Welcome to the twelth Bugle of the Covid-19 pandemic, reporting news and views relating to life in Bowsden and
district in these winter days at the beginning of the New Year. As the December Bugle was going to press, Storm
Arwen struck the UK and we in the North East of England were hit particularly hard with winds of over 100 mph
being recorded on the Northumberland coast at Boulmer. Almost all parts of our County suffered damage as
buildings lost roofs, sheds and fences were destroyed and many trees were uprooted. Electric power supplies
were interrupted and some were not reconnected for 10 days or more (even in some small towns like Wooler).
The legacy of the storm is still with us and any local journey will pass hundreds of broken and uprooted trees,
many in woodlands which will require felling to clear the damage before replanting.
Since the December Bugle, the Omicron variant of the Covid virus has spread rapidly throughout the Country and
now in late January Northumberland has more cases than any other county. Fortunately despite being more
contagious than other variants, Omicron cases seem to require fewer admissions to hospital and, as I write, total
numbers of cases are falling in Northumberland and the rest of the country.
The Government has now announced the relaxation of most of the requirements of Covid Plan B from 27th January,
possibly the most important of which is the legal requirement to wear face coverings in a number of defined areas.
However the Government suggests that face coverings should continue to be worn in crowded or enclosed spaces
where one may come into contact with other people not normally met.
Clearly Covid 19 remains a risk and will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future. We will need to learn
to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others, recognising those situations where the risks of infection
and transmission are likely to be higher and taking appropriate action.
Published by the Editor every two months, the Bugle is an independent news-sheet seeking to inform its readers
and reflect their opinions. Contributions from readers are always welcome and should be sent to the Editor (phone
01289 388 543 or e-mail email@example.com) by 25th March for inclusion in the April issue. (n.b. whenever
Berwick telephone numbers are quoted in this paper, the 01289 prefix will be omitted).
Bowsden Village Hall like many others had been closed since the start of the pandemic nearly two years
ago but is now getting back to normal. All the original group activities have now re-started and meetings have
been arranged for the weekly Ladies Keep Fit class (Tuesdays at 10 a.m., more information from Eileen Wilson
388 543), Ladies Needlework Group (Tuesdays at 1.30 p.m., details from Kathleen Glen 388 295) and Carpet
Bowls (Tuesdays at 7 p.m..details from Norma Wilson 309 250).
The next monthly History Group meeting will be on Monday 7th February at 7.30 p.m.and will feature local poet
and author Noel Hodgson speaking about Northumberland as the source of his inspiration. Booking is essential,
admission £2 from Nick Jones (07889 509324 or firstname.lastname@example.org). The following meeting will be on
Monday 7th March when Joe Lang will speak about Berwick Barracks, the first purpose-built barracks in the UK
The next meetings of the Camera Club will be on Thursday February 24th and Thursday 24th March at 7 p.m in
the Village Hall (more information from Derek Snee on 388 969)
The Bowsden Ladies Group usually meets monthly at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday, the next meetings being on
17th February (Revd Margaret Sentamu) and 17th March (Claire Smith) details from Denise Hodgson on 388 684.
Coffee Mornings in Café Bowsden are arranged from 10 a.m on the first Saturday of the month, the next ones
being organised by Jet Simpson (388 871) on 5th February and by Suzy Smith (783 058) on 5th March.
The Bowsden Arms will be open from 6.30 p.m. in the Village Hall every third Friday. The January event held a
splendid surprise for those customers who forsook their firesides to brave the freezing cold. It being only a few
days before Burns Night (January 25th ), we were treated to plates of haggis, neeps and tatties with a delicious
whisky sauce. Our collective compliments to the chef ! We can’t promise haggis every time but it would be well
worth investigating what is on offer at future Bowsden Pub Nights (February 18th and March 18th). Contact John
Sim (388 449) for more information.
Bowsden Parish Council held its first meeting of 2022 on Thursday January 27th at 7 p.m. in the
Village Hall with Councillor Jayne Watson in the Chair. Councillors Ian Jackson, Graeme Reavely and Dominic
Elsworth were present as was Parish Clerk Sue Sim and 6 members of the public. Business included the Parish
Precept for 2022, the grant to the Village Hall (awaiting request from BVH Committee), arrangements for
celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (to be coordinated with Lowick PC and BVH) and lessons learned from
storm Arwen (loss of communications when power supplies were interrupted). The ongoing risk assessment for
Bowsden Park would be carried out next month by Councillor Elsworth Questions from the public related to the
loss of the Royal Mail letter box beside the former Black Bull inn and recent shooting near the Park.
Draft minutes of the meeting will be published on the Village Notice Board and the date ot the next meeting was
agreed as Thursday 31st March 2022 at 7 p.m in the Village Hall. Parish Clerk Sue Sim can be contacted via
Bowsden now has only one Letter Box, Royal Mail having recently removed the pedestal box which was situated on
public land beside the former Black Bull Inn. The circumstances of the removal are unclear but Royal Mail did
inform the County Council prior to its removal. What has saddened many residents was the lack of consultation
about the continuation of Bowsden collections. Our remaining box is situated in the front wall of Bob and Mary’s
house on the main street opposite bungalows Banktop and Beechburn. This of course relates to the time when the
house was the Bowsden Post Office.
Parcel Collections by Royal Mail are now being advertised as a new service. One can buy postage without leaving
the house, book a collection and wait for the postman to call to pick up the package. Full details are available
News from the Parish Churches in Lowick, Ford & Etal and Ancroft where we now seem to have a regular pattern
of Sunday services. Holy Communion will be celebrated weekly at Lowick (0915) and Etal (1100) with an additional
service every fortnight at Ancroft (1100). In addition, when there are five Sundays in the month (as there are in
January 30th and in two other months this year) there will be a joint service at 10 a.m. in one of the three Parishes
(the January 2022 service will be at Ford church and the preacher will be the Rt Revd Mark Wroe, Bishop of Berwick
and acting Bishop of Newcastle.
There will be a Candlemas Celebration on Tuesday 2nd February at 6 p.m. in Lowick church with wine, nibbles
and a Candlemas Quiz followed by a short service. Candlemas reminds us of the time when Jesus was brought
to the Temple by Mary and Joseph to be consecrated and offered back to God. Traditionally Christians brought
candles to their local church to be blessed and then used at home for the rest of the year.
During the services on Sunday 6th February the Revd Charlotte Osborn will give thanks for the Accession of
Queen Elizabeth II, now in the 70th year of her reign following the death of her father King George VI.
March sees the beginning of Lent and an opportunity to reset our lives as we build on the simpler ways which we
discovered during Lockdown. Tuesday March 1st is Shrove Tuesday when everyone is invited to Pancakes at
the Vicarage between 6 and 7 p.m. and next day is Ash Wednesday with Holy Communion at 9.30 a.m. in Lowick
and 7 p.m. in Etal. Sunday 27th March is Mothering Sunday with services at Lowick, Ancroft and Etal as usual.
A Good Samaritan has been at work in Bowsden to repair damage to one of the roadside flower planters which
was almost destroyed by an unknown heavy vehicle. Ken and Bobbie Minshull noticed the damage whilst
driving past and volunteered to repair the planter and clear up.the debris. Thank you both.
Soup & Sandwich Lunches in Bowsden Village Hall are provided by Bell View Services of Belford from
12 noon on the third Wednesday every month All are welcome to attend and enjoy home-made soup,
a choice of filled roll, tea or coffee and cake for £5. The next dates are 16th February and 16th March. More
information from Jane Field (01668 219220)
A new Name for a thriving Bowsden Club, now to be known as the Bowsden Gardening Group.Claire Smith
has written to tell Bugle readers that the Plant and Seed Sharing Group has expanded its interests
to include all aspects of Gardening. Claire asks anyone who would like to join or have any suggestions
to get in touch at Claire.email@example.com Future Club events for your diary include a Seed Swap in the
Hall during the Coffee Morning from 10 -12 noon on Saturday March 5th . Do come and have a browse and bring any
seeds you’d like to swap. Full or half packets or home-saved seed may be swapped and we hope to have varieties for
all kinds of plants. Don’t worry if you have no seeds to swap as it’s still possible to take some by leaving a small
donation. Another Club event is a Plant Sale at the Coffee Morning on the 7th of May. If the weather is good, we will
set upthe tables outside and we hope to be selling a selection of flowers and vegetables, all grown locally.
Local Firm Exports Horse Bedding to 18 countries thanks to support from experts in the Department
for International Trade. The recent UK free trade agreement with Japan has provided a real boost
to Bedmax Shavings Ltd based in Detchant, near Belford. Managing Director Tim Smalley first began to use DIT
for help to attend international trade fairs such as the Asian Racing Conference. Now some 20% of Bedmax
business is exports to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Japanese customers are now taking an average of one
container a week, business certainly helped by Bedmax being chosen as suppliers of horse bedding to the Tokyo
New Rules for all Road Users will come into force on 29th January 2022 but many drivers are unaware of the changes
to the Highway Code. Full details can be downloaded from the Government web site GOV. UK but the printed version of
the new booklet will not be available from bookshops until April. The changes have been widely consulted since September
and generally welcomed, in particular by the British Horse Society. The changes reflect a new hierarchy of road users
with motorists being responsible for giving due consideration to the needs of other road users including cyclists, horse
riders and horse-drawn vehicles as well as pedestrians. Detailed guidance is given on priorities at road junctions,
crossings and roundabouts, in particular when leaving a roundabout when a slower vehicle is continuing round in the left
hand lane. Other changes include detailed guidance on overtaking cyclists and horses (allow at least 1.5m space when
passing) and it now seems in order to overtake a vehicle on a double continuous white line provided that the
overtaken vehicle is travelling at no more than 10 mph. Perhaps the most controversial changes are to encourage
cyclists to ride in pairs when in a group and to ride in the centre of their lane when riding singly.
When leaving a parked vehicle, drivers are encouraged to use a manoevre known as the Dutch Reach to open
the vehicle door. Opening the driver’s door with the left hand forces drivers to look over their shoulder and be
less likely to open the door into the path of an overtaking cyclist.
The final section covers advice to drivers of electric vehicles who have to use public charging points and who are
urged to consider other road users and avoid creating trip hazards with the cables.
Another date for re-starting construction of Berwick Hospital has been confirmed by Marion Dickson, Northumbria
Healthcare Foundation Trust’s Executive Director of Nursing and Project Leader for the work which has been delayed
due to an on-site archaeology project being given priority. Demolition is now going well and is expected to be
finished in time for new construction to begin in the Spring. In-patients who had been temporarily rehoused in other
Trust hospitals have now returned.
A Breach of Human Writes is alleged as the Supreme Court has decided to publish its judgements in Calibri rather than
Times New Roman. Calibri was introduced by Microsoft in 2007 when it was introduced with that year’s version of Microsoft
Office. Times New Roman was commissioned by The Times in 1931 and was designed by Stanley Morrison. Readers will note
that one of the last two sentences is printed in Calibri and the other in Times New Roman. As one might expect, the
change of font has split the legal profession. Joshua Rosenberg Q.C. believes Time New Roman is easier to read but other
barristers are enthusiastic for change.
Bingo ! Not heard in the Village Hall for some time, the familiar cry will echo around the walls when someone
collects enough numbers for a full house at the Bowsden Prize Bingo on Saturday February 12th. Doors will
open at 6.30 pm and bingo starts at 7 pm. It will be a fun evening for the family and refreshments will be available.
A Culture and Creative Zone for Berwick could happen if plans come to fruition to develop the North East
as a supportive and attractive environment for people and businesses working in the arts.
Our County Council is planning to set up three CCZs in the region, one of which will be in Berwick-on-Tweed.
Berwick is a town boasting many talented people and successful creative businesses for visual arts, crafts and
design to illustrators, performers, musicians and authors. The town also offers a well-established Autumn festival
calendar including literature, film and media arts. The NCC wants people from Berwick and Northumberland’s
creative and cultural industries to help shape plans for the CCZ.
Initial ideas about the CCZ includes provision of affordable creative workspace, business support to enable early
career artists and businesses to grow, developing skills through education and training, raising the profile of
Berwick’s cultural and creative industries and engaging people and communities to grow audiences locally.
NCC would like feedback on these plans through a short on-line questionnaire which should be completed by 5pm
on Wednesday 2nd February. Please complete and return to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BerwickCCZCQ!
How Difficult is it to see_your GP ? Some people have found it difficult to see their GP in a face to face
appointment since the start of Covid and the necessary changes which were put in place In GP practices
all over the country. During this time there has been a rapid increase in the number of telephone and
video consultations. The Northumberland CCG which is responsible for the provision of GP and other services
would like to hear patient’s views on how the service is performing. The Medical Director Dr Robin Hudson will be
receiving responses to the survey. It is his intention that GPs and their staff will always be available when need
arises. The survey is available on line at https://survey.alchemer.eu/s3/90319559/Access and is running until
Friday February 25th. Paper copies are also available( e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01670 333157)
A new service for Bowsden and district is our very own Xmas tree recycling plant based on the eating habits
of the Angora goats at Whistlebare. Even collecting the trees leaves no carbon footprint as they are picked
up by pony and trap by Alice (07775 501 068).
Please help our Fourum friends who are asking for used inks and toners to be left at the shops at Etal
or Ford for recycling. An almost unbelievable amount (£659) was collected for the Fourum, enough to cover
the costs of printing five editions.
Toby’s Tailpiece (a dog’s eye view of the world) is written by us, Leo and Freya, twoDalmatians who live
with Eileen and Harry Wilson here in Bowsden. One sad story (but with a happy ending) that was reported
in The Times recently was about Hugo, a Staffordshire bull terrier whose festive overindulgence
nearly killed him. When his owner was out, Hugo demolished six packets of foil-wrapped chocolate coins, a treat
for humans but lethal for dogs. His owner rushed him to a local branch of the PDSA (a charity which runs 48 pet
hospitals around the UK) where a vet removed the remains of the chocolates and foil from his stomach. Happily
after intensive nursing care Hugo was able to go home.
We have written many times about irresponsible owners who allow their dogs to run free and don’t clear up the
resulting mess but sometimes this is not always negligence or wilful damage. Unless dogs are always walked on
a short lead it isn’t always possible to see what they are doing. However recent TV and press reports covered
the dreadful experience of a New Forest farmer whose 38 pregnant cattle aborted 18 calves after grazing on
common land. Investigation showed the likely cause to be Neosperosa, a parasite carried in dog faeces.
Finally there is great excitement in our house as we hear there is a new kid on the block. Angus is a small black
Scottie cross Westie puppy who has moved in next door. We haven’t met him yet because he hasn’t had all his
vaccinations. We are looking forward to chasing him around the garden soon.