14 February 2021
If you prefer to take your daily exercise within the confines of the village there are a number of buildings to look at with a long history or strong architectural features. Beginning at the east end of the village south east farm has recycled stone blocks from Hadrian,s Wall. The Wesleyan chapel at the top of Mill Way is Victorian and reminds us of the many visits to the village by John Wesley in the eighteenth century. The old Crown and Anchor was once a coaching inn. It was rebuilt as a fine Georgian style public house. Similarly the village church was rebuilt in the Gothic style of architecture. The oldest building in the village is what is now the Hearth cafe and arts centre. Architecture in this building dates back as far as the fourteenth century. Lead Gate house which once had the village garage attached is of a Jacobean style.
Book club members interested in the history of the village may like to look for a copy of Northumberland Villages by Godfrey Watson. The author gives a brief history of Horsley as well as the non conformist movement that put this area at the centre of religious dissent in the seventeenth century. By far the most detailed history of Horsley parish is to be found in a History of Northumberland volume 12 published by Andrew Reid.
The highways company Amey has been trimming branches from trees at the east end of the village to keep trees a safe distance from the overhead electric cable. Such a pity the cable cannot be put underground as I am sure the trees are more attractive.
Garden Club members who took part in the RSPB Big garden bird count were disappointed with the low number and variety of birds in their count this year.
Similarly the weather made it difficult for people taking part in the CPRE star count in Orion this year. This rural charity is concerned about light pollution in England which is why they organise the star count annually. Hilary was the top star counter with a total of 22.
Horsley village church have given all householders a Valentines card which contains some useful ideas and contacts to support people during the pandemic. There is also a free chocolate heart which you can collect from the Hearth cafe porch. Many thanks to Mathew Roe who delivered the cards as part of his Jass award. This Junior school award is to help children develop skills and confidence both in and out of school.
The Hearth cafe has been given the Guy Opperman small business award for excellence. This is another feather in the cap for Kevin and Alanna who run the cafe.
Book club members met through Zoom last night and exchanged poems that have a connection with the theme of love. Next month they plan to read extracts from a Winters Tale by William Shakespeare.