Archive for December 2015

This Week in World War One, 24 December 1915

Berwick Advertiser title 1915






Jane Williamson, widow, Berwick, was charged with having failed to send her son John, aged 10 years, to school, as required by law. She pleaded guilty.

Mr Thos. Barker, School Attendance Officer, said the boy was a pupil at the Roman Catholic School, when he did attend, but which was not often. He had made 22 attendances out of 144, therefore being no fewer than 122 times absent. The boy was neglected by the mother, and since October 15 he had not attended school once.

Accused made a statement that she had been frequently out of the town and had visited Edinburgh several times to see her daughter who was in the Infirmary there.

Mr Barker said the case had been four times before the Education Committee prior to proceedings being taken.

The Chief Constable having been asked by the bench to state what he knew of the boy, said the mother went about the countryside collecting old clothes and selling plants. The boy was simply running about wild and the mother evidently thought she could put everyone at defiance.

Mr McCreath (who presided in the absence of the Mayor) – Have you anything to say. This is something horrid, neglecting your child like this.

Accused replied that she had nothing further to say.

In passing sentence of 7s 6d, or seven days, Mr McCreath said she must really consider her child in a matter of this kind. She must see that the boy in future went regularly to school, and should her case ever come up before the Bench again she would be more severely dealt with.


Berwick Advertiser 24 Dec 1915 Paxton & Purves Ltd Xmas Advert




On Wednesday morning, Corpl Chas Mace, 7th Northumberland Fusiliers, third son of Mr Charles Mace, joiner and undertaker, Berwick, was admitted to the Freedom of the Burgh. Corporal Mace is home at present upon short leave from the front and took this opportunity of entering the Freedom. The Mayor, Ald. J W Plenderleith in welcoming Corporal Mace said he had already earned promotion in the regiment to which he belonged, and they hoped that might soon be still further advanced, also that in any vocation in life to which he might be called, be it civil or military, he should continue to uphold the traditions of the ancient Burgh.



Loos Hero’s Welcome in Northumberland

Piper Daniel Logan Laidlaw VC

Piper Daniel Logan Laidlaw, V.C., the first Berwickshire native and the first member of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers to win the V.C. in the war, was received with much enthusiasm on the occasion of his return from hospital to his home at Doddington. Before leaving Wooler Station he took the opportunity to urge on the crowd assembled the need for more men, so that the Germans might be pushed back in France at the earliest possible moment.

Under the village Cross at Doddington the vicar (Rev. J. G. Shotton) presented an address of welcome.

The Hon. F. W. Lambton of Fenton, formerly of the Coldstream Guards, said Piper Laidlaw had shown not only valour, but also initiative and touch of genius which enabled a man to do the right thing at the right moment. Initiative was one of the symptoms of the true soldier which we wanted to see encouraged and from his own experience in the Army he knew how much the men appreciated it.

After thanking the inhabitants for the address, Piper Laidlaw was carried shoulder high to his own cottage. His wife and four children accompanied him.

All the residents of the village were entertained to tea and a concert, at which Piper Laidlaw played on the pipes “Blue Bonnets over the Border,” with which he rallied his comrades at Loos, and “Standard on the Braes of Mar” with which he accompanied their charge.

Piper Laidlaw is a native of Swinton, Berwickshire, and on his homeward journey to Doddington, he was welcomed by his aged parents, who now live at Whittingham.



Postponement of Ceremonial


The ceremonial, under the auspices of the Berwick Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, of presenting the silver medal to James Jamieson, second coxswain of the Berwick Lifeboat, and who acted as coxswain on the occasion of saving 6 lives from the motor boat, Redhead on Wednesday , November 10th last., the monetary awards to the members of the crew and the Spittal fishermen, who so gallantly assisted in getting the lifeboat into the harbour, as well as a vote of thanks on vellum to the Hon. Secretary, Dr C.L. Fraser, for acting as second coxswain, was to have taken place in Berwick Playhouse on Thursday afternoon (23d instant).

Image 8 - Lifeboat - RNLB Matthew Simpson - Left to Right - Not known, Not known, Not known, John Wood, Knot known, Jack Lough, George Lough, Bartholomew Lough, Thomas Martin (possible), Not known, Not Known, Alex Patterson Lough.

RNLB Matthew Simpson – Left to Right – Not known, Not known, Not known, John Wood, Not known, Jack Lough, George Lough, Bartholomew Lough, Thomas Martin (possible), Not known, Not Known, Alex Patterson Lough.


At the last moment, however, it was decided to postpone the function owing to the limited attendance of the public due to the fact that with the approach of Christmas, there was no usual half holiday.


First World War Letters from the Front – The Christmas Truce.

NRO 8130-17A

A letter from loved ones fighting a brutal war in a foreign country provided some relief for the families left at home; at least it was proof that they were still alive at the time of writing.
Below are some examples published in local newspapers – there was a thirst for knowledge of the war; publishing these letters gave comfort, not only the immediate family, but also to those with relatives in the same regiment or battalion or area of battle.
Letters published early in 1915 revealed the incredible story of the Christmas Truce.


Private Patrick Igo who is serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers, at the Front, in a letter to his mother, who resides at 48, St James’ Square Gateshead, states: “Just a line to let you know I am still going strong. The condition of life out here is rough, and so is the weather, but it the old tale, ‘Stick it Jerry’. There are some fine places in ruins: churches, Catholic convents and homesteads; the handiwork of ‘Jimmy the Germans’. My opinion is that they are getting beaten every day. We are getting plenty of ‘baccy’ and cigarettes from England so you need not worry about smokes.
We have had some casualties since I have been with the regiment, both killed and wounded.
Writing to his brother on December 28, Private Igo says:
There is some hard fighting around the district, where the old ‘Fighting-Fifth’ is located and we are here for our share, when wanted. We came out of action on Christmas Eve for a day or two’s rest, after having occupied some German trenches, which one or two of the kilted regiments had taken from the enemy in the middle of November. I will not forget it for a few Christmas Eves to come, if spared. We lost a few while holding the trenches. The Germans were no more than 40 yards entrenched in front of us; we waited eagerly at dusk for our relief. We all expected a peppering that night.


In a letter written on Boxing Day to Mr Noble of the Broomhill Collieries, Mr Oswald Blunden an Officer of the Honourable Artillery Corps states:
“Your parcel of chocs’ reached me in the firing line; the contents and the good wishes enclosed have already cheered my heart. We are now having a spell of six days in the trenches and the weather has decided to be seasonable. Christmas day was cold and dry and a glorious change from what we have had. All today it has been snowing hard. It’s wee bit ‘parky’ now and then, especially about four or five in the morning. It’s nice to get up, but taking it all round, the cold knocks the mud into a cocked hat.
At the moment I have got a few hours watch on and have to post sentries and see that they are the alert, every now and then. One must not sleep during this time and so in between the rounds I am knocking a few arrears.
Perhaps you may have heard how we spent our Christmas Day. It was the most extraordinary thing possible – mixing-up and holding long talks with the enemy, out in the open and not a shot fired on either side. I got a jolly good German helmet, which I am going to try and send home when we get back to the billets.
There are two of us in my dugout in the trench and the way I have to twist myself in Knots all the time is a sight for the Gods. Now is the time I would like to be 2ft 6in and not 6ft 2in.


Corporal Robert Renton of the Seaforth Highlanders in a letter to Mr and Mrs Renton of Coldstream tells of the way in which Christmas Day was spent at the Front. He writes:
“I never thought we would spend Christmas the way we did. We were in the trenches on Christmas day. On Christmas Eve the Germans in front of us started singing what appeared to be hymns. We were shouting for encores (their trenches are only about 150 yards in front of us), and they kept the singing up all night. On Christmas Day some of them started to shout across to us, to come over for a drink.
It started with one or two going over half-way and meeting the Germans between the two lines of trenches; then it got that there was a big crowd of German and British, all standing together shaking hands and wishing each other a merry Christmas. They were giving us cigars and cheroots to exchange for cigarettes and some of them had bottles of whisky. They seemed a decent crowd that was in front of us.
They were all fairly well dressed and the majority of them could speak broken English. Some of them could speak it as well as myself. They said they were not going to fire for three days. They kept their word too: there was no rifle fire for two days after Christmas. There were two dead Frenchmen between our lines. We could never get out to bury them ‘till that day. The Germans helped us to dig the grave. One of their officers held a service over the graves. It was a sight worth seeing and one not easily forgotten; both Germans and British paying respect to the French dead.

The following was published in the Newcastle Journal Jan 1st 1915:
More stories of Christmas celebrations.


How an unofficial armistice was observed between German and British troops on Christmas Day is related in a letter written by a local officer at the Front to Mr and Mrs Taylor of Braemar, Victoria Avenue, Forest Hall. He writes:
“The Germans looked upon the day as a holiday and never fired a shot, except for a few shells in the early morning to wish us the compliments of the season, after which there was perfect peace and we could hear the Germans singing in their trenches. Later on in the afternoon my attention was called to a large group of men standing up half-way between our trenches and the enemy’s on the right of my trench, so I went out with my Sergeant-Major to investigate and actually found a large party of Germans and our people hob-nobbing together, although an armistice was strictly against regulations, the men had taken it upon their own hands.
I went forward and asked in German what it was all about and if they had an officer there – I was taken up to their officer who offered me a cigar. I talked with them for a short time then both sides returned to their trenches. It was the strangest sight I have ever seen. The officer and I saluted each other gravely, shook hands then went back to shoot at each other. He gave me two cigars one of which I smoked and the other I sent home as a souvenir. If only I had had a camera, I could have sent you an interesting picture. I do not know if this unofficial armistice was general in other parts of the line or not.


Writing from the Front to fiends at Jarrow under date December 26 a soldier thus describes his Christmas Day on the battlefield:
“Things have been remarkably quiet during Christmas, and the infantry went so far as to come out of their trenches. On Christmas Eve an infantryman went into the German trenches at midnight and made himself comfortable. They gave him drinks and smokes and a German soldier accompanied him half-way back to his own trench.
While in the German trenches a British soldier made an arrangement that a truce of 24 hours would be called between his company and the Germans. On Christmas Day soldiers on both sides left the trenches and exchanged greetings, cigars, cigarettes and so on. Where possible the men conversed with each other and exchanged names and addresses”.
The writer proceeds, “I have heard this happened all along the British line, excepting where the Prussians were opposed to it. I had occasion to go down to the trenches and I tried to talk to the Germans. I had my photo taken with them and I wish I could get the proof. Now today it is different. When we were at peace with them yesterday, we were at war today and the guns are roaring as usual and the rifles are being fired. It is a queer time right enough.”


Corporal T.B. Watson now at the front with the 8th Royal Scots (Territorials) in a postcard to his cousin Mr R Smith of the Shipley Street Baths, Newcastle says:
“I had a merry Christmas in spite of those boys 300 yards over the way. We came in here to relieve the Englishmen for Christmas. They in turn will let us have New Year out. It is decent of General _____ to do this as it suits both regiments just fine.
On Christmas Day the greatest thing out took place here – Somehow or other a friendly feeling got up between the Germans and us, so we both left our trenches unarmed and exchanged greetings about 300 yards apart. We were all standing in the open for about 2 hours, waving to each other and shouting and not one shot was fired from either side. This took place in the forenoon. After dinner we were firing and dodging as hard as ever; one could hardly believe that such a thing had taken place.
We are getting hard frost today (December 27) and it makes us busy to try and keep warm but the trenches are cleaner so we are better off that way. Wishing you a ‘Guid New Year’.”

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Derek Holcroft in supplying this article for the Northumberland At War Project.

This Week in World War One, 17 December 1915

Berwick Advertiser title 1915






Interesting Railway Connection – An interesting link with pre-railway days remains in Belford district in the person of Mr John Lockhart, who worked on what is now the Great East Coast route before a train had run from Newcastle to Tweedmouth. Mr Lockart, who is in his 92nd year, enjoys good health. His failing eyesight prevents him reading much, and so he is out of doors as much as possible. He lives with his son in one of the station cottages. Born at North Berwick in 1824, Mr Lockhart has thus lived in five reigns. He came of a long lived stock. His father was 80 when he died, and his grandmother, whom he remembers, was 95.

The station building at Belford railway station on the East Coast Main Line. The station, which is south of Berwick-upon-Tweed, closed in 1968. © Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

The station building at Belford railway station on the East Coast Main Line. The station, which is south of Berwick-upon-Tweed, closed in 1968. © Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.


For no less than 62 years Mr Lockhart worked on the line as platelayer, and for 50 years he lived in one house at Beal, where he had charge of a section. He worked for a year under the contractors who were making the railroad, and the next year he saw the first train which made the journey to Tweedmouth. Most of the coaches were open, and the seats ran the whole length of the carriage. He took the first ticket that was booked from Scremerston to Tweedmouth, and lost it before he reached his destination.

A man of strong religious convictions, he has contributed a great deal to the training of young people in the Sunday Schools of the district. Mr Lockhart is certainly the oldest ex-railwayman in the northern portion of the North Eastern Company’s district, and during his long years of service he was a most conscientious worker.




Quaint Wedding Customs – Great interest was displayed in a wedding which took place on the island on Saturday. The bride was Miss Elizabeth Wilson, eldest daughter of Mr Wilson, churchwarden and school manager, and the bridegroom was Mr George Richardson, of Berwick. The bride was accompanied by her sister, Miss May Wilson, as bridesmaid. The Rev. Irvine Crawshaw conducted the service which was choral, the choristers assembling to honour the bride, who was formerly a chorister.

 Holy Island Bride BRO 0426 1112

Holy Island Bride BRO 0426 1112


Immediately after the ceremony, the quaint custom of jumping the “Petting Stone” was performed by the bride, and on her arrival at her home another quaint custom was observed. A plate filled with cake was thrown over the bride’s head for good luck. The good fortune depends upon the plate being broken. The honour of throwing the plate and cake was allotted to the daughter of the local schoolmaster, and great was the glee of the children as they scrambled for the cake. There was a large number of handsome wedding gifts.





A report of the  Workhouse and Finance Committee showed that consideration had been given as to the selection of tenders for the supply of butcher meat, etc., for the ensuing quarter, and that it was agreed to accept the tender by Messrs Hogarth at the sum of £94 0s 2d.

In answer to queries by Mr Turnbull, it was explained that the only other was £101 18s 2d, and that the following were the quotations given by Messrs Hogarth:- Flanks 12s 6d, necks 14s, haughs 9s, carcases of mutton 10s, all per stone; suet, 8d per lb.; joints, 1s 2d per lb.

It was recommended that the contract for the supply of fresh fish be given to Jane Willock at 7d per lb., and fish for officers (varied) at 8d per lb. from the same contractor.

It was also recommended that the contract for bread be given to J. B. Geggie at 7¾d per four lb., and good seconds at 7½d.


The report by the Workhouse Committee showed that magazines had been received for the inmates from Mrs Kennedy, High Greens, and it was agreed to acknowledge receipt of same with thanks.


The report of the Workhouse Committee also showed that orders had been issued for the supply of one load of straw for the garden; also an easy chair for the laundress room, and that a cheque for £10 be granted to the Master to meet petty expenses.

All the above recommendations were unanimously approved of on the motion of Mrs Willits.

Berwick Advertiser 17 Dec 1915 Dudgeon Advert

Berwick Advertiser 17 December 1915 Christmas and New Year Cakes




Save your potato peelings. If these are dried in the oven, they will help to make the fire burn up very quickly, and one cannot be too economical just now, can we?

Never put a fork into a chop or steak when frying or grilling, as it lets out the juice or flavour of the meat.

Before putting milk on the fire or gas to boil, rinse the saucepan out with water. This will prevent it from burning.

A hot cloth put round the mould will help the jelly or ice to come out without sticking.

Pudding clothes should never be washed with soap. Soak them in cold water, and well rinse in hot and dry in the open air.

When stoning raisins for the pudding this year, rub a little butter on the fingers and knife, and this will relieve that task of raisin-seeding of its discomfort.

Hot milk is an excellent restorative for those who are over-exerted, and many of us feel like this just now at the end of a strenuous day, and sometimes, half the night.




Launching our New Online Exhibition

Though the first part of the Stannington Sanatorium Project has drawn to a close our work with its records has not. After the cataloguing and part-digitisation of a staggering 5041 patient files and digitisation of 14,671 radiographic images we have been given a grant by the Wellcome Trust which will enable us to fully digitise the patient files and re-package them in conservation-grade materials. Through this time the patient files will still be searchable through our online catalogue ( ), and at the end of our year’s project a redacted image of each file will be available alongside its reference.
To mark the close of the project’s first phase we are pleased to announce we have put together an online exhibition to allow the records to be explored. The exhibition uses three sections to tell the story of the Sanatorium. In the first part, ‘Examining the patients’, where you can click on parts of a body to explore some examples from the patient files of how Tuberculosis affected different areas of the body and how each case would be treated. In ‘Tour Stannington’ you can click on links for different parts of the building to learn about the different rooms that comprised the Sanatorium, the stories of the staff and patients and their life in the Sanatorium. Click on ‘Gallery’ to find all of the images from the exhibition in one place – those of the buildings, staff and patients, and medical images of patients each labelled with the type of Tuberculosis the patient suffered from. We hope you enjoy looking at through the result of the hard work that went into the first phase of the project. The exhibition can be viewed here:
Our new project assistant and digitisation assistant are beginning their new roles, and another post will follow in the New Year. The second part of the project by its nature will have a different outlook to the first, but look out for new blog postings of how it proceeds over the coming months. If you have any enquiries regarding the Stannington Collection please contact the archives at

This Week in World War One, 10 December 1915

Berwick Advertiser title 1915






The arrangements for the above sale, in aid of Red Cross and Relief Funds, to be held at Wooler Auction Mart, on Wednesday, 22nd Dec., are now well advanced. A very hearty response has been made to the appeal, and would be contributors are reminded that notice of their gifts should be forwarded to the secretary (Mr R. S. G. Thompson, Auction Offices, Glanton), not later than Saturday first, the 11th December, as inclusion in the catalogue cannot be guaranteed after the date. To the present time the contributions include 6 fat and store cattle, about 140 fat and store sheep, fat  and keeping pigs, a donkey, fat and stock poultry, dogs, potatoes, oats, feeding stuffs, sheep dip, seeds, farm implements and harness, and a large quantity of domestic and other useful articles. The catalogue, price 3d, can be had on application to the Secretary, or can be purchased on the day of the sale.

Red Cross Donkeys, Gallipoli 1915

Red Cross Donkeys, Gallipoli 1915


The sale will open by Mrs Burdon of Wooperton, and the Hon. F. W. Lambton of Fenton will be chairman. Present indications point to very successful sale, and the committee will be able to hand over a goodly sum, which will be supplemented by many handsome donations already advised, to the various worthy objects which they are supporting.




An accident took place on the Old Bridge, Berwick, on Sunday night about 6.40 pm., Nora Loft, a young woman residing at 25 Ravensdown being badly wounded in the leg above the knee by a bullet from the rifle of a sentry.

Berwick upon Tweed, Old Bridge

The photograph above shows the Berwick end of the Berwick Bridge, where the accidental shooting of Miss Loft took place. © Berwick Record Office.


It appears that about 6.40 James Edward Allan, Post Office, Chatton, left the town in charge of a motor car by way of the Old Bridge, and upon reaching the sentry box on the top of  the rise was challenged by one of the sentries on duty there. Two men were upon duty, they being Private McLary and Private W. Fortin, and on Mr Allan’s car approaching, McLary challenged it and called upon them to halt. It is stated that the challenge was given three times, but the car failed to draw up, and McLary immediately the car had passed fired apparently with the intention of hitting the back tyre.

Berwick Infirmary and Dispensary (built 1840), as it would have looked when Miss Loft was taken there to have her gunshot wound treated in 1915. © Berwick Record Office.

Berwick Infirmary and Dispensary (built 1840), as it would have looked when Miss Loft was taken there to have her gunshot wound treated in 1915. © Berwick Record Office.


Miss Loft, who was on the footpath on the opposite side of the bridge, received the bullet in her leg about the knee the bone being broken by the force of impact. Assistance was at once rendered to the unfortunate young woman, and she was placed in the car and driven to the Infirmary by Mr Allan, and under the care of Sergeant McRobb, her wound receiving the attention of Dr C. L. Fraser upon arrival at the institution. We understand that Miss Loft’s condition has improved over night.




The Coroner has concluded his enquiry at York into the circumstances attending the  death of Mr Wm. Kelsey (35), of 14 Armstrong Avenue, Newcastle, managing director of the Hylton Forge, Sunderland, who died from a bullet wound received whilst travelling in the 2.20 pm East Coast express from King’s Cross to Edinburgh, between Doncaster and Selby. In connection with the occurrence the police detained Private J. D. Tait, 3rd Coldstream Guards whose home is at Berwick-on-Tweed, and who was returning from France on a few days leave. Tait is alleged to have fired the fatal shot whilst showing his rifle to the occupants of one compartment. The bullet passed through the rear partition and struck the deceased, who was in the next compartment, in the arm and chest, severing important arteries, and he died in the York County Hospital the same day. It appears that Tait was drunk, and had a bottle of whiskey which was frequently passed round on the journey. Tait ultimately got up, took his rifle from the rack, pulled the bolt back, and closed it again, and the weapon immediately went off. The bullet passed through the back of the compartment above the seat. The Coroner, Mr J R Wood, in summing up, said the only question in that regrettable occurrence was whether there was culpable negligence on the part of Tait. The jury found a verdict of “Death from misadventure”, the Foreman adding: As this is not the first case of this kind the jury are strongly of opinion that all ammunition should be taken from every soldier before leaving for home. They also desire to express their sympathy with the relative of Mr Kelsy. Mr Straker said the relatives of the deceased had already personally expressed their sympathy with Tait, in the sad position in which he was placed. The Coroner said he was very glad the jury had seen their way to take the view they had. All he would say to Tait was “Follow the example of your King.” Tait returned with the police to Selby where it is understood he will be discharged from custody.




Once more Messrs Tuck have issued a fine collection of highly artistic novelties, comprising a varied array of Christmas and New Year Cards, Christmas Autograph Stationery, Calendars, Gift Books, Toy Books for the children, Art Novelties and Christmas Postcards of every description.

A Christmas postcard showing a group of soldiers on the march in World War One. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

A Christmas postcard showing a group of soldiers on the march in World War One. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.


In face of the many difficulties with which the art printer is confronted at the present time, Messrs Tuck have made a most remarkable effort to upload the reputation which has been worthily won in seasons past. British art, British enterprise, and true British perseverance has resulted in a production of art novelties which equal if they do not excel the many lovely cards of former years. A special series of Patriotic Christmas Cards in keeping with the spirit of the times is also introduced, an important feature throughout the entire collection  being the appropriate greetings and wording suitable not only to the period of peace and goodwill but mindful in its chastened note of the sacrifices which this World’s War has entailed upon the Nation.




This Week in World War One, 3rd December 1915

Berwick Advertiser title 1915






Hopeville, Castle Terrace,


November 27th, 1915

Sir, – May I venture through your columns, to make an appeal on behalf of the fifty men from our Borough who are serving with the Northern Cyclists in Lincolnshire? The Captain of their company writes that mufflers, mitts, and gloves would be most useful to them, and the Committee of the Guild of Aid have requested me, as their President, to ask you to kindly make this known. They would be very grateful if friends could let them have, as soon as possible, 50 mufflers and 50 pairs of mitts or gloves. They can be sent, either to

WW1 Sirdar wools knitting patterns.

WW1 Sirdar wools knitting patterns.

me, or to the Townhall, and will be forwarded at once. May I state for the information of any who may not know the working of our Guild of Aid, that, although we are now affiliated to the War Office scheme, which will send us word, from time to time, of its special requirements, that we also gladly receive any Tuesday afternoon from 3 to 3.30. at the Townhall, any comforts, socks, mitts, gloves, mufflers, etc., and these are distributed as the need arises, or requests are made.

This month we have sent 50 pairs of socks to the Tyneside Scottish through Mrs Crosbie; 30 pairs of socks to the 1st Garrison Battalion, the Royal Scots, through Miss Wilkie-Lalyell; and 25 shirts and 25 pairs socks to the Belgian soldiers in the trenches.

Through the kindness of Mrs Leyland, in giving us a donation of £2 for the purchase of material, a parcel is being made up and will be sent shortly to the Serbian refugees.

To carry on this work all sorts of woollen comforts, material, and money are required, and for these we make an urgent appeal to the public. The smallest donation of money will be gratefully received by Miss Miller, Longstone View.

Money is needed for the material, and the carriage of all parcels not connected with the Government scheme, so, for this we earnestly ask the men of our town and district, whose women are so nobly giving of their time in making the various garments.

Trusting that I have not taken up too much of your space, and thanking you for your courtesy in inserting this letter.

Believe me,

Yours sincerely,






Before the Mayor (Ald. J.W.Plenderleith), H. G. McCreath, Esq., A. J. Dodds, Esq., Thos. Purves, Esq., D. W. H. Askew, Esq., Robt. Boston, Esq., and Alex. Darling, Esq.


Mary Ann Weatherburn, married woman, Berwick, was charged with the larceny of a quantity of household goods the property of Robert Grieve, on the 30th October, 1915.

Chief Constable said this woman was apprehended on warrant the night previously. Grieve, the prosecutor, lived near this woman, and was absent frequently, being a salmon fisher and rabbit catcher. He had been missing things from his house, and suspected the accused. A warrant was taken out, and her house was searched. Grieve would speak to the articles being his. He would ask for a remand to next Thursday so that they might attempt to recover other goods.

Robert Grieve gave evidence of having missed certain articles from his house in Hatter’s Lane. He was frequently away from his house having been employed first as a salmon fisher and later as a rabbit catcher. Mrs Weatherburn lived next to him in Hatter’s Lane. He identified the forks produced as his; they were over one hundred years old. The plates produced were also his, he having purchased them in 1873 from the late Mr Andrew Thompson.

Sergeant Wilson spoke to having received a warrant for the search of the house of the accused, and the recovery of one of the articles produced in Court. He later went round the pawnshops and recovered the two plates at Mrs Macmillan’s.

This being all the evidence proposed to be led to justify a remand, the Chief Constable moved accordingly.

The Mayor – have you anything to say against your being remanded?

Accused – yes, your worship. I am quite innocent of having taken them.

The Chief Constable asked that the accused be allowed out on bail. In the ordinary course she would have to go to Newcastle, but as she had a young infant, he would ask their worships to liberate her on bail.

Bail was fixed at five pounds, the accused entering into it on her own recognisance.




Women worked in many occupations on the railway in WW1. This photograph shows them as carriage cleaners

The N.E.R. Women Clerks – Not to be Withdrawn after War. – As the result of a deputation representing the clerical staff on the North Eastern Railway to the railway directors, it is stated that Sir Alexander Kaye Butterworth had promised to reply in writing with regard to the application for an advance of 25 percent in wages. Sir Alexander also undertook to inquire into the question of allowances to dependants of enlisted men and the proposal to grant them a war bonus. He declined to give an undertaking that women clerks would be dispensed with after the war, but said that male clerks would be reinstated, and that the necessity now imposed upon the company of employing women would not be exploited.

Pictured right women worked in many occupations on the railway in WW1. This photograph shows them as carriage cleaners.






Sir,- The local administration of the regulations for the lighting of shops has at last become intolerable. Since the end of summer we have been worried and bullied and threatened by the police. Some have even been fined. So great has become this tyranny that the faintest glimmer of light at times, even the opening of a door results in a visit from a policeman.

Early 1900s photograph of the High Street, from the Scotsgate Arch. © Berwick Record Office BRO 1636-2-9

Early 1900s photograph of the High Street, from the Scotsgate Arch. © Berwick Record Office BRO 1636-2-9


With this state of affairs prevailing in my neighbourhood you can imagine my amazement the other night when I came across a shop in the middle of High Street ablaze with light. Both windows, and they are exceptionally high ones, were illuminated from ceiling to floor. No action would appear to have been taken in the case, for the offence has been repeated nightly. And the firm to which this special privilege has been granted is a multiple one, strangers who have not yet contributed a penny to our rates.

Are the police granting favours to some shops to the disadvantage of others? Are they discriminate as to which shops shall be lighted? If so then there is an end to the respect due to those who keep the peace.