Wishing Amble the best in their quest

AMBLE once made its name and fortune out of king coal and fishing.

Life for those working in the mines and loading coal onto ships probably had among the hardest jobs in the world.

But I have found that down through the years the people of Amble, if they took to you then you had a friend for life. They stood no nonsense and spoke their minds and gave a warm welcome to you.

Life in recent years has not been kind to Amble. Coal disappeared and the town really had to re-invent itself. As the fishing fleet declined, more had to find alternative work.

The loss of the food processing factory in recent months was just another in a decade of job losses that has not helped the hard-pressed population of the town.

Amble has sadly been plagued by anti-social behaviour problems as a result.

Unfortunately, there are still a number of metal-shuttered shops on the streets of the town which do not give a favourable impression, but one can understand shopkeepers who do not want their windows smashed.

But the town has changed and changed for the better. There is a thriving marina, the Braid is a fine place to walk, an industry has grown up ferrying people around Coquet Island and on sea angling trips and the harbour area has been improved, as has the town square.

But as hard as councillors and the population work to improve their town and its image there are those who try to spoil it for the great majority.

Drugs are still a problem; vandalism of property is another, smashing glass in the town square and nearby children’s park is also not helping the image.

I was in Amble last week for the weekly Sunday market and there is no doubt that it pulls in people from a wide area. I spotted many who I know do not live in Amble busy surveying the goods on offer.

So I hope the good people of Amble will back their town councillors in their campaign in urging citizens to have ‘Pride in their Town’.

There are many that will and have volunteered to do good work in the past. The problem is trying to stop the small minority who have no pride in themselves, what they do or their town.

I wish the people of Amble success, the town deserves it.

WE are told the road side signs advertising rural businesses are either being removed or that planning permission for them is being refused.

Readers will remember my article last week when I said there seems to be one law for towns and another for rural area over advertising businesses.

We are told that such signs rural businesses place in fields close to roads, often essential if the said business is to survive, can be a hazard to road users.

It may divert drivers and an accident could follow seems to be the thinking behind the majority of refusals.

But then we have a case brought to my attention last week. Northumberland County Council is allowing sponsorship signs on roundabouts.

Surely they must also divert the attention of drivers at what could be accident black spots.

The difference usually is that those who are allowed to put up signs are paying the county council for the privilege.

Again, it would appear to be one law for one part of the community and another for the other.

Fairness must always been seen to be coming from council officials. This again appears not to be the case.

I noticed there are a number of signs at Causey Park advertising a wildlife sanctuary, the nearby inn and bed and breakfast.

What is the difference between them and others which have been refused planning permission or told to take down their signs?