Looking back on 2016
A look back at some of Amble’s best bits of 2016
2016 started off with floods and high winds, perhaps an indication of stormy days ahead, but we were still basking in the glory of our Best Coastal High Street award, and local businesses proudly displayed the certificate in their shops.
New businesses sprang up – particularly in the food sector; Amble is now home to an artisan brewery, a new tearoom and a tapas bar. Our Post Office on Queen Street won a national sales award, and Ann Burke and Richard Wardman from 42 Queen Street were nominated for a Great British High Street award, although sadly they missed out on the finals.
Amble won 2015 Best Coastal High Street
Nigel Wilson and Amanda Peacock returned to the Mason's Arms after 15 years
Puffins were officially placed on the list of endangered species
Winter storms caused flooding which affected some areas for months
Hauxley Lane closed due to flooding
Singer songwriter Brian English's tribute to Newcastle United fans was played on the Made In Tyne and Wear tv channel and BBC Radio Newcastle
The walkway around the new Coble Quay and Harbour Village developments was opened by the "harbour gadgies"
70 year-old Margaret Hedley cut her hair for a cancer charity and raised over £1000
Amble's second community-built skiff, Coquet Venture, was blessed and launched at the Little Shore
Amble Coastal Rowing team with Revs Westmoreland and Coulthard who blessed the skiff with Alnwick Rum
Sophie, Countess of Wessex visited Amble in April
The Duchess of Northumberland accompanied the Countess and met crowds of people throughout the town
The Countess met children from Brambles nursery in the town square
Sophie met Amble Lifeboat crew and fundraisers
Paul Rigby and Ashley Sim of the 'P-Pod' cut the Harbour Village's first birthday cake.
Reverend Diane Westmorland, vicar of St Cuthbert's church leaves after eight years
Amble veteran Johnny Johnston is awarded the Legion d'Honneur
Once again, Amble and Warkworth Rotary performed numerous charitable tasks supporting the town, from financial donations, to weeding the town square
Legendary footballer Jackie Charlton opened the new fish shack eaterie on Amble's quayside
Students from James Calvert Spence College staged a performance of a play they researched and wrote themselves
The 2016 Puffin Festival was another success
The 2016 festival provided fun and activities for families throughout the May half term
The colony music festival was once again well supported and enjoyed by all ages
A funday was held at the newly equipped Paddler's Park
A permanent ping-pong table is now situated in Paddlers Park
The Ambler celebrated its 100th edition
Children from Amble Links First School named and chose colours for the new beach huts at the Little Shore.
Amble WI created 'braskets' and highlighted breast cancer awareness, with this unique hanging basket campaign.
Kayak fisherman Phil Nichol caught this prize pollack after only 10 mins fishing in choppy conditions. The 3lb catch won him the Bob White Memorial trophy
Amble Queen Street Post Office staff won a national sales award and were visited by Post Office CEO Paula Vennels (on right)
Plans for a 30 bedroom hotel was announced and drew many visitors to the public consultation
Amble WW2 veteran Richard Aston was awarded the Ushakov medal, Russia's highest naval award
Judy Lewis raised around £2000 after shaving her head for a cancer charity
Huge crowds turned out to the 2016 Harbour Day
Amble RNLI crew rescue demonstrations were popular as ever
A fabulous feline known as 'Oscar the Pod Cat' is so popular with business owners and visitors at the Harbour Village, he now has his own Facebook page
Plans for a 500 home development on Acklington Road drew a steady stream of visitors during the public consultation
Public opinion was varied, but most voiced concern about the proposed access via Acklington Road, and whether Amble's infrastructure could cope with such a large scale development
This stunning shot of the November 2016 'supermoon' was taken by John Clarke
Children from Edwin Street school attended a service at the war memorial on Armistice Day. Brambles nursery children and the Co-op funeralcare staff also placed wreaths at the event.
Amble veteran Peter Proctor-Cannon visited WW2 veteran George Skipper, who left Amble last year, and is now a Chelsea Pensioner
George Skipper appeared on the tv broadcast of Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph
Eight year old Hanna Rutherford donated her cut hair to a children's cancer charity and raised over £600
In November, Amble's new lifeboat 'Elizabeth and Leonard' sailed into her new home. £200,000 was raised by local people in just under 2 years
Amble RNLI crew member Graham Hall and son
The Torchlight Procession was another huge crowd pleaser, here the Radcliffe Club's float included a snow machine
Merry Christmas to all
This year saw local veterans honoured for their bravery, and acts of charity too numerous to list. Amble folk are renowned for their warm hearts, whether it be hair shaving, fundraising, or the random acts of kindness on display for Mauretania Day, honouring the “Friendliest Port” nickname for which we are famous.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex opening Amble’s Paddlers Park. April 2016
Our fourth Puffin Festival was another resounding success and once again brought many new visitors. This year puffins were officially placed on the endangered Red List, so we are fortunate that our Coquet Island feathered friends are (so far) doing well and have plenty to eat. The North Sea around the Northumbrian coast is less prevelent to overfishing, and rising sea temperatures have not affected their food sources.
April saw a royal visit to Amble; Sophie, Countess of Wessex met huge crowds of well-wishers, and spoke to volunteers and young people at Coquet Shorebase Trust, trainee chefs in Pride of Northumbria on Queen Street, and business owners at Amble Harbour Village, before opening the new Paddlers’ Park, to the delight of hundreds of schoolchildren.
It will be interesting to see how the major political changes ahead of us will take effect. As it is, the town continues to attract investment, with more apartments going up at Coble Quay. Plans to build a 30-bedroom hotel were announced – and were met with approval by most people, but public concerns were raised when, in October, plans were mooted for a 500 house development next to James Calvert Spence school on Acklington Road.
Lifeboat Day was the usual busy mix of fundraising activities and entertainment, with the lifeboat crew demonstrations as usual attracting a large crowd.
Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, grows more popular every year and this year saw the biggest attendances yet.
Amble’s new lifeboat Elizabeth and Leonard sailing into harbour. November 2016
The year drew to an end with a momentous day – when our new £2million lifeboat entered her home port for the first time. After two years of solid fundraising, local people secured £200,000 towards the state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat. The Elizabeth and Leonard will replace the Mersey class lifeboat The Four Boys, which has been in service in Amble since 1999.
Once again, the bright lights of the Torchlight Procession brought out huge crowds and festive cheer. Alice in Wonderland was this year’s theme, and the procession included decorated floats, stilt walkers and a fire eater.
We’d like to thank the strong and thriving Amble community for their continuing support for The Ambler, a spirit we always strive to reflect.
(Some of) The Ambler team
We celebrated our 100th edition this year, and we continue to encourage you to send in articles, events and photographs.
To our advertisers, we thank you for your tremendous support, and we wish everyone all the best for a healthy and happy 2017.
Editorial Team: Vivienne Dalgliesh, Célia Fery, Norma Hinson, Mir Jannetta, Tim Jones, Cath Findlay, Red Willcox, and photographers Andrew Mounsey and Bartle Rippon
Artograffi Team: Mark Beswick and young journalists (LilyT, Ava, Hope, Bethany, Emma-Jane, Abbey, George-Anne, Louise and Emily),
Editor: Anna Williams