15 May 2021
Please take care particularly if you are walking a dog along any of the four public footpaths that lead from the village. At this time of year cattle are excited to be on fresh grass and those with young are quite nervous and protective. Kindly note that the bridge at the east end of the village is not a public right of way and according to a local land agent neither are areas of set aside. NCC as yet have been unable to cut back overgrown vegetation on the path to Wylam near Horsley Banks and the two paths from Horsley Hills to Northside. Hopefully all reported faults around the parish will be rectified shortly. Farmers are obliged to reinstate public rights of way once crops come through and ensure the legal width of paths from boundaries are correct. The safest route at present to avoid cattle is the path following the old A69 road at Horsley Barns. Paths that need reinstating are those already mentioned as well as the path between Horsley Marsh and the A69 roundabout and the two paths that cross Gallow Hill between Horsley and Ovingham.
The Hearth hall has been refurbished and a new kitchen fitted. The hall will be open for bookings from May 17th. Cosmetic work around the new church steps is also finished although work on the church and Hearth roof is still awaiting completion.
The new tenants at the Lion and Lamb are working hard to have the public house in good shape for reopening on May 24th. Drinks will be served on the first night and meals will be served from May 25th.
09 May 2021
The AGM of Horsley Parish Council will take place in the WI hall at 7pm on Monday May 17th. The bi monthly meeting will follow on after the AGM. Please contact the parish clerk if you have any items to place on the agenda of either meeting. It is unclear at present if there will be restrictions on the number of people able to attend. Best to check parish website or notice boards nearer the time for up to date information.
Horsley gardening club members continue to meet every Saturday at 10am in the field behind the Lion and Lamb with the kind permission of new tenants.
The Hearth cafe has expanded its undercover outdoor seating area by using spaces in the rear garden. From Tuesday May 18th visitors may be able to use the inside of the cafe with opening times being extended to 4pm. However much still depends on the success of the government road map. From May 24th the cafe will be open seven days per week. During lockdown the cafe was closed on a Monday.
Landowners, local councils and individuals in Horsley are being encouraged by the Woodland Trust to plant native trees this autumn. Felling in Horsley Wood and in other parts of the parish has greatly reduced the number of trees at a time when the country as a whole needs more trees to support wildlife and improve the quality of air. As a local community we could play our part and highlight suitable areas around the parish to support this initiative. Nearby parishes have already planted numerous trees through a variety of other programmes.
Ornithologists would have been surprised last week by the presence of a white feathered heron sheltering in the field adjoining Hopside farm.
Horsley Book Club members have agreed to meet at the Hearth cafe on a monthly basis. Meetings will take place during the afternoon on the first Friday of each month. The June meeting will feature a book swop.
03 May 2021
Well done Horsley village church. The new entrance to the church is not only aesthetically pleasing but also in keeping with the Gothic revival style of architecture of the building. All of the railings have been made safer by capping the sharp spikes. The lane at the side of the church has been given a top dressing of gravel.
The May lockdown village raffle has been drawn and the winner notified. Many thanks to those who donate prizes.
Horsley Book Club members may like to read “A gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles. The story which is set in the years following the Russian Revolution has all the ingredients of a good novel.
NCC mobile library service resumed last month. For details of the time of visits to the village please ring 01670 620204. Unfortunately the service is still using a van as no replacement bus has been provided after flooding in Hexham.
Horsley garden club members have been taking part in the National Trust Blossom Watch by taking sending the Trust local photographs by e mail. The blackthorn in particularly has been spectacular at the east end of the village this year.
It is good to see the swallows back in Horsley despite the cold weather.
25th April 2021
Many congratulations to Alice and Sarah Bramwell who ran 100 miles last month to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s. They were sponsored for a total of £500.
The Hearth is advertising for a new administrator. The post is permanent part time covering three days each week and based at the Hearth arts centre. Details are provided on www.thehearth.co.uk/job-description with the closing date for applications on May 6th. Best wishes and many thanks to Jo Bourne who is retiring from the post. Also many thanks to Becky Senior who is leaving the post of caretaker at the Hearth.
The by way near the ford at Spital has finally dried out and is now accessible on foot. Many thanks to Verity and David for allowing walkers to use the adjoining field whilst the by way was under water. Overhanging branches have been removed to allow easier access and let in more light.
Police and crime commissioner and district council elections take place on May 6th. Horsley Village Hall will be used as a polling station. There are four candidates to choose from in each election.
Horsley gardening club members will be meeting informally every Saturday at 10.30 am behind the Lion and Lamb where members have established raised beds for growing vegetables. For the time being the new landlord from the Lion and Lamb has given members permission to use this space. Sadly there is no allotment provision in the village.
At present visitors to the Hearth cafe are asked to enter the building by the rear door as a one way system is in operation. Everyone is kindly asked to wear a face mask and sanitise hands as they pass through the building to the outdoor areas. A trace and track system is also in operation.
Many families in the village are using the Horsley connections link on WhatsApp. This has proven to be a lifeline for many people during the pandemic. It provides local information, exchange of ideas, a friendly chat and much more. There is also a Horsley mum,s group using What’s app supporting families with children.
18th April 2021
Horsley was once a village that was almost self sufficient. It had two public houses, a joiners shop, blacksmiths, doctors, garage, several shops and a school. The school had its own allotment garden where Highcrofts and Cherrytree gardens are sited. With the advent of telecommunications, the internet and increased car ownership almost all of the original village services have disappeared with many of the buildings put to other use or demolished. However the Lion and Lamb is set to reopen under a new tenancy. No date for reopening has been announced as yet.
Artist studios at the Hearth are once again open by appointment . Please check the Hearth website for information about each artist. If an artist is in residence when you visit the cafe you may be able to visit a studio on speck. The cafe is operating a one way system at present with access by the rear door.
The X85 bus service between Newbrough and Newcastle started last week after being suspended during the lockdown. Hopefully the summer bus service to Keswick will be able to run from July.
The recent spell of cold weather seems to have put spring on hold. Photographs from last year would suggest that Horsley is two weeks behind 2020. However the house martins have returned and we should expect the swallows to arrive next week.
Many of the rights of way in the parish have now dried out after the wet winter. Please take care particularly when walking a dog on the right of way between Water Lane and Ovingham. Somebody has been breaking glass bottles on the path close to the Water Lane entrance.
A new kitchen has been fitted in the Hearth hall and refurbishment in the Hearth cafe is now complete. Work is still ongoing around the church and on the roof at the rear of the Hearth. The church railings will be fitted in the next two weeks.
Horsley craft club members met using the internet last week. The group is planning to meet outdoors in a variety of locations to extend their craft activities.
11th April 2021
The Poppy appeal on behalf of the British Legion raised £4400 in our local area . £22 was raised through the Hearth cafe. The appeal took place at a difficult time and the pandemic imposed restrictions on the ceremony at the village war memorial. However local groups were able to make donations for poppy wreaths.
There are a number of scams going around the village by e mail or telephone at present. Please be on your guard as they look or sound official and convincing. All these scams want is your bank details. They are preying upon people at a time when they may be feeling vulnerable.
Twenty seven families are now using the Horsley Connections What’sapp telecommunication. This group link has been of real benefit to people since the onset of the pandemic. It provides news, an exchange of goods and ideas, a friendly chat, advice from others and much more. There is also a Horsley mum’s group providing a helpful link for people with young children. These are two of the positive things to come out of the current crisis to give people hope, support and a feeling of not being alone.
It is interesting to note how our shopping habits have changed in this rural village of Horsley. Courier post and supermarket deliveries are the norm at present particularly during lockdown periods. Long gone are the days when Horsley had a garage with a shop, a post office and a Walter Wilson store. Many will remember the horse and cart belonging to William Mordew who delivered market garden produce. However it is good to know that you can still get a newspaper and milk delivered to your door or walk up to the Hearth cafe for a takeout or a selection of groceries.
Many thanks to all those who responded to my request for information on the tragic death of Nigel Crunchbucket at the old Crown and Anchor. One reply came in an envelope from the House of Commons. An old archive revealed in verse that Nigel’s death was an accident after a failed love affair. What is certain however was that he was born and died coincidently on the morning of an April 1st. The exact years are still unknown.
4th April 2021
Another village lockdown raffle draw took place this month. All the winners have received their prizes. Many thanks to the families who donated the wine, chocolates and cake. Although the monthly raffle has helped cheer people up during difficult times as well as showing the generosity of local people let us hope we don’t have to endure another lockdown.
Some potholes have been filled in on Oatens Bank and on the main road through Horsley village. However the roads around the village remain a patchwork of filled and unfilled potholes adding to noise pollution in the village. The main road in the village which is a main thoroughfare and bus route needs resurfacing. NCC have swept some of the pavements however much of the gravel from broken road surfaces remain on paths and in gutters providing an added hazard for walkers. If you are concerned about the state of footpaths and roads in the village it would be helpful to email or write to Highways section at County Hall in Morpeth. This is more likely to get attention than anything else as well as supporting the efforts made by the parish clerk.
The. s Easter egg hunt around the village and Horsley Wood Cottages was very popular. Once again many thanks to Mathew Roe who organised the event and to the many families who donated Easter eggs.
The Hearth cafe reopens on Tuesday 13th April at 9.30am. Apart from takeaways you can now book a table in the garden by ringing 01661 853563.
Craft supplies from Hearth artists, trustees and the village church are being donated to the Miners Lamp cafe in Prudhoe and the West Northumberland food bank. Many thanks to Mel Hopwood for coordinating this effort.
Horsley village church members are continually looking for ways to support the parish. The church noticeboard changes regularly with cheerful messages. Craft supplies for local children are free and can be found in the plastic tub in the Hearth cafe garden.
If you have missed any of the Hearth virtual festival you are able to catch up on your computer using UTube and Google. There is an amazing choice of activities to suit all ages. Check out the Hearth website for details.