Looking back on 2014
The band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers led Amble’s WW1 commemoration procession in August
2014 is nearly over! It’s been a busy year, with many changes in the town. The new Harbour Village, Coble Quay development and one-way system have drawn attention to the harbour area.
For some, it’s a sign of progress and a welcome boost to jobs. Inevitably though, not all comments have been favourable.
Either way, perhaps we should reserve judgement for when the cones, diggers and scaffolding are removed.
Traffic management in the town has probably caused the most controversy during the past year. Parking on the Braid and the Park and Ride scheme were short-term trials during the summer. Now we have more parking on Queen Street, and a new one-way system along Leazes St (which surprised many of us by including Lawson St and George St), which are also temporary schemes, so let’s see if they have the desired outcome.
Memorable too in 2014, was the WW1 commemoration event, which saw a poignant ceremony, procession and cross laying event organised by the Town Council. A book and film were also created.
Sad too were the deaths of several Amble characters; John Lyth, Ron Falkous, Ray King and Clarence Hedley. All helped make the town such a unique place, all will be missed.
The Ambler team wish you all good wishes for 2015, and in the meantime, here’s a slideshow of some of the memorable events over the last twelve months. Click on each photo for more information:
Floral tributes lined the Quayside in January, after the deaths of Amble fishermen Mark Arries and Edward Ide. They died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning on board the fishing boat Eshcol, moored in Whitby harbour.
At the beginning of 2014, the anchor at the entrance to the Braid was moved to its new home, in front of Coquet Yacht Club.
The first of four 'coal truck' flower planters, due to be placed around the town by Amble town Council. This one is on Percy Drive near the fish roundabout.
£1.8 million of grant funding from the government's Coastal Communities fund was announced. Work began in April on creating a harbour village, seafood centre, and improved landscaping.
The announcement of Amble's second Puffin Festival was music to many people's ears.
Local character John Lyth died in March. Also known by his nom de plume 'Jack Paperman', he was an ex Navy man, a poet and was described by those who knew him as 'a true English eccentric'.
The spring also saw the loss of another Amble stalwart, Ronnie Falkous. Ronnie had been the backbone of Amble Town FC, tirelessly volunteering and fund raising. He was literally irreplaceable to the team, and after his death it disbanded.
Amble's second Puffin Festival got off to a great start with glorious weather at the end of May.
Once again the Puffin Festival's music festival 'The Colony' was very popular.
Youngsters were thrilled to meet Tommy Noddy the Puffin during the Festival.
Parking and congestion issues in the town continued to cause concern with traders and residents.
Goalkeeping legend Ray King died aged 89. Ray began playing for Newcastle United, but spent most of his career at Port Vale, helping them reach the FA Cup semi finals 1953-54. In 1954 he played for England B team against Switzerland.
In August, Amble held a memorial event to commemorate the outbreak of WW1.
A poignant ceremony organised by Amble Town Council, saw over 180 crosses placed in the Memorial garden, by people of all ages.
Local surfers Andy Flounders and Matty Stanley met a baby seal, who decided to join their surfing fun. Their GoPro video went viral; fans included Lady Gaga and Richard Branson.
To alleviate some of the parking problems, Northumberland County Council introduced a trial Park & Ride scheme during the summer.
Parking on part of the Braid was also trialled during the summer. Many people expressed their opposition to the idea on social media.
Pride In Amble volunteers won an award for their transformation of the flower planting in Amble Town Square.
Amble skiff 'Coquet Spirit' was launched in August. The handmade boat featured in Robson Green's Tales of Northumberland TV series.
Local action group Amble Community Team formed as a result of the poor condition of the Welfare. Since the summer they have transformed the area with several litter picks and weeding sessions
Lifeboat Day at the end of August was another huge success with £10,000 raised for the Amble RNLI.
This year's Lifeboat Day was opened by local author Ann Cleeves. The annual event drew in another large crowd as volunteers aim to raise £200,000 for a new lifeboat.
RSPB Warden Kate Lowes who lives on Coquet Island during the summer, wrote an online diary for The Ambler, documenting life on the island. This was picked up by Robson Green's 'Tales From Northumberland' and Kate will feature in the next series.
The Duchess of Northumberland led the wreath-laying ceremony at this year's Remembrance Day, which drew the biggest crowds yet.
Children from Brambles and Edwin St school paid their respects on Armistice Day, by laying wreaths and poppy crosses on the war memorial.
In December, WW2 veteran Clarence Hedley died aged 93. Clar had survived the horror of the Japanese war camps, forced to work on the now infamous 'Bridge over the River Kwai'. He was another of Amble's big characters and will be sadly missed.
Thousands of people turned out to watch the Christmas lights and procession, which was the biggest one yet, according to organisers.
A one-way system was introduced along the harbour area, and after a faulty start took effect from 18th December. It is a one year trial scheme - which apparently is the reason for the 'subdued' signage.