Whitburn - Down Your Way

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South Bents Townswomen’s Guild will support the Sunderland Federation Coffee Morning tomorrow at 10am in St Mary’s Church hall, Bridge Street, Sunderland, hosted by the Federation Committee. The first meeting of the New Year will be in Whitburn Methodist Church hall next Wednesday, January 13, at 7pm. Mr Bernard Hope will talk about Edie Chapman, Double Agent.

Souter Lighthouse, gift shop and tearoom are closed until the middle of February. National Trust gifts can be purchased online at http://shop.nationaltrust.org.uk/ .

Normal activities at the Barnes Institute re-commence this week with the exception of Create, which will start the new term on Thursday, January 14, at 4pm. The Cultural Spring Choir, ‘Singing with Music in the Minster’, meets tonight at 7.15pm for the first of a new 10-week programme. All are welcome to attend, musical knowledge is not required and a voluntary contribution of £2 per session would be welcome. Last term’s sessions culminated in a wonderful pre-Christmas concert with acapella performances rewarded with festive nibbles and wine. The full timetable of activities at the Barnes can be seen on Facebook, The Barnes Institute, Whitburn, or ring Carol Shield on 07767 156 134.

The Barnes Monday line dance group members raised £1,000 during the year by holding weekly raffles. At their Christmas party they donated £500 each to Great North Air Ambulance and the Barnes Institute. Grateful thanks to all members for their dedication and generosity.

La Belle Amie Boutique in North Guards won a bottle of champagne, kindly donated by Coun Tracey Dixon, for its Christmas window display. Part of Whitburn Winter Festival activities, the competition was informal, the judging was by an independent party and none of the shops knew in advance that a prize would be awarded. The village was well-adorned by many very attractive windows and all residents appreciated the effort that traders and businesses put into their festive decorations. Thanks is also due to local residents and businesses who donated prizes to the Barnes Institute Grand Christmas Draw, which raised nearly £700 from ticket sales. All proceeds go towards the upkeep and renovation of the Institute which has been in constant community use since 1905. Plans for 2016 include upgrade of the electrical system and refurbishment of the toilets.

Please contact me using my details above if you have any Whitburn news for this weekly column. Family events and milestones, details of organisation’s regular activities and achievements are all welcome, with pictures if possible. Thank you. A happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2016 to all in Whitburn and surrounding areas.