“ Northumberland, England. „
Well, that's not my opinion! It's official! Our little innocent town of Alnwick has been officially named the best town in England. Why?? That's a question we all asked with disbelief when we heard the news! Apparently, there is only an 18 minute rush hour which helped us win the title and the tourist side of Alnwick with the castle (which is where some of Harry Potter was filmed by the way!) and the castle gardens set it right there in the philosophers stone. One thing that has crossed the minds of people here is 'did these people actually visit Alnwick before naming it the best town??' Now I'm not saying Alnwick is a bad place to live, as it's not at all, but it's not as exciting as it's made out to be. Though part of my school is right next to the castle so when they were filming Harry Potter we could just sit in French and look at all the excitement down below us! Some of my friends were even extras in the film and they got paid quite a lot for it! One thing Alnwick does have a lot of is pubs though I won't go into detail as there are ops on pubs in Alnwick in another section. Another thing we have a lot of is Americans. Students from St Cloud State University in Minnesota, USA come to stay in Alnwick castle for 4 months. We're told they do work but we only ever see them in the pubs and wandering around town! They're great though! As a sixth former at the Duchess's High, I have the opportunity whenever new Americans come to the castle, to go in and talk to them and answer any questions they have on life in England. It's always great fun! Anyway, I must be off! I have a lesson to get to. I just thought I'd write and tell you from a locals opinion what the town of Alnwck is really like!
I love this town and the country side around about, the only thing in this town that i hate and dispise, are the people who always look on Alnwick with hatered, there is nothing that the governing bodies or businesses can do with out people either complaining, or not even giving the things a chance to work. It's about time that people in this Town should ask themself "NOT WHAT MY TOWN CAN DO FO ME, BUT WHAT CAN I DO FOR MY TOWN." This rule should be used in every Village, Town, and City. Alot of people including myself aren't extatic about the Alnwick Castle Gardens, but people should look on it a a bit of a blessing, as i think the Castle are expexting over 100,000 people a year to Alnwick. Alnwick Music Festival: Allthough it draws over 10,000 people to Alnwick for one week, its also one of the biggest independant music festivals in the Country, and it creates a canival atmosphere with in the towns market place, some people just don't give it a chance. One of my friends said that Alnwick was boring, but i say its not, there is always something to do, with this much country side, i do understand that with F&M our options are limited, there is only nothing to do, if you don't go looking of it. The people of this Town should be proud of its heritage, history and surrounding areas and enjoy whats around you before thinking about anywhere else.
How many times have I heard myself saying this. "Well actually it's pronounced An Nick not Aln Wick, the double u is silent". It's not the only silent thing about Alnwick. After 5.30pm it's like a ghost town. Well if I'm honest it's only fit for zombies before 5.30pm. Alnwick has a castle, the ancestral home of the Percy Family, Dukes of Northumberland and that's about it. The Duke, it would appear, owns most of Northumberland and with that comes all the power needed to get ones own way - regardless. I am not against England's beautiful heritage but I am incensed by what it often brings. Alnwick and surrounding area has a significant population (I am ashamed to admit, I do not know the exact figure, as I am a resident. There are very few shops and one dominating supermarket. Lots of pubs. It has a tiny "sports centre" which might just be big enough for five a side football - only one match at a time. The roof leaks when the weather is inclement and it has to close. There is a swimming pool, the roof also leaks when it rains and it is so out of date. The only waves created are when one of the overweight lifeguards breaks wind. There is a rugby club, cricket and hockey club and football club, all of which are in the same state of disrepair as the previously mentioned sporting activities. There are no playing fields provided by the Council, as are seen in the "deprived areas of the inner cities". There is a playhouse which was granted a huge amount of money from the lottery or somewhere. The playhouse shows films approx. twice per week and that's about it. So you can imagine we desperately need something for the younger generation - to keep them out of trouble and on the straight and narrow and what are we getting. A garden for the Duchess of Northumberland - built in the enormous grounds of the Castle at great great expense with money obtained from various grants . Apparently this "garden" will bring much joy to the people of Alnwick - providing of course they pay the entrance fee. Part of the wall surrounding the Estate was demolished to give access to the "garden", the narrow country road leading up to it was widened and new street lighting erected. The road was even swept and existing lamp posts painted. I have waited for the bulb in the street light outside my home to be replaced for over a year now but of course my name isn't Percy. I have waited for 10 years for facilities to be provided by the Council for my children but they are too old now to want to use them, but of course my name isn't Percy. I can't erect a fence without permission but if I wanted to knock down part of an ancient wall perhaps I would be allowed, providing of course, my name is Percy. I won't go on and bore you because unless you actually live in Alnwick (pronounced An Nick) it will mean little to you. I hope I have made my point it will not, I know change anything, but at least I feel better. UPDATE 5.8.01 The Castle Gardens project is well on it's way to completion but the disruption it has caused to many residents' lives, continues. Those building the gardens have decided in their wisdom, they will require water. Eureka!! Whoever thought about that deserves an award. I hear you say. Unfortunately in order to get the water, the road leading into Alnwick has had to be dug up resulting in huge tailbacks of traffic, in and out of Alnwick, each morning and late afternoon. We have had a long line of blue barriers creeping along the one main road into and out of the town. There have been the usual letters of complaint in the local newspaper. An article stated that it would get worse before it got better because the works would continue further into the centre of town and the water supply would have to be disconnected from up to 14 hours. A spokesperson had sai d the inconvenience was minimal and worth it considering the final result. Well! obviously this pretentious ***** doesn't have to wait in the seemingly static line of traffic twice a day. Nor it would appear does he own one of the Guest Houses or Cafes who will be effected by the lack of water. The town has already suffered greatly from the drop in tourist numbers caused by the effects of foot and mouth. I suggest Alnwick would be best served if this person put his foot in his mouth and kept it there. I am certain that a worse time to carry out this work, could not have been found. Not only are the children on school holiday but Alnwick is due to be inundated with tourists because the week long Music Festival begins 5th August. But of course it's all for the Percy Family and the mere peasants should be grateful - I mean we are after all going to have a beautiful garden to look at. Well it will be behind a very big wall and we will have to pay to see it - but hey!! aren't we the lucky ones?
Hello, my name is Simon. I've lived in Alnwick for many years now and I can still remember the day I came to be here. Oh yes we found ourselves a nice new home in a street that was constantly being added to with new houses. Living there was boring as hell, but still at least as I walked through the town I had many shops to visit and all, at first I would visit the computer shop often and find out what new games were happening, or maybe get some videos from WHSmiths. Later though I became a "Greggs Addict". Yes everyday I needed to visit Greggs for my hunger, every time my stomach cried for food it would be an experience of withdrawal. Well ok, not every day, just during school lunchtimes. Its not like there were many other decent food outlets around. Time passed and passed, soon enough Alnwick had become so boring with its little entertainment and dull Castle that I resorted to constant visits to my computer. A new addiction occurred, oh yes, to the game they called 'Quake'. Day after day I would spend perfecting my skills on this game, playing hundreds of people over the world. Making new friends through the Quake system I soon found my new family and new lifestyle. Alnwick had driven me into such deep boredom that all I could do was spend time on computer games. I even named myself 'Fragaday' after the game, my saviour, 'Quake'. I say saviour because the game indeed did save me from the darkness and cruelty that is Alnwick. After some time of having these addictions I found myself an outsider at my local school and the isolation began to get to me. I started getting crazy, violent even. Every night I would wonder through the lonely streets of Alnwick. Illuminated only by the hazy Orange lights that often sent me into a different world. They were like drugs these lights you would always start day dreaming because of them. When I returned home and had finally finished on the computer, I would l ie back on my bed and think of the days when I lived in my old town. I was young, I was happy, I was free and I was sane. What kind of monster had Alnwick turned me into? Nowadays I still roam the streets of Alnwick edgy and suspicious of all that pass me by. I constantly drink coffee to stay awake and prevent all of my enemies from killing me in my sleep. At school they called me Cyborg Simon and not just because of the way I walked. It was because I was constantly awake and responded to every sound. Even my bullies at school were starting to wonder about me. They would still bully me and steal my bag but they were afraid, oh yes, afraid that one day I would rise to be more powerful than they. For now I just hope I can have some peace and I hope Alnwick will not be so cruel to me anymore, allowing me sleep and peace in mind. Update (28.01.01) ------------------ I am still constantly becoming perturbed by Alnwick and it's people. Recently I even attacked my school bully, shocking him and those all around. I can feel the screws in my head slowly unwinding themselves leaving me closer and closer to cracking. My rage fills with each day and I'm sure that pretty soon they're going to catch on to me. That my parents and those around me are going to realise that I am insane. That this town has caused me to become so disturbed. I hate this town so much, it's filled with such rude and mean people. Why just the other day I was walking along the streets minding my own business when some kids through their cans full of pop at me. I ran home and cried and cried and cried all through the night, cried myself to sleep. I must get out of this town. Please prayer for me and prayer that I shall leave this town.
A cold lonely remote country town surrounded by fields and the billions of nursing homes may seem to be your average southerners view of the north, However for the people who live there it is hell on earth. For anybody who wants to do something with their life then alnwick is not the place to be. It's ever growing population ( mainly due to the thousands of teen babies!) is only making the town worse. Although their are your quaint english pubs full of your usual fights and hard geordie rejects, alnwick is otherwise dead. Alnwick does boast however a dominating Safeways which seems to dictate what goes on in the town and in effect the local council. Alnwick has been classified as a tourist town, with it's Castle which as with most of Northumberland is owned by the Duke, and a few highstreet shops such as Smiths and Woolworths tourists will have activity in abundance. Tourists may seem like a good thing but only adds to the aggrivation me and my friends have. Constant complaints reach the council about litter and grafitti which as per usual is blamed on the youth and not the ever ambundant tourists. Slow moving cars and buses and of course the old also add to annoyance we collectively feel. Well that is my aggrivatuion aired although i could go on. In conclusion " Be afraid be very afraid"
I didn't know dooyoo had a section on Alnwick until I saw my friends review on it. After reading his opinion however, I felt I had to have mine to re-address the balance. While his review is cynical and condemns Alnwick I feel Alnwick isn't as bad as this, so heres what I have to say...... Overview -------- Alnwick is a small market town located in the north of Northumberland. It retains a sense of history and tradition, one which is spearheaded each year by Alnwick fair, more about that later. It isn't the liveliest town, and it doesn't have a great range of entertainment. It also isn't a particulary bad town, there isn't a massive problem with crime or drugs (despite what holdencaulfield says). The town is also a little lacklustre in terms of shopping too, but on the up points there is the large historic castle and 'House of Hardy' fishing museum (Ok so that could be good or bad!!). Entertainment ------------- Alnwicks entertainment leaves a lot to be desired. There is one cinema\theatre but the films it shows are around 3 months old, and there is at best two films a week. The theatre has a better reputation, with a large number of plays and other performances taking place. It also serves as a hub for the artistic community, with a number of events taking place that involve the general public, whether it be dancing classes or orchestras. Apart from the cinema\theatre there is little other entertainment taking place. No concert halls which groups play in, no major sporting events bar the local football and rugby teams, no amusement arcades for kids to play in. All this means that in Alnwick you have to make your own fun, which basically means one the towns selction of pubs. Thats right, no clubs in Alnwick bar the members only squash club, which means you have to actually play squash or at least pay the membership to go there. Still at least the town has a good variety of pub s to visit, from the almost club-but-far-too-poppy Falcons Rest to the Tanners, the hide away for the rock and heavy metal fans. Inbetween are loads (10 plus anyway) of generic pubs, all uninspirational and branded either as an old mans pub, or a young peoplse pub depeding on if you are young or old. It should also be noted that Alnwick council in its attempt to calm rowdiness has placed a ban on consumption of alcohol outside of public places, basically dont take your drink out the pub, or if you do risk a big fine. Shopping -------- Ok, so here goes, a whistle stop tour of Alnwicks main shops. Woolworths, WH Smiths, Boots, Superdrug, Safeways....and that is just about it. Despite numerous attemts to build an out of town supermarket the council have continually rejected the plan. They claim it will drive trade out of the town centre, but in reality its because they are a bunch of old fashioned old men who are opposed to change. A McDonalds is currently is planning, but I wouldn't be suprised to see this rejected with a similarly poor excuse. So for christmas shopping we are faced with a 40 minute drive or 1hr15min bus journey to Newcastle. The biggest downfall of Alniwck has to be its shopping. Attractions ----------- Apart from the thrills of seeing the old market town (ahem!!) there are only two or three main attractions to Alnwick. By far the major attraction is the Castle, which can be visited for a quite a pricely sum. I haven't visited it myself in the paying manner, but I have been inside on other occaisons and I have to say it is as splendid as any other castle I've ever seen, if you like that kind of thing. Next on the agenda is the great 'House of Hardy Fishing Tackle Museum'. Hmmm, words fail me. Fishing isn't my favorite thing, but COME ON, a museum dedicated to fishing tackle? Taking things a little far I think. Next and last on the list of Alnwick is the music festival, happening once a year in the summer. The musical amongst us flock to the town square for the fun and frolivities asscociated with a music festival. I must say that the word music must be taken with a pinch of salt, if the definition of music was based on this festival then we would only have folk, country and if you forgive me saying it, crap music. OK so I am young, but it would be nice to have a bit of more modern music. There are lots of notable Alnwick bands (The Todds, Piddlers Pot etc) but I can't remember them ever playing the festival. Of course all this time I've been forgetting the main attraction of Alnwick, its fair. Alnwick Fair ------------ Once a year the flags are strung across the streets, and once a year I am filled with fear of the incoming mayhem that is the fair. For one week we are subjected to an archaic barbaric festival, whose main selling point is the attempted drowning of people in water. OK so its a slight exaggeration but this fair is bad. Period. The same year after year it may please you till the age of, say 6, but then you soon realise that year after year it is the same crap. Well, I do apologise for the length and tone of this opinion. I never meant to waffle so much but I do feel that no opinion on Alnwick would be complete without a mention of the local rag, The Northumberland Gazette. Northumberland Gazette ---------------------- A feel a bit sorry for this paper to be honest, I'm sure the people who run it are great and competent people, just they are handicapped by a general lack of news. Basically this means that week after week we scour the paper for the often amusing headlines. Here goes with a selection of this weeks finest (worst). Reward For Shampoo Goldfish Killers - People killed the local pants goldfish by putting shampoo in the water No comment - Wooler councillors made no comment about a planning ap plication. Loft Fall - Man fell out of loft. However these are all tame compared to my all time favourite Man Spat At Wife There you go. Im sorry I turned out to be even more cynical that Holdencaulfield, but hey I guess I do hate the place!
If I were James Joyce then this would be the title of my book rather then 'Dubliners'. Though I'm not James Joyce, I can see my life like his in a few ways. One being that we are/were paralysed by our home town/city. I have lived in Alnwick my whole life and I must say I have grown to bear much hatred towards the town. Although it has a good amount of shops, pubs and activities every now and then, it lacks any real entertainment. Like James Joyce I see the streets, the people and the actions all around me in Alnwick and detest them. All I ever truly think about is leaving Alnwick to live in Manchester or somewhere further away from it. All my life I have found myself paralysed by Alnwick, I can never get away from it. My only means of escape is when I go to University next year, but even then I have to return back to this place of no less then hellfire and brimstones. Every year in Alnwick we have a 'summer fair' where people get dunked into water and such, just like back in the good old days. At these fair's you mostly find a load of tourists gaping at the terrible site, outstanded and amazed. If tourists aren't in Alnwick for that then they're there to see the infamous Alnwick Castle since it's so big and all. On the plus side of things at least Alnwick has some Christmas lights up and a Christmas tree, also it has a quite good fireworks display. If you're considering moving to Alnwick then you must be kidding yourself. The job prospects are a joke but not so much as the council and the ever going construction going on there. If you ever have kids while you live there, then you should expect them to grow up disturbed and all, because they will feel very trapped and paralysed in Alnwick. They will paralysed also by not having any true entertainment other then causing havoc throughout the town. Oh yeah did I forget to mention all the underage smoking and drinking that goes on in Alnwick . Not to mention Drugs and Burglary, still I am being too harsh on the town. These kind of things generally happen not often in Alnwick, which is why Alnwick is so boring. Optimistic Side of Alnwick (Story Time) --------------------------------------------- I once knew a guy named, Timothy, whom was in his youth and full of energy. He lived close to me and often we played such wonderful games in the street such as football and all those other child games. As we grew up we would take trips around Alnwick looking in the shops exploring the beautiful country side and in all, having so much fun. Timothy loves Alnwick you see and he really loves all the 'nice' people who live there and the brilliant Castle. He thinks it is great because it is close to Newcastle, so he can always take trips up there easy enough and also it is a quiet, peaceful town. Some days I would approach Timothy and he would just shout out, "I love Alnwick, I do" for no apparent reason. Then he would skip along the streets with the sun shining in his face. To him you see, "the streets are fields that never die" (Jim Morrison) and he finds much beauty in them that nobody else can. Come June Timothy would get all excited about the 'Fair' coming to Alnwick. At Alnwick Fair he could see women getting dunked and fools juggling and such nonesense. He mostly enjoyed the parade that took place through the town for the fair. Sometimes he would even join in just so he could feel apart of it and all. Timothy loved the school in Alnwick too, 'The Duchess's High School'. It was quite big and he made so many friends there. Then one day, Timothy was walking along the streets of Alnwick and he thought "I wonder what it looks like from far away". So Timothy took a trip through the fields that surrounded Alnwick and looked over the town. He set up camp there and in the morning around 5am, he woke up and looked at the sun rise shining over the beautiful town, Alnwick.
I've lived in Alnwick for the majority of my life. I share home here, I attend schooling here, I walk the streets here. It is my duty, to warn you all. As the darkness falls upon our quaint little Alnwick, there comes a mighty storm of evil. The gates of hell break wide, and demons of the night come forth in their hords. They come, not as bearers of death, but of torture, and they are mercyless. We locals call them 'The Council'. The Council are infact, the slaves of Satan. We speak of them with shouts and fists of rage in the comfort of day, but at night, the name is known only in whispers, compounded in that falling fables of our dreams. They leave ours roads un-gritted, charge us to park by our own homes, and laugh in the face of the youth, who seek with desperation for something to do. Alnwick, is a lovely place to visit. As a place to live, it's not so great. Every year we have 'Alnwick Fair' and 'Alnwick Music Festival'. If you come to both these events on year, you won't fail to me taken in by the quaint, old-fashioned events. Stalls and stalls of crafts, organic bread, garden statues. Roads blocked by marching bands and bag-pipe weilding Scots. Come along one year, and you will have a great time. See it every year of your life, and the appeal dies down. Here, all but our greedy shop-owners despise both these events. For most of us, the fairs and festivals spell only hundreds of American Tourists having fits over our castle, and the same mundane brass-bands and events we ignore for two weeks every year. For shopping, Alnwick is average. The town is dominated by the over-priced Safeways, which has a huge monopoly on the entire community. One day, myself and friends hope to over-throw the dictorship of Safeways and burn it's harrowing halls to ashes. The town also has a Woolworths and a WH Smiths, as well as a huge array of crappy gifts shops and charity affairs. I f not for the lack of sea-side, one could almost be forgiven for thinking they have taken a turn and ended up in Blackpool at times. Alnwick has roughly one million first-schools, five million middle schools, and one, fat high-school. Because we are in Rural Northumberland, the government doesn't see fit to fund our education (we will only all become farmers anyway, right?), so our equipment is lacking. The population consists of three main people: The Old The Chavers The Bored The old is fairly obvious, while the term 'chaver' may not be. A 'chaver' is the kind of scum those of us who want to leave Alnwick depise. They talk with almost offensive Northumbrian accents, smoke, wear ridiclous bright sport clotes, have bleached hair and are generally stupid. I may sound like a monster, but if you lived here you would know. As far as the youth go, it's a 70:30 split, Chavers:Normal People. The Chavers will drop out of school at 16. If they are female, they will have varying amounts of children to different men, eventually marry one, then support their family with crap jobs while smoking a lot and looking older then they really are. The males will spend the early part of their adulthood driving around picking up 15/16 year old years and smoking a lot. Most will seek fights at the weekends when they get drunk, and nearly all will walk with a strut, as if they are carrying invisible television beneath each arm. The normal people, like myself and my friends, are different. Maybe we have more money or two parents or something, but we all tend to want to stay at school and get the hell out Alnwick, leaving the Chavers to feel like big-shots within our sleeply town. Alnwick is a beautiful place, with a lovely castle and park and so forth, but beneath the surface their is nothing. The Council provide us with little in the ways of activities, and most of the towns attentions go on tourists ra ther then residants. Come here for the fair, buy your rock then leave. If your thinking of setting up home, try Northern Ireland instead.