A childhood in nature

Jean Tweedle, of Ponteland, Newcastle, reflects on her memories of a childhood in nature

The beautiful article by Mike Pratt in The Northumbrian issue 180 highlighting the benefits of the younger generation’s exploration of nature brought back memories of exciting nature walks and outings in my childhood and teen years. My sister and I were extremely fortunate in spending several years living in a tiny hamlet in Scotland. Quite nearby there were fairly extensive woods which were a magical kingdom to enter. My father, who was an excellent artist, was equipped with sketch book and pencils and we had our own little pads too. Every day, in all weathers during the holidays, we were “off to the woods”.

continue reading →

The fight for the short-shanked shull

Barbara Brown, of Camberley, Surrey, who sent us this poem, writes: I have had this poem for more than 30 years and I feel it must be more than 50 years old, and felt it might be interesting for your readers…

The fight for the short-shanked shull

Ye’ll hev hord aboot strikes and wars and the likes,

Ye’ll hev hord about “Blackoots and Knockoots”,

But aa’ll tell ye a tale that’ll turn ye all pale

It’s the tale of a Colliery Lockoot.

continue reading →


WRITER and cartoonist, Henry Brewis, was a regular contributor to this magazine for many years until his untimely death in March 2000. Editor Stewart Bonney described this Shilbottle-born former farmer as “the funniest, most naturally talented writer I have ever known.”
We are frequently asked to reproduce some of his warm, witty stories and this article appeared in issue 22, in Spring 1993.