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Monday, 24 August 2015

A Salmon Fishing Card from Spittal to John Kyle of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Going out for a sail with the Salmon Fishers, Spittal
I discovered the Tuck Postcards database yesterday and thought this was a nice example.

It was sent to John Kyle, 167a Beach Avenue, Vancouver, Canada on 28 June 1912.

The first line reads:
We are spending our holidays here & enjoying it a1.

I doubt that the scene is a typical salmon boat, the boats didn't normally have ladies sitting in their finery in the boat !

A1 was early 20th century slang for something splendid, derived from the A1 road being the first numbered main road in Britain.

Who was GAK ?

If you're related to either GAK or John Kyle of Vancouver, Canada, please let us know in the comments, below or send a tweet to @Berwick900.

Images courtesy of Tuck DB and reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

The King's Own Scottish Borderers' Minden Day Parade at Berwick Barracks

The King's Own Scottish Borderers' return to Berwick Barracks, Berwick-upon-Tweed, every year to remember those comrades who fought at the battle of Minden.

The Battle of Minden was fought on 1 August 1759, during the Seven Years' War.
It was an important victory for the British troops with help from King George II's German possessions and allies against a larger French and Saxony army.

The 25th Foot (later The King's Own Scottish Borderers - KOSB) was part of that British Army. All ranks wear red roses in their bonnets memory of those original soldiers of the 25th Foot, who while advancing through local gardens, picked roses and stuck them in their coats.

Here is the story of one KOSB. soldier, Sergeant Dougie Scott, told by his widow Cynthia, who attends the parade every year with their family.
Another soldier mentioned is Jock Wallace.

After assembling, the King's Own Scottish Borderers march from Berwick Barracks down Marygate past the Town Hall led by the Royal British Legion pipe band.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Free Theatre Tickets - Friday 14 August - Maltings Theatre, Berwick-upon-Tweed

From Linda Bankier:

I have been working with Wendy Payn and Ross Graham at the Maltings Theatre, Eastern Lane, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 1AJ, with a group of children, aged 8 to 12, who are creating a play in a week for Maltings Youth Theatre.

The play is still evolving but it will be based on research and information that the children have found out about the Greenses area of Berwick and fishing.

 Their short play will be performed at 6pm in the Henry Travers Studio at the Maltings on Friday 14 August.

Here's the trailer:

It’s free to attend and will last a maximum of half an hour.

If you are in Berwick, please do come along and support the children who have worked very hard all week on this project.


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Berwick 900 Seaside & Maritime Story

This video looks at some of the visual elements in the Spittal Seaside Festival and the exhibition in Tweedmouth Watchtower (introduced by Annie Robinson) where Margaret Kenny and volunteers work on creating a rag wall-hanging to celebrate Berwick 900. 

You'll see nice views of Berwick's landscape and architecture, Spittal promenade, Captain Jim (James) Evans talking about his cooper ancestors, colourful kites on Spittal beach, a teddy bears' picnic with an assortment of knitted woollen food.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Loss of the ‘Lerwick’ and the Heroism of the Crew of the ‘Margory’ in March, 1927

From Trudy Gray:
In the early morning of 24 March 1927, the boats, Lerwick and Margory, left Berwick harbour to fish off the coast to the south.  As the weather began to deteriorate they set out to return to Berwick.  The Margory returned to the harbour, facing very rough seas as it crossed the entrance.  As it reached safety the skipper, Robert Tait, heard a cry from the shore that a boat was in difficulty at the harbour entrance.  The Lerwick was swamped by huge waves.  Despite the extreme seas, Tait returned to attempt a rescue of the four men from the floundering boat.

Under very difficult conditions, the crew of the Margory rescued Robert Borthwick.  The other three on board the Lerwick: the skipper, Robert Cowe Burgon, aged 74, retired fisherman and ex-coxswain of the local lifeboat; Robert Bruce Leith, 29, motor mechanic, and William Payne, 19, all lost their lives.  Their bodies washed ashore at Spittal, a few days later. 

Details of the inquest were reported in the Berwick Advertiser of 31 March 1927. 

The coroner, Mr H R Peters, praised the courage the crew of the Margery and the recognised the dangers regularly faced by the local fishing community.  The Advertiser also reported the huge crowds that gathered at the funerals of Robert Burgon, Robert Leith and William Payne, including many members of their extended families.

Robert Burgon, skipper of the Lerwick, and Peter Dixon and his son Peter, crew of the Margory, were related by marriage.

The crew of the ‘Margory’, skipper Robert Tait, Stephen Tait. Peter Dixon senior and Peter Dixon junior, were all honoured at a civic ceremony in May 1927 and received recognition from the RNLI.

From Berwick Advertiser May 12 1927:
Berwick Fishermen honoured
Public Testimonial to Margory Crew

A thrilling story of the brave conduct of the crew of the Berwick fishing yawl ‘Margory’ was recounted by Councillor P Spowart at a Public Meeting in the Town hall on Thursday evening when silver watches, suitably inscribed, with silver guards, cheques also as a result of public subscription, an illuminated scroll giving a list of the subscribers, and a cheque from the R.N.L.I. were presented amid applause to Skipper Robert Tait, Stephen Tait, Peter Dixon, senr and Peter Dixon junr.  There was a very large attendance of local people, who after the meeting, waited outside the Town hall and raised a hearty cheer when the crew descended the steps and proceeded home.

 Does your family have any links with the families involved ?

Do you have a photograph of the boats,  Lerwick or Margory ?

Do you have memories that you can share ?

If so, please use comments below.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Berwick-upon-Tweed's Fishing Story

Berwick-upon-Tweed's Our Fishing Story video begins with a view of the fishing boat, Reaper, entering Berwick harbour carrying Lauren Dixon, the outgoing 2014-15 Salmon Queen from Eyemouth to Berwick quayside.

As well as nice views of the quayside and the harbour, there's views of the nice food stalls on the quayside taking part in the Mouth of the Tweed food festival celebrating food that is harvested, grown or produced in the Berwick-upon-Tweed area.

On the quayside, that group of red tops and red caps is Prior Park First School there to entertain the crowds. The camera shifts to the Tweedmouth Watchtower and the Silver Shiels and Salmon Darlings exhibition with history displays about fishing and craftswork and paintings related to fishing: fishes, nets, a huge collage of fishes in the waves. Next comes Spittal Promenade with glimpses of Tidal's contemporary dance depicting the sea and River Tweed, then the Tweedmouth Feast carnival parade through the streets of Berwick, Tweedmouth and Spittal. There's commentary by Berwick's Mayor, Hazel Bettison, too.

Several views of people avidly reading the displays in Berwick's Maritime Connections Exhibition at Berwick Guildhall on 18 July, where volunteers were collecting family stories mainly about salmon fishing around Berwick and herring fishing inhabitants in the Greenses area of Berwick. More views of the town are followed by a pipe band leading the procession to the crowning of the new Tweedmouth Salmon Queen, Shannon Blackhall.

The video closes with the departure of Reaper.