Catch up on the latest news from communities across Tynedale from our village correspondents. 



Ian Warburton

THE next planning, contract and works meeting of Prudhoe Town Council will be held in the Spetchells Centre, Prudhoe, on Wednesday, January 15 (one week later than usual owing to the Christmas/New Year holidays), commencing at 7pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend, subject to any exclusions relating to the conduct of confidential business.

PRUDHOE WI’s parish hall meetings will resume on Wednesday, January 15, commencing at 7pm, when Ken Stow will present his very popular annual quiz night. Come along and join them and see what the WI can offer you. The 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, (01661) 830071.


Jean Conteh

IAN and Tracey at Matfen shop should be thanked for all they did over the Christmas period to bring the community together with their evening dinners, mulled wine at the carol singing and something you may not have heard about – a special gin tasting, which they ran on the Sunday before Christmas.

There were eight entries, including sloe and damson gins, and a vodka gin (that sounds a bit different).

Jack Watson judged the entries and the prize was awarded to Tommy Tait. A good time was had by all, and they are planning to run it again for next year, so look out for details.

YOGA with Natalie Palmer has started again in Great Whittington on Wednesday evenings from 6.30pm-7.45pm.

It is suitable for all levels and ages. Yoga mats can be provided and you can pay as you go.

THEN the first monthly quiz of 2020 will be in Great Whittington Village Hall on Thursday, January 30, beginning at 7.30pm.

THERE’LL be no notes from Matfen next week as I’ll be on holiday. All being well, the notes will be back on January 23. If you know of any event happening in or around the village that you’d like to have included, please get in touch on


Herbie Newell

THE village was greatly saddened by the recent death of former resident Pat Binks.

Pat and her late husband Mike lived at Westfield for many years, and were particularly active in the shop and Christmas shows. A celebration of Pat’s life will be held on Saturday, January 18, details to follow.

MANY thanks to the Crown Inn for hosting the New Year’s Day party.

Congratulations to Peter Younger and Pamela who won the fancy dress contest with their outstanding Star Trek costumes.

CROWN Inn folk music evenings resume on January 14 at 8pm, and thereafter on the second Tuesday in the month. All are very welcome to come along and sing, play or just listen.

HUMSHAUGH WI meetings also resume this month on January 16 at 7pm in the village hall when there is a social evening.

THE January Film Night is next Friday, January 17 with Wes Anderson’s animated comedy cartoon Isle of Dogs (PG13); tickets from the shop.

Doors open at 7pm for 7.30pm start. In addition to the bar and nibbles there will be interval desserts.

THE pub quiz in aid of the Crown Inn Leek Club returns on Tuesday, January 21 at 8pm.

THE church service this Sunday, January 12 is the Simonburn Benefice Holy Communion at St Mungo’s, Simonburn, at 11am.


Helen Savage

THERE’S never been a better time to get out and enjoy a bit of much-needed exercise and winter sunshine. Ladycross Nature Reserve’s Winter Walk at 1pm on Sunday, January 12 is the perfect solution. It starts from the quarry gates, a gentle circular walk of about a mile; but because it includes filling birdfeeding stations, please don’t bring your dog.

DON’T miss the commemoration hall open day on Sunday, January 26 from 12pm to 4.30pm. You can try out new games and activities, see the plans for the hall development, share your own ideas for hall with us and, of course be tempted by lots of tasty refreshments.

Put the diet on hold for a day!

FRIDAY, January 17 is film club night in the commemoration hall at 7pm for 7.30pm. Incredible value. Bring a bottle.

Tonight’s film is The Shoplifters (15) a somewhat Dickensian tale of a gang of Japanese petty criminals who face an unexpected challenge when they find a little girl lost on the streets.

FRIDAY, January 17 is also the next meeting of the Ecumenical Study Group at Slaley Vicarage – 10.30am-noon. New members are always welcome for an hour or so of lively, thoughtprovoking conversation. If you’d like to know more about it, please give me a ring on (01434) 676852.


Robin Piette

ON Saturday. January 11, it’s the Wylam Community Playing Fields Association jumble sale and auction, 1-3pm in Wylam Institute.

Donations of toys, bric-abrac, books, games, clothes, accessories etc. No furniture or televisions, VHS tapes or monitors please. Donations: Friday, January 10, 5pm-8pm; Saturday, January 11, 9am-11.30am. Phone 07885 117188 if you need any assistance.

ON Thursday, January 16, at 12.30pm Wylam Discussion Group will meet at the White Swan for lunch – partners invited.

AND at 7.30pm on the same day in the Institute the Gardeners Society is meeting to hear Robert German, garden designer and gardener at Carrycoats Hall, talk about ‘Art in the Garden’.

ON Saturday, January 18, 11am-3.30pm there’s the Wellbeing Fair at St Oswin’s Church Hall. Guidance on dementia care, posture, keeping healthy, dance and health, yoga, chair exercise, health walking, meditation, and much more.

Refreshments throughout the day.

AND in the evening of Saturday, January 18, your community cinema is showing Fisherman’s Friends at 7.30pm in the Institute. Comedy-drama based on a true story about a group of Cornish fishermen from Port Isaac who were signed by Universal Records and achieved a top 10 hit with their debut album of traditional sea shanties.

ON Friday, January 19, 7.30pm there’s a Burns’ Night ceilidh at Wylam Institute.

Tickets from Stobos or www.

Price includes haggis or vegetarian supper.

CLARA Vale Voices had a fabulous autumn term, culminating in a gorgeous Christmas performance at Breakfast Club on December 7. Returning on Monday, January 13, everyone is welcome to sing at the village vall from 6.30pm -8.30pm. They will be Wassailing at Ovingham Orchard at 1pm on Sunday, January 19, with Prudhoe Singers, (Tuesdays, 10am, Prudhoe Golf Club). All welcome.


Rob Tindall

WELL the Christmas decorations are packed away for another year and you don’t have to think hard about what day it is tomorrow. I haven’t met anyone who said they had a lousy New Year’s celebration although one acquaintance did admit to a hangover on New Year’s Eve. A lasting memory for me was the sight of five (fool?) hardy residents breaking the ice before plunging in at a private plunge party. Well done to them, and they looked remarkably fit when they emerged although one confessed that swimming through the ice shards was akin to what it might be like to be garrotted.

SO it’s back to normal.

THE monthly quiz takes place on Thursday, January 16, at 8pm, all welcome. Looking ahead, there will be a music night on Friday, January 31, at 7.30pm. The Stax Brothers who are a Soul/R&B band are sure to get everyone singing and dancing.

Tickets are available from the garage and supper is included.

YOUR penultimate chance to call Christine (07555907281 or 674445) to book a place at the senior citizens’ free lunch on Saturday, January 18.

IF you don’t qualify as a senior citizen why not pop along to Naturel, Warden where there is a free yoga taster day on Saturday, January 18, 12-1pm? If you are interested, book a place by contacting Norah Phipps – call (01434) 674249 or email

Allen Valleys

Glynn Galley

CATTON WI meets on January 13 at 7.15pm in Catton Village Hall. This month, it’s a members’ night where members share tips and useful ideas.

New members are always welcome.

THE Computer Support Group is at Catton Chapel every Tuesday from 2pm-4pm. This informal and friendly group provides one to one help and advice with the assistance of tea and cake! There’s a suggested donation.

THE Allen Valleys Oil Buying Co-operative order deadline is midday on January 14. If you’d like to become a member, please ring (01434) 683334 or email oilorderfawside@ FOR inclusion here, please email or drop a note into Crosskeys on Shield Street by Sunday teatime.


Hilary Nichol

IS one of your New Year’s resolutions to discover your inner Picasso?

Haltwhistle Art Club would love to help you with your creative journey.

The group meets each Friday from 10.30am in the Methodist Church Hall and invite you to come along any Friday morning and pop in for a friendly chat. New members with all levels of artistic ability are very welcome.

STAYING with the Methodist Church Hall, Saturday’s coffee morning is raising funds for Holy Cross Church.

Leave behind the midwinter blues, come along and enjoy tasty home-baked refreshments and meet friends and neighbours.

SOUTH Tyne Wildlife Group meets in the Comrades’ Club on Tuesday, January 14, at 7.30pm. Guest speaker Rachel Locke will discuss the role and activities of the Woodland Trust. No need to pre-book.

MESSY Church leaps back into action on Thursday, January 16, in the Methodist Church Hall, and the team of volunteers has an abundance of ideas to encourage creators of all ages. Children under eight years must be accompanied by an adult.

THEY’VE done it again!

Haltwhistle Jubilee Football Club began their recent league cup match as underdogs, but battled through, ending the match as winners with a 1-0 victory over Hexham. The team are back in league action this Saturday with a home game against Ellington FC. Match kickoff is scheduled for 2pm, please go and cheer on our local team if you can.


Clare Daltry

THE Stocksfield Retired Men’s Association meets on Thursday, January 16 in the Baptist Church Hall from 9.30am for coffee. Anthony Atkinson will present ‘Gertrude Bell’ at 10.30am.

New members and visitors are always welcome. If you have anything for inclusion in the Stocksfield Village Notes phone or text 07443 222 887.


Emma Anderson

THE New Year sees the return of regular fitness and youth activities at the Rede, Tyne and Coquet Sports Centre in Otterburn. An active life exercise class is held at 10am each Monday. On Tuesdays, there is a fortnightly health walk during the morning, a junior youth club between 6pm and 7.30pm and a senior youth club between 7.30pm and 9pm. Disco circuits, a mixture of aerobics, circuit training and dance, are held between 7pm and 8pm on Wednesdays. Thursdays offer walking netball between 6.30pm and 7.30pm and running netball between 7.30pm and 8.30pm. For further information about any of these activities, please visit the centre’s website at


Julie Foster

ACOMB Local History Society meets again on Monday at 7.30pm at the Methodist Chapel to hear about the History of Elizabethan Plants. The speaker will be Dr Marie Addyman.

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 round the piano.

You are welcome to join this popular group. If needed, contact Julie on (01434) 607490

Ovingham & Ovington

Malcolm Cairns

THE Chat Club is to have its first meeting of the new year today at 10.15am in the Reading Room.

Exercise followed by tea and coffee is on the agenda. Next week, on January 16, members can look forward to a quiz.

NOTICE of a closure of the main Ovingham to Wylam road has been given. From Monday, January 13 it will be closed for repairs, due to landslip, for up to four days.

The closure is in effect during daytime between 9am and 4pm.

ENERGISE dance classes are starting off a new season in the Reading Room. The adult classes get together on Sundays at 7pm. Wednesday afternoons are set aside for children, from the under fives to Year 9. For more information contact Nicola on 07583202529.

OVINGHAM WI has its first meeting of the year on Monday, January 13 in the Reading Room at 7.30pm.

OVINGTON Friendship Group is set to continue its meetings at Winships on Monday afternoons, 2pm-3pm. A warm welcome awaits new members. The group is planning a special lunch to celebrate their first birthday in February.


Kelly Adshead

BIRTLEY and District Gardening Group will meet on Tuesday, January 14 at 7.15pm. It welcomes RHS Harlow Carr gardener, Paul Cook, curator of the gardens.

CHOLLERTON Parish Council is inviting to tender for grass cutting within the parish. Email: theclerk.chollerton@ CHURCH services in the Chollerton Benefice will take place on Sunday, January 12 at 9am at Thockrington Church HC and 10.30am at Chollerton HC.

Upper North Tyne

Sarah Hallberg

FIRSTLY, I would like to say a Happy New Year to everyone in the Upper North Tyne. May 2020 bring good things to you and your families.

TO those who aren’t subscribed to the Tarset Mailing List, John Holland would like to say the following: “On behalf of the Tarset Village Hall Committee may I extend a huge thank you to everyone who came along on Saturday evening (December 14) for the Tarset Christmas Party.

Aside from having a great night out, your support means we raised over £1,300 for our chosen good causes, the Great North Air Ambulance, Tarset Village Hall and the Tarset News. I must especially thank everyone who so generously donated raffle and other prizes, David and Amanda for decorating the hall so magnificently, Margaret for the table decorations, the members of the committee who manned the bar and who cleared everything up ready for Greenfingers Christmas Making Day on Sunday, and of course all of you who brought contributions for the excellent pooled supper.”

FOR those who knew Iain Mungall and would like to pay their last respects to him, a memorial service is being held at Hexham Abbey at 2.30pm on Thursday, January 16. On the day Iain died, a carol service was being in the church where he had been churchwarden. St Aidan’s Church, Thorneyburn (in the middle of nowhere) was packed with 130 people that day and all were shocked and saddened to hear of his death.


Peter Samsom

AND so we land in a new year and a new decade and we start all over again with this column. January can be a bit quiet which allows me to remind you that if you want something publicising you can contact me by phone on (01434) 230605 or by email on I usually write these notes of Sunday night, so please get any news to me before then.

THE first gathering of the MURC congregation in the town hall on Sunday, January 3 seems to have gone really well. With the chapel now having officially closed, services on the first and third Sunday of the month will now take place at the town hall. All the MURC services start at 11am.

THE next meeting of the Birtley and District Gardening Group is on Tuesday, January 14. It’s a talk by Paul Cook, the curator of RHS Harlow Carr near Harrogate. The meeting is at Birtley Village Hall and has a 7.15pm for 7.45pm start time. Visitors are always welcome.

THE following night, Wednesday, January 15 the town hall will host the Wark Senior Citizens’ festive dinner starting at 6.30pm. I know the organisers always worry a bit about the sensitivity about inviting people in case they’re not quite experienced enough but, on the whole, they seem to get it about right and you should have received your invite some time ago.

I MISSED the opportunity to promote Zena’s Pilates class at the sports club on Wednesday, January 8 at 6.30pm. Hopefully enough of you will have joined for it to become a regular slot!


David Walton

WORK got under way on Front Street on Monday by Northern Gas Networks to install a new gas main, a reminder that the whole of the street will be closed whilst the work takes place. Alternative arrangements are in place to relocate resident’s cars from Front Street until the work is completed.

A FUND-RAISING concert takes place in St Andrew’s Church this Saturday, January 11 in aid of the new organ fund at the church which has now reached just over £60,000, the concert by the Gould Piano Trio and Robert Plane commences at 7pm.

CARPET Bowls continues every Tuesday with two sessions in the parish hall between 2pm and 4pm and 7pm to 9pm.

KNIT and Natter afternoons have been well received and the project is progressing well. The group meets in Corbridge Library every Wednesday afternoon between 2pm and 3pm.

PAPER copies of the library consultation questionnaire should now have arrived in Corbridge.

If you wish to complete a form please call in to Corbridge Library during working hours 11am until 4pm. However, the main part of the consultation is a drop-in next Friday, January 17 when county council officers will be in attendance to answer villagers’ concerns.

ARE you carrying a little extra weight after the festive period? Slimming World could be the answer they meet at Corbridge First School every Thursday evening from 5.30pm and 7.30pm. For further information please contact Jane on 07814 805464.

A REMINDER there is one vacant seat on Corbridge Parish Council. For further information about what is involved please call clerk of the council on 07950 297634 or at


Birtley Nail

FOR those who would like to pay their last respects to our much-loved former GP Dr Iain Mungall, there will be a memorial service at Hexham Abbey at 2.30pm on Thursday, January 16.

IT was good to see the large number of people calling in to have a look round the newly-refurbished Fountain Cottages tea room and B&B on Saturday morning. The building has been closed for too long, and it will be satisfying to see the former workhouse, doctors’ surgery, library and council offices functioning again after its £400,000 refit.

LOOKING back on the festive season, I hear Jason Arnup’s concert in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust at the town hall went exceptionally well. There was a good turn out to see Santa Claus whizzing round the village on Christmas Eve, courtesy of the North Tyne and Redewater Twisty Roads Preservation Society, with sweets provided by Bellingham Co-op. The visit was in doubt at one stage because of problems securing a suitable vehicle for Santa to ride on, but Landmarc from Otterburn stepped in to save the day.

THE pensioners’ Twixmas lunch at the golf club was also packed to the gunwales, with an excellent meal followed by a quiz and Irish bingo. Thanks are due to the North Tyne and Redesdale Community Trust and helpers for making it a day to remember.

Riding Mill

Pam Pryor

FIRST things first and if you have a real Christmas tree and would like to make sure it is cared for long after it has served its purpose in your home, please leave it in the Old Playground where the county council will collect it. I hope it has brought you the pleasure it deserves in return.

THE first Pot Luck Lunch of 2020 will be served on Tuesday, January 14 at noon in the parish hall.

The format remains the same, but to reserve your place ring Anne on 682351 or Christine email TICKETS for the Burns’ Night ceilidh to be held in the parish hall on Saturday, January 25 are now on sale in the Café @ The Foyer or from members of the St James’s fund-raising committee.

IF you have information you wish to share, contact me via email


Lynda White HAPPY New Year to everyone.

IT’S your last chance to buy tickets for the 27Up pantomime which is being held this weekend at the Queen’s Hall. There are Shire folks taking part so give them your support in what is always a very entertaining event.

A VERY belated congratulations to Ed Common who became Disabled Sports Personality of the Year in December and was awarded his trophy at the Annual Sport Tyndale awards held at the Wentworth Leisure Centre.

Ed, who turned 25 at Christmas, is a great ambassador for the sport of wheelchair football having played for England many times. We wish him good luck for the 2020 season of competitions.

A DATE for your diaries.

Ladycross Nature Reserve is hosting a day of feeding the birds on Sunday, February 9.

If you would like to attend please meet at the quarry gates at 1pm. For more information please contact Joan on (01434) 673245.