Your letters & Email: Nov/Dec
In your last edition Des Thirtle wrote about his memories of old Amble, which was very interesting, recalling familiar scenes and landmarks now gone.
The mention of the “Hill Sixty” stirred memories- it was the highest sand dune between Amble and Hauxley and was situated roughly opposite the south-end entrance to the caravan site. It was well known to pre-war ‘harbourenders’ because after a fall of snow or even heavy frost we could sledge down its eastern slope to the high water mark. It is there no more and thereby hangs a tale.
In May 1935, the nation celebrated the Silver Jubilee of the reign of King George V and Queen Mary; in those pre-television days there was much more interest in these events. I remember my eldest brother taking me to Newcastle on a Saturday teatime rail excursion from Amble to see the decorations and those on Northumberland Street were wonderful.
Our own Queen Street was also worth seeing, but the highlight for me was the great bonfire, The council workmen erected wooden scaffolding poles on the top “Hill Sixty’ and filled the tower with timber, rubber tyres and anything that would burn, and as darkness fell on the appointed day, the council chairman Mr J.W Dixon, Headmaster of the Dovecote Street School lit the bonfire.
A large crowd had gathered and the sight of soaring flames was much enjoyed. Today of course such an event would not be allowed for the intense heat destroyed the marram grasses which had stabilised the dune and gales of wind soon reduced it and by the end of the war ‘Hill Sixty’ was no more. Gone with the wind!
Woodbine St, Amble
Better late than never
This Defence Medal (above left) has been awarded to my late father, William Oliver, for his wartime service with the R.A.F. Air Sea Rescue during the second World War.
Work commenced in 1938 to build, the R.A.F. Marine Craft Unit at the north side of Amble Harbour (above right) to provide range safety and other maritime support to the then newly opend R.A.F. Acklington.
Five fishermen from Hauxley, prevented from fishing because of the existence of the practice bombing range in Druridge Bay, were employed as civilian crew on the speed boats, they were – Tom Brown, Jack Stewart, William and Richard Oliver and Harry Taylor who was ferryman.
The missions out to sea were hazardous, speed was of the essence as survival of ditched pilots in the North Sea was minimal.
It was very rewarding to receive the medal in recognition of my farher’s best efforts during the war.
Thank you very much, Ian Modral, for all your help and kindness, for the photos taken especially for me and putting me in contact with Jimmy – who is painting two more pictures of the Salt Pans for me. I will have North/South all round view. Thank you Jimmy.
Devonshire Rd, Oxon
Used stamps and clothes
We would like to thank everyone who has donates stamps for charity during the last year. If you wish to donate further stamps this Christmas, please leave them at Treetops, Station Road, Warkworth or Handi Stationery, Amble. Funds raised are currently going to St. Oswald’s Hospice and Kidetok, Uganda.
We also collect clean used clothes or material for recycling for charity – if you wish to donate please leave items at Handi Stationery, Amble. Funds raised are currently for Medicins sans Frntieres and Aid to the Church in Need.
Evelyn and Michelle Dodd, Janice Charlton and James Cox
Castle St, Warkworth