Heritage Open Days in the Tyne Valley are now becoming a regular annual event. Buildings all over the country which are normally closed to the public are open during Heritage Open Days for the public to visit and see behind the scenes.

Thanks to funding from ACoRP, the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP) has commissioned Shane O'Leary MSc., BSc. of IMP Well Being (www.impwellbeing.com) to undertake training for our wonderful volunteers situated at the 14 stations of the Tyne Valley line which runs from Newcastle – Carlisle.

In September Shane ran the first training workshop which 7 Station Ambassadors attended. The workshop was designed to help the volunteers all of whom have detailed local knowledge to undertake walking and cycling audits to and from all the stations.

Gilsland is a small village, population 400, which lies on the Tyne Valley Line and straddles the Northumberland/Cumbria border. Like so many small villages public transport is poor. In Edwardian times Gilsland was a busy station with hundreds of visitors going the the Gilsland Spa and all fast trains called here. However passenger numbers declined and the railway station in the centre of the village closed in 1967. The bus service that replaced it now stays on the main road and bypasses Gilsland (and neighbouring Low Row & Greenhead).

September saw the annual Northern Conference held in the Hilton City Hotel in Leeds, to which all the Northern Community Rail Partnerships were invited.

Seven members from Hexham Art Club enjoyed an afternoon sketching at Hexham railway station recently. The visit was arranged through Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership with support from Northern staff. Hexham station was opened 1835 and last year won Best Medium Station of the Year at the National Rail Awards. Members of the Art Group enjoyed the beautiful September weather and sketched the canopy and other features of this impressive station.

The station is adopted by Journey, a local charity which runs the station kiosk, and Transition Tynedale. These organisations are responsible for planters of flowers and herbs, which are really coming into their own.