Herbie Newell

HUMSHAUGH was greatly saddened to hear of the recent deaths of resident Shirley Walton, and of John Proudlock, a good friend to our village.

MANY thanks to Anna Vogelberg for the wonderful display of knitted poppies that adorn our war memorial in remembrance of those who were killed and suffered in conflicts. A photograph is at:

AT LAST week’s online Humshaugh parish council meeting it was reported that improved safety measures for the B6318 between Chesters and the Chollerford roundabout are under consideration as part of the Local Transport Plan, and that the future of the BT phone box is undergoing consultation. Minutes will follow at: Councillors Geoff Elliot, Kirsten Francis and Mark Stephens announced they will not be standing for re-election in May 2021. Eligible residents are encouraged to consider taking on this important role in the service of our community.

Residents may wish to sponsor Melanie Wilkinson in her ‘1818’ swim for St Peter’s, Humshaugh, online - - or by cash or cheque (payable to PCC of Humshaugh), c/o Roger Langford, The Coinings, East Farm, Humshaugh, NE46 4DF. Melanie will be swimming 36 lengths of Hexham Swimming Pool - 36 is twice 18, representing the year 1818 when St Peter’s was consecrated.

St Peter's remains open for private prayer, and all are welcome to regular Zoom services at 10am each Sunday – please contact for the link.

A reminder that takeaway food is available from the Crown Inn on Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday lunchtime.


Helen Savage

JIM Bailey, editor of Slaley News would love to hear any bright and cheery stories of village life to cheer us all up a bit. If you have a story to tell or a bit of good news, however brief, please do drop him a line:

All is far from doom and gloom in Slaley. The Slaley Community Shop Zoom tasting of port and sherry is now sold out, but we have just a few places for our fizz tasing with me on Thursday, November 26. Please get in touch quickly if you want to grab one of them.

Speaking of Zoom, there’s a Covid-safe church coffee morning on Wednesday, November 25 at 11am. Please let me or Olwen ( know if you’d like to take part. Along with the Zoom invitation you’ll receive a goodie box of home baking to enjoy while enjoying the chat. The cost is £5, but if you’d like to give more, we won’t say no! And here’s advance notice of another amazing wine-tasting by Zoom on Thursday, December 10 – the Very Best of Spain, again organised to boost fast-falling church funds. You’ll be able to sample eight top-class wines at home (we’ve ordered masses of 5cl bottles). Cost £20. Please let Olwen know by November 30 if you want to take part.

We have re-organised the Christmas Crib Exhibition in the commemoration hall to the weekend of December 11-13. Fingers, toes and everything else crossed, we’ll be out of lockdown by then.


Maurice Holliday

AFTER the success of the family Halloween event, the Hearth Cafe, along with and families in the village, are planning something similar for Christmas.

Several people have asked me about the whereabouts of Lonkin Hall or tower in Horsley. The local ordnance survey map shows the location on the west side of the Whittle burn adjacent to the A69 road between Nafferton farm and Horsley village. The stories about Lang Lonkin are typical of legends surrounding ruined buildings. The tower was actually built for Philip de Ulecotes in 1217. The Umfravilles of Prudhoe objected to the construction and it fell into ruin. Today very little remains. Some stones were used to build the A69 bridge over the Whittle burn. Others were used to strengthen the town walls in Newcastle.

Many thanks to Mandy Senior our parish clerk for repeatedly asking Northumberland County Council to clear the drains in Horsley. The work was undertaken last week. All the culverts and drains from the bridge at the west end of the village to the Howdene Burn were cleared of debris.

Requests have been made to the parish council by Northumberland Air Ambulance and Sport Tynedale for a donation to support their work.

A new helpline to support people through the Covid-19 crisis started on November 2. It is called Tynedale rural information service. You can contact the service by phone on 01434 311044 between 3pm and 8 pm Friday to Monday. If you are feeling vulnerable in any way please contact the service for help and advice.

Wires have been placed across the Main Street in Horsley to monitor traffic. The team of people who use the speed gun in the village are asking for more volunteer support. Please contact the parish clerk if you are interested in offering support. Thirty minutes once in a while will help.

Maps showing the location of homes in the village have been placed on the Horsley Connections WhatsApp. The maps are also available to view when anyone is lost at a variety of local business sites such as the Hearth Cafe and the Antiques centre.


Ian Warburton

The Gate Church, in conjunction with GlobalRize, is hosting a Tyne Valley Bible Training School information event on Saturday, November 21, commencing at 3.30pm. Visit:

Meeting ID: 886 0094 7061 Passcode: 680791

One tap mobile +442039017895,,88600947061#,,,,,,0#,,680791# United Kingdom

Prudhoe Town Council will be hosting its next ordinary meeting on Wednesday, November 25, commencing at 7pm. More information will appear on the town council’s website and Facebook page nearer the time.

I’d like to offer my warmest congratulations to everyone at Balls’ Fish and Chip shop on the 50th anniversary of its opening. The Community Champions award presented to owners Anne and Steve Blakeburn by Hexham MP Guy Opperman and Northumberland County Councillor Gordon Stewart is a welcome sign of the huge respect in which Anne, Steve and their staff are rightly held in the town. We’ve been regular customers for over 40 of those 50 years and love both the high quality of the food and the warmth and kindness which are unmissable from the moment when you go into the shop. Very well done, everyone involved.

Ovingham and Ovington

Malcolm Cairns

St Mary's Church will be open daily, 9am until 3pm, for private prayer. Please observe social distancing and follow guidelines posted in the church. During live-streamed services, Sunday 10am and Thursday Eucharist 9.30am, there is no public access. On the subject of prayer I came across this little story. During a time of drought the villagers decided to pray for rain. On the day of the prayer all the people gathered, but only one young lad turned up with an umbrella. That is faith.

A number of the ‘barrel planters’ around Ovingham have been replaced with new. The remainder have been spruced up with a coat of paint and look fantastic.Thank you to all involved for making our village such a pleasant place to live.

Go Local Ovington will once again bring out their Christmas Bundle offer this year. Lots of locally produced goodies to grace your table. Log into their website for details and order form. Please note all orders must be placed before December 3.

The White Swan pub is continuing with its takeaway service on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Orders can be phoned in from Thursdays. Our thanks to them and our village shop for providing much-appreciated service during these trying times.


Rob Tindall

IT is reassuring to see the renaissance of the Millennium Beacon. To come is the replacement of the basket on the top of the pillar, pipework and some work on the burners, which were found to be corroded. Warden parish council has allocated money for the latter work to be undertaken. What a celebration we will have round the base when the virus is over.

The ingenuity of the school knows no bounds and the information pours out to parents. It is too late to order the Christmas cards designed by the children but a phrase in the last newsletter reminding parents to submit their orders caught my eye, “packs of cards, or any other products with their designs on.” What else is in the school emporium? Pupils are taking part in two virtual meetings with recognised authors to find out how professionals set about writing stories and creating characters. A downside in the letter is advice to parents to send their offspring to school in extra-warm layers under their uniform as windows will be kept open to allow maximum air circulation. This warning could have been issued in the years PC (pre-covid) when I shivered at primary school.

It wasn’t bonfire celebrations that woke residents in November 1849 but a cannon being fired to celebrate breaking into a 5½ft seam of coal at Fourstones. William Benson on the following afternoon entertained over 130 workmen and their ‘wives and bairns’ to bread, cheese and ale and celebrations continued well into the night.