Rothbury Parish Council round-up: Burglary at golf club and support for history project

Rothbury Golf Club
Rothbury Golf Club

A burglary at Rothbury Golf Club was one of six reported crimes in and around the village in the last two months, police said.

At about 8.40am on New Year’s Day, police received a report about the break-in.

The offender entered the property through the exit doors and removed a small safe which contained a quantity of cash.

Police inquiries are ongoing to determine the circumstances of the burglary and trace the offender.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 624 01/01/18.

The others crimes were three criminal damages – including one rumoured to have been caused by an air rifle – one theft and an assault.

Officers also encouraged residents to call police if they hear or see anything suspicious, adding: “If we don’t know about something, we won’t go and check it out. If you see or hear anything, ring the police.”

○ The parish council has voted to support a project to bring the history of Coquetdale to life, including preserving its unique dialect.

Bailiffgate Museum, in Alnwick, is working on the production of an Out of Town Museum (OOT) – an exhibition dedicated to the preservation of the heritage of the communities of upper Coquetdale and the Cheviot fringe.

It will focus on the routes people travelled, the paths they walked and the lives they led. Much of the content of the OOT Museum will come from the people of the area, whether it be stories, photographs or objects.

The Bailiffgate Museum is currently preparing a funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Speaking at last week’s meeting, Jane Mann, form the museum, said: “We know there is an interesting story to tell out here. We want to collect memories and to record and preserve the area’s dialect and we will archive it to a professional standard.

“The project would take three-and-a-half years from start to finish and we want to work with the community, including schools and groups which already exist, and there will be a legacy for each community that works with us.”

Coun Peter Dawson said: “This is very worthwhile, especially the dialect, because in 20 years it will be virtually non-existant, and if you don’t collect it now, it will be lost.”

The council agreed to send a letter of support to help the museum’s application.

○ Only one business has taken up the parish council’s offer of a cash incentive to open up their loos to the public.

At the November meeting, members voted by a majority verdict to ask for the demolition of the riverside WCs.

In return, it was agreed that the annual maintenance bill could instead be split between businesses in the village who agreed to let non-customers use their toilets.

There are also public toilets on Bridge Street.

However, only the Queen’s Head has so far said it will take part in the scheme.

Coun Peter Dawson said: “I say we welcome this with open arms. It might be the catalyst that gets other businesses on board. We will start at the beginning of the financial year. If no more businesses come on board, there’s the Bridge Street toilets.”

But the decision to lose the Riverside loos was criticised by councillors Jeff Sutton and Avril Graham, while the council received a letter of complaint from a resident.

Coun Sutton said: “Closing the loos is the wrong move because people who want to use the loos will park on Bridge Street, filling up the village and meaning others can’t park. I know the riverside loos aren’t the best in the world, but there’s a car park nearby – I don’t understand why you want to lose them.”

Coun Graham said it was wrong and everybody she had spoken to had complained about it.

But other members said that they had not received complaints. Coun Hilary Woodburn added: “People won’t park on Bridge Street to stop and use the toilets. The car park at Beggars Rigg is always full and there’s no toilets there.”

○ Numerous jobs need doing around Rothbury, Coun Peter Dawson said following a village walkabout.

One of his suggestions was installing metal posts and large stones from the war memorial to the fish shop to stop vehicles parking on the village green.

He said: “We have a duty to maintain the village green and physically stop people parking there.”

Other items on the to do list include painting the war memorial railings with dark green Hammerite, plus repairs to several rails.

He also suggested various maintenance work at Armstrong Cross, such as raising flower beds, replacing signage and repairing a paving slab within the inner railings of the cross

He added that all white posts that are the responsibility of the parish council require repainting.

○ Coun Peter Dawson urged the council to review its assets register, describing the value of some items ‘abysmal’.

He said: “We need to seriously look at this.

Donkin’s Lamp, for example, is £1 – that’s the current value! If anything happened, the insurance company would look at that and say ‘thank you very much’.

If Donkin’s Lamp needed to be re-cast, it would cost in the region of £9,000 to £12,000.”

Members agreed to ask Northumberland County Council if it could come out and assess the assets and give an updated, accurate value. The parish council will also ask how much this will cost.

○ A damaged wall along the B6334 by the football club will be fixed shortly.

Coun Bridgett said: “A lot of people thought it had been hit, but it hasn’t, its fallen down.

“The groundsman took the decision to take it down because it was falling down from the middle and was going to collapse.

“The county council is responsible for it because it is holding up the public highway. Hopefully it will be resolved shortly.

“The cones that are there won’t be there for much longer because they aren’t suitable.”