LOWICK.LIVE.LETTER

50 YEARS OF CELEBRATIONS

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……..of Lowick Fetes and Festivities

Sadly we have to report that the Community Day suggested by Northumberland has come to nought, as far as Lowick is concerned. With no communication or encouragement from the organisers, and no sign of enthusiasm for celebrating anything in April, the PC has decided to withdraw from the project.

Which is a pity, since we are all loyal Northumbrians, and it’s always good to fly the flag. The PC spent a while discussing celebrations members enjoyed in the past and a number of us had photos and footage of previous village fetes and festivals – so instead of a making a new one in the winter, we decided to produce a video of 50 years of Lowick’s Fairs and Fetes.

If you have pictures, memories or film/video of local events in this period – email them to me at lowick.live@outlook.com, and I’ll put them to good use.

A BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER

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The Holburn bridge on the C18, just north of Holburn itself, has been under reconstruction for some time, and those who have visited the site recently will have seen that it will shortly be ready for re-opening. It has been a chequered story, subject to delays, and still creating controversy.

There was the issue of steelwork that had been incorrectly completed, and which required a complete restart. The delays users have experienced are down to this early slip. We don’t now how this happened – but it was only the first issue that local people have heard of with the new structure.

First, the good news. Great efforts have been made to ensure they new bridge is handsome and fits in with the style of bridgeworks locally. Care has been taken to recycle existing stone in the bridge parapet and its coping. A plate will be inserted with the date of the new bridge’s construction.

In addition, enormous efforts have been made to include gulleys, either side of the bridge that will allow anything that flows into the dip where the bridge is sited, to pass into the stream beneath, and not become trapped on the roadway.

Councillor Steven Mather takes up the story: “Unfortunately, the bed of the road is contained on either side by two curbs, deep enough to grace a city pavement. We fear that these high curbs will lead to damaged tyres and wheels if ever a car met and heavier vehicle and was forced off the carriageway by them.”

“With heavy lorries going to the large President Estate Farming Partnership Corn Shed and Drier at Hazelrigg Mill, the traffic to and from the Hetton Shoot, and the trucks and tractors to and from the pig farm in Holburn, we fear that sooner or later a car will be driven onto the kerbstones.”

Any tyre meeting this has no chance………

“We appreciate that kerbstones are needed to protect the parapet of the bridge, but the full width pedestrian pavement either side is excessive. The C18 has no pavements. I have researched the specification laid down for bridge pavements in country districts, and looked at other examples – and these are too high. The instruction given is that all such work should blend in with the countryside – not look more appropriate in a town.

“This brings us back to the road width. The width of the carriageway may be just enough to allow two cars to pass, but this is not the only traffic that we see passing our community, and the width of the road is less that the tarmac of the approaches.

“I have measured this and it is several inches narrower than the roadways that have recently been provided in Lowick in the Village Meadows development. Surely this has to be the wrong way round?

“It’s a nice-looking bridge, but it presents problems for those of us who have to use it.

“Lowick Parish Council has discussed this and is urging Northumberland County Council to carry out one or more of the following actions:

• Lay 3 inches of tarmac over the bridge to bring the height of the roadway up and “lower” the curb

• Add new signs either side of the bridge to warn of a narrow bridge, round a bend and in a hidden dip.

• Paint a centre line to protect users and act as a safer “lane” for traffic, and to start this line well before the bridge as a warning.

“There are a numbe of curious issues that the construction of the bridge has brought to light which I have witnessed during its construction – mainly in relation to the laying of the roadway – and I have asked the County Council to explain them. Meanwhile, our first concern is the safety of road users and their vehicles.

“We urge Northumberland to act without delay. We hope that our County Councillor, Roderick Lawrie, will be able to use his influence in County Hall to remedy the situation.

“The original bridge was built in 1920 – and was probably one of the first uses of reinforced concrete in a bridge deck. Bridge designers, no longer constrained by the limitations and cost of using stone arches, could now build Holburn Bridge a full 25ft wide between the parapets- thus allowing future generations of road users – no matter how extravagant and outrageously large their conveyances may become – safe and generous passage over the Lightfoot Burn for the next 100 years…what visionaries they once were!”

LIFE SAVING TRAINING

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CPR – courtesy of Medscape

An excellent session on CPR and using the defibrillator was put on in Lowick Village Hall on the 13th February. Around 15 people attended, and we learned an enormous amount about what to do and what not to do when someone has a cardiac arrest. Rebecca Owen and Mark Mather talked us through the processes and demonstrated the equipment – and we all had a chance to practice CPR on some of the dummies they brought along.

It’s remarkable how these procedures and really quite easy and the session succeeded in removing some of our fears about what to do and what’s in the box with a green light – should the occasion arise.

To think about:

1. As the survival rate from a cardiac arrest outside of hospital in this country is 8% and compares poorly with Norway where its 25% – shouldn’t we have more training sessions like this so that many more people know what to do?

2. Should we have another defibrillator in Lowick – towards the bottom of the village – the recommended distance between them is 500 m. Maybe the Village Hall would be a good location?

TRAFFIC STATISTICS FOR JANUARY

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Here are the summary sheets for January 2020 along with their background data.  The Police have not informed us of any spot speed checks during this period.
In January the total number of vehicles recorded coming into Lowick from the East was 8.594 (down from December’s 13,742) and from the West it was 13,455 (down from December’s 19,020).  This is not unexpected as the daily nighttime diversion from the A1 had stopped.  Nevertheless, there appears to have been Diversions off the A1, see page 3 of the Summary Sheet, published on the PC website.

TRAFFIC RESTRICTION – FORD BRIDGE

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B6353/4 Crookham To Ford Village

This is to alert you of a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order as follows:

B6353 Crookham To Ford Village / B6354 Ford Bridge Junction to Tweedmouth Northumberland County Council –

Emergency Speed restriction to safely facilitate digging trial holes on Ford Bridge. Speed will be restricted from 60MPH down to 40MPH EMGNotice is valid 17/02/2020-21/02/2020 Restriction is expected to be in place 17/02/2020-19/02/2020

CONGRATULATIONS TO MP – WHAT’S YOUR VIEW?

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We are sending our best wishes to our MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, for her new appointment as Secretary of State for Development. After a short spell defending the realm she has now gone on to a post that is intended to help countries that need aid for economic and social development, and to manage crises.

What this means for the development of our local economy, and the renewal of our health and transport infrastructure, is not clear. Hopefully, her political relationship with the PM, which helped him rise to power, and move us out of the EU, will help to take care of us – if the “Northern Powerhouse” reaches this far north. Or perhaps we’ll benefit from the overtures of kindness destined to be broadcast to the Scots [after all, many southerners  think that’s where we live already].

WILL YOU JOIN OUR SNOW SQUAD?

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With winter always upon us, Lowick Connect and the Parish Council are keen to form a squad of local snow warden volunteers who will turn out and clear pathways for people who are struggling to get out in the event of severe snowfall.

Northumberland County Council will support our local Snow Squad with equipment  for each volunteer. This is described below, together with the advice given to prospective volunteers.

If you are interested in helping, please visit the Village Shop where Karen is marshalling a team, and ask to sign up on the volunteers list. This is a NCC requirement. They also will need your shoe size!

Read on if you wish to volunteer – if not look no further!

Community volunteers are being sought to help clear snow and ice from Northumberland’s pavements and paths this winter.

Following its success in other parts of the country, the council is introducing a Snow Warden Scheme where an individual or a group of community volunteers can sign up to help clear snow and ice from public footpaths in their local area during periods of severe winter weather. 

While there are residents out there already who get involved and are keen to help in their communities the council want to grow this and introduce a more formal scheme where these important volunteers are supported.

For more information and to sign up to the scheme go to www.northumberland.gov.uk/snowwardens

The council will provide volunteers with a snow warden kit, which includes a snow shovel; salt, a thermal hat with head torch, a pair of thermal gloves and a hi-vis vest.  

Paul Jones, the council’s Director of Local Services, explained: “As the weather starts to turn colder we’ve done a lot of planning to ensure we have the right resources in place when wintry conditions arrive.

“Our dedicated Winter Services programme, including scores of staff, a fleet of gritting vehicles and the latest technology, mean clear arrangements are in place to treat our road network and high priority footpaths in town centres during periods of snow and ice. 

While we continue to provide this priority service it’s simply not possible to do everything or be everywhere and that’s why we’re appealing to residents to play their part.

“We know from the past where we’ve had snow the great community spirit here in Northumberland, with people clearing their local paths and looking out for their neighbours. 

“We want to build on that spirit and ensure people have the right kit to do the job when they’re helping out.

“And while it’s never too late to join up I’d encourage anyone who’d like to volunteer to get in touch as soon as possible.

Please also click onto the link below to download the Risk Assessment Form which will help to ensure that all safety aspects of your role are followed.  You will need to complete this before we can issue your equipment.

Please click here for the Risk Assessment Form

You should also follow the government’s guidelines on clearing snow safely if you want to clear snow yourself.

We look forward to hearing from you.