Archive for March 2016

This Week in World War One, 24 March 1916

Berwick Advertiser title 1915

 

BERWICK ADVERTISER, 24 MARCH 1916

 

ROLL OF HONOUR

“Advertiser” Men Serving Their King and Country

 

Private JOHN STRAFFEN, London Regiment.

Corporal HECTOR JACKSON, Royal Scots.

Sapper JOHN R NOBLE, Royal Engineers.

Private JOHN BROGAN, Northern Cyclists.

Corporal ROBERT M. LEYDEN, 7th N.F.

Sergeant CHAS. N. NOBLE, 7th N.F.

Private JOHN M. JOHNSTON, R.A.M.C.

Private GEORGE RUTHERFORD, 7th N.F.

Private JOHN M.BURTON, Motor Transport.

Lance-Corporal EDWARD F. S. HARVEY, 7th N.F.

Captain HENRY R. SMAIL, 7th N.F.

Enlisted under Group System:-

KERR MIDDLEMISS, ROBERT M. BRUCE

Rejected:-

JAMES M. ROBERTS, JAMES M. FRIAR.

On Munition Work – THOMAS KENNEDY.

 

Berwick Advertiser, 24 March 1916 Ralph Dodds & Son Advert

Berwick Advertiser, 24 March 1916 Ralph Dodds & Son Advert

 

DEATH OF EX-SUPERINTENDENT

JOHN GARDEN, BERWICK

 

24 March 1916 Death of Ex Superintendant John Garden Image

It is with deep feelings of regret that we record the death of Ex-superintendent John Garden, Berwick, the sad event having taken place at his house in Scots Place, in the early part of Monday afternoon. For some considerable time the deceased gentleman has been far from his usual health, and a more acute stage having been reached within the past few weeks, he became slowly weaker, and passed peacefully away. Mr Garden was a prominent figure at one time in the town, his duties of Chief Constable keeping him more or less in the public eye. In later years, after retiring from this office, he devoted much of his leisure to the services of the community, by giving of his best to the deliberations and exacting Committee Work of the Board of Guardians. The office of Chief Constable is one not altogether calculated to make a man at all popular, but in the person of the late gentleman there was one who could, be charitable in his views upon men, merciful when such might perchance help an erring brother, and stern when following up a clue to the detection of serious crime. These traits of character won for him the respect and esteem of all, and he retired from his official position, it may be truly said, without an enemy in the town or district, and accepted as a trusted friend by all classes. The sympathy of all goes out to the family in this their sore bereavement.

 

BELFORD

A row of Miners Cottages, Pit Village, Beamish Museum. © Bill Henderson, 2013. Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0.

A row of Miners Cottages, Pit Village, Beamish Museum. © Bill Henderson, 2013. Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0.

Golden Wedding. – Mr and Mrs Robert Donaldson, of the Miners’ Homes, Broomhill, celebrated their golden wedding on Monday last. The worthy old couple were married at Belford on the 13th March, 1866. The husband belonged to North Sunderland, and his wife, then Isabella Younger, to Shawdon Woodhouse. Mr Donaldson was afterwards employed as a miner till about twenty years ago, when his health failed, and he and his wife became residents of the Miners’ Homes at Broomhill. They had a family of ten children, five sons and five daughters, of whom four sons and four daughters are living. The old people were warmly congratulated upon the attainment of their golden wedding, and a nice little present will be made to them in honour of the event. Mr and Mrs Donaldson have 22 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Two of his sons are serving with the colours, and the others reside at Radcliffe and Amble respectively. There are surviving four generations on the female side, and three generations on the male side.

 

LOCAL NEWS

 

After 30 Years’ Service – The death occurred at his house, 4 Deputy Row, Scremerston, on Tuesday, of Mr Henry Patterson, colliery weigh-man, for thirty years in the employ of the Scremerston Coal Company. Mr Patterson has been in failing health for some time, and although death came rather suddenly in the end the melancholy event was not unlooked for.

BRO 0515-211 (SCREMERSTON) (c) Berwick Record Office

BRO 0515-211 (SCREMERSTON) (c) Berwick Record Office

 

The deceased was at one time a prominent member of Berwick Parish Church Choir, and since going to reside at Scremerson, he has been actively associated with the church there, being a sidesman and later being appointed peoples warden. He was associated with the old volunteer movement in the Borough, and was also a member of the now defunct Tweedside Rowing Club. He was also a member of the local lodge of Oddfellows.

 

 

World Tuberculosis Day 2016!

In honour of World Tuberculosis Day, we have a guest blog from Rebecca Cessford. Rebecca is a PhD researcher with the AHRC funded Heritage Consortium based at the Universities of Hull and Bradford. She will be using the Stannington Sanatorium Collection to study tuberculosis in the past using the archaeology of human remains and medical history. Here she tells us about her research and the role of the Stannington Collection in it.

 

When we think of tuberculosis (TB), images are conjured of a romantic disease causing a bloody cough, a pale complexion and weight-loss, the romanticised disease of the 19th century. What we do not think of is TB roaming the streets today. But tuberculosis is still a great threat, with over a million people dying of the disease each year and over 6,500 new cases declared in the UK during 2014. With increasing multidrug resistant strains of tuberculosis, is it possible to look back at a time before antibiotic drug therapy to better understand the future of this global emergency?

Early Discovery, Early Recovery 1929. Image from the National Library of Medicine, USA

Early Discovery, Early Recovery 1929. Image from the National Library of Medicine, USA

 

Tuberculosis is a disease that extends as far back as the Neolithic period in Europe, with the earliest case reported in England coming from Dorset dating to the Iron Age. However, our ability to identify tuberculosis in skeletal remains from archaeological contexts is difficult. Firstly, tuberculosis of the bones and joints only affects 3-5% of all cases. Secondly, bone can only react to disease in a limited number of ways with many diseases causing similar bony destruction and remodelling. There are also problems identifying tuberculosis in the remains of children, due mainly to the under-representation of children in the archaeological record.

The most characteristic feature of tuberculosis in the skeleton is Pott’s Spine, an angular deformity in the mid to lower spinal column caused by the collapse of one or more vertebral bodies. The presence of this deformity has, for many years, been the only way of diagnosing tuberculosis in human remains with any certainty, despite the fact that any bone in the body can be affected. Advances in ancient DNA and biomolecular studies in archaeology mean tuberculosis can be tested for, even in the absence of any physical pathologies. However, these destructive and costly procedures are not without their limitations, still leaving much reliance on routine macroscopic observations (seen with the naked eye) of dry bone remains.

Pott's Spine the main diagnostic feature of tuberculosis in skeletal remains. Image courtesy of https://www.dur.ac.uk/images/archaeology/researchprojects/Roberts_TB.jpg

Pott’s Spine – characteristic collapse of the vertebral bodies causing an angular deformity of the spine due to tuberculosis. Image from University of Durham.

 

My research aims to look at the potential for using pre-antibiotic clinical radiographs (x- rays) as an aid to the macroscopic identification of tuberculosis in human remains, focussing specifically on infants and children. To do this, I intend to undertake a thorough examination of all the radiographs demonstrating skeletal tuberculosis to look at variations in progression of disease over time; the outcomes of healing on bones and the distribution of tuberculosis across the body where more than one bone was involved. In addition to this I will look at the corresponding medical file for each set of radiographs drawing on details outlined in the medical notes and x-ray reports to add to my own observations from the radiographs for an informed review of the underlying processes to bone and soft tissue being observed. It is hoped that the compilation of this data will provide a more detailed understanding of the processes involved in advancing tuberculous infection with comparative examples from pre-antibiotic radiographs. This strives to increase the ability to diagnose tuberculosis in archaeological remains even in the absence of Pott’s Spine.

 

Tuberculosis of the Knee: HOSP-STAN-07-01-02-91_09

Tuberculosis of the Knee: HOSP-STAN-07-01-02-91_09

Tuberculosis of the Spine - HOSP-STAN-07-01-02-1662-22

Tuberculosis of the Spine – HOSP-STAN-07-01-02-1662-22

Tuberculosis affecting the finger bones: HOSP-STAN-07-01-02-641_07

Tuberculosis affecting the finger bones: HOSP-STAN-07-01-02-641_07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By studying the patterns of tuberculosis in the past we are better informed when it comes to dealing with the disease in the present and in the future. To be able to offer an evidence-based and informed approach to tackling tuberculosis we need better criteria for diagnosing it macroscopically in archaeological human remains, to get a more encompassing view of the various manifestations associated with it. The outcomes of my research will aim to act as an aid to the identification and study of tuberculosis in children in relation to archaeological remains further identifying the worth of pre-antibiotic medical records.

The Stannington Collection is a unique resource for studying this long standing infectious disease in children from the early to mid-20th century, many of which are still alive today living with the memories and/or side effects of the disease. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the former patients of Stannington Sanatorium who expressed support for academic research to be undertaken on the collection during the first phase of the Stannington Sanatorium Project; their support makes research all the more worthwhile.

This Week in World War One, 10 March 1916

Berwick Advertiser title 1915

 

BERWICK ADVERTISER, 10 MARCH 1916

 

LOCAL NEWS

 

Memorial in Parish Church to late Mr Stephen Sanderson – At a meeting of Berwick Vestry on Friday the application by the Vicar and Churchwardens for the erection of a brass tablet in memory of the late Mr Stephen Sanderson. The Elms, and his wife, came up for consideration. It was explained that the brass would be 34 by 24 with a teak frame 36 by 26, and that it was proposed to place it in the north wall of the Church above the tablet in memory of Capt. Forbes, who was a great friend of the late Mr Sanderson. On the motion of the Vicar, seconded by Mr. Forsyth, it was agreed to apply for a faculty from the Chancellor for the erection of the tablet.

Berwick Parish Church. © John Box - Friends of Berwick and District Museum and Archives website.

Berwick Parish Church. © John Box – Friends of Berwick and District Museum and Archives website.

 

Women on Land. – It is estimated that probably 200,000 men have been withdrawn from various agricultural pursuits. This affords some justification for the unwillingness of the Board of Agriculture to consent to any further great depletion of rural labour through enlistment until measures are adopted for securing the maintenance of home-grown food supplies. A great demand exists for women’s labour on the land, and the Women’s National Land Service Corps has been formed to carry on a great recruiting campaign in town and country. It appears that through existing local agencies only 14,000 women have volunteered for what must be regarded as a patriotic service. The Land Service Corps received a send-off from Mr Walter Long and Viscount Milner. The latter is Chairman of the Committee on Home Production of Food. Appeals on the ground of patriotism will be made to women of all classes throughout England and Scotland, and it is confidently anticipated that the call will be answered. Educated women are asked to come forward and undergo a short course of training which will enable them to act as forewomen to places where there is a dearth of competent overseers.

Farm workers posing as a group.

Farm workers posing as a group. © Hampshire and Solent Museums – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

 

BERWICK PETTY SESSIONS

Deserter’s Walkergate Refuge

 

John Brown, private in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, was charged with having been an absentee or deserter from the 3rd Battalion of the KOSB at Portobello.

The Chief Constable explained that the accused was found in the house of a married woman at the above address, where he was apprehended. The accused pleaded guilty.

Sergeant Wm. Glover stated that he received a telegraphic message from Portobello on Monday morning stating that the accused had been an absentee since Tuesday, 15th February, and that he was supposed to be about Berwick. He informed the police.

Police Constable Spiers deponed that he apprehended the accused in a house at 43, Walkergate, belonging to Mrs Mary Ann Foster or Wood. The accused had been there a fortnight, and had been absent from his regiment three weeks altogether,

The bench remanded the accused to await the arrival of a military escort.

 

BERWICK LADIES’ DISTRICT NURSING ASSOCIATION, Q.V.J.I.N

 

L0006733 Nursing: portraits and uniforms

Dame Rosalind Paget, a 1st Queen’s nurse and Inspector. © Welcome Trust – Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.

The report of work undertaken by the Queen’s Nurses in connection with the above Association, and of gifts received during the month of February, is as follows; – Commencing on the 1st with 49 cases transferred from January until the 29th February, 45 new patients were registered (Berwick 27, Tweedmouth 9, Spittal 9),making a total of 94 to whom they attended. Of these 37 were removed from the books as convalescent and 3 died, leaving 54 transferred to the present month. During the month nurses paid 1061 visits, and issued on loan amongst the sick 14 nursing appliances and 20 articles of clothing. The following gifts were also received; for all of which the Executive Committee tender their sincere thanks to  the donors; – Miss Pearson, Ava Lodge; bovril and eggs; Miss Willoby, Ravesdowne, bed linen; Wallace Green Girls Auxiliary, cakes; Mr Lyall, Ravensdowne, old linen; Mrs Mackay, Castlegate, clothing. The Committee gratefully acknowlege the following donations to the Funds of the Association: – A Friend, Berwick, 2s 6d; a Grateful Mother, Berwick, 2s 6d; Mr Robert Dudgeon, Walkergate, 10s; A Grateful patient, Tweedmouth, 5s. Gifts of eggs, soup, clothing, etc., will be greatly welcomed, and may be sent to the Head Nurse, Q.V. Nurses’ Home, Quay Walls – all such being acknowledged monthly in the local papers.

 

William Pugmire – Blyth Man who died of self-inflicted gun shot wounds.

Image supplied by Dinitrios Corcodilos.

Image supplied by Dinitrios Corcodilos.

A few weeks ago we re-tweeted and posted a BBC story on our Twitter and FaceBook feeds the story of  Cpl. Arthur Cecil Rawson from Whittlesey who was the first soldier killed by ‘Friendly Fire’ in the First World World. There was a small list at the end of this story which included the names of 5 other servicemen one of which was Private Pugmire of Blyth.

Further research has located an account of Private Pugmire’s last days running up to his death and the coroners report which was printed in the ‘Evening Chronicle’ Newspaper on Friday 28 August 1914.

SOLDIER SHOT AT – BLYTH

Death from Self-inflicted Wound

Coroner H. T. Rutherford held an inquest at Blyth this morning on the body of William Pugmire, 24, a member of the Northumberland Fusiliers, stationed at Blyth.

Jane Pugmire, of 1, Plummer Street, Newcastle, deceased’s wife said her husband was an engine-fitter and turner. She last saw him on Sunday night at Blyth, and he was then very happy. He asked witness to come back again on Sunday first, as he would have some time off. She had no reason to think that he would take his life. He was quite healthy.

Edward Ratcliff Bowdon, Lieutenant in the Northumberland Fusiliers, said deceased was at Blyth with the Company. They were located at the Skating Rink. Deceased was arrested for a serious military offence, and brought before the commanding officer on August 6. They went to Blyth on the 7th. On the 6th they were stationed at the Central Station, Newcastle, where the deceased was placed on sentry duty.  He was drunk in charge of one of the bridges. He was taken before the commanding officer, and was given the choice of being brought before a court martial or being reduced from sergeant to private. Deceased chose the latter. On Tuesday night last there was another offence against him, and he was brought before witness.The second offence was not so serious as the first. Witness remanded deceased to the commanding officer.

Corporal Joseph Longstaff Porter said he was on the relief guard at Blyth at 9.45 on Wednesday morning. Deceased was in the cell. Shortly afterwards the deceased asked witnessed to take him to the latrine. A posted letter was put into deceased hand. This he put into his pocket without reading it. On returning witness put him into the cell. He asked witness a few minutes later to let him have some exercise. Witness let him out and marched up and down the corridor twice with him. Then they stood at the door of the cell.  Deceased then said he wanted a book out of the guard-room, and witness let him go into the guard-room. He sat on a kit and commenced turning pages over. There was one man in the room writing a letter, with his back to Pugmire. At that time witness was standing at the door of the guard-room watching deceased. Someone asked witness for a match, and while his back was turned for a moment he heard a shot go off. Witness thought the report came from the main hall, and ran there. Everybody was rushing towards the guard-room, and he afterwards went there and found Pugmire had been found shot. The guns belonged to the relief guard, but they were not loaded. Someone had gone to the latrine and had hung his equipment up in the guard-room. It contained 80 cartridges. Several unloaded rifles were hung up a few yards from deceased.

Harry Rutherford said he was writing a letter in the guard-room when the last witness brought the deceased in. Deceased spoke to him, and about half a minute later witness heard the report of a gun, and found deceased lying on the floor. A gun was lying beside him. Deceased was lying face downwards with the rifle at his right side and the muzzle towards his head. There were about six rifles hanging on the pegs and this rifle seemed to be nearest to him. The man’s equipment that was hanging up was one cartridge short.

Dr. Newstead said there was a punctured bullet-wound in the lower part of the front of the abdomen and a similar wound in the back part of him. The bullet had gone right through. Pugmire died on Thursday from shock following the injury.

The jury found that the deceased died from shock consequent upon wounds self-inflicted with a rifle, and that there was no evidence to show the state of his mind.

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Maggie Neary for transcribing this article for the Northumberland At War Project.

We would also like to thank Dimitrios Corcodilos for supplying the image used in this post, along with a number of other digital images of military headstones found within the Blyth Links Cemetery, Cowpen Cemetery and Cowpen (Saint Cuthbert’s) Roman Catholic Burial Ground.

 

 

Domestic pigs and dusty feet: the smaller courts of Pannage, Woodmote and Piepowder.

The Manorial Documents Register (MDR) records documents produced in the honour courts. An honour is an administrative unit based on a number of manors, the tenants of which owed suit to an honour court in addition to, or in place of, the normal manor court. As explained in one of our earlier blogs the two main types of manor court are the Court Baron and the Court Leet. However there were other smaller courts dealing with specific types of business, these are not recorded on the MDR but it is useful to be aware of their function.

Pigs in woodland

Pigs in woodland

The Forest Court had jurisdiction over woodland and was sometimes called the Woodmote or Swainmote Court. The Court of Pannage dealt with the business of releasing domestic pigs into the forests to feed on acorns, beech mast and chestnuts. This was often a right or privilege given to local people or in some places pigs were customarily presented to the lord of the manor. In some areas of the country a unit of administration existed between the shire and parish, this was called a Hundred and had its own court. In Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire the Hundred Court was referred to as the Wapentake Court.

ZHE 2/2, reference to the Piepowder court highlighted.

ZHE 2/2, reference to the Piepowder court highlighted.

The Court of Piepowders was held in a borough on the occasion of a fair or market.

This document from the Allendale papers mentions a Court of Piepowder in 1685. The court had unlimited jurisdiction over events taking place in the market and tended to deal with disputes between merchants, theft, and acts of violence. The court was held in front of the mayor and bailiffs of the borough or the steward, if the market or fair was held by a lord. The jury comprised of three or four men and punishment ranged from a fine to the pillory. Trials were short and informal. If the court ruled against the defendant and the defendant could not pay his property could be seized and sold to cover the costs.

These courts existed to administer speedy justice over people who were not permanent residents of the place where the market was held. The name referred to the dusty feet (in French, pieds poudrés) of travelers and vagabonds, and was only later applied to the courts which dealt with such people. Court members themselves also wandered around the fair rather than sitting on a bench often getting their feet dusty in the process. In modern French, the word pied-poudreux is still occasionally used for travelling beggars.

Digitising the Stannington Sanatorium patient files

As the Stannington Sanatorium Digitisation Assistant I am responsible for digitising over 4,000 patient case files and their contents, redacting personal identifiable information from these and uploading digital copies of the core documents to our publicly accessible, searchable, online catalogue. Before I can do this, my colleague, the Project Assistant has already sorted the forms, charts and various other items contained in each file into core and non-core documents and repackaged them in acid free folders for long term preservation. You can read more about this here.

A file ready to be digitised

The documents of patient file HOSP-STAN 07/01/01/2261 prior to digitisation

Before being digitised the pages in each file are checked to make sure they are in the correct order and any dog eared corners or folds are straightened out. The pages in the folder are then photographed on both the front and reverse sides to make sure that all the information in each folder is captured. The number of images captured varies from file to file and can be from just a few up to around fifty. Most files have around 10 to 15 pages, but the largest digitised to date contains over 140 pages!

We digitise the files using a high specification digital SLR camera connected to a computer. This allows us to take high resolution photographs of each page and is much quicker than digitising each page separately on a flatbed scanner. Using a flatbed would be the normal approach however the time constraints on the project mean we are digitising over 1,500 pages every week so this approach isn’t feasible.

Camera stand and laptop

The camera stand and laptop used to digitise each file.

The images are then processed and saved to nationally recognised standards set by The National Archives. Each file is saved in Tiff and Jpeg formats. The Tiff format creates files of a large size, but ensures that all the original information from the photograph is retained. Because of this and the sensitive nature of information in the un-redacted files they are stored on DVD in the Northumberland Archives strong rooms for security and long term preservation. The smaller Jpeg format allows us to keep these digital files on our own servers and readily accessible to staff and researchers if required.
The core documents from each folder (cover, case notes, x-ray card and discharge report) then have any information which could identify patients or is considered sensitive removed. This process involves using photo editing software on a computer, and reading each page to check for information such as names, addresses and dates of birth, and redacting it. This is a time consuming process not made easier by having to read a lot of hand written doctors’ notes!

Core documents being redacted in Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is used to redact sensitive information from the core documents.

The final stage of the process is to upload the images to the relevant records on our online catalogue. Once this has been done a selection of pages from each file are publicly viewable along with each file’s catalogue entry and the digitisation process is complete. Currently over 18,000 pages have been digitised from over 1,400 patient files. Over 6,000 core documents are already viewable online via our catalogue in addition to a large number of radiographs and early patient files which were digitised during the first phase of the project.
A typical set of core documents from the file of a patient suffering from tuberculosis admitted to Stannington Sanatorium in the early 1950s can be seen below.

The front cover of a file

HOSP-STAN 07/01/01/2261/01

Inside the cover of a patient file

HOSP-STAN 07/01/01/2261/02

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOSP-STAN 07/01/01/2261/07 -

HOSP-STAN 07/01/01/2261/03

HOSP-STAN 07/01/01/2261/04

HOSP-STAN 07/01/01/2261/04

 

 

 

 

HOSP-STAN 07/01/01/2261/05

HOSP-STAN 07/01/01/2261/05

 

HOSP-STAN 07/01/01/2261/06

HOSP-STAN 07/01/01/2261/06

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pages from a patient file incuding discharge report

HOSP-STAN 07/01/01/2261/07

This Week in World War One, 3 March 1916

Berwick Advertiser title 1915

 

BERWICK ADVERTISER, 3 MARCH 1916

 

LIFEBOAT RESCUE AT BERWICK

Swedish Schooner Wrecked on Spittal Point

 

The boom of the Berwick Coastguard mortar on Sunday afternoon announced that some vessel was in distress on the coast, and that the services of the lifeboat were in requisition. The boom came as a surprise to most of people, the weather being decidedly calm, though there was a somewhat heavy ground swell running at the river’s trast to the preceding one when a strong easterly gale prevailed. The danger signal was the sequel to the ugly weather which had prevailed in the earlier part of the week. There was naturally a big rush of the inhabitants to the ramparts and the pier. Very soon these points of vantage, as well as Spittal sands, were thickly dotted by many hundreds of spectators. They were privileged to witness a very smart performance of an extemporised lifeboat crew which accomplished the rescue of five hands from a Swedish schooner, which had stranded on the seaward side of Spittal Point. The task of removing the men from the vessel was completed in half an hour, itself indicative of the care with which the Berwick lifeboat was handled in somewhat difficult and broken water, though the absence of any wind was a factor which considerably helped the completion of the mission of merey. A gratifying feature was that for the first time in its history the lifeboat brew was composed of a joint crew from Berwick and Spittal. Many of the regular crew are presently away on military and naval service, and the local Lifeboat Committee are particularly pleased at the able assistance rendered by the Spittal men, no less than eight of these forming part of the crew, the others coming from the Greenses. The coxswain was Mr James Jameison, who rendered many acts of conspicuous service.

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.

The crew of RNLB Matthew Simpson stand alongside the lifeboat, at the lifeboat station at Spittal. © Berwick Record Office – BRO 2001

 

The vessel in distress turned out to be the Swedish schooner Ruth, under the command of  skipper Gustav A. Nelsen, and a crew of other four. She belongs to Holmstead, and is 87 tons register. She left on her voyage on Wednesday 16th February, with a cargo of pit props for the  Tyne, encountering very bad weather on the voyage. So violent was the storm that the little craft anchored for two days in Elsinore Roads. On venturing out she was severely buffeted in the North Sea, and hove to on Saturday night to await day break so as to make land. At 10 a.m. on Sunday morning she found herself abreast of Berwick ten miles out. She was then on a lea shore, and in bad weather. The crew decided to make for Berwick, as the steering gear had been damaged. In attempting to take the river the vessel was driven into the back of Spittal point where she stranded. The heavy ground swell continued to break over the vessel and it was in such circumstances that the lifeboat crew affected the rescue. The skilful manner in which the lifeboat was taken through the breakers to the lea of the vessel, and the crew removed one after another was done with judgement and skill. The members of the crew took most of their personal effects with them in kit bags. The short homeward journey was also admirably taken, the lifeboat’s head being held well up to the breakers. Once these were passed and the river entered the remainder of the journey was easily undertaken. As the lifeboat glided up the estuary the crew received a well-merited cheer from the large crowds lining both sides of the river. On landing the crew were taken in charge of by the Swedish Consul (Mr A. Logan), and accommodated in the Hen and Chickens Hotel. On Monday the crew had to register at the Police Station under the Aliens’ Order. The vessel was some five years old, and was not originally intended for this trade, but owing to the absence of transport due to the war her services were requished. She commenced to break up in the course of the evening with the incoming tide and quantities of the cargo floating ashore were salved by Spittal fishermen. Dr C. l. Fraser, V.D., hon. Secretary of the Berwick Lifeboat Committee; and Mr Toohey, Collector of Customs, were in attendance when the crew landed at the Lifeboat House.

 

LOCAL NEWS

 

Record Salmon Catch by a Berwick Gentleman – The many friends of Mr Thomas Davison, second officer, Customs and Excise, Berwick, will be pleased to learn of his having caught a record large salmon. Mr Davison is presently on holiday, and, fishing on Friday last at Major Scott’s water at Grandtully on Tay, near Aberfeldy, he hooked and landed a splendid clean run salmon after two hours play, weighing 47 ½ lbs. Its length was 50 inches and girth 28 inches. It is believed to be the largest salmon which has been caught by rod and line in the Tay for a number of years, constituting a record for this part of the river, the nearest approach being a fish of 44 lbs caught three years ago. In a letter to a Berwick friend Mr Davison stated that his left arm was still sore with the severe strain.

Sunday last was the anniversary of laying of the foundation stone of Berwick Pier, on Feb. 27th 1810. It was a red-letter day in the old Border town. The different lodges of Freemasons from the neighbouring towns, together with that of Berwick, assembled in the Town hall, along with the magistrates, Commissioners, and townspeople, and walked thence in procession to the church, where a service was held. Afterwards they set forth, attended by a band and a detachment of the Forfarshire Militia, then quartered in the town, and after the stone was laid a royal salute was fired from the cannon on the ramparts and the ships in the harbour.

Photograph of Berwick Pier (in the background), taken from the cliffs at Spittal. © Stanley Howe - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Photograph of Berwick Pier (in the background), taken from the cliffs at Spittal. © Stanley Howe – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

 

Extraordinary Incident in a Tweedmouth Church – An extraordinary incident occurred on Sunday afternoon in the Scotch Church, Tweedmouth, at the close of some pathetic remarks the minister (the Rev. Mr Bryson) had made on Belgium and its refugees. A prominent member rose in his seat and shouted – “Are we downhearted? No!” He gave great emphasis to the last word, and wound up by a hearty clap of his hands. It is needless to say the unusual incident came as a great surprise to the minister as well as the congregation, many of whom could not suppress a smile. The minister was evidently considerably perturbed at the outburst, but took no notice of it.

 

PIGEON SHOOT AT WOOLER

 

The pigeon shoot, open to all England, inaugurated by Mr A. D. Morton of the Red Lion Hotel Wooler, last year was such a success that he decided to continue it as an annual event. Favoured with fine weather, there was a large gathering and considerable interest was taken in the shooting, which was good, and speculation was brisk. As an extra inducement Mr Morton, in addition to guaranteeing £20 for a Handicap, gave a handsome silver cup to be won outright. Shooters responded in great force, and the proceedings were an unqualified success. Mr J Hall was handicapper; and H. Gibson acted as trapper. The birds were supplied by Mr G. Gallon, Wooler; and proved to be strong on the wing. A tent was erected on the ground where soup and light refreshments were provided by Mr Morton. After the shooting a considerable number sat down in the Red Lion Hotel, when a sociable evening was spent. Shooting commenced with a sweep stake but the handicap was the great attraction, and it resulted in a division of eight, but three of these had two lots. The cup was won outright by Mr. J. Sisterton, and his victory was a very popular one. The shoot took place in a field on Wooler Bridgend Farm.

By UK Government - http://madefrom.com/history/world-war-one/animals-war/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37903390

During the First and Second World War, carrier pigeons were used to transport messages back to their home coop behind the lines. When they landed, wires in the coop would sound a bell or buzzer and a soldier of the Signal Corps would know a message had arrived. He would go to the coop, remove the message from the canister, and send it to its destination by telegraph, field phone, or personal messenger.