Archive for February 2016

This Week in World War One, 18 February 1916

Berwick Advertiser title 1915






Mr Winston, The Eyesight Specialist, has been persuaded to remain another week until Saturday, 26th February.

In consequence of numerous applications from those whom he was unable to attend to during the last five days of his sojourn in Berwick, Mr Winston has decided to remain another week with us, and give those who have not yet had the opportunity of interviewing him the advantage of his free advice.

Retinoscopy at the School Travelling Ophthalmic Clinic, Australia. Dated 1st January, 1914. © State Records New South Wales, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Retinoscopy at the School Travelling Ophthalmic Clinic, Australia. Dated 1st January, 1914. © State Records New South Wales, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.



It must be distinctly understood that Mr Winston does not pose as an oculist, that, is, according to the dictionary, “once skilled in diseases of the eyes,” but he claims to be, and is justified in doing so, the most expert specialist Optometrist or Optician in England. He has tested the eyesight of no fewer that a hundred thousand people in London alone during the past five years, and has fitted glasses to sixty thousand of them in his store, 72 Regent Street. The chemist is not an optician, neither is the doctor, nor the oculist even. Their education and experience have taught them the nature and use of drugs with regard to ailments, but for impaired vision the scientific optician is the man.


Mr Winston has found during the past week that the strenuous work the war has thrown upon women has considerably affected their eyes – probably previously weak- and has produced in numerous cases those terrible headaches from which so many women suffer. He has in the majority of cases recommended a cheap pair of lenses to use when they are at work, but which they need not use and – as they think – disfigure themselves afterwards. Make the most of the opportunity of seeing Mr Winston, as he will not be able to stop in BERWICK ANY LONGER THAN FEB. 26th inclusive.

Mr Winston can now be seen by anyone from 10 to 1 or 2 to 7.30, at the CORN EXCHANGE, BERWICK-ON-TWEED, and they can obtain advice perfectly free of any charge. So do not neglect an opportunity which may never occur again. Special appointments can be arranged by post. N.B.- A written guarantee with all work for ten years.





Elizabeth Gleig, Berwick, married, was charged with allowing the chimney of her house in East Street to be on fire on Thursday, 10th inst.

Police Constable Watt stated that the chimney was very dirty and clouds of smoke issued. He could see these from the top of Hide Hill. It burned for a quarter of an hour. On proceeding to the house he found it was the room chimney which had caught fire, and a young boy had been using an old tray to create a draught. The defendant told him that the chimney had not been swept for two years, and that the fire was not often kindled.

The defendant stated that since her husband joined the army she had using the room, as the kitchen was infested with rats. She had been two years in the house, and as she never used the room until recently the chimney had not been swept.

She was fined 2s 6d.



Local Fancier’s Important win – Showing at Crufts Great International Dog Show, held in the Royal Agricultural Hall, London, February 9th, 10th, and 11th, Mr David Black, Berwick, successfully brought out a smart home-bred bull dog puppy, and won second prize Dog Puppies (14 entries), third prize Junior Dogs, and v.h.c. Maiden Dogs (18 entries). Crufts is acknowledged to be the greatest dog show held throughout the year, and some idea may be gathered from the fact that the total entries reached the enormous number of 3,235. It is interesting to note that this show was honoured with double Royal patronage, both the King and Queen being first prize winners with their exhibits.

Irish Woolfhound 'Felixstowe Regan,' who was the winner of the Dog CC at Crufts,in 1916.

Irish Woolfhound ‘Felixstowe Regan,’ who was the winner of the Dog CC at Crufts,in 1916.


Engine Derailed on Border Bridge – On Wednesday morning a North British goods engine went off the rails as it was proceeding from Tweedmouth to Berwick. The engine had just entered on the second arch of the Royal Border Bridge when it became derailed, the result being that it blocked both lines. The 7.45 train from Edinburgh was delayed half an hour at Berwick ere [sic] one of the lines was cleared. The traffic had to be conducted on a single line all forenoon, and a break-down gang from Tweedmouth were busily engaged with a crane replacing the engine on the metals. The cause of the accident is unknown, and fortunately no one was injured.

Royal Border Bridge ealry 1990s. © Berwick Record Office - BRO 515 377

Royal Border Bridge early 1900s. © Berwick Record Office – BRO 515 377




Average houses have been present during the past week and have greatly appreciated the programme provided. For the coming week the management have arranged a bill of exceptional merit. “The Counterfeiter” a new and powerful Sexton Blake drama will be screened on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and being full of exciting incidents and movements from start to finish, it should indeed prove a popular choice. The latter part of the week will provide a film of no mean order entitled “Every Woman Should Know.” The picture is a revelation of highly skilled acting, and being essentially a morality play, should these times, with all their disturbing element, create quite a sensation. In it, woman descends into the lowest depths, following the lure of vanity, flattery, vice and evil, only at the last moment to turn aside from the path of sin and embrace the spirit of God, which has ever followed her. This week’s vaudeville performance stars the “original Pimple,” formerly of “Tom White’s Arabs” fame. Patrons would be well advised to see this screaming turn.

Working as the Stannington Sanatorium Project Assistant

As the Stannington Sanatorium Project Assistant my responsibility is to ensure the good preservation and access to the Stannington Sanatorium records. Since early November I have been removing boxes of our patient files from the shelves and repackaging them. This follows a set process. First I begin by opening the file and separating out the core documents from the other contents of the file, and securing them to the inside of the file with an archival quality brass paper clip. The core documents include X-ray records, discharge reports, treatment notes and case notes. These contain a wealth of information about each patient’s treatment and health during their time at the Sanatorium. The non-core documents vary greatly in content, usually (but not always) including temperature charts, a history of illness and medical permissions form completed by parents, reports and letters of their transfer. There are often a number of other documents included, and

A repackaged file with supplies - unfolded card folder, archival tape, Brass paper clips and a bone folder for folding the flaps of the folders.

A repackaged file with supplies – unfolded card folder, archival tape, Brass paper clips and a bone folder for folding the flaps of the folders.

we will look more closely at the contents of the files in a future blog. I also ensure the file itself is in good order for its conservation, that there is no yellowing sticky tape, old paper clips or pins that may corrode.


It is then folded with an archival-grade four-flapped envelope, which we were able to purchase thanks to our Wellcome Trust grant. These are high-quality, acid-free card envelopes; an excellent way to protect the documents from damage and dust ingress. This is then given a printed label with the file’s reference number, and tied together in acid-free archival tape tied with a quick-release knot. Due to the thickness of the files after their repackaging additional boxes are required, and I estimate repackaging will at least double the number of boxes the collection occupies.

Files yet to be repackaged on their temporary shelving

Files yet to be repackaged on their temporary shelving

This all has to be given extra space within the Northumberland Archives strongrooms. I have moved the boxes yet to be repackaged to a new temporary location, and am refilling the shelves as the boxes are completed, updating their location references as I go. I have just passed the halfway mark, but there is a lot still to be done!

Once completed however, the records don’t just sit unused. We often have Subject Access Enquiries, usually made by former Stannington patients wishing to see their records, and these are dealt with by our research team. We require authentication and permission to do this, which can take some time. The documents are not only useful for finding out more about individual lives, but for research into tuberculosis in children and the history of its treatment. A number of research institutions have looked at redacted images of the files and radiographs, to learn more about Tuberculosis.

Repackaged boxes of files at their new permanent location

Repackaged boxes of files at their new permanent location

This has to be done with the strictest patient confidentiality, and we will discuss more about the redaction process in future blogs. A former colleague at the Northumberland Archives, Becky Cessford, is looking at the uses of the Stannington Sanatorium collection in the wider fields of archaeology of human remains, history of medicine and archival outreach in her PhD. She will discuss her fascinating project in a blog post for us sometime soon. It is fantastic that the records are being used by former patients and researchers as such a valuable collection should be appreciated. The team last year started to raise the collection’s profile through these blogs, talks, an online exhibition and a touring exhibition, and I hope to be able to carry on some of this in phase two. You can see the online exhibition at, and the touring exhibition will soon be moving from libraries across Northumberland to HM Prison Acklington until late March.

This Week in World War One, 4 February 1916

Berwick Advertiser title 1915






WW1 Weldon's Garments

WW1 Weldon’s Garments

Soldiers’ Comforts – A meeting of the Committee will be held in the Seahouses Reading Room on Friday evening at 8 p.m. to receive Treasurer’s balance sheet and make arrangements for disposal of remainder of woollen comforts. Since last report the Treasurer begs to acknowledge receipt of 4 pairs of mittens from Miss Martha Scott and socks from Mrs John Tully, Wooler. Total receipts to the fund in money has amounted to £26 and tenpence; expenditure amounts to £25 11s 1d, leaving a balance in hand of 9s 9d only, which will be expended in postages on the woollen comforts left. One hundred and four parcels have been despatched and there are on hand 13 pairs of socks, 6 mufflers, and 7 pairs of mittens. Unless the Treasurer receives further donations apparently the good work carried on by the Committee must cease.

Parochial Tea – The annual Parochial tea and concert in connection with St. Paul’s Church was held in the Church Institute. Owing to the war the gathering was not held last year. On this occasion the building was literally packed. Cakes, etc., were provided by the ladies of the parish, and the tables were laden with good things. Following the tea an excellent concert was given at which the Vicar presided. Mr Wilton, scoutmaster, Bamburgh, caused endless merriment with his conjuring and ventriloquism and Mr Wm, Sordy of Warkworth (Jolly Sun) in his comic songs received quite an ovation. The programme was completed by local talent, assisted by members of the Cyclist Battalion stationed at Seahouses, and all were exceedingly well received. Proceeds for Church work amounted to over £16 nett.




Berwick Town Hall, Steeple © Nifanion, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Berwick Town Hall, Steeple © Nifanion, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Suspension of the Five o’clock Bell – The Borough police have been advised by the War Office and Admiralty that during war time, and until further notice, there is to be a stop put to the ringing of certain bells in the town between sunset and sunrise. In this connection it is interesting to recall the fact that as far back as August last the attention of the Admiralty was directed to the risk and danger run in ringing an early morning bell for a full quarter of an hour, as well as from a similar thing taking place in the evening. A brief acknowledgment was received from the Admiralty, and on the 30th August the following further communication was sent: – Sir, I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to thank you for your letter of the 23rd instant, relative to the noise caused by the bells of Berwick-on-Tweed, and to acquaint you that it is not considered that the ringing of these bells exposes the town to any appreciated extra risk of aircraft attack. I am, sir, your obedient servant, W. Graham Greene.

Local Will – Mr William Tenant, of Brow of the Hill, Berwick-upon-Tweed, formerly of Bankhead, Horncliffe, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, left estate valued at £12,933 17s 4d, with net personalty £7,140 16s 2d. Mrs Catherine Tenant, his widow, Miss Elizabeth Christina Tenant, his daughter, Mr William Cowe Richardson, of Langlea, Berwick, and Mr James Cowe Richardson, of 11, High Street, Berwick, grocer, are the executors. Testator leaves £20 to James Cowe Richardson, and the rest of his property in trust for his wife, for life, and then in specific bequests for his children and grandchildren.




Whist Drive and Social – On Monday even the convalescent soldiers resident at Etal Manor were entertained to a whist drive and supper in the Etal Schoolroom by several ladies of the village. The arrangements were in the hands of Mrs Hall, Mrs Wallace, and Miss H. Armstrong, and thanks to their untiring efforts and hospitality the gathering was an unqualified success. The company included the Commandant at Etal Manor, Miss M. L. Gray, the Rev. R. C. Hall, the Nursing staff, and a large number of lady friends.



The following were the prize winners:- Ladies-1st, Nurse Gray; 2nd, Nurse Paterson, 3rd, Nurse Tait – Gent’s – 1st, private Morgan; 2nd, Sergeant B. H. Flood; 3rd, Private Wales. The prizes were gracefully presented to the recipients by the little daughter of the Rev. and Mrs Hall. A substantial repast was partaken of, and the rest of the evening was spent in a social manner. A hearty vote of thanks was accorded on the motion of the senior N.C.O. to all who had contributed to the evening’s enjoyment. The singing of the national Anthem brought a most successful and enjoyable evening to a close. Mrs Chamberlain ably officiated at the piano, kindly lent by Mrs Fordyce.




Mr George Atchison of Barmoor Mill and his wife, who is the fourth daughter of the late Mr James Smith, East Allerdean, have just celebrated their golden wedding. The happy event was made the occasion of much rejoicing at Lavrock Law on Wednesday, 19th January. Six of the remaining children of the marriage were present along with their nine children, as well as a number of friends, and a very pleasant and enjoyable evening was spent. It is pleasing to know that both the old couple enjoy good health, being as young in spirit and as much in love with each other as they were in 1866. The children of the union are as follows: – Robert (deceased), James, George, Mary, Isabella, Sarah (deceased), Margaret, and Jane.