The latest news from your town and village.


Jean Conteh

It’s been a quiet Easter Sunday, with meeting outdoors not made easy by the bitter wind, but I hope you were able to get together outside with someone you may not have been able to meet for a long time. Things are slowly getting back to normal, and one sign of that is that the churches in Stamfordham and Matfen are now open every day again, from 10 am to 4 pm. You are very welcome to pop in any time during those hours. It’s hoped that Ryal church will also be able to open again soon.

If you’re living with sight problems and finding it hard to read newspapers, did you know that the Tynedale Talking Newspaper (TTN), a local charity run by volunteers, sends out a free audio recording of local news each month, thanks to the Hexham Courant. They also do recordings of the Tynedale Talking Magazine and The Northumbrian. The recordings arrive by post on a USB and can be listened to on various devices, or you can borrow an audio recorder if you don’t have an appropriate device. Get in touch with Ed, the registrar on 07400 096937 or via to find out more.

And thanks to Ian and Tracey in the shop again for putting on another charity lunch for Easter Sunday. This time, proceeds are going to Betel House in Hexham, a very worthwhile local charity that does fantastic rehabilitation work with vulnerable men – I hope people enjoyed their lunches and a good amount was raised.


Robin Piette

Great to hear the church bells ringing on Sunday morning – thank you, Cairns family!

Wear a Hat Day was a great success, despite lockdown. The village shops and pubs were so proactive, offering something special to raise funds and awareness of the Brian Tumour Research Charity. Well done, Viv for all your hard work. The hat trail was very popular, and there was good coverage in the Courant.

From Jacqueline Henderson on the Wylam Parish Council: “Our thanks to Northumbria Police Officers who spent a day in Wylam engaging with local residents, addressing their concerns and answering questions. It was a positive day and they encouraged residents to continue reporting incidents to their 101 number or on line as this enables them to gauge where and when they are most needed in our area.”

Good advice from a canine expert – never give your dog chocolate, it is toxic to them.

Road slippage is becoming very serious. Tom and Joe’s nursery is threatened, and now Ovingham Bridge has a collapse at one end, and the road is closed – two vital things for our village. Let’s hope the expensive stabilisation of the river banks will take place as quickly as possible.


Julie Foster

There is worrying news about Acomb’s Post Office this week. Following the resignation of the postmaster and the withdrawal of the premises for Post Office use, the branch will be closing temporarily on Wednesday 21 April at 1pm. The postmaster from Stocksfield Post Office is willing to offer services to the local community with the introduction of a mobile service, while Post Office Ltd state that they continue to seek a permanent solution. The mobile service is scheduled to stop at the village hall, on Tuesdays and Fridays between 9.40am – 10.40am. This service will start on Tuesday 27 April. However, it is to be hoped that Acomb’s postal services can be restored to a more permanent basis before too long.


Herbie Newell

The village shop Easter window competition was won by George Ferrol, aged five. Well done to all the children who correctly counted 20 bunnies. George’s name was drawn from all the correct entries and many thanks again to Alison Scott for organising the competition.

The Crown Players is planning a production of A Christmas Carol to take place in early December in the village hall. It is keen to include live music and are looking for a pianist or violinist to help with rehearsals. Musicians would be welcomed with open arms, please contact Diana Linnett on A fun Autumn of rehearsals is guaranteed!

In the autumn the village hall hopes to start regular Saturday morning coffee mornings. If any group would like to host one as a fundraiser, please contact Diana Linnett on

Northumberland County Council in association with E.ON UK is running a Green Homes Grants Scheme that can fund the installation of solar panels, insulation and air source heat pumps. To be eligible residents must be homeowners with an income of less than £30,000 per year. In addition, the current house Energy Performance Certificate rating must be D, E, F or G. More information is available at and Pete Woodward of Humshaugh Net Zero is happy to provide advice on or 07867 945714.

St Peter’s Church services are continuing online and for further information please contact The April edition of the Broadsheet is now available in the village shop.

Allen Valleys

Robert Philipson

It looks as though we will still be needing the central heating on so with that in mind the deadline for an April delivery of oil through the Allen Valleys Oil Cooperative is noon on Tuesday April 13. Telephone 07770 272130 or email

Scouting in Allendale is due to start face to face sessions after Easter, but some leaders have had to step down so they are looking for some more volunteers. This is particularly so in the beaver and scout sections, which are at risk of closure. Beavers are on Tuesdays 6-7pm and scouts 7-8.30pm.

There is a lot of activity at The Forge Studios in Allendale in preparation of an opening on April 12. Shelves are being restocked with new goods ready for the first visitors of hopefully a long uninterrupted summer.

Here on the farm with lambing starting we have seen the first lapwing nests and with an incubation period of three to four weeks hopefully the weather will warm up by the time the chicks hatch out. They must be tough birds as they sit patiently on the nests ignoring a biting cold north wind with snow flurries.

Please send any contributions to this column for next week by Sunday 6pm and sent to or telephone 01434 685266.


Helen Savage

Bidding for the Great April Fool’s Silent Auction is hotting up. You have until 14 April to try to secure one of over 130 tempting lots:


auction. I have my eyes on a home-made blueberry cheese cake, a cut and blow dry (oh please!) and a superb painting of the Lead Road in Spring (under about 2 foot of snow). So far over £1,500 has been pledged for the all so-important Commemoration Hall building fund.

Church services in Slaley have begun again very successfully - and when the weather permits and we can meet outdoors, we can all sing again together! Sunday worship continues online too (see the Moorland Group of churches Facebook Page) but face to face (so to speak) every week at St Mary’s we meet at the new time of 10.45am. All are welcome.

A date for your diary: Slaley, Healey and Minsteracres Local History Group meet via Zoom on Monday 26 April at 7.30pm when Ian Hancock will talk about the utterly fascinating early history of Egger in Hexham, or more particularly, of the company that began on the site in 1962, Airscrew-Weyroc (which sounds like a sixties band). To secure your invitation please email


Malcolm Cairns

Ovingham Community Orchard will celebrate the coming of the blossom on their fruit trees with a “dawn chorus” vigil. Sunday 2 May is the appointed day at 4.45am.! Hopefully the birds will be awake at such an early hour and as dawn breaks the blossom will come into view.

Although the Chat Club does not normally meet in the summer holiday period, this year could be different. Hazel hopes that all being well members could resume meetings in July.

A reminder about the Green Ovingham Spring litter pick. Meet up at the White Swan car park 10am, 10 April. Some picking equipment and bin bags will be provided. The more the merrier!

On the subject of litter, to those who frequent the playing field and enjoy their crisps and cans of fizzy drinks. Please note that there are litter bins placed at both entrances and also at the side of the pavilion, feel free to use them, thank you.

Traffic in Ovingham has been affected by the closure of the road bridge leading to long detours if one wishes to travel to Prudhoe.The cause of this was the collapse of a section of road opposite the Reading room.The closure order lasts until the 21st, let’s hope it’s sorted out by then.The foot bridge remains open to pedestrians and cyclists pushing their bikes.