Embleton WI, February meeting

FRIENDS WELCOMED: Members of Embleton WI were joined by members of Christon Bank, Craster and Howick together with friends from the village including the welcome addition of a few menfolk for their February meeting.

After a greeting from the president Lady Craft the business meeting affairs were dealt with quickly with the assistance of the secretary and treasurer.

Several members had attended another of the county craft days and so continue to increase their expertise in various techniques.

The Northumberland News once again gave details of many events open to members of the institutes in Northumberland.

Business over, the president welcomed the Embleton vice president Lady Sutherland who, with the help of Dr A Brown, told the audience of her memories of Embleton and the contributions of Sir Arthur Sutherland both to the village and Newcastle.

The early history of the Sutherland family from the 19th century up to the founding of the Sutherland Steam Ship Company by Arthur Sutherland at the age of 29 was an interesting insight into the business world of the time.

As owner of the Newcastle Chronicle and as a city councillor from 1910 until after the Second World War he was an integral part of the Newcastle scene.

Generous donations were given to the Royal Grammar School and others led to the foundation of the Medical School and Dental Hospital in Newcastle.

The Mansion House in Newcastle became the home of Sir Arthur and remains an important part of the history of the city.

Estates in the county including the Dunstanburgh Castle Estates became part of his property and thus part of Embleton history.

Lady Sutherland then related memories of Embleton from 1945 when many signs of the war such as the pill boxes were evident and farming became a way of life for her.

Front Street, Embleton was very busy with many shops and in fact most things could be bought, your shoes could be mended by the local cobbler and there was even a cinema.

The winter of 1947 was much remembered with snow making life very difficult. The village school took children up to the age of 14, and at the time of the coronation there were 120 children in the village who all received 6d.

The village then had a quarry and as a result quarry and railway workers were also part of village life so in addition to the many shops public houses were conspicuous in the locality to quench the workers’ thirst.

During her time in the village Lady Sutherland has played an active part in council activities and as member of many village associations there were many more tales to tell but we had to call a halt for tea and biscuits.

Members and visitors were all appreciative to the speaker for giving us such an interesting glimpse of the past.

Arrangements were made for the members of Embleton WI to visit the Mansion House in March.

The competition winners for Embleton memorabilia were: 1 Mrs L Harrett, 2 Mrs J Laidler, 3 Miss J Littler. All raffle prizes were won by visitors so completing a very happy afternoon for everyone.