from 9:15-11:15 am at Haydon Bridge Fire Station. Cost: £1.50 per family includes tea/coffee/juice/snack PLAYGROUP From 2 years onwards Playgroup runs on Monday and Friday mornings from 9:15 to 11:15 am. A qualified playgroup leader plus assistants run the playgroup. Cost: £5.50 per session. For further information contact: Jenna Kirkup on 01434 688238 or call into one of the sessions.
The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013 Common Ridings of some Border towns the riders are sometimes called callants. The words below are mainly those from one coastal village, but there is some input from further north – the influence of grandparents from Berwick and Tweedmouth. 1. Bowdie hoel 2. Bleezer 3. Bowdie legged 4. Bagey or baygie 5. Braxy 6. Caa (or caar) 7. Crowdie 8. Glar 9. Claggy 10. Paddock 11. Gowk How many of these have you met? Translations on page 15.
Clarification In last month’s Stanegate we reported the baptism of Holly Taylor. We would wish to make it clear that whilst Holly’s baptism is recorded in the Register of St. Peter’s Newbrough the service took place in St Aidan’s, Fourstones. (St. Aidan’s does not have its own Register - hence the confusion.)
April Skies The clocks are now set to BST which means we lose an hour of evening sky viewing. However, there are still a few weeks left to do some star-hopping without having to stay up too late. It will be interesting to see if the comet due in mid-March lived up to expectations. These newly-arrived objects are notoriously capricious - and pan STARRS could be making its first and only visit to the solar system. Not well placed in our Northern sky; it was predicted to be visible here for a few days in mid-March, hovering low in the West, shortly after sunset (weather permitting). If we look out at around 10pm in mid-month there are still our 0familiar constellations to be seen. Due S at about 50 elevation, we find LEO, with his face pointing towards ORION, who is now low in the Western sky. Between them, but rather higher, is the long rectangle of GEMINI. Midway between Gemini and Leo is the faint fuzzy star cluster M44 forming the “shell” of CANCER (the Crab). Try viewing it with your binoculars or telescope and see if you can pick out any individual stars. The light from them takes about 520 years to arrive here. Over in the E is the giant star Arcturus, the brightest star in the Northern celestial hemisphere. It lies at the lower vertex of the long, narrow, kite-shaped BOOTES (the Herdsman). Round to the NE the “keystone” of HERCULES should be rising. Between Hercules and Arcturus is situated the small constellation of CORONA BOREALIS (the “Northern Crown”) with its beautiful “coronet” of stars. High up in the N lie the two “bears” - URSA
MAJOR and URSA MINOR, while in the NW, the string of stars forming the body of PERSEUS runs almost level with the horizon. The “W” of CASSIOPEIA is at about the same altitude, but lies more to the N. Between them is another starry target for binoculars - NGC869/884 - the Perseus “double cluster”. JUPITER continues to fade and shrink in apparent diameter but is still bright and dominates the region around the Hyades. Look for it over in the W after sunset. Its distance from Aldebaran is increasing how do they compare in brightness? - A good region to sweep around using binoculars. SATURN is brightening and rising earlier - search in the SE sky in late evening. It reaches opposition on 28 April, when it will cross our meridian about 1am. And be at its best for viewing. The rings are now well open and it should provide a rewarding target for a small telescope. Look for detail in the rings and on the planet’s disc. VENUS sets in the W shortly after sunset - it reached superior conjunction on March 28 when it passed behind the Sun. MARS is also close to the Sun at present. MERCURY is still a morning object, low in the E. It reaches its greatest distance from the Sun on April 30 and will continue to fade as it moves back towards it. METEORS: The LYRIDS tend to provide a reliable showing between 19 and 25 April. They peak on 22 April. Fast and bright, they might average about ten per hour. However they will be considerably dimmed by the Moon, which will be full on 25 April. Happy sky-gazing Malcolm Rowe
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FOURSTONES WARDEN METHODIST CHURCH COFFEE MORNING We will be having a Coffee Morning on Friday 26 April from 10.00-12.00 in aid of "Josie's Dragonfly Trust". The money raised will help to continue Josie's wish of helping other children and young people with cancer. We hope you can come along and support this local charity.
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The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013
Warden Parish Council th
Report from the Parish Council Meeting – 4 March 2013 County Council and Parish Elections are to be held on May 2nd. Two councillors, Cllr Guthrie who has served the Council from May 1995 and Cllr Mitchell who has served from May 1983, will not be standing for re-election. Reduced Tax Base as a Result of Localisation of Council Tax Benefit – This has resulted in a rebate of £371. Cllr Mitchell proposed and Cllr Guthrie seconded and it was RESOLVED to purchase a seat and site it near the Homer’s Lane Cross. The Clerk was asked to contact Neighbourhood Services to ascertain the progress on repairing the road surface between East Fourstones and Hardhaugh and the problems causing the excess water on the road. Cllr Kendrew has supplied photographs of recent flooding and erosion down the B6319 road past St Aidan’s and the Clerk will forward these to NCC Highways. Street lights on B6319 at the entrance to St Aidan’s Park and on C234 at the entrance to East Fourstones were removed by NCC on 30th May 2010 and never replaced. Clerk was asked to contact NCC Highways. Cllr Heslop reported that he will not be standing for re-election in May. The Chairman thanked him for his regular attendance at parish council meetings, the valuable contribution he has made to the community and his very useful help and guidance. The Annual Meeting of the Parish of Warden will be held on Monday 13th of May at 7pm in Newbrough Town Hall. This is followed by the Annual Meeting of Warden Parish Council. All members of the public are most welcome.
More from Uncle Ted
“Well you know what they say - one good ‘tern’ deserves another!”
Daffodil Walk, Newbrough Lodge, Sunday 14th April 2pm-5pm. (in aid of the restoration fund for St Michaels Church, Warden) Somewhere in the region of £70k of the £100k fundraising target set has been raised. Restoration work on the church is programmed to start sometime later in the summer, or possibly autumn. In support of the cause the first ever Daffodil Walk will be held at Newbrough Lodge this spring by kind permission of Mark & Lucy Liddell. There will be refreshments available with home made cakes and warming cups of tea or coffee. A treasure hunt through the garden will keep the younger visitors occupied. It is hoped that the event will appeal to those living both inside and outside of the parish. Please cross your fingers (and pray) for a fine, bright day. Entry is £3 for adults, no charge for children. Dogs on leads are welcome .
Start Preparing NOW! The Parish Produce Show will take place in the Town Hall on Saturday 14th September (It’s completely irrelevant but it is The Day of Atonement - Yom Kippur) The committee (Michelle B, Vikki C, Mandy P, Catherine W and Rob and Margaret T) will meet shortly to finalise the schedule and will welcome any comments you may wish to make; particularly ideas for new classes. The flower section would seem to be in particular need of re-invigoration. Start sowing seeds, planting shallots and practicing your drop and cheese scone recipes NOW!
A man buys an old bottle at a car boot sale. On polishing the bottle a magic genie suddenly appears. “I’ve been in this bottle for 100 years and I’m old and tired but I’ve got one wish left for you.” The bottle owner said, “I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, but I’m afraid to fly and I get seasick, so build me a road!” “I’m too old and sick to grant that wish. Got any other wishes?” replied the genie. “OK, I’ve always wanted to understand how a woman thinks, to understand her innermost thoughts.” The genie paused for a while and said, “Two lanes or four?” A man and a woman were walking along a beach. The man noticed many shore birds flying in pairs. “Why do they fly together like that?” he asked the woman. She looked at him thoughtfully and replied,
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The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013
Newbrough Parish Council
Report from the Meeting of the Council held on 6th March 2013 The advert about Broadband Communication that was inserted in the Stanegate resulted in 41 unique properties in Newbrough and 50 in Warden being registered. National Association of Local Councils has produced a provisional timetable for Quality Parishes which will include consultation, structured interviews and DEFRA input. The new Qualities Scheme will be published in June. The County Council is paying a non-recurrent grant to Newbrough Parish Council of £751 because the Government has changed the national system of dealing with Council Tax benefit. Previously the Council was reimbursed for the total cost of Council Tax benefit, under the new system where applicable such charges are not raised. This has reduced the Council Tax base across Northumberland. In the case of Newbrough the tax base has reduced from 215.12 Band D equivalents to 193.55 It was suggested that the non-recurrent grant of £751 could go towards repairing the damaged and dangerous flagstones opposite the Red Lion. The Clerk was asked to seek estimates from builders. The Clerk was asked to write to Isos and forward the complaints from residents about dog fouling at Sidgate. HMRC has “invited” the Council to take part in PAYE Real Time Information. The Council will be registered asth an employer reporting PAYE in real time from 6 April 2013. In preparation for this the Clerk will upgrade all existing software and incorporate the appropriate payroll software package compatible to HMRC online. Cllr Dixon reported that he will not be standing for re-election at the forthcoming elections to be held in May. He has served on the Council since May 2007. He expressed his disappointment that there were no women members on the Council and he hoped that some would come forward in the elections in May. He also noted that four out of the seven members of the Council lived in Fourstones which is outside of the parish of Newbrough. Cllr Heslop reported on an application from residents at Home Farm to have a grit box situated at the road end. Cllr Heslop said that he has ample funds to cover the cost of a grit box but would require the support of the parish council. The Council decided not to support the application. The Council received a planning application (NNPA 12NPO0114): Construction of new lodge to provide visitor accommodation and new highway access to North of Carrow Farm. NE46 4DB. th Councillors are invited to a site meeting on Friday 8 March. Councillors have been invited to a meeting on Friday 7th March at the Mart Hexham 11am to 1 pm and 6pm to 8pm. To be briefed on Northumberland Council’s Local Development Plan: Core Strategy. For the agenda item on Northumberland County Council, Cllr Heslop supplied the Council with details of the County Council’s budget for this
following year and mentioned that West Highways are due to lose two further members of staff. He stressed the importance of the County’s Local Development Plan and urged Councillors to attend the meeting on Friday 7th March at the Mart Hexham. Cllr Heslop reported that he will not be standing for re-election in May. The Chairman on behalf of the Council thanked him for the excellent service he had given over the years and expressed gratitude for his help and guidance. The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held on Wednesday 8th May at 7pm in Newbrough Town Hall. This will be followed by the Annual Meeting of Newbrough Parish Council. All members of the public are most welcome.
An Interesting Bit of History Queenie Lambie has written to us giving some interesting information which Mrs L Newall related to her some years ago concerning the Farm House at Newbrough. The Farm House was where the hind who worked at Newbrough Lodge lived. He came to a sad end in the 1720s in his local inn, then known as the Travellers’ Inn. The building still sits proudly at the end of Newbrough village. What a sight it must have been then. It had a cobbled yard with copper rings on the walls to latch the horses to. In the back yard was a row of stables for the horses with stepping stones (probably mounting blocks) at the lane end. In the side yard was a coach and tack room which is now, I believe a dwelling house. At the side of the farm house was a stone staircase, long since removed which would have led to a room for the coachmen. Above the main front door was a long narrow room where the barrels were kept - the imprints are in the floor to this day Personally I feel the beauty of the site has been lost with the new buildings which surround it.
CONCERT ON: SATURDAY APRIL 6th 2013 at 7:30pm AT: St Michael & All Angels Church, Warden IN AID OF: the restoration fund to
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The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013
Recipes from an Orchard Kitchen Welcome to the Easter edition of The Stanegate. As it is Easter I want to look at breads that are made to celebrate this time of year. Easter is a time to celebrate fertility and re-birth in the Christian church as it celebrates the re-birth of Christ. However, Easter is actually named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring Eostre. There is an ancient history of cooking speciality breads for Easter. The Egyptians and the Greeks presented small bread cakes, marked with a cross or four horns to the goddess of the moon. In Tudor times a London bylaw was introduced that made the sale of spiced buns illegal except on Good Friday, Christmas time and burials. I have written about hot cross buns several times and so will not be repeating them here but if you want the recipe, or any previous Orchard Kitchen recipes please feel free to contact me at the email address given at the end of this article. Colomba Pasquale is the famous Easter bread of Italy. It is similar to a panettone and is rich in citrus and almond flavours. It is shaped like a dove and again has a dual loyalties to both Paganism and Christianity. The dove symbolises the coming of Spring to the Pagans whilst representing the Holy Spirit to Christians. Colomba Pasquale literally translates as Easter dove. The preparation of the dough is a three stage process. First a sponge is produced then an initial dough before finally making the final dough. This is because the addition of citrus, extra sugar, large amounts of butter and eggs all inhibit the yeast and prevent it working at full efficiency. The three stages gives the yeast a fighting chance of working properly. This recipe comes from a web site called Bakery Bits which supplies all manner of baking supplies and can be found at www.bakerybits.co.uk I find this site a terrible temptation and without selfcontrol would rapidly fill all my kitchen cupboards with items from it. Colomba Pasquale First Stage – Sponge Fresh Yeast 25g/1oz (1½ sachets of dried yeast) Sugar 15g/½oz Water (36°C/96.8F) 100g/4oz Egg Yolks 3, keep 2 whites Strong White Bread Flour 70g/2½oz Mix thoroughly together, cover and leave somewhere warm for 30 minutes. Second Stage Sponge All the sponge from stage 1 Fresh Yeast 6g/⅕oz Water (36°C/96.8F) 75g/3oz
Unsalted Butter, softened 45g/1½oz Strong White Bread Flour 210g/7½oz Mix thoroughly and then place in a clean bowl covered with clingfilm. Put in a warm place for 1 hour. Final Stage Dough from second stage Sugar 145g/5oz Honey 15g/ ½ oz Egg Yolks 3 Oranges 2, zest Orange Essence 2 tsp Unsalted Butter, softened 115g/4oz Strong White Bread Flour 250g/9oz Salt 5g/ rounded ½ tsp Mixed Peel 150g/5oz Mix the dough, sugar, honey, egg yolks, orange zest, orange essence and butter. Then add the mixed peel, flour and salt and knead until a soft, smooth and elastic dough is formed. If the dough is very sticky add a small amount of bread flour. Put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 2 hours or until the dough has doubled or trebled in volume. When the dough has fully risen divide it in two and flatten each piece on a floured surface. Roll each piece into a log shape, one piece about ¾ the length of the other and make a dent in the middle of each log. Put the long piece, dent upwards on a lined and greased baking tray. Place the shorter one across the longer to form the wings. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow a final prooving of 1-2 hours. Before baking mix two of the egg whites with 25g/1oz of caster sugar and 25g/1oz of ground almonds. Spread this over the dough and sprinkle with flaked almonds and sugar nibs. Bake at 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre. If there are any recipes that you would like to share or if you would like a suggestion for a recipe please contact me via e-mail at email@example.com.
Cricket at Newbrough
With Easter now behind us and the sun beginning to glow a little warmer in the skies thoughts naturally
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The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013 begin to turn towards the summer. And the summer means the gentle sound of leather on willow, polite applause, and the rattle of the old scoreboard down on the cricket field. It is very much our intention to play cricket at Newbrough again this year. Last summer was a complete wash out and most games were rained off or the ground was unfit for play. It can’t happen again (can it? Please no!). As we look forward to the coming summer months our hopes are high for some dry weather and some competitive cricket matches. Most of our games will be friendly social games, played over 20 overs on a weekday evening. However, we are entered into the West Tyne second teams knock out cup (last year we reached the semifinals!) which is played over 40 overs, and the West Tyne second teams T20 tournament. So there will be the possibility of glory and fame – even if it is only in the West Tyne valley! And so here is an open invitation to all cricketers, young, old, male or female, who would like to play cricket at Newbrough this year. As soon after Easter as the weather permits we will be having net sessions on the field. These will be on Wednesday evenings from 6.00pm until it’s too dark to see the ball, or the lure of the pub becomes too strong – whichever is the sooner! Your village cricket team needs you!
Trivia for 2013 In previous years we’ve looked at birthday and birthstone trivia. During 2013 we’re looking at the history of our calendar and how the months and days of the week were named and how time was recorded. The origins of our calendar came from the old Roman practice of starting each month on a new moon. The Roman book-keepers would keep their records in a ledger called a "kalendarium" and this is where we get the word - Calendar. The original Roman Calendar was 304 days long and had 10 months that began with March. December marked the end of the calendar year. The months of January and February were set aside for festivals. It was Julius Caesar who reorganized the calendar year to start with the month of January. Months of the year : April - The name comes from the word "aperire" which means "to open" - this is the month when the trees and flower buds open. From our birth flower trivia, we remember that the April birth flowers are the sweet pea and daisy. Days of the week : Sunday - the name is from old English/Anglo Saxon (before 700) Sunnandaeg, literally meaning the day of the sun. (to be continued!)
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February Weatherwatch "If Candlemas be fair and bright winter will have another flight." The unsettled conditions of late January spilled over into the opening days of February which produced a real hotchpotch of weather. Park Shield recorded its highest daily minimum temperature for the month of 3.2C (37.8F) very early on a generally cloudy 1st but Candlemas on the 2nd dawned fine with a light air frost and a sprinkling of snow with the sun shining on through much of the day. The following day after another overnight air frost strong westerly winds began to blow which strengthened overnight into the 4th to bring a hefty Park Shield maximum February gust of 73.6 mph just after two o'clock in the morning. These winds were initially mild and a daily maximum temperature of 9.0C (45F) was recorded around an hour earlier. Conditions then quickly deteriorated, however, as the blustery winds turned much colder to bring a daily minimum of 2.7C (36.9F) before daybreak and squally rain in the afternoon which turned to wintry showers of sleet, hail and snow in the evening. Snow fell overnight and with an air frost a crisp layer of around half an inch lay in fields and gardens on the morning of the 5th while local roads were slushy after timely salt gritting. Later that morning odd snow flurries were driven in by continuing west winds before these died away into the evening after blowing hard for three days. With the help of some sunshine they brought a gentle thaw but with further air frosts on the 7th & 8th and daytime temperatures remaining low streaks of snow could still be seen in sheltered places on higher ground on the 9th.
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The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013 As the old country weather saying goes, "If snow is lying there's more to come" and a half-hour snow shower duly followed on the morning of the 10th together with a few fine flakes on the 12th and enough drifted down overnight into the frosty morning of the 13th to bring another light covering before afternoon snow gave way to light hail and then rain which fell on into the evening. A little over eight millimetres (0.3") of combined precipitation fell during the day and with none on the 14th the total for the first half of February was around 30 mm (c.1.2"). With high pressure exerting itself from then for the longest period since May last year less than three millimetres more fell in the second half of the month making this February the driest for ten years. The sustained high pressure that brought the welcome onset of dry conditions after so long also gave rise to the sunniest and mildest spell of February weather from the 15th to the 19th. Under a bright blue sky Park Shield recorded a monthly maximum temperature of 9.2C (48.6F) on the 17th but without cloud insulation to retain some night-time warmth white hoar frosts followed with clear skies on the 18th and 19th. While the sun shone daytime maximums remained slightly above the seasonal average of 6C (42.8F) until the 19th but as colder air arrived with easterly winds they dipped to below 3C (37.8F) and with an added wind chill it felt a great deal colder. These east winds brought the lowest daytime maximum for the month of 1.6C (34.9F) on the 22nd as well as more light snow over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th both of which recorded air frosts. As daytime temperatures recovered a little of such snow that had lain had melted away by the 25th except in some sheltered hedge-backs but nights stayed cold and frosty. Thick white frost carpeted the ground on the foggy morning of the 27th as Park Shield recorded a monthly minimum of minus 5.9C (21.4F) before the fog lifted after midday although mists lingered on over cold rivers in the Tyne valleys into the afternoon. A clear night sky led to more heavy white frost as well as another sharp air frost of minus 5.3C (22.5F) on the last day of the month bringing February to a wintry close. February Weatherwatch Factfile. Temperature. Park Shield mean monthly maximum : c.5.4C (41.7F). Mean monthly minimum : 0.2C (32.4F). Monthly mean : c.2.8C (37.0F ) and around 0.6C colder than average. East & North East England mean monthly maximum : 5.2C. Mean monthly minimum : minus 0.1C. Monthly mean : 2.6C and 1.0C below the 1981-2010 average. UK February maximum : 13.9C (57.0F) at Kinlochewe (Wester Ross) on the 17th. UK monthly minimum : minus
Daffodil Walk (in aid of the restoration fund for St Michaelâ€™s Church, Warden) Newbrough Lodge Sunday 14th April 2pm-5pm. Entry: Adults - ÂŁ3, Children (under 16) free Dogs on leads are welcome
10.0C (14F) at Aviemore (Inverness-shire) early on the 22nd. Lowest daytime maximum : minus 1.5C (29.3F) at Tredegar (Monmouthshire) on the 22nd. Number of Park Shield air frosts : thirteen. Rainfall & Sunshine. Park Shield average February rainfall : c. 65mm. East & North East England rainfall and sunshine : 62% and 107% of the 1981-2010 average respectively. In terms of a percentage of average rainfall the region was the driest in England. Winds. Westerly at first turning to the east from the 9th to the 12th. Westerly again until the 18th and then easterly and north-easterly for the remainder of the month.
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Stanegate Festival 2013 The planning for this year’s Stanegate Festival is going ahead at full steam. We already have 17 stalls booked but have room for many more. If you would like to have a stall please contact Sue at The Red Lion directly or by email on email@example.com. Further to the idea of stalls it has been suggested that a small car boot sale could be held in a portion of the car park. More details will be available shortly. The Inter-Pub games are set to return with the following provisional programme of matches: Darts Saturday 6thth April, 7:30pm at The Red Lion Pool Friday 19 April, 7:30pm at The Red Lion Quiz Thursday 25ththApril, 8:30pm at The Railway Dominoes Friday 10th May, 7:30pm, at The Railway Quoits Saturday 18 ndMay, 1pm at The Boatside Cricket Sunday 2 June, 1pm at Newbrough Cricket Ground Rounders Sunday 16th June, 1pm at Newbrough Cricket Ground Prize Presentation Sunday 30th June, 7pm at The Boatside Rules for each competition will be circulated to the 3 pubs very shortly. In the meantime start honing your skills and organising your teams. Interest is growing in the scarecrow trail, if you would like to be involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Once again there will be a grand raffle with your programme acting as a raffle ticket. The programmes should be on sale in May so make sure that you have yours as soon as possible. If you would like to donate raffle prizes or have any items for the tombola please contact either Sue, email@example.com or myself on firstname.lastname@example.org
there are no such plans to close the church. WI House The Architects are close to being able to apply for planning permission for WI House. Stair Lift The stair lift has been serviced and is now working. Accounts Year end accounts are not yet available due to some outstanding invoices. Company returns have been completed for each company. Media, Communication and Entertainment Folk Music evening - Saturdayth8th June Stanegate Festival, Saturday 29 June Produce Show - a date in September to be confirmed. BBQ - a date in September to be confirmed AGM A date in May to be confirmed 200 Club annual subscriptions Final push to get in all subscriptions. Please contact Ella White if you are not a member of the village 200 Club and would like to be. Reminders : Hiring the Hall and the Bar (i) A booking form must always be completed by anyone wishing to hire the hall. (ii) Anyone wishing to use the bar facility for any event must do so through the Town Hall Committee. Please contact Katie Hindmarch (674315 or e mail email@example.com ) if you would like to know more or to book the Town Hall for any future event, and if you would like to know more about any of the current activities in the Town Hall, which include a Sewing Group, Tiny Tots, Badmin-
Newbrough Town Hall Committee Report from Meeting held 11th March 2013 ‘Green’ church A rumour that the green church in Fourstones would be deconsecrated and remain empty had given the Committee cause for concern that yet another building would become the responsibility of the community to support and sustain, which would undoubtedly be a drain on reserves. However, the Committee was delighted to hear from the Vicar that
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The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013 ton, a Craft Class, Zumba, Bowls and a Youth Club, please speak to Katie or any member of the Committee.
What’s on at the School? Building Works Doors and blinds were fitted and internal decoration completed during half term. The children were asked what they think of the building work. One child replied, “I love the blue light made by the blinds as it makes me feel closer to God”. Dance Class 2 performed “Don’t stop me now” by Queen and Class 3 interpreted a piece of instrumental river music under the tuition of Mrs Phillips. Very positive comments have been received from parents about the quality of the children’s performance. Visit of Fire Service Haydon Bridge Fire Service visited school. Each class received a talk about safety in the home and what to do in the event of a fire. The Fire Service will fit smoke alarms free of charge to any house in the area. Please contact Mrs Hall if you would like to have a smoke alarm fitted. All children witnessed Class 2’s models of Pudding Lane set alight in a reenactment of the Great Fire of London. It was an excellent way to teach children how quickly fire can spread and to teach empathy (children were discussing how they would feel if that was really their home.) World Book Day Children took part in this annual event on Thursday 7th March. Staff and parents helped design and make fantastic costumes. The children looked wonderful and had a very enjoyable day. The Friends of Newbrough First School showed two
Roald Dahl films as part of the celebrations. Contributions from parents will go towards new art resources. Cricket After School Club Matt Thompson from NCL will be offering cricket sessions after school from Thursday 18th April. The cost will be £2.50 per session per child. The club will run from 3.15-4.15pm and will be open to all children Summer term begins on Monday 15 April.
Old Sayings for April The first of April, some do say, Is set apart for All Fools Day, But why the people call it so, Nor I nor they themselves do know. (from Poor Robin’s Almanack for 1760) April and May, key to the whole year.
WI Report This month we had the unfortunate experience of having our speaker go AWOL. Rumour had it that she had gone abroad! However, we managed to find a speaker nearer home to step into the breach. Dunmail Hodkinson was the man and he came to tell us all about his work as a First Responder. The scheme is run by the N.E. Ambulance Service and is intended to be a vital link between a 999 call and an ambulance reaching the patient. The First Responders are based in a local community, and we have four in Newbrough. The 999 control room will alert a Responder if needed, and he or she can be first on the scene if someone has a suspected heart attack, stroke or diabetic coma. These first few minutes are vital, and the Responder can give the necessary treatment until an ambulance arrives and paramedics take over. Dunmail brought his pack, and showed us some of the equipment he carries, such as oxygen and a defibrillator – a machine designed to get an erratic heartbeat back into its normal rhythm. He does carry bandages etc, but injuries requiring such treatment are not usually life threatening and are best left to be dealt with later. Heart Start is a scheme Dunmail is particularly interested in. It teaches children from 4 to 12 years the basic support skills. It is graded according to age – even a 4 year old can know his or her address and dial 999. Newbrough School is taking part with the help of three of its staff. The children are taught the Dr. ABC. D for Danger - knowing when someone needs help. A for Airway – tilting head to clear the airway. B for Breathing – 10 secs to look, listen and feel for
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The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013 feel for breathing. And finally C for Compression – 2 hands pressing on the centre of the chest to disperse air through the body. A straightforward plan of action that can be followed by older children and adults alike. A few other hints from Dunmail included knowing the difference between a heart attack and angina, and also the signs of a stroke. This was a very interesting and informative evening and Dunmail was warmly thanked by Susan Sutton. The competition for the prettiest scarf was won by Doreen Dodd, with Violet Kennedy as runner-up. Joyce Waugh won the raffle. The April meeting will be Alison Aldred talking about “A trip to the midnight sun”.
Nature Notes It will not have gone unnoticed by Nature Notes readers that spring has been painfully slow in gathering any momentum this year. By midMa r ch there was little readily discernible advance beyond that reported in the last NN column written a full month before as for the most part the countryside remained pallid and drawn. The neighbourhood patchwork of winter sown arable fields did show some signs of greening up but growth was very uneven while the shoots of those crops sown during later February's dry weather struggled to bring the slightest of green hazes to brown earth as the 6C(43F) temperature needed to trigger growth was all too often lacking. On a smaller view taken from mid-February onwards purple-green leaves grew from the twisted stems of honeysuckle while more garlic leaves and dog's mercury added further green to the winter browns of the woodland floor. By mid-March these had been joined by the upright furled leaves of wild arum, better known as cuckoo pint or lord and ladies, and by the ground-hugging heart shaped leaves of the lesser celandine whose flowers follow the sun throughout the day. In last year's early spring their bright yellow flowers shone in sunny spots before the end of February but with winter reluctant to loosen its grip this year their flowering seems likely to be up to a month or even more behind that. Delicate white wood anemones were in flower
by the 18th of March last year and their blooming too will be delayed but the later flowerings of the celandine and wood anemone will perhaps be all the more welcome for their late arrival. In the meantime snowdrops were still in full flower as March reached its midpoint but after frosts and snow many of their drooping petals had become winged and discoloured within two or three days. This was also generally true of those in St. Peter's churchyard although in less sunlit places there were some heads that hung like inverted candle bulbs still waiting to open fully and with continuing wintry weather these might flower on into April. Early spring colour may have been absent from the countryside but in mid-March there were splashes of it t o b e s e e n i n t h e n e i g h b ou r h o o d ' s gardens including those along "The Front" in Fourstones. These sported a mixed array of bright yellow and mauve crocuses, violet miniature irises as well as a range of pink to cerise heathers while purple aubretia trailed from front walls. Small but hardy Tete-a -Tete daffodils also brought golden yellows to brighten garden borders in gloomy weather but with the odd exception continuing cold and cheerless days held larger varieties back from opening their trumpeted flowers that are one of the traditional signs that spring is truly under way. Last year they were in full flower across the parishes before the end of the second week of March while this year it seems that they might not be in full bloom until mid-April. But last year the warmest March for over fifty years was followed by the wettest April on record and a summer best forgotten so what may well prove to be the coldest March for over twenty-five years this might bring a reversal in fortune. Unfortunately, however, there is no logic in this so we might have to adopt the philosophy of the year great Victorian John Ruskin who once remarked that, "....there is no such thing as bad weather, just different kinds of good weather.
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The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013
Calendar of Events April 1Easter Monday Event 10.30 - 3.00 Chapel 6 ‘ The Poetic Viol’ - a concert at St. Michael’s 7.30pm 11 Newbrough WI 14 Daffodil Walk Newbrough Lodge 2 - 5pm 15 School Summer term begins 26 Coffee Morning 10.00 - 12.00 Chapel 28 Messy Church 2.30 - 4.30 School May 2 County and Parish Council Elections 6 ‘May Day’ 8 Newbrough Parish Council and Annual Meeting 7pm 9 Newbrough WI 13 Warden Parish Council and Annual Meeting 7pm 18 Traditional N.E. Entertainers, Chapel 26 Messy Church 2.30 - 4.30 School 31Coffee Morning 10.00-1200 Chapel Tbc. AGM Newbrough Town Hall June 6 Newbrough WI 8 Folk Music Evening - Town Hall 23 Messy Church 2.30 - 4.30 School 29 Stanegate Festival
Featherwatch For anyone with a general interest in birds this is the time of year brimming with expectation. Winter visitors have slipped away silently and unseen while the majority of ever welcome summer visitors will soon be announcing the news of their arrival in sight and sound. Sand martins and chiffchaffs are always among the first arrivals. Sand martins are usually to be seen patrolling the South Tyne from Warden to Fourstones and beyond before the end of March while chiffchaffs can be heard then singing their simple repeated "tink, tank, tink, tank" song from the tops of bare trees. Both feed on flying insects but with few of these about in a wintry end to the month this year they may not be seen or heard until April when the chiffchaff's close relative the willow warbler flies in from Central Africa. It is almost identical in appearance but can be identified apart by its more tuneful rising and falling song. Another warbler, the blackcap, will also arrive in numbers in April although in very recent years some have become winter visitors which have taken to feeding in neighbourhood gardens where wild bird
seed is on offer. Striking black and white oystercatchers with their bright orange-red bills begin to return upriver earlier, in March, to nest inland after overwintering on the coast but their penetrating "kleeping" was heard at West Boat as early as the 18th of February while a passing pair pottered about among rocks on the water's edge on the South Tyne bank opposite Riverside Cottage on the 26th. Mid-March used to be the time when lapwings returned to nest on the fells above Park Shield but their numbers are in steep decline and their "peewit" and eye-catching spring aerobatics have not been noted there by FW since 2009. But while there have been some sad losses, including the cuckoo which is now often not heard here in spring, there have been some small gains such as the winter blackcaps referred to earlier. The tree sparrow with its brown crown and white half collar is another bird which has suffered a dramatic decline in numbers in recent years but it is encouraging to report that several pairs have taken to feeding at Park Shield over the winters of the last two years. And there was bonus and another FW first in midMarch when a "neat and elegant" marsh tit at the nothernmost extent of its range joined the more familiar great, blue and coal tits to feed among them at Park Shield for a handful of days. The swallows' stay will be much longer after they return as April progresses and their arrival is always impatiently awaited. It is probably safe to say that among the great variety of summer visitors they will be the most welcome of all.
The Journal of Lizzie Thompson In looking through some old papers one of our readers came across a diary written by an aged relation. Unfortunately our correspondent wishes to remain anonymous. Background: Lizzie Thompson was my lovely maternal grandmother. She was the eldest child of Richard and Margaret (nee Murray of Smale) Thompson of Latterford Doors, Wark on Tyne, but was actually born at Sadbury Hill whilst her mother was riding to Smale, to have the baby with her own mother. She eventually had five sisters and two brothers. Her father was the third son of John and Bessie Thompson of The Ash, Wark. The first son had died in infancy and the second son, James, who inherited The Ash, never married, so he and Richard farmed together. As you will read in the journal, Grannie's Uncle James eventually bought all the cottages on North Terrace in Wark, plus some fields.
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The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013
Opening Bank Balance
Income Sponsorship Ticket sales Raffle Tickets Total Income
200.00 1,332.00 325.00 1,857.00
1,500.83 The accounts for the pantomime are set out on the right. We hope you agree that the significantly increased expenditure on staging the event is considered to have really showed up in the appearance of the 1,648.00 show. all look forward to the next 390.00 We performance in two years time. 2,038.00
Newbrough , Fourstones & Warden Pantomime Accounts
Your Local Laundry
Open To Costumes/ Makeup/Props Set Costs Lights & Music Raffle Costs Town Hall Printing Childcare Food/ refreshments Other Total Expenditure Surplus/ (Deficit) Closing Bank Balance
550.49 163.39 130.00 936.00 24.75 20.00 72.70 13.64 1,910.97
722.74 274.95 420.00 30.00 900.00 30.00 130.00 270.61 45.00 2,823.30
He then retired from farming, and taking my grandmother with him as housekeeper, moved into No 1, North Terrace. Richard and family moved to the Ash. After a few years, Grannie met a distant cousin, William Tweddell, whose father farmed Chapel House, Westerhope. He had recently returned from a spell in Alberta, Canada and was expert in breaking in horses. Lizzie and he married in Wark church, and settled down to farm Lobley Hill Farm, Gateshead. Sadly his return to the North East had a detrimental effect on William's always fragile health. The clear air in Canada had been a great helpfor his chronic chestiness and asthma. He wanted to return, but Lizzie could not face being so far away. They compromised on a move to Leyburn in Wensleydale and spent many happy years there with their four children. When in her early 50's, however, Lizzie began to have trouble walking and was soon confined to a wheelchair. Undaunted, she continued to run a busy farmhouse into her seventies at breakneck speed and total efficiency, even carrying hayfield teas out to the fields on the arms of her wheelchair. She died, following a stroke, when I was five, but I still remember what an energetic and wonderful Grannie she was. There is, of course, much more, but that is the bare bones. The Journal of Lizzie Thompson (19.6.1867 – 5.5.1941) “To Lizzie Thompson, from her loving mother 19.6.1883)” 1886 In the year 1886, the North of England was visited by a severe snowstorm, lasting for 3 months. Page 14
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The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013 Snow lying from Christmasst Day 1885 until the 21st of March (this being the 1 day of Spring) when a sharp “fresh” set in. The snow so soon disappearing, caused the rivers and burns to be all flooded. During the snowstorm the roads and railways were all blocked. The road between Latterford and Wark – on –Tyne was blocked up and the village could not be reached from any part until a road was cut out. Nor could anyone reach Gunnerton Pit for three or four days. The railway traffic was also put to a stop, the Wansbeck being blocked for a week or more. The North Eastern was also severely blocked up; the North British Railway was not so bad in some parts, though very large wreaths of snow were blown, one in particular was near Kielder, trains being stopped there for two or three days. On Wednesday 3rd March, the Flying Scotsman and the London Express to Edinburgh had to come by Hexham and Wark on the North British Railway. The road to St. Michael’s Church, Wark was also blocked & could not be reached until a path about half a yard in breadth was cut, it making banks on both sides of the snow. The Rectory was 3 times severely snowed in, and had to be cut out. 1888 February. Northumberland was visited by another severe snowstorm, especially 3 days drifting day and night. The stock on hill farms never tasted feed for a week, it being impossible for food to be kept lying in the blast. Snow lying on the hills quite up to the latter part of April. (To be continued)
Translations From Page 4 1.The Bowdie Hoel was a small opening into a coal house or coal cellar through which the coal merchant put the coal. 2.Bleezer – a sheet, usually of iron, placed in front of a coal fire to “bleeze it up” ie draw it, to make it blaze. 3. Bowdie legged – bow legged 4. Bagey or baygie – field turnips which were fed to cattle and sheep. 5. Braxy – I think this was meat from an animal which had died – not been slaughtered. 6.Caa or Caar – to turn, as to caa the mangl’ (turn the mangle) or, in skipping games to caa the rope 7.Crowdie – a mixture of meal and either milk or water, fed to sheepdogs. Meat was believed to make them savage and attack the sheep. 8. Glar A very thick sticky mud. This last winter many fields would have been “fair glar ‘sel” ( fairly glar itself) It was even claggier than claggy. 9. Claggy – sticky. 10. Paddock – a toad. See Macbeth Act 1 Scene 1. One of the witches has a grey cat “Graymalkin” as her “familiar” another has “paddock”. This word is from the borders. 11. Gowk – a fool. “Ye stupid Gowk”. I have heard that Swedes call the cuckoo a gowk. Gowk was also used for the core of an apple.
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Two English Saints for April This month we have two saints who, in their different ways, were reformers. Stephen Harding (it’s not often we find a saint, particularly an early mediaeval one, with a surname!) the earlier of the two, is thought to have been born in Dorset. After his schooling at Sherborne abbey, he travelled abroad, and entered the monastery at Molesme in Burgundy. With others from that monastery he went to Citeaux in 1098, becoming abbot there in 1108. His first years as abbot there were extremely difficult, and it is possible that the abbey at Citeaux might have come to an untimely end, but the arrival of a group of
young monks helped its revival, supported the reforms which Stephen introduced, and in the eight years up to 1120 enabled the founding of about a dozen Cistercian monasteries, with even more to follow. By 1119 Stephen had drawn up a Charter of Charity which defined the spirit of the Cistercian Abbeys and brought about their unity. We get an indication of Stephen’s character from the high ideals, careful organisation , austerity and simplicity of the Cistercian life. In the twenty five years in which he was abbot, he led Citeaux from being a struggling “lodge in the wilderness” to being head of a great religious order. William of Malmesbury, his fellow-countryman described him as “good-looking, approachable, always cheerful in the Lord – everyone liked him.” He died at Citeaux on 28th
The Stanegate Magazine (95) April 2013 March 1134 and his feast day is celebrated on 17th April. Richard of Chichester was born at Droitwich in 1197. He was therefore known as Richard Wych while he studied at Oxford. He may have studied also at Paris and Bologna before becoming chancellor of his university in 1235. Soon after this he was called to be chancellor to Edmund of Abingdon at Canterbury. When Edmund went into exile in France, Richard went with him, and was ordained priest in France. He returned to England and soon after, in 1244, was elected Bishop of Chichester, but because his election meant the rejection of the King’s candidate, he could not take full possession of his see until 1246. Richard was a reforming bishop. He was merciless in his condemning of the buying and selling of ecclesiastical preferments and of undue patronage of relatives – both of which did occur in church appointments at that time. Richard himself lived simply, was generous, strict with his clergy and happy among the humbler members of his flock. He died in the Maison Dieu at Dover in 1253 a day after consecrating a new church there in honour of his master, St Edmund. Richard’s feast day is 3rd April.
A Prayer of Richard of Chichester Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits you have won for us, for all the pains and insults you have born for us. Most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day.
Jeremy writes: Dear Friends, Has the spring sprung? Or are we in for another cold blast from the North? As I write on the eve before the copy deadline for the Stanegate there is snow on the ground again! I guess that for many people spring is a favoured season. It is a most beautiful time of year. It is a season of potential. A season of new life and new growth. A season where the first warm rays of the new year’s sun can be felt and enjoyed. And yet for all the positives of the spring, these early months of the yea can also be a time of deep numbing cold, icy blasts of wind, and, in more unfortunate years, even death and destruction as the tender new grow is frozen and dies. It is this delicate balance of positive and negative, of potential and failure, of new growth and tragic death that make the spring for me, most like our human condition. No matter how old we are, each of us I would hazard, live in an eternal spring time. Each of us carries a true beauty that contains within it real potential for growth, for new life, for strong, tender beginnings. And yet ...and yet. Sadly there is too
within each of us the potential to make a right royal mess of things and freeze out all that is good and hopeful. Our natural selfishness, or folly, our hardness of heart and stubbornness of will, unchecked, all have the potential to plunge us back into the icy cold of dark winter. Gardeners especially, I think, know this only too well. Unprotected plants can so easily be lost at this time of year. With out the warmth of the sun and protection from the wind tender new shoots swiftly wither and die. And so it is for us too in our spiritual lives. Each of us in our own spring times needs the warmth of the Son. Each of us as we seek to grow and establish the new growth that God wishes for us needs to be protected from the icy wind of self-will. Unlike plants we can choose where we will stand. Unlike plants we can choose, or not, to stand in the light and warmth of Jesus’ love, under the protecting wings of the Holy Spirit, in the warm embrace of our Heavenly Father. It’s still cold out there. The wind still has a chill. The summer hasn’t yet come. We still need to keep warm. May these coming days be for you a time to reflect on where you stand in the springtime of our lives. Are you out in the cold, or are you standing in the bright warm light of the Son. With all my good wishes for the coming month, Jeremy
From the registers Funerals: If we have been united with Christ through baptism into death, we will certainly be united with Him in his resurrection. Valerie Steele WALTON was buried in the churchyard at St Peter’s, Newbrough on 22nd February 2013 after a service in the parish church. A service of thanksgiving for John Selby NORTH LEWIS was held at St Michael and All Angels, Warden on 25th February 2013. We offer our condolences to their families and friends and hold them in our prayers.
FOURSTONES WITH WARDEN METHODIST CHURCH PREACHERS FOR APRIL 7 April - Maureen Chapman 14 April - Rev Marian Olsen 21 April - Ann Worthy 28 April - Valerie Anthony Services at 10.30 am EVERYONE MOST WELCOME
7th April 10am Holy Communion at St. Peter’s Newbrough 14th April 8.30am Parish Communion at St Michael’s Warden 21st April 10am Parish Communion at St Michael’s Warden 28th April 8.30am Holy Communion at St. Peter’s Newbrough If you have any doubts about times or places of services please see the church notice boards or contact the VICAR. (01434 600268) Whilst these times and venues are correct at the time of going to press, would-be worshippers are advised to check against the times published on a week to week basis in the leaflets available in church Printed by Haltwhistle Methodist Church Printing Production Team