Week ending 11.09.15


Week ending 04.09.15

Horsley Village Church service Sunday 30th August will be led by Ann Sinclair. Sunday the 6th of September will be led by the congregation. Judging by the number of cars parked in the village last Saturday the ‘Horsley Wool Fair’ with the Artists open studio ‘Hearth Arts Event’ was extremely well supported. Coming to the Hearth Arts Centre Friday 18th September, 7.30pm is THE SEAM with Gareth Davies-Jones. An evening of live acoustic music showcasing original songs from what is snappily known as The Mining Institute. The show has toured the North of England to excellent reviews, and Horsley Village is delighted to have been able to have Gareth bring it here. “Hailing from Bangor in Northern Ireland, Davies-Jones borrows just enough from the folk traditions to imbue the album with a deliciously inviting, roots-infused sound that avoids any folk clichés and maintains a breezy pop hue that is sure to appeal far beyond any genre boundaries.” Folking.com Tickets £10/£5 from the Hearth Cafe, 01661 853 563 The Cafe will be open from 5.30pm for evening meals Also coming to the Hearth 7.30pm Thursday 24th September is a talk on HOW TALL SHIPS WORK–with Richard Tomlin. Last reminder of the Quiz night 7.00pm Saturday 5th September with an original twist set by Bill Marley and Sue Wood. It is to be held at the Hearth, Horsley. There will be quirky prizes and a delicious home cooked supper using garden produce. Advance booking required, please contact Roberta on 01661 852702 or text 07913450799 We are very lucky to have volunteers from the Northumbrian Water Company Horsley to offer to paint the WI/Village Hall in September. A big thank you to all concerned.  

Week ending 21.08.15

Horsley Village Church service Sunday 23rd August will be led by Eddie Wallace with St Aidan’s United Reformed Church Hexham to visit.

At the last Parish Council meeting Monday 20th July, ideas and suggestions were requested for how we can celebrate Queen Elizabeth ll’s birthday when she is set to turn 90 next year. The event will take place on Sunday 12 June 2016. In honour of her milestone birthday which is on April 21 2016.

It was announced that The Mall in St James' Park, London – the road leading up to Buckingham Palace – would be transformed into the biggest street party ever next year. Preparations are already being put in place. The monarch, who has reigned for 63 years, will be recognised for her service to the community with a quintessentially British celebration – a colourful "street party". The aim is to motivate as many Horsley Village residents as we can to take part and help organise perhaps a street party of our own for the direct benefit of our community. Please send any thoughts or nominations to the parish council in time for the next meeting which will be held at the WI/Village Hall Monday 21st September 2015. I’m sure we can make it something for our Children/Grandchildren to enjoy and remember for years to come.

The tickets for the Quiz night at the Hearth, Horsley on Saturday September 5th 7.00pm

Are going fast, don’t miss out contact Roberta on 01661 852702 or text 07913450799.


A reminder to all Horsley Garden Club Members, the social evening on Friday 18th September at the Lion and Lamb requires a £5 deposit. This needs to be given to one of the committee members, as soon as possible in order to secure a place.  Final numbers are needed for the end of August. Thank you.


Future events at the Hearth Arts Centre.

Friday 18th September, 7.30pm Gareth Davies Jones

Friday 16th October, 7.30pm Concert in the Church. Programme to be confirmed

Friday 4th December, 7.30pm Celia Bryce Band

All tickets from the Hearth Cafe, 01661 853 563

On these occasions the Cafe will be open from 5.30pm for evening meals, booking recommended.

Week ending 14.08.15

Horsley Village Church service Sunday 16th August will be communion service led by Reverend John C Paul.


On Tuesday 25th August the last session of the summer 'Memory Lane' project takes place between 3 and 4 pm in Horsley Village Church.  This is an opportunity for all to take part in live music and singing, especially welcoming those living a full life despite ageing or illness.  There is no charge, door charge or pre-booking, but if you fancy a chat please phone 01661 852702.

From September these sessions move to the foyer of Wylam Methodist Church by popular request.


At the Hearth, Horsley on Saturday September 5th 7.00 pm

All are welcome to come along to a Quiz Night with an original twist, set by Bill Marley and Sue Wood. 

There will be quirky prizes and a delicious home cooked supper using garden produce. Advance booking required, please. Ticket will be £5 and all proceeds go towards funding an open master class with Michael Harper, counter-tenor, and pianist Julia Cobby organised as part of the forthcoming 'Sing through the week' event, starting 26th October.  Many exciting workshops and singing opportunities will be hosted in Horsley so please watch this space and keep the dates free. 

Enquirers to Roberta on 01661 852702 or text 07913450799.


Don’t forget the Horsley Wool Fair at the Hearth Saturday 22nd August 10.30 -  4.00pm

Local crimes in July 2015:         
11/07/15 Theft - Wylam - unknown person steals phone from handbag whilst at party. 
13/07/15 Church Road, Wylam - unknown persons runs from taxi without paying. 
14/07/15 Assault - Hexham Road, Heddon on the Wall - no person identified.                                    
If you have any information regarding the above or other incidents please contact:easttynedale.npt@northumbria.pnn.police.uk OR CALL 101  

There will be no local police surgeries for August due to holidays. 

Week ending 07.08.15

The Garden Club event at the Lion and Lamb was a great success. Thanks must go to the hard working members who did so much setting it up and to all those who put in the various entries from the folk who entered beautiful flower displays and needlework items, photographs of the village and animals,  to the children who made animals form vegetables and painted bird boxes. It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and the sun almost shone for an hour or two. The garden club raised £45 from cake sales and £70 on the tombola stand. 

It was suggested at the parish council meeting that a ‘no through road’ sign be put at the entrance of Cherrytree Gardens as vehicles insist on going down when it is a dead end Cul-de- Sac and always difficult to turn at the bottom of the road.


Music at the Hearth Art Centre Friday 18th September, is Gareth Davies –Jones with THE STEAM, song writing residency at the Institute of Mining & Mechanical Engineering, it will be an evening of live acoustic music showcasing original songs from Newcastle (more snappily known as The Mining Institute).  This show has toured the North of England to excellent reviews, and we are delighted to have been able to invite Gareth to bring it here. Tickets £10/£5 from the Hearth Cafe, 01661 853 563.The Cafe will be open from 5.30 for evening meals

At the Hearth Sat 26 - Sun 27, September 2015 10 am - 4pm, A COURSE of ‘An Introduction to Wood Engraving’ with Chris Daunt. Wood. Engraving is a printmaking process with roots in the Tyne Valley, close to Horsley. Thomas Bewick perfected the art in the 18th century and is regarded as one of our greatest artists. The technique is unchanged since Bewick and this short course is an ideal opportunity to learn the beautiful art of wood engraving. Chris Daunt is a professional wood engraver and maker of engraving blocks and has taught the subject for many years. For further details please go to his website or call 0191 4208975Horsley Village Church service Sunday 9th August will be led by Val & Ray Hill.


Week ending 31.07.15

Horsley Village Church service Sunday 2nd August will be led by Hazel Holliday. Saturday 1st August is the Horsley Garden Club Show at Lion and Lamb. Everyone is welcome. The show opens at 12 noon until 3 pm. All entries for the various competitions must be delivered between at 11 am and 12.00 noon. A tip form the garden club is a seasonal recipe: The Horsley Garden Club social evening will be held on Friday 18th September. Members or non members who would like to attend please give £5 deposit to a member of the committee. The Parish Council Meeting held on the 20th July The clearance of overgrown vegetation on the path entrance leading to Horsley Marsh which is at the East end of the village is to be arranged. It was noted there is National concern about the state of the footpaths and anyone concerned with the condition of any footpath in the village or the parish can report the matter on line to the Ramblers Association. With the help of grants and other sources it has been agreed by the parish council to replace rather than repair the roundabout in the children’s park. As a brand new one will have a 5 year warranty it would therefore be more cost effective. An estimate of around 6 weeks was mentioned, for the new one to be available. Dog Walkers letting their pets foul the children’s park area is to be addressed. A request for bins to be installed to encourage pet owners to clean up after their animals is to be made. Parking in the village is a concern especially on either side of the entrance to the Hearth Arts Centre/Café. When visitors are leaving the car parking area it is very difficult to see if cars are coming due to the parked cars on either side of the exit. The next meeting of the Parish Council is 21st September for any suggestions. Saturday 22nd August, 10.30am – 4pm Horsley Wool Fair and Open Studios A celebration of British wool. - Demonstrations of feltmaking, spinning and weaving - Fleece sale - Exhibitors selling yarns, fibres, equipment, kits, felted, knitted and woven goods and carding/spinning service - Resident artists’ open studios - Competitions For more information see www.Horsleywoolfair.com  




Week ending 24.07.15

Horsley Village Church service Sunday 26th July will be led by Reverend John Paul.

School holidays are upon us and finding ways to entertain the children/grandchildren can be daunting. Pick your own fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants & blackcurrants at Brockbushes is one way. For those who may not know, the Farm is based on the A69 just off the Styford roundabout near Corbridge.  Plus you may be able to visit the “Frozen” & “Superhero’s” Party on Saturday 25th July, if tickets are still available. There will be children’s fun rides; coin operated mini diggers, face painting and crafts. To ensure you and your family are not disappointed call Peter & Sam on 07738 674447: It’s also a chance to sample and buy some of the delicious products as well as browse around the exclusive collection of gifts and crafts. The Barbecue and Tea Room are open each day. In the Farm Shop you will find home baked cakes, slices, desserts, pastries, pies and freshly baked scones. Many of the home baked products are wheat & gluten free, just ask the assistants who will be very happy to help.

Thank you to Graham and June of Graham Smith Antiques, Leadgate House, Horsley who very kindly donated a tour and informative talk to our Auction held at the WI/Village Hall 18th April. The gift was bid for and won by Elizabeth Bramwell and the tour and talk given by Graham on Monday 13th July to ten Horsley villagers. His expertise on all of the pieces was compelling, sharing a lot of the history behind the craftsmanship and exquisiteness not to mention the secrets of the antiques on display. His narration was fascinating and was enjoyed by everyone who attended. The showroom is open Monday – Friday 10am -5pm and Saturdays 10am -4.00pm. It is well worth a visit to see the 18th-19th Century English furniture, various boxes, mirrors, desks and much more:

Saturday 1st August is the Horsley Garden Club Show, more information in next week’s Courant:

Week ending 17.07.15

Horsley Village Church service Sunday 19th July will be led by Reverend Pat Brooks. Our very own Terry Mulligan of 2 Cherrytree Gardens, Horsley was voted runner up in the ISOS regional gardening competition for 2015 there was fierce competition from the local area as well as County Durham, Tyne and Wear and East Northumberland. The closing date for entries was Monday, June 22nd 2015. The various categories were Best overall garden: Best new garden / most improved garden – where an individual or family has made big improvements to a previously untidy or unkempt garden: Best community / communal garden and Best display of hanging baskets, pots and containers which was the class Terry was runner up: Well done a great success: Continuing on this theme the scarecrows in the Village last Saturday were amazing, so much so a number of folk took them for real people, especially the couple on the garden bench as entering from the west and the policeman with the speed camera entering from the east. It had the best traffic calming effect ever used. Well done to everyone who took part and a big thank you from the village residents: Don’t miss the ‘Railways before Stephenson’ from speaker Les Turnbull on Thursday 30th July 7.30pm at the Hearth: Les Turnbull has had a life-long passion for history and is the author of several books on his particular areas of interest - mining and the railways. Les is a regular speaker on local history, and in this talk he will explore the beginnings of railways and their contribution to the industrial development of the North. £5 payable at the door and include free refreshments: Northumbria Police Community Message has shown June crime figures. Ovingham suffered a number of crimes on one particular night. If you hear or see anything please phone 101 straight away. Officers are patrolling the area 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Dates for your Diary. Local Police surgeries will be held on the following dates: Saturday the 1st of August 2015 09.00am - 10.00am Wylam Library 10.00am -11.00am Prudhoe Library 11.00am -12.00 pm Dingle Dell Heddon. For further information regarding events, local news, crime prevention advice and our Neighbourhood Priorities in the East Tynedale area, please visit the Northumbria police website. 20th July Parish Council Meeting WI/Village Hall 7.00pm 20th July Garden Club at Lion & Lamb 7.30pm  

Week ending 10.07.15

Horsley Village Church service Sunday 12th July will be led by the congregation along with Maurice and Hazel Holliday.


The next meeting of the Horsley Parish Council will be held on Monday 20th July 2015 at 7.00pm. The WI/Village Hall will be the Venue.

Horsley Garden Club is Monday 20th July 7.30pm at the Lion & Lamb. Please contact Hazel Holiday on 01661 853919 by 6 pm on 19th July if you would like to enjoy a meal beforehand. At the last meeting 14 new members were welcomed and arrangements discussed for the coming Garden Club Show.


The Garden Club Show will take place 1st August 2015 venue to be confirmed. Northumbrian musicians “Robson’s Choice” have confirmed that they are able to attend. They play a variety of instruments including pipes, guitar, fiddle, harp and drums and raise funds for St. Oswald’s Hospice.

There will also be a jewelry stall with pieces made from semi-precious stones.  Competition categories are:- A hanging basket or planter (made by member). The tallest sunflower: A button hole: A vase of flowers from your garden: A small tray of three fruits (from member’s own garden):  A small tray of three vegetables (from member’s own garden): A heather from member’s garden to be judged in situ.

 Art Classes (to be judged by members):A knitted or crochet item, A needlework item, A painting or sketch, A basket of flowers, A decorated planter with plant, A photograph (two categories: holidays and animals)

Children’s Classes (members to judge): An animal made from vegetables, Sunflowers grown in the allotment, A decorated bird box (to be supplied by Gardening Club).

Baking Classes Judged by Elizabeth Bramwell and Lion and Lamb Chef to judge:

Sweet or savoury scones, Bread, A tray bake, Victoria sandwich cake, Chocolate cake

Meringues, Sweet or savoury tart, A jar of jam, A jar of chutney.


Please bring prizes for the Tombola to the July Garden Club meeting. Sadly the Open Gardens on the 11th July has been cancelled due to holidays and other commitments. However the Scarecrow competition is still going ahead on the 11th July.

Allotment update:  It was reported that everything was fine.  The water supply is now working well, thanks to Davy Wallace.  There is room for more participants if anyone would like to take a plot.  Please wander down and have a look for yourself.


week ending 03.07.15    

Horsley Village Church service Sunday 5th July will be led by Gospel Ladies

Monday 6th July at the WI/Village hall 7.30 the Women’s Institute speaker will be on “Satins & Silks” anyone who is interested is more than welcome to come along.


There are only two places left available on Mandy Pattullo's Textile Collage course on Sunday 12th July at the Hearth. More information on Mandy's website


The Hearth talks are held on the last Thursday of the month, at 7.30pm in the Hearth Hall. Entry is £5 on the door, and includes refreshments. Don’t miss Thursday 30th July which will be from - Les Turnbull on RAILWAYS BEFORE STEPHENSON. Les Turnbull has had a life-long passion for history and is the author of several books on his particular areas of interest - mining and the railways.  Les is a regular speaker on local history, and in this talk he will explore the beginnings of railways and their contribution to the industrial development of the North.


Horsley village Scarecrow 11th July 2015 competition tips for those of us who sadly missed Terry’s demonstration. You might let the children have a try too. Start by gathering up the clothes you'll need to dress your scarecrow. It can be helpful to put your scarecrow against a fence that will provide support. Tie a cross piece (a broomstick would be good) to form the arms. ...

Use felt pens to draw the face (or sew on coloured pieces of cloth).Stuff the pants Tie off an old pair of pants at the bottom of each leg with twine. Stuff the pants with hay or other stuffing until they’re firm and full.

Make the head and arms by stuffing a pair of panty hose. Tie off at the waistband; then put both legs into the sleeves of the shirt, so the top of the pantyhose sits above the shirt collar as the scarecrow’s head.

Stuff the shirt Leaving the shirt unbuttoned, tuck it into the pants. Then, safety pin it to the pants from the inside around the waist. Stuff the chest, buttoning the shirt as you go, until the body is full.

Fill the gardening gloves with hay, tie them off, and pin them to the sleeves. Attach boots or wellingtons. 

Add finishing touches. Cut out pieces of scrap fabric eyes, nose, and a mouth, and glue them into place. Then add suspenders, a hat, and loose straw around the head and collar.

If you don’t want to set up a frame prop the scarecrow up near your front door or gate. Step back and marvel at a scarecrow worthy of the yellow brick road! Good Luck.

Week ending 26.06.15

There was a resounding applause last Friday 19th June, at the Hearth for the fabulous Jazz quartet fronted by singer Gabriele Heller, with Paul Beck on piano, Steve Glendinning on guitar and Dave Parker on double bass with special guest drummer Mark Robertson.


This Saturday 27th June 2015 local police surgeries will held at the following venues: 
09.00am - 10..00am Wylam Library 
10.00am -11.00am Prudhoe Library 
11.00am -12.00 pm Dingle Dell Heddon

Crime Figures in our area for May 2015         
30/4/15 - 3/5/15 - burglary - Dene Road, Wylam .   
04/5/15 - burglary - Dene Road, Wylam - overnight   
03/5/15 - theft - Wylam Nurseries - overnight             
If you have any information which may help the police regarding these or other incidents please call 101 or email: easttynedale.npt@northumbria.pnn.police.uk 


At the Hearth the Tuesday Wool Group meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 12.45 - 3.15pm.  Suitable for everyone with an interest in any wool craft, just bring along some work and chat, network and skill-share. There is a small charge of £3.50 to cover costs. 

Step into Felt and Stitch Summer School from Thursday 13th to Sunday16th August with Mandy Pattullo and Ellie Langley at the Hearth when you can spend two days making felt with Ellie Langley, including a pair of slippers and felted sheets for wall hangings then 2 days will be spent with Mandy Pattullo, decorating your pieces with British wool yarns and tweeds. Cost for the four days, including materials - £180.  

Ellie Langley's complete list of woolly workshops for 2015  is now available on the workshop pages of her website

For the fun people of Horsley village it’s scarecrow day on 11th July.  If you wish to be included in the map of the village please notify Hazel Holliday on 01661 853919 by the 8th July 2015, thank you.

A future date for your diary: Saturday 22nd August 2015 10.30 - 4.00pm this is the date for the second Horsley Wool Fair and Open Studios.  This was a great success last year and included a visit from Hearth Artists' mascot Lamb named Horsley - we look forward to seeing how he's grown! There will be demonstrations, fleece sale, and spinning service more details of stallholders and activities nearer the date of the event. Refreshments will be available at the Hearth Café & the Lion & Lamb.

FUTURE EVENTS Brocksbushes Summer Fayre Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th July10.30am until 5pm each day. A chance to taste, sample and buy some of delicious food products and delicacies and then browse among the exclusive collection of gifts and crafts all with free entry. There are lots of activities for the Children such as music, Pole Lathe Turning and Wood Carving. Macmillan Cancer Support Big Top Sale Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th July I lam — 3pm

Horsley Village Church Sunday 26th June 2015 will be service held by Maureen Lloyd. 

Week ending 05.06.15

The work in Water Lane, Horsley has been completed with the smart new stone wall and new entrance to the Northumbrian Water Works which also means there no access to anyone other than those visiting the company on business. Plus a new fence at the entrance to the electric sub station off Cherrytree Gardens is also now complete and it will not now be possible for the general public to access Water Lane as had been previously.  However the public right of way can be accessed at the side of South Farm or via the North end of Water Lane.


The grant for improvements to the village war memorial is well under way.  The work will include leveling the site, renewing the letters on each name and blasting and repainting the railings.

Another bus stop seat will be placed at the stop near West House in Horsley village.

Ovingham bridge works have reduced the volume of eastbound traffic through the village.  It is now estimated that the work is at least 8 weeks behind schedule.


Horsley Village Church on Sunday 7th June people of all ages are welcome to live music and reflections at the usual church service time of 11am.  Story-telling, poetry, photography, songs and piano pieces will highlight aspects of the day's readings and there will be creative ideas for integrating prayer with everyday life.  You don't have to be 'religious' to enjoy this.


The Church Service Sunday 14th June will be led by Peter Moth (retired URC minister) and on the 21st June there will be a communion service led by Reverend John Paul.

At the Hearth 19th June, 7.30pm  A fabulous Jazz quartet fronted by singer Gabriele Heller, with Paul Beck on piano, Steve Glendinning on guitar and Dave Parker on double bass.  Gabriele mit drei plays a wide repertoire of jazz standards, German film classics, gospels and original compositions.  For this concert, Gabriele mit drei becomes Gabriele mit vier, with special guest drummer Mark Robertson.


The talk at the Hearth 7.30 Thursday 25th June DIGGING AT VINDOLANDA from David Goldwater: On his twelfth dig.


The Hearth Tuesday Wool Group meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 12.45 - 3.15pm.  Suitable for everyone with an interest in any wool craft, just bring along some work and chat, network and skill-share.  There is a £3.50 charge to cover costs.  

Week ending 29.05.15

At the Annual General Meeting of the Parish Council Monday 18th May, the parish councillors were thanked for the work they do as volunteers in Horsley.  This work includes maintenance of bus shelters and notice boards, representing Horsley on Ovingham Burial Board, Tynedale Council Forum, the SCA forum, maintenance of the village war memorial, governor representation at Heddon First School and maintenance of play areas in the village.  Securing finance for projects and working closely with Northumberland County Council continues to be problematic.

Michael Senior and Chris Rodgers are re-elected chair and vice chair of Horsley parish council respectively.  Three residents attended the AGM of the parish council and it is hoped more of the community would attend future meetings so they can respond effectively to residents’ needs and requests.

Horsley PC has made community grants to a number of local organisations.  These include £100 to the Great North Air Ambulance, and £50 each to COMMUNITY ACTION Northumberland, Sport Tynedale and Legacare. A portable loop system has been purchased by the PC to support community groups around the village by assisting the hard of hearing.

 The result of the recent questionnaire sent to Horsley parish residents about speeding and traffic calming in Horsley village had a good response. 67 residents replied to the parish council which amounted to 50% of households. The result showed that there was insufficient support for the traffic calming measures proposed in the initial letter. As a result this matter has now been dropped and nothing further will be done about speeding traffic.  However concern was raised about the difficulties pedestrians are having accessing the village pavements with the large number of cars parking off the road.  It is impossible for many residents to pass safely and those concerned are often forced onto the road with pushchairs, prams etc. The parish council is going to ask all residents and visitors to park vehicles within the road and not mount the pavement.  Polite letters will be sent to householders and placed on offending cars.

Horsley parish council is to look into increasing the number of grass cuts in the play areas of the village.  The existing sand pit will be filled in and replaced with a seat.  Unfortunately the roundabout is beyond repair and it is hoped to be replaced in due time when funds are available.

 Dog fouling in the village, on farmers’ fields, in the play areas and along public rights of way has increased.  Residents are to be asked by the parish council to act responsibly by picking up dog waste and placing it in the bins provided.  Dogs are not allowed in any of the play areas. The PC is looking into placing dispensers for dog waste bags at the disposal points.

Any info about Horsley PC can be found on its website.  The annual report is available from Mandy Senior, parish clerk.

Horsley Village Church Service Sunday 31st May led by Pam Walker (Local Church of England preacher)


week ending 22.05.15

Memory Lane' is a new project offering singing for all and particularly welcoming those who are determined to live a fulfilled life despite illness or ageing.  It will run through the summer months and possibly beyond.  The first session is this coming Tuesday, May 26th, between 3 and 4pm in Horsley Village Church. (There are also Monday sessions planned at Core Music in Hexham)  It will be lead by singing teacher and Incorporated Society of Musicians member Roberta Ritson and you can book on 01661 852702. Or just phone 07913450799 when you arrive at the Hearth Centre and be assured of a warm welcome with straightforward access.  The aim is to provide a nurturing, joyful experience with space for participants to express personal preferences. Please do come, join in, sit back and listen or both!  There is no charge.


At the Hearth Friday 22nd May at 7.30pm. It’s a welcome return of the annual Folkworks concert featuring the very best young folk musicians. Headline act MAZ O'CONNOR with support from youth performers, a gifted singer songwriter who was nominated for Best emerging act (Horizon Award) in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015. You can hear her music on her website. Tickets can be obtained from the Hearth Cafe 01661 853 563 and the Queens Hall box office 01434 652 447. The Cafe will be open from 5.30 for evening meals, booking recommended.

The Hearth talk on Thursday 28th May 7.30  is AN ECSTASY OF FUMBLING: GAS ON THE WESTERN FRONT - Paul Fallon

At the last meeting, Horsley WI with guests from Prudhoe WI enjoyed a wonderful cookery display from Margery Goodchild. She prepared salmon in prosciutto with apparatus spears, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, mushroom pasta, tomato and black plum salad, stuffed pepper and inside out summer pudding. This was all done amazingly on a two ring electric burner, while she gave a knowledgeable talk about her dishes. We would like to give a big thank you to Margery from all who attended.

Horsley Village Church 24th May will be led by Tony Buglass (retired Methodist minister)

Week ending 15.05.15

Horsley Garden Club next meeting will take place on Monday 18th May at 7:30 pm in the Lion and Lamb. Please contact Hazel on 01661 853919 if you would like to enjoy a meal prior to the meeting. Horsley open gardens this year will be held on 11th July and scarecrows will be on display on the same day. A scarecrow building workshop will take place at the June 15th meeting in the WI Hall.

Wylam Garden Club is having a plant sale on Saturday 16th May at The Institute Hall in Wylam for anyone with green or not so green fingers. It's a good time to get those plants in.

 Graham Smith Antiques moved to Horsley over a year ago, it’s a British antiques business based in Horsley, the family owned business has been established for 14 years however Graham has been gathering his experience and knowledge in the antiques trade for over 40 years. He was a director and partner within a large international antiques business prior to opening his own shop.
Although they specialise in antique furniture, their range of antique clocks, ceramics, glass and metal ware are also quite comprehensive. The showroom houses all of the antiques you see on their website and definitely worth a visit.

Graham Smith Antiques and John Nicholson Fine Art are holding their Annual Spring Exhibition of fine 18th - 20th Century Art and Antiques. There will also be a selection of items on display from ODYSSEY - Ancient & Medieval Antiquities & Coins and all of the exhibits will be for sale.

The exhibition is open to the public from Friday 15th May to Sunday 17th May, opening hours are 10:00 am - 4:00 pm..

 The village is thrilled that one of our born & bred residents is getting married at the village church on 23rd May 2015. Elizabeth Dinning or Lizzie as she is affectionately known by her friends and family has lived in Horsley all of her life and is now tying the knot with future husband Paul Fowler. We hope they have a wonderful day and wish them all the very best for the future.

Horsley Village Church 17th May communion service will be led by Reverend Pat Brooks (retired Methodist minister)

Week ending 08.05.15

Horsley Village Community would like to give a big thank you to the Parish Council for purchasing a portable loop system. These systems are used to assist the hearing impaired. It can be easily utilised and taken to any venue e.g. Hearth hall, WI hall, Church etc and plugged in to the mains electricity/use its own charge to link with the people who wear hearing aids. This means they can listen more clearly too various speakers etc and would benefit any groups meeting in different venues around the village.

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Monday 18th May at 7.00pm in the WI Hall Could all residents please return their completed Traffic Calming Surveys that were recently delivered, by 11th May 2015. Thank you to all who have already returned theirs to Mandy & Michael Senior.

Monday 11th May the WI meeting will include a cookery demonstration by Margery Goodchild, all guests welcome. Starts at 7.30pm

The Hearth is a great place to start a walk, and it is also a perfect destination for a cycle outing, with hearty soups and sandwiches, and space to park your bike. The café can make you a packed lunch, call 01661 853563 to pre-order (essential for large groups) The Hearth is an increasingly popular visitor destination.  - 1786 visitors attended events and activities in the Hearth hall in March alone.  This was split almost equally between children and adults. The hall has been hired for a total of nearly 850 hours over the past year. Performing arts and music events year have been full to capacity. The cafe is regularly full.  Its presence provides a community meeting place for local residents and the wider public, accessible to all, seven days a week. The trustees are seeking ways to increase the car park capacity and 'overspill' areas  

10th May 2015 a joint service will be held at Wylam Methodist church for Christian Aid week which runs from 11-16th May.

Week ending 17.04.15

Preparations are well in hand for the Gift Auction this Saturday 18th April, doors open at 5.00 pm everyone is welcome and there is no entrance fee. The WI/village hall premises has been granted a drinks license and wine and soft drinks will be available from 6.00 -11.00 pm. The auction will start at 7.00 pm. Here is a taster of some of the lots for sale;- golf lessons, dance lessons, tennis lessons, high tea voucher, meal at Lion & Lamb voucher, antiques tour, tour of Horsley plus tea, hand made quilt, various cakes, bottles of spirits, bottles of wine, watercolours, prints, oils, posters, assorted pots, pottery, cutlery, glasses, china, Wedgwood, mirrors, jewelry and much more. Don’t miss a fun night out.

The Hearth has a mascot called Horsley. As well as being a mascot he’s a real live Teeswater X Bluefaced Leicester lamb and lives with one of the Hearth’s artists.  For those of you wanting to learn more, you'll find some information about him on his website  horsleyatthehearth.

Tuesday 14th April 12.45 - 2.45 New! HORSLEY WOOL GROUP will be meeting twice a month on a Tuesday afternoon.  Everyone welcome! Whatever your woolly interest (knitting, spinning, weaving, crochet, sheep, felt making) or level of skill, bring along some of your own work and spend a couple of hours with like-minded people to chat, skill-share, network.  This is a drop-in session, not a formal class or course. 

The concrete planters throughout the village have come to life and the daffodils along the verges are looking wonderful. A big thank you to all of the good folk who look after them, it makes such a difference to the village, Garden club is at the usual venue the Lion & Lamb 7.30pm this Monday 20th April:

Horsley Village Church this Sunday 19th April will be 5.00 pm communion service,  led by Reverend John Paul (United Reformed Church minister at West Denton, Horsley, and St. Aidan’s Hexham)

Week ending 10.04.15

At the end of March when the litter pick was due to start it was severely hampered by the wind rain and hail which in turn naturally deterred the would be hardy residents from the task in hand. Pickers and gloves are still available from 7 Stonecroft. Thank you again for your support:


Horsley parishioners should all now be in receipt of letters regarding the traffic calming through the village. It is import to respond, whether you are in favour or not of the proposed traffic calming on Main Road. Please send your responses to Michael & Mandy Senior at 7, Stonecroft as a soon as possible as they need to collate the results or other suggestions for the next meeting: Please remember nil replies count as in favour.


The WI meeting this month will take place Monday 13th April instead of the usual first Monday of the month due to the Bank holiday; we are especially looking forward to welcoming guests from Chapel Park women’s institute. The talk this month is on “Ladies Who Laugh”.

The lighter nights mean time to get into the garden. The garden club is at the Lion & Lamb Monday 20th April at 7.30pm

Wednesday 22nd April, 7.30-8.30. The Hearth is delighted to be hosting their first talk as part of the Hexham book festival programme. Julian Spalding 'Realisation: from seeing to understanding ‘The origins of art'

Julian Spalding is a former museums director and writer, a campaigner for 'Real Art' whose views often clash with those of the art establishment.  In this talk, Julian Spalding will explore how notions of Mother Earth or the Tree of Life feed into our collective unconscious and shape our modern perceptions. Please book via the Hexham Book Festival website. 

Looking for things to do with the children during the School holidays Brockbushes is just  minutes away from Horsley and The Brockettes Fruit Club is a fun, exciting and educational experience for children. They will meet all the BFC characters and watch them develop throughout the seasons. There will be lots of events to attend, competitions to enter, fun facts to learn and much more through out the summer! When the children sign up to the Brockettes they will receive their own membership card and a welcome pack which includes a free seasonal plant to take home. Application forms are available at the Farm Shop in Brocksbushes.

Horsley Village Church service Sunday 12th April will be led by Joan Histon local Methodist preacher.

Week ending 03.04.15

The Village will be looking spruced up after the litter-pick which took place this week, Thank you and well done to all who took part.

Lambing has begun in earnest which means the sheep with their lambs and cows with new calves will be going into the fields in and around Horsley. Responsible dog owners will take care not to let their pets lose at anytime but just a reminder to ensure pets are under control and are kept to the public footpaths. 

Friday 10th April, 7.30pm The Slowlight Quartet will be playing at the hearth. An up-and-coming Jazz band, beneficiaries of Jazz North’s 'Northern Line' funding programme, this band’s own compositions feature great melodies, exciting rhythms, in their own words ‘not just for Jazz heads'.

This year The Hearth is one of the venues for the Hexham Book Festival and are therefore taking the opportunity to celebrate books, art and illustration at the Spring Fair Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th April 10.00am till 4.00pm. The guest artists are printmakers, book artists, publishers and illustrators. Featuring Emma Holliday, Chris Madge, Janet Dickson, Elizabeth Shorrock, Rachel and Malcolm Gibson, Barefoot books, Red Squirrel Press publications and The Drawers who are: Bethan Laker, Lara Robinson, Josie Brookes, Deborah Snell, Clare Armstrong, for more information on these individual artists and publishers visit the hearth website. Hearth artists have been producing new work which will be available to see in their studios. The café will be open for light lunches and home made cakes on Saturday, and their famous roast on Sunday.

The gift auction will take place at the WI/Village Hall Saturday 18th April, doors will open at 5.00pm for a preview of the sale items and the auction will start at 7.00pm. It will be a good opportunity to have a chat and a glass or two of wine before the fun begins. If you have thought about gifting a pledge or an item but not had a chance to get around to it as yet please let Elizabeth or Pam know as soon as possible on 01661 854011 or 01661 853813

Horsley Village Church service Sunday 5th April will be led by Maurice and Hazel Holliday.

 Week ending 19.09.14

This weekend begins with the Kit Holmes gig at The Hearth which begins at 7.30pm this Friday. The cafe will be open from 5.30 in connection with this event. If you do not have a ticket, check with the Hearth Cafe if there are tickets to be bought on the night. Live music in a village such as Horsley will always be marginal if quality acts such as this one are to be booked and a full house will help to ensure these events continue.

It is harvest festival time again and this Sunday there is a joint service at Wylam Methodist Church and no service in Horsley. Note also that the service in Wylam begins at 10am rather than the usual time for Horsley Church.

Anyone who would like to take up drawing as an artistic pastime might do well to consider the new course ‘Drawing for the Terrified’ which starts on Thursday 25th September at The Hearth. Contact the tutor Jenny Purrett at jenny@jennypurrett.co.uk to see if places are still available.

The autumn series of Heritage & History talks begins at 7.30pm on Thursday 25th September when Alan Fendley will tell us about the Blyth & Tyne Railway. While part of this railway is now incorporated in the Metro, the rest of it is either closed or used only for freight. There has long been a campaign to reopen part of the railway for passenger services to help the economic regeneration of that part of south east Northumberland. This talk is likely to attract many from the towns that might benefit from such a re-opening. The doors will be open from 7pm and as usual the cost of admission will include tea, coffee and biscuits. See the Hearth website for details of the rest of this series of talks.

Week ending 12.09.14

Bus users have spotted that the timetables at the Stonecroft stop have been muddled up with the eastbound timetable at the westbound stop and vice versa. The timetables at the other stops in the village are correct however. Strangers to the area may well need their attention drawing to this error.

Horsley Parish Council meets on Monday 15th September at 7pm in the Women’s Institute hall. All members of the public will be welcomed. There was a very encouraging turnout of parishioners last time and it would be good to see this maintained.

The Arts & Crafts group meets on Thursday 18th September at 7.30pm for a session making cards. The next music event at The Hearth is on Friday 19th September when singer, guitarist and fiddle player Kit Holmes will appear. She will be supported by Allan Greenwood on guitar. The hearth website carries full details of this gig. Tickets are available from the Hearth Cafe and food will be available on the night from 5.30pm. Also on the website are details of a course in peg loom rug weaving which takes place on Saturday 20th September as well as other forthcoming events. Go to www.thehearth.co.uk.

Week ending 05.09.14

Horsley’s first Wool Fair attracted a large number of visitors and the exhibitors were very pleased with the response. There were volunteers on site to guide visitors to suitable parking and many cars were parked out of the way on Water Lane. Unfortunately not everyone placed their vehicles in suitable places and some obstruction of footpaths was evident. As the event took place only on the Sunday other traffic was light.

Sue Rendall will be leading the service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 7th September and this will be a communion service. Now that the harvest is almost completed around Horsley, churchgoers may wish to note that this year the traditional harvest festival service will be on Sunday 21st September at Wylam Methodist Church at 10am. Horsley Women’s Guild meets on Monday 8th September at 2.30pm for a film afternoon.

Week ending 29.08.14

Horsley Wool Fair at The Hearth takes place this Sunday from 10.30 to 4pm. Full details were given in this column last week and are on the Hearth website www.thehearth.co.uk Car parking will be at a premium in the village and visitors are asked to use the Hearth car park in preference to the main street if possible.

Horsley Women’s Institute meets on Monday 1st September when the speaker will be Mary Robinson and her topic is The Red Cross and the M.B.E. The Arts & Crafts Group returns on Thursday 4th September with the first session being devoted to mosaic work.

On Sunday 31st August the service in Horsley Village Church will be taken by Peter Moth at 11am. Apologies for anyone who expected him last Sunday after reading these notes.

Week ending 22.08.14

This weekend begins with the Red Dirt Skinners playing their blues and country gig at the Hearth preceded by a barbecue from 5.30pm. Check if there are tickets left if you have not booked. There is a quiz night at the Lion & Lamb on Sunday 24th August with the usual arrangements including pie and peas supper. Earlier in the day, at 11am, Peter Moth will lead worship in Horsley Village Church. This is a communion service.

Next Sunday 31st August sees a new event in the shape of the Horsley Wool Fair. The venue is the Hearth and the event will be open from 10.30am until 4pm. There will be demonstrations, sales of fleeces, yarns, fibres, kits, equipment, and knitted, woven and felted goods. A carding and spinning service will be available and the resident artists studios will also be open. Everything you might need in the way of materials, tools and advice to get started should be found here. Refreshments will be available from the Hearth Cafe and from the Lion & Lamb. Please use the Hearth car park if possible and if you have to park on the street please avoid causing any obstruction to pedestrians and other traffic. If you are able to offer any assistance with this event please contact the organiser Ellie Langley via the Hearth office or on 01388 537292.

Week ending 15.08.14

The Horsley Garden Club show on Saturday 2nd August was very successful with the sale of books raising £25 for the Smile Train charity for the cleft palate repair surgery. The bird boxes and tavles raised £120 and a further £23 came from the sale of plants, this latter amount going into club funds. The organisers would like to thank once again Tony and his staff at the Lion & Lamb, Tyne Rivers Trust, Clever Cloggs Dancers, the owners of the classic cars and all the members and stall holders that supported the event.

Worship in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 17th August will be led by Robin Brooks, with the service beginning at 11am. If you intend going to the ‘Red Dirt Skinners’ gig at The Hearth on Friday 22nd August do not forget to book via the Hearth cafe. This band includes blues and country music in its repertoire. In addition to the usual bar there will be a barbecue from 5.30pm before the music starts at 7.30.

The next quiz night at the Lion & Lamb is on Sunday 24th August and teams should register their intention of taking part at the bar.

Week ending 8.08.14

After weeks of dry weather which has allowed good progress with the harvest, the weather threatened to spoil the Horsley Garden Club’s annual show on Saturday 2nd August. However, while there were a few showers, the heavy rain held off until after the event which went well. Thanks go to Tony and his team at the Lion & Lamb and all the members of the garden club who took part in the organising and setting up of the show, also to those exhibitors who attended. The winning entries in the vegetable competition all came from the new allotments and provided ample evidence of the hard work put in by those who have taken a plot and wasted no time in producing their first crops.

The next musical evening at The Hearth is on Friday 22nd August when ‘Red Dirt Skinners’ bring their blues and country repertoire to entertain us. This gig begins at 7.30pm but there will be a barbecue from 5.30 in place of the usual catering arrangements. Further details are available from the Hearth Cafe.

Pat Brooks will lead worship in Horsley village Church on Sunday 10th August at 11am.

Week ending 1.08.14

Horsley Parish Council met on Monday 21st July when around four times the usual number of parishioners attended to hear what the council had been doing on their behalf. Much of the discussions were devoted to the usual two issues, namely the speeding and parking problems and the increasingly regular use of Water Lane by travellers. It was proving difficult to make progress on traffic calming measures as whenever the police have been to monitor the situation they make themselves visible enough to cause the regular offenders to slow down. It is to be hoped that there does not have to be a speeding related accident to get action to slow the traffic.

It was generally agreed that the use of Water Lane for free camping had increased considerably over the last ten years and the caravans were tending to stay longer with greater accumulation of litter. Some discussions between the landlords, Northumberland Estates, Northumbrian Water and others had taken place and it seems that some measures to limit access to the wide verges might be in place soon.

The play area annual inspection has taken place and a number of items requiring action have been reported. The bins at this location have no lids and this makes them unsuitable for the disposal of soiled nappies and parents are asked to use their own facilities where flies are unable to lay their eggs. The council stated its intention to issue an updated information leaflet later this summer as some of the items in the last edition are now out of date.

Horsley Garden Club holds its summer show on Saturday 2nd at the Lion & Lamb. Setting up in the marquee will take place from 6pm on Friday 1st with the remaining set up work between 11am and noon on Saturday. The show will be open from noon until 3pm.There will be a number of other attractions including children’s games, clog dancing and a display of classic cars. As the pub’s car park will be used for the display, marshals will be on hand to direct visitors to other parking places. For further details contact Hazel Holliday on 01661 853919.

The Hearth tenth anniversary competition entries will be on display in the Hearth hall over the weekend whenever the cafe is open. The service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 3rd August will be led by Patrick Eavis and will begin at 11am.

Week ending 25.07.14

Now the summer school holidays have begun the Lion & Lamb are offering a ‘Kids Eat Happy’ promotion which will be available throughout the holiday. This includes a main course, ice cream dessert and a ‘Simply Fruity’ drink for a very reasonable £5 per child. This could make it a very affordable evening out for the whole family. Also continuing is the Wednesday evening ‘Steak Night’ with complimentary wine for each couple. As both these offers tend to be very popular it is advisable to book in advance.

Readers are reminded that entries for the Hearth tenth anniversary competition are to be submitted by the 31st July, either by hand or post to the office or by email to office@thehearth.co.uk. If you need further details see the Hearth website.

The congregation will lead their own service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 27th July at 11am.

Week ending 18.07.14

Horsley Parish Council will meet on Monday 21st July at 7pm in the Women’s Institute hall when parishioners will have the opportunity to raise any matters that concern them. A short report of the meeting should appear in the 1st August edition of the Courant.

Horsley Garden Club’s summer show is coming up soon, on Saturday 2nd August in fact and the event will be held this year at the Lion & Lamb. The members will be competing in the usual categories including fruit, vegetables, flowers and arrangements and these will be on display to the public. Among the attractions during the day will be ‘Clever Cloggs’ demonstrating their clog dancing skills, ‘Smile Train’ with bird boxes and books, a jewellery stall and various local charities and organisations. The Lion & Lamb car park will be closed on the day with a display of classic cars taking up the space, alternative parking being in Water Lane courtesy of Northumbrian Water. Members entering the competitions will be busy preparing their entries and hoping for rain too no doubt, particularly if their entries are coming from the new allotments.

Church services return to their usual times on Sunday 20th July when Val and Ray Hill will lead worship in Horsley Village Church.

Week ending 11.07.14

Horsley Garden Club held an open garden event on Saturday 5th July and members were blessed with fine weather. Several members opened their gardens and the new allotments were also open for viewing. The allotment holders were a little dismayed to see that the heavy rain of the previous day had barely covered the bottom of their new water tank and it seems that members may have to bring water with them during dry spells for some time.

If you are going to the Dean Stockdale Trio gig on Friday 11th by car please try to park in the Hearth’s own car park before using the main street. If this is full you may have no option but please try to avoid obscuring the access to other properties. The cafe will be open from 5.30pm to allow plenty of time for a meal before the music starts.

Church goers should note that the service on Sunday 13th July is not at the usual time, but at 4.30pm and it will be followed by the church AGM and shared tea. Rev. John Paul will be officiating and this is a communion service.

Horsley Women’s Guild meets on Monday 14th at 2.30 for the ever popular card making session. The Northumberland Library Service mobile library will be visiting again on Wednesday 16th at Cherry Tree Gardens. This is now the only point of call in the village but we are served every two weeks.

The Hearth Arts Centre is holding a competition for poetry, art, music or craft to celebrate its tenth anniversary. It is open to everyone of any age.  Entries can be humorous or serious as the entrant wishes. Up to five pieces can be submitted and the closing date is 31st July Entries can be emailed, handed in at the Hearth or, if larger than A4 envelope, by arrangement with the Hearth office  at office@thehearth.co.uk. The winner can choose art from the resident artists up to the value of £100. Runner-up prizes include tickets to future events or vouchers for the cafe, while children’s prizes will be of art materials. All entries will be displayed at an exhibition on the 2nd and 3rd August.

Week ending 27.06.14

As I write these notes the longest day is already behind us and we have been enjoying some fine summer weather. However, the vegetable gardeners among us are hoping for rain. The new allotments at the Lion & Lamb have had no water supply on site until now but Northumbrian Water have now provided a gabion which now needs to be set up and filled. This should help the vegetables grow rather better. By the time of the summer show the progress made in this first year should impress anyone who has not yet seen the new plots.

Horsley Village Church welcomes Maureen Lloyd, a retired Methodist minister who leads worship on Sunday 29th June at 11am. June’s Messy Church meeting follows at 4.30pm.

The Horsley Arts & Crafts Group completes another year of activities on Thursday 3rd July with a celebration evening featuring a display of work done during the year and appropriate refreshments.

Music fans are reminded that tickets should be available by now for the Dean Stockdale Trio at The Hearth on Friday 11th July. The success of this, and other musical evenings at this venue, depends upon sufficient advance bookings. Enquire at the Hearth Cafe while enjoying some of the mouth watering delights on offer there.

Week ending 20.06.14

The Hearth Arts Centre celebrated its tenth birthday with a party for trustees and volunteers, past and present, on Saturday 14th June. During the festivities ideas for future activities were discussed and a list of the most popular ones was made for the trustees to consider at their next meeting. No doubt there will be further news about some new events coming shortly. In many cases it will be important for the public to show their support by booking tickets in good time as the organisers cannot risk running events which have insufficient response.

The next Heritage and History talk should attract plenty of interest when the subject is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and the speaker is John Johnson, who was the project director. This talk is on Thursday 26th June at 7.30. As usual the price of admission will include tea, coffee and biscuits. The doors will be open from 7pm and it would be wise to arrive in good time.

Bryan Spurr will lead worship in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 22nd June at 11am. Refreshments will be available after the service.

Walkers are reminded to close field gates after them after cattle were found wandering on the road recently. Those with dogs are particularly at risk when the calves are present and it is wise to avoid taking dogs into field when this is the case.

Week ending 13.06.14

Unfortunately the latest musical evening at The Hearth which had been scheduled for Friday 6th June had to be cancelled too late for inclusion in the last set of village notes. There had been insufficient advance ticket sales, a problem the organisers have had to face before. If readers wish to support future events of this nature it would be helpful to book in advance rather than assume that it will be possible to pay at the door. The Hearth management regrets any disappointment that may have been caused.

On Sunday 15th June there is a communion service in Horsley Village Church led by Rev. Jane Cook starting at 11am. The Community Arts & Crafts group meets again on Thursday 19th at 7.30pm when there will be an embroidery demonstration by Kathryn Nicholson and a chance to make an embroidered greetings card.

Once again Horsley has been left a reminder of the travellers on their way to Appleby in the form of burnt grass and heaps of rubbish in Water Lane. Hopefully there will be action to prevent this annual curse before next year.

Week ending 06.06.14

This weekend is a particularly musical one with gigs at The Hearth on Friday and at the Lion & Lamb on Monday. The Hearth gig is a double bill featuring Holly Taymar and Chris Bilton plus Paul Handyside. Holly and Chris play mainly acoustically and their music has featured on the Steve Lamacq and Bob Harris programmes on radio. Paul Handyside is a singer songwriter who first came to the notice of critics in an eighties indie band. This event begins at 7.30pm on Friday 6th June and the doors will open from 7pm. Arrive early if you wish to join those with advance tickets. There will be a licensed bar and refreshments.

The Lion & Lamb presents Justin Halsey on acoustic guitar and support acts on Monday 9th June. Tickets and further details are available from the bar. Give your support if you can for this new venture for this venue. Talking of supporting local businesses I am reminded that Graham Smith Antiques is now open in Horsley and hoping to see both old and new customers.

On Sunday 8th June David McDonald, a retired Methodist preacher will lead worship in Horsley Village Church. The service begins at the usual time of 11am. Horsley Women’s Guild meets on Monday 9th June at 2.30 when the topic will be dancing on ice.

Horsley garden Club members have been working hard on the new allotments turning a rough pasture into productive land and their first crops are already developing well. There will be a chance to see all this at the summer show in August.

Week ending 30.05.14

Horsley Parish Council held its Annual Meeting on Monday 19th May and followed this with the regular bi-monthly meeting. For the first time in years the number of seats put out for the public was insufficient and more had to be found. A brief report of the year was given and the existing chair and vice-chair were re-elected unopposed. There were two main issues which arose and which accounted for the unusually large number of parishioners present. The first of these was the problem with speeding and parking on pavements, and the councillors reminded those present of all the efforts that had been made over the years to address these issues. The main obstacle to progress with speeding was the lack of statistical evidence of the problem. This resulted from the very visible presence of the police whenever a survey was carried out. A volunteer came forward to make use of the speed camera available from which warning letters would be sent to offenders. The parking issue had come to a head during recent events at The Hearth and one of the trustees was present to explain what steps The Hearth was taking for future events. It appears that many visitors are discouraged from using the proper car park at the rear by the steep slope up to it.

The other main issue concerned plans that had been submitted to planning for a house behind the former Crown & Anchor and the impact such a development would have on the residents of the surrounding houses. It was suggested that objections could be passed via the council clerk. After years of trying it seems that some progress may be made with rendering the wide verges of Water Lane inaccessible to encampments of travellers although it appeared that this was too late to prevent access this year. There were several caravans and tents already in place as the council met and some fire damage to the verge was already in evidence.

The council thanked all those who took part in the spring litter pick and a promise was made to acquire some better equipment for this in time for the next such event. In connection with the centenary of the commencement of the First World War, the Hearth is to prepare a display of the family histories of the fallen of the parish in time for the Remembrance Day service.

Horsley Women’s Institute meets for their birthday outing on Monday 2nd June and the Arts & Crafts group meets on Thursday 5th June for a session on basic photography skills. Graham Smith, proprietor of the antiques business moving into the old kitchen centre, has commented on how well he had been welcomed into Horsley and his shop should be open for business from Friday 30th May.

Week ending 23.05.14

It is time for the Hexham Gathering to make its annual visit to Horsley and this year the headline act at The Hearth is ‘Barrule’. This act will be supported by other local folk performers, and the evening is likely to be a very lively one. The doors open at 7pm with the music starting at 7.30. There will be a licensed bar and hot food from the Hearth Cafe. If arriving by car please try to make use of the car park behind the Hearth so leaving space on the street for other users.

Sunday worship in Horsley Village Church will be led by Rev. Pat Brooks at 11am on 25th May and Messy Church follows at 4.30pm on the same Sunday.

The next in the series of Heritage & History talks takes place on Thursday 29th May when the subject is Isaac’s Tea Trail. This is a North Pennines heritage walk and the speaker is Roger Morris. The hall will be open from 7pm and the talk will start at 7.30. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided and is included in the modest admission charge.

A brief report of the annual meeting of the Horsley Parish Council held on Monday 19th May should appear in the next edition.


Week ending 16.05.14

During the last week many residents in Horsley have been surprised to see a peacock wandering round the village. At the time of writing these notes all attempts to find the out who owns the bird have come to nought. In the meantime it wanders from one street to another paying particular attention to likely sources of food. It is quite accustomed to close contact with humans and seems to see little danger from moving vehicles either. Last year it was the three hens that went walkabout, we wait to see what visitations we shall be entertained with next year.

Readers with an interest in the scouting and guiding movements are reminded that there will be a display by the Scouting & Guiding Federation in the Hearth this weekend in connection with the annual meeting of the federation which is taking place in Tynedale this year.

On Sunday 18th May, Rev. John Paul will lead a communion service in Horsley Village Church at 11am  marking the end of Christian Aid Week.

Folk music lovers will be able to book tickets for the Hexham Gathering event at The Hearth on Friday 23rd May, either from the Hearth Cafe or from Queen’s Hall in Hexham. This is usually an excellent evening and this year is likely to include local talent as well as more established acts.

The Annual Parish Meeting is scheduled for Monday 19th May, at 7pm in the Women’s Institute Hall and all residents will be made very welcome. A brief report of the meeting should appear in these notes in due course.

Graham Smith Antiques has announced that it is intended to open for business in Horsley on Friday 30th May from 10am to 5pm and daily thereafter. This business is a well respected one having previously traded in Newcastle. Contact has already been made with a view to collaborating with the Hearth Arts Centre in the coming years. In the meantime alterations are being made to the former kitchen centre to suit the antiques trade.

Week ending 09.05.14

Friday 9th May sees a jazz evening at The Hearth with Shaman’s Jazz Quartet who are here in the North East on an exchange visit in connection with the twinning of Prudhoe with Mitry-Mory in the Ile-de-France. Their repertoire has an appropriately Anglo French feel to it. They will be supported by Stephen Heywood and Diane Mayes on saxophone and clarinet and by Fiona Lander who is well known among music fans in the area as part of Landermason. It may still be possible to pay on the door from 7pm. Please use the Hearth car park if possible.

On Saturday 10th May Horsley Garden Club has a visit to ‘Go Local’ at Halls of Heddon at their Ovington nursery.

There is no service at Horsley Village Church this Sunday but members of the congregation are invited to join other Wylam & District churches at St. Oswin’s for the start of Christian Aid week. This service is at 10am.

Horsley Women’s Guild meets on Monday 12th May at 2.30pm for another card making session. On Thursday 15th May the Arts& Crafts Group is holding a wool night with ‘Ready Steady Knit’ from Prudhoe. Members are reminded to bring needles and crochet hooks. There will also be an opportunity to try wool spinning.

The Scout and Guide Fellowship UK (SAGF) are holding their annual gathering and AGM in Tynedale this year with accommodation at Shepherd’s Dene and displays and presentations at The Hearth in Horsley on Saturday 17th May from 10am until 3.30pm. This will be a good opportunity for scouts and guides past and present to learn about the charity work being done by the SAGF. Further details can be obtained from Peter Short who is the SAGF Treasurer on peter.short29@btinternet.com

Horsley will shortly be welcoming Graham Smith Antiques to the village as they move into the former kitchen & bedroom centre. Residents will have noticed the signs on display at the premises. This is in contrast to the situation at the former Crown & Anchor which still displays all the outward sign of being a functioning hostelry months after its closure.

Week ending 02.05.14

Even a week of indifferent weather has not been able to hold back spring and fresh greens all round the village herald what we hope will be a good summer. Early morning walkers have been rewarded by seeing deer in the fields north of the A69 road.

The Horsley Village Hall Committee is looking for a treasurer. This could well suit a retired lady or gentleman with a little time to spare. For more information call Elizabeth Bramwell on 01661 854011 or email her at liz.bramwell@hotmail.co.uk.

On Sunday May 4th Rev. Peter Moth will lead the service in Horsley Village Church at 11am. On the same evening there is another Quiz Night at The Lion & Lamb. Teams of up to six are welcome to join in and should register at the bar before the event to allow the usual catering to be arranged. The quiz should start by 7.30, so arrive well before that time.

Horsley Women’s Institute meets on Monday 5th May at 7.30pm when the speaker is Liz Hepple. Her talk is entitled ‘Health visiting & other stories’.

Tickets should now be available for the next musical evening at The Hearth, on Friday 9th May. This time the genre is Anglo-French jazz with Shaman’s Jazz Quartet and local support acts. Call at the Hearth Cafe to make your reservations while you enjoy some of the tasty refreshments on offer. Visitors are reminded that The Hearth has its own car park at the rear and it would be as well to use this as to risk damage by parking on the main street where large vehicles often only have centimetres to spare. At one recent event this car park was not full but there were large numbers of vehicles on the street and on pavements causing obstruction.

Week ending 25.04.14

Horsley will be busy on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th April as The Hearth holds its ‘Paper & Print’ Open Studios. The event runs from 10.30 to 4pm each day and the Hearth Cafe will be open for a full range of refreshments as well as light lunches and Sunday dinners. All ten of the resident artists will be showing their wares and in addition there will be publishers, book artists, illustrators and book binders making the link with the Hexham Book Festival. On display in the church will be a facsimile copy of the Lindisfarne Gospels. Parking space will be at a premium and a good alternative for some visitors would be the 685 and X85 bus services which give the village two journeys per hour from east and west.

On Sunday 27th April Horsley Village Church marks the end of the Open Studios event with a special ‘Lindisfarne Connections’ service beginning at 3pm. During the service there will be readings from four narratives interspersed with anthems by John Rutter performed by the Ovingham & District Choir. This will be another opportunity to view the Facsimile Lindisfarne Gospels.

Horsley garden Club meets on Monday 28th April at 7.30pm in the Lion & Lamb. Those members arriving early to partake of a meal should have time to walk down to see the progress made so far with the new allotments.

The Community Arts & Crafts group meets on Thursday 1st May when members will be invited to bring along a tie to be recycled presumably into something other than neckwear. Future dates to note include the next Quiz Night at the Lion & Lamb on Sunday 4th May and a gig at The Hearth with Shaman’s Jazz Quartet on Friday 9th May.

Week ending 11.04.14

I write these notes as the spring litter-pick week begins but if there are areas that still need to be dealt with as you read these notes it is not too late to have a go. The equipment will be available at 7 Stonecroft at least until Saturday. Thanks go to all those who have already done their bit.

Work has continued on the new allotments at the Lion & Lamb for the Horsley Garden Club and the first crops have already been planted while land clearance continues on the other plots. Work goes on behind the scenes on arranging water supplies and moving materials from the old allotments behind the erstwhile Crown & Anchor.

Members of the congregation of Horsley Village Church will be joining St. Aidan’s in Hexham for a Palm Sunday service this weekend. This service begins at 10.30am and transport will be arranged. There is, therefore, no service in Horsley this week.

Horsley Women’s Guild meets on Monday 14th April at 2.30pm for a card making session. The planned film will now be shown at the next month’s meeting.

Cutting of the grass verges has begun and this has been facilitated by attention to the vast collection of molehills at the east end of the village. With luck this will not result in invasion of nearby lawns.

Week ending 04.04.14

This weekend begins with the next musical evening at The Hearth on Friday 4th April when ‘Fools Gold’ a folk duo comprising Steve and Carol Robson entertain us. The hall doors will be open from 7pm and it may be possible to pay on the door. If you have time, tickets can be bought from the Hearth Cafe. Have a look at the Hearth website www.thehearth.co.uk for full details of their April programme.

A start has been made on the new allotments for Horsley Garden Club when the first sods were cut on Saturday 29th March. After much hard labour freshly dug soil was in evidence on two of the plots by the following day. It was evident that some considerable effort will be needed to bring soil conditions up to an ideal standard but there was enthusiasm in abundance.

Horsley Women’s Institute meets on Monday 7th April for a presentation and store visit to Waitrose. Details of the church services in Horsley for April are not to hand as I write but will appear shortly on the notice board.

Monday 7th April is the first day of the spring litter pick in the village. This year volunteers are welcome to choose their own times and locations to be cleared and the equipment will be available to collect from outside 7 Stonecroft all week. Filled bags should be left next to the bins at the Women’s Institute hall. An hour or so can make a big difference if enough willing hands are available.

Week ending 28.03.14

Horsley Parish Council met on Monday 17th March and in the course of the meeting a number of village issues were discussed. A member of the public asked if there was any sign of progress in the provision of high speed broadband in this area but it had become apparent that there was no immediate prospect of this. It appears that relatively few people had signed up to demand this service, but doubt was cast upon whether this would have made any difference. A number of small towns in the county were receiving priority in this respect.

The large amount of litter now apparent, particularly at the lay by at the east end of the village was raised and mention was made of those volunteers who had undertaken to clear areas when out walking. In place of the usual one day spring litter pick it was decided to make the equipment available for the whole of the week beginning 7th April and this would allow volunteers to choose a time to suit themselves. The litter pickers and black bags will be outside 7 Stonecroft all week and filled bags can be left next to the bins at the W.I. hall. A handful of folk can make a big difference in an hour or two and it is hoped the flexibility of this plan will result in more people getting involved.

A complaint was received that dogs were still being walked in the play field in spite of the signs prohibiting this. There are plenty of alternative walks around Horsley where dogs are welcome provided their owners clear up after them. The use of land in Water Lane by travellers was raised again but it seemed that the landowner was not concerned sufficiently to apply any measures to discourage this.

A governor of Heddon First School attended to inform the council that the management of the school wished to develop a more active involvement in Horsley life as children from the village may attend the school. Ways to keep the village informed of events at the school were discussed.

On the same evening Horsley Garden Club held a well attended first meeting at the Lion & Lamb. Following this the club has been invited to establish allotments for members on part of the land at the rear of the pub and plots have been marked out ready for removal of the surface vegetation. These plots will replace those lost with the closure and sale of the Crown & Anchor last autumn.

There is a Whist Club which meets every Tuesday from 5pm at the W.I. hall and the club would be pleased to welcome new players. Horsley Village Church is holding a Mother’s Day service on Sunday 30th March at 11am led by Rev. Robin Brooks. Messy Church follows at 4.30pm. The next gig at The Hearth is on Friday 4th April when folk duo ‘Fools Gold’ perform. Find further details from the Hearth website and buy tickets from the Hearth Cafe.

Week ending 21.03.14

Horsley Garden Club has come out of hibernation and held its first meeting of the year at The Lion & Lamb, the new venue following the closure last autumn of the Crown & Anchor. Meetings will continue to be held on Monday evenings, usually the third of each month. The April meeting, however, will be on Monday 28th April as the third Monday falls on Easter Monday. Horsley Parish Council met on the same day and any news from these meetings should appear in the next edition of this column.

The Hearth Arts Centre is well into its spring programme of events and jazz fans are reminded that ‘Djangologie’ are performing on Friday 28th March at 7.30. This band is clearly inspired by the legendary Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli but do not aim to be a carbon copy. There may still be tickets left, enquire at the Hearth Cafe. As well as the gigs arranged by the Hearth trustees, musicians are also able to book the venue and on Friday 4th April ‘Fool’s Gold’ are  offering a programme of acoustic folk songs. Tickets for this event can also be obtained from the cafe.

Heritage and History talks also resume this month with Cameron Lees showing how to photograph railway subjects on Thursday 27th March at 7.30. There have been good audiences for previous talks on railway subjects so you are advised to arrive early to get a good seat.

There is a service led by the congregation in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 23rd March at the regular starting time of 11am.

With a week of dry weather behind us it has become a more pleasant experience to walk the footpaths around the village and if you haven’t ventured into Whittle Dene recently you should make a point of doing so in order to see the excellent work that has been done there.

Week ending 14.03.14

There was a good turnout of Women’s Institute members from Horsley and Prudhoe for Mike Tickell’s talk on Northumbrian Poets. Several male partners also attended. As ever, Mike was very entertaining as he not only read several pieces but also sang some of them unaccompanied. He had with him a number of books featuring works by local poets and made special mention to Billy Bell whose poems about life in the North Tyne and Redesdale valleys.

Horsley Village Church has a communion service on Sunday 16th March led by Rev. John Paul at 11am. Refreshments are available after the service.

Horsley parish Council meets on Monday 17th March at 7pm in the Women’s Institute Hall and all parishioners will be made most welcome. This might be a good opportunity to raise such issues as the inadequate broadband service currently available in Horsley, and the litter problem at the lay-by at the east end of the village. No doubt there are other matters which need to be addressed too. A short report of the business should appear in a later edition of this column.

The Community Arts & Crafts group meets again on Thursday 20th March for part two of the sessions on ceramic jewellery.

Week ending 07.03.14

Artists at The Hearth continue to go from strength to strength and David Holliday has now joined Rebecca Vincent in being represented by artfinder.com, a website selling arts from all round the world. Last year Rebecca was in their top ten for sales. David’s work is already very well-known but the website is already bringing him to a wider audience. Mandy Patullo is running a Monotypes & Book Art workshop over the weekend of 15th & 16th March. Later in the month there are two dates to note with the first of this year’s heritage & history talks on Thursday 27th when the subject is railway photography. On Friday 28th Djangologie make a welcome return to The Hearth with their music inspired by the legendary Hot Club. This gig is very likely to be a sell out so get your tickets as soon as possible from the Hearth Café.

Worship in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 9th march will be led by Bryan Spurr at 11am. On Monday 10th march Horsley Women’s Guild meets at 2.30 for an afternoon with John Paul.

Those of us who have signed up for cheaper heating oil with the Community Action Northumberland ‘Oilcan’ scheme have just had our latest delivery with a price of around five pence lower than any local supplier could offer to an independent buyer. If you haven’t looked into this yet I urge you to do so. The more people take up this offer the larger the discount could be. At the time this scheme was getting under way in Horsley we were also being urged to sign up for faster broadband and no doubt many did so. Sadly there seems to be little sign of progress in that direction as yet. A number of villages now do benefit from  a better service but it takes concerted action from all users to get to the front of the queue for improvement.

Week ending 28.02.14

The weekend begins with the ‘Young traditions’ folk gig at The Hearth at 7.30pm on Friday 28th February. If you have not got tickets check with the Hearth Cafe to see if there are any left. There will be a licensed bar and refreshments as usual at these events.

Horsley Parish Church welcomes Pat Brooks to lead the service on Sunday 2nd March at 11am.

On Monday 3rd March Horsley Women’s Institute meets to hear a selection of Northumbrian poetry and this meeting is open to members and non-members alike. An open meeting such as this means that the menfolk are welcome to join the ladies.

Week ending 21.02.14

Horsley finally saw a sprinkling of snow during last week but not far away there was plenty, sufficient for a good day’s skiing at Yad Moss in the North Pennines. That made a nice change from splashing around in muddy fields with our dog.

On Sunday 23rd February the church will be busy with morning worship led by Rev. Marley and Messy Church in the afternoon. In the evening there is another quiz night at the Lion & Lamb with the usual catering included.

The mobile library is with us again on Wednesday 26th February at around 3pm at Cherry Tree Gardens. There is probably still time to get your tickets for the ‘Young Traditions’ gig at The Hearth on Friday 28th February, full details were in last week’s Courant and are also to be found on the Hearth website,www.thehearth.co.uk.

Arts fans may also wish to make a note to attend the next Women’s Institute meeting which is open to everyone. The speakers are Mike Tickell and and Billy Bell and their subject is Northumbrian poetry. The meeting is on Monday 3rd March at 7.30pm.


Week ending 14.02.14

Did anyone receive a dozen red roses this morning? If you have you should be very impressed, given the price of such blooms this week. If you are booked in for a Valentine’s Day meal this evening at the Lion & Lamb the ladies among you should get one with your food, the gentlemen should get the bill.

Get your tickets now for the ‘Young Traditions’ at The Hearth on Friday 28th February, they are available from the Hearth Café. The headline act consists of Will Finn and Rosie Calvert who are both final year students on the Newcastle University’s folk and traditional music degree. They are supported by ‘Kindred’, a duo of singer songwriters and ‘Reely Ceol’who are members of The Sage’s Folkestra. The music starts at 7.30 with the hall opening from 7pm. A licensed bar will provide the libation while the café will be offering food.

There is a communion service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 16th February at the usual starting time of 11am. The arts and crafts group meets again on Thursday 20th February and this will be the first of two sessions on ceramic jewellery.

Week Ending 07.02.14

Horsley church members are invited to a Ladies Night Out on Friday 7th February in aid of Wylam Methodist’s ‘Room to Grow’ project. The event begins at 7.30 and will finish by 11pm. Full details are available on the church website and tickets can be obtained from Pip Graham on 852349, or from Stobo’s shop or Wylam First School. Sunday 9th February sees Rev. Eddie Wallis leading worship at Horsley Village Church at 11am.

The mobile library van has now settled into a new schedule visiting Horsley every fortnight. The next visit is on Wednesday 12th February when it should be at Cherry Tree Gardens at about 3.05pm.

Work on the Northumbrian Water site on Water Lane seems to be drawing to a close and the contractors have been washing and scrubbing mud from the lane. Unfortunately, the waterlogged state of the farmland round the village makes it likely that plenty more will be in evidence once the farmers can get back on their land. There is a large amount of litter spoiling the look of the village and most of this is thrown out from cars passing through. No doubt there will be a spring clean arranged in a few months and any volunteers will be welcome to help. Proper equipment for litter picking is available at any time by contacting the parish clerk  Mandy Senior on 852878.

Week ending 31.01.14

There was a very pleasing response to the first Hearth musical evening of the year when Emily Maguire appeared on Friday 24th January. News of the next event in this series will be found on the Hearth website and in this column.

Horsley Parish Council met on Monday 20th January when a number of local issues were raised. A number of local footpaths had become impassable due to flooding and the number of badly potholed roads was also brought to the council’s notice. A change in the weather would be needed before much could be done about these matters. Damage to Mill Way after the recent heavy works was still evident but further repairs were expected. The Woodland Trust has been busy in Whittle Dene installing steps and boardwalks but conditions underfoot were still difficult in places.

County Councillor Paul Kelly delivered a report which focussed mainly upon the likely impact of further cuts demanded of the county over the coming four years. In response to questions he referred to the process of determining the future of the bus station in Hexham used by many Horsley residents. He also dealt with the issues surrounding ticketing arrangements on the routes serving the village. He was able to explain the reasoning behind the planning of future affordable housing in Tynedale and confirmed that there were no plans to designate any land within the parish.

The forthcoming work on the bridge over the Tyne at Ovingham would affect traffic levels in Horsley eliminating flows coming from Prudhoe while the bridge was closed but involving increased traffic through Wylam including Horsley residents wishing to reach Prudhoe. The closure is now not expected to take place until after the Easter holiday. The plans for the work include removal of the high wooden kerbs and easing of the slope at the north approach to the bridge. Both of these changes should help to reduce damage to vehicles using this narrow crossing.

There is a service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 2nd February at 11 am led by the congregation. Horsley Women’s Institute meets on Monday 3rd February at 7.30 when the topic is 21st century herbs and the speaker is Mike Imrye. The arts and crafts group meets on Thursday 6th when the plan is to make something for Valentine’s day.

Week ending 24.01.14

This weekend sees the first musical evening of the year at The Hearth when Emily Maguire sings some of her own songs including, no doubt, some from her recent recordings. She has been receiving rave reviews from a variety of sources and she should be well worth seeing playing live. The doors open at 7pm and the performance should begin at 7.30pm. The Hearth Café will be providing refreshments and there will be a licensed bar.

Readers will probably have read some of the adverse comment in the press about the bus services along the Tyne Valley. Here in Horsley, we have at least gained a second bus per hour although there is still no late evening service back from Newcastle. As to the reliability, there has been an improvement although road works in the next few months are likely to cause some more serious delays. Personal experience leads me to agree with those who have complained about comfort levels on the city type vehicles now employed. Those who have to pay for their buses find it frustrating that return tickets can only be used on the same operator’s services thus negating the value of a two per hour service.

On Sunday 26th January Patrick Eavis will lead worship in Horsley Village Church, the service beginning at 11am. Messy Church for the children follows at 4.30pm.

Week ending 10.01.14

New Year came in with a bang as Tony and Phil and their team at the Lion & Lamb threw a party as usual with a fine firework display as the clocks struck midnight. With this event over January began with more wind and rain. To warm up the winter evenings there are two offers at the Lion & lamb with steak night every Wednesday evening and an early bird deal from 6pm to 7.30pm every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The Hearth Café has now reopened after Jarvis and Alanna’s well deserved break and they should be able to supply tickets for the first Hearth gig of 2014 when Emily Maguire performs on Friday 24th January. If you would like to attend please book early so the organiser can confirm with the artist.

On Sunday 12th January Horsley Village Church welcomes Rev. McLean from Wylam to lead the service at 11am.

The first meeting of the Community Arts & Crafts group of 2014 is scheduled for Thursday 16th January. Details of the programme may be available now from Katherine. Do not forget to check your fuel supply and members of the Oilcan scheme should enjoy a healthy discount on any oil ordered through this system. If you use oil and have not yet joined the scheme look it up on the internet and start saving.

The next meeting of Horsley Parish Council will be on Monday 20th January and all parishioners will be made very welcome.

Week ending 27.12.13

There was a little late night drama in Horsley on Wednesday 18th December when the gale that had been blowing during the evening summoned all its strength for a final gust which toppled one of the village street lights. The road was closed while the lamp, which was still lit, was made safe. Within minutes of this the wind had subsided dramatically. With Christmas behind us thoughts now turn to the New Year, but before this the church in Horsley has a service at 11am on Sunday 29th December led by Sue Rendell. Messy Church follows at 4.30 with a post-Christmas celebration. New year itself may be a fairly quiet affair in Horsley although there is still time for plans to be finalised as these notes are written.  

Week ending 20.12.13

The giant advent calendar is appearing in windows around Horsley and will be on display until Christmas Eve. Look for evidence of angels in windows as you walk around the village.

Advent will be celebrated in a joint carol service in Wylam on Sunday 22nd December at 6pm. There will be no morning service in Horsley on that day.

There is a Christmas quiz night at the Lion & Lamb on Sunday 22nd December at 7.30pm. There will be a pie and peas supper and teams need to reserve a table at the bar before the event. Horsley Women’s Institute is holding a Carols & Mince Pies night on Monday 23rd December in the hall from 7pm. Christmas Eve sees a service in Horsley Village Church at 4pm and this might be the perfect time to have a look at the advent angels. Anyone fancy a bit of the white stuff to complete the decorations?  

Week ending 13.12.13

The Hearth would like to apologise to anyone who was disappointed by the late cancellation of the ‘Salt’ event planned for 7th December. Unfortunately the numbers who had pre-booked were insufficient to make the event viable. It has sometimes been possible to pay on the door for events as this venue but the organisers need to be supported by a good number of prior bookings. Details of planned events are always available on The Hearth website and also appear in this column. To ensure the continuation of entertainment at The Hearth please try to buy your tickets in advance from the Hearth Café. The programme of musical evenings and Heritage & History talks for 2014 is at an advanced stage already, watch these spaces.

The Lion & Lamb Christmas Fare menu is available right up until the day and visitors have been impressed with the quality and service. You are recommended to give it a try. The next Quiz Night is on Sunday 22nd December at 7.30pm, call the bar to book your table. The Hearth has been approached by Northumberland Community Development Network who would like to see two new ventures set up in Horsley. It is intended that a club be set up to help people of any age to make the most of Information technology, from complete beginners upwards. An hour session once per month would be offered. In addition to this would be a series of regular meetings to be part of the Money Go Round project aimed at giving free help and advice to those over 65. It would aim to help people with money matters including how to avoid financial abuse and scams and how to keep the house warm. Volunteers are needed to run these clubs if they are to be established in Horsley, and anyone willing to offer help should contact Hearth trustee Anne Hudson at anne.hudson@live.co.uk There is a communion service at Horsley Village Church on Sunday 15th December at 11am led by Rev. Robin Brooks.  


Week ending 06.12.13

The Hearth Open Studios event last weekend was very successful and although visitor numbers on the Saturday were not as high as hoped Sunday proved to be better attended. Artists in residence and visiting traders reported that sales were better than in previous years. As ever there were some issues with parking with pavements obstructed and even bus stops being misused. A number of visitors completed feedback surveys and some useful suggestions were made which the trustees will be considering in the coming year.

Christmas decorations are already making their appearance in the village and readers are reminded of the Giant Advent Calendar event with a display of angels in windows around the village. Contact Hazel Holliday on 01661 853919 if you would be willing to take part.

The Hearth offers a very different kind of attraction on Saturday 7th December with ‘Salt! A storytelling show for families’. This will combine songs and tales with art and scientific experiments. Everyone knows the most common use of sodium chloride and many will be aware of the dangers of consuming too much but rather fewer may be familiar with the vital part it plays in the working of nerves and muscles. Why not bring the family along to what should be a very original kind of entertainment? Tickets are available from the Hearth Café and there is a reduction for those under 18 and students in full time education. Be prepared to engage in audience participation. There is a little more information on the Hearth website but the presenters Richard Scott, Chris Bostock and Ken Patterson would like to retain an element of surprise.

Week ending 29.11.13

Horsley Parish Council met on Monday 18th November when the business was mainly of a routine nature. The council heard that work on Ovingham bridge would begin in February but that the expected nine month closure would not begin until April. It was expected that the closure would give a brief respite from rush hour traffic in the village. The proposals for future housing provision in the county would have little impact on Horsley as it is not in one of the current green belt areas. The success of the Community Action Northumberland Oilcan scheme was welcomed but it was agreed that there were still households that have not yet taken advantage of the service. Those who had ordered recently had enjoyed a discount of 5p per litre compared to the price quoted to non subscribers. It is intended to obtain two further seats for the bus stops in Horsley, one for the Newcastle direction at the west end and one for the Hexham direction at the east end.

Sadly the Crown & Anchor has now closed, sale of the pub and land having been completed. We wish Brenda and Rod a happy retirement. Unfortunately the village has lost the four allotments that occupied part of the pub’s land and which were so productive in 2013. We must try to ensure that the village loses no more of its businesses.

The Hearth Winter Fair & Open Studios takes place on Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st  December from 10.30 am to 4pm on both days. All the studios will be open and there will be many visiting artists as well. The Hearth Café will be serving delicious winter fare and hosting a stand selling Christmas hampers, beer boxes and other tempting items. For a full list of the arts and crafts on offer visit the Hearth website, www.thehearth.co.uk. If coming by car please park with consideration but why not take advantage of our new twice hourly bus services.

Over six hundred boxes for the Samaritan’s Purse shoebox scheme were collected at Horsley Church and they have now joined those from other collection points on their journey to deserving children in Romania, Belarus and Ukraine. Thanks go to all those who gave so generously. The church is hoping to repeat the giant Advent Calendar event this year and would like to hear from anyone willing to make and display an angel in their windows. They also hope to send their knitted nativity scene on a ‘bed & breakfast tour’ around houses in Horsley. Contact for these initiatives should be made with Hazel Holliday on 01661 853919. The Advent service on Sunday 1st December at Horsley Village Church will be in the evening after the Winter fair has closed.

Horsley Women’s Institute holds its Christmas dinner on Monday 2nd December.

Week ending 22.11.13

The trustees of The Hearth held a social evening on Tuesday 12th November at which the new trustee Naomi Kinghorn was introduced to the artists, the other trustees and their guests. Naomi brings professional experience of fund raising to The Hearth and she is keen to join the other trustees in the future development of the centre. The next event at The Hearth is another heritage and history talk entitled ‘The Development of Railway Signalling’ and it takes place on Thursday 28th November at 7.30. The speaker is Professor Ian Moffat and you are advised to come in good time as these talks have been well attended. Doors open from 7pm and the price of admission includes tea, coffee and biscuits. The annual pre-Christmas Open Studios event is scheduled for Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December when the artists will have lots of tempting items on offer.

The Horsley Community Arts and Crafts group will meet on Thursday 28th November and this will be the last meeting until the New Year. This meeting will take place in the W.I. Hall as the Hearth Hall will be hosting the talk referred to above on the same night. The topic is needle felting and the aim is to make a felted Christmas angel.

There is a baptism service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 24th November at 11am when Rev. Bill Ellerby will be officiating. Messy Church follows at 4.30pm.

The Oilcan bulk purchasing scheme for heating oil is now well established in Horsley and there should be no need for anxiety over fuel supplies this winter. Our thanks go to Kathryn Nicholson for agreeing to take on the co-ordination of this in the village.

A short report of the business at the November parish council meeting will appear in the next edition of The Courant.



Week ending 15.11.13

The annual act of remembrance at the Horsley war memorial was well attended this year and the weather was bright and sunny if a little cold after a very sharp frost the previous night. Thanks go to Graham Wilson who led the service and to Maurice Holliday who played the Northumberland pipes at the beginning and end of the service. On Sunday 17th November there is a communion service in Horsley Village Church led by Rev. Peter Moth at 11am. Appearing at The Hearth on Thursday 21st November is Clive Gregson. Clive is a singer songwriter of some repute and hopefully he will have a full house audience. The doors will be open from 7pm with the performance beginning at 7.30. There will be a licensed bar and food will be available also on the night provided by the Hearth Café. Tickets for the event are available from the café and there is a discount for students. Collection of the shoeboxes for the annual appeal will begin on Wednesday 20th November and continue on Thursday and Friday. Boxes can be delivered to the church at any time in this period. Members of the church will be checking the boxes ready for them to be despatched to the deserving children.

Week ending 08.11.13

There was a modest but enthusiastic audience at the latest Heritage & History talk at the Hearth on Thursday last when Robert Forsythe gave an illustrated talk on the industrial archaeology of Northern England. The last of this year’s talks will be on 28th November and will deal with the evolution of safe signalling systems on Britain’s railways. The programme for 2014 is now being arranged and details will appear in this column in due course. The annual shoebox appeal gets under way this weekend with a coffee morning at the Women’s Institute Hall from 10.30 am on Saturday 9th November. Collection of the shoeboxes begins from 20th November. On Sunday 10th November there is a Remembrance Day service at the village war memorial from 10.45am. This short outdoor service will be led by Graham Wilson and after the silence at 11am will continue the service in the church. Horsley Women’s Guild meets on Monday 11th November at 2.30pm when Maurice Holliday will be the speaker. The next musical evening at The Hearth is on Thursday 21st November when singer songwriter Clive Gregson will be performing. Further details are to be found on the hearth website www.thehearth.co.uk and tickets should be available at the Hearth Café.

Week ending 01.11.13

On Sunday 3rd November in place of the usual morning worship, Horsley Village Church is holding a service at 6pm led by Rev. John Paul followed by a church meeting and a shared supper. On the opposite side of the road, the Lion and lamb is offering an ‘Evening of Mediumship’ led by Scott Williams at 7.30. Further details are available from their website. Horsley Women’s Institute meets on Monday 4th November at 7.30 when the speaker is Rev. E. Lewis. His talk is entitled ‘From teaboy to teaboy’. If this leaves you intrigued as to what happened between bouts of tea serving you will need to attend. The trustees of The Hearth are inviting the public to come to a social evening at 7pm on Tuesday 12th November but, in order to arrange catering, those wishing to attend are asked to let trustee Anne Hudson know by Tuesday 5th November. Anne can be reached on 01661 852744 or at anne.hudson@live.co.uk Horsley Community Art & Craft group meets on Thursday 7th November but there has been a change to the programme previously published. For up to date information contact Kathryn Nicholson on 07913 796052 or at artandcraftgroup@hotmail.co.uk. This year’s shoebox appeal is just around the corner and suitable gifts the completed boxes will be collected from 20th November.

Week ending 25.10.13

A number of residents will be busy with the litter pick on Saturday 26th hoping to leave Horsley looking much neater at least until the winter gales bring more. The more people we have the more of the environs we can clean up so why not join us? If you can spare an hour or two between 10am and 2pm meet us at the W.I. hall where all necessary equipment will be available. On Sunday 27th there is a service in Horsley Village Church at 11am led by Rev. David McDonald and this is followed by Messy Church at 4.30pm. Halloween looms and the quiz at the Lion & Lamb on Sunday evening is likely to witness the pub somewhat transformed. As ever, teams need to be booked in before the evening and supper will be served. For the children, there is a Halloween Party at the Lion & Lamb on Thursday 31st October from 6pm. This will include a children’s disco and fancy dress competition and food will be available. Further details are available at the bar. Also on Thursday 31st The Hearth is holding the latest of its series of Heritage & History Talks when Robert Forsythe is the speaker and his title is ‘Industrial Archaeology of Northern England’. The talk starts at 7.30pm but the hall will be open from 7. The price of entry includes tea, coffee and biscuits. These talks have been well received and the organiser will be pleased to listen to suggestions for future topics. Contact can be made via www.office@thehearth.co.uk.

Week ending 18.10.13

In last week’s notes I mentioned the progress made around Horsley with next year’s crops and what a contrast with the situation last autumn when farm workers could barely get on the land. This year the green shoots are growing rapidly, somewhat faster than those often referred to by politicians. There is a communion service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 20th October at 11am. This will be led by Rev. Pat Brooks. Horsley Parish Council has arranged the annual autumn litter pick for Saturday 26th October and the success of this depends upon the number of volunteers who make themselves available. Willing helpers can give an hour or two of their time between 10am and 2pm. All equipment needed to complete this operation safely will be provided. If you can spare a little time put this in your diaries now. Dates to note for later in the month include a Halloween quiz on Sunday 27th and a children’s Halloween party on Thursday 31st, both at the Lion & Lamb. Also on Thursday 31st, the next of the series of Heritage & History talks at The Hearth covers industrial archaeology in the North East of England.

Week ending 11.10.13

Given the recent fair weather our farmers have been busy preparing the land and drilling the next crops. No doubt they are hoping for a less challenging autumn and winter than we all endured last year. As I write it is still possible to walk the footpaths around Horsley without requiring willies and waterproofs. Services at Horsley Village Church return to the normal time, 11am on Sunday 13th October, when we have another visiting minister, Rev. E.H. Marley, a retired URC officiate. The next meeting of Horsley Community Arts & Crafts group is on Thursday 17th October when members will be making items to sell at the Hearth Christmas Open Studios to raise funds for the group. Such things as cards and Christmas decorations are recommended but you should bring your own materials. While some parts of the county are expecting to enjoy high speed broadband in the near future, we are still waiting. If readers in Horsley have not yet registered their demand for this they are reminded to do so.

Week ending 04.10.13

Horsley’s own harvest celebrations take place this weekend and setting up the church will begin on Friday 4th October from 10.30am. The Harvest Festival service itself will be at 6pm on Sunday 6th and will be followed by a faith supper. Rev. John Paul will be officiating. Horsley Women’s Institute holds its annual meeting on Monday 7th October at 7.30pm. The meeting will be addressed by the W.I. Adviser Mrs. Moira Bengtson. The new pattern of bus service in Horsley has settled down and it appears that overcrowding is now a much rarer event. Readers may have noticed some adverse comment on the comfort levels in the reader’s letters in the Courant and personal experience reveals that some of the buses, although quite new, do leak in the rain. It may be wiser to avoid the window seats in adverse weather. Passengers travelling to or from Newcastle may find the X85 service a few minutes quicker as a consequence of its route via the A69 between Heddon and West Denton. Following the closure of the compound on Mill Way work has begun on rebuilding the section of stone wall that was removed to form the lower gateway. The new wall was nearing completion as these notes were written and a fine job is expected.

Week ending 27.09.13

Horsley Parish Council met on Monday 16th September when a number of village issues were raised. It was reported that repairs to Mill Way had included the stretch from Horsley Wood Cottages down to the woods themselves as well as the short section nearer the water works entrance. The remaining damaged sections of the road were discussed but it was not clear whether the construction traffic was the sole cause of this damage. Work is due to take place on the road to Harlow Hill between 30th September and 30th October but closure to traffic was expected to be limited to between 9am and 3pm on 30th September. The local transport plan was discussed and the issue of parking restrictions in the village inevitably resurfaced with a number of residents feeling that the H bar markings had worsened the situation. The exit from car park at The Hearth was a particular problem. Another concern for residents was the prevalence of vehicles parked on pavements and on occasions pedestrians had been forced into the road. At lunchtime on the day after the meeting I counted thirteen vehicles partially obstructing the pavements on the main street. The new bus service provided by Go North East was welcomed and new timetables had been provided at all stops in Horsley. New users should note that the X85 eastbound goes via the A69 between Heddon and West Denton and thus does not serve Throckley or Walbottle as the 685 does. It was agreed to hold an autumn litter pick on 26th October between 10am and 2pm. Volunteers to help with this would be provided with the necessary equipment on the day. There are two events this week at The Hearth with John Hancock of Hancock Museum fame the subject of the talk on Thursday evening and a poetry reading with Sean O’Brien and Linda France on Friday 27th September. Both events start at 7.30pm. Sunday 29th September sees the traditional harvest celebration with a joint service at 10am at St. Oswin’s in Wylam. There is no service in Horsley on this occasion but Messy Church does take place in Horsley at 4.30pm. The Art & Craft Community Group meets again on Thursday 3rd October with Tony Montague leading a session on basic painting techniques for oils and acrylics.

Week ending 20.09.13

On Saturday 21st September there is an Autumn Food Market at the Lion & Lamb from 10am to 2pm. This is a joint promotion between the Lion & Lamb and Go Local Food Ltd a community based operation from Ovingham and Ovington. On offer will be bread, jams, chutneys, beer, pies, cheese, ice cream and cakes. There is a nominal charge for entry but you should be sure of finding something irresistible and local in origin. Later on the same date Horsley Garden Club is holding a social evening at the Crown & Anchor from 7pm The fine weather has allowed the members who have enjoyed allotments at the rear of the pub to grow plentiful crops and it is quite likely that some produce will be available for members to take on the night. Only a mile or two away the Puffing Billy celebrations reach their high point with the replica Puffing Billy in Wylam at the car park adjacent to the waggonway and a range of activities along the route on Saturday 21st. The event moves on to Newburn on the Sunday. As part of the celebrations there is a model railway exhibition on both days at Wylam Institute in aid of the local scouts. After the Heritage Open Days last weekend Horsley Village Church returns to normal service on Sunday 22nd when Jane Cook leads worship at 11am. The Heritage & History Talks return on Thursday 26th when the life and achievements of John Hancock, naturalist and taxidermist will be the subject for speaker James Littlewood. The doors open from 7pm with the talk beginning at 7.30. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided included in the usual admission charge. This is followed on Friday 27th by a poetry evening at The Hearth with Sean O’Brien and Linda France at 7.30

Week ending 13.09.13

Hopefully all households in Horsley have now received the timetable for the new X85 bus service operated by GoNorthEast which starts as these notes go to the editor. If this and the existing 685 service are both to continue in the long term then this should help relieve the overcrowding which often affects day time journeys. Those passengers who have to pay fares should note that return tickets are likely to be valid only on the issuing operator’s services. Two buses each way every hour potentially gives us on the north bank of the Tyne something closer to the frequency enjoyed on the opposite side of the river. The Hearth has its Heritage Open Days on Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th when there will be lots for children and adults alike. Come along and see what life was like in Horsley in Victorian times. The event is open from 11am until 3pm on both days. The Open days will tell the story of Joseph Parker who preached at Horsley in the 1850s and one of the hymns written by him will feature in Sunday’s service in the church. This is a communion service led by Peter Smith and it will begin at 11am as usual. Horsley parish Council meets at 7pm on Monday 16th September in the Women’s Institute Hall and members of the public will be very welcome. A short report of the business should appear in the 27th September edition of The Courant. Singer songwriter Sarah McQuaid makes her only appearance in the North East at The Hearth on Wednesday 18th September. Note that the gig takes place on Wednesday rather than the usual day for live music events. The doors open at 7pm with a licensed bar and refreshments available on the evening. Tickets may still be available from the Hearth Café. A new Pilates course begins on Monday 23rd September at the W.I. Hall for an hour from 11.15am. If you wish to join this course contact Pat Waters on pmwaters@btinternet.com.

Week ending 06.09.13

With the Heritage Open days only a week away entries for the competition mentioned in last week’s notes should be submitted to The Hearth by Saturday 7th September. Entries can be a painting, drawing, photo or poem depicting a smell that would have been experienced by Joseph Parker on his journey from Newcastle to the church in Horsley during the 1850s. You will be able to see the winning entries in the church during the open days. Worship in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 8th September begins at 11am and will be led by Pat Henderson. Women’s Guild takes place at 2.30pm on Monday 9th with a card making session. The Hearth has a number of events arranged for September besides the Heritage Open Days including music, poetry a talk and two new courses. A four week course ‘Drawing for the terrified’ begins at 9.30 on Thursday 12th, details from tutor Jenny Purrett at jenny@jenntpurrett.co.uk. A week later on Tuesday 17th a creative writing course lasting nine weeks begins at 1pm. Details of this from Deborah Dobbinson on 07900 051811 or ddobinson@wea.org.uk. The music gig is on Wednesday 18th when singer songwriter Sarah McQuaid performs a selection from her own songs. Tickets are available from the Hearth Café as usual. The poetry evening is on Friday 27th with Sean O’Brien and Linda France starting at 7.30pm while the previous evening sees another Heritage & History Talk when James Littlewood will tell us about John Hancock, naturalist and taxidermist. Further details of all these events are on the Hearth website and will appear in this column nearer the dates concerned.

Week ending 30.08.13

As the traffic to and from the compound used by the contractors working for Northumbrian water has reduced thoughts have turned to the repairs promised to Mill Way. Road surfacing machinery appeared in the village last week and hopes rose. After the machines had gone it transpired that a stretch of rather less than fifty yards of the road had been fully resurfaced but this still leaves several badly potholed areas between the compound and the top of Mill Way. Hopefully the remaining damage will be dealt with in due course. September church services at Horsley Village Church begin on Sunday 1st with worship led by members of the congregation beginning at 11am. The evening of same Sunday sees another quiz night at the Lion & Lamb. The usual rules apply to teams who should book places before the night. Supper will be provided in the time honoured way with pie and peas. Horsley Women’s Institute meets on Monday 2nd September at 7.30 when Mr. Henry Conrad will give a talk entitled ‘Trek to Base Camp’. The Heritage Open Day event at The Hearth is now only two weeks away and the deadline for the competition entries is Saturday 7th September so that the judging can be completed in time for the winning entries to be on display during the open days. Volunteers are still needed to help with preparations for the open days and anyone willing to lend a hand is asked to contact Anne Hudson on 01661 852744 as soon as possible. It is intended that the preparation work will be completed by 7th September so it can be tried out before the open days on 14th & 15th. Volunteers are needed for sound recording, making a range of activities relating to the experiences, particularly of smells and sounds, Joseph parker encountered on his way from Newcastle to Horsley, and for music to be played in the church during the event. Please note that details of Horsley Village Church’s involvement in the Heritage Open Days are available on the Hearth website and were also given in the Village Notes in the 23rd August edition of the Courant.

Week ending 23.08.13

Information leaflets and membership forms for the Community Action Northumberland ‘Oil Can’ bulk purchasing scheme are currently being distributed around the village. Everyone using oil central heating is able to save money by joining this scheme and it is hoped that as many residents as possible will grasp this opportunity. The larger the orders that can be placed with suppliers the larger the discount is likely to be. The cost of joining the scheme would be recouped by the first order of around 400 litres. As a typical delivery would be twice that figure and householders are likely to need two or three orders of that size per annum, the benefit should be obvious. The Hearth will be taking part this year in the Heritage Open Days on the 14th and 15th of September when the lives of Joseph and Ann Parker of Horsley will remembered. Joseph Parker was the preacher at what is now Horsley Village Church in the 1850s and he and his wife lived in the manse which is now The Hearth. Joseph Parker wrote an account of his journey from Newcastle to Horsley describing the scenes and smells he encountered along the way. You are invited to enter a competition for a painting, drawing, photo or poem depicting one of the smells he would have sensed on the way. Entries should be submitted by 7th September by email, post or in person to the Hearth Café. The winning entries and runners up will be displayed in The Hearth between 11am and 3pm on the open days. Winners will be able to choose from afternoon tea at the Hearth Café, free entry to a future event at The Hearth or a chance to work with one of the resident artists to make something to take away. For further details see the Hearth website. Ruth Crofton will lead the service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 25th August at the usual time of 11am. Ruth is a retired URC minister. Finally may I remind readers of the Railway Talk on Thursday 29th August at The Hearth when Lee Davies who now drives Cross Country trains but who has previously also driven freight trains will be describing his life on the footplate in the diesel era. His talk will be illustrated by scenes he has captured from his cab and from the lineside. The talk begins at 7.30pm but you are advised to arrive early. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided included in the admission price.

Week ending 16.08.13

Harvesting has begun in some of the fields around Horsley and as the machinery associated with this gets bigger and bigger it is worth remembering that a carelessly parked vehicle can render the main street impassable all too easily. Our two hostelries and The Hearth both have their own car parks and if you are using any of these facilities please use the relevant parking areas whenever you can. With construction projects over running there is likely to be more large vehicles in the village than ever. The monthly communion service at Horsley Village Church takes place on Sunday 18th August with Rev. John Paul leading worship at 11am. This should be followed by a church meeting but this is still to be confirmed as I write. The Hearth’s Heritage & History talks continue this month with another which will be of interest to all those of us who wanted to be train drivers when we were younger. This talk is entitled ‘Life on the Footplate’ and will be given by a driver who currently drives for Cross Country Trains. His talk takes place at 7.30 on Thursday 29th August and it is likely to be very well attended.

Week ending 09.08.13

Horsley Book Club meets on Friday 9th August to review the latest book, a Graham Greene classic. There are a few more male readers beginning to attend these sessions now and this trend is to be encouraged. The club meets at The Hearth and usually partake of some of the Hearth Café’s offerings. The Garden Club Show on Saturday 3rd August took place in bright sunshine although a stiff breeze tempered the climate somewhat. The show attracted a good selection of entries for the various competitions, and it was pleasing to see that many more members had put in entries than in previous years. Quite a number of visitors went to admire the allotments as well as the stalls in the field. The list of prize winners is not to hand as I write but will be available at the next meeting of the club. Thanks are due to all the willing helpers that took part in setting up and clearing away on the day. On Sunday 11th August Horsley Village Church will welcome the congregation of St. Aidan’s to the service at 11am. Those who have given their names will be taking lunch at the Lion & Lamb afterwards. The service will be led by Helen Weatherley.

Week ending 02.08.13

Horsley has two attractions to offer on Saturday 3rd August when The Hearth has its ‘Open Studios’ from 10am until 4pm, and Horsley Garden Club’s annual show at The Crown & Anchor opens at noon and runs until 3pm. These times should allow visitors to spend some time at both events. It would be a good time to leave the car at home and use the bus as the car park at the Hearth is likely to fill up quickly and that at the Crown & Anchor will be largely occupied by the stalls and other displays that form part of the Garden Club show. Garden Club members are asked to help with setting up from 10am if possible The construction projects at the Northumbrian Water site continue having over-run by some time largely because of the difficulties caused by the winter and very wet spring. The recent fine weather is likely to have allowed more rapid progress however. As work has progressed further toward Newcastle so movements to and from the compound have reduced somewhat, but this facility remains in daily use. The change in the weather seems to have helped the crops to ripen rapidly and the harvest may well be earlier than usual in some places, but the yield is not likely to be so pleasing given the poor start to the growing season. No doubt the local farmers are hoping the fine weather holds long enough. These notes were written after a few hours of heavy rain which may have reduced the need for artificial irrigation, and certainly replenished water stores at the allotments used by members of the Garden Club. I referred in my last column to the new buses being employed on the troubled 685 service and it should be pointed out that this service is provided jointly by Arriva Northumbria and Stagecoach North West, and it is the Arriva journeys that employ the newer buses. These are only a few years old and should be much more reliable although their seats are less comfortable than the old coaches which are still operated by Stagecoach. If you time your journey carefully you may be able to compare the two types of vehicle and get the best of both worlds. Book Club, which would normally have met on Friday 2nd is now postponed until Friday 9th August.

Week ending 26.07.13

Horsley Parish Council met on Monday 15th July in the upstairs room at the W.I.hall while the Horsley Garden Club met downstairs. At least one resident managed to be in two places at one time. Some very familiar village issues were discussed again including parking and the use of Water Lane by travellers. To date no resolution of either issue was imminent but this should not be taken to mean that efforts were not being made by the parish council. The council heard a report on the special meeting that had been held about the Community Action Northumberland’s ‘Oil Can’ scheme. It was resolved to circulate the details to all residents and to encourage as many as possible to take up this money saving scheme. A volunteer had indicated their willingness to act as village coordinator for the scheme. Following the resignation of councillor Alan Holmes a vacancy existed and the council had received the name of one candidate. Paula Taylor was duly elected to fill the vacancy. The date of the next meeting was set for 16th September. Worship at Horsley Village Church on Sunday 28th July at 11am will be led by Rev. Alan Dunstone who is a retired United Reformed Church minister. Messy church will follow at 4.30pm. Horsley Garden Club holds its Annual Show on Saturday 3rd August from 12noon until 3pm at The Crown & Anchor. Beside the plant stalls there will be a number of other attractions including The Stocksfield Stompers, Acts of Random Kindness, classic cars, jewellery and handbags. On the same Saturday, The Hearth has an ‘Open Studios’ event from 10am to 4pm with all the resident artists in attendance to display and offer for sale their work. The Hearth Café will be providing refreshments as usual. With two events likely to attract extra traffic the village will be busy and car drivers are asked to park with due consideration. The alternative would be to use the 685 bus which now has much more reliable and modern vehicles and runs hourly to a stop perfectly placed for visitors.

Week ending 19.07.13

The produce in the village planters has begun to be harvested, the lettuce being particularly popular having had to be replaced already. Some of the herbs are less well known and may call for a little research as to their best uses. Thanks go to all those volunteers who are looking after the planters. The congregation of Horsley Village Church will lead a family service on Sunday 21st July at 11am There will be a Traidcraft stall selling a range of fair trade products. The Hearth is holding Railway Fun Days on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th July from 11am to 4pm each day. These days are aimed at families and children with plenty of things to do for young ones. Among the activities are making a semaphore signal (with all materials provided), making prints of railway engines, railway games, stories including such favourites as The Railway Children and new stories by a local author. An exhibition about the work of Robert Stephenson will be on display having previously been on view at The National Railway Museum outstation in Shildon. There is a charge for entry for adults but all accompanied children will be free. This event ties in neatly with the recent 175year anniversary of the Newcastle & Carlisle line and with the Puffing Billy events planned for later in the year. On Thursday 25th, in the evening another in the series of railway talks takes place at The Hearth and this time the title is ‘The Art of Robert Stephenson’. The talk begins at 7.30 but the hall will be open from 7pm. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided included in the cost of entry. Those attending this talk will also be able to see the exhibition referred to above.

Week ending 12.07.13

I am sure everyone welcomed the very fine weather last weekend but this may well have been partly responsible for a rather disappointing turnout for the Horsley Women’s Institute table top sale. This event also coincided with the first of the Wimbledon finals which may not have helped either. Sales of plants and refreshments were good but other items were less popular. During the weekend the aging coaches usually provided for the 685 bus service were less in evidence. Was this simply coincidence or a response to the adverse publicity the service attracted in the Hexham Courant? The old coaches may be quieter and more comfortable but they are less easy to board for those with mobility issues. Regular users of the service may well be happy to trade better reliability for the more comfortable seats. On Sunday 14th July Rev. David Cant who recently retired as vicar at Wylam St.Oswin’s will lead the communion service in Horsley Village Church. The service will begin at the usual time of 11am. Later on Sunday 14th, there is another quiz night at The Lion & Lamb. The usual rules apply and teams should register at the bar before the evening. Supper will be provided during the evening. Horsley Parish Council meets at 7pm on Monday 15th July and a brief report of the business should appear in the edition for 26th July. It would be good to see a similar turnout as attended the special meeting about the bulk oil purchase scheme. Coming up shortly is a two day exhibition at The Hearth entitled ‘The Art of Robert Stephenson’ on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th July. This event is aimed at family participation with hands on activities for children. Further details will be given in the next edition.

Week ending 05.07.13

There was plenty happening in Horsley on the evening of June 27th, with a special meeting of the parish council, the talk on ‘Ouseburn, cradle of the industrial revolution on Tyneside’, and the local Morris dancers at the Crown & Anchor. The subject of the parish meeting was Community Action Northumberland’s ‘Oil Can’ scheme. Mark Johnson representing the group explained how the scheme was already working in the county and delivering significant savings in the cost of heating oil. This meeting drew the largest attendance to a parish meeting for a long time and several questions were raised and well answered. It was stressed that the Northumberland scheme was not working in isolation but in partnership with a similar scheme in County Durham. The negotiation of prices was done on an even wider basis and handled by a professional team in Oxfordshire where community based bulk buying first began. Further details can be found by contacting Community Action Northumberland on 01670 500812 or by Email at oilcan@ca-north.org.uk Horsley Women’s Institute are holding their Table Top Sale on Saturday 6th July in their hall at the west end of the village. Among the items available to buy will be hand made bags, cakes, cards, jewellery, and bespoke furniture such as radiator covers and bookcases. Others will be offering wildlife photographs and paintings. The Burnside Community garden will be bringing their market stall and The Hearth Café will have a barbeque next to the plants stall outside. There is a small charge for entry but this will include a cup of tea or coffee. The sale will be open from 11am to 4pm. The service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 7th July will be led by Rev. Robert McLean who is vicar of St. Oswin’s in Wylam. The service will begin at 11am. Note that this will not be a communion service as originally listed, but the service on the following Sunday will offer this facility. Women’s Guild meets on Monday 8th at 2.30 when the speaker will be Hazel Holliday. The Hearth AGM takes place at 7pm on Monday 8th July when members of the public will be welcome to attend. Copies of the trustees’ annual report are available in the Hearth Café and in the church. There are important plans for the future development of The Hearth which will be of interest to everyone.

Week ending 28.06.13

At last some signs of summer have reached Horsley although as I write it is raining hard outside. At least the new village planters will be getting well watered. At the allotments behind the Crown and Anchor all seems well with good growth in evidence. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the crops in many of the arable fields around the village. The very poor weather last autumn and winter has left many fields looking patchy and well behind in development. The final service of the month in Horsley Village Church will be led by Bryan Spurr at 11am on Sunday 30th and Messy Church will follow at 4.30pm. Horsley Women’s Institute meets on Monday 1st July when the speaker is Claire Watson-Laney and her subject is The Northumberland Sausage Company. The W.I. will be holding a table top sale on Saturday 6th July at their hall with a wide range of stallholders booked to attend. Further details should be available by the 5th July edition of The Courant. The AGM of the Community Arts & Crafts Group will take place on Thursday 4th July at 7.30 when it is expected that the programme for the next few months will be available.

Week ending 21-06-13

The Shaw Classic Car Rally passed through the village without causing any traffic difficulties, the participants all complying strictly with the speed limit unlike many of the other motorists. Some of those who witnessed the event may well have been old enough to recall when such vehicles were every day sights. The weekend begins with the James Birkett and Bradley Johnston jazz gig at The Hearth on Friday 21st June. It may still be possible to attend if you do not already have a ticket. The hall will be open from 7pm. Thursday 27th June sees the next in the series of Heritage and History Talks at The Hearth. The title of this talk is ‘Ouseburn, cradle of the industrial revolution on Tyneside. The speaker is Anne Smith, from the Ouseburn Trust. The talk will begin at 7.30pm and the admission charge will include refreshments. This promises to be a popular event and you are encouraged to come early to secure the best seats. The Crown & Anchor will be welcoming Morris Dancers on Thursday 27th June, for times enquire at the bar. It is to be hoped that the recent genuine summer weather will remain with us for this event. Worship in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 23rd June will be led by Rev. Maureen Lloyd staring at the usual time, 11am.

Week ending 14-06-13

A number of minor repairs have been made to roads and pavements in Horsley, reducing the risk of tripping. Unfortunately many of these repairs which have been made with macadam were rather untidily done. At the top of Mill Way a number of brick paviors which had been dislodged during the winter have been left stacked around the base of an electricity pole and the hole crudely patched with tar macadam. It is to be hoped that repairs outstanding further down Mill Way will be more thoroughly done. There will be extra traffic through Horsley on Sunday 16th June when the Shaw Trophy Classic Car Rally passes through. There will be a maximum of forty competitors in all travelling east to west through the village and out to the A69. The first car should pass at about 10.30am and all cars should have passed through by around 11.50. There should be plenty of opportunity to photograph the cars as they pass by. On Sunday 16th June, Rev. John Paul will lead a communion service in Horsley Village Church at 11am. Members of the congregation will have a chance to examine the contents of the new vegetable and herb planter outside the church door. The Community Arts and Crafts Group meets again on Thursday 20th June at 7.30pm For details contact the organiser, Kathryn Nicholson at artandcraftgroup@hotmail.co.uk. May I remind you now to book your tickets for the next live music at The Hearth, on Friday 21st June when the James Birkett and Bradley Johnston Jazz Guitar Duo will be appearing. Tickets are on sale at the Hearth Café and there will be a licensed bar and food available on the night. The doors will be open from 7pm with the music starting at 7.30. The duo will play a range of jazz styles from early blues, swing, bebop and contemporary cool.

Week ending 07-06-13

Horsley’s contribution to this year’s Hexham Gathering was well received and every seat was sold for this popular event in the village. The next musical evening is devoted to jazz with the James Birkett and Bradley Johnston Jazz Guitar Duo. This takes place on Friday 21st June at 7.30. Tickets can be bought from the Hearth Café. The planters for the community vegetable and herb growing scheme have now been planted up with a selection of items provided by Tom and Jo at the Wylam Nursery. The planters are located at the village church, the playground, Stonecroft bus stop and Cherry Tree Gardens. Have a look at these to see exactly what has been planted. Residents from the eastern end of the village and staff from the Horsley Business centre can now sit down while waiting for the bus to Newcastle on the newly installed recycled plastic seat. This will be a welcome improvement particularly as the punctuality of this service is variable at best. Worship in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 9th June will be led by Rev. Pat Brooks at 11am. Horsley Women’s Guild meets on Monday 10th June at 2.30pm. Anyone who visited the County Show and saw the entries in the Women’s Institute competition will have been pleased to see that Horsley W.I. were among the awards again, gaining second place, a single point behind the winning entry. Thanks go to all the members who contributed to the display.

Week ending 31-05-13

Horsley Parish Council met on Monday 20th May for their Annual Meeting and regular bi monthly meeting. The councillors were pleased to welcome as many as six of the parishioners, the best turnout for some years. At the meeting the council accepted the resignation of Councillor Alan Holmes who has served the council well for many years, and expressed their thanks for his work as vice chair. All other councillors were willing to continue in their posts but there is now one vacancy following Alan’s departure. The issue of the travellers using Water Lane was raised and this was timely as four caravans were present at the time of the meeting. At that point there had been no sign of the particular problems which manifested themselves last year but a watch would be kept. Discussions between Northumberland Estates, the land owner, and Northumbrian Water were on-going. A number of other items were also yet to be resolved but had been referred to the County Council, these including parking restrictions and the repairs needed to Mill Way. Repairs to the bus shelter at High Barns had been completed and the pavement at the corner of Mill way had also been patched. Up to date bus timetables have been supplied for all the stops in the village. The damaged fencing in the play area was still awaiting repair but this was in the course of being arranged. Two important matters were raised which should be brought to all householder’s attention shortly. These are the provision of high speed broadband and a county wide scheme to purchase heating oil in bulk thus gaining more affordable prices. The more households sign up for these initiatives the more likely we are to receive the benefits in the near future. Average Broadband speeds in the village are no more than 2meg, but other villages were enjoying ten times this rate. It was expected that a bulk purchase scheme could deliver a saving of around 5 pence per litre. It is hoped to arrange a special meeting in the village regarding these two initiatives at some time in June. The congregation will lead their own service in Horsley Village Church on Sunday 2nd June at 11am. On Monday 3rd June Horsley Women’s Institute are having their annual birthday outing, a river trip upstream from Newcastle to Ryton Willows. All members will be very welcome. The Community Arts and Crafts Group meets on Thursday 6th June when the topic is wool work. Members are invited to bring along examples of their work to show and share ideas.

Week ending 24-05-13

The Hexham Gathering has come around again and once more The Hearth at Horsley hosts one of the gigs. There is sure to be a good turnout on Friday 24th May for the Horizon Award winning folksinger Blair Dunlop supported by some of the young local folk talent. The music starts at 7.30pm and there will be a licensed bar and refreshments available before the programme begins and at the interval. If you do not have a ticket arrive early as there may be a chance to squeeze a few more in. Services at Horsley Village Church return to the normal starting time of 11am on Sunday 26th May with Elizabeth Baines leading. Messy church takes place at 4.30pm on the same day. Sunday 26th is the date for the next Quiz Night at the Lion & Lamb. Register your teams of up to six members at the bar and join in the fun. Supper will be included as usual in the shape of pie and peas. At the County Show on Bank Holiday Monday members of Horsley Women’s Institute will be hoping to continue their excellent record in the annual competition. You will find them in the Competitive Home Craft Marquee. A short report of the business at the Annual Meeting and regular bi-monthly meeting of Horsley Parish Council held on Monday 20th May should appear in the next edition of The Courant.

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.
There will be a service in Horsley Village Church at 11am on Sunday 5th May led by the congregation. After the service there will be a Traidcraft stall selling a range of fairtrade products.

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.
I referred last week to the community vegetable and herb scheme which is to be set up in Horsley. It is expected that the planters in which the produce will be grown will be delivered during this week and suitable locations around the village have been investigated. Watch this space for further news.

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 artandcraftgroup@hotmail.co.uk

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.
The popular Heritage & History Talks at The Hearth return on Thursday 28th March when Michael Taylor will speak to the title ‘Northumberland Railways – Brunel in Stephenson’s Back Yard.’ There is a small charge for this talk but this includes tea or coffee and biscuits.

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.
Horsley Community Art & Craft group will meet for the first time this year on Thursday 17th January when Hazel Holliday will demonstrate patchwork.

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.


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