Looking back on 2015
2015 started off on an unsure footing, but as the year progressed things just got better and better.
In January, Tesco announced they were cancelling their long-standing plans to build a supermarket in Amble. They put the land up for sale and as far as we know it is still on the market.
A one-way system at the Harbour was finally introduced after a bit of a false start, with the hope that it would ease congestion in that part of town. Most feedback says the system has worked although congestion has now moved around to Percy Street. The County Council plans to extend the trial until March, with the aim of making the system permanent.
The Spring weather was very changeable – the opening of Amble’s Harbour Village was a wet and windy affair, but the sullen grey skies proved useful in March during a widely publicised solar eclipse; some people in Amble were fortunate enough to see it through the clouds.
Our third Puffin Festival was another resounding success and brought many new visitors, as did the Harbour Village and Seafood centre. Publicity for Amble reached national attention, with The Times listing us in their ‘Top 10 Coolest Seaside Towns’.
Our sportsmen and especially our sportswomen soared to success during the summer. Amble St Cuthbert FC won the 2015 Robson Cup, Tamsin Green won the surf kayak World Championship for the second time and Tracey Sample, Ian Simon and Jo Gascoigne-Owens competed in the Triathlete World Championships. Local yachts took first and third position in the inaugural Northumberland Yachting Plate from Amble to Blyth. Next year will see the race leave Blyth to Amble.
In September the Friendliest Port greeted the Walking with the Wounded team as they raised funds on their Walk of Britain. Hardly had they left when we all turned out to cheer on what was probably the fastest visit ever to Amble; this by the Tour of Britain cycle race. Blink and you missed it, but the event was colourful and exhilarating.
Lifeboat Day saw the biggest crowds yet, and provided the last opportunity to see the iconic yellow Sea King helicopter perform a rescue demonstration before they were decommissioned in September. Amble lifeboats and the new Search and Rescue helicopter were in action just weeks later, to save two local fishermen whose boat sank just off Coquet Island.
At Remembrance Day, which saw the biggest crowds yet, World War 2 D-Day veteran George Skipper was proudly showing his Legion D’Honneur, awarded by the French government the day before.
As the year drew to a close, the bright lights of the Torchlight Procession saw huge crowds and festive cheer, but celebrations continued when we learned Amble had won a prestigious national award. Run by the Department for Communities and Local Government, Amble was awarded Coastal High Street of the Year 2015.
So we end this eventful year by wishing our readers all the best for a healthy and happy 2016.
Editorial Team: Vivienne Dalgliesh, Célia Fery, Norma Hinson, Mir Jannetta, Tim Jones, Lou Pickering, Cath Teasdale and photographer Bartle Rippon
Artograffi Team: Mark Beswick and young journalists (LilyT, Ava, Hope, Bethany, LilyW, George-Anne),
Editor: Anna Williams.