Week ending 10-05-13
There is a rather different entertainment on Friday 17th May when ‘Story Café @ The Hearth’ takes place. The stories will be narrated by Gary Cordingley and incidental music will be provided by Neil Chambers. The hall will be open from 7pm with the stories beginning at 7.30. There will be a licensed bar and supper will also be available. The next live music at The Hearth is part of the Hexham Gathering on Friday 24th May when the main act is Blair Dunlop who was awarded the Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 folk awards this year. Also on the bill will be some of the local young folk musicians. The music starts at 7.30pm and tickets can be obtained either from the Hearth Café or Queen’s Hall Hexham. Sunday 19th May sees the annual meeting of Horsley Village Church and this will follow the evening service which will now begin at 6.30pm, half an hour later than shown in the previously published church diary. This will be a communion service led by Rev. John Paul. Another annual meeting takes place on Monday 20th May, this time it is the turn of Horsley Parish Council who will also hold their ordinary bi-monthly meeting on the same evening. All parishioners will be made very welcome. A brief report of the business will appear in the Courant for Friday 31st May. The planters for the community vegetable and herb project have now been delivered and hopefully there will soon be signs of green shoots appearing. Members of Horsley Garden Club have been busy getting seeds sown and seedlings prepared for planting out into the tubs.
Week ending 03-05-13
There was a sell-out crowd for the Jez Lowe gig at The Hearth last Friday evening but the previous evening’s talk on the history of leather making in Hexham was rather less busy. Those who did make the effort heard a very interesting story indeed and Andy Bates the speaker is sure to become much better known in the area as his leather products have already attracted customers from far and wide. He plans to set up a skill centre where young people can learn such traditional crafts as leather working.
The Lion and lamb have two events to offer over the bank holiday weekend. On Sunday evening at 7.30pm they have a quiz for teams of up to six people and, as usual, a pie and peas supper is included in the entry fee. Teams should book a place in advance. On Bank Holiday Monday they welcome back comedy hypnotist Ricky Moore also at 7.30pm and it would be wise to book in advance for this popular entertainer, however it will be possible to pay on the night.
Get your tickets now for ‘Dusty Divas’ who play The Hearth on Friday 10th May. Dusty Divas are Helen Walker on trumpet, Penny Callow on electric string bass, Gill Graham on keyboards and Steph Brandon on vocals and percussion. Their programme will include songs from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield and others drawn from the genres of Latin, swing and jazz. Tickets are available from the Hearth Café 01661 853563 and the gig begins at 7.30pm.
Week ending 26-04-13
This weekend begins with the Jez Lowe gig at The Hearth. The hall will be open from 7pm for drinks and refreshments with the music starting at 7.30. Jez is an award winning folk singer and this is sure to e a great night for all fans of folk music. If you do not have tickets it may be possible to pay on the door. The Hearth is usually able to squeeze a few extras in.
On Sunday 28th April Horsley Village Church welcomes Val and Ray Hill who will lead the service at 11am. The couple are Methodists and have always worked together and both are keen singers and local walkers. This month’s Messy Church takes place at 4.30pm.
Horsley Garden Club enjoyed an outing to Holly Bush Nurseries on Monday 15th April and they are now welcoming visitors to the allotments at the rear of the Crown and Anchor every Saturday. Plans are also in hand for planters around the village which will be used for a community project in which vegetables and herbs will be grown for any residents of the village to harvest. Horsley Women’s Institute are providing the planters and Horsley Garden Club members are sowing seeds for planting out later in the spring.
The Community Arts and Crafts group meets on Thursday 2nd May at 7.30. Further details of this group can be found by contacting Kathryn Nicholson on 07913 796052 or at email@example.com
It is a pity that the annual litter pick was followed by a week of high winds that have spread fresh litter liberally all around the village. If anyone would be willing to clear a small area near their homes this would be appreciated by all residents.
Week ending 19-04-13
Horsley was very busy over the last weekend with the Vintage Fair and Open Studios. On the Saturday cars lined both sides of the main street from one end of the village to the other although the second day was less well attended. It was pleasing to see that some visitors left their cars at home and used the bus to reach the event. Also busy were the volunteers for the spring litter pick which each year helps the village to look its best.
The next in the series of Heritage and History Talks at The Hearth takes place on Thursday 25th April. The speaker is Andy Bates and his talk deals with Hexham’s 500 year association with leather. Andy is behind a plan to revive this industry in the near future. The talk begins at 7.30 pm and refreshments will be available afterwards.
Folk music fans will wish to book for the appearance of Jez Lowe at The Hearth on Friday 26th April. Jez won Folksinger of the Year at the BBC Folk Awards in 2008 and he has twelve albums in his back catalogue. He has continued to perform live all round the world since winning that accolade. The gig begins at 7.30 pm with the doors open from 7 pm, there will be a licensed bar and food available provided by the Hearth café.
There is a communion service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 21st April led by Rev. Eric Lewis. Eric is the priest in charge at Ovingham St. Mary’s after a career in the local police.
As a tailpiece, has anyone seen the ‘Three Musketeers’ in the last week? Regular readers of this column will know the characters I refer to. It is hoped that they have not become victims of the dreaded hit and run driver, or a crafty fox.
Week ending 12-04-13
Every year at about this time the residents of Horsley undertake a clean-up of the village by picking up litter from the roadsides. This year’s litter pick will take place on Saturday 13th April and volunteers willing to give up an hour or two will be able to collect a collector, a bag and gloves from the Women’s Institute hall at 10.30am. The more volunteers we have the more of the village can be cleaned. Last year’s volunteers managed to clear the whole stretch of the main road from well beyond the village at the east end to the A69 bridge at the west end as well a good way down Mill Way. Walkers in particular will be aware of the level of litter in evidence at certain points at present.
A reminder now of the Vintage Bazaar and Open Studios at The Hearth on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April, which will be open from 10am until 4pm on both days. All the artist’s studios will be open and there is also an exhibition of landscape photography by Linda Walton. A range of homewares, fashion accessories and other vintage items will be on sale. The Hearth Café will be serving refreshments and light lunches on both days. These events attract many who travel by car and the drivers are asked to park with consideration. Please remember too that the two pub car parks are there for the patrons of the pubs so try not to use them unless you intend to give them some custom too.
The church service this Sunday will take place in the afternoon once the above event has closed at 4pm and will be led by the congregation. Horsley Garden Club has a trip to Holly Bush Nurseries on Monday 15th April in place of the usual meeting.
The Community Arts & Crafts Group meets on Thursday 18th at The Hearth when, in a change of programme, the session will be devoted to card making.
Week ending 05-04-13
An unusually cold Easter is now behind us but there is no sign of warmer weather as I write these notes. Spring flowers are doing their best to brighten everyone up and we have seen the sun a little more in recent days. If you can see beyond the huge range of molehills, the snowdrops planted around the new trees at the eastern approach to the village are making a good show. Horsley Garden Club is already into its programme for the year and the next event is the first of a series of Allotment Saturdays on Saturday 6th April from 10am. The allotments are situated below the car park of the Crown & Anchor. The next meeting is a visit to Holly Bush Nurseries on Monday 15th April. If you wish to go please let Hazel Holliday know on 01661 853919.
On Sunday 7th April worship in Horsley Village Church will be led by Graham Wilson at 11am and the Messy Church held over from the Easter weekend will follow at 4pm. The Women’s Guild meets on Monday 8th April at 2.30. Horsley Women’s Institute also meets on the same Monday at 7.30 when the speaker is Mrs J. Ryalls. The title of her talk is ‘Be careful what you pray’.
The next major event at The Hearth is the Vintage Bazaar and Open Studios event on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April, from 10am until 4pm on both days. The Vintage Bazaar will feature retro homewares, fashion accessories and all things of a bygone era. All the resident artists studios will be open and there will also be an exhibition of landscape photography by Northumbrian resident Linda Walton. The Hearth Café will be serving light lunches, coffees and cakes. Musical evenings and the Heritage & History talks at the Hearth continue to be popular and copies of the programme may be collected from the Hearth or found via the website www.thehearth.co.uk.
Week ending 15-03-13
With events for spring being planned as I write it would be nice to have some more spring like weather to match but snow is falling again and not just here in the North East. Horsley garden Club is one of the organisations getting ready for the season with their first meeting of the year on Monday 18th March. This takes place in The Crown & Anchor at 7.30 and all members are asked to attend if possible so that the programme for the year can be agreed.
Horsley Parish Council meets also on Monday 18th March at 7pm in the Women’s Institute Hall so if you have any matters you wish to raise you will be welcome to attend. As your correspondent is unable to attend this meeting any report of the business will be delayed until his return.
The Community Arts & Crafts Group is due to meet on Thursday 21st March for a session on Easter Crafts. The session begins at 7.30pm and runs for two hours.
Horsley Village Church service details are as follows: On Sunday 17th March, Eddie Wallis will lead worship, on Sunday 24th Rev. John Paul will lead a communion service and on Sunday 31st Roberta Ritson will lead.
As there will be no column in the next two editions while I am away on holiday, a few details of events due to take place in that period are included here. The first event is a jazz evening at The Hearth on Friday 22nd March with Gabrielle mit Drei, featuring Gabrielle Heller on vocals backed up by Paul Beck on piano, Steve Glendinning on guitar and Dave Parker on double bass. Material from jazz standards, blues and gospel genres will be included. There will be a licensed bar and food available from 7pm with the music starting at 7.30. Tickets are available from the Hearth Café where the contact telephone number is 01661 853563.
There is a quiz night at the Lion & Lamb on Sunday 24th March with the usual pie and peas supper. Teams of up to six members are invited to join and should arrive by 7.30 for a prompt start at 8pm.
On Sunday 31st March the Lion & Lamb is offering a Hypnotist Show at 8pm. There is a charge for this and details can be had at the bar.
Week ending 08-03-13
In the edition for Friday 22nd February there was a reference to the next live music at The Hearth, unfortunately it gave the impression that the gig was on that evening when in fact it is scheduled for Friday 22nd March. This is a jazz evening with Gabrielle Mit Drei and further details will appear nearer the time. They are already available on the Hearth website.
There is a jumble sale on Saturday 9th March at 2pm in the Women’s Institute Hall. Any items to be donated can be delivered to the hall during the morning.
Sunday 10th March is Mothering Sunday and a special Mother’s Day lunch is offered at the Lion & Lamb between 12noon and 4.30pm. Enquire if there are still tables available. The service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 10th March will be led by David McDonald and it begins at the normal time 11am.
Horsley Woman’s Guild meets for the first time in 2013 on Monday 11th March at 2.30pm when the topic will be the ever popular making cards.
Horsley Parish Council meets on Monday 18th March at 7pm in the W.I.Hall. Your correspondent will be unable to attend this meeting but the councillors will welcome any members of the parish on the night. Details of events due to take place during my holiday will be included in the edition for 22nd March provided they are to hand by Sunday 17th March.
Week ending 01-03-13
After months of waiting an up to date bus timetable has finally appeared in the new frame at the eastbound Lion & Lamb stop. The old timetable at the back of the shelter is still in place so please remember to refer to the new one only.
Northumbria Police were in action again in the village monitoring speeds on Wednesday 20th February but owing to the wearing of high visibility clothing it is unlikely that they witnessed any excessive speeds.
On Friday 1st March there is a Women’s World day of Prayer at St. Mary’s Ovingham at 2pm. Details of the service in Horsley on Sunday 3rd March are not yet to hand but will be available on the church website.
Horsley Women’s Institute meets on Monday 4th March when there will be a talk on Capability Brown and his influence on Kirkharle given by Mr. and Mrs. J. Anderson.
Week ending 22-02-13
There was a sell-out crowd for the folk music gig at The Hearth on Friday last when three local groups of young musicians demonstrated that the folk idiom is in good hands for the future. The next gig at this venue is on Friday 22nd March and this is a jazz evening with ‘Gabrielle Mit Drei’. Full details are on the Hearth website and will also appear in a future edition of this column. As usual, tickets will be available from the Hearth Café in the meantime.
The mobile library will call in Horsley on Wednesday 27th February between 3.05 and 3.25pm. This service now calls every two weeks at the same times.
The service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 24th February will be led by Bryan Spurr and will begin at 11am. The monthly ‘Messy Church’ arts and crafts for children takes place at 4.30pm on the same day.
Walkers may wish to note that the byway through Spital towards Welton is impassable due to continued deep flooding and that from Whittle Ford to the south is also badly flooded. This is a consequence of the very high rainfall during 2012 and the lack of recent ditching work. I am indebted to Maurice Holliday for this information. A prolonged spell of dry weather would help alleviate this problem and might also help the farming community gain access to the fields with their machinery.
Week ending 15-02-13
Don’t forget the live gig at The Hearth on Friday 15th February which features three local folk bands all helping to keep the folk music tradition alive and well among the young. Doors open at 7pm and it may still be possible to attend if you have not booked in advance. Refreshments, in the form of curry and naan bread, and a licensed bar will be available as usual. Students receive a discount off the admission price. The food is not included in the ticket price.
On Sunday 17th February Rev. John Paul will lead worship in Horsley Village Church at 11am. The service will be followed by a church meeting. A series of five weekly Lent Meetings at the Wylam and district churches begins on Wednesday 20th February, please check the church website for full details.
Horsley Community Arts & Crafts Group meets on Thursday 21st February when ‘Heddon Stitchers’ will demonstrate blackwork and cross stitch. There will be an opportunity to acquire small kits to try out.
Many residents at the east end of the village have been amused recently by three chickens that have taken the expression ‘free range’ to a whole new level as they wander away from their owner’s home in search of new feeding opportunities. We have dubbed them ‘The Three Musketeers’. Watch out for them when driving as they saunter across the main street without a care in the world!
Week ending 08-02-13
The ‘Storycafe’ event at The Hearth last Friday went well with the stories interspersed with the refreshments and music. If feedback is positive this format may be followed for some future events. The next evening event at this venue returns to the normal pattern with music starting at 7.30 but with the doors open from 7pm for refreshments including a licensed bar. This is a folk music evening entitled ‘Young Traditions’ featuring three bands, all composed of local young musicians and this takes place on Friday 15th February. The bands are ‘Teacups’ from Newcastle, ‘Down in the Attic’ from Hexham and area and ‘Stocksfield Stompers’. Tickets for this gig are available from the Hearth Café.
There is a Communion Service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 10th February at 11am. This will be led by Rev. Robin Brooks. On Ash Wednesday, 13th February there are two short services at the church at 9.15am and at 8pm both led by Rev. Jane Cook.
The police have been in action recently monitoring speeds of traffic through Horsley but their high visibility clothing makes it unlikely that they see much evidence of the problem which is all too well known to residents.
Week ending 01-02-13
Horsley parish Council met on Monday 21st January when the snow lay deep, crisp and even. It is probably fortunate that all the councillors are able to reach the venue on foot although our County Councillor Paul Kelly managed to arrive on four wheels. In his report Paul told us that the recent Local Government Settlement had been particularly hard on councils in the North East with their spending power being reduced by twice the national average. He was unable to give any guarantees about repairs to potholes in local roads as almost all the additional funding awarded recently would be swallowed up by the landslip at Rothbury. He reminded us that the County Council was doing everything it could to maintain front line services in the face of further cuts.
The Parish Council was able to set the budget for next year with no increase in precept as provision had already been made for outstanding work such as repairs to the bus shelter at High Barns. Contact had been made with the relevant bodies regarding the issues with travellers at Water Lane and lights at Northumbrian Water’s site. A recent spate of burglaries in the village had been brought to the council’s attention by the police and all residents are reminded to keep doors to houses and garages locked and any additional security measures in full use.
On Friday 1st February the Hearth is holding ‘The Storycafe’ when Gary Cordingley will recount some traditional tales with incidental music from young folk musicians from around the county. The event begins at 6.30pm. Tickets can be obtained from the Hearth Café. There is another musical evening booked for Friday 15th February with three local folk bands, ‘The Teacups’ ‘Down in the Attic’ and ‘Stocksfield Stompers’. Tickets for this will also be available at the Hearth Café. It would help the organisers of these events if tickets could be purchased in advance although it is appreciated that there has been insufficient notice regarding the ‘Storycafe’ event.
Horsley Women’s Institute meets on Monday 4th February when the speaker is Hazel Holliday and her topic is ‘Women in the Sixteenth Century’. Details of church services in February are not yet to hand but will appear on the church noticeboard and on their website.
Week ending 25-01-13
This weekend should have started with a live gig at The Hearth with Fake Thackray but unfortunately this has had to be cancelled owing to limited ticket sales. It is hoped to rearrange the gig for later in the year.
A meeting was held on Wednesday16th January at Walbottle Campus to let local communities know what plans have been made to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the debut of steam locomotives on the Wylam Wagonway. The Puffing Billy Festival will be taking place later this year and will involve a wide range of attractions and exhibitions mainly taking place in Wylam or Newburn as well as along the route of the wagonway. The festival is being organised by local councils and Beamish Museum. A highlight of the event will be the display of the replica Puffing Billy in Wylam and Newburn and there will also be a special event at Beamish in connection with this.
There is a communion service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 27th January at 11am led by Rev. John Paul. Messy Church follows in the afternoon.
As I write these notes Horsley is blanketed in snow once more with plenty more said to on its way. Local businesses will need as much support as they can get when weather limits normal travel and it would also be a good idea to keep an eye out for neighbours needing help.
A short report of the business conducted at the Horsley Parish Council meeting held on Monday 21st January should appear in the next edition of The Courant.
Week ending 18-01-13
The first meeting of Horsley Parish Council takes place on Monday 21st January at 7pm in the Women’s Institute Hall. Why not come along and find out what your councillors have been doing for the village? A short report of the business will appear in these notes in due course. I hope also to be able to report on a meeting held On Wednesday 16th January to plan celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the appearance of Puffing Billy on the Wylam Wagonway during this year. Many local people will have been reading about this historic machine in the recently published book on Wylam’s railway history.
The Lion and Lamb have introduced a range of offers to attract early evening diners available from Tuesday to Thursday each week. Further details will be found on their web site. They will also be holding a Burns Night Special on Friday 25th January from 6 until 9.30pm. Diners will receive a complimentary malt whisky or glass of wine with their meals.
Live music returns to The Hearth also on Friday 25th January with ‘Fake Thackray’. As the name implies this is a tribute act recalling the songs of the late Jake Thackray. The singer is John Watterson who is well known in folk circles. Tickets for this gig can be obtained from the Hearth Café and there is a reduction for students. The doors open at 7pm for food and a licensed bar with the performance beginning at 7.30.
Please note that there is no service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 20th January but there is a joint service for Christian Unity at St. Oswin’s in Wylam at 10am.
Week ending 11-01-13
The New Year got off to a noisy start with the Lion & Lamb’s New Year party culminating in a fine firework display. Earlier the pub had been packed with revellers with every seat taken. The staff put on a fine buffet as usual. The weather was unusually mild and dry with the wind that had been a feature of the day easing enough for fireworks to go in the planned direction.
Horsley Book Club would normally have met already but there have been so many people unwell that the meeting has been postponed until Friday 11th January. Many folk have been suffering from particularly persistent symptoms recently but hopefully recovery will soon follow.
Services at Horsley Village Church have now settled back into the regular pattern and on Sunday 13th January Patrick Eavis will lead worship at 11am. Coffee will be available after the service.
Work has recommenced at the various Northumbrian Water sites around Horsley after the Christmas break so extra traffic will be noticed as the contractors try to catch up with work delayed by the wet weather of 2012.
Week ending 04-01-13
By the time these notes appear the New Year will have been celebrated but as I write there are a few days to go before the event. Hopefully everyone’s plans will have gone to plan. Details of events for January are not yet to hand as most of us are still doing the washing up from Christmas.
As the old year ended the weather was still stuck in wet mode and each fall of rain on land that is already waterlogged adds to the difficulties the farming community are facing. The same weather problem has beset the contractors working for Northumbrian Water and when they return to work on 7th January their first job is likely to involve much pumping. Those of us with dogs that demand walks in the countryside will also be all too aware of the seas of mud that have replaced footpaths. Let us hope the new year will bring some respite and allow fields to dry out.
The Hearth Café will also reopen on 7th January after Kevin and Alanna return from a well earned holiday, their first since taking over the café.
Week ending 28-12-12
On Sunday 30th December there will be music and reflections around the crib at Horsley Village Church beginning at 11am. This will include five bright and merry Polish carols for mezzo soprano and piano set by Arnold Bax. Coffee and seasonal refreshments will be served afterwards, and all are welcome. The retiring collection will be for the CLIC Sargent fund.
New Year’s Eve will be celebrated at the Lion & Lamb from 8pm until late, admission is by ticket available from the bar. There will be a buffet supper and fireworks to see in the New Year. For availability please see the staff at the bar.
Please note that The Hearth Café will be closed until early January to give the staff a well-earned break. Work at the Northumbrian Water sites is also suspended until 7th January 2013.