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Horsley Parish Council

News

1st October 2021

Thank you to all those who contributed to the McMillan Cancer Research charity event in the village hall. Deliveries to doors proved to be a good idea during this difficult time with the Covid pandemic.

Peter Youngman who has lived in Horsley for over 50 years has sadly died. He and his wife Nancy were great supporters of the village hall and did much to generate and support community activities.

All the external repainting of the Hearth arts centre has now finished and the centre is operating as normal. Kindly note the cafe is not open on a Monday.

The charity bin in the Lion and Lamb car park has been removed. Residents are still able to use the smaller charity bin at the rear of the WI hall.

NCC library van visits the village at 3.30 pm on Wednesday October 13th. Stops include Cherrytree gardens and Stonecroft.

The Hearth arts centre is advertising for new trustees. Anyone who is interested in becoming a trustee is kindly asked to contact the centre either by e mail, telephone or in writing. This is an excellent opportunity to be part of a thriving community initiative which was established by the village church in 2004.

Horsley village church and garden club joined together this year to hold an autumn show. Contributions of traditional fruit and vegetables as well as dried and tinned foods were on display in the church and later donated to the Peoples Kitchen.

18th October 2021

 

Several residents have written to Holly Waddell our district councillor as well as NCC to ask if the gate can be reinstated on the right of way above Lead Lane. The barrier fence has also collapsed on the right of way as you cross the busy A69 road.

 

Thank you to all those who contributed to the McMillan Cancer Research charity event in the village hall. Deliveries to doors proved to be a good idea during this difficult time with the Covid pandemic. Over £800 was raised to support the charity.

Peter Youngman who has lived in Horsley for over 50 years has sadly died. He and his wife Nancy were great supporters of the village hall and did much to generate and support community activities.

All the external repainting of the Hearth arts centre has now finished and the centre is operating as normal. Kindly note the cafe is not open on a Monday.

The charity bin in the Lion and Lamb car park has been removed. Residents are still able to use the smaller charity bin at the rear of the WI hall.

NCC library van visits the village at 3.30 pm on Wednesday October 27th. Stops include Cherrytree gardens and Stonecroft. There is also a new stop in the Lion and Lamb car park where the library bus will meet the school buses.

The Hearth arts centre is advertising for new trustees. Anyone who is interested in becoming a trustee is kindly asked to contact the centre either by e mail, telephone or in writing. This is an excellent opportunity to be part of a thriving community initiative which was established by the village church in 2004.

Horsley village church and garden club joined together this year to hold an autumn show. Contributions of traditional fruit and vegetables as well as dried and tinned foods were on display in the church and later donated to the Peoples Kitchen.

24th October 2021

The development work at Horsley water treatment works which is well behind schedule is due to be finished by the end of April next year. Landscaping has to be approved by NCC planning dept. Tree planting to screen the works from the village has to be approved by Alnwick Estates who own the land. Several residents feel that the latter should be approved at the very least to replace the trees that had to be felled at the start of the project. New access signs are to be placed at both ends of the village.

Councillor Holly Waddell has received the speed survey results for Horsley. Traffic calming measures will be introduced as a result. Funds will be allocated from her members budget. This will cover design work and fast track the project into NCC 2022 transport plan.

Thirty trees donated by the Woodland Trust are to be planted around the village. All the trees are native broadleaf. Families will be involved with the planting. It is a small but significant contribution to supporting the health of our environment.

The Hearth AGM takes place at 6.30pm on Friday October 29th in the Hearth Hall. Resident artists are planning a Winter fair on the weekend of November 20/21st You can book a free visit online using the Hearth website.

Horsley Book club meet on November 5th at 3pm in the Hearth cafe. The group are reading Fiesta by Ernest Hemingway.

Horsley Parish Council have asked NCC highways to resurface the paths on the north side of the main street as well as the main road to the west of the village.

31st October 2021

You can book free tickets on line for the Hearth Winter Fair which is being held over the weekend of November 20/21st. Details about the event are to be found on the Hearth website.

Kate Fox , poet, author, comedian and regular voice on radio 4 will be appearing at the Hearth on Thursday November 18th. You can book a ticket on line or visit the Hearth cafe. The event is part of the Highlights rural touring programme.

The NCC library van visits the village on Wednesday November 10th at the usual times and stops.

Horsley Parish Council hold their bi monthly meeting in the WI hall at 7pm on Monday November 15th. Members of the parish are most welcome to attend and may raise issues at the meeting or email Mandy Senior the parish clerk in advance.

There will be a short service of remembrance at the village war memorial on Sunday November 14th. The service begins at 10.45am.

The Horsley Connections scheme has gone from strength to strength with many new residents joining in last month. The scheme does much to support people in the community offering help and advice to each other.
 

14th November 2021

The Christmas Wreath making class at the Church is now fully booked. The event has been organised by the village craft club.

A reminder that the Winter art fair at the Hearth takes place on November 20th and 21st.

Local songwriter and musician Gareth Davies Jones will be appearing at the Hearth on Saturday 27th November. Details about the event and tickets can be found on line.

Halloween night in the village was once again a popular and enjoyable event for children and adults alike. Thank you to all who made a contribution to its success.

During the Second World War there were a number of secret resistance units established. They operated in units of six persons in specially constructed hides. One is believed to have been set up in Horsley underneath an ancient hedgerow possibly to the north of the village close to RAF Ouston, now Albermarle barracks. A local resident is keen to explore this part of our village history. If anyone has any information please let me know and I will pass this on.

NCC library bus visits the village on Wednesday November 24th. More free books have been placed in the eastbound bus shelter.

The Coop has nominated the Hearth charity for a community award. The scheme using Coop membership cards supports local communities. You can also check out the website for Ecclesiastical and vote for the Hearth charity to enable the charity to receive  a donation of support from this organisation.

21st November 2021

Horsley WI have planned a charity coffee morning in the village hall on December 4th between 10 am and 12 noon.

During World War Two a number of resistant units were established in Tynedale. One is believed to have been set up for a unit of six people in an underground space beneath an ancient hedgerow in Horsley. If anyone knows the exact location I will pass the information forward to a local resident who is exploring this particular history of the village.

Several residents have expressed concern about the amount of dog excrement on the pavements in the centre of the village.

The parish council is asking residents and visitors to the village not to park their cars on pavements. It is difficult to access the path where there is limited space.

Thirty native trees have been donated to the village by the Woodland Trust. These will be planted during the autumn of 2022. It is hoped to ask families in the village to adopt a tree and maintain the area where it has been planted.

A cupboard for the free books currently placed in the eastbound bus shelter will be installed shortly. Many thanks to Jacqui for the donation. This will allow the books to stay dry during the winter.

Mandy Senior, parish clerk, has asked on several occasions for the bus stand to be reinstated at the Lion and Lamb. It is hoped that the markings on the road will also be repainted and well as white bars at the exits of roads leading into the Main Street.

During the winter months the parish council has arranged for the grass verges leading into the village to be cut back and tidied. The play park will also receive attention as well as the hedgerow to the west of the village.
 
If anyone in the village is interested in becoming a trustee at the Hearth arts centre please come and have a chat with me. The Hearth is a great charity and would welcome local residents being involved.

28th November 2021

Although there were no electricity supply failures in Horsley as a result of storm Arwen there was some damage around the village. Garden furniture and huts were broken. Several trees were uprooted including a mature weeping willow tree at Ferndale House. Branches from trees were scattered along roadsides. The new road sign at the west end of the village lost all of the direction information.

Horsley Parish Council is saving some funds to upgrade the two electronic speed traffic signs at either end of the village. The upgrade will indicate to motorists the actual speed their vehicles are recording as they enter the village. Further traffic calming measures are still under consideration.

NCC library  van visits the village on December 8th.

£150 has been donated to the Northumberland Air Ambulance by Horsley Parish Council.

Horsley Book club meet in the Hearth cafe on December 3rd at 3pm. New members are always welcome.

Holly Waddell our district councillor has arranged for the gate on the public right of way at the top of Lead Lane to be reinstated. The fencing beside the A69 road has been repaired.

Thankyou to all the Horsley residents who donated toiletries for  Joes Place in Gateshead. The centre is for people who are vulnerable.

Horsley village church members have collected gifts for refugees from Afghanistan who have been resettled in Northumberland.

Plans are well underway to welcome families this Christmas Eve to a nativity scene in the Hearth car park. The village Christmas tree has been placed once again in front of the church. The parish council kindly donated the lights for the tree. Knitted Advent angels are visiting homes around the village to help share the news of birth of Jesus. You may display one in your home or place it on the village Christmas tree.

 

5th December 2021

Many households in the village have been decorating their homes with greenery from their gardens and the surrounding countryside as we are approaching the winter solstice and Christmas. There have been several wreath making activities at the Hearth. This winter solstice tradition known as Yuletide came to Anglo/Saxon Northumbria with the Norse settlers. All the greenery which includes ivy, holly,laurel and yew is symbolic and today linked to the Christian religion.

The Hearth cafe is now serving their Christmas menu with turkey wraps top of the list. Please book a table to avoid disappointment. Artists studios are open as usual or it is possible to make an appointment from the information given on the Hearth website.

Several reservoirs to the north of the parish have been refilled as part of an ongoing project by Northumbrian Water. The new contractor at Horsley water treatment works is progressing well with the new development which is still on schedule to be completed by the spring of 2022. The public right of way below Horsley Wood is still being diverted to allow for water testing.

Textile angels have been delivered to many households by members of the village church. There are still more to come during this Advent period. The translation of the Latin word Advent means “coming” as we look forward to the birth of Christ. The Christingle service at Horsley village church takes place at 4pm on Sunday December 12th.

Please be aware that there have been a number of cars stolen and thefts from sheds in this part of east Tynedale. Thieves take advantage of the darker days and the run up to Christmas.

There is still a large amount of debris and branches on village paths and in the gutters following storm Arwen. Please take care when out walking and driving.

The parish council would like to kindly remind residents and visitors not to park their cars on kerbs and pavements in the village. Access for pedestrians is severely restricted on some of the narrow paths.

Horsley WI raised £460 for cancer research at their Christmas coffee morning. Many thanks to all who supported the event.

12th December 2021

Many households in the village have been decorating their homes with greenery from their gardens and the surrounding countryside as we are approaching the winter solstice and Christmas. There have been several wreath making activities at the Hearth. This winter solstice tradition known as Yuletide came to Anglo/Saxon Northumbria with the Norse settlers. All the greenery which includes ivy, holly,laurel and yew is symbolic and today linked to the Christian religion.

The Hearth cafe is now serving their Christmas menu with turkey wraps top of the list. Please book a table to avoid disappointment. Artists studios are open as usual or it is possible to make an appointment from the information given on the Hearth website.

Several reservoirs to the north of the parish have been refilled as part of an ongoing project by Northumbrian Water. The new contractor at Horsley water treatment works is progressing well with the new development which is still on schedule to be completed by the spring of 2022. The public right of way below Horsley Wood is still being diverted to allow for water testing.

Textile angels have been delivered to many households by members of the village church. There are still more to come during this Advent period. The translation of the Latin word Advent means "coming" as we look forward to the birth of Christ. 

Please be aware that there have been a number of cars stolen and thefts from sheds in this part of east Tynedale. Thieves take advantage of the darker days and the run up to Christmas.

There is still a large amount of debris and branches on village paths and in the gutters following storm Arwen. Please take care when out walking and driving.

The parish council would like to kindly remind residents and visitors not to park their cars on kerbs and pavements in the village. Access for pedestrians is severely restricted on some of the narrow paths.

Horsley WI raised £460 for cancer research at their Christmas coffee morning. Many thanks to all who supported the event.

19th December 2021

Large numbers of European fieldfares and waxwings have been feeding on berries from bushes at the west end of the village.  

As a result of the new Covid variant Horsley WI have taken the sensible decision to cancel their annual carol event.  

NCC library bus will be visiting the village on 22nd December at the usual stops and times.

The Hearth cafe will close at 3 pm on Christmas Eve and remain closed over the holidays until 4th January.  Artists can be contacted by appointment.

26th December 2021

In the  early part of the twentieth century two Gateshead printing firms, Johnstone and Gibson produced photographic images ofHorsley on postcards. These went on sale in the village post office at a time when the card cost more than the postage. Today  the cards are highly collectable by deltiologists as they give us an insight into the history of the village.


The Hearth cafe reopens after the Christmas break at 9.30am.on January 4th.


Members of Horsley book club meet in the cafe on January7th at 3 pm . The group have been reading ThursdayMurder Club by Richard Osman fromBBC pointless.They May also be talking about the books they received at Christmas.

The next Horsley Parish Council meeting will take place at 7pm in the WI hall on January 17th. items for the agenda can be posted by email to the parish clerk.

Horsley WII are hosting a wine and cheese evening for members at 7.30pm on January 10th.
The nativity scene in the courtyard behind the church was well received. Many thanks to Jim who cut out all the wooden figures.


A very happy new year to all in Horsley parish and beyond.

2nd January 2022

A reminder to send Mandy Senior, parish clerk, items under the heading of village issues for the next PC meeting on January 17th.
The Christmas nativity scene behind the village church has now been dismantled. Many thanks to Ruth Bramwell for the loan of the hay bales.

The public right of way to Wylam from Horsley was affected by storm Arwen. After walking along the path by Horsley Banks much of the northern boundary fence and hedgerow was damaged. Beware of strands of barbed wire on the path.

New Years Eve in the village was a relatively quiet affair apart from a few fireworks at the Lion and Lamb and in some private gardens.

Now that the reservoirs in the north of the parish have been refilled black necked grebes and cormorants have taken up winter residence again.

Please use Horsley Connections to contact Dan our NCC library van driver for dates and times ofJanuary library van visits to the village.

9th January 2022

The Horsley resident who has been trying to establish the location of WW2 resistance hide believes it may have been in the upper part of Whittle Dene near the site of the old Nafferton castle. However there is no public access to this location today as it is a wildlife conservation area.

The track between Whittle bridge and Whittle Dene has been upgraded by the Woodland Trust to facilitate Woodland management.
in the Queen Elizabeth silver jubilee year several horse chestnut trees were planted by residents at the west end of the village to mark the occasion. In order to continue with this tradition four more horse chestnut saplings have been planted for the platinum celebrations in 2022. The year marks70 year’s of service to the nation by Queen Elizabeth 2. The trees were kindly donated by Peter Hunter. Planting trees supports our fragile environment and wildlife and seems to me to be a good way of marking special occasions.

The Lion and Lamb and Hearth arts centre are mindful of the current situation with regard to Covid and doing their very best to protect visitors.

16th January 2022

It would appear that many of the building stones in the village that were recycled from the Roman fort at Rudchester are showing signs of weathering by the elements and vehicle pollution particularly at South East Farm close to the B6528 road. The carvings in the stones originally made by Roman soldiers are becoming difficult to detect.

Many public rights of way in Horsley parish are very muddy and still covered in debris from recent storm damage. Please take care when out walking and take a set of walking poles if you have them. The area around Whittle dene and Spital are by far the worst affected. There is still no sign of a new gate at the top of Lead Lane despite the efforts of Holly Waddell, district councillor. Similarly the two gates in the paddock behind Horsley Hills are in need of repair.

In line with other areas across the region the population of roe deer has dramatically increased during the pandemic. There is significantly more damage to tree bark and crops. There has also been a rise in the number of incidents involving deer and motorists on the B6528 road between Horsley and Heddon.

John Bookless who can be contacted through Horsley Connections is looking to recruit volunteers from the village to be a speed watch operators. Training is provided free.

There will be a village hall Valentines tea in aid of charity on  February 12th from 2pm until 4pm.

23rd January 2022

The RSPB Big Garden birdwatch takes place at the end of January. You can send for a free pack using the RSPB website. This is a great family activity.

There has been a request to NCC from some residents in Horsley Wood cottages for a new footpath in Mill Way as well as extra street lighting.

A household on the south side of the river Tyne has expressed concern about the colour of the new perimeter fence around Horsley water treatment works. They believe the colour is not environmentally friendly. Horsley Parish Council intend to talk to Northumbrian water about this as well as raising the issue of perimeter tree planting to act as a screen. Many residents in Horsley believe the water company should replace as many trees as they originally took out of the start of the project.

Mandy Senior, The Parish clerk, would like to hear from any resident who has an idea of any way in which the village can celebrate the Queen’s Platinum jubilee.

Horsley Parish Council has given the go ahead to remove encroaching vegetation from the pathways at either end of the village. They also asked the mole catcher to alleviate the problems created by moles on the grass verges. To date 6 moles have been caught.

The deadline for objections to the proposed one way traffic system between the Military road and the A69 Roundabout connecting Two Hoots and Rudchester has now expired.
 
Bus stands at the Lion and Lamb and Holeyn Road crossroads have yet to be repaired. District councillor Holly Waddell is investigating the delay. The X85 bus service between Hexham and Newcastle has been withdrawn. There is a question-mark about the future of the X84 service.

30th January 2022

Some repairs and replacements have been made to some of the street furniture at the west end of the village near Horsley Barns The new road sign at the junction of the A69 slip  road and Oatens bank has been removed after storm damage. This sign duplicated other signage in the immediate vicinity where there are at least three other signs with similar direction indicators. There must be a question mark about the need and expense  of yet another sign. This area has become an accident blackspot with several vehicles over recent years missing the junction and going through the field fence.

Storm Malik caused further damage around the village last weekend. Many trees and fences that had been weakened by the earlier storm Arwen fell over and some homes lost roof tiles.

Horsley bookclub meet in the hearth café at 3 pm on the 4th of February. The group are currently reading Coal black mornings by Brett Anderson.

There are several new potholes in the road at the West End of the village. This has become a constant problem on this particular stretch of road.

Considerate dog owners in the village are dismayed by the amount of dog faeces in the main road, South Lea and on the public right of way adjacent to Water lane.

The 11 am service at Horsley Village church on February 6 will be led by Ray Anglesea, a local URC preacher.

Harold Dobson will be giving a talk on red kites in Northumberland at the next meeting of Horsley women’s Institute on Monday, the 7th of February.

13th February 2022

The results of the big bird count will be known in a few weeks time. First indications from Horsley show that gardens had wood pigeons, robins. , black birds and great tits

The first written evidence of the name Horsley was recorded in the year 1245 in the post-mortem of Gilbert de Umfraville of Prudhoe Castle. When the Umfraville family line died out the parish of Horsley had many new owners in the centuries that followed including a part that belonged to Greenwich Hospital. The owners tenanted their land. The names on the village war memorial match some of the names of the earliest tenants. Family links in Horsley cover 700 years of history.

Recent storms toppled many Scots pine trees on Stoney hill in Horsley. Conifers have shallow roots and this is their Achilles heel when in the path of a storm.

The finger posts on the right of way at Northside farm have collapsed. NCC countryside team are going to make new signs and remove the old ones . I  am unsure when this will happen as there has been a lot of damage throughout the county and we are still awaiting repairs for items reported last year.

The next meeting of Horsley parish council is scheduled for 7 pm on MARCH 21st.

Horsley WI meet again on March 7th Susan Howard will be giving a talk entitled “Shoes.” 

20th February 2022

The free books in the bus shelter are kindly donated by community members and Dan,the driver of the NCC library van.

The 11 am service at Horsley Village church this Sunday is being led by local preacher Kathy Clegg.

In 1766 only a short walk from Horsley village, buried deep in the ground, was a jar of gold and silver Roman coins that were struck for Emperor Nero, Marcus Aurelius and Mark Antony. The find often compared with the Corbridge gold hoard was later preserved in the Duke of Northumberland’s cabinet at Alnwick Castle. The discovery consisted of 15 gold coins and 470 silver coins. Life was unsafe on this frontier zone near the modern day village of Horsley and valuables were often buried for security.

Over £700 was raised for charity at the WI Valentines tea. Many thanks to all who supported the event.

During the Victorian period Horsley was often known as Horsley on Tyne or Horsley on the Hill.The hill in question reached a height of 485 feet near the old Iron Age encampment. The hill is chiefly composed of a 300 million year old course grained porous sandstone frequently used as a local building material around the village. The stone is composed of the mineral quartz and a small quantity of iron shown as a rust or purple patch in the rock.

Please forward any village issues for the next Parish Council meeting to Mandy Senior the parish clerk before the meeting on March 21.

27th February 2022

Many thanks to everyone who offers advice and support to others through the Horsley connections app.

Horsley book club members meet in the Hearth café on Friday, the 4th of March at 3 pm. Club members have been reading Earthly Remains by Donna Leon.The book is set in Venice.

When the military Road was constructed in the year 1752 by General Wade much of Hadrian‘s wall in Horsley Parish was already a pile of rubble. Dressed stone was taken to construct agricultural buildings and homesteads all over the parish. One example of this was the former inn at Iron Sign farm. The government of the day encouraged the removal of dressed stones for use elsewhere. Wade inadvertently preserved some of Hadrian,s wall  for future archaeologists under the new road, otherwise it would have been lost to ploughing. The remaining rubble was used to widen and level the road.

During the 18th century observers found abundant remains of Hadrian’s wall near Milecastle number 17 in the north west of the parish. The core of the wall here was found to be 9 feet tall with several dressed stones in place. Sadly nothing remains today as most of this area has been ploughed except for several sections of the vallum and the ditch to the north of the wall.

We are however fortunate to have our area designated as a world heritage site and have such a rich history in Horsley.

Fire and Dough wood fired pizza van will be visiting the village on Wednesday, March 9 on a trial run with a view to more regular visits if popular. The van will park in Cherry tree Gardens.For further details check Horsley connections.

The results of the RSPB big garden count revealed that there has been a fall in the greenfinch population and a rise in the numbers of long-tailed tits. This has been noticeable here in Horsley. Habitat changes and dirty bird feeders could be the reason for the decline of finches. Although not in the garden count we are seeing more red kites around Horsley at present.

6th March 2022

Skylarks have returned to the fields around the village heralding the arrival of spring.

The 11 am service at Horsley village church this Sunday is being led by Ann Sinclair.

Several community members meet every Saturday morning to attend the raised beds   in the paddock behind the Lion and Lamb with kind permission from the Brewery. There are some vacant beds if anyone would like one. It is a great opportunity to meet for a coffee and a chat as well as sharing horticultural skills and tips.

In mediaeval times the area around what is now Horsley Parish had two villages, Horsley and Welton. There was a hospital at Spital taking advantage of a mineral rich spa well. This was visited by countryfolk for its healing properties. An ancient woodland known today as Horsley Wood provided valuable timber and underwood,  pannage for pigs, a mill and a site for beekeeping to provide honey and wax. Only Horsley has village status now. Welton lost its social and economic village identity largely due to acts of enclosure. Although the site of the mediaeval village can still be traced Welton is described by archaeologists as a deserted mediaeval village although the term is often a misnomer as farms were still occupied outside the village. Today Welton is undergoing a revival with the restoration of old buildings for alternative use. Northumbrian water also has a big presence in the area with provision for water supply and fishing. Horsley wood has changed too with much of the site planted with conifers rather than the native broadleaved trees that would’ve made up the wood in the past. The mill has also gone. Only the name of the lane to the wood exists today. It is known as Millway.

The Hearth art centre is supporting the community through a series of free craft workshops for the over 55s during the month of March. Each workshop is two hours in duration with eight places for every session. Please check the Hearth website for further information.

Many Horsley residents are annoyed that someone is letting their dog foul on the village paths and rights-of-way despite the obvious health hazards this practice creates particularly for young children.

13th March 2022

Horsley residents are welcome to attend the Parish Council meeting which is being held on Monday, the 21st of March at 7 pm in the Village Hall.

Many thanks to all the residents who regularly pick up litter in and the village.

Now is the time to give your bird tables and feeders a spring clean. Finches can easily pick up beak infections from dirty feeders.

Horsley has had a long connection with the coal mining industry. However, the early enterprises were not very successful. Towards the end of the 17th century the Earl of Northumberland leased land to various people for the extraction of coal in  Horsley Wood. There was also a pit dug in the north of the parish near to what is today Whittle  reservoirs.A  waggonway for ponies to drag tubs of coal  down to the river Tyne worked this route. Neither of the two mines lasted long. Mining was resumed in 1873 by the new Horsley coal company who opened up the Horsley wood mine and a new shaft called Blanche pit at Hagg Bank.. Coke ovens, a waggonway to the Newcastle to Carlisle railway and two rows of miners cottages were built. The company had 14 shareholders including merchants from Antwerp and Paris. Miners crossed between the two pits by Wylam bridge, the local ferry or as often happened in those days over the frozen River Tyne in winter. However the venture did not go well due to flooding, cheaper coal extraction elsewhere and industrial unrest. The company was wound up in 1884 with assets sold by auction in 1885. The most successful coal extraction enterprise in Horsley was the 20th century opencast between Spital and North side.

Northumbrian Water are continuing to work in the south of Horsley Parish where the public right of way near the river Tyne is still diverted. The road between Wylam and Ovingham has traffic control.

20th March 2022

The Woodland trust have reinstated the upper footpath on the Horsley side of Whittle Dene as well as cutting fallen trees and making the sandstone embankment more secure. There is considerable storm damage in the wood and where the new path surface has still to be laid it is very muddy.

Postcards from Horsley in the early part of the 20th century show that the village was fairly self-sufficient with a wide range of services and employment opportunities. There were two joiners shops, a blacksmiths, four small working farms, two public houses and two places of worship, a post office, garage, general store, doctors and school. Milk was delivered to your doorstep. How times have changed. Only one public house and one place of worship survive from the list. Today some houses are now holiday lets.  Other buildings have been demolished or converted into an antiques centre, private house, an arts centre with a cafe, a WI hall and children’s play area. Groceries, household goods and clothing now ordered on the Internet and delivered to your door. Village life in Horsley has seen huge changes in a very short space of time.

The Spring fair at the Hearth  arts Centre will take place on April 23 and 24th between 10 am and 4 pm. Please visit the Hearth website to book your free ticket and time slot. The idea is to allow visitors more space and maintain social distancing.

27th March 2022

Members of Horsley women’s Institute meet at 7:30 pm in the WI Hall on Monday 11th   April. Janine Birkett is giving a talk about recording audiobooks.

Horsley book club members meet in the Hearth café at 3 pm on April 1st.

Horsley Parish Council advise residents to report any dog fouling on public rights of way and in streets in the village directly to Northumberland county council. In this way there is more chance that action will be taken to tackle the problem.

A request was made at the last Parish Council meeting asking for the reinstatement of the public rights of way through Gallowhill now that the crop has come through.

Lapwings and curlews have returned to the fields between Horsley Hills and Northside. The Blackthorn is also in flower. Spring is definitely in the air particularly after the recent spell of good weather.

Pat Brooks is Leading the 11am service at Horsley village church on April 3rd. Pat is a retired Methodist minister.

3rd April 2022

The pizza van will visit the village on April 13th. Check out the times on Horsley connections.

School photographs became popular in the 20th century. Some were printed as postcards as was the case  at Horsley school. This enabled parents to send cards to relatives. Horsley school often had as many as 30 children in attendance. The school was situated in what is now the village playground. The school house was built for the headteacher. Mr Cunningham was the head teacher for many years. The school allotment gardens were sited where Cherry tree Gardens and Highcroft houses stand today.

A reminder that the spring art fair at the Hearth is on April 23rd and 24th. Don’t forget to book a timeslot and free ticket on the Hearth website.

District councillor Holly Waddell is once again trying to get the gate on the public right of way at the top of Lead Lane reinstated.

There are numerous rusted and collapsed roadsigns in and around the village. Several diversion signs with sandbags have not been collected by NCC. All have been reported to Northumberland County Council by the Parish Council.

Horsley Parish Council is very concerned about the state of the road surface on the western approaches to the village. There is concern that Northumberland county council cannot decide which team of workers should deal with Horsley as a village and that we are often neglected. Filling in potholes has been a waste of public money as it does not resolve the problem.

Some kind of action to slow traffic at the junction of Oatens Bank  and the slip road off the A69 is needed. Too often vehicles crash into the field. The fence and hedge row have been destroyed. There is also concern about the safety of farm farm workers in the new building if a vehicle was to crash into it.

Horsley village church members have been invited to attend the PALM Sunday service at St Aidan’s URC in Hexham.

10th April 2022

District councillor Holly Waddell has offered to pay for the repainting of road markings on the main road in the village.

Many stiles on public rights-of-way are being replaced with gates. This is a national trend to encourage more people to take regular exercise. Stiles can often be difficult to access for a number of reasons. Gates will make walks more suitable for the elderly, young children and people with some disabilities. The new gates are often made of metal. Nearby Newton has already replaced many stiles with metal gates. Only a few have been replaced in Horsley parish to date.

A pair of oystercatchers have returned to breed on the waste tip within the water treatment works at Horsley.

If you walk out on the path at the west end of the village you will notice a sandstone rock outcrop with a crows foot benchmark cut into it. These benchmarks were chiselled into rocks and buildings to help ordnance survey map makers determine the height of the location above sea level. This practice continued until the 1990s by which time over half 1 million benchmarks had been cut to support levelling staffs called angle irons.

Members of Horsley village church will be leading the service in Horsley on Easter Sunday at 11 am.

The main road at the West End of the village is scheduled for resurfacing. White lines have been marked on the road. Repairs look likely to be a mixture of pothole filling and tarmac strips.

Horsley craft club members meet again in the morning of April 21. The session has an Easter theme.

17th April 2022

The Coop kindly donated a community grant of £534 to the Hearth Arts Centre. Many thanks to everyone who gave their support by shopping at the co-op supermarket.

Andrew Graydon, a local URC preacher, will be leading the 11 am service in Horsley village church this Sunday.

The Spring art fair takes place at the Hearth arts centre this weekend between 11 am and 4 pm each day.

The AGM of Horsley Parish Council has been brought forward to 7 pm on May 9th. The meeting takes place in the W.I hall as usual.

Horsley book club  members meet in the Hearth café on Friday, May 6 at 3 pm.

24th April 2022

Postcard from Horsley October 27, 1908 sent to H Dobson in Newcastle from a friend. It reads “ Received your welcome letters. I would rather answer them when I come home from this lovely part of the Tyne Valley” .Cards could be purchased in Horsley post office and only needed a 1/2 old penny stamp for Inland mail. Cards were received on the same day as posted in many cases.

A healthy population of orange tipped and tortoiseshell butterflies have been spotted in Horsley this month.

The village defibrillator is located on the wall in the rear courtyard of the Hearth Art Centre. Full access and operating instructions are provided.

Community members have been making bunting for special occasions through a number of free workshops at the Hearth. Some of the bunting will be used in the village during the Queens Jubilee. If you wish to join in please check the Hearth website for details. Materials are also provided free.

Several footpaths in the parish of Horsley are difficult to access due to a number of reasons. It is important to protect, maintain and keep open rights of way as so many are lost to some kind of development every year.

Many thanks to everyone who helped make the Easter event for children in the village so successful.

1st May 2022

Repairs were made to the road surface on the western approaches to the village over several days last week.

Postcard from Horsley April 2, 1912 sent by Isa to a friend in Nantes, France. It reads “ Spending a day in Horsley with some friends.”The postage was one old penny for postcards to France at this time.

Members of Horsley women’s Institute meet on Monday, May 9 at 7:30 pm in the W.I hall. Janet Green will be talking about homeopathy.

A reminder that the AGM of Horsley Parish Council also takes place at 7 pm in the WI hall on Monday, May 9.The bi - monthly meeting will follow the AGM.  If residents have any village issues for either meeting please contact the parish clerk, Mandy Senior, in advance of either meeting.

The organisation behind the Spring art fair at the Hearth arts centre needs to be congratulated. It was a very successful event with good social distancing.  Each artist at the Hearth arts centre Has their studio open for a minimum of three days each week. Appointments can also be made if you wish to visit or make a purchase. Details about contacting artists are on the website. The CAFE is open six days a week. It is best to book a table in advance to avoid disappointment.

There is a definite need for a safety barrier at the junction of the a 69 slip road and the Oatens Bank Road  to prevent vehicles overshooting the road into the farm building.

Swallows, swifts and housemartins have returned to Horsley after their long migration from the southern hemisphere.

15th May 2022

Postcard from Horsley on December 16, 1912 from 9.20to Miss Isa Purvis in Stocksfield. The message reads “sent  in affection.“ Messages were often disguised so that people didn’t know the name of the sender. Only the sender and the recipient knew the secret code which in this case was 9.20.The postage stamp could also be positioned at different angles to convey a secret message such as “I love you.”

Several residents in Horsley Parish have already supported the initiative provided by Prince Charles to plant a tree in the Jubilee.

Two new give way signs have been erected in the village. The bus stop at the Lion and lamb will be repainted on the road surface. However NCC will not fund the repainting of H bars as they are not enforceable in law.

Horsley Parish Council are asking NCC to revisit the road surface at the west end of the village as several surface areas were missed even though they were marked.

The new book cupboard is being installed in the eastbound bus shelter. All books are free.

Many parts of Oatens Bank have been highlighted for resurfacing. The lane is a busy corridor between the A69 road and the Military Road. There is a lot of damage to the verges in the lane as it is too narrow for wide vehicles to pass each other safely. There are often drainage problems due to poor ditching at the side of the lane.

Horsley Parish Council are concerned about the amount of dog fouling in the main street. They are asking residents to write directly to NCC if they see evidence of dog fouling. The contact name is Malcolm Barrass on 01670 623756.

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