Saturday, 27 March 2010

Awards Time!

I owe many, many thanks to the superduper, Fly in the Web, who has been very munificent in her awards to me lately. I feel that I am not deserving of them because I can be a very spasmodic blogger at times. I would like to award her my special cricket award "A Knockout Read!" as I know she shares my love of cricket. She has been a "brick" and I commend her "French Leave" blog to you. Strawberry Jam Anne, a regular blogger, has also been very kind and awarded me the Sunshine award too. I would also like to award her my own cricket award. Thank you both.

I've gone a bit quiet of late because I've been on various courses about Hadrian's Wall...a trip to the Mithraeum at Brocolitia and to Chesters. This was on a day when we got blown to bits and drenched alternatively but it was well worth it. I aim to blog about these when the Easter holidays are over. My former guiding tutor, Jan Williams, talked about the "smurf" hats of the torch bearers at the Mithras Temple amongst other things. Georgina Plowright, English Heritage, showed us all sorts of delightful things in the museum at Chesters and at the fort and bath house.

I'm also desperately trying to brush up my notes for my guiding tour at Vindolanda. I'm a bit nervous about that as it coincided with me falling quite ill last Summer. I'm happy to say that I'm completely back to normal now but it's like falling off a horse and trying to get back on it again. So fingers crossed. I've been over to Vindolanda and to The Roman Army Museum (where there is a lovely new gallery display about Hadrian and his life). So watch this space!

Back to the awards. I've been very remiss in this department and I think there are some super bloggers out there. I'd like to pass on the "Sunshine" and "Circle of Friends" award to these bloggers who've stuck by me through thick and thin:

1. French Fancy
2. Dumdad at The Other Side of Paris
3. Nota Bene
4. The Dotterel at Bringing up Charlie
5. Troy
6. Ladybird World Mother
7. Addy at Alcoholic Daze
8. Expatmum
9. Lindsay at Rural Villager
10. Maggie May
11. Suburbia
12. Catharine at Withenay Wanders
13. Completely Alienne
14. Sage
15. Views from the Bike Shed
16. Lynne at Bun Mountain Cottage
17. Saco-Harry who doesn't have a blog (to my knowledge) but he does run a marvellous diggers' website at Vindolanda: www.
18. Keep Bloggering On!

I would also like to pass on the "Share Your Flair" award to:

1. Mickle's Pickle
2. Sandi - Holding Patterns
3. Grumpy Old Ken
4. Yorkshire Pudding
5. Gill - That British Woman
6. Crystal Jigsaw
7. A Woman of No Importance
8. Jo Beaufoix
9. Dulwich Divorcee
10. Life in Windermere
11. Clippy Mat
12. Ma Mite
13. Lakeviewer
14. Sarah at Work in Progress
15. Tarte Tartan
16. Kestrel at Jom, Colour Me
17. View from the High Peak
18. Diary of a Desperate Woman
19. Reluctant Memsahib
20. Lailani at The Green Grass Grows All Around

And..if I haven't included anyone who feels they ought to be included...then..I'm utterly, abjectly sorry...blame it on my Roman marbles which are a tad looser these days.........

Tara for now! :) Hadriana xx

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Illuminating Hadrian's Wall Followup! Get your fix here!

I must admit that I'm feeling quite flat today after all the excitement at the weekend. So to cheer myself up I've been looking around at various sites to see what everyone has been posting about The Hadrian's Wall Illumination:

Here's a slideshow at Flikr which shows the helicopter flying over: click here

and an incredibly long one here. There are about 450 odd photos. You can fast forward through it. I didn't get all the way through it but I did spot a few photos of one of my neighbours sat in Greenhead village. The ones towards the end of the Roman soldiers over at Bowness look fascinating.

I liked a good slew of them over at Facebook: Illuminating the Wall. Click here for those.

I couldn't download it but there is a 30 second aerial footage of the night here.

A very impressive 7.5 minute Illuminating Hadrian's Wall film at You Tube can be found here. It's my favourite and very mesmerising!

Righty onwards and upwards...What's next for me? Two courses organised by Hadrian's Wall Heritage Ltd. They run a whole series of them each Spring for owners of local businesses and I've got one tomorrow at The Great North Museum on Latin inscriptions. The next one is on Monday about the Mithraic temple on the Wall. A couple more follow in the next month or so.

After that I blow the dust off my Vindolanda notes. I've got to kick the memory back into action and think about how I do my tours there for the Easter hols. They're in the process of a £6 million renovation both at Vindolanda and The Roman Army Museum. I'll have to get myself down both places to take a look. Can't wait!

(I'll also be continuing to write up my banking reminiscences just as soon as I can...)

Sunday, 14 March 2010

My part in the illumination of Hadrian's Wall continued...

The proceedings (for me anyway) kicked off when I drove over to my cell's muster point over at Brampton's Community Centre. (There were 3 cells there in total. Across the Wall there were 42 cells.) The tension had been building inside me all week. I didn't know what to expect. I really didn't.

I had volunteered to help out with the "Illuminating Hadrian's Wall" shindig back in January. I had quickly filled in a form and largely forgotten about it. There was (as ever!) too many other things to think about.

The whole "Illuminating Hadrian's Wall" thing started to creep up on me sometime in the last couple of weeks. What was I meant to do? Could I become an illuminator after all? Who was in charge of getting the equipment there? How many other people would attend? Various questions began to percolate and desperately wanted to break free. I had had some of them answered at the preparation event on Friday in Corbridge where all of the cell leaders had congregated. They were from all over the country and they had experience of dealing with a big affair such as this.

Nevertheless nothing like this had ever been attempted before - on this scale - 74 miles of Hadrian's Wall and 84 miles of Hadrian's Wall National Trail had to be covered by people and light.

What would crowd control look like and feel like?
What if someone fell off one of the crags?
Would there be complete road rage along the length of the Military Road?

Slight chewing of the fingernails time. Methinks.

Back to Brampton Community Centre. I parked. Left the wellies for later. Met up with my fellow volunteer, Patricia, and went inside. Already by 12.30pm lots of people were milling around.

We got given our sticker badges announcing we were the main Hadrian's Wall Heritage volunteers and would be the point of reference for the other volunteers who were, primarily, the "illuminators".

We had something scrumptious to eat from the canteen then we sat around chatting and swapping stories with those who had showed up. I was interested in how people had found out about the event and how they had signed up. All of them had heard about it via the press and media somehow or other (i.e.: Facebook, local free press, radio, the HWH official website etc.) and signed on the dotted line. The people I met were from Yorkshire, Tyneside, Teeside, Cumbria and an American living over the border in Scotland plus a Canadian studying in Norwich. And that was just for starters. In short, the world had appeared on our doorstep just like in Roman times.

Our cell leader, Alexia, asked us (the three Hadrian's Wall Heritage Volunteers) to choose which bit of the cell (2 miles) that we wanted. I got the bit right at the back of our B&B. Hurrah!

We had to hang around quite a but, nevertheless, the time passed quickly. Alexia chose whom she wanted to man the burners (for there were to be two people to a burner), whom was going to get a flare and whom was going to have a ceremonial candle. The idea was to fill the Wall with light. The more people and light there were so much the better. The burners were to be situated 250 metres apart along the line of the Wall. The flares and candles also helped to join up the dots of the light. The burner had gas to last one and half hours, the flare was to burn for about 30 seconds to one minute (for the helicopter filming's sake) and the ceremonial candles were to be alight for up to 30 minutes.

Once that was done we went outside for a demonstration of how to put together the calor gas bottles and burner, how to light the burner and how to dismantle it. We were then shown how to let off a flare - what to do and what not to do. ("A" for Area, "B" for Back to the wind, "C" for Cap, "D" for Drawstring, "E" for Elevate and "F" for Effin' hot if your hand was in the wrong place!!!) We were warned that we all had to make sure that we had the right kit in the correct place. We were to be taken to our various access points. The equipment was travelling separately because of the health and safety rules. Alexia would patrol the cell checking on all of us. Illuminators were to come to the relevant HWH volunteer on their bit of the cell. (Each of us HWH volunteers had a third of Alexia's cell to command.)

We all boarded the big coach at 3pm precisely as planned. We were dropped off at our access points. Patricia and her gang were dropped off first at the edge of Gilsland, we were then dropped off at the edge of Longbyre and Eddie (plus Alexia) were dropped off further up. Eddie had the hardest bit of our cell but he was a HWH ranger and knew this bit of the Wall like the back of his hand.

At the side of the Longbyre road we then waited and waited and waited and waited for the equipment to turn up. We were kept enthralled (not!) by the man in the white van who seemed very unfamiliar with the terrain despite being in possession of a GPS and mobile phone. I kept in touch with Alexia by phone whilst we (the illuminators and I) got to know one another better. Everyone bar one tall chap from Canada (yes...he who is studying in Norwich) was from the slightly wider area. We all had a connection with Hadrian's Wall and were keen to get started.

Two hours later, still without our illumination thingummyjigs, I was weighing up our options...the equipment didn't take that long to set up. Our allotted light up time was 18.20 and we'd been told that the helicopter would fly over a bit later. Everyone had to be in their allocated places and we'd all been given a photograph marked where we had to stand. Some had the old site of a milecastle (small fort) or a turret. The former milecastle was situated at every Roman mile and a turret used to mark the site of a third of a Roman mile. There was also to be a point of light between these ancient Roman sites.

At about 5.15pm the man with the van turned up. Huzzah! We got our bits of equipment. I asked everyone to check whether they had all their bits of kit. Everything appeared to be in order bar one splitter for one of our burners and four flares. (Sadly we were marked down for one candle rather than four candles......Boom! Boom! as Basil Brush would say!!!) I phoned that through to Alexia. She said she would sort it. I asked everyone to get into place and to get set up as much as possible.

Very kindly, Derek from Wallsend, stayed with me whilst I waited for the man in the van again. The minutes ticked by...About twenty minutes later...Cliff from Teeside told me that they were missing most of the bits they needed to put the burner together. They had their stand. They had their two bottles of gas but nothing else. AAAAAGGGGRRRRHHH! Don't panic! Don't Panic! In fact Major Panic. Phoned Alexia again. She would hunt down Man in the Van personally (who had apparently had the stuff in the first place but had denied them to Cliff then taken off down the road like Road Runner on acid...) Looking back it really was quite funny as he (Road Runner) kept hurtling past us in one direction and then five minutes later he would appear hurtling in the other direction. It had all the makings of a cartoon. On each occasion Road Runner had kept his head down not daring to look at us. I had visions of our equipment being all spread out across Walltown crags. I drafted in Mr.H., in my mind's eye, as possible backup...

A blue car pulled up. Passers-by asking for directions? I wondered? but thankfully, mercifully it was the cavalry bringing us the splitter and the flares. They told me that they still had to track down man with the van who'd switched his mobile off. It was now 5.45pm and everyone had been driven to the cigarettes ( bar head was just smouldering). Two American ladies were simultaneously requesting where was the best place to see the fireworks? If they legged it...they could just make Walltown crags. My mental processes were cracking up. (Could they be enlisted to track down our stuff???!!!)

By 5.55pm and just in the nick of time Road Runner turned up!!!!!!!!!

Cliff got his bits and bobs and dashed across to his burner point which was a good ten minute hike away across several fields, styles, hills and a burn (stream).

Alexia and I started to check everyone to see if they were OK and where the various sites of light would be. We decided that one field by Wallend Farm looked a bit bare. We moved Andrew the Canadian to that field and I was to be a bit further along with a flare. (I was secretly very delighted with this.)

At 6.15pm we saw the burners being lit across Walltown Crags and further along the tips of the crags. At 6.20pm our first burner went on. We took photos and chatted. About 6.30pm the helicopter started to come over and I galloped into position (Mr. H. had arrived by this time and was taking photos. He came armed with some cake and some much needed coffee.) I heard the roar of the 'copter. Panicked a little as I couldn't get the cap off, bit it off, flicked out the drawstring and give it a sharp tug. It was alight! I was near the top of the hill. I elevated and held on tight and high. There was a family watching from the opposite field. (Was that our neighbours?) All I thought when the chopper went over isn't yellow and its landing light isn't this the bleep bleep correct 'copter or not? (There had been much more air traffic about than we had been warned about.) and I thought "Typical...........if it ain't the right one!" It was. My blood pressure came down a notch or two.

At last I could calm down. I drank in the splendiferous views. As it got darker the lights sang out more clearly. Thirlwall Castle was lit up at one side (you can see these on my previous post). Across to Gilsland there was an indescribable beauty and serenity. The vallum is clearly in evidence here. Cliff and his mum manned the burner on the edge of our section beside some Roman stones. My guess is that they were near a milecastle or on top of it. What was left of it.

Yes...we had done the Romans proud. If the Wall had been lit up all those hundreds and hundreds of years ago...this is what it would have looked like. It was magical yet very eerie.

I was mightily relieved that the evening had gone to plan. In fact the weather and conditions had been an absolute dream. The Gods were with us and had celebrated our achievement. The auspices were/are looking good for the start of The Ancient New Year. (After what happened last year I too am much relieved!) I went off to chat to my fellow Wall devotees and to take some piccies...and to enjoy that Imperial beer...

Standing by Longbyre roadside - first hour

Standing by Longbyre roadside - second hour

Looking up towards Longbyre - still waiting for the gear

Alexia striding up the hill in her red fleece "Illuminating Hadrian's Wall" jacket

The illuminators at Wallend Farm putting together a burner

The clear "V" shape of the Vallum

The Vallum again with the lone tree

The illuminators with the burner at Wallend Farm

Andrew climbing a style with a ceremonial candle

Andrew again

A fellow illuminator from Morpeth (in the rush I didn't get everyone's names!)

The lights in the dusk

Mr.H. taking photos along the Wall (our cell)

Lights over to Gilsland

The haunting splendor of the Vallum (Ditch)

Derek from Wallsend proudly bearing his candle (he'd also lit a flare when the helicopter went by...)

Sunset over to Gilsland

Climbing the style to Cliff and Linda's burner

Cliff and Linda at their burner

Me! at Cliff and Linda's burner

Spectators enjoying the warmth of the burner

A burner in action

Two fellow illuminators at the Wallend Farm Burner

All of us (bar 3..Alan had gone home and Cliff and Linda were at their burner) at the Wallend Burner. Good crowd and Good Crack (Northern Dialect for Good Chat or Gossip!)

A windswept me back at the B&B

Wylam Brewery's "Emperor Flame" Beer

Allendale Brewery's "Beacon Fire" beer alongside t'other beer

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Hadrian's Wall Illumination - I was there!

Here are some photos (in back to front order). These were taken by Mr.H. beside Wallend Farm. Luckily I stayed on the "cell"(a 2 mile stretch of Hadrian's Wall) that I wanted right beside our B&B.

I'm in the B&B right now. It's 10.43pm and I am beginning to come down from an adrenaline high. The fact was absolutely fabulous. The event surpassed my expectations. I don't know what I expected but the atmosphere amongst everyone was marvellous. Everyone was friendly. Everyone mucked in and got on with the job. I shall tell more tomorrow (to be honest I am completely done in!!!!) and download some more photos of fellow volunteers who helped to light and man the burners, the flares and the candles. (I was chuffed to bits...I got to let off a flare!)

These photos are taken looking across to Walltown Crags. In some of them you can just see the outline of Thirlwall Castle and in others you can see the "V" shape of the Vallum just along the line of the National Trail...

and was hauntingly beautiful to see the line of light dotted along the tips of the crags and then across to Gilsland.....

Until tomorrow...!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Stop press! New info re: of Hadrian's Wall

Salvete! (Greetings all!)

I'm back sooner than I expected...and can post this photo of what a burner/torch looks like close up. These burners have been designed specifically for this event.

There were about 50/60 of us at Corbridge Rugby Club today and we got the FINAL details of what will be happening tomorrow night......

The Military Road is not closed. There are no road closures!Pre-booked car parking sites will be at: Broccolitia, Housesteads, Steel Rigg and Birdoswald.There is now car parking available to the public on first come first served basis: at Walltown Quarry and Cawfields (both in Northumberland National Park).

The event, today, was primarily for cell team leaders. (The cell leaders have come from all over the country and have a background in event management/rock concerts/putting together big events.) A cell comprises two miles of Hadrian's wall. We learned how to put together a burner, how to light it and how to dismantle it.

We all (or nearly all) learned how to set off a marine flare and it was exciting! Plus how to dispose of it correctly.

There will be plenty of illuminators (who have come from all over the world) and volunteers per cell. I've volunteered to be a volunteer (sotospeak) and I'll be patrolling one third of a two mile stretch.

We have assembly points and then go to our allotted cell by bus. We all have to be in place by 3pm. I can now reveal the lighting up times and switch off time at the 42 cells along the length of the 84 mile trail:

Segedunum (Wallsend) 17.45
Segedunum West 17.45
Elswick 17.45
Blaydon 17.45
Keelmans 17.45
Heddon 17.45
Houghton West 17.45
West Harlow Hill 17.50
Halton 17.50
Chollerford 17.55
Walwick 18.00
Broccolitia 18.00
Housesteads East 18.05
Housesteads 18.05
Steel Rigg 18.10
Steel Rigg 18.15
Haltwhistle 18.20
Walltown 18.20
Greenhead 18.20
Gilsland 18.25
Chapelburn 18.25
Banks 18.25
Lanercost 18.30
Walton 18.35
Newtown 18.35
Bleatarn 18.35
Linstock 18.35
Carlisle Central 18.40
Carlisle West 18.40
Grinsdale 18.40
Beaumont 18.40
Bousetead Hill 18.40
Bousetead Hill 18.45
Drumburgh 18.45
Bowness on Solway 18.45

Switch off Time: 19.10

There will be a yellow helicopter going east to west along the Wall to film it. With a a bit of luck I might get to light a flare. There will also be ceremonial candles lit as well as the burners and flares.

Just remember:

Sunset is 18.10
Civil Twilight is 18.47
Nautical Twilight is 19.30 (effectively night)!

I don't feel that I am conveying the sense of excitement which is building about the whole thing but there were plenty of happy faces today. Lots of laughing and joking (whilst taking the lighting etc. very seriously)...the weather is set to be fair. It should be FANTASTIC!!!!!!

Valete! (Farewell to all!) Hadriana

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

If you are planning to come to Hadrian's Wall this weekend...some tips...

Local photographer, Joan Thirlaway, has written some tips if you are planning to come to the illuminating of Hadrian's Wall on Saturday. (Plus some good photo tips too!) You can find them here if you click on this Heritage-Key link here.

My one strong recommendation is not to bring any dogs with you on Saturday night. It is lambing time and the farmers and landowners will not appreciate dogs around at this important time for them. As Joan says...please respect the countryside code of shutting gates behind you, not leaving any litter...and so on. The main thing is to be safe and enjoy warm, be seen and take a torch too.

And please note...there are THREE - THREE ONLY DESIGNATED CAR PARKS (I have heard that the Steel Rigg Car Park is reserved for the camera crews only.) along the central section of the Wall.

Tickets have already gone at the following designated car parks:
Brocolitia Temple of Mithras Car Park - The line of light will be ignited at Segedunum Roman Roman at 5.45pm and will reach Brocolitia soon after.
Located on the B6318, 3 miles West of Chollerford.

Housesteads Roman Fort Car Park – The line of light will reach Housesteads at approximately 6.20pm Located on the B6318, 10 miles west of Chollerford/4 miles from Bardon Mill. Please note, the fort lies uphill from the car park (a ten/fifteen minute walk on steep gradient).

Birdoswald Roman Fort Car Park – The line of light will reach Birdoswald shortly after 6.20pm. Located 4 miles west of Greenhead off the B6318. Please note Birdoswald Roman Fort will be closed to the public.

Vistors are being advised to wrap up warm, wear suitable shoes and bring a flask! (Preferably a non-alcoholic hot drink.)

Other events include The Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall Cycle Ride:

Haltwhistle Cycle Hub Project is organising a 17 mile guided cycle ride from Haltwhistle to Birdoswald Cheese Farm (Slack House) – a fantastic vantage point above Birdoswald Fort to view the Line of Light. This will be followed by a hearty, home cooked two course supper at the farm, and then a lift back to Haltwhistle by minibus with bike trailer.

The ride will be completely on-road, mainly along quiet roads, and will involve a couple of challenging climbs (can go slowly). Community transport charity, WATBus, is running the event and places are very limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

1330 Gather at meeting point: water tower next to Haltwhistle station
1400 Cycle ride departs Haltwhistle
1450 Tea stop at Gilsland
1610 Tea stop at Lanercost
1745 Arrive Birdoswald Cheese Farm, view the Line of Light followed by supper (vegetarian option available)
By 2100 Return to Haltwhistle

The cost of taking part will be £31 (£15 to cover the costs of the guided ride, driver and transport and £16 for the meal). Participants must pay for both components. This does not include refreshments at the tea stops. The £15 will be payable to WATbus on booking and the £16 for the meal will be payable in cash only on the day.

Participants should wear warm, waterproof clothing and tough shoes and bring a torch. Items may be left in the minibus during the ride.

Participants must confirm names and contact details including email to WATBus before Monday 8 March.
(You might still be able to get tickets.)
Costs payable to WATBus are £15 per person, payable in full by cheque/cash/BACs at time of booking. Cheques should be made payable to WATBus and received before Wednesday 10 March. Emergency contact details required for all participants.
Participants to pay for the cost of their own refreshments, including evening meal, which will be collected on the day of the event.

Participants are expected to arrange their own cycle insurance as WATBus cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss/damage of belongings. Only standard cycles permitted i.e. no tandems, tricycles or recumbents.No children under the age of 12 years old.

WATBus reserve the right to cancel if there are insufficient participants or if weather conditions are considered unsafe for cycling.To book email

and...Guided Walks to See the Line of Light

Haltwhistle Walking Group will be leading short guided walks from Haltwhistle town centre to great vantage points to view the Line of Light. The walks are free of charge and will leave from Haltwhislte at regular intervals between 1630 and 1730 returning by 2000.

Walking boots, warm and waterproof clothing and a torch are essential kit as the route will be mainly off road. Dogs are not permitted.

The walks are planned to coincide with the train arrivals and departures from Newcastle and Carlisle. Booking is essential. Full details and booking information on
Look at the website for further information.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Update on the illumination of Hadrian's Wall - March 13th - this Saturday!

The event is getting nearer and everyone is getting excited!

There was a running feature on it on last night's Countryfile (BBC1). My boss, Kerry Shaw, Volunteer Co-ordinator for Hadrian's Wall Heritage Ltd.,(which is organising the event) was interviewed by Julia Bradbury. The BBC showed the rehearsal of it - the lighting of the torches/burners which are at 250 metre intervals along the 73 mile long Hadrian's Wall. And by golly it looked stunning!

There is a fabulous gallery of 47 Hadrian's Wall, Northumbrian and Cumbrian pictures at this website and you can reach this link - here. So I would urge you to have a look at it. It also includes some (towards the end of the slide show) from the rehearsal. You can see the BBC crew including Julia Bradbury and one of her lighting a torch/burner. (I would download it and run it from here but I cannot do that for some reason.) The photos feature "Romans", Arbeia (South Shields fort), Carlisle Castle, various views from the Wall, a super photo of the AD213 bathhouse at Vindolanda and the reconstruction (milecastle and Wall) there, Lanercost Priory, Hexham Abbey and some great ones of Newcastle. (Plus more!)

Why is it being held on March 13th or "Two Ides"?
It is celebrating "Anna Parenna" - the eve of the Ancient New Year. Anna Parenna is the Roman goddess of the new year. Her festival was celebrated on March 15. This date is the infamous "Ides of March": Click here for a wonderful explanation of "The Ides of March. Apparently Test Cricket was born this day in 1876! The Romans gave various explanations to the origin or her name, amnis perennis ("eternal stream"): she was a river nymph; her name was derived from annis ("year"); she was a moon-goddess of the running year; also, she was equated with Anna, the sister of Dido, who was received in Latium by Aeneas, but drowned herself in a river. In the class-struggle between the patricians and plebeians she chose the side of the plebeians.
The illumination is also celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Romans officially leaving these shores. (And more closer to home - it is also British Tourism Week: 15-23rd March.)

I'll be writing more on all of this. My colleague and I did the reccie for our cell (2 miles) between Walltown and Gilsland. It's an absolutely fabulous stretch of the Wall and it was a pleasure to do it. Fingers crossed that everything goes to plan on Saturday. I'm sure it will. Hopefully the weather will hold good. (The sun is shining brilliantly today.)

I'm at a day long event this Friday in preparation for Saturday and helping out all day on the big day itself. The B&B is fully booked and so is everywhere else along the Wall! If you are planning on coming you may still be lucky to get into a B&B close-by. You could try going a bit further out on both sides...e.g. Alston, Allendale, Hexham, Carlisle, Longtown and Borders etc. Everyone is more than welcome. The two big shows: one at Segedunum (Wallsend) "The German Angels" and "The Light Show" at Carlisle will be fascinating. There are tickets still for sale here whereas the Central Sections of the Wall are now booked up. It will be mesmerising to see how the whole Wall looks alight.

The first burner will be lit at 5.45pm at Segedunum and the last burner will be lit around 6.35pm I believe. Sunset is 6.08pm. The entire view of the Wall will be filmed from overhead by plane or helicopter.

Thank you everyone for your great comments on my City reminiscences...more episodes are promised after this week is out....