Welcome to the tenth Bugle of the Covid-19 pandemic, reporting news and views relating to life in Bowsden and
district in these more optimistic days of early Autumn. After a very mixed Summer with extremes ranging from
moorland wildfires to floods at home and abroad, the reality of climate change cannot be denied. We can all do
something to mitigate its effects and almost everything can help, no matter how small or insignificant it seems.
Even trivial things like switching off one’s engine when waiting at road works will help if we all do it.
We have had mixed messages from Government and its advisers but the underlying theme is that Covid in all its
variants will be with us for the long haul. It is said by some that before long we will regard Covid as no more of
a threat than the common cold but whilst we are still recording thousands of new cases each day and many of which
result in death (the rolling average number of UK daily deaths was 131.4 on 28th September) we surely must continue
to take precautions to minimise transmission.
Our Village Hall like many others has been closed since the start of the pandemic some 18 months ago but its
Management Committee has been looking at ways to begin at least a partial return to what we had before. Taking
advice from ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) and looking over our shoulder to our neighbours
in the Village Halls in both Ancroft and Lowick, we cancelled plans for a Grand Re-opening in Bowsden and opted
for a gradual low key approach. The various village organisations have co-operated fully and what we achieved
in the first month is described in more detail in the following paragraphs. We now have guidance for users of the
Hall which is based on our own assessment of risk. We ask all users to
check in and make use of the hand sanitisers, wearing masks until seated. Food and drink will be served at the
tables and only serving staff will be allowed in the kitchen. Tables and chairs should be left out for cleaning before
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 firstname.lastname@example.org) by 24th November for inclusion in the December issue. n.b.
whenever Berwick telephone numbers are quoted, the 01289 prefix will be omitted.
Bowsden Village Hall was closed along with others all over the country at the beginning of the first
Covid restrictions over eighteen months ago. We are delighted to report that the Management Committee has
now begun a phased re-opening of the Hall First to test customer reactions to the new arrangements was the
Ladies Keep Fit Group which met on August 3rd with all the recommended precautions in place for its weekly
meetings. Numbers were restricted to maintain social distancing for the first few weeks but entry will be open
to all from Tuesday October 5th at 10 a.m. Entrance fee £2, more information from Eileen Wilson (tel 388 543).
Next to return was the popular Soup & Sandwich Lunch organised by Bell View Services of Belford on
Wednesday 18th August. Again, changes were made to reflect Covid precautions but diners were delighted with
the result and further dates have been agreed (monthly on third Wednesdays at 12 p.m from September to
December), more information from Jane Field at Bell View (tel 01668 219220). Suggested donation £5 per head.
The first Coffee Morning was hosted by the Sim family on Saturday 4th September and attended by 25 residents.
The new arrangements worked well and will be followed for the October 2nd event (to be organised by Jet Simpson
tel 388 871) and hopefully regular Coffee Mornings will follow on the first Saturday every month. Entrance £2.50.
The Bowsden History Group began its Autumn programme on Monday 6th September with a splendid talk by
Bowsden resident Mike Simpson on Charles, the second Earl Grey (of Grey’s Monument in Newcastle). According
to the words cut into the stone plaque on the Monument, Grey was a constant advocate of peace, a champion of
civil and religious liberties and a campaigner for Parliamentary reform. Refreshments were served afterwards to
the near capacity audience which had been booked in by e-mail to avoid overcrowding.
Although History Group meetings are usually held on the first Monday of the month, serendipitous holiday bookings
made Dr Peter Tullett available to speak on Monday 20th September. Combining his discipline of Astrophysics
with his interest in archaeology, he attempted to show the audience how cup and ring marks were really derived
from early astronomical observations.
Due to the indisposition of the speaker, the advertised October meeting of the Bowsden History Group has been
postponed until the Spring. The next talk on Monday November 1st has been prepared by another Bowsden
resident Julie Gibbs and has the intriguing title of “Bowsden’s Curers of Madness and the Levelling of Bowsden
School”. Based on material taken from Berwick Archives, Julie’s talk will include several references to some of
the more dramatic aspects of 19th century Bowsden life. For more information contact Nick Jones
(email@example.com or 07889 509324)
Bowsden Needlework Group met on Tuesday 21st September at 1.30 p.m. and will meet weekly until further
notice. For more information contact Kathleen Glen (388 295)
The Bowsden Bowlers unrolled their new carpets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday 21st September but sadly only five players
turned up. All are welcome to come along to the weekly meetings, both beginners and experienced players.alike.
Entrance £2.50 including refreshments. For more details contact Norma Wilson (309 250)
Bowsden Photography Club met for the first time at 6.45 p.m. on Thursday 23rd September and will be meeting
monthly hereafter, the next meetings being 21st October and 25th November. Details from Derek Snee (388 969)
Plans are being made to hold our first Pub Night since March 2020. We are hoping that The Bowsden Arms
will reopen at 6,30 p.m. on Friday 15th October with its usual selection of beers, wines and spirits. It is planned
to display the refurbished signs from the Bowsden Black Bull which were rescued by Nick Jones from the skip when
the former pub was demolished. The two signs were cannibalised by carpenter Eddie Olah from Cornhill who has
made one superb sign from pieces of each. We are hoping that the new sign might be displayed in the Hall as a
reminder of what we have lost.
Bowsden Parish Council will hold its next meeting on Monday October 11th at 7 p.m. in the Village
Hall with Councillor Jayne Watson in the Chair. The former Chairman, Councillor Ian Jackson has resigned the
Chair but will continue as a Councillor as will Councillor Graeme Reavely. Chris Betts and Dominic Elsworth will
be welcomed as newly co-opted Councillors. As always, Parish Council meetings are open to the public who will
be able to raise any issues which are causing them concern.
Since the last meeting, the former Parish Clerk Michael Simpson has completed his handover to replacement Sue
Sim and we wish her every success in her new role. Sue can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
Lowick Parish Church news this time has a harvest theme which it shares with its sister parishes in
Ancroft, Ford & Etal and Lowick with Kyloe. St Anne’s Ancroft held its Harvest Festival Service on Sunday 19th
July at 5 p.m. in Ancroft Village Hall followed by a Pie & Pea supper. A collection of produce was entertainingly
auctioned by James Curl and the proceeds were sent to the Foodbanks in Berwick and Wooler.
For Lowick we can read what our Vicar, the Revd. Charlotte Osborn, has written for us: It is with great
thankfulness on a number of levels that we can all sing that “all is safely gathered in” and you can do that in the
Harvest Thanksgiving Service in St John the Baptist church at 9.15 a.m..on Sunday 10th October when I am hoping
to interview a local farmer about what harvest time means for him. Or (and!) you can join us jn Lowick Village Hall
at 7 p.m. on Friday 8th October for the village Harvest Supper.
Remember to bring your own drinks and glasses and call Sheila Bell on 388 252 to alert her to the number in your
party (or you may go hungry !) There will be live music too in the form of Northumbrian pipes and we very mch
hope to fill the Hall with the happy sound of feasting. Tickets £5 at the door. If these dates don’t work for you,
then you can come to Ford Church at 6 p.m. on Friday 22nd October where we will be joined by children from Ford School
who will sing some harvest songs as part of the service and again, I hope to interview not one but two local farmers.
This will be followed by the Harvest Supper in Lady Waterford Hall from 7 p.m., tickets £5 for adults and again, bring
your own drinks. Tickets are available from Ford and Etal village shops and numbers are limited.
If you would like to bring a display or fresh produce to decorate either church, please do so on the day before the
service (Saturday 9th for Lowick or Thursday 21st at Ford). If you wish to donate cans or packets for the Foodbanks
at Berwick or Wooler, please bring them to either service.” From Revd.Charlotte Osborn, Priest in Charge of Ford &
Etal, Lowick with Kyloe and Ancroft parishes.
All Souls Day (more correctly known as the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed) will be celebrated in Ford
church this year on Tuesday November 2nd at 12 noon. We will have the opportunity to remember those we have
loved but no longer see and express through hymns, readings and prayers the continuing bonds that survive death.
The lighting of candles is a visible reminder of our love and all will be welcome to share their memories. Please
let Revd Charlotte Osborn know if you would like a name to be read out.
Finally, three more dates for your diary: Soup Saturdays in Lowick Village Hall from12 noon on 16th October and
in Ancroft Village Hall on 23rd October and because there are five Sundays in the month we have a combined
service in Lowick Church when we join congregations with Ancroft and Ford at 10 a.m.on Sunday 31st October.
The guest preacher at this service will be The Very Reverend Geoff Miller, Dean of Newcastle Cathedral
Glendale Gateway Trust have announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive, Karen Froggatt
who will replace Tom Johnston who has retired. Karen has come from York where she was CEO of My Sight, a
charity established to help blind and partially-sighted people.
The new Garden Club had its first meeting at the beginning of September and it was great to have a
catch-up with everyone and discuss some ideas for the Group. One idea was to have a stall at a Coffee Morning
where plants and produce could be sold. If anyone has ideas about what else could be sold, Claire would be
delighted to hear from them. She now has an enormous number of plants to go in this autumn and winter and is
using the cardboard sheets to weaken the grass before planting. Thanks to everyone who has given cardboard
to her, it is much appreciated. Finally there is a use for those windfall apples that would normally be put in the
bin, they can be picked up and turned into vinegar or even composted. Contact her at Claire.email@example.com
One of the (many) problems of living in a tourist area is the scarcity of low cost housing either to rent
or to buy. Desirable cottages are snapped up, often without ever being advertised and more and more young
people are leaving the area. Northumberland County Council has been aware of the problem and recently
announced plans to tackle the issue. Plans are already in place to deliver nearly 200 affordable homes in places
like Amble, Ellington, Embleton and Wooler. 123 new units have been proposed for Bellingham, Blyth,
Cramlington, New Hartley and Rothbury.and other sites under review could add another 300.
Yet another voice is now added to the debate, Bernicia Housing who have proposed building a mixture of 2, 3 and
4 bedroom properties at Seton Hall (behind the Fire Station). The proposal was welcomed by County Councillor
Georgina Hill who said there was an unsatisfied demand for larger social housing units. Parking is another issue,
particularly in some of the prettier villages and especially when farmers need access for large machinery.
Sometimes farmers can offer the solution as we saw when we lived in Sedbergh. An enterprising farmer opened a
field as a temporary park for the Travellers attending the Appleby Horse Fair and at a stroke removed the problem
of parking caravans, cars trucks and horses on the verges where inevitably several caused an obstruction.
Pressure on parking spaces in Berwick is to be relieved somewhat as NCC have given permission for 68 more
spaces on Berwick Quayside (including 6 disabled bays). Work has already started and is expected to last some
The new Personal Protective Equipment factory at Seaton Delaval which was opened by
the Prime Minister during one of his recent visits to the North East has announced a merger with the Queen
Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead which will deliver PPE to that hospital as well as to Northumbria Healthcare
locations including Cramlington, North Tyneside, Hexham and Wansbeck Hospitals.
The New MRI Scanner at Hexham General Hospital was officially opened recently by
Hexham MP Guy Opperman, the official opening having been delayed due to the pandemic. The scanner is a joint
venture with Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust and In Health, a specialist diagnostic equipment provider.
The Hexham Radiology team is now dealing with 300 patients every month in this dedicated unit. There are now
four state of the art MRI scanners in Northumbria hospitals, the others being at Cramlington, North Tyneside and
Daily Postal Collections are still being made from our two Royal Mail letter boxes in Bowsden but
both are now made in the morning, Mondays to Fridays at 0900 with a Saturday collection at 0700. The nearest
Post Offices are at Etal (Lavender Tearooms) and Ford Village Shop.
Farewell to Lowick Village Store as Ritchie, Karen and Kirsten Blake prepare to leave at the end
of September and we wish them well in their new lives at Bowsden Moor. We thank them for their several
contributions to the life of our community. It is strange not to have a smooth handover to another shopkeeper as
we did when the Blakes took over from Lyndsay and we had a seamless transition with ongoing deliveries of
newspapers etc being maintained. Obviously there were changes with the new owners but the shop was kept
open and even continued to sell a different version of Border Tart ! Now, the future is uncertain and most of us
who still have a daily paper have arranged to collect from Ford Village Shop starting from Monday 27th September.
It is to be hoped that someone will come along to re-open a village shop in Lowick to provide what we all believe
to be essential component of village life but the omens are not encouraging.
Poppies and Remembrance as we approach November we are all reminded of November 11th 1918,
the Armistice that ended “The War to end Wars”. Sadly despite the good intentions of many well-intentioned
people, the Versailles Treaty that formalised the post-war settlement proved to be the catalyst not only for the rise
of Hitler and his Nazi party but also for most of the troubles that have since beset the Middle East and the Balkans.
2021 is the Centenary of the founding of the British Legion which has traditionally looked after the families of the
servicemen and women of our armed forces. The Poppy Day appeal symbolises Remembrance of the fallen but
also Hope for the future. All monies collected in the Appeal go to families of those who lost their lives in all wars
as well as helping whose wounded to rebuild.
Over the years the familiar Red Poppy has seen a number of variations and has been adopted in Australia,
Canada, New Zealand and the USA. A White Poppy was produced in the 1920s by the Peace Pledge Union and
more recently a Black Poppy to remember those lost from Africa and the Caribbean countries. A Purple Poppy
is becoming more popular as more people realise the enormous losses of horses, donkeys and pigeons in the
Wars, particularly on the Western Front in the First World War. When this began in addition to calling for
volunteers to join the armed forces, recruiting officers were sent into the countryside to find horses, many being
taken from farms without thinking too much about their suitability for the tasks ahead. Others were recruited from
Ireland, many more were brought from the USA and some were brought with their riders from Australia.
Toby’s Tailpiece (a dog’s eye view of the world) is written by us, Leo and Freya, two
Dalmatians who live with Eileen and Harry Wilson here in Bowsden. This month we must dwell on a sour note,
even here in our village we are beginning to see more evidence of uncollected dog-poo, the ultimate indignity for
us being the neat pile left on the pavement beside our front gate. Neighbours tell us that they too are having the
mess even though there is no dog in the family.
The County Council has helped before when they agreed to collect bagged dog poo in domestic black waste bins
(so no-one has the excuse of not being near a waste bin). The NCC has recently revived the Green Dog Walkers
scheme in which residents can sign a pledge to always pick up poo when walking their dog but perhaps more
controversially, to confront anyone they see not picking up. Green Dog Walkers were issued with arm bands and
are able to collect a free supply of green poo bags from their local libraries. More information is available from
Finally we must tell you about a bravery award for Stark, a young Birmingham police dog who refused to release
his grip on an intruder despite being struck more than 20 times with a machete last November. Stark is a cross
between a German Shepherd and a Malinois (Belgian Shepherd) and we are delighted to hear that he has now
made a full recovery from his wounds. He has since received a Thin Blue Paw bravery award.