‘We will remember them’
Each year the Council is proud and privileged to organise a wreath laying ceremony at the War memorials in the Town Square to honour all those who have given their lives for our country throughout the world. We remember our obligation not to forget all those from Amble and elsewhere who died in the World Wars and in the many conflicts since then. It seems a small thing to hold an annual service so they can be publically remembered and thanked for their service and bravery. We do this in memory of everyone’s loved ones who were lost for us all to live in peace.
We are fortunate to have over twenty groups who take part in this ranging from the young Army Cadets to those representing the veterans as well as professional and voluntary organisations. The ceremony is followed by a service in one of the main churches of the town to which all are very welcome.
There is a real sense of pride in our town when we see so many of all ages, no matter what the weather, attending both occasions.
See latest news for details of this year’s ceremony.
AMBLE PUFFIN FESIVAL
Amble Puffin Festival celebrates everything Puffin! Fun and activities in the Friendliest Port takes place at the best time of year- end of May- to see the Puffins as they care for their newly hatched pufflings.
Amble Puffin Festival is organised in partnership with Amble Development Trust and Amble Business Club.
The puffin festival has been inspired by the colony of some 20,000 puffins that nest on the RSPB seabird sanctuary of Coquet Island, just a mile off Amble.
Coquet Island has been an RSPB nature reserve since 1970 and is also the sole UK nesting colony of roseate terns. Less than 90 pairs nest on Coquet Island and use special boxes constructed by the RSPB staff to create their nests and rear their chicks. The island is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and therefore protected all year round, to safeguard the fragile habitat and to avoid disturbing the nesting birds. Consequently Coquet Island is a true sanctuary for nesting birds and landing on the island is not allowed.
For more details visit: www.amblepuffinfest.co.uk
For a number of years since the 1980s, the ‘Mayor’s Pin’ was awarded to a High School student; however when the supply was running out, a small crystal sculpture inscribed with the town crest was designed as a replacement.
Soon more prizes were needed and the Council have agreed to purchase a similar award for the foreseeable future.
Each year this is awarded for ‘Sporting Excellence throughout the school year.’
In late June Councillors walk around their wards to shortlist any particularly attractive gardens which give passersby a lot of pleasure. Townspeople are also invited to submit entries but are reminded that the garden must be able to be seen without entering the premises.
These are then looked at in early July by an independent judge- currently from Alnwick Gardens Horticultural staff. Certificates of merit and prizes are awarded in each ward. The best garden in the town is chosen by the judge from the 3 first prize winners.
This means there is still plenty of time for anyone to go and see the magnificent displays that have taken many hours of pleasurable hard work to achieve.
Also in July, the Amble Allotment Holders Society Committee judge a best allotment award in each of the two sites and an overall Most Improved Allotment.
A presentation ceremony is held in mid July where the Mayor hands out the certificates and prizes and everyone enjoys a chat over refreshments.
Winners and Runner Ups receive a trophy to keep; winners also have their name inscribed on a shield which they hold for a year.
There is also a category for the best Community or Business Display and a ‘Secret Garden’ award for those beautiful but hidden rear gardens.
Our town is fortunate to have many who work hard, often in a voluntary capacity, to help within the town or with its people. In 2016 Council decided to create an award for an Adult and a Junior individual or group who had gone beyond the expected commitment within their area for the community’s benefit. The award carries a financial contribution to the group or an individual’s chosen charity.
Throughout the country, whether there are Christmas lights in a town or village can often be the responsibility of the local Council. Many areas choose not to have any due to the expense involved.
For many years Amble Urban District Council and then Amble Town Council paid for the Christmas display in the town with Mrs Campbell Smith organising them during the 1980s. By 1990 the lights were in such a poor state that there was no display; in January 1991 after a public meeting decided that the town wanted Christmas lighting, Amble Christmas Lights Committee was formed. The committee is made up of volunteers who strive to raise funds to replace bulbs and displays as well as prepare them for storage, test them throughout the year and put them up again. The Town Council assisted with some financial support and this is still the case today where currently over £1000 is set aside in the budget to pay the energy costs or to renew displays as the committee deem necessary.
For a small town, we have a beautiful display thanks to the hard work of this dedicated group of people who provide a magnificent sight for young and old alike to enjoy. They are always eager to welcome new members to help them especially in checking the bulbs throughout the year as well as putting the displays up and taking them down. Please support them in their efforts.
In mid November, do come and join the parade and see the lights switched on by our Young Good Citizen of the year as the floats pass down Queen Street to the Town Square. Amble Town Council, Amble Development Trust and Amble Business Club get together and organise this with Santa’s grotto, stalls and children’s rides to make it a fun night for everyone to welcome the Christmas period into the town.
Our small town has many of these throughout it but lots are within the housing estates and therefore are managed by Northumberland County Council. There are a few rose beds but the main floral beds are at the North and South entrances to the town, Acklington Road, Broomhill Street, Dilston Terrace and Phillip Drive.
Within Northumberland County Council financial cuts mean annual bedding will cease and instead some perennials will be used in their beds.
Annuals are increasingly expensive but often needed to enhance perennial planting. To reduce the cost, Amble Town Council currently purchase plug plants which are then cultivated by HMP Northumberland until they can be planted out by our staff. This is regularly reviewed.
The small garden area in High Street has been opened up by having a wall removed. New paving was laid and a new litter bin and seat installed so once again those sitting on the seat can look down Queen Street and see all the activity there. The town’s Christmas tree majestically stands here with its lights twinkling from mid November when Amble’s Young Good Citizen is invited to switch them on at the start of the Lights Procession.
Some businesses and individuals have contributed funds to enable planting of hanging baskets on Queen Street over the summer months and have also taken on the regular watering needed to keep the baskets flourishing for all our enjoyment. Park Leisure help to maintain the areas around the fish sculpture at the South entrance to the town.
The small voluntary group, ‘Pride in Amble’, do sterling work in the Town Square area, under Councillor Weir’s guidance. They have spent many hours here. The Amble and Radcliffe War Memorials were originally in the Memorial Gardens, once owned by Amble Urban District then Alnwick District Council, but this area was incorporated when the square was developed in a joint partnership scheme and the whole area is now under the responsibility of Amble Development Trust although the Council still own the Memorials and the Flagpole.
It is very hard work trying to bring new order to some of the overgrown areas and they really could use some ‘strong arm’ help- not to mention some ‘digging power.’ The majority of the group are over 60 years of age with a few 8 years and under, so there’s lots of room for some able bodied help even if you can only give a couple of hours now and again. Just contact Councillor Weir for details.
If we want our town to be an attractive place for us all to enjoy on our walks round, then we must all try to lend a hand- or foot- instead of saying ‘they’ll do it’ with no thought to who ‘they’ are, or that actually you are one of ‘they.’
As these become older and need repair or updating, due to financial restraints, NCC have taken the decision not to carry on maintaining individual town’s CCTV systems. Amble will however be allocated two deployable cameras to be used wherever the Town Council and Police feel they are best needed. To discourage anti-social behaviour and deter vandalism, Amble Town Council decided in 2016 to look at installing their own CCTV system.
After consulting with several companies, it was decided to go ahead with Alncom, a reputable experienced local firm. Finance was allocated in the 2017-18 budget and after final negotiations with NCC regarding positions and installation have completed, the work will go ahead. The centre of the town will be covered by the latest type of cameras some of which will have number plate recognition. The system will also cover Paddlers Park and Percy Drive Allotments but has the capacity to be extended further in the future to encompass other areas throughout the town. The cameras will be monitored by Northumbria Police from their Amble base and can be linked to their individual communication devices to enable a more rapid response. The recordings can also be used by NCC enforcement officers to combat parking, littering and dog fouling offences. To ensure the system operates continually and efficiently, an annual maintenance programme has been implemented with Alncom who will also provide a 24 hour cover for breakdowns.
Despite all efforts to encourage people to use the litter bins provided it is inevitable that there are places in the town which would benefit from occasional extra litter picking. Some members of the community regularly walk their road/ estate to do this and we are very grateful to them. Council organise 3 or 4 town litter picks per year- usually around Eastertime, the week before the Puffin Festival in late May, September and another when deemed necessary. The whole community is invited to join in- whether as a group meeting at the Town Square, or individually in their own area- spending 1 to 2 hours helping to improve the look of the town.