Bardon Mill

SWIFTS left Bardon Mill on August 6, and now the swallows are also off to Africa. But late summer has its own surprises and may I recommend a walk to the Heather as a seasonal pickmeup. Our best purple patches are at Muckle Moss, but wear a hat in case we get another flying ant day like the absolute phenomenon of last Friday!

A REAL staycation is not travelling to other bits of the UK but making a holiday here at home. An itinerary for a Bardon Mill Staycation is easy to imagine with food options indoor and out, scenic views and globally important heritage right here. The Sill has a summer family fun programme with bat box making on August 30. 

REMEMBER most uphill locations are accessible via the AD122 bus which stops at the Bowes at 8.54am each day. And local accommodation if you need a change of view includes Haughton Green Bothy again: a basic building 100% free to use, reopened after Covid closure by the Mountain Bothy Association. 

AN APPEAL has been made to wipe clean the Bardon Mill sign as you enter from the west: all green with encrusted algae. Bob investigated but it’s a little too far over the fence for him to reach!

FOR Covid reasons the proposed Scarecrow finale will no longer be an in-person event at the Bowes, but the Leek Show is on! Viewing is on Sat September 4 from 6pm, the auction at 8pm on the Sunday, and a prize draw with broth night on Monday September 6 at 8pm. Happy leek fattening and onion succouring to all involved.

Allen Valleys

Robert Philipson

“HIDING in Plain Sight” is an exhibition of photographs by Walter Collier and Thomas Howson Dickson. The Allen Valleys Local History Group is mounting this exhibition of unique photographs which give insight to life in the Allen Valleys in the 1930s. Originally created as glass plates which were recently discovered in “Ted Dobbins paper shop” in Bellingham the history group secured funding for the scanning and preservation of these delicate and historically valuable artefacts. The exhibition of these photos, enlarged to reveal greater detail, is accompanied by digitally magnified sections to reveal amongst other things, neighbours chatting over a garden fence, children fishing in the river with a tin can, and a child in a pedal car in the middle of the road alongside Arnison Terrace. Copies of these images will be available for sale at the exhibition. The exhibition itself is at Allendale Village Hall this Saturday and Sunday the 28th/29th from 10.30am to 4.30pm and admission is £2.50 to AVLHG members and £6 to general public. On the Saturday evening, 7pm, and at the same price, there will be a talk by the celebrated local historian Stan Owen who is very familiar with the photographs of Collier and Dickson having used them in his books. To visit exhibition and the talk in the evening there is a combined entrance fee of £4 AVLHG
members and £8 to non-members.

THE September exhibition at the Allendale Forge Gallery is a collaboration of photography by Paco Garcia and paintings by his wife Lynda Sale, who live in Northumberland. The exhibition is called Two Views as although starting from the same point they both come up with distinct but different visions of the same place. Paco Garcia come from Asturias in Spain and studied in Oviedo, Seville and Barcelona while Lynda in London at the Byam Shaw School of Art and Camberwell School of Art where she did an MA in print making. 

ON Saturday September 11 Catton WI invite you to join them for Tea and Cake from 2-4pm on the village green in Catton. There will be information about WI activities, produce table and sales stall together with homemade delicious home baking. If wet this will be held in the village hall.

FOR any items to be included in these notes please email me at or telephone 01434 685266 by 6pm Sunday.


Christine Jewitt

COMBINES have been rolling around Whittonstall village dodging the showers and making the most of the sunshine. The last few days have started to feel a little autumnal albeit rather too early and berries are beginning to appear in the hedgerows. Recently, we have been treated to some remarkable gifts; several visits from a visiting barn owl demonstrating its hunting skills, a young fox trotting around and about, an occasional deer and a flurry of hedgehogs.

THE Whittonstall Community Group, (WCG) began a re-instated schedule of events by opening the Whittonstall Community Garden in early July. This event was featured in the Courant and served as a marker that we are back on track and in action. Our first meeting following the end of lockdown welcomed several new members to the group and on August 20 they held a Wine Tasting evening led by Helen Savage.

WORK continues in the churchyard as the newly sown grass begins to grow and the planting matures. Various garden areas of the village and troughs are being refreshed as the Summer flowering comes to an end. The wildflower patch has been a real treat and we plan to sow an extended wildflower meadow next season. It featured as a backdrop photo on ITV weather report earlier this month. Fame indeed!

Jean Conteh

THE latest issue of the Matfen Community Newsletter is just out, and you can find paper copies in the Phone Box Book Swap or in the village shop. If you’d like to receive a copy by email, get in touch via

DID you know that an adult and juvenile red squirrel were seen recently at the hall drive, near the church yard? There isn’t photo evidence so far, but let’s hope they will be caught soon on one of the cameras managed by North East Red Squirrels. There’s a very interesting piece in the newsletter about the work that NERS do around Matfen – You can see photos of red squirrels spotted in the area on the charity’s website: And if you want to get involved with the charity in the important work of recording both reds and greys, you can find details of how to join as a volunteer, or get in touch with our local expert, Alan Worthington on