Sunday, 12 October 2008

To Enjoy A Drink You Must Have A Canadian Dry!

Having a Canadian Dry (and not a Canada Dry with your drink) was certainly not the main aim when The Ship had a visit from 7 happy go lucky Canadians spending three days on the island. Having walked the St Cuthbert's Way, most parties staying at The Ship just chill out and leave quitely. Not so our Canadian friends, who brought a welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere during their stay. The Ship Inn prides itself on their display of a wide range of malt whiskeys which was certainly an enjoyable challenge for our Canadian party plus copius amounts of Holy Island Blessed Bitter and the much loved Secret Kingdom, brewed by Hadrian & Border Brewery. Landlord, Andrew Hnat said "he would be glad to see them back (no not their back!) and looks forward to an island reunion maybe in 2009 or 2010". Whatever the outcome, Holy Island is waiting and will be prepared for their return without a Canadian Dry!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Freddy 70 Not Out!

Freddy Hoult (pictured left) celebrated in style at The Ship Inn on Thursday 28 August along with his wife Peta, family and friends by holding a Fish and Chip supper to celebrate Freddy's 70th birthday. Not looking a day over 60, Freddy celebrated in style and brought back wonderful memories on how enjoyment can be had in the lovely old historic building of The Ship Inn by an impromptu gathering of Freddy Hoult's Choir (pictured top right) Wonderful songs such as "The Blaydon Races" were sung in perfect harmony and local "Geordie English" that was a delight for casual "lookers on" and would have been worthy of entering the BBC competition "The Last Choir Standing!"

Freddy has had a long association with the island, going back many many years with his first memorable visit in Freddy's words "coming onto the island as a nipper with his Mother and Father in their Model "T" Ford.

His Father already knew the island well, as he often came by sailing into the harbour with The Royal Northumberland Yacht Club. Following in his father's foot steps, Freddy paid a visit with the same yacht club visiting with friends on his Northumberland One Design "Wren Named" yacht. Originally living in Beadnell and later in Newcastle, Freddy has had an island home in the Herring Houses for over 30 years.

During the evening tributes were paid with one particular story from Andrew Hnat the landlord, telling those gathered that aside from The Ship Inn his first meal away from the business was at the Crown & Anchor with his fiancé Janice on their very first night on the island and who should make the first conversation from the adjacent table to Andrew & Janice but none other than Freddy & Peta Hoult, a memorable evening never forgotten!

Friday, 30 May 2008

Vikings Rape & Pillage Holy Island

In real terms, terrorising the island they do not but to drink the island dry they try hard ! However last bank holiday Friday 23 May, over 200 Vikings descended upon the Holy Island. Coming from all points of the compass, the vikings were here as the guests of English Heritage and put on a marvellous display of the reinactment of the invasion of Lindisfarne to the more gentle pastimes of demonstrating arts & crafts of this historic period in British History.
( Picture shows some of the Vikings and their wenches enjoying a quiet drink or two!)
Other historic records were also attempted when up to 100 vikings at a time in full battle dress descended upon The Ship Inn during their 4 day holiday period and attempted to "drink the house dry". However good stocks were in hand and the cellar managed to keep the lads and the lassies well imbibed but never running totally short.... close, but not short!

Added to this the weather that prevailed over the weekend was superb, so as the holiday weekend moved on a pace, glowing cheeks (on their faces of course!) were best cooled down with copious amounts of ale, wine and spiritswith the occasiona hearty meal! And for the record, the Viking enthusiasts were well behaved and never any trouble. One sour incident did occur, but for the record had no part at all with the viking group on the island. This was swiftly dealt with by Andrew the landlord with the offending individual sent packing with Viking bodyguards in the wings in case additional support was needed!

All in all an enjoyable weekend was had by all, to which the island will probably not see another like it.... until the next time that is. See you again boys and we will be ready to defend our barrels!!

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Ducks Are Quackers About The Ship

If you are not an islander then a little explaining needs to be done! Going back to 1965 the very 1st island duck supper was held at the Iron Rails Inn on Marygate. The inn is now sadly closed, but in its heyday the island male fraternity with invited friends from neighbouring Northumberland and border Scottish villages got together for the annual duck supper.

This great island tradition has continued to the present day with the unique celebration traditionally relying upon ducks from the local wild fowlers. Having shot their own duck in the latter part of Winter, the months of February or March is earmarked in the diary for the gathering of local menfolk on the island. The evening dinner then got underway where everybody sat down for supper and was presented with their own duck personally cooked for them. Each duck served with a hearty portion of "tatties" (potatoes) and bagies (turnips) and of course washed down with the obligatory ale and wine.

Now in its' 43rd year, The Ship Inn this year was honoured by hosting this unique event. A welcome speech was given by Andrew, the landlord, followed on by the guest speaker which this year the honour went to Clive Massey. Clive (with his wife Sue) originally owned the Lindisfarne Hotel for over 30 years and is well experienced in hosting many island Duck Suppers and was able to look back at this unique island tradition, with of course, a few hilarious tales thrown in.
After Andrew's and Clive's speeches and with dinner over guests drank and reminisced into the early hours with the last revellers leaving around 4.00 am. This was quite early by some accounts! The feedback since was that an excellent time was had by all, in particular the ducks were cooked to perfection, with all and sundry looking forward to returning to The Ship Inn next year.
Photo top left shows Clive in full swing with photo left showing the "very smart brigade" appologies Robert, Jimmy, and Dick!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Murder at The Ship Inn

We were surprised also in discovering that a murder had been committed at The Ship Inn! However after carrying out a more thorough investigation of our own we were slightly relieved to find out the murder is in fact in the latest book by author Ken Scott's thriller, namely, "The Sun Will Still Shine Tomorrow".

Ken recently spent a couple of days on the island staying at The Ship Inn so as he could finalise his master script checking the minutiae detail just before the official book launch, earmarked for the 2oth March. Speaking at The Ship Inn, Ken informed us that he has been working on his latest novel for the last year and had gathered initial information from our Ship Inn website. On arrival at The Ship he found it was all that he imagined it would be. Besides the wonderful character within the building he said that the warm welcome made him feel at home.

Hailing originally from Berwick upon Tweed, Ken got into writing with his first crime thriller novel the "Jack of Hearts" published in October 2005. This was closely followed up the following year with the sequel "A Million Would Be Nice" voted by Amazon as the "best thriller of the year" . This was Ken's turning point as he decided to give up his day job as an international offshore consultant and take up full time writing carried out from his home near Alicante Spain.

Northumberland though is still very dear to Ken's heart and particularly Holy Island, from which he has many fond memories and Ken thought it would be ideal for his latest crime thriller.

When published the book will be available at The Ship Inn, so keep watching our news blog for any further details.

Friday, 15 February 2008

A Belated Welcome To The New Year

It has been some time since our "Blog News Page" has been updated. All for good reason and from hereon in we hope to be updating on our usual frequent basis. There have been many reasons for the delay and hopefully as you read on, you will understand the reason why, some happy times and some sad. So, where do we begin?

November 2007, there was no guest news/items to report as The Ship Inn followed tradition and shut down for 4 weeks to cover annual holiday (photo top left going for a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel) and much needed maintenance. During this time we renovated a bedroom that had laid dormant (excuse the pun!) for some years and are now proud to announce that Room No:4 is now open for bookings for the 2008 .

December then came upon us with the relatively quiet days the early weeks leading up to the lovely atmosphere that always prevails at The Ship during the festive weeks. The New Year weekend was one of our most memorable (our 3rd to date) that Janice and I have had since living on the island. New Years eve night was well attended and finished at 4.30 am New Years Day.!

Men's Day on the 1st January and Ladies Day on the 2nd January was a real success. One of the talking points on the 2nd was the "world record" set by Dick Patterson and Colin Johnson (our annual cockney sparrow visitor!) by sitting on the same bar stool for a record 10 hours & 15 minutes!

Our photo (from left to right) shows Colin with Dick trying to coax The Ship's cat back into life. Sadly the moggy has been in this transfixed state for at least 10 years, A bit like the two in the photo, apologies, editor!

Nearing the end of the traditional 2 weeks of festivities, Janice and
I thought, as we approached the weekend of the 5 January, we were in for a quiet time. How wrong we were, as the "A team ladies" of Holy Island with a few male hangers on descending upon us to celebrate Barbara Kyle's ?!'th birthday. This turned out to be a great end to the week with our resident chef, Paul Armstrong putting on an impromptu buffét and even throwing a birthday cake to boot! A great time was had by all and we hope to do it next New Year and maintain this unique island tradition.

(Picture above right shows Barbara proudly showing off her 21st birthday cake with husband George proudly looking on!)

The sad news (and we would like to thank all of the island for their kind thoughts and support) is that during the New Year week, daughter Lisa with her fiance Brian had a wonderful time joining in with the unique atmosphere providing by our Holy Island friends. Sadly just 3 weeks to the day of leaving Holy Island Brian passed away suddenly on the 27 January. The day they were due to announce to us on the Sunday evening their planned wedding booked for the 2 October, very sadly this is not to be. So as you can imagine this year has started, from a personal viewpoint for Janice and I on a very sad note, particularly for my daughter Lisa. The positive side are of the happy memories Brian spent here on the island with Lisa. So thanks once again for the kindness shown by all of our island friends who showed so much kindness when Lisa was up on the island recently.