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Peregrini Community Projects join forces to investigate Cocklawburn

17 November 2016
By Sarah Winlow
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A group of volunteers from the three Community Projects of Archive, Geology and Archaeology came together for a workshop hosted by leaders from each project last Saturday morning.

All three Community Projects have been involved in researching different strands of evidence for the Cocklawburn area. The Community Geology project has included geo-walks and sessions on identifying the fantastic geology exposed along this stretch of the coast. The Archaeological Practice carried out last summer’s dig at a lime workers’ cottage at Sand Banks, the two terraces of cottages between the quarries and the lime kiln complex (now the site of the WWII gun emplacement). The Community Archive team have been busy collating and reviewing all kinds of documents in the Berwick Archive, ranging from maps, census returns, electoral roles, leases, newspaper articles and a memoir.

The workshop was very ‘hands-on’ with the volunteers divided into small groups of 3-4 to look at the evidence collated and to try and build up a picture of the area in the past. In three sessions over the morning, the volunteers were supported by Linda Bankier (Archives), Ian Kille (Geology) and Alan Rushworth (Archaeology) as subject area experts to help join the dots. There was then a useful feedback session that demonstrated how each discipline - geology, historical research, archaeology - complemented each other and deepened our understanding of this former industrial landscape and the 20 to 25 families that lived here in the 19th century. Sarah Winlow, from the Peregrini team, presented plans for the environmental improvements at Cocklawburn including how the results of the Community Projects will be used in explaining the area to those visiting Cocklawburn.  

Sarah said “I’ve been tasked with pulling together the interpretation element of the larger Peregrini project that will improve access to the beaches and dunes at Cocklawburn. It was fascinating to see the fruits of the research carried out by the Community Projects over 2016, from the geology that was reason why these industrial communities developed, to the recollections of folks that lived there in newspaper articles and memoirs”.

The workshop was co-ordinated and hosted by the Peregrini Lindisfarne Community Archive project at the Berwick Archives and was somewhat of trial run with existing volunteers to see if there is scope to run this type of workshop as an open event. The feedback was unanimous - YES! but as a full day as the volunteers felt a half day was not long enough to get completely to grips with the resources. 

Can you help? Do you have any photographs, memorabilia or memories of Cocklawburn you would like to share? Any information you can provide will feed into a heritage project that includes improvements to the carparks at Cocklawburn, as well as the creation of a guided walk around the old Scremerston Limeworks at Sand Banks. Peregrini Lindisfarne volunteer Nigel Sumerling is heading up this call for material - please do contact Nigel by phone (07873 234 816), email ( or post c/o Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership, Bell View, 33 West Street, Belford, NE70 7QB.

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The Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership Scheme is managed by a Partnership of professional and community representatives from Holy Island and surrounding shore side area. The lead organisation for the Scheme is the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, hosted by Northumberland County Council.