Happy New Year! In north Northumberland we have had hard frosts but, so far, have escaped snow except for a light dusting. This is in contrast to southern and western parts of Britain.
Looking back, we had some interesting trips during 2017. In September we had a week in Galloway when it rained every day but one. But it didn't stop us getting out to see the amazing number of historic and archaeological sites. This is a really interesting area.
In May we had a fantastic visit to Cyprus. In June we went on a National Trust for Scotland cruise to Orkney, Shetland and St Kilda. This was the third time we have landed on St Kilda and the second in warm, sunny weather. The passage out was very rough! I have put some photos on the Gallery page.
At the Borders Book Festival in June, I read an extract from my contribution to the Border Writers' Forum Anthology, Border Voices. This was at Melrose in the Scottish Borders and I was one of ten readers. The theme of the Anthology was 'Bridges' and my contribution was entitled 'Bridges to Heaven'.
A current project which is taking up much of my time is the inspection and recording of historic buildings in connection with the Branxton & Crookham Village Atlas Project. This is a community project administered by the Till Valley Archaeological Society with the aid of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. In addition to the Historic Buildings Group, there are three other groups of volunteers dealing with archaeology, social history and oral history. There is more information on the TillVAS website—there is a link below.
My fourth book on local topics, Breamish and Till: From Source to Tweed, is available for sale, published by the Till Valley Archaeological Society (TillVAS)(www.tillvas.com), ISBN 978-1-291-58938-2 Price £10. Net proceeds of sale go to the Society.
Information about this and other books, articles and poems can be seen on my Books & Books (cont.) pages and copies of some may be bought by clicking on the blue link at the top of the Books page and following the instructions.
'"Westhill" and the Hayward Family', All Over The Town, The Lyme Regis Society Newsletter, June 2006, pp. 6-9.
Poem, 'Below The Sea Glacier', Whispers On The Breeze, United Press, 2009, p. 27. ISBN 978-1-84436-897-6.
Poem, 'A Chieftain's Call', Book Of Dreams, United Press Ltd, 2010, p. 22. ISBN 978-0-85781-005-2.
'Windermere House in the 1950s, The Norwood Review, Journal of The Norwood Society, Spring 2010, pp. 14-16.
Two poems, 'A Helping Hand' & 'A Border Chieftain's Call' and a book review of Harry Nicholson's Tom Fleck in The Eildon Tree, New Writing From The Scottish Borders & Beyond, Summer/Autumn 2012, p. 2, pp. 47-8.
'The Leet Water', Border Voices on SCOTTISH BORDERS and BEYOND, ISBN 978-0-9567128-1-3, Borders Writers' Forum, October 2012, pp. 37-40.
Poem, 'St. Kilda People' and a book review of Oliver Eade's 'A Single Petal' , The Eildon Tree, New Writing from the Scottish Borders & Beyond, Spring/Summer 2013, p. 8, p. 46.
Poem, 'Who am I?', The Eildon Tree, New Writing from the Scottish Borders & Beyond, Autumn/Winter 2013, p. 5.
'Two Elderly Steam Engines at Riccarton Junction: a family connection', Border Voices on Waverley and other railways, ISBN 978-0-9567128-3-7, Borders Writers' Forum, June 2015, pp. 52-55.
Not an article or a poem but a letter referring to my father's contribution to Lyme Regis Museum during his curatorship from 1969 until 1976.
'A Letter from Antony Chessell', All Over The Town, The Lyme Regis Society Newsletter, Winter 2015, pp. 3/4.
An article in The Fourum (the community Newsletter for Branxton, Crookham, Ford & Etal), April 2016, regarding the anomaly of having Scottish post boxes in parts of Northumberland.