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BERWICK UPON TWEED - The North Northumberland Town and East Coast Port

38414 Views 146 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Ken O'Heed
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The Port of Berwick is the second largest Northumberland Port, handling in excess of 150,000 tonnes of cargo (with capacity to handle significant additional tonnage) and around 250 shipping movements annually.

Berwick is situated on the eastern border between Scotland and the North East England, at the mouth of the River Tweed, which defines the historic Scottish Borderland.

Its coastal position places it equidistant from the Rivers Forth and Tyne.

Berwick is a modernising Trust Port, which has been established for over 125 years. The Harbour Master and staff see to the needs of incoming shipping and provide a friendly and flexible service to all Port users.

There is easy trade access to all the northern European ports including the Baltic, Mediterranean and beyond. Incoming cargo is transported by road. The main A1 road is situated less than ten minutes away from the Port, serving the North & South of the United Kingdom.

Official port Website: http://portofberwick.co.uk
The 'My Port' Website: http://www.wix.com/berwick/port
More Photo's: http://www.ravy-davy.webs.com/


Here is a copy of a post about Berwick, dated 2010, from the "Infrastructure and Mobility, Maritime Forum" of SSC . . .


1 - 20 of 116 Posts
Listed Georgian mansion near Berwick for sale at £1 - but you must have £1.2m to refurbish it

Courtesy of the Chronicle Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/old-whitehall-house-berwick-mansion-7304432

Listed Georgian mansion near Berwick for sale at £1 - but you must have £1.2m to refurbish it
Jun 21, 2014 11:40 By Brian Daniel


Old Whitehall House

Hundreds of buyers are jostling to snap up a North mansion for just £1... not realising they’ll need a spare £1m to complete the deal.

Old Whitehall House, a listed Georgian mansion in a rural setting near the border town of Berwick in Northumberland, is being offered for sale with offers over £1 invited.

However, as the old saying goes - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And in this case, while you might be able to afford to snap up the property, you’ll likely be scuppered by a condition of the purchase. The buyer must have £1.2m available to refurbish the property, which as this picture shows is in need of more than a little TLC. So bad is it in fact, that the derelict mansion is on the Buildings at Risk register. And with your £1.2m, you’ll be expected to get it off that register.

The website of estate agent Right Move, which is offering the property for sale, describes it as a “refurbishment opportunity.” It states: “The proposed sale of Whitehall House offers a purchaser the opportunity of restoring this B listed Georgian mansion house in a wonderful rural location. “The property, currently derelict and on the Buildings at Risk Register requires completed restoration and would be a significant undertaking but would when complete would be an impressive country residence. Of note in the house is a Music Room with ornate plaster work. The site adds: “The property is being offered to the market to any purchaser looking to restore the property and with the condition that any purchaser must be able to restore the property to a wind and watertight state so that it is removed from the Buildings at Risk Register. Any party bidding for the property must have pre-prepared a schedule detailing use and providing evidence to support the ability to carry out the works required. Due to the derelict and dangerous condition of the structure any interested parties must contact the agents prior to any site visit.”

Edward Seymour, head of residential sales at Berwick estate agent Edwin Thompson, which is handling the sale, told The Sunday Sun how “hundreds” of people had got in touch after hearing of the £1 starting price. However, once told they’d need £1.2m to complete the deal, only “three or four” were still interested. “They seem to find the reality is a bit harsh!” he said.
George Osborne accused of 'secret' visit to Berwick to avoid 'hostile' North East voters

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/george-osborne-accused-secret-visit-7369115

George Osborne accused of 'secret' visit to Berwick to avoid 'hostile' North East voters
Jul 03, 2014 20:19 By Rachel Wearmouth



George Osborne is charged with hiding from “hostile” North East voters after jetting in to the region to announce a £22.5m fund to boost rural business.

Soon-to-retire Berwick Lid Dem MP Alan Beith accused the Chancellor of revealing “last-minute” he would visit a business in the heart of his constituency.

Simpsons Malt, at Berwick’s Tweedside Trading Estate, played host to the Tory power broker when he flew in from Liverpool on Thursday to trumpet funding which could create as many as 266 jobs in rural businesses.

It comes as Mr Beith prepares to vacate the seat after almost 42 years and all parties scramble to secure Northumberland votes before the General Election in 2015.

Mr Beith welcomed the funding announcement, and added: “But you have to wonder why the Chancellor of the Exchequer had to keep his visit a secret until the last minute – as the man in charge of the Tory election campaign was he worried he might meet too many hostile north east voters?

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/george-osborne-accused-secret-visit-7369115
Barmoor Castle in Northumberland to host archaeological dig

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/no...le-northumberland-host-archaeological-7379931

Barmoor Castle in Northumberland to host archaeological dig
Jul 07, 2014 06:30 By Brian Daniel


Archaeologist John Nolan and Barmoor Park owner Ann Lamb prepare for the dig with the help of holiday makers Brian Hopkins, Elizabeth Lazenby and David Bettany

A castle in Northumberland which has welcomed Kings and soldiers en route to battle will be the scene of an archaeological dig next week.

Barmoor Castle, a holiday park near Berwick, will be hosting the dig on Saturday, the start of National Archaeology Week.

In the past, lodge and caravan owners at the 200-acre site have found mediaeval coins, weapons and items of jewellery at Barmoor with the help of metal detectors. It is hoped that this dig will shed more light on the life and times of people who lived here through the centuries and on the many soldiers, English and Scottish, who passed through this route on their way to and from battle.

Archaeologist John Nolan, who will be leading the event, said: “Barmoor Castle and estate has a long and fascinating history and we may find a range of domestic and military objects. Since at least the 13th century, Barmoor was on a main north-south route for Scottish and English armies, drovers and travellers, and was a prosperous settlement. Early records show that in 1291, Edward I stayed at Barmoor on his way to Scotland. A tower was built in 1341, parts of which survive in the present Castle, and the Earl of Surrey who led the English army at Flodden in 1513 probably stayed overnight at the tower before the battle. Barmoor Castle has gone through various alterations, including a major rebuild in 1801-4 and several changes of ownership including a branch of the Sitwell family (of poet Edith Sitwell fame), who lived at Barmoor for over 200 years. It is an important building encapsulating centuries of Northumbrian history, from defence against border violence to grand Georgian country house. Barmoor Castle’s current owners Ann and Jamie Lamb, who also own Barmoor Country Park, have ensured that, although unoccupied, it is kept weather-tight.”

Mrs Lamb said: “The archaeological dig at Barmoor is one of many interesting events we arrange for our owners. Later on this summer we will be hosting an artist who will be sculpting a hare from willow in the grounds, and we often hold talks and workshops about the wildlife and history of the area. We find that our owners enjoy the peace and space here and find they can truly relax.”
Candidate is 'local' - to both Northumberland and London

Courtesy of the Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/candidate-local----both-7550896

Candidate is 'local' - to both Northumberland and London
Aug 01, 2014 18:22 By The Journal


Richard Wearmouth, Chairman of Morpeth and Wansbeck Conservative Association outside Netherton Workmans Social Club in Bedlington, Northumberland.

A parliamentary candidate in Northumberland has been accused of hypocrisy after claiming to be local to the county - but also to London.

Julie Pörksen, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Berwick, has been criticised by Conservative opponents after they discovered literature from when she ran for council in London describing her as ‘local’. They say the claim is at odds with Mrs Pörksen’s assertions to be ‘local’ in the Berwick seat. The candidate has defended her local credentials in the county, while her party has laid into the Tories accusing them of “silly attacks.”

Mrs Pörksen’s rivals took to social media to post a leaflet from 2010 when she stood for election for the Lib Dems at Pimlico in the city of Westminster. The leaflet describes her as a “local mum” and “local resident.” The Tories say the leaflet is at odds with Mrs Pörksen’s claims in the Berwick constituency, with her website describing her as “a key local campaigner” and press releases referring to her as “local” and “Northumbrian.” They have also highlighted the fact she lives in the Wansbeck constituency, at Hepscott.

Richard Wearmouth, Conservative chairman for Wansbeck, said: “I am shocked by these revelations, Julie Pörksen has gone out of her way to portray herself as the “local” candidate for Berwick. Indeed, she and her colleagues based their campaign in the recent Longhoughton by-election on the fact that they were local campaigners and criticised the Conservative candidate for living just outside the ward even though he had previously lived in the ward for many years. The fact that it now emerges that Mrs Pörksen not only does not live in the Berwick constituency, but has recently campaigned for a London council seat describing herself as the ‘local’ candidate in Pimlico, leaves her open to the accusation of hypocrisy.”

Mrs Pörksen responded: “I grew up here in the Berwick constituency – many farming people know my father as a leading light in the local NFU.
However, like many Northumbrians, the lack of local jobs forced me to look to move away. Moving back to Northumberland was the best thing I could ever do for my children and my family is in the process of moving to Rothbury where my children start school in September. I want to represent the area where I grew up and which I love in parliament to make sure that future generations aren’t forced to make the same decisions I had to, that there are well paid jobs and decent opportunities here for our young people.”

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/candidate-local----both-7550896
Berwick wind turbine plan looks set to get the green light

Courtesy of the Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/berwick-wind-turbine-plan-looks-7676943

Berwick wind turbine plan looks set to get the green light
Aug 27, 2014 11:25 By Brian Daniel



Plans for two wind turbines in the Northumberland countryside which have split opinion look set to be approved.

An application for generators on farmland near Berwick has drawn 69 letters of objection from local residents plus one from the local parish council. Creators of a petition of 1,000 signatures against turbine development in the area have also voiced fears the project will cause “harm to the scenery” and potentially pollute the town’s water supply. Yet 52 letters of support have been penned and county council officers are now recommending the plans be approved because of a need for renewable developments.

The application is from Simon Maden of Maden Eco in Berwick and seeks two engines with a tip height of 46m on farm land North West of Murton White House at Tweedmouth, close to the A1. The proposals have divided opinion with 69 objectors writing to Northumberland County Council citing impacts upon residential amenity including noise, landscape cumulative impact, ecology, highways, tourism, and impacts on cultural heritage assets.

Opposition has also been based on impacts on landscape visual amenity and on the character of the landscape. Ord Parish Council has also objected citing adverse impact in terms of noise, residential amenity, cumulative impact, landscape character, wildlife and ecology, aviation and highway safety. The Tweedside Action Group, which is fighting the application and another at Tweedmouth, set up a petition to the county council calling for an end to wind development in the Berwick area, which over 1,000 people signed.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/berwick-wind-turbine-plan-looks-7676943
Berwick town centre is being blighted by a series of 'eyesore' derelict sites

Courtesy of the Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/berwick-town-centre-being-blighted-7739095

Berwick town centre is being blighted by a series of 'eyesore' derelict sites
Sep 08, 2014 19:53 By Brian Daniel


The site once occupied by the Playhouse in Berwick

The heart of an historic border town is being blighted by a series of “eyesore” derelict sites, residents say.

People living at Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland have voiced concern over the number of sites - within its conservation area - which have been allowed to fall into an unkempt state over several years. Three such sites are on the market with planning permission for residential development, with an agent for two of them blaming the poor economic climate and low property values for the fact they have not sold. Yet residents have asked how much action local authorities have taken to bring the sites back into use, and called into question use of a fund which is meant to be regenerating the town centre.

However one council has insisted it is working to maximise opportunities to regenerate Berwick. The three sites in question are the former Playhouse on Sandgate, the former JJ Youngman store on Marygate and St Aidan’s House on Palace Green.

Permission was granted to build 20 flats on the former Playhouse site in 2008 with the building demolished three years later. Yet, six years after that planning permission was granted and following the collapse of plans to create a temporary garden last year, the site remains undeveloped with it now fenced off and overgrown with vegetation. The site is currently on the market. The former Youngman site was given planning approval the same year for 19 homes and commercial use. Today, the site is boarded up and similarly up for sale.

St Aidan’s House, an old schoolhouse and former hostel, has reportedly been empty since 1998. It has since been sold to estate agent Mike Rogerson, who secured planning permission in 2012 for its conversion to three homes. However, the site is currently undeveloped, boarded up and on the market once again.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/berwick-town-centre-being-blighted-7739095
New series filmed in Northumberland aims to put young offenders through borstal experience

From the Chronicle Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/new-series-aims-put-young-7751500

New series filmed in Northumberland aims to put young offenders through borstal experience
Sep 10, 2014 19:45 By Brian Daniel


Filming of a new TV series about Borstal at The Promenade at Spittal in Berwick

Film crews are in Northumberland for an ITV1 series which will put young offenders through a 1930s borstal experience.

A production company is currently filming at Ford Castle near Berwick and at the town itself for the series which has the working title Bring Back Borstal. The programmes aim to explore the impact on 18 to 23 year old offenders of the 1930s borstal regime, which involved a busy schedule of ‘physical and purposeful activity’.

A group of young men are spending a month ‘inside’ at Ford Castle and cameras will capture whether they can cope with tough, physical demands and look at whether the punishment would deter them from crime. TV criminologist and former prison governor Professor David Wilson is acting as borstal governor and advisor.

Production company Wall to Wall, behind hit series such as Who Do You Think You Are?, Long Lost Family, and Turn Back Time: The High Street, is also filming at Berwick for the series. The young men have been captured on camera assisting workmen giving an overhaul to a decaying structure from the same era as the borstal regime.

The four hour long episodes are to be broadcast next year. ITV’s controller of factual Jo Clinton-Davis said: “It’s terrific to be working with WTW on a such an exciting and entertaining series that will ask whether a 1930s borstal could ever have a place in modern Britain.” Leanne Klein, CEO of Wall to Wall Media, added: “Bring Back Borstal is rooted in history but aims to tackle how we deal with one of the biggest problems we face today – youth crime. The series has scale and ambition and it’s fantastic to be working on it with ITV.”

Read more @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/new-series-aims-put-young-7751500
Crackdown on town’s ‘grot spots’ is planned

Courtesy of the Berwick Advertiser @ http://www.berwick-advertiser.co.uk...own-on-town-s-grot-spots-is-planned-1-3581980
Crackdown on town’s ‘grot spots’ is planned
31st October 2014


J Youngman's old store in Berwick.

Plans to use legal powers given to local government to tackle so called ‘grot spots’ and rundown buildings have been announced.

The Labour group at Northumberland County Council is putting together detailed plans that will attempt to tackle the problem of absentee landlords and irresponsible social housing tenants. The plans could see owners and tenants forced to tidy up their properties and gardens.

There have been well documented problems with derelict sites in Berwick such as the former playhouse and Youngmans shop.

“We’ll use all powers open to us to make Northumberland a better place to live,” said Councillor Scott Dickinson, a leading member of the Labour group. They have discussed using the council’s powers in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to prosecute people for having untidy gardens.

Magistrates in Leicestershire have led the way in supporting councils in prosecuting those who leave their gardens untidy and unkempt.

The Labour administration is considering a range of options open to the council to tackle eyesores and derelict buildings such as the use of emergency powers like statutory notices, works in default, enforced sale, Compulsory Purchase Order, powers to lease long-term empty properties, Empty Dwelling Management Orders, development of area based renewal initiatives and, as a last resort, demolition.

Read more @ http://www.berwick-advertiser.co.uk...own-on-town-s-grot-spots-is-planned-1-3581980
Berwick and Hexham to be linked by new 120-mile cycle path

Courtesy of the Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-e...ws/berwick-hexham-linked-new-120-mile-8142959
Berwick and Hexham to be linked by new 120-mile cycle path
Nov 20, 2014 19:00 By Tony Henderson



A new 120-mile mountain bike trail which tracks the sandstone spine of Northumberland to take in some of the county’s finest scenery is to be launched next year.

‘The Sandstone Way’ will create opportunities for tourism services along its route in the way that long-distance walking trails have done for the area in recent years. It will run between Berwick and Hexham along the sandstone ridge in North Northumberland, linking crags and outcrops along its length, with many spectacular views.

The route passes through Wooler, Belford, Rothbury, Elsdon and Bellingham, taking in the Simonside Hills and other features of Northumberland National Park in a landscape which rich in history, geology and scenery. It will track the geological ridge, linking sandstone features such as the pink coastal cliffs at Spittal, St Cuthbert’s Cave, Bowden Crag, Simonside, Lord Armstrong’s carriage drive at Rothbury and Warden Law near Hexham. It will be the first long-distance, linear mapped and promoted mountain bike route in England.

With a launch date around the end of June, it is estimated that there will have been 1,000 full route users by the end of the year, rising to 3,000 next year and 4,000 by 2015. It is calculated that 5,000 cyclists a year would generate £2m.

The Sandstone Way is the brainchild of passionate cyclist Ted Liddle, who lives near Hexham and designed the route after the concept was suggested by Victoria Brown of Northumberland Joint Local Access Forum. Ted said: “The Sandstone Way was designed to link some of the best lengths of off-road tracks, taking mountain bikers into Northumberland’s hidden corners on centuries-old tracks and historic byways. The route traverses magnificent unspoilt scenery and offers views with the sensation of remoteness. Cycling the Sandstone Way really is an adventure which guarantees a truly memorable experience for all the right reasons.”

Read more and see image gallery @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-e...ws/berwick-hexham-linked-new-120-mile-8142959
Berwick wins lottery funding award for World War One project

Courtesy of the Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-e...ws/berwick-wins-lottery-funding-award-8200724
Berwick wins lottery funding award for World War One project
Nov 30, 2014 15:38 By Tony Henderson


A man walks his dog through a paper poppy field outside the Menin Gate prior to a ceremony for Armistice Day in Ypres, Belgium

The story of a town’s experiences during the First World War will be told thanks to a lottery funding award.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has given £9.800 for the project in Berwick.

Cittaslow Berwick, in partnership with the Berwick Branch of The Royal British Legion, will focus on the lives and actions of civilians and members of the armed services from the communities of Berwick, Tweedmoth and Spittal. Cittaslow is an international movement which was founded in Italy. A Cittaslow town aims to maintain and develop its distinctiveness. The project will provide opportunities for local people to join in through a programme of activities, exhibitions and events.

The key themes being explored are life on the Home Front, the experiences of local soldiers and the lives of the men and women whose names are recorded on the town’s war memorials..

Working with Berwick Record Office and The King’s Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum, volunteers will be given training to enable them to research archive material, examine contemporary accounts, record family memories and digitise old photographs and documents. The resulting material will be used to create exhibitions at various locations and to stimulate creative writing and pieces of drama that will be staged during next year’s Berwick 900 Festival.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-e...ws/berwick-wins-lottery-funding-award-8200724
Berwick ice cream seller's crusade to tackle town's eyesores

From today's Chronicle Live,. copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/berwick-ice-cream-sellers-crusade-8234138
Berwick ice cream seller's crusade to tackle town's eyesores
Dec 06, 2014 08:00 By Brian Daniel


Berwick ice cream seller Dave Blackburn

A man who sells ice cream from a tricycle has taken matters into his own hands in a bid to get a number of eyesore sites in his home town spruced up.

Dave Blackburn, who sells to tourists visiting the historic walls of Berwick, Northumberland, grew fed up at the derelict state of a series of buildings in its town centre. So he has set up petitions, seeking support from residents and businesses, and approached those responsible for various properties in a bid to have them tidied up. As a result of his efforts, hoardings at one site are now being turned into a mural, while overgrown vegetation could make way for temporary parking at another.

Semi-retired Mr Blackburn, 60, of High Greens, worked for an American company until around seven years ago. Since then, he has written an autobiography, held a number of jobs - including taxi driver, care worker, tourist guide, shop assistant and shelf stacker - and trained in a variety of fields, including psycho hypnotherapy. For the last three years, he has travelled around the walls of Berwick on his tricycle selling ice cream to visitors.

Last year, after a lengthy battle to gain access to a disused toilet block beside Berwick’s Elizabethan walls, he was given the go-ahead to convert it into The Loovre, an ice cream parlour. We reported earlier this year how town residents were angry at the number of eyesore derelict sites in the town centre, including the former Playhouse cinema - which is overgrown with vegetation - the former JJ Youngman store and St Aidan’s House, with the latter sites featuring boarded up windows.

Read more @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/berwick-ice-cream-sellers-crusade-8234138
Eric Pickles urged to intervene in 'crisis' hit Berwick Town Council

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-e...s/eric-pickles-urged-intervene-crisis-8338693
Eric Pickles urged to intervene in 'crisis' hit Berwick Town Council
Dec 26, 2014 06:30 By Brian Daniel


The Journal Transport Links Breakfast held at Ramside Hall, Durham, panelist Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

A would-be MP has urged a senior minister to intervene in the “crisis” said to be engulfing a council in Northumberland, amid claims it has become dysfunctional.

Conservative parliamentary candidate for Berwick Anne-Marie Trevelyan has called on Eric Pickles to right the affairs of the town’s council, which has been beset by controversy this year. Mrs Trevelyan has also called for a local ombudsman to be given the power to step in when such a situation occurs, and has asked Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith and Northumberland County Council to intervene.

Berwick Town Council has been in turmoil since agreeing to take over management of the town’s Portas Pilot in September 2013.

The Portas pilot areas are twelve English towns that have been chosen to participate in a scheme designed to help to rejuvenate their shopping areas, using ideas put forward by retail expert and television personality Mary Portas. Berwick was awarded £100,000 under the government scheme, which seeks to regenerate town centres, in July 2012. Northumberland County Council as supervisory body for the grant agreed to match the £100,000, creating a £200,000 fund.

Berwick Town Team took on responsibility for managing the pilot, but was rocked by a number of personnel changes, including the resignation of chairman Ed Swales. By the end of September last year, less than £10,000 of the fund had been spent. As a result, the county council took responsibility for the project from the town team, transferring it to its development company Arch and then Berwick Town Council, in a bid to speed up delivery progress.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-e...s/eric-pickles-urged-intervene-crisis-8338693
Failed SNP bid to stand in Berwick was about publicity not devolution, says Lib Dem

Courtesy of the Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-east-analysis/analysis-news/failed-snp-bid-stand-berwick-8376579
Failed SNP bid to stand in Berwick was about publicity not devolution, says Lib Dem
Jan 02, 2015 19:20 By Rachel Wearmouth


Julie Porksen, from Hepscott

A failed SNP bid to contest a Northumberland constituency was about getting more publicity and nothing else, a Lib Dem has warned.

MSP Christine Grahame, who represents Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale for Nicola Sturgeon’s party, was hopeful she could stand for election in Berwick-upon-Tweed at the General Election in May. The half-English and half-Scottish politician told reporters she had a lot in common with voters south of the border.

She said she was pro-devolution to the North East and wanted to help the region fight for more control, however, the SNP has since vetoed the move. “I am disappointed but not surprised that the SNP’s governing body has rejected my offer,” she said. I, of course, accept the ruling and have today contacted Hilton Dawson, of the North East Party, offering to assist them in their campaign if they think that would be helpful. But to stand in Berwick to promote devolution for the North East and to lay to rest the scare stories about Scotland cutting itself off from England in the event of independence (I am English born) I required approval from my Party’s Executive.”

The SNP admits the bid would have given her party more television coverage and added she would give Hilton Dawson, who leads the newly-formed North East Party, assistance in the run-up to polling day in May.

While Conservative candidate Anne-Marie Trevelyan said she would welcome competition in the fight to succeed Sir Alan Beith, Lib Dem Julie Porksen said the SNP had no place standing in Berwick.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-east-analysis/analysis-news/failed-snp-bid-stand-berwick-8376579
Chief Marshal wanted to drive the Scots out of England - or at least that's the role's history

From today's Chronicle Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/chief-marshal-wanted-drive-scots-8464530
Chief Marshal wanted to drive the Scots out of England - or at least that's the role's history
Jan 17, 2015 12:00 By Ian Robson


Riding the Bounds at Berwick

Wanted: someone to get on their horse, look for Scotsmen, and chase them back over the Border.

Berwick Riders Association is looking for a new chief marshal to take part in an ancient ritual to protect the border between England and Scotland. The successful applicant will be expected to take part in the traditional 14-mile Riding of the Bounds on May 1.

The event is in its 406th year and can be traced back to the lawless days of conflict between the two counties. Scotsmen found on the English side of the Border were chased on horseback until the border was safe.

But that’s no longer in the job description - these days English and Scots are more likely to be having a pint together. Secretary Steph MacDonald, a former chief marshal herself, said: “It is a three-year position. The person appointed will start as Right Hand Man this year and become Chief Marshal next year and then Left Hand Man the year after that. It can be a man or a woman, young or old, and the ride itself is a fun occasion. In the old days if the riders found a Scotsman he would be chased back across the border - if he was lucky. She said the riders were also responsible for protecting Berwick from the Border Reivers, lawless gangs in both England and Scotland, and keeping the peace.

Read more @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/chief-marshal-wanted-drive-scots-8464530
Bike riders gear up to take on new Northumberland cycle ro

Courtesy of the Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-e...ws/berwick-hexham-linked-new-120-mile-8142959
Berwick and Hexham to be linked by new 120-mile cycle path
Nov 20, 2014 19:00 By Tony Henderson



A new 120-mile mountain bike trail which tracks the sandstone spine of Northumberland to take in some of the county’s finest scenery is to be launched next year.

‘The Sandstone Way’ will create opportunities for tourism services along its route in the way that long-distance walking trails have done for the area in recent years. It will run between Berwick and Hexham along the sandstone ridge in North Northumberland, linking crags and outcrops along its length, with many spectacular views.

The route passes through Wooler, Belford, Rothbury, Elsdon and Bellingham, taking in the Simonside Hills and other features of Northumberland National Park in a landscape which rich in history, geology and scenery. It will track the geological ridge, linking sandstone features such as the pink coastal cliffs at Spittal, St Cuthbert’s Cave, Bowden Crag, Simonside, Lord Armstrong’s carriage drive at Rothbury and Warden Law near Hexham. It will be the first long-distance, linear mapped and promoted mountain bike route in England.

With a launch date around the end of June, it is estimated that there will have been 1,000 full route users by the end of the year, rising to 3,000 next year and 4,000 by 2015. It is calculated that 5,000 cyclists a year would generate £2m.

The Sandstone Way is the brainchild of passionate cyclist Ted Liddle, who lives near Hexham and designed the route after the concept was suggested by Victoria Brown of Northumberland Joint Local Access Forum. Ted said: “The Sandstone Way was designed to link some of the best lengths of off-road tracks, taking mountain bikers into Northumberland’s hidden corners on centuries-old tracks and historic byways. The route traverses magnificent unspoilt scenery and offers views with the sensation of remoteness. Cycling the Sandstone Way really is an adventure which guarantees a truly memorable experience for all the right reasons.”

Read more and see image gallery @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-e...ws/berwick-hexham-linked-new-120-mile-8142959
From today's Chronicle Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/bike-riders-gear-up-take-8672818

Bike riders gear up to take on new Northumberland cycle route
08:37, 19 February 2015 By Tony Henderson


The Sandstone Way map

Hundreds of bike riders are gearing up to tackle a new Northumberland cycle route after the release of the official map for the 120-mile ride.

The Sandstone Way mountain bike trail between Berwick and Hexham passes through communities including Wooler, Belford, Rothbury, Elsdon and Bellingham, then hugs the coastline before taking in the Simonside sandstone ridge and other features of Northumberland National Park. The aim is to guide cyclists through an ever-changing landscape rich in history, geology and scenery.

The official map, designed and published by Blagdon-based company, Northern Heritage Services Ltd, is £7.99, with a minimum of £2 from each sale going towards improving the Sandstone Way experience. Maps can be purchased either through local retail outlets such as Tourist Information Centres or on-line at Northern Heritage or www.sandstoneway.co.uk . It is also available through The Journal on www.ncjshop.co.uk or telephone 0191 2016000. Alternatively call into The Journal, Front Reception, Groat Market, Newcastle Upon Tyne. NE1 1ED.

Another milestone for the route is the creation of the Sandstone Way website: www.sandstoneway.co.uk by Blaydon-based social enterprise, The CyclePAD Ltd. It goes live on the February 21 to help aid to all those planning to ride the route, with information on local facilities and cycling-friendly accommodation along the way.

Chris Hartnell, managing director of Northern Heritage Ltd said: “We were delighted to win the publishing contract for the official map. As keen mountain bikers, we appreciated the challenge of creating a simple to use, yet highly detailed map that allows any rider navigate the trail with ease. We have achieved this map by combining Ordnance Survey mapping and aerial photography and are particularly proud that a minimum of £2 of every sale goes back into the ongoing maintenance and development of the cycling experience.”

Read more @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/bike-riders-gear-up-take-8672818
North East venues awarded Arts Council capital funding

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/culture/arts-culture-news/north-east-venues-awarded-arts-8712284
North East venues awarded Arts Council capital funding
06:30, 25 February 2015 By David Whetstone


Helen Green - Creative Director Arts Centre Washington who was one of the founders of Sunderland Stages

Celebrations are in order at four of the region’s arts venues which have been awarded six-figure grants to improve their facilities.

The biggest North East recipient in Arts Council England’s latest round of lottery-funded capital grants is Arts Centre Washington which gets £257,609. The money is to be used to upgrade and equip the arts centre’s gallery and theatre. In the words of the Arts Council, these improvements “will support Arts Council Washington to become a thriving, sustainable and resilient arts hub”. Director Helen Green said: “It’s absolutely fabulous news. Ever since I started at the Arts Centre in 2008 it has been painfully apparent that there are parts of the building that need attention.

Also to benefit from the awards is Dance City, the Newcastle-based dance agency, which has been awarded £198,608 to improve its facilities. The money will go towards new flooring in its five dance studios, new lighting and heating systems and a new 60-seat venue for the development of smaller scale dance works which will sit within its current 250-seat theatre space. Anthony Baker, artistic director and joint chief executive, said: “It’s really exciting to be able to invest money in the building after 10 years of being open.

Grants will also go to The Maltings Theatre and Arts Centre in Berwick and the Amber Film and Photography Collective based at Side, on Newcastle Quayside.The Maltings is to get £141,608 which will improve its ability to stage live performances and screen-based art.

The grant will go towards better digital lighting, sound and projection equipment, environmental sustainability and financial resilience. The improvements are seen as a way of increasing participation in activities at The Maltings and enhancing the artistic quality of its output. The £110,000 awarded to Amber will enable the photographers and film-makers who run it to conserve their archive more efficiently. According to the Arts Council, the money will fund the purchase of digital equipment which will mean better access to “a documentary collection of considerable cultural significance both internationally and nationally”

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/culture/arts-culture-news/north-east-venues-awarded-arts-8712284
Boris Johnson will visit Berwick today to throw his weight behind the Dual the A1 Campaign

Courtesy of the Chronicle Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/boris-johnson-visit-berwick-today-8782972
Boris Johnson will visit Berwick today to throw his weight behind the Dual the A1 Campaign
06:30, 6 March 2015 By Keiran Southern



The Mayor of London will visit Berwick today, to lend his backing to the Dual the A1 Campaign.

Conservative Boris Johnson, who will fight to become MP in Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the forthcoming general election, will throw his support behind the project.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Berwick and the director of the Dual the A1 Campaign said; “I am delighted that the Mayor of London has taken time out of his busy schedule to support the campaign. We have secured a massive investment of £290m to improve the road but the campaign does not stop there, the ultimate aim is to secure full dualling right up to the border.”

Ms Trevelyan has been having on-going discussions with the Department of Transport, the Highways Agency and other stakeholders as the details for the initial phases are being worked up. She said: “I have called for the enhancements on the A1 north of Ellingham to take place at the same time, if not before, the actual dualling. Specifically, we have identified locations in the vicinities of Warenford, Cheswick and Mousen for overtaking lanes. I am also pushing the case for urgent junction improvements to be made between the A1 and roads towards Newham Hall, south of Warenford, the B6348, at the staggered cross roads from Low Middleton to Middleton, heading south east towards Elwick, south of Buckton, between the B6563 and the road towards Fenwick Granary and heading west towards Lowick Mill, south of Haggerston Castle.”

Read more @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/boris-johnson-visit-berwick-today-8782972
Figures reveal lasting effect of economic crash on North East housing market

Courtesy of today's Chronicle Live/Sunday Sun, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/figures-reveal-lasting-effect-economic-8787311
Figures reveal lasting effect of economic crash on North East housing market
12:00, 8 March 2015 By Mike Kelly



The full extent of the economic crash and its lingering effect on the North East housing market is revealed in new figures.

Detailing the sale prices of all housing from flats to detached homes between 1995 and 2013, they show how they rocketed by an average of 191% to 2007 and have since fallen by 2%. The Office for National Statistics figures are based on the region’s 30 electoral constituencies. Of them, 21 - more than two thirds - have seen a drop in sale prices since 2007, while eight have gone up and one - Blyth Valley in Northumberland - has flatlined at 0%. If the rate of inflation is factored over the six years covered, none have actually seen an increase.

Our probe revealed that perhaps the hardest hit constituency was Newcastle East. From 1995 to 2007 the average price of house sales rose from £49,000 to £149,500, a huge 206% increase. But from 2007 the average sale figures dropped by 9.3% to £136,000.
In neighbouring Newcastle Central house price sales soared by an astonishing 243% from £39,000 to £134,000 to 2007 but dropped back 7% to £124,500 in 2013.
In the Middlesbrough constituency sale prices rose 182% from £32,375 to £91,500 to 2007 and have since dropped 5% to £87,000 in 2013.
Sunderland Central saw a 207% increase from £38,000 to £117,000 followed by 4.2% fall to £112,000.
And in Northumberland, Berwick saw a massive 243% rise from £48,500 to £166,584 to 2007 followed by a 7% fall to £155,000 to 2013.
However the best performing constituency is Hartlepool. The average sale of all house types rose 187% from £36,500 in 1995 to £104,950 in 2007. Since then they have risen again by 10% in 2013 to £115,495.

Read more @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/figures-reveal-lasting-effect-economic-8787311
Eric Pickles opts not to intervene in Berwick Kwik Save decision

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/eric-pickles-opts-not-intervene-8820756
Eric Pickles opts not to intervene in Berwick Kwik Save decision
16:12, 11 March 2015 By Brian Daniel


General view of the former Kwik Save supermarket shop in Berwick-Upon-Tweed

A senior government minister has rejected pleas to intervene in a controversial office development.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles has opted against ‘calling in’ Northumberland County Council’s decision to approve its own development company’s bid for office space in Berwick.

Town residents who had opposed the scheme had pleaded for him to step in - and now one is now threatening a judicial review. Arch lodged plans to demolish the Kwik Save store on Walkergate and to build a 1,415 square metre office development in its place. The scheme is the first phase of the planned redevelopment of the whole site, which has been derelict since 2006.

However, a petition with 678 signatures accused the council and Arch of a “lack of vision” and said the site would be “lost as an opportunity to truly help regenerate Berwick.” Berwick Town Council and Berwick Civic Society were among seven other objectors, with concerns over the impact on Berwick’s Conservation Area.

However, the county council approved the scheme.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/eric-pickles-opts-not-intervene-8820756
MP Sir Alan Beith says Berwick court will not shut despite office 'closure'

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-east-analysis/mp-sir-alan-beith-says-8826178
MP Sir Alan Beith says Berwick court will not shut despite office 'closure'
14:27, 12 March 2015 By Brian Daniel


Berwick Police Station and magistrates' court

An MP says he has been given assurances that a court is not to close, despite the scaling back of its administrative functions.

Staff at Berwick Magistrates Court in Northumberland have reported that its office is to “close” with the site to operate as a “satellite” administered from Newcastle Magistrates’ Court. Yet national bosses have insisted there will be staff in the office three days a week when a court is sitting.

Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith, who has campaigned for the future of the court in the past, has revealed he has had assurances about the future of the site, although he has called for vigilance, warning “there is a danger that administrative decisions will be taken down on Tyneside without regard to the needs of Berwick and rural north Northumberland.” In December, Liberal Democrat Sir Alan voiced fears that Berwick court could be undermined by proposals to cut the number of magistrates courts circuits in the North East. He warned the plans could lead to “inappropriate transfers of cases from Berwick, reduced use of the Berwick court, transport problems for witnesses and the undermining of the principle of local justice.”

Court bosses have said they continue to keep the use of their estate under review, that any new proposals would be subject to consultation and that the “exceptional geographic location of Berwick Magistrates’ Court will continue to be taken into account if any change is considered in the future.”

An email sent in the name of Berwick court manager Janis Hartley has now claimed the “administrative office at Berwick will close from April 1, 2015.” It states that Berwick “will continue to operate as a “satellite” court administered from Newcastle Magistrates’ Court.” An HM Courts and Tribunals Service spokesperson insisted the office would continue to be staffed on court days.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/north-east-analysis/mp-sir-alan-beith-says-8826178
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