20 September 2020Village News

Horsley village church held the last open air service for 2020 on Sunday September 13th.

A reminder to send Mandy Senior, the parish clerk, items for the next parish council meeting before September 21st. The e mail address is parishclerk@horsleyvillage.org.uk

Horsley village has a rare signpost according to an expert in this field of study. It is made of cast iron in the shape of a shield and painted in black and white colours. These signposts are only found in Northumberland and its borders. Several have been restored along the A696 road between Ponteland and Belsay. The Horsley sign indicates the mileage from the village to Carlisle, Hexham and Newcastle.

Many long distance cyclists and walkers on a staycation have been travelling through the village and calling in at the Hearth and the Lion and Lamb for hospitality. Most use the Hadrians Wall national route.

13 September 2020Village News

A film unit was working in and around the village on Sunday September 13th. The crew filmed with a vintage Rolls Royce car between Harlow Hill and the antiques centre in Horsley.

Please note that the Lion and Lamb is open every day except Mondays and Tuesdays.
The length of opening times is in keeping with current government guidelines.

Horsley village church is being decorated this week.

The WI/village hall in Horsley is still available for hire. The hall is secure within the current Covid 19 regulations. There are two available spaces for hire.

Thank you to passers by who stopped to give aid to a lady who had fallen on the main road path in Horsley last week. Their assistance was invaluable until an ambulance arrived.

Many congratulations to Kevin Farren from the Hearth cafe who completed the Great North Run in one hour 43 minutes and 49 seconds. Kevin ran from Matfen to Ponteland via Stamfordham. He finished the race in position 731.

07 September 2020Village News

Horsley WI members have made the decision not to have anymore meetings this year. They are hoping to start a new programme of activities in January 2021.

To keep within the current government guidelines Horsley parish council will hold the September meeting of the council using the Zoom internet programme. If any member of the public wishes to place an item for discussion on the agenda please contact Mandy Senior, the parish clerk, by e mail before September 21st.

The Lion and Lamb public house is continuing to offer the meals at a discount throughout this month.

Art courses have been well attended at the Hearth during the last few weeks and more are planned for September and October. Please contact individual resident artists for details. Visiting artists advertise on the Hearth website.

Horsley children returned to school last week. For some it was the first time since March.

The judging took place for the gardening club sunflowers. Winners were notified by the club secretary. The tallest sunflower was over 9 feet tall and the biggest flower head was just under 9 ins in diameter.

31 August 2020Village News

A pair of red kites successfully bred in Stoney Hill Wood Horsley this year. Red kites have become a common site around Horsley over the last five years.

The government scheme “Eat out to help out”has now come to an end. The support has proven to be quite successful at the Lion and Lamb public house.

The Hearth cafe is open every day for take outs. It is still advisable to book a table if you wish to eat or drink inside. The garden area has been busy on good weather days and booking is not essential for these areas.

It is the start of harvest in Horsley with the cutting of some of the barley and rape seed. Please be aware that there are more farm vehicles passing through the village at this time of year.

If you wish to enter the village competition for the tallest sunflower and the largest sunflower head please submit your measurements by September 4th to Hazel.

Many congratulations to Dexter who was given a special gardening club award for the making of a fantastic hanging basket.

Both the missing tortoises who tried to make an escape from the village have found their way back home. Happy news.

Another possible escape from the madding crowd and social distancing is to take the right way from the Harlow Hill lane through the old copse to Horsley and Dunslaw hills. Not only are there great views of some of the Pennine peaks and the Whin Sill crags but on a clear day you can see the Simonside hills and the Cheviots. In the old copse you can see the sandstone quarry where possibly stone was removed to construct some of the Victorian houses in the village. Some of the other buildings are constructed of stones taken from Hadrian's Wall.

24 August 2020Village News

Horsley village church members arranged another outdoor service last week in a private garden near the church.

Some residents are kindly asking car owners not to park so far onto the village pavements to prevent pedestrian and wheelchair access. Some of the pavements in the Main Street are quite narrow as it is.

Two rights of way cut across Gallow Hill to the west of the village. Public hangings were a common sight here in earlier times. Today the views from these paths across the Tyne valley towards the Pennines are spectacular. These rights of way are well worth a visit at this difficult time of social distancing and helps remind us how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful area.

The Hearth arts centre appointed a new caretaker this month. Many thanks to Louise who has held the post on a temporary basis.

Timber felling operations have ceased for the time being in Horsley Wood. There are still areas of softwood timber to be commercially felled. Many varieties of native broadleafed trees including alder, birch and hazel are sprouting where conifers have been felled. There is a question mark about whether these areas will be left wild. Horsley Wood is a rare example of primary woodland dated several thousand years of age by plants such as oxlip, wood anenome and dog,s mercury.

NCC cleaned out gutters in Horsley last week, although the work was handicapped by the amount of material waiting to be gathered, some of which still remains in situ. The village drains still remain blocked as this is dealt with by a different department.

17 August 2020Village News

Thank you to the village adopters and litter pickers who regularly help to keep the village tidy.

A large number of potholes have been filled in on Mill Way close to the rear entrance of Horsley water treatment works. Many residents believe the money would have been better spent on resurfacing as new potholes are already beginning to appear.

Horsley wool group has restarted at the Hearth arts centre as well as yoga on a Tuesday evening. Art courses are also proving to be popular having been arranged by resident and guest artists alike. Please check the Hearth and artist websites for details of how to join.

The village scarecrows are coming to an end for this year. They have been very popular with young children and their families.

A sign has been placed on the Lion and Lamb indicating that the lease presents a business opportunity for any interested parties.

Several tortoises escaped from their enclosure in the centre of the village. Leaflets have been distributed around the village asking for help. Happily at the time of writing one had been found.

10 August 2020Village News

Ten varieties of butterfly have been recorded in Horsley to mark the end of the Butterfly Conservation group’s survey last weekend. Among those recorded were comma, speckled wood and ringlet butterflies.

The blocked drains and gutters in the Main Street of Horsley have once again been reported to NCC. It is difficult to ascertain how often the village can expect this work to be done.

Members of Horsley WI met together for a social gathering at Whittle farm where Sue Dinning kindly offered hospitality. This was the first time members have met since March.

The Lion and Lamb are operating the government scheme “Eat out to help out” on Monday to Wednesday each week.

02 August 2020Village News

Horsley village church held an outdoor service in a private garden on July 26th. This was the first church service to be held in Horsley since March. Those who attended enjoyed meeting again after so long. It is 280 years since the Wesley brothers preached in Horsley and over 350 years since Congregationalism put Horsley at the centre of religious change after the Act of Uniformity in 1662. The present church building dates from 1900 and was built in the Gothic style of architecture.

After 16 memorable years of Singing Babies and Squeaky Feet at the Hearth arts centre these activities have been retired by Louise their organiser. Many thanks to Louise  for the support she has given to the Hearth and so many local families with young children.

There are now 10 scarecrows around the village with the appearance of a live one last week. The garden club would like to thank all those taking part.

My report about the new gate on the old A69 near Whittle bridge was incorrect.
The gate was kindly provided by Roger Dinning of Whittle farm and not NCC countryside team. This is a generous gift by Roger to improve access for all. I feel sure the gesture will be appreciated by cyclists and walkers alike.

The two rights of way at the foot of Horsley hills leading to Northside are completely overgrown and difficult to access. The problem was reported to the countryside team who have placed both paths on their summer cutting programme from 2021.

Sadly the Wright bros. summer bus service to Keswick has had to be cancelled. This is due to major road improvements over Hartside pass.

27 July 2020Village News

NCC are gradually replacing broken street signs to the west of the village. Several had rusted and fallen into the grass verge last winter.

A reminder from the garden club about entries for hanging baskets and or planters. Entries should be made by photograph and delivered to 1 Fernley Cottages by August 7th. You do not need to be a member of the garden club to enter.

The football field in the village is now open. Both goalposts have been repainted by the parish council.

Several residents are taking part in the “Big Butterfly Count.” If anyone wishes to join in please refer to the Butterfly Conservation website for details.

A69 workforce have been repointing the bridge at the junction of the road to Harlow Hill as well as checking and cleaning drains. The pedestrian walkway was flooded last winter from the adjoining field producing a slimy surface which froze over in cold conditions.  Temporary traffic lights were in place while the work was completed.

NCC countryside team have replaced the stile with a metal gate at the junction of the old A69 and Whittle bridge.

The first art class since March took place at the Hearth arts centre last weekend. Hopefully this is the first of many after all the Covid 19 problems this year. Naturally numbers are limited to comply with health and safety.

19 July 2020Village News

Despite the fact that many regular activities have been put on hold the village is attracting many visitors. The Hearth arts centre cafe is busy, holiday self catering lets in the village are full and people are walking the national trail.

The Lion and Lamb is providIng weekend meals between 5.30pm and 9 pm on Friday and Saturday as well as lunches on Saturday and Sunday. Please book in advance. From August 3rd they are operating the government scheme “Eat out to help out”.

The petition circulating among residents who are concerned about the speed and volume of traffic through the village will be available to sign for an extended period to allow for difficulties in reaching people due to Covid 19.

Horsley children’s playground has reopened with restrictions. Please read the notice on the gate before entering.

Please be aware that rights of way in several directions from the village have cattle grazing often accompanied by a bull. Making a wide birth is advisable. In some fields the right of way has been cut through the crop making an easy walking corridor. Please follow these routes to avoid damaging crops.

The daily summer bus service to Keswick starts again at the end of this month. Please check times and booking details with Wright Bros. coaches.

13 July 2020Village News

A reminder that  the Horsley parish council meeting takes place on July 20th using the internet. If you have an issue to raise please contact the parish clerk before the meeting.

The Hearth cafe is now open 7 days each week. Please ring 01661 853563 to make a table booking. The staff operate a table service and a one way system through the building. A take away menu is still available and it is not essential to book a garden space. As yet there are no music events or heritage talks. All art classes need to be booked in advance however art studios can be visited by appointment at short notice. Please check individual artists websites for contact details.

Horsley village had a power cut last week due to a major fault in the area. It was not possible to inform householders in advance.

The petition relating to the speed and volume of traffic through the village is still in circulation for another 4 days. The initiative comes from families with young children. There is also concern about noise pollution from traffic caused by the poor state of repair  to the surface of the main route through the village and the amount of waste material in gutters and drains.

Scarecrows have started to appear around the village. This is a garden club annual event.

Work continues behind the original schedule at Horsley treatment works. It is hoped that the work will be finished after the winter period. Testing needs to take place during colder weather. The works are built on the site of the original Horsley village. An archaeological survey was conducted prior to the first phase of building on the site. Finds were mostly of pottery. This village site had been burnt and sacked during the Medieval period by invading Scots armies on at least two occasions.

06 July 2020Village News

The next meeting of Horsley parish council is scheduled for Monday July 20th. The council are using the internet software Zoom for this meeting. Anyone who has any issues for the PC to address should write to Mandy Senior the parish clerk before the above date at parishclerk@horsleyvillage.org.uk. If anyone still wishes to sign the petition about the speed of traffic through the village there is a copy in the Hearth cafe porch.

Thank you to Michael Senior for cleaning and staining the village seats and bus shelters. The parish council are looking to attract volunteers to keep the village tidy. You may wish to adopt one of the three seats , a bus shelter or pick up litter from a specific area. Presently there are litter pickers in Mill Way and from the west end of the village to Horsley Barns. The east end and centre of the village are not covered at present. Litter grabbers are available to use from the PC. The planters and the bus shelter at Cherrytree gardens have already been adopted. If would like to volunteer or adopt a specific site please contact Mandy Senior.

New litter bins which can be used for dog waste have been purchased by the PC and placed at either end of the village.

Several residents have asked if I have more information about the Horsley Hearts football team. They played in the Newcastle and District division 1 in the 1950 s and were champions of their league in 1952 when they were presented with medals and the cup. Their strip was of black and white stripes. They were managed by a gentleman known as Arty and had several players from other areas including Billy Toothill and Jimmy Liddell who was the bookmaker from Throckley.

The Lion and Lamb opened its doors again last weekend along with the Hearth cafe. Both operate a booking system following strict government guidelines. The Hearth cafe are still providIng groceries and a take out menu. The front garden is available without the need to book although social distancing is in operation. The Lion and Lamb is  only providing meals at weekends at present.

29 June 2020Village News

The Wright Bros summer bus service from Newcastle to Keswick via Horsley will commence on 31st July and continue until September 27th on a daily basis. The bus arrives at Horsley at 09.45 am. However passengers may be asked to book a seat on the bus and wear a face mask in order to meet current regulations. Please check times and any booking details before travelling.

NCC have repaired the playground/children crossing sign at the west end of the village.

A short while ago I acquired a postcard showing the Horsley Hearts football team in 1921. The team played on a field to the north of the village which has now been returned to arable farming along with the old colliery drift mine. A family relative played for the team in the 1950s when it was very successful winning several cups. Not all players were from Horsley and the team was disbanded shortly after this period.

Horsley village church has been successful in its planning application to improve access for all.

Oyster catchers have been nesting among the rubble in Horsley treatment works this spring while extension work continues at the site. Residents were informed last week that there may be some low level noise from automatic pumps. However the noise disturbance was minimal.

I have been able to cut back briers and gorse on the rights of way through the old copse behind Dunslaw hill and near Spital ford. The latter route is a delight at present due to the corridor of low bushes and the poppy field near the ford.

The playground facilities at Horsley will remain closed until the parish council acquires a better understanding of what is needed to make these areas safe for adults and children following government guidelines.

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