Looking back on 2022
Early 2022 saw Amble still recovering from the aftermath of the 2021 winter storms Arwen and Barra, with trees, roofs and fences still being replaced and repaired months later. One of the events affected was the ReKINdle festival, which had originally been planned as a Covid – friendly alternative to the Christmas parade. But bad weather once again put paid to the event which had been rescheduled to the February half term.
We were sorry to say goodbye to Roland’s butchers, after nearly 120 years in the town.
As the discussions on Amble’s long-promised multi-million pound school investment continued to rumble on, The Ambler asked why, after five years of promises we seemed no nearer seeing any actual designs let alone any building work. Then a consultation was arranged to gauge support for changing the local educational system from three to two-tier. The decision went in favour of a two-tier system, so we now wait for designs and plans on a brand new building for JCSC. We’ll keep you updated.
The Friendliest Port has been busy with national and international events: Residents stepped up to news of the war in Ukraine with donations of money and goods, and even accommodation, when some families arrived seeking refuge from the terror they had experienced.
Walkers and bird watchers noticed it first in the spring, but over the summer there was no missing the devastation that hit coastal birds, suffering at the hands of an avian flu pandemic. The virus hit our coastline during the breeding season, and had a catastrophic effect on some of the most endangered birds in the world, including Roseate Terns, whose only UK breeding site is Coquet Island.
Early summer saw the town festooned with red white and blue as we celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. There was a beautiful fireworks display, and a specially created Amble Flag was flown in the town square. At the same time, the Puffin Festival returned after a break of two years and the whole weekend was filled with people enjoying themselves. The mood changed in September when the Queen sadly died, and wreaths, flowers and personal tributes were left in the Memorial Gardens and in books of condolence.
In recent months the Bord Waalk sculpture trail has begun to take shape. Twelve physical sculptures will be placed between Hauxley and Warkworth, and an app will soon be launched with additional content such as poetry, music, birdsong, and information on the artists.
The amount of housing being proposed for Amble has been a concern for many years, with no sign of easing. As The Ambler noted, the town is facing housing numbers three times higher than required in the newly adopted Northumberland Local Plan. As Northumberland Estates proposed creating a development on the old Tesco site on Braid Hill, together with access road over part of the Braid, a ‘Save Our Braid’ campaign was begun by locals who objected. And at time of writing, the application has just been withdrawn, but yet may be amended and resubmitted.
As the year drew to a close, we celebrated with two events; the ReKINdle Festival finally took place – and what a magical evening it was. Hundreds of people walked around the Little Shore and pier, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the spectacle. And then the much beloved Christmas Lights Parade returned, seeing the biggest participation ever.
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