Looking back on 2017
As with all years, 2017 was a mix of highs and lows. Carelessness at the start of the year by anglers caused damage to the pier, but others raised money to help repair it. We debated our nickname ‘the friendliest port’ after the original telegram was found which actually described us as ‘the kindliest port’.
Housing developments dominated discussions over the year; with everyone now having to get used to the idea of Amble being significantly larger in the coming years. Work has begun on the Amble Inn, although long term parking continues to be a headache for traders. Now the hot topic is the number of traditional shops closing, while new eateries are opening up.
Environmental concerns also raised their head, with questions asked and tests undertaken, while dolphins, lobsters and Oscar the Pod cat brought smiles and visitors to the harbour.
Visitors and locals enjoyed the Puffin Festival, Mauretania Day Lifeboat Day and Torchlight Procession. Sadly the TIC closed its doors, and the police now no longer offer a desk service, although a phone has been installed on the wall of Fourways2, should anyone need to contact them.
We said goodbye to friends who have passed on; boat builder Hector Handyside, church volunteer and Ambler team member Tim Jones, walker and traveller Rosemarie O’Keefe, and Amble Variety club founder Helen Simpson.
Highlights of the year included the Tour of Britain zooming up the Wynd and along Albert Street, and the official naming ceremony for Amble’s new state of the art lifeboat ‘Elizabeth and Leonard’. And in the summer, TV naturalist Simon King came to open Hauxley Discovery Centre.
Congratulations to Robert Arckless, who was honoured with an MBE for his 34 years as a county councillor, and to kayak surfer Tamsin Green, who retained her World Championship title.
Here’s to a bright, healthy and prosperous 2018, and best wishes from the Ambler team.