Welcome to the eleventh Bugle of the Covid-19 pandemic, reporting news and views relating to life in Bowsden
and district in these late Autumn days of 2021. After a very mixed year with extremes of weather manifesting
themselves differently in many parts of the country, few can deny that some form of climate change is now with
us. The recent COP 26 conference has highlighted what needs to be done to halt or even reverse the changes
but nations have very different priorities for action.Not only do nations take different views about what is
needed but our local authorities too have different approaches to reducing their carbon footprint. We are fortunate
that Northumberland County Council seems ahead of the game and has produced a useful summary of COP 26 day by day
and has related this to what NCC is currently doing (see NCC’s Climate Change Newsletter for November). Your Editor
is particularly interested in projects to examine district heating schemes in several locations including Berwick,
Alnwick and Morpeth. Another exciting project is looking at the use of waste warm water from a disused coal mine
(Bates Colliery near Blyth) where water would be used to heat a new residential estate.
On Covid, we have had mixed messages from Government and its advisers but the underlying theme is that this
virus in all its variants will be with us for the long haul. In this country we are still recording thousands of new
cases each day and some of these will result in death (the rolling average number of UK daily deaths related to
Covid was 146.6 on 18th November) and we should continue to take precautions to minimise transmission. This
policy has been reinforced recently by a study of global experience reported later in this Bugle.
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 26th January for inclusion in the February issue. n.b. whenever
Berwick telephone numbers are quoted, 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 slowly getting back to more normal activities. However despite the misgivings of some, we are
still asking all users to sign in, make use of the hand sanitisers and wear masks until seated. Food and drink
will be served at the tables which are more spaced out and only serving staff will be allowed in the kitchen.
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, beginning at 10 am. Entrance fee £2,
more information from Eileen Wilson (tel 388 543).
Next to return was the popular monthly Soup & Sandwich Lunch organised by Bell View Services of Belford on
Wednesday 18th August and repeated every third Wednesday at 12 p.m, the next one being 15th December. More
details from Jane Field at Bell View (01668 219220). Suggested donation £5 per head.
Our first BVH post Covid Coffee Morning was hosted by the Sim family on Saturday 4th September and attended
by 25 residents. The new arrangements worked well and were followed in October and November by events
organised by Jet Simpson and Suzy Smith. The next Coffee Morning will be held on Saturday December 4th
and will be organised again by the Sims. This time there will also be a display of craft hobbies made by Bowsden
residents and organised by Corinne Briggs (email@example.com )
The Bowsden History Group began its Autumn programme in September with two talks which were described
in the October Bugle. The talk in November was prepared by Bowsden resident Julie Gibbs using early 19th
century Bowsden material from Berwick Archives and was narrated by Harry Wilson.
The next meeting entitled A Sideways Look at Edinburgh’s Waverley Railway Station will be led on December 6th
by Nick Jones and is best described as a story, a quiz and seasonal refreshment. There will be no meeting in
January. More information from Nick Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org or 07889 509324)
Bowsden Needlework Group met on 21st September and meets weekly thereafter on Tuesdays at 1.30 pm. until
14th December when members take a break until 11th January 2022. For more information contact Kathleen
Glen (388 295)
The Bowsden Bowlers unrolled their new carpets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday 21st September. Both beginners and
more experienced players are welcome to come along to the weekly meetings. The last meeting of 2021 will be
on 14th December and bowls will be restarting on 11th January 2022. Entrance costs £2.50 including refreshments.
For more details contact Norma Wilson (309 250)
Bowsden Camera Club met for the first time at 6.45 p.m. on Thursday 23rd September and has met monthly
thereafter. The next meeting will be on 27th January 2022. More information from Derek Snee (388 969)
Bowsden Ladies Group usually meets monthly at 7 pm. on the third Thursday but the December meeting will be
the Annual Lunch at the Black Bull Inn, Etal at 12.30 pm. on Thursday 2nd December. The January meeting will
be on Thursday 20th, at 7 pm. More information from Denise Hodgson (388 684)
We are delighted to report that The Bowsden Arms re-opened on Friday 19th November as the first Pub Night
since Lockdown. The usual selection of beers, wines and spirits was on sale together with draught ale supplied by
Cheviot Brewery of Slainsfield (near Etal). The next Pub Night will be held on Friday 17th December with doors
open at 6.30 pm..
Bowsden Parish Council held its first meeting of the new year 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 is continuing as a Councillor as is Councillor Graeme Reavely. Chris Betts and Dominic
Elsworth were 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 Sue Sim and wewish her every success in her new role.
Sue can be contacted via email@example.com
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. However Royal Mail
has applied for planning approval to remove the pedestal box beside the former Black Bull and its future is
uncertain, Until such approval has been given, mail will still be collected from both letter boxes.
The nearest Post Offices are at Etal (Lavender Tearooms) and Ford Village Shop. when driving but Asda at
Tweedmouth would be more convenient if using the bus. There is however a Mobile Post Office which calls into
the White Swan Pub car park in Lowick on Mondays 9-10.30 am, Tuesdays 11-12.30, Wednesdays 11.30-12.45.
and Fridays 10.30-11.30. There is no service on a Thursday.
The Effectiveness of Covid Precautions was confirmed in a new global study reported in the British Medical Journal.
Researchers at Monash University (Australia) working with colleagues in the University of Edinburgh analysed evidence
from more than 30 countries. This showed a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of corona virus
infection associated with the wearing of masks of 53 %. and a 25% reduction when the effect of physical distancing
was studied. Handwashing too seemed effective but these data were based on too few studies to be significant.
However it is clear that mandatory wearing of masks in some situations can greatly reduce the numbers of infections
in exposed populations.
In England the legal requirement to wear a mask ended in July (apart from hospital settings and care homes). In
Wales masks are legally required on public transport and in all indoor public areas apart from pubs and restaurants.
In Scotland masks must still be worn in shops and on public transport and when standing in pubs and restaurants.
The effect of such changes in legal requirements can often be seen in Border areas when for example a shopping
trip by bus takes in both Berwick and Kelso.
Jobs Boost for Northumberland firm which has landed £10 million NHS contract to digitalise patient records and create
up to 70 new jobs. Cleardata UK Ltd is based in Blyth and it will be converting more than 1.2 million traditional paper
records into digital versions over a 3-year period. When complete, clinicians will be able to access records across
the Northumbria sites and share information. Scanned documents can be viewed using a next generation electronic document
News from the Parish Churches at Ford & Etal and Lowick with and Ancroft whose Church
Councils have just published a schedule of services for Advent Sunday (November 28th) together with those in
December and January 2022. Please note that apart from the Carols at Ford Church on Sunday December 19th
all other Ford Services during the Winter will be held in Etal Church.
Special services will be held in:
Etal (Advent Sunday Carols at 6 pm on 28th November )
Ancroft (Carols at 6 pm on December 16)
Ford (Nine Lessons and Carols at 5 pm. on Sunday 19th December)
Lowick (Christingle at 6 pm on 24th December),
Etal (Midnight Communion at 11.30 pm. on 24th December),
Lowick (Christmas Day Holy Communion at 9 am),
Etal (Christmas Day Family Carols and Readings at 10.30 am)
Etal (Holy Communion for all three Parishes at 10 am on Sunday 2nd January)
Ancroft (Epiphany Carols at 4 pm. on Sunday 9th January )
Etal (Joint Service with the Bishop of Berwick, Rt Revd Mark Wroe at 10 am Sunday 30th
More information from Revd Charlotte Osborn, Lowick Vicarage, 388 591 firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s note ……We cannot miss this opportunity to welcome Charlotte and Leo who are now living in Lowick
Vicarage and thus maybe can be regarded as now properly installed in our three parishes. May everything be
for them as they would wish.
Good News for Patients was reported recently in The Berwick Advertiser when it looked at how
the new hospital was progessing. In-patients are now back on the ward, having been housed temporarily in other
NHS hospitals and in the La Cura care home in Berwick. Oncology and some ambulatory care services were also
relocated temporarily but are expected to return in the next few weeks. Some departments including the Minor
Injuries Unit, Physiotherapy and Maternity have remained at Berwick through the project.
Marion Dickson (an Executive Director of Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust who is project lead for the
new hospital) thanked the patients and staff for their understanding and for minimising the inevitable disturbance
during the building works. “The safety of patients is always our primary concern and we reluctantly had to make
the decision to close the ward for a time”
Meanwhile the archaeological dig on the infirmary site has moved nearer to the Brucegate entrance and has
resulted in a further two wells being discovered. The most recent dates back to the 19th century and has been
identified on a map of the area dated around 1820. It is believed that this well belonged to the former Poor House
on Brucegate. The second well dates back to the late medieval period and a number of nearly complete leather shoes
has been found inside, having been preserved because of the waterlogged conditions.
Lowick Village Stores closed its doors at the end of September and we understand that the landlord
has sold the property. Meanwhile former customers have been collecting their morning papers from Ford Village
Shop which has gallantly stepped into the breach.
Ford Village Stores has recently published its Winter Opening Hours as:
Monday 8 am – 9.30
Tuesday 8 am – 1 pm
Saturday and Sunday 9 am – 1 pm
A new £8 million Heathcare Sterilisation Facility in the grounds of Cramlington Hospital has been opened by Blyth Valley
MP Ian Levy. It replaces two sterilisation departments built more than 30 years ago and located in Wansbeck and North
Tyneside Hospitals. The new facility can disinfect and sterilise 500,000 pieces of medical equipment a year compared with
Sustainability now features in Health Education England thanks to HEE Dr Elaine Winkley a Consultant Anaesthetist who
is the Clinical Lead for Sustainability in Northumbria. The North East is now the first region in the country to have
a faculty dedicated to environmental sustainability. The launch event of the new faculty took place in September 2021
and stated its aims as being to improve awareness of the environmental impact of healthcare amongst HEE staff working
in clinical and operational settings, developing an education package to outline best practice for sustainable healthcare,
developing a network of sustainability champions across HEE to share best practice and embed sustainability within HEE.
Examples which improve sustainability of healthcare operations in the NE are the use of re-usable theatre hats
and a new machine to recycle facemasks
More than 350 Churches at Risk of Closure within five years according to an article
published in The Times in October. A consultation document for the Church Commissioners said that at its peak
in 1941 the Church of England had 18,666 churches with the possibility of this falling to below 16,000. A survey
has found that five dioceses were considering up to five closures, nine six to twelve and five up to forty. “ That’s
anything between 131 and 368” according to The Friends of Friendless Churches which looks after 59 “redundant
but beautiful” places of worship.
Sir Michael Palin joins Crusade to save Crumbling Church Buildings as he becomes Vice President of the National Churches
Trust. Saying that “We can’t afford to let churches fall into neglect and disuse” he listed a number of ways that church
buildings could contribute to a vibrant community. Youth clubs and food banks reflected the location of redundant churches
in some of the more deprived parts of the country. However there is hope said Palin as the movement to find secular uses
for these buildings grows. The NCT wants to have a debate aboufizzy drinks are cart the potential community benefits of
church buildings and look at economic, heritage and spiritual aspects alongside these.
The Focus on Climate Change and the Resulting Awareness of Carbon Dioxide means that almost everyone now knows
something about Greenhouse Gas and the need to reduce emissions if we are to keep global warming to manageable levels.
However it is a paradox that there is a current shortage of carbon dioxide in the food sector where the problem is
in part due to high gas prices forcing chemicals manufacturers to cut back on both fertiliser and ammonia production
which produce carbon dioxide as a by-product. In food production fizzy drinks are carbonated using carbon dioxide,
fruit and vegetablesare grown in greenhouses with carbon dioxide enriched atmospheres and the gas is used to prolong
the shelf life of perishable foods.
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 bemoan the sudden fall
in temperature which affects all short-coated dogs and keeps us close to the fire. Usually the fall is more gradual
and we become acclimatised as the days grow colder but this year the temperature dropped 10 degrees in days!
Oh to have a life like Gunther the German Shepherd who has just inherited a $31 million mansion in Miami to
add to his $500 million fortune, making him the world’s richest dog with his own private chef to prepare his caviar
and steak for breakfast. Well, as we look at the flickering flames, we can always dream!