Holy Island Dune Grass Inferno!

April 7th, 2011

In the 6 years we have owned the inn we never dreamt that the following would happen. Having a quiet drink with a North East colleague a man limps into the inn walking stick in hand and says “I need some help”. With anguish written all over his face and trembling all over we asked what was up. Shaking as he replied he said “I think I have set the island on fire!” From our casual conversations that we were having it certainly ramped things up a gear or two! He had done this by setting off a Chinese latern and with strong prevailing winds blew the lit lantern  in to the dune grasses near to The Snook. We dialled 999 which sent at least five fire tenders in attendance plus our ever faithful Holy Island H M Coast Guard attended by head of the island’s coastguard, Ryan Douglas, his father Paul and grandfather, Tommy.

Driving down to the scene the fire was out of control and engulfing the dune grasses for at least 200 metres advancing towards Holy Island village. The photograph attached taken via hand held Blackberry shows even in poor night conditions, flames stretching along the tail of the island as the fire fighters worked hard by trying to beat back the flames. In summary untold damage done through an inconsiderate act!

Out Of Control Fire Engulfs Dune Grasses Near The Snook

First 2011 Wedding As Spring Approaches

March 5th, 2011

With a tranquil atmosphere in an area of outstanding beauty and the island’s unique setting there is no better place to chose for a wedding celebration then Holy Island Northumberland; it is the perfect choice. The weather today on Saturday 5th March was all you could wish for, wall to wall sunshine with cobalt blue skies.

This provided the perfect setting for our first wedding of 2011 when Dave Williamson married Jane Carter at Lindisfarne Castle. Dave & Jane have been planning this very special day for the last two years and were joined by family and close friends journeying from Dave’s, Teesside and Jane’s, Cambridgeshire  for a wedding celebration at The Ship Inn. The wedding planned incorporating an extensive buffet lunch included local Holy Island crab  and shellfish, afternoon tea, scones with clotted cream and jam, finished in the evening with a personilised hot buffet meal. The only downside is that guests made a friendly comment in that pounds were added although there was some relief by being able to dance to the evening’s live music which was supplied by Northumbrian borders band “Real to Reel”

Valentine’s Weekend Guests – Enjoy A Memorable Stay At The Ship Inn

February 17th, 2011

Another Valentines celebration over with all rooms taken for that romantic weekend break. On checkout all of our guests said that the weekend had been really special, with the male fraternity made up of husbands, partners, or simply boyfriends who politely whispered that their wallets were now a little lighter after treating the lady who is a little bit special in their lives! Whether it was a classic champagne or a sparkling Brut (and that’s not the male element of the equation!) corks were heard popping across the restaurant and bar floors. As the guests finished their main course a popular end to the meal was The Ship Inn’s special dessert, “Loved Up Fruits”. Prepared by Chef Paul, this consisted of fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries all enveloped in a liqueur base of Drambuie, Cointreau and Grand Marnier. This turned out a winner with all that chose it as their dessert selection.

The Champagne Specials

Raging Seas Always Deserve Respect & Brian Patterson Celebrates 52 years!!!

February 6th, 2011

The month of January was relatively quiet after the raging blizzards that brought heavy snows for most of December. And then as we entered February we were reminded that Winter still has us in its grip. Towards the end of last week the winds reached gale force proportions with Friday reminding us, here on the island that the seas deserve to be respected. Gale force 10′s hit the island whipping up the harbour into something like a simmering witches cauldron in turn closing the causeway road 1 hour before the tide closure time published. Our local fishing fleet anchored in the harbour and surrounding bay were tossed around like matchwood, but fortunately weathered the storm which finally abated in the early hours of Saturday morning. The Holy Island coast guard were called out a number of times over the last few days and as always provided an excellent service to those in distress.

And so we move on to the final chapter in this blog update and cannot fail to mention one particular coast guard member who from information The Ship Inn has been given has now served as the longest UK member in the coast guard voluntary service. This accolade goes to Brian Patterson who joined the coast guard at the age of 16 on 6 February 1959. Brian, a regular at The Ship Inn is one of life’s “nice gentleman” . Unassuming, he visits The Ship Inn every Sunday and never misses. Along with his island friend, Jimmy Middlemiss they always enjoy a pint or two sitting on their favourite stools and help towards making a pleasant atmosphere every Sunday lunchtime. Andrew & Janice and all the staff at The Ship wish Brian good health and happiness for many years to come!

52 years in the coast guard joined 6 Feb 1959

Farewell 2010 – Hello 2011

January 12th, 2011

The first decade of the new millennium (as I am sure for many of you) has passed by as if our feet have hardly had time to touch the ground! Janice and myself have now had ownership of The Ship Inn for over 5 years and with April 2011 looming it will be 6 years since we agreed to purchase the inn from Pauline and Frank. Sadly for those who knew Pauline Gregory she sadly passed away with a battle for just over a year with cancer. At only 61 Pauline was the driving force when she had the business. Janice and myself are indebted to her, along with husband Frank for the help she gave us back in those early days in 2005. With her unique style and “Pauline humour” we have very many fond memories to look back on.

Overall 2010 has been a busy year with weddings over the past year on the increase as couples agree to “tie the knot” at Lindisfarne Castle. As we go into 2011 it appears that the trend for choosing to get married on the island is still on the up and choosing to have The Ship Inn for the reception whether for a simple buffet or  formal dinner is as popular as ever. Midsummer even provided the biggest marquee wedding with an excellent job done by all our staff whereby nearly 150 persons were catered by having a formal wedding dinner.

Other catering facilities have also been provided for from, retirement, wedding & birthday anniversaries. One of the most interesting occasions being celebrating as “It’s good to be here at 75 years party!” As the host said on the night, “why toast your friends when they die, instead let’s celebrate when we are still here!” You can’t argue with that!

From an accommodation perspective, as we entered 2010, existing rooms were given a make over in the Winter of 2010 with all of our en-suites being replaced with a  new super luxury room 3 being introduced with complimentary super luxury bathroom & shower. This room with the “Victorian Style” king sized luxury bed, complete with chaise lounge has been a great success with many a guest returning to rebook this room. For all of our hard work it was pleasing to be given an upgrade from 3 to 4 stars by the tourism board, so a big thank you to those who helped to make it happen.

Weather wise, 2010 was not a bad year with many a sunny & warm day encouraging folk to enjoy our well sheltered and sunny beer garden with music provided from time to time by a passing band providing a very enjoyable ambiance on those welcome warm & sunny days.

As Autumn approached, the island prepared for its annual bonfire spectacular which was to its usual high standard which lead to the festivity ending by folk being packed into the inn for a warming drink. Winter then approached and after a relatively warm start in early November the arctic winds swung in and Winter came with a vengeance, so rarely seen in recent years. The 1st snows fell heavily on the 24 November. With December and the end of the year fast approaching, day after day the snow fell, temperatures hovered often around -10C in the day with minus mid teens at night. So this year with the old classic song “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” became a reality with deep snow on Christmas day with no sign of the first serious thaw occurring until we approached the New Year.

So as we go into 2011 we would like to wish all our past customers a very happy and hopefully proseprous New Year and whether you are a past customer or are considering a visit to Holy Island we look forward to ensuring you have a warm welcome if you should decide to visit The Ship Inn.