With Remembrance Sunday approaching, now is the time to obtain your Poppy from the Village shop.
This year, the British Legion that produces the millions of poppies we all wear, has been unable to manufacure the lapel pins that have been an enduring symbol of remembrance for more and more people.
We are pleased to announce that a supply of hand-crocheted poppies is on hand, instead, and can be purchased from the shop as well. These have been made by Barbara Huddart, who has been making 10 a day for some time now! There is a recommended donation of £2.50, and every penny goes in the British Legion collecting box to support the work of the charity amongst ex-servicemen and women, and in commemorating the sacrifices made by British and Commonwealth citizens in war.
On Remembrance Sunday, we will be holding the usual service of commemoration at the War Memorial, on Sunday 8th November at 11.00 a.m. This year, there will be no earlier silence held at the Church to remember the fallen from Kyloe, in order to conform with anti-Covid regulations.
As I suspect you have heard by now, the new 3-tier system for determining Covid-19 restrictions has been introduced, and we are to be in Tier 2.
That means the present measures will be relaxed slightly to allow people to meet one another outdoors with social distancing in place, in groups of no more than six people.
I am really pleased we have not had our restrictions increased, and that people are able to meet outdoors. That will make a big difference to many.
I want to address a few things I am being asked about repeatedly:
First, a lot of people are contacting me who live alone, talking about how not seeing others is taking a toll on them mentally, and understandably so. That is why the support bubble system is in place. If you live alone, or are the only adult in your household, please do consider forming a support bubble with another household. You can find out more about that HERE. There are also a number of exemptions that folk don’t seem to be aware of, which would allow household mixing under some circumstances, especially in relation to caring for a vulnerable person. Please do have a look HERE. The vast majority of people posing specific questions about their situations are finding they would qualify.
Second, you may recall that when these restrictions came into effect in the north east, I was clear I would look to have parts of Northumberland removed, once cases in our area start to fall. I have spoken to the Health Secretary about this several times in the past few days. He is clear he is very open to that, once cases start to travel in the right direction. A lot of people in Rothbury and Berwick in particular are making the case for their removal even on a ward basis. I am very sympathetic to that, however, these are not isolated communities. People work, shop and are educated in other towns in the area, where cases are still stubbornly high.
I also need to let everyone know that Alnwick Infirmary is presently closed to new admissions as a result of a covid-19 outbreak. This week we have had confirmed new cases in Rothbury and Bellingham. Our rural communities are not immune from covid and are perhaps more at risk from the effects of our hospitals filling with covid patients. It is not simply covid patients who will be affected. Cancer treatment, major operations, things that make a real difference to our health and wellbeing cannot take place if the wards are full of covid patients. I was talking to a doctor this week who explained to me there are some forms of cancer treatment that have been delayed since March because they need to be administered alongside immunosuppressant drugs. Those cannot be administered if our hospitals continue to fill up with covid patients once more. I do understand how tough these measures are for everyone, but the decision on when they are lifted are in our hands – we have the ability to get these case numbers and hospitalisations down.
Cultural Recovery Fund
The Government’s £1.57bn support package for cultural, arts and heritage sites has begun to be awarded. I am really pleased that includes a number of sites in my constituency including:1. Alnwick Playhouse – £197,668 2. Alnwick Gardens – £90,000 3. Aln Valley Railway – £21,300 4. Berwick Malting Theatre – £230,000 5. Berwick Barracks – £60,000 6. Etal Castle – £16,000 7. Cragside – £21,600 8. Brinkburn Mill – £43,776You can find out more about this vital support scheme HERE.
This week I have received several hundred emails about the Agriculture Bill and various amendments to it. These largely revolve around food standards. UK consumers have high standards and rightly so.
Karen and Ritchie have risen to the challenge of the times and have organised a seasonal competition with a difference.
Halloween is different this year for obvious reasons so we are doing something a bit different to make things fun for the kids in the village as they cannot go trick or treating.
We have borrowed this idea and Kirstin is going to design a trail for the kids to find scare crows and carved pumpkins.
There is no entry fee this year as it normally goes towards the firework display. All we want is for kids to have fun while still observing social distancing.
Entry forms will be available from the shop tomorrow and need to be returned to us by 18th October so Kirstin can complete the trail sheets which will be ready to collect from the shop from 24th October.
It is NOT a competition so there are no prizes this year but for every trail sheet returned there will be a sweetie given by us.
Please help us to make sure the Lowick kids have fun safely this Halloween.
Lowick Live is publishing this letter from John & Barbara Huddart, who are concerned to reassure residents about their health.
Dear Friends and Neighbours
A number of people have told us there is concern about our health in the village. Apparently one of us has contracted Covid 19. I thought I would write to Lowick Live to assure everyone that this is not the case – in case when you see either of us about the village you think we are breaking the law, and spreading the virus!
So please do not worry. We are well, and our daughter Katie is safe and well too – and never came home from university with symptoms – she is working away in her Edinburgh flat on her MSc, and has never met any of the other students on her course.
So thank you for your unfounded concerns. Let us hope for better, safer times.