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  1. Yesterday
  2. Arch to go........

    So will we ever see a brick laid on "the great red wall of bedlington".....no mention of current developments in the county
  3. Arch to go........

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/northumberland-county-councils-firm-arch-13918326
  4. Call to protect dam in letter to agency

    Fresh concerns have been raised over the future of a key structure at Humford Country Park in Bedlington following a site visit.
  5. Last week
  6. Todd's Barbers

    thanks guys
  7. Alma Inn

    Don't remember the Alma. Can remember me mam walking is up to the Co-op at the Top End when the National Health nurse came and doled out cod liver oil and orange syrup. Had to line up with the other kids and get a spoonful. Naturally they gave us the cod liver oil last.
  8. This round-up of events is written by readers. To get your charity event or story included, simply fill out the form at www.chroniclelive.co.uk/charitynews New resource funded by £25k from Morrisons Foundation A brand new technology training room for foster carers and adopters to learn the skills they need to safeguard the children in their care has been opened by leading UK children’s charity Barnardo’s. The room is based in the North East Fostering and Adoption office, in Lumley Court in Chester-le-Street . The equipment and training will allow foster carers and adopters to work with confidence around social media applications and websites, such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. It will help Barnardo’s staff demonstrate the risks and issues around the internet effectively and get the safeguarding message across to some of the most vulnerable young people in the North East. Alison Rowland, Assistant Head of Business Family Placement East, said: “It is great to have this resource available to spread this vital message. All children can be at risk of sexual exploitation when going online and interacting with strangers, even if they have a supportive home environment. What can start as an innocent and harmless chat with a ‘friend’, can very quickly develop into a dangerous relationship with devastating consequences. “That’s why it’s crucial carers can make the children they foster or adopt aware of the dangers online and explain how to keep themselves safe. I’d like to thank the Morrisons Foundation for supporting us to help us keep some very vulnerable young people safe online.”
  9. Bedlington Grammar School

    It was founded in 1926 as Bedlington Secondary School for the areas of Bedlingtonshire, Ashington and Newbiggin, being built next to Bedlington railway station. Subsequently it became Bedlington Grammar School, before turning comprehensive in 1974. It gained Maths and Computing College status in 2009. Ex pupils you should know :- Sir Bobby Charlton CBE & Sir John Hall, who built the MetroCentre
  10. An MP is calling on the Government to fit all new and refurbished schools with sprinklers after four classrooms were destroyed in a suspected arson attack. A fire broke out at St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy in Bedlington, Northumberland, on October 26, causing “substantial damage” to one classroom. Teachers said the blaze spread and damaged three other classrooms at the school, which is not fitted with sprinklers. Northumbria Police has launched an investigation into the incident and believe the fire may have been started deliberately. Now, Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery has written to Amber Rudd MP, Justine Greening MP and Alok Sharma MP demanding sprinklers are installed in all schools. In the letter, Mr Lavery said: “Many local people have been in touch regarding the provision of sprinkler systems, appalled that their presence is not mandatory either in new build or existing schools.
  11. Councillor Robinson - October 2017

    You are right there Vic.......it sometimes takes weeks and months to get things done! Not sure how much of a difference but I'm trying as I said I would!
  12. Remembrance Parade 2017

    Another great turnout from the Bedlington folk showing their respect.
  13. Alma Inn

    I wasn't imagining my visits then! I would have been 5 or 6 years old at that time. That's certainly the 'Virol' jar I remember but looking at those photos I now think it was maybe a manufacturer's name rather than the name of the product. I can't imagine bone marrow tasting like sticky toffee - not even in my wildest dreams! They must have made several different products.
  14. Councillor Wallace - Bedlington Central update

    I could not help noticing a few weeks ago that according to his profile Russ Wallace has never visited these forums ?? . Russ Wallace Members 12 Content count 12 Joined June 16 Last visited Never
  15. Alma Inn

    Loved them both. The orange juice bottle was very "square" my dad taught me the wonders of a spirit level using one of those! Ah! the things that you remember that mom and dad passed on. Sorry for the drift from the Alma Inn. (I couldn't resist before I forgot!)
  16. Alma Inn

    Missed this image, Virol supersedes Cod-Liver Oil, off my previous comment -
  17. Alma Inn

    Only ever seen comments, by Facebook members, that would suggest the Food office was used in the earl 50's whilst the food rationing was still in operation during 1953 -54. I can't recall been given Virol, just rose hip syrup and I think that was only after my sister was born in 1955. This is a comment by one of the members on Bedlington remembered :- Lawrence Pattison The Alma Inn was on Glebe Rd. it was about opposite Taits ice cream shop [now car parts ]. The Alma became the Food Office during WW2 I remember going there with my Mam to collect new ration books. Shows my age but I was young then. BBC ON THIS DAY. 4th July 1954: Housewives celebrate end of rationing. Fourteen years of food rationing in Britain ended at midnight when restrictions on the sale and purchase of meat and bacon were lifted. my father -in-law's last ration book :-
  18. Alma Inn

    was the Alma still open (as a food office) in the early fifties? I have vague recollections of going there with my older sister to get National dried milk - in a blue and white tin, cod-liver oil, a foul tasting orange juice concentrate and a wonderful malt 'extract' sold in earthenware jars. I think it was called 'Virol'.
  19. Alma Inn

    Thank you, a much clearer image and interesting update about its subsequent use. William Allan wine and spirit merchants were at 4 Prudhoe Place Newcastle now long gone and built over.
  20. Councillor Wallace - Bedlington Central update

    And will the solution to such traffic problems be to build an obstacle course such as that along Netherton Lane which will itself result in an accident one day, particularly with cars having to swerve very near to the kerb, (and pedestrians), particularly in the cemetery area, to avoid oncoming traffic?
  21. Earlier
  22. Drivers are being advised ahead of a series of road closures throughout the North East on Remembrance Sunday. Thousands throughout the region will join together at a host of events to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers. ChronicleLive is compiling a gallery of photographs to show services and remembrance events across the North East, so please send a photograph to yourpictures@chroniclelive.co.uk telling us when and where you were. And if you’re planning on travelling by car on the morning of Remembrance Sunday, here is a list of the road closures that will temporarily be in place: Alnwick 3.15pm to 4pm - Percy Street, Green Batt, Hotspur Street. Bondgate Without, Bondgate Within, Fenkle Street
  23. KING

    @Layna Alexandrou-Panayiotou - posted the photo on Facebook group Bedlington Remembered and a couple of members have said it is the Doctor Pit Welfare Park in Bedlington and it is the Doctor Pit Welfare Team of 1944-45. A couple of members did name a couple of their relatives. One member, Paul Reed, recognised the photo as one in his 89 year old dad's collection and he had a list of many of the names on the back of the photo :-
  24. Councillor Robinson - October 2017

    Hmm just wondering what you do with all your spare time! Frustration must be the worst part of the job! But satisfying knowing you make a difference,
  25. Councillor Wallace - Bedlington Central update

    Would Councillor Wallace like to repeat his road safety exercise along Church Lane and Hotspur Avenue. The number of drivers that flout the posted speed limits is disgraceful.
  26. Councillor Robinson - October 2017

    October 2017: After a hectic weekend at work I made sure I had either talked to or sent e-mails off to the people I needed to speak to about what is now getting to be backlog of constituency work. I have picked up yet another three meetings in the next couple of weeks, two for committee meetings and the other for additional training. When I said October was going to be hectic I really meant it! First off the block was a strategic planning meeting. One of the applications was the redevelopment of the Alcan site and I had some questions to ask about that, not least about contamination issues. I was assured none of the relevant agencies had reported any concerns. Well that sounds hunky dory except that none of that documentation had been included in our packs? This is something I am getting a bit concerned about, lack of full disclosure in planning applications! Anyway that application, like all of them that night was passed unanimously. One which I do want to remark on was the application again up in Amble this time for 272 houses. The developer came in and explained everything he was prepared to do and give by way of community payback and we even had councillors asking us to agree this application because of the level of payback this particular developer was prepared to give to the community. In effect for 272 houses a potential sum of up to £5M had been agreed. I immediately compared this with the 500 houses earmarked for Bedlington and my ward and the figures we can probably expect pales into insignificance. Same planning officer leading this too! Wasn’t too long ago, a month or so, we heard an application for 500 houses for Amble and again the negotiated community payback funding was into many millions of pounds! Why the disparity? This whole planning system is an absolute joke and needs fixing from top to bottom and I can’t even blame our planners because they have to function under the system as is, which in many cases isn’t what they might like. I feel I really need to start and highlight the inadequacies and downright inconsistency the current system is producing for the likes of my ward! Very next day and back at County Hall for another training session. I had gone to work at 5.30am come home at 2.20pm had a quick shower and then back up at Morpeth for this training session. This one was a master class in ‘chairing skills’ and it was something I wanted to do anyway. As I anticipated I have been doing it all wrong, well not really but I did learn some tricks of the trade which was exactly why I wanted to do it in the first place! Thought I had a rare day off today but not so there was a Gallagher Park Steering Group meeting to attend. That went quite well with everyone pretty positive until I was told the Community Gain funding or S106 funding for leisure emanating from the 500 houses we could very well see just north of the Chesters has been ring-fenced for Gallagher Park only. It would seem to me that the area which has to put up with the loss of amenity etc should be the area which sees the vast majority of payback, that as a minimum! Again I came home and fired off a missive to the head of planning informing him about this and saying I thought this money should be retained within the ward for the residents. As I write this up still no reply! Another day another meeting to attend this time the Pension Panel. We had a few presentations off fund managers who had come up from London to deliver them and one off an adviser who had travelled up from Leeds. Interesting presentations and they threw up some pretty interesting questions! I sat next to Liz who I am doing the further pension panel training with next week down in London and said I will meet her at the train station in Morpeth at 5.00pm. She corrected me and told me its 3.00pm! Heck just as well we chatted about it! I came home and spent nearly 4 hours getting some answers to further concerns expressed by residents and in a couple of cases trying to get their cases dealt with sympathetically. I still have my original list of concerns which still haven’t been answered or dealt with so I think it’s going to be a pretty uncomfortable meeting with NCC officers at the next Local Area Council. Well after another hectic weekend at work I did make it to the train station for 3.00pm on Monday. On the way down neither of us could work out how to use the other tickets we had, one for the underground but only for tomorrow? Anyway needn’t have worried we asked one of the underground porters and he waved us through! Up at 6.30am and after a cuppa and a quick shower it was off to the next venue for the training. Again we more or less walked straight there just in time for enrolment. As Liz said this was quite a complex session especially if you didn’t know the terminology. I asked each one of the presenters several questions, some they answered, some they deferred but against a room of over 40 people from all over the UK everyone knew there was a contingent from Northumberland present! This may not help my ward directly but it is one of the job requirements to make NCC as well run and professional as possible. In fact I would say this sort of activity takes up to around 70% of my time. I did enjoy the afternoon session and had a continual banter with that presenter! So that was the Pension Panel training over and it was then a trek back to Kings Cross. We got there early and tried to change our tickets to a train which was still in the station but we were told the ticket would have to be bought again so we declined. The problem we had was that the train we were booked on had a change in Darlington and the departure time for the train we needed to catch there, was 5 minutes after the arrival time of the first one! In the end it wasn’t a problem because it was actually on the same platform so one had to leave before the other came in. Got back to Morpeth for 9.00pm so quite a long day. Not to have a rest I had to take today off work because of meetings. First one was the joint chairs of the LAC’s and I had plenty to say there. First up was the county wide community chest scheme and we had about a dozen countywide applications and the funding was well oversubscribed. As we progressed through the list we examined the applications and questioned the officer. Some were taken out for further information and reflection as to the new rules, others passed, and some passed after quite heated debate! Next onto the normal business of this group. I had to chair our last LAC meeting because the usual chair had to have a minor medical procedure and several members of the public wanted some of their concerns addressing further up the food chain! Two in particular, one that the meetings timings were daft and the other that the agendas were as thin as water! I firstly mentioned the times of these meetings where planning is usually at 4.00pm and the LAC proper starts at 6.00pm. It seems all the other LACs have no problems with those times but I repeated what the floor of our meetings had said the times were crazy. The chair of this group said he delegated all the organisational procedures to the various LAC chairs so Christine can set her own meetings when she wants. She said she will be asking people what they prefer. The second issue I raised was the content (or lack of it) on the agendas. This was actually agreed by other members. I did say conversely looking at the November agenda it was very much beefier and contained several big topics, such as the NCC Budget. I said I hoped on behalf of residents these sorts of agenda items continue and make these meetings well worth attending. Next up a training session for the Fire Fighters Pension Board which I have been delegated to serve on. This has come right out of the blue! Listening to the briefing myself and the other delegated member were given it would seem as board members we have almost no say in the running of this scheme but we are responsible for the safe and correct way it is administered. No wonder there are no administration members present!!!!! Anything goes wrong myself and Ian are in the firing line, the administration members have insulated themselves from any liability here! Never mind just have to make sure nothing goes wrong under our tenure but again quite a responsibility. We went through the constitution and workings of this group and made sure we realised the difference in responsibility we had compared to the LGPS. This is a defined benefit unfunded scheme so no investment decisions to make! It took well over an hour to go through this stuff and only then were we informed that the next board meeting is actually next week! Because this is quite a small group, to quorate the meeting we need just about everyone there so if one of us can’t make it the meeting cannot proceed and that wastes time for everyone! Talk about being thrown in at the deep end! Much nicer time today! I had been asked to take part in the Democracy Week NCC hold every year for the school children of the county and today was Bedlington schools turn. Not only Bedlington but other schools around us too. 4 councillors and the Business Chair turned up to welcome our young people and take them up for lunch. They had been up there for some time but our first job was to take them for lunch in one of the committee rooms. Gave me the chance to talk to them because I knew quite a few that had come from St Bennets. After lunch they had the chance to ask us questions across the council chamber. They were given an hour to throw as many questions at us as they wanted and boy did they do just that. So we had to field the full gambit of questions from Brexit to School transport, from additional educational learning to inclusive disabled education, from gang culture to teacher’s pay and everything in-between. Of course the Conservative Business chair on my left and the Labour Party Whip on my right went at each other like dogs at broth which gave me the perfect illustration as to why I was an independent and resulted in plenty of laughs in the audience! One of the questions was about proportional representation and the two party members gave their positions. I asked why not instead of having party references just vote for the person you think best represents your position, but both party members rounded on me and told me you had to be in a group to get anything done. Really well I’m sitting here the same as you gentlemen! Oh and one other thing, didn’t we just agree that gang culture was wrong and had no place in our schools or indeed society or is that just a case of do as I say not as I do? I hope the young people got something out of it all, even if it was just a sense of county hall not being so remote and the people who make the decisions are just human beings as well, with all the frailties that entails. I hope I have convinced one or two of the young people who always take such active roles in most of the times I have worked with these young people to lay a wreath at Remembrance Day, deputising for me. I can’t be there because of work commitments but I do want to show my respect so I have asked to buy a wreath myself and hope to get these young lads to lay it on my behalf. Well what a nightmare work was this weekend. I had to stay late on the Sunday night to make sure the production lines were running normally at switch on and that was after a 12hr shift so I was pleased to get home! Monday and a rare day this month, a day off! Time to catch up on my correspondence and get in touch with the people I needed to speak to. My environmental training was cancelled this morning but I was at the dental hospital anyway! Ended up rushing back to chair a meeting at 2.pm. This was the NCC Community Chest Scheme for our local area. Hopefully more groups and associations will apply in future but as it was the funding was about equal to the applications. We really would like to fund every application which comes in but there are strict rules and regulations we have to follow to make sure everyone gets the same chance, irrespective of how big and professional their group is. That done and seeing as I was in offices adjacent, I took the opportunity, or in reality barged into the office, to ask cabinet members several questions on behalf of constituents. I even managed to squeeze into a director of service office and ask him directly some questions! I also had the opportunity to speak to one of the planning officers! I have also been speaking to the temporary local area manager I have been trying to get answers out of. He agreed to meet with me and I will take him around the ward and show him the concerns residents have been in touch with me about. Hopefully we can come up with some resolution! So not only have we dished out about another £50K to worthy groups in this area I have also been able to put into place some determination of residents’ complaints! Now I just have to make the best case for each! Wednesday and rushed back from work to get to the LAC in good time because there was a planning brief beforehand. As this is in my ward again I really wanted to be there right at the start. Got there in time to help putting the chairs out! First up a brief planning update about the applications we had tonight and then straight into the applications. First one was certainly contentious. Members of the public were there to put their views so after we heard the planning officer present the case it was time for public address. I do wish anyone speaking would refer to and take on board the rules and regulations we have to follow. An address can be as emotive as possible but in reality it can’t be considered if there are no lawful reasons to object! Whilst the public objectors had the sympathy of the panel we couldn’t dismiss the application because it followed all the rules, in fact I seconded it for exactly that reason! Several of these members of the public felt obliged to shout at us on their way out blaming us for passing this application. If only they realised it was in fact their inability to make a case using the lawful planning terms and conditions which made the outcome so one sided. Next up an application for the nursery in the West End school here in Bedlington. I proposed acceptance and when the highways and parking issues were raised I said it was so bad now that nothing could possibly make it any worse! That again was passed unanimously. Next up was the Town and Parish Councils section. This is so Town and Parish councillors can get access to the various NCC department managers such as Neighbourhood Services, IT Infrastructure, Democratic Services, Highways and Planning who were all there tonight. There was the usual contingent from WBTC, all Independent councillors (!), so with them and the two Bedlington County Councillors once again Bedlington was well represented. In fact there seemed to me to be a feeling of really getting on with business tonight. The officers were more than open and took notes of everything raised and we should see some actions resulting. I know my items were all written down for further action and asking other members, theirs’s were too. Today I had two meetings on at the same time. Treasury Management training and the Fire Fighters Pension Board. The Board had to take precedence because as I said if one of us misses a meeting then there isn’t a quorum. Plus the fact that this was the main 6 month meeting. Again quite a complex issue but then pensions are. Updates done and questions asked the Chair then took us through the rest of the agenda. This took 2 hours and I was pleased about the level of training I have done for this subject or I just wouldn’t have a clue. Friday and I had a meeting with our Neighbourhood Services area manager, something I have been chasing for some time! I had about a dozen items which needed to be resolved so once we met up I took him around to each and showed him the problems. I have to say this guy is extremely approachable and accommodating, so much so that because he has been transferred as soon as we get a replacement both the Town Council and myself asked his boss if he could stay looking after our area and his replacement move elsewhere. That can’t happen we were told! So after driving around for an hour looking at all the concerns brought to me by residents we now have agreed ways forward. That’s all I have been after for about 2 months now! Once home I had several emails to sort out, some giving updates to residents but one other laying out the evidence to back up what I said at a recent meeting, something which had been disputed. I have also been invited to a meeting by the head of NCC Planning about the housing development to the North of the Chesters. Seems there are some anomalies to clear up! It would seem there are quite a few anomalies where planning is concerned. We currently have a variation to a planning application which was originally turned down but got through on appeal and one of the variations to the permission is to build the houses in completely different styles. I have asked planners about this and they have said it is a correct way of doing it. How can that be right?????? For instance you get permission to build a bungalow and instead you build a three story townhouse and the change isn’t even consulted upon. Absolutely nuts but that’s the National Planning Framework for you! I wanted to get some questions in the next full council meeting so I contacted the person who sorts that out and she said I still had time. I wrote one about Arch and another about the Northumberland business landscape. I will list them in next month’s diary complete with the answers which I get.
  27. A spook-tacular transformation

    Housebuilder Miller Homes transformed its Broadoaks development in Bedlington this Hallowe’en with the help of children from the nearby West End First School.
  28. Rock legend Mark Knopfler honoured fallen war heroes as he performed a moving guitar version of the Last Post. Mark, who grew up on Tyneside, dedicated his performance to the 17,000 Northumberland Fusiliers killed in the First World War. The rendition was part of a centenary music project organised by community group Superact, which will see events held between November 4 to 18 to mark 100 years since the start of the Great War. Mark said: “The First World War left its mark on families throughout the UK, and throughout the world. “It is important to remember the sacrifices made, and to think about why wars happen.” Having gone to school in Blyth, Mark dedicated the Last Post performance to the Northumberland regiment, which suffered more casualties in the war then any other.
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