PRISON OFFICERS HOSPITALISED AFTER INMATE SPARKS
following article was published by ITV News on 23rd December 2016
Three prison officers were taken to hospital after a
jail inmate sparked a major fire in his cell.
Sean Rowe caused £1,500 worth of damage by torching
a shelving unit and fuelling the flames with fabric
while serving a sentence at HMP Northumberland.
The 25-year-old caused an ‘intense’ fire, which was
made more dangerous due to a ventilation system in
the prison not working at the time.
Prison officers tried extinguish the blaze within
seconds but were overcome with smoke and had to be
taken to hospital while fire crews tackled it.
One officer described the cell blaze as the worst he
had seen in his 28 year career.
Problems at the local prison seemed to dominate our
parish news in 2016. If you are interested in
reading about the many incidents (and reactions) at
HMP Northumberland during the year, please press on
the link below.
ART GROUP HELPS TO BOOST HOSPICE SERVICES
following article was published by the
Northumberland Gazette on
22nd December 2016
Acklington Art Group held a very successful coffee
morning on October 15th, with all proceeds going to
They raised a fantastic £1,697.57 which could
provide 68 hours of specialist 'Hospice at Home'
Pictured above are (back row from left) Rebecca
Taylor - hospice representative, Anne Cairns, Sylvia
McClure, Pat Johnson, Christine Boulby, Liz Howe.
Front row: Jessica Cooper and Fattan Parvini.
A HOST OF SCARECROWS DESCENDS ON NORTHUMBERLAND VILLAGE
Pictured below are some of the organisers of the
Acklington Scarecrow Trail. Back row, fom left, Janet
Bell and Barbara Cock. Front row, Rev Mike Dent,
Margaret Hammond and Mary Guy.
The following article was published by the
Northumberland Gazette on 13th August 2016
Imogen Bush and Dylan Gair, both four, with the Pikachu
A film star, a football hero and a host of children’s
characters have invaded a Northumberland village today.
Visitors to the fifth annual Acklington Scarecrow Trail
were able to spot the BFG (Roald Dahl’s Big Friendly
Giant, who is the subject of a new blockbuster movie),
Welsh wizard footballer Gareth Bale, the Gruffalo,
Pokemon character Pikachu and even Oor Wullie.
Owen Beverley, 10, and Ashton Beverley, seven, with
their scarecrow Rio Gummidge, the Olympic Torch Bearer.
They made the scarecrow with Grace Bryant, 13.
Visitors were also asked to choose their favourite
scarecrow, the result of which will be published in
Thursday’s Northumberland Gazette.
The 20 displays were inventive, amusing and colourful,
and a trail, costing £1, helped plot a course round the
village. Refreshments and tombola tickets were sold in
the village hall, with proceeds being donated to
The BFG on the Acklington Scarecrow Trail.
Gareth Bale or Jack Straw - Acklington Scarecrow Trail
Members of the Acklington Church Events Group
VILLAGE HALL WILL BE JUMPIN'
The following article was published by the Chronicle
Live on 28th July 2016
Jumpin' Hot Country Cantina comes to Northumberland for
a festival of roots music and songwriters across the
world are set to take the stage for the event.
A strong cast of players, most of whom are locally
based, will be taking part in the all-day festival at
Acklington Village Hall.
Hard on the heels of last weekend’s SummerTyne Americana
festival, the Jumpin’ Hot stage, which provided three
days of excellent and varied roots music, decamps in a
somewhat reduced form to a village in rural
The J&H organisers have booked Acklington village hall
all day next Saturday (August 6) for their Jumpin’ Hot
Country Cantina, which runs from 2pm to 11.30pm.
Food and soft drinks will be available and Hadrian
Border Brewery will also be on-hand with a couple of
ales and a cider option. There are also some planned
activities for children.
As for the music, there is a strong cast of players most
of whom are locally based. One of the exceptions is the
formidable Texas singer/songwriter pairing of Brennan
Leigh and Noel McKay, fresh from their Sage Gateshead
showing at last weekend’s SummerTyne Americana festival.
Texas singer/songwriter pairing of Brennan Leigh and
The pair set a benchmark in vocal-guitar interplay and
back it up with classy and literate original songs. They
also mine a deep seam of country material.
Austin-based Leigh (though originally from North Dakota)
will perform a set which is dedicated to Texan great and
one of her Country music influences, Lefty Frizzell, who
had a string on number one hits over several decades and
recorded the original version of the folk-country
favourite, Long Black Veil, over 60 years ago.
Her partner, Noel McKay, was brought up in Lubbock
(hometown of Buddy Holly) and rose to prominence (and
co-wrote some songs ) with the help of one of the
genre’s most celebrated songwriters, the late Guy Clark.
That is recommendation enough!
Martin Stephenson and the Toe Rags reform after more
than a decade for this one-off performance.
However, Martin and the band can call up a huge
repertoire of songs and it is never safe to predict what
will eventually make its way into his set on the day.
Suffice to say that there will be surprises and smiles
in equal measure from one of this country’s most
whimsical, idiosyncratic – and certainly ever-popular –
Dutch-born but locally-based, Vera Van Heeringen is a
very talented singer, writer and guitarist with a broad
range of styles at her disposal.
Vera Van Heeringen
From bluegrass and country to folk and blues, she offers
a convincing authenticity – not least in her
guitar-picking – which is topped-off by some highly
developed original songs, evidence of which can be found
on her current album, Proper Brew.
The day also has sets/contributions from performers like
Tim Dalling, Bridie Jackson, Nev Clay, Archie Brown,
Shipcote and Friends and the locally-based Scottish
fiddler/singer, Kari MacLeod and her band the Fugitives.
Kari Macleod will be performing at the event
There is also the prospect of a “special guest”
appearance – as is often the way with events of this
nature – but regardless of that, the price of a
day-ticket at £20 looks like pretty good value.
Tickets are available from the Cluny or from
www.wegottickets and there is a fuller description of
what you can expect on the Jumpin’ Hot Club website.
BATTLE OF THE SOMME: COMMEMORATIVE BOOK LAUNCHED
The following article was published by the
Northumberland Gazette on 1st July 2016
June Watson with her new book.
A new book commemorating the Battle of the Somme and
focusing on men and women involved in the First World
War is being launched on Saturday, during a poignant
Portraits of War: The Men and Women of Warkworth and
Acklington District Who Served in World War 1 has been
produced by June Watson, secretary for the Warkworth and
Amble District Branch of the Royal British Legion.
Her detailed work includes 134 pages of research on the
men and two nurses from these areas who served in the
June received a grant for the book from Northumberland
County Councillors Glen Sanderson and Jeff Watson from
their Members Small Scheme Award.
The book will be available for a donation and all
proceeds will go towards the Royal British Legion’s
June said: “I did research for the centenary of the
beginning of the First World War and I held a previous
exhibition in Warkworth. I decided to use that material
and update it to produce this book, because it seemed a
shame to waste the material and leave it lying in a
“It took more than six months. The personal biographies
of those men who signed up for the war are a valuable
account of the impact of war, their families and also
the support which was given to the soldiers by the local
“The assistance and co-operation from many descendants
of those featured have helped to make this book possible
and the information was acquired from several sources.
It has proved impossible to verify all the local men who
served in the Great War, but a substantial number have
been found with the families of many still residing in
The book will be launched and available to buy during a
Battle of the Somme Exhibition at Warkworth Memorial
Hall on Saturday. The free event, from 10am to 5pm, has
been organised on behalf of the Royal British Legion.
The display will feature research from the book,
including a special Somme section, with a focus on the
local men (four from Warkworth and one from Acklington)
who died on the first day of the offensive. There will
be a full-size picture of one of the victims – Lt
Geoffrey Sanderson, from Warkworth.
An original First World War banner, which was hung
across Warkworth’s Castle Street in 1915 when the
wounded returned to the village, will be on show at the
Warkworth Village Choir will sing at noon and 2pm and
Beverley Palin will play music from the First Word War
era throughout the day. There will also be stalls with
First World War memorabilia, refreshments and a raffle,
with prizes having been donated from local businesses
and the public. Money raised will go towards the Poppy
June added: “The Royal British Legion does a wonderful
job for the soldiers who have come back from conflicts
such as Iraq and Afghanistan who will need help from the
Poppy Appeal for years to come.”
June has 100 copies of the book. Some may be available
after the exhibition day, call June on 07785 753100.
Coun Sanderson will distribute the residual copies in
his council district.
BOMB SQUAD CALLED TO GUYZANCE BRIDGE AFTER SUSPECTED
MORTAR SHELL FOUND
The following article was published by the Chronicle
Live on 29th June 2016
The device was spotted on the banks of the River
Coquet close to Guyzance Bridge at around 1.08pm
Bomb disposal experts are dealing with a
suspected mortar shell found in Northumberland.
Police were called at 1.08pm to Guyzance Bridge
after the device was spotted on the banks of the
The Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit are at the
scene dealing with the incident.
Northumbria Police have placed a cordon around
No homes have been evacuated and nobody has been
injured at this stage.
Traffic in the area is also thought to be
The hamlet of Guyzance is situated between the
A1 and Warkworth, several miles from the
GIVE PARISH COUNCILS THE RIGHT TO APPEAL PLANNING
The planning system is unfair. It is one of the few
decision-making processes that gives no right of appeal
to affected third parties.
Acklington Parish Councillors are urging their
parishioners to sign a national petition which has been
Our local MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan (pictured above) has
also given her backing to the petition to allow parish
councils the right to appeal planning decisions.
Presently, councils such as Northumberland County
Council, do not allow parish councils to have a
statutory voice in the planning process.
Alison Sharpe, one of Acklington's parish councillors,
feels very strongly about this matter.
She says "Too often the views of parish councils seem to
be ignored when it comes to planning matters. The
system is grossly unfair and things need to change."
AFTER HOUSING BID GETS THE GO-AHEAD
article was published on-line by the Northumberland
Gazette on Saturday 30th January.
An artist's impression of the proposed housing scheme in
The search is on for a developer to take on a scheme
for 16 homes in Acklington which was approved before
The development will create a mixture of properties
ranging from two-bedroom bungalows to five-bedroom
detached houses on a 1.69-acre site in the centre of the
The proposals, which will also see the demolition of
Pearson’s Garage along with improved access
arrangements, were given the go-ahead under delegated
powers by Northumberland County Council’s planning
department. The scheme had sparked three objections from
Planning permission was obtained by the planning and
development team at George F White, which managed the
project alongside architectural input by Blake Hopkinson
Craig Ross, planning consultant at George F White,
said: “We are delighted that the development, which is
in a fantastic location in the centre of Acklington, has
been given the green light.
“Planning within Northumberland is in a huge
transitional period and, as a result, we faced a
challenging planning situation which involved overcoming
a number of complex barriers.
“I am really pleased with the dedication and ability
that the team demonstrated to overcome these obstacles
and secure approval.”
George F White is now actively seeking a housing
developer to take on the site.
For more information about the development, contact
Matthew Simpson on matthewsimpson@georgef white.co.uk or
call 01665 511987.
It features two, two-bedroom bungalows, two
three-bedroom terraced houses, five four-bedroom
detached houses, two four-bedroom semi-detached houses,
two five-bedroom detached houses and three five-bedroom
detached corner houses.
OWNER FEELS MISSING DOG HAS BEEN STOLEN
article was published in the Northumberland Gazette on
Thursday 28th January.
A distraught dog owner
has spoken of his devastation after his much-loved
cocker spaniel went missing – and he believes the pooch
has been stolen.
The resident, who does not want to be named, admits
that he is desperate for two-year-old Mitch to come
The dog has been missing since late morning on Monday,
January 18, when he, along with a Labrador also
belonging to the owner, made off into woods in
Acklington Road, Acklington, while out on a walk.
However, the Labrador was found two days later,
wandering around at the entrance of HMP Northumberland,
in Acklington. But there was no sign of Mitch.
The owner said: “Both dogs went missing on the Monday
and I was looking for them all day.
“The Labrador was returned in suspicious circumstances.
Despite the fact that it had been missing for two days,
the dog was found bone dry and was not hungry.
“For me, it seems that the dog has been looked after,
short-term, but then returned. However, there is no sign
“I have had him since he was a puppy and he is very,
very distinctive. He has very unusual markings and I
fear that he has been stolen.
“I am a dog lover and I just want Mitch back. It hasn’t
sunk in yet that he hasn’t returned.”
The incident has been reported to the police and
officers are appealing for information. Inquiries are
ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact
police by calling 101 and quoting the reference number