Your letters & email
This is a photo that I took of what looks like to be an abounded access way, which can be found situated at the back of the Amble West Cemetery adjacent to the cremation remains section of the site.
I’ve taken an interest in this access way, as I’m currently wondering, is there supposed to be a public footpath from the back of the cemetery over the field it overlooks which has been proposed for a housing development in recent times, giving you direct access onto the nearby Mariner’s View housing estate?
If it is a public access way I’m sure everyone reading this will agree with me, that it is nonsense having it taken out of use and the public should be entitled to use it. However if it turns out not to be an access way, could anyone possibly tell me what it’s supposed to be?
Name supplied, via email
I am an Old Age Perisher living in a small seaside village called Pevensey Bay, in Sussex on the south coast. My mother was born in Amble, but came to Bexhill on Sea, Sussex as a 16 / 17 yr old, ‘in service’, as they did back then. My father was born in Mountain Ash, Wales and walked to London with some friends, looking for work, as they did back then. They met, were married and I was born in 1935 as the result! (How’s that for potted history?)
When WW2 broke out, my mother insisted we moved to Radcliffe in Northumberland where she had a sister. Some of my memories of living in Radcliffe are still very vivid and even now, in my late seventies words like divn’t, willn’t and amn’t come to mind, as well as other words which I have heard described as ‘Pitmatic!’ (?) Although I now speak with a Southern accent I can still speak in ‘God’s own tongue’ broad ‘Geordie’ if I want te!
Tommy the Midden Man
I tell my disbelieving grandchildren about Tommy the Midden Man coming around with his horse and cart to empty the middens and ‘netties’ with a shovel. How we had to get our water in ‘pails’ from stand pipes in the road and everybody had a ‘liftin tin’ quart enamel jug to fill kettles and pans from the pail. Hygiene was a major problem with a very strict ‘order of the bath’ because of the inconvenience of re-filling the tin bath with buckets (sorry, ‘Pails’) of ‘watta’ from the boiler. How we used to beg the miners for rides on the pit ponies when they came to the surface up the ‘drift mine’ shaft.
I have just remembered that my favourite pony was called ’Anchor’!
Catching tiddlers at Amble harbour
I vividly remember the night the land mine hit the village, and how my mother, in a blind panic, dragged me and my baby sister from our house to her sister’s home. To us, who had never experienced bombing it seemed like the end of the world had come!
I also remember the ‘skelps’ I had from my mother for walking from Radcliffe to Amble after school without her knowledge, to catch tiddlers with a bent pin on a piece of thread from a ledge we used to stand on by the harbour arm. When we were there we would sometimes see the fishermen either putting to sea or returning, having to row like demons to ‘stem the tide’ whichever way it was running because in those days they either could not afford outboard engines or get the fuel to run them.
Village Bobby mystery
My query boils down to the biggest mystery that we ever had in ‘the Holy City’ of Radcliffe! What happened to ‘Tommy the Polis’? From memory (which is now being well stretched!) he was an Irishman, and the village bobby. He just vanished! I was between six and ten at the time but I can still remember seeing numerous policemen in the village, which was an unusual occurrence in any case, but I also remember seeing a bloodhound for the very first time! I wondered if there had been any mention of the mystery since the war, or if he had ever been traced.
There was ‘talk’ of spying or involvement with the I.R.A. I would imagine that there must have been a ‘file’ on the subject in police archives, but doubt that it would have been made accessible to the public.
Has there ever been any mention of the incident to your knowledge, or can you advise me as to where I might find an answer? If not, I suppose it is much too late for some investigative journalism to solve the mystery. If in fact it still is a mystery!
It has been an interesting nostalgic trip down memory lane for me, and a reminder to write a few words about life during the war for my grandchildren.
The life we lived and what we took for granted because we knew no different is now history, only known by those of us who actually lived it (and still have enough of our marbles left to remember!!). If it is not recorded it will be lost forever so I must make the effort!
W.T.J.(Tom) Day via email
Harbour parking causes problems for youngsters
We think that cars should not be allowed to park on the side of the harbour near the Quayside chip shop because it is causing a traffic jam. It is hard if you are trying to cross the road.
We also think a car park should be built for the public to use.
Yazzy McCann and Georgia Ramsay, age 12 Straffen Court
I had one but the wheel fell off is a joke about a car
But I spotted a boat at Amble in bigger trouble by far
Upside down and cut in half it’ll never stay afloat
What kind of person would do this to a boat?
I was in a hurry and never stopped to ask
Why they’re undertaking such a complex task
I searched the web and found out why
The proud boat Seaquest is now home and dry
Two local gents are behind the new look
Feeding fish foodies by hook or by crook
I admire their vision in using the old boat
I wish them success so they can sit back and gloat
Sarah Clark, Amble 15 October
Stop dog mess spoiling the pier – pick it up and bin it!
Can anything be done about the amount of dog mess along the pier. I was walking with my four month old in her pram and passed over 20 lots of mess! It is disgusting!
It is just such a shame that the pier has been spoilt for people. I just can’t believe that it is so hard for people to pick it up and bin it!
Allison Jones-Christopher, via Facebook
Seeking information on John H Gilbert
I am searching for information on John Henry Gilbert whose mother lived at No 3 Edwin St. Amble in 1919.
J H Gilbert, a soldier (Regimental no.202289) was wounded in France in 1918 and later served in Russia, 1919. He was in Archangel as an observer.
Later employment was as a representative for the News of the World newspaper followed by employment in Whitchurch, Hampshire, in 1923.
Margaret Haywood (Grand-daughter) via Facebook