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Old October 13th, 2011, 09:55 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
. . . the Jolly Fisherman in Craster



ONE of Northumberland’s best-known pubs has been taken over by former rugby player David Whitehead who wants to turn it into a favourite with food-lovers.

Whitehead has bought the Jolly Fisherman in Craster and recruited two well-respected North East chefs to overhaul its menu to make the most of e local seafood and its popularity with visitors to the spectacular coastline and nearby Dunstanburgh Castle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXNewcastle
Now that is something to look forward to!
Richard Simms and John Blackmore have been two of my favourite Chefs for sometime and I was sadenned to hear that JB had lost his 'Blackmore's' Restaurant in Alnwick's former 'Plough Inn'.

The Jolly Fisherman is an odd pub, though. Very traditional customers, with a pool table and football on the TV, it used to be run by two chain smokers and attracted heavy smoking customers. The colour of the walls and permanent nicotine smell made the point clearly.
Come the smoking ban, all that stopped of course, but the irony was that just over the road is Craster's kipper Smoking House, still choking with the smouldering and fuming embers of their workplace.
Always liked the Jolly Fisherman, go there usually once every year, on an annual visit to Craster.

Like it as it is, enjoy sitting in the raised area at the back looking out to the sea, but will be interested to see whatever changes there have been, next September!
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Old October 13th, 2011, 10:00 AM   #102
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Hartford Hall residents oppose plans to build 23 new homes on troubled estate.
by David Black, The Journal, October 13th 2011



PEOPLE living on a troubled housing estate developed around a former Northumberland mansion are strongly opposing a new bid to build more homes there.

The vast majority of residents in the 71 properties at upmarket Hartford Hall near Bedlington have signed a protest petition against plans for a further 23 houses on the estate’s Low Meadow.

They claim the building scheme is unnecessary and would ruin the character of the estate, where work on the original development has never been properly completed.

Next week county councillors are expected to agree to hold a site visit before making a decision on the planning application next month.

Hartford Hall has been beset by problems since permission was first granted 10 years ago to redevelop the dilapidated former Georgian former mansion and its 58-acre grounds.

Residents say the estate has been left with unfinished roads, missing gates, unsightly open spaces and inadequate street lighting because of a failure to complete promised infrastructure work.


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Old October 18th, 2011, 10:42 AM   #103
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Alcan Aluminium Smelter jobs under threat
by Stephen Cape, The Journal, October 18th 2011



A THREAT to hundreds of jobs in Northumberland was raised yesterday when the owners of an aluminium plant said it was considering closure.

Rio Tinto, which owns the smelting plant in Lynemouth, has revealed plans to “streamline its aluminium interests” which include the 650-job smelter and power station in Northumberland.

North East MPs and union officials called the news of the possible closure “potentially devastating” and urged the Government to intervene.

Rio Tinto is selling six aluminium plants in Australia and New Zealand while a group of “non-core” assets, which include the Northumberland site, will be managed by the company until a final decision is made about their future.

John McCabe, Alcan Aluminium UK Corporate Director said: “We have not found a buyer for the smelter which employs 510 people so closure is a potential option, but we do have an interested party for the power station where 120 people are employed.”

The power station burns coal to provide electricity to the smelter, so any new operator would have to bear the cost of converting it to a more environmentally friendly biomass system.


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Old November 1st, 2011, 11:38 AM   #104
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Alnmouth residents in fight to defeat Duke of Northumberland's plans
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, November 1st 2011


PLANS by the Duke of Northumberland’s business arm to demolish a key building in a conservation area and replace it with holiday apartments are facing opposition.

The Northumberland Estates’ proposal for Alnmouth Boys’ Club, built in the 1930s, is being fought by parish councillors and two residents.

They say the site would be better developed as affordable housing, while concerns have also been voiced by Northumberland County Council’s conservation officer over the loss of the building.

Yet county councillors are being recommended to approve the application at a meeting this week.

The boys’ club, within Alnmouth Conservation Area and the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is also known as Alnmouth Holiday Centre. It is situated on Foxton Road.

The building is currently occupied on a short-term commercial lease by the Youth Training Trust, which offers residential and day training opportunities and a base for adventure activities.

The estates’ application seeks permission to demolish the boys’ club and build in its place 10 holiday apartments with a 15-space car park.


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Old November 7th, 2011, 09:53 AM   #105
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Approval expected for Ellington and Lynemouth colliery homes plans
by David Black, The Journal, November 7th 2011


MULTI-MILLION pound plans to help regenerate two former pit villages in Northumberland – including building hundreds of homes – are set to be given approval next week.

Ellington and Lynemouth will get 500 new houses between them, increased employment opportunities and new shopping, sports and play facilities under the ambitious plans drawn up by Britain’s biggest mining company.

Under the plans Ellington will get another 300 homes, new shopping facilities – including a supermarket and smaller units – 20,000 sq ft of office space and eight units where people can both live and work.

Office accommodation and live/work units aim to create new jobs in the village by encouraging small businesses and enterprises to start-up and grow. The scheme also includes a full-size football pitch and new children’s play facilities.

The plans at Lynemouth detail 200 houses, provide 20,000sqft of employment-creating industrial units and six acres of open storage and build five live/work units.


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Old November 16th, 2011, 04:12 PM   #106
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Rio Tinto Alcan to close Lynemouth smelter
By Colin George, The Journal, November 16th 2011



NORTHUMBERLAND'S biggest private sector employer, Rio Tinto Alcan, has announced it is to close the Lynemouth aluminium smelter with the loss of more than 500 jobs. The firm will now conduct a 90-day consultation process with staff and union representatives.

There are also fears over a further 100 jobs as the company also revealed it is in discussions regarding the potential sale of the power station at the site.

The Lynemouth smelter opened in 1972 and employs 515 people. An additional 111 are employed at the power station. A statement from the firm said all affected workers will receive support, including re-training and job-search assistance, in order to mitigate the impact of any closure.

Rio Tinto Alcan chief executive Jacynthe C¤t› said: This decision follows a thorough strategic review which explored every possible option for continuing to operate the smelter and power station, however, it is clear the smelter is no longer a sustainable business because its energy costs are increasing significantly, due largely to emerging legislation.

We are hopeful that the power station can remain in operation under new ownership.

For 40 years, the Lynemouth smelter and power station have been important parts of the community and we will work with our employees and other key stakeholders to ensure that the social and environmental consequences of todays announcement are managed in the most sensitive way.


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Old November 19th, 2011, 12:49 PM   #107
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That is absolutely devastating news..
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Old November 21st, 2011, 12:22 PM   #108
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Plans to turn Allendale's Dale Hotel into housing
by Paul Tully, The Journal, November 21st 2011



AN eyesore former hotel which has stood empty and decaying for six years could be set for a new lease of life.

And that would bring cheers all round for the Northumberland village of Allendale.

Locals say the old-fashioned village square has been blighted by the steady deterioration of the prominent Dale Hotel since it was last occupied almost a decade ago.

But now, owner John Champ has laid new plans to turn the imposing three-storey building into a mix of houses and flats.

And parish council vice-chairman Robert Philipson declared yesterday: “The village will be delighted that something is at last being done.

“It needs developing in some way – it will have deteriorated in the last six years and it has been an eyesore for a while.


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Old November 25th, 2011, 11:15 AM   #109
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Rock Hall School near Alnwick forced to close
by Sara Nichol, The Journal, November 25th 2011



A POPULAR school at the heart of a rural Northumberland community has announced it will close. Rock Hall School, near Alnwick, will close its doors in July next year after rising costs and falling pupil numbers made it impossible for teaching to continue.

Founded in 1984 and teaching children from nursery to 13, it is the last remaining independent school between Newcastle and Berwick. The announcement, made to parents this week, will see 20 job losses and around 50 children being forced to find another school for the beginning of the next academic year.

Co-headteacher Lalage Bosanquet, who started the school in a shed in her back garden nearly three decades ago, said it was with great sadness the decision had been made.

She said: “It is with great regret that the governing body of Rock Hall School has decided that the school will close at the end of the summer term. “A combination of rising costs, falling rolls and the continuing demands of government legislation make it impossible to carry on.

“The school is determined to celebrate their success in the remaining months.


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Old November 30th, 2011, 10:15 AM   #110
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Alcan smelter still to close despite Chancellor's support package
by William Green, The Journal, November 30th 2011


THE OWNERS of the Alcan smelter in Lynemouth still plan to shut it despite the Chancellor unveiling a £250m package to stop such closures in energy-intensive industries.

George Osborne cheered energy-intensive industries by confirming a £250m package of support in a bid to keep industry and jobs in Britain.

But Alcan owners Rio Tinto were still pressing ahead with closure plans last night which would mean the loss of 515 jobs plus hundreds more in the supply chain.

In his Autumn Statement on the economy, Mr Osborne said he was worried about the combined impact of green policies adopted by Britain and the European Union on heavy, energy-intensive industries.

“We’re not going to save the planet by shutting down our steel mills and our aluminium smelters, our paper manufacturers,” said the Chancellor.

He told MPs that the £250m scheme over the life of the current Parliament “will keep industry and jobs here in Britain”.

But a Rio Tinto Alcan spokesman said: “It is still our intention to close subject to consultation and to any interest that may emerge in the smelter as a consequence of this announcement.”


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Old December 3rd, 2011, 11:25 AM   #111
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Northumberland National Park chief calls for wind farm rethink
by Paul Tully, The Journal, December 3rd 2011


NORTHUMBERLAND National Park chief John Riddle yesterday called for an urgent rethink on Government wind-farm strategy to protect the region’s most treasured landscapes.

A deluge of applications has hit Northumberland, leading to growing fears that parts of the county could be overrun by turbines. Government policy encourages green energy development, and wind farm developers have targeted Northumberland’s wide open spaces.

Turbines are banned from the National Park, but a number of developments are planned close to its borders, with one just 100 yards away.

Yesterday Coun Riddle said: “I think there is a real need for a rethink on strategy. Wind farms are not a guaranteed success. How many jobs do they create and how much energy do they produce? If the wind doesn’t blow, what guarantee is there?

“We should be looking at things in the round, and not putting all our eggs in one basket. “I’m a great supporter of small-scale wind energy, but I am not happy with the exploitation of the wild Northumbrian landscape and the great attraction that we have here being decimated by money-making developers.

Coun Riddle, who farms in Bellingham, close to the Northumberland National Park boundary, is worried at the impact of wind farms on the National Park. Although the park is protected by law against wind farm development within its boundaries, the fringe zone is not safeguarded.


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Old December 3rd, 2011, 12:13 PM   #112
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Vince Cable told to back 2,000 jobs plan after Alcan announcement
by Adrian Pearson, The Journal, December 3rd 2011



VINCE Cable has been told to urgently back plans to create 2,000 Northumberland jobs in the wake of the Alcan redundancy announcement.

Council leaders from across the North East have sent a joint letter to the Business Secretary urging him to intervene with incentives and support for firms in Northumberland.

Their move comes after Rio Tinto Alcan said there has so far been no Government announcement which will lead it to keep open the Lynemouth aluminium smelter, with more than 500 jobs set to go as a result and the knock-on effect at the onsite power station alone, would see another 110 jobs go.

Sunderland Council leader Paul Watson sent the joint letter to the Business Secretary in his role as the chairman of the Association of North East Councils.

In the letter, backed by Northumberland County Council leader Jeff Reid, Mr Watson said a plan was already being formed to create thousands of jobs and that this must now be backed as a Department for Business priority.

It is believed the businesses and council making up the North East local enterprise partnership are bringing forward plans to seek support for new industries in the area to offset the closure, expected in May. When Teesside’s Corus factory was under threat the Government stepped in with £60m to retrain staff, put up land and help new firms come to the area.


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Old December 9th, 2011, 11:43 AM   #113
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Northumberland County Council
advertising signs policy set to change

by David Black, The Journal, December 9th 2011



A ROW over a council purge on roadside signs in Northumberland is set to result in a more positive approach to rural businesses and community groups which need to advertise their services and events. A storm of protests erupted last summer when county council officials ordered the removal of a number of adverts which businesses and local organisations had put up to attract vital customers, visitors and trade.

Rural farm enterprises, pubs, the annual Glanton Show and a village football club were among those threatened with enforcement action – or even prosecution – unless they took down the roadside signs and banners.

The widespread anger over the crackdown led to council chief executive Steve Stewart ordering an internal review.

The findings will be discussed by the executive next month with a view to agreeing a consistent policy across Northumberland. A report seeking the views of scrutiny committee members next week says there is a difficult challenge in striking a balance between supporting rural enterprises and protecting Northumberland’s natural assets against unsightly clutter.

The review has concluded that the council should adopt a “positive approach” to advertising signs to help support businesses and community groups.


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Old December 28th, 2011, 01:18 PM   #114
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150th anniversary celebrations for Kielder Viaduct
by Tony Henderson, The Journal, December 28th 2011



CELEBRATIONS are being lined up for the 150th anniversary of Kielder Viaduct, a bridge designed by a mathematician to have added historical interest.

Kielder Viaduct in Northumberland, now a scheduled ancient monument, was opened in 1862 as part of the Borders County Railway. This ran from Hexham in Northumberland to Riccarton Junction in Dumfries and Galloway.

The sandstone viaduct was built in the “baronial” style, with a castellated parapet and false arrow slits to complement the architecture of nearby Kielder Castle.

But as the railway line crossed the River North Tyne at an angle it was necessary to construct the seven arches at an oblique angle to the track and parallel to the river to minimise resistance from the current.

The result is a rare example of a skew viaduct, whereby the arches are built at a skewed angle – with each stone having to be individually shaped.

This construction presented a complex engineering problem which was solved by Peter Nicholson, a mathematician from Newcastle School of Design, who worked out the shape of each individual wedge-shaped stone for the arches so that those at the top would lie at a right angle to the viaduct’s deck allowing for extra strength and stability.

The viaduct is now considered to represent the finest remaining example of the skew arch form of construction.


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Old January 5th, 2012, 10:18 AM   #115
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Fresh row erupts over Northumberland
State of the Area debate

by David Black, The Journal, January 5th 2012


A DECISION to hold a public debate about key issues in Northumberland, after the county council’s latest budget is set, has been branded “ridiculous and pointless”.

Council leaders were accused yesterday of a “box-ticking” exercise over arrangements for the State of the Area debate, which has to be held annually under the authority’s own constitution.

Supporters of the debate – which is a public forum to discuss a range of issues affecting the county – say it is intended to help identify priorities and inform the council’s annual budget-setting process.

But it will be held at County Hall on February 22 – immediately after the meeting which will agree the authority’s 2012/13 budget. That will be preceded by three area committee meetings this month, where locals can flag up issues in advance of the budget setting and debate.

Yesterday self-employed contractor Kevin Little, of Haltwhistle, said: “According to the council’s constitution, the State of the Area debate is intended to be used by the leader to inform the budget process.

“Holding it after the budget has already been set is a cart and horse situation, ridiculous and pointless.


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Old January 17th, 2012, 10:24 AM   #116
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Eco-museum sites to mark the Battle of Flodden
by Tony Henderson, The Journal, January 17th 2012


View of Flodden battlefield, near Branxton

THE first 12 Northumberland sites have been designated, in a landscape-scale eco-museum to mark next year’s 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden

The concept of an eco-museum is to highlight and join up locations with links to a particular theme.

The initial dozen sites all have connections with the 1513 battle in Northumberland in which King James IV of Scotland’s army suffered a catastrophic defeat by the English.

Each site has been provided with a Flodden eco-museum “brand” board and QR code to enable the downloading of information by smart phone.

Thousands of leaflets have also been printed for each location.

The idea of what will be England’s first eco-museum is to guide visitors from one site to another on a journey of discovery.


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Old January 18th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #117
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£7m bid to get faster broadband in Northumberland
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, January 18th 2012


A BID to bring superfast broadband to Northumberland has been submitted to the government. Northumberland County Council has lodged a final bid with Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the government body which administers funding for the service, which would likely see the county given £7m towards improving speeds for internet users.

The county council has also submitted a Local Broadband Plan, with that having been required by BDUK as part of its bid. The project is seen as vital to the future economic prospects of Northumberland.

In August last year, the government indicated it was willing to allocate £7m to Northumberland towards the costs of broadband improvements. The figure was conditional on the council contributing the same amount and agreeing to fund a long term improvement programme alongside a commercial partner.

The council has signalled its intention to meet these requirements and has set out an outline map for future improvements in its Local Broadband Plan. The plan calls for a ‘whole county’ approach in developing and supporting innovative solutions to overcome some of the specific barriers faced in the county.


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Old January 27th, 2012, 11:06 AM   #118
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£1m-plus refurbishment plan for
Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchland

by Paul Tully, The Journal, January 27th 2012


AN AMBITIOUS £1m-plus refurbishment is set to bring a famous 12th-century hotel firmly into the 21st century. The Lord Crewe Arms in medieval Blanchland, on the Northumberland-Durham border, has faced an uncertain future since November, when the owners J & G Inns went into administration, but now the owners of The Lord Crewe have put together plans to transform the interior of the 1175-built inn.

The Trustees of Lord Crewe’s Charity say plans are in the early stages, but a shortlist of three “preferred bidders” for hotel operators has been drawn up.

The hotel will close this weekend at the start of up to a year of refurbishment work.

Michael Orde, spokesman for the Trustees, said: “The hotel has not had a lot of investment for quite a few decades, and it is looking a little run down. We want it to look like a hotel that you and your wife would want to stay in. We want to make it a pleasant experience."

“The hotel will close for a period of time from this weekend and work will be carried out over the next year."


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Old January 31st, 2012, 09:49 AM   #119
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Berwick upon Tweed considers
World Heritage status application

by Brian Daniel, The Journal, January 31st 2012


HADRIAN’S WALL has it, Durham Cathedral too and now a border town is bidding to join them in being awarded a prestigious global accolade.

Berwick is considering applying for World Heritage status, a rare bestowal given to places judged to be of special cultural or physical significance.

A seminar was recently held in the town at which the feasibility of bidding for the accolade was considered.

Berwick has a unique claim to fame in that it has changed hands between England and Scotland, usually following battles between the two nations, no fewer than 13 times, the last in 1482.

Debate continues to rage over whether England’s most northerly town should be in Scotland, with Berwick Rangers the only football team from south of the border to play in a league north of it.

There have been suggestions Berwick remains at war with Russia, having been regarded as an independent state when the Crimean War began but not being mentioned in the subsequent treaty.

It boasts an impressive barracks, Elizabethan town walls, the River Tweed and a number of bridges across it including a rail crossing designed by Robert Stephenson, a Cromwellian church, a revitalised granary, a guild hall and an array of listed buildings.


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Old February 2nd, 2012, 10:39 AM   #120
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Widdrington wind farm plan seeks to kick-start
£200m Blue Sky Forest project

by David Black, The Journal, February 2nd 2012


A NEW wind farm scheme will aim to kick-start a £200m tourism and leisure project which its backers claim could create hundreds of jobs and bring a massive economic boost to Northumberland. Renewables company Peel Energy has submitted a planning application to build 13 turbines – each up to 126 metres high – near the village of Widdrington, north of Morpeth.

The 39 megawatt installation is seen as the catalyst for driving forward the ambitious Blue Sky Forest project, which involves developing 2,500 acres of land at the restored Stobswood, Maidens Hall and Steadsburn opencast mines. If approved, the 13 turbines will be the first infrastructure to be built on the site since the vision was first put forward by the local Widdrington Regeneration Partnership (WRP) almost a decade ago.

Blue Sky Forest – which is backed by opencast operator UK Coal and a number of other potential developers – has the potential to create 800 to 1,000 jobs, according to its supporters. It envisages an international-standard golf course and golf academy, a sports academy to nurture young talent, an Olympic-size swimming pool, an outdoor adventure centre, children’s activity centre and an artificial ski slope.

There would also be a holiday village, equine facilities, a 4x4 driving experience, a 300-bed hotel and conference centre, shops and restaurants and man-made lakes for sport and recreation.


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