STAY up to date with community news from towns and villages across Tynedale.


By Hilary Nichol

Haltwhistle Medical Group now has stock of all flu vaccinations including children’s nasal flu. Eligible patients should contact the surgery to book an appointment with the practice nurse. To check eligibility or book your appointment, please telephone (01434) 320077.
Have you purchased raffle tickets for the Haltwhistle Town Christmas Lights 2019 raffle? The raffle is raising funds for the town’s Christmas lights display and tickets are available from various outlets around the town. Please help if you can.
Congratulations to Haltwhistle Jubilee Football Club who returned victorious from their Minor Cup match against Wallsend Boys’ Club last Saturday. Despite struggling on the plastic pitch, the team secured a 3-1 win, with Thomas Wilkie named as man of the match.


By Birtley Nail

It is a sad fact of life that more and more people rely on food banks for the basic necessities of life in these austere times – even in a supposedly wealthy area like Tynedale. While our nearest food bank is in Hexham, St Cuthbert’s Church in the village has set up a collection point where goods can be left for transfer to Hexham. With the cold weather starting to grip, donations are urgently required, especially of non-perishable foods and toiletries. Tinned food is especially welcome, such as stewed steak, tinned pies, baked beans and sausages etc. The church is always open during daylight hours for donations to be left.
For longer than most people care to remember, there has been a problem with flooding deep in the bowels of the town hall. The recent very wet weather has put the drains of the ancient building to the stiffest of tests and it has come up wanting in several respects. To that end, the town hall committee has engaged drainage experts from Hexham to sort out the problem once and for all, by digging a new drain in the vicinity of the steps leading down from the Chinese Gun. 
Watch out for news about this year’s Bellingham Dramatic Society Christmas spectacular, a Robin Hood-themed extravaganza using perhaps the most elaborate set in the society’s long history.


By Clare Daltry

Stocksfield Plants and Gardens Society meets at the community centre on Tuesday, November 19 at 7.30pm. Debbie Crombie will present ‘Gibside Estate, Progress and Plans’ talking about the history of the Gibside estate and its historical design.
The Stocksfield Retired Men’s Association meets on Thursday, November 21 in the Baptist church hall from 9.30am for coffee. Prof. John Derry will present ‘The Man Who Lost Three Kings’ at 10.30am. A £2 contribution is payable at each meeting. New members and visitors are always welcome.
A little further ahead, the Christmas fayre at St John’s Church Hall in Meadowfield Road is on Saturday, November 23 between 10am and 1pm. This a great opportunity to get in the festive mood with a variety of stalls light lunches, children’s crafts and crib making. All welcome.
If you have anything for inclusion in the Stocksfield village notes, phone or text 07443 222 887.

Ovingham & Ovington

By Malcolm Carins

The Chat Club meets today in the Reading Room at 10.15am for exercise, tea and coffee. No meeting next week on November 21 as it is off on an outing to Dobbies. The bus leaves the White Swan car park at 10.30am. Contact Hazel for place availability.
A change of date for the next Ovingham Parish Council meeting. This will now be held on the November 28 in the Reading Room at 7.15pm.
Ovingham Community Orchard is set to plant more trees at the end of this month. Following on from the wild flower seeding in October, plum, cherry, apple and nut trees will be planted.
Congratulations go to Ovingham Middle Schools’ U13s football teams. The boys’ team won the World Schools Cup in the tournament held recently in Barcelona and the girls’ team were runners-up in their competition.Well done to all!
On the subject of football, the ladies’ team Wylam Rockets will now be using the playing field for their games. We welcome you to Ovingham.


By Rob Tindall

You may be surprised that the Millennium beacon has disappeared, but it was severely decayed below ground and a possible safety hazard. Warden Parish Council is exploring options and costs for its replacement.
The local history group is holding an open meeting in the town hall at 7.30pm on Monday, November 18 when Stan Owen will outline his involvement with the Heritage Centre at Bellingham and answer questions about the techniques and problems involved in recording and researching local history.
Let 10,000 snowdrops bloom! The bulbs will have no problem pushing their way to daylight in St Peter’s graveyard thanks to the sterling work of about 30 villagers of sizes and ages who spent their Saturday afternoon mowing, cutting, raking and strimming. This was a great community effort and all involved are warmly applauded for their efforts
When cutting a roadside hedge, the last thing you expect to find is a well-grown snake, but that was the experience of Nigel Arthur when working on the roadside near St Aidan’s. The orange creature turned out to be a harmless corn snake – obviously not part of our native fauna. It was taken to Frankham Kennels which is skilled in looking after found animals but how did it land in the hedge? Thrown out of a passing car window by an owner grown bored with it?


By Lynda White

It’s only a couple of weeks until Whitley Chapel Christmas Fair takes place on Sunday, December 1 in the parish hall. There will be a wide range of stalls, selling everything from art, jewellery and cushions to Christmas-themed food and drink plus many more. Please don’t forget to call in and support your local hall and catch up with friends and neighbours with refreshments available too.

Hexhamshire Leek Club presents ‘Dave and Andy’s World Tour’ on Friday, December 6. A musical world circumnavigation with songs, stories and audience participation for one night only. Tickets which include supper are available from Jackie Rees on 07745 712 328 or Clive Nixon on (01434) 673530. The proceeds from the event will be given to St Helen’s Church.


By Ian Warburton

Prudhoe Over-50s Group will meet in the parish hall, Front Street, on Monday, November 18, commencing at 9.30am. There will be a talk by Ray Stephenson on the ‘Roots of Rock and Roll’.
Prudhoe WI will meet in the parish hall on Wednesday, November 20 at 7pm, where Norman Kirtain will describe a day in the life of a forensic artist. Come along and join us and see what the WI can offer you. Our meetings are always interesting, informative and, most of all, enjoyable and are a great way to meet new folk and make lasting friendships in a relaxed, warm and welcoming environment. Visitors are always welcome. Contact Alison Scrimshaw, secretary, for more information on (01661) 830071.
Prudhoe U3A is holding its next meeting in the parish hall on Monday, November 25, commencing at 10am, when Bill Woolridge will give a talk entitled ‘Mightier Than the Sword – Great War Poets, known and unknown’. There is a warning that this may contain naughty bits!
Prudhoe Golf Club wishes to give advance notice that its annual charity event for 2020 will be held at the club on Friday, July 3 from 8am to 2.30pm. The charity which will benefit from the event will be the Dystonia Society, see More information will be posted nearer the time but please note the date if this is of interest.


By Herbie Newell

Nearly 500 people attended the outstanding Bonfire Night fireworks display last week. A huge thank you to all involved, particularly master of ceremonies Tim Taylor, pyrotechnician extraordinaire Ian Batey and Louise Taylor, Tim Ellis and all the kitchen crew.
St Peter’s was full last Friday when family, friends and the village came together to celebrate the life of Di Glendinning. A wonderful letter from her grandchildren, and moving eulogies by her daughters Sarah and Jane, reminded us of Di’s rich life as a mother, grandmother, teacher, volunteer for many organisations and partner to Alan. The afternoon tea at the village hall was perfect, where memories of Di were shared with smiles and laughter.
The film ‘Tracks’ last Friday was very well attended and the sumptuous interval desserts much appreciated; many thanks to the HAP team. Film Nights return on January 17.
The Crown Inn pub quiz at 8pm on Tuesday, November 19 is in aid of the Royal British Legion, organised by Bernie McFadden, and the Humshaugh WI meeting at 7pm on Thursday, November 21 in the village hall will feature Christmas decorations and in-house crafts.
The next HAP event is on Saturday, November 23 at 7.30pm when Richard Birmingham will tell the courageous and tragic story of the whale ship, Essex, that was lost in the Pacific Ocean 200 years ago. Tickets (£5 over 12s only) are available from the village shop or by calling Sharon on (01434) 681924.
The service at St Peter’s this Sunday, November 17 is Holy Communion at 9.30am.


By Emma Anderson

IT is a year since the weekly Post Office service opened at Otterburn Memorial Hall. Sadly, the number of people using the service has “slowed down at a rather alarming rate”. The post office is open every Thursday between midday and 2pm and offers a full range of postal services. These include inland and overseas letters, packet and parcel services (including premium services such as special delivery, signed for and tracked parcels), bill payments, travel money (if pre-ordered), banking services (including card withdrawals) and deposits (including business banking deposits up to £2,000 per transaction). Please lend your support to this valuable village asset as it is very much a case of using it or losing it.
A prize bingo, in aid of the Heart Unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and Hexham Priory School, is being held at Elsdon Village Hall on Friday, November 22, starting at 7.30pm. Prizes for the raffle will be welcome. The entry charge includes a light supper. For further information, please contact Joanne Renton on (01830) 520541 or 07542 903 611.
A Christmas fair in aid of St. John’s Otterburn takes place at Otterburn Memorial Hall on Saturday, 23 November, starting at 10.30am. The fair features several stalls and refreshments.

Riding Mill

By Pam Pryor

The next Riding Mill Drama Club production will be ‘Ladies’ Day’ by Amanda Whitworth. Performance dates are November 27 to 30 at 7.30pm in the parish hall. This is a much needed heart-warming comedy so tickets will sell quickly. To avoid disappointment, ring Anne Lawrence on (01434) 682351 or book via the website
If you have information to share, please email Copy is required on the Sunday prior to the Thursday edition of your Hexham Courant.


By Jean Conteh

The Matfen Bbonfire on Tuesday was a great success. Take a look at the photos on the Matfen bonfire Facebook page to get an idea of the atmosphere. An amazing team of over 30 volunteers helped to ensure that hundreds of people from surrounding communities enjoyed themselves. And thanks to the generous donations and the sales of cakes, hotdogs, soup and glowing accessories, we know we’ll be able to bring back the magic next year. Thank you to everyone who helped to make Matfen Bonfire Night 2019 a roaring success.
There’s something new happening in Matfen Village Hall on Thursday, November 28 from 12.30pm to 4.30pm – a Christmas wreath making workshop. It is being run by Floral Gift, and posters have been going up round the village with all the details. You can also check its website ( Floral Gift is a Northumberland company, and gives £1 to Hospice Care North Northumberland for everyone who attends one of their workshops.

Haydon Bridge

By Karen Lumsden

Haydon Local Artists meet at the community centre on Tuesday, November 19 between 1pm and 4pm. Tuition given and materials may be borrowed if you would like to join them. First session is free.
Gill Thompson will be the guest speaker at the Nature Club on Thursday, November 21, where she will give a talk on ‘The Sill and Roman Wall Flora’. Free to members, however, there is a small charge for non-members. The group meet at the Methodist church from 7.15pm.
Hexham Brass is booked to play at the Methodist Church on Saturday, November 23 from 7.30pm. Entry is £6 and includes supper.
You might want to book your place for the General Havelock Film and Food Night on Tuesday, November 26. Sheila Hancock stars in ‘Eddie’. Please call (01434) 684376 to book your place.
The playgroup and Tiny Tots will be hosting a coffee morning at the community centre on Saturday, November 23, and invite everyone along to help them raise funds for it and the community centre. Lots of stalls including cakes and a raffle from 10am.
It’s getting near that time of year again to help the village celebrate Christmas. The trees will be going up on Saturday, November 23. The trees are all put up and decorated by volunteers and they need your help. If you have a bit of time to spare from 9am on that morning, then please pop along to the Old Bridge to help decorate the trees. The lighting up ceremony will follow on December 4 at 4pm. More details to follow.

Upper North Tyne

By Sarah Hallberg

Tarset Village Hall’s next Highlights show, Revelations, will be at the hall on Friday, November 22 and promises to be a frank, intimate, sometimes poignant, sometimes funny evening with the critically acclaimed storyteller James Rowlands (of Tangram Theatre). There will be some adult themes, so the suggested age range is adults and older children (13+). Tickets will need to be booked in advance and you can either book online via the Highlights website, by emailing or by phoning (01434) 240767. 
You may recall that the first Thursday film for December was moved to the second Thursday to avoid conflicting with Bellingham and District Dramatic Society’s production of ‘Robin of Sherwood’ taking placing at Bellingham Town Hall in the first week of December. Who would have guessed that we would then be into a December General Election, which will require Tarset Village Hall to be used as a polling station? Therefore, December’s film will now take place on Wednesday, December 11, starting at 7.30pm but with the bar available as usual from 7pm. The film is ‘Sunshine on Leith’, a 2013 Scottish romantic musical film directed by Dexter Fletcher and featuring featuring songs by The Proclaimers. The film received positive reviews and, writing a four star review in The Observer, Mark Kermode said “I shed a tear within the first 10 minutes, and spent the rest of the movie beaming like a gibbering, love-struck fool”.


By Kelly Adshead

Sing for your supper community evening – apologies, this event has now been postponed until Spring.
Tea at Two Thirty meets at Gunnerton Church, Tuesday, November 19 at 2.30pm. All welcome to come and have a cup of tea and a chat.
Barrasford Village Hall Christmas bingo is on Thursday, November 21, eyes down at 7.30pm. Lots of festive prizes to be won and supper. Come along and bring the family.
Chollerton Parish Council next meets on November 27 at 7.30pm in the Gunnerton Church. As a result of a casual vacancy, Chollerton Parish Council is looking to co-opt a new parish councillor. If you would be interested in applying and have been on the electoral register within Chollerton Parish Council for 12 months or more please contact the parish clerk for more details. This is an opportunity for you to help and support your community. Liz Atkinson can be contacted on 07765 388 918 or
Friends of Chollerton Churches is once again holding Yuletide at Chipchase Castle on Friday, December 13 at 7pm. Tickets from Ken Carlilse (01434) 689996 and Bob Fletcher 07783 529 228. Book now to avoid disappointment.


By David Walton

A pop-up folk music night takes place in the parish hall on Sunday evening from 6.30pm until 10.30pm with a Geordie and Irish trio, The Belta Reivers, providing the music. For further details please contact 07880 436 268.
The first Knit and Natter afternoon was a success and a will continue on a Wednesday in Corbridge Library from 2pm until 3pm. A reminder that the library and tourist information centre hours are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am until 4pm.
The Christmas tree festival packs for community groups from the back of St Andrew’s Church and the festival commences on November 29.


By Julie Foster

If you would like to be involved in setting up the new charitable organisation to manage the Acomb Village Assets (hall, playing fields and pavilion) as a trustee, a member of the trust or an interested party, a meeting is being held on Tuesday, November 19 at 7pm in Acomb Village Hall to discuss progress. 
This month’s WI meeting is being held at 7pm on Monday at iPots of Eastgate, Hexham, where the group will be enjoying an evening of Christmas crafts. Bring a supper dish along and give your creativity free rein!
Let’s Sing Again Group is on Tuesday with refreshments at 10.15am at Acomb Village Hall followed by singing favourite songs at 10.45am with Julie Finch round the piano. Contact Julie on (01434) 607490 or
Thursday, November 21 sees the return of the W I pop-up cafe. Come along and take the opportunity to catch up with friends over a good cup of tea or coffee and tasty home-baked treats, quiche or home made soup. Open from 10am until 4pm in the village hall on the third Thursday in the month. Make this a regular date in your diary.


By Helen Savage

Before the Christmas rush hots up, there’s the promise of two or three relatively quiet weeks in Slaley, but life is seldom dull in these parts. As the nights draw in there’s something on in the commemoration hall almost every day. Where would we be without it? 
There’s Exercise to Music on Monday mornings, carpet bowls on Tuesday evening at 7.30pm and badminton every Wednesday morning at 9.30am or Monday evenings at 7pm – and lots more!
Tickets for The Snow Queen on January 3 are selling fast. Call Pat Wilson or Rosaleen Doonan on (01434) 673173 now if you don’t want to miss out on this family treat.
Also coming soon, Slaley, Healey and Minsteracres Local History Group on Monday, November 25 at 7.30pm when Gordon Scorer will delight with the second of his talks on ‘The Tidal Tyne’.

Allen Valleys

By Glynn Galley

There’s a table top sale at the High Forest Community Centre in Sinderhope on November 23 from 10am to 2pm. Stalls include home baking, crafts, plants, preserves and Christmas gifts. And, there’s refreshments!
Many thanks to the Allendale Lions Club for a fantastic, probably best ever, firework display on Bonfire Night. It’s a lot of hard work but it’s much appreciated.
Your parish council is in the early stages of looking at creating a community gathering place at Isaac’s Well as a leisure feature and as a tasteful tourist attraction. The re-cobbling is now virtually finished in the Market Place and it’s certainly much safer for people to cross them and an awful lot more attractive!


By Ethel Coulthard

At Horsley Village Church on Sunday, November 17, morning and evening prayers will be led by the congregation at 10.45am and 3.45pm. The church will be open all weekend in conjunction with the Hearth Winter Fair. Plus there will be live music, a display focused on the heritage of Horsley and a fair trade stall.
Katie Doherty and the Navigators are in concert at The Hearth on Friday, November 22 at 7.30pm. In this intimate and joyful performance, award-winning composer and songwriter Kate Doherty is joined by Dave Gray on melodeon and Shona Mooney on fiddle. You can also book your pre-concert meal at the Hearth Cafe. Doors open at 7pm for the licensed bar. Telephone (01661) 853569 to pre-book.
Drawing with Colour with Gillian Baker on Saturday, November 23 from 1pm to 4pm. Learn how to draw using colour pencils and improve your drawing skills and knowledge in this friendly, structured workshop. We will focus on drawing natural objects using a variety of techniques including cross-hatching, blending and shading. The workshop is suitable for beginners and those with some experience. To book a place and for further details please phone (01434) 622362 or 07508 165 681.


By Peter Samsom

When I tried to give a description of the Anna Mudeka gig at the town hall in previous notes I struggled to get a real understanding of what was in store, and having experienced her performance last Saturday I can safely say that I’m not surprised! It was very much a multi-sensory experience with singing, visuals, props and costume changes, dance and Anna talking to the audience about her childhood in Zimbabwe to becoming an international ambassador for traditional African dance based in rural Norfolk! The next Highlights gig is Cuban music on Sunday, November 24 with the option of the Cuban buffet meal starting at 6pm. Additional cost for the buffet is £5 per head and bookings for the show and buffet to Vicky on (01434) 230180.
Simonburn Village Hall will host a pie and pea social evening on Saturday, November 23 starting at 6pm. Tickets are £4 and you can book on (01434) 681077.
Also in Simonburn, but in early December, is the Christmas bingo. This event was going to be on Thursday, December 12 but the hall is now needed for a different type of activity, so the organisers of the bingo have moved it (the bingo, not the election) to Tuesday, December 10.