Wooler and Glendale

Gateway to the Cheviot Hills


2017 January newsletter


January 2017

GLHS reaches a milestone in 2017, celebrating 40 years encouraging interest in the history of the area, promoting research, publishing books, and supporting projects and exhibitions staged county-wide.First, our good wishes for this New Year!

Our 2017 anniversary programme starts with celebrity speaker Katrina Porteous, well-known local historian, national broadcaster, author and poet. Katrina frequently works abroad and is often heard on Radio 4. Recently she performed at the Centre for Life in Newcastle and at the Berwick Literary Festival. Her article, Can she bait a line?: the unsung heroines of North Northumberland’s fishing communities, is featured in this winter’s edition of The Cheviot.

GLHS is indeed very fortunate and honoured, therefore, to welcome Katrina on 11th January.

Wednesday 11th January 

Fisher Women – Katrina Porteous

Can She Bait a Line? Women and girls in the Northumbrian fishing community 1300 to 1950.

Katrina also will sign copies of her books.


Quiz with buffet  Wednesday January 25th 7.00 for 7.30 at the Tankerville Arms, Wooler

Once again this is a local history quiz so, if you don’t already know the answers, you’ll enjoy learning about our Glendale!

Cost inc. buffet supper: £7.50 for members, visitors £10.50.

Organise your own team, or book individually and we’ll make up the teams!

Bookings please by January 11th to Patsy Healey, c/o GLHS, Cheviot Centre, Wooler, NE71 6BL, or 01668 281121, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     (Booking form circulated with this newsletter.)


8th February

Derek Sharman: The fortifications of Berwick-upon-Tweed

The town walls and other notable historic features.    

OUTING:   Saturday 11th February    Guided walk around historic Berwick. Meet 10.00 at Scott’s Gate Arch (outside B&M, Castlegate car park) for 1½hr walk. If bad weather, the walk will be postponed until the following Saturday, 18th February. Any enquiries 01668 281310.  £3.50pp.

8th March, International Women’s Day

Liz O’Donnell: Hens that want to crow: Suffragists & Suffragettes of the North-east 1866–1918.  The struggle for women’s votes, and other campaigns in the 19th century.     

12th April

Anthony AtkinsonMary Eleanor Bowes of Gibside (1749–1800): the Greatest Heiress of the North.  The extraordinary life of the Queen’s great-g-g-g-grandmother. 

Followed by a short AGM                                     

Other news...

† Outing to Gibside in April, to follow the talk on Mary Eleanor Bowes of Gibside.

Gibside management suggest that small groups of individual members join one of the FREE guided tours held 12 noon & 14.00 daily. Alternatively, a private group tour will cost £40, plus individual Gibside entrance fees for those who are not National Trust members. If a private group were to be organised, it would be wise to avoid Saturday 15th April (Easter Saturday children’s activities) and the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month (farmers’ markets).  Suggested dates would be Saturdays 22nd or 29th April, or 6th May.

It would be helpful to know members’ ideas.  Please speak to any committee member.

† GLHS outing to Ouseburn and the Victoria Tunnel, Newcastle in October 2016

Issued with hard hats and torches, 15 GLHS members enjoyed this interesting and informative tour and would recommend the visit!

The tunnel was opened in 1842 to carry coal mined on the Town Moor underneath the city, as a cheap way to avoid disruption on the streets. Construction was by cutting shafts and digging towards the next one. The boulder clay extracted was made into bricks and used to line the tunnel. The tunnel was one-cart wide, and 32 fully loaded wagons were lowered on a rope attached to a winding engine at Spital Tongues on the Town Moor. Gravity was sufficient to take the coal to the colliers waiting on the river.

In 1939 the tall chimney was reduced in height to stop it being used as a marker for Nazi bombers targeting Glasgow, and the tunnel was converted to an air raid shelter. It was a dismal damp way to spend the night: an inspecting minister from the south thought there would be no problem as people in the north were “constitutionally” able to stand the damp more than those in the south!

† Association of Northumberland Local History Societies (ANLHS)

You may have read in the local press that ANLHS has had to close owing to insufficient support at committee level. The association was founded 50 years ago to encourage and support the forming of local history societies in the county, and GLHS benefitted from affiliation.

†There is a vacancy on the committee – please consider joining the team! Come to the short AGM at the end of the season, or please speak to one of the committee.

Of course, we welcome suggestions, initiatives & support from everyone!

Talks on the second Wednesday of the month at 7.30 at the Cheviot Centre, Wooler, and finish by 9. Membership is only £8 for the season. Visitors are welcome, £3 per talk. Tea, coffee & biscuits from 7.

The Cheviot Centre, 12, Padgepool Place, Wooler, NE71 6BL email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. www.wooler.org.uk/glhs