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Alston schools could be merged

Three schools in Alston could be merged. Credit: ITV Border

People in Alston want the area's secondary school and two primary schools to be merged, according to a consultation.

Earlier this year Cumbria County Council carried out an informal consultation to consider the future of Samuel King’s, Nenthead and Alston schools.

It got almost 350 responses, and 59.4 percent favoured the creation of one 'all-through' school, where

That was because the number of pupils at the schools has fallen, and current arrangements are not sustainable.

“We’re going through this process to safeguard the future of secondary education in Alston Moor because falling numbers of pupils means the current arrangements are not sustainable.

“I’d like to thank local people for giving us their views and taking the time to get involved in the informal consultation.

“Any change will require further consultation prior to decisions being taken and the community will be kept informed throughout that process.”

– Councillor Clare Feeney-Johnson, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for Schools and Learning

A working group will now be established to research the proposals.

Romans arrive in Alston for educational festival

The initiative aimed to educate people about what life was like in Roman Britain in the year 201 AD. Credit: ITV News Border
The displays included battle reenactments, period cookery demonstrations and a military hospital. Credit: ITV News Border

The Romans arrived in Alston today (Saturday 30th August) for an educational festival.

The initiative, which was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, aimed to educate people about what life was like in Roman Britain in the year 201 AD.

The displays included battle reenactments, period cookery demonstrations and a military hospital.

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Gladiators march into Alston

Gladiators will visit Alston as part of a Roman life re-enactment Credit: PA

Alston is being transformed back to 200 AD to teach people about Roman life.

People can watch period cookery demonstrations, battle re-enactments and get a glimpse of battlefield war wounds in a Roman hospital.

Pottery workshops and craft stalls will also be held in St Augustine's Church.

Youngsters strike gold at community dig

A group of youngsters have struck gold on the Northumberland/Cumbria border, and found a northern link with one of Britain's most celebrated prehistoric burials.

An early Bronze Age grave was found in 2002 in Stonehenge - it contained flint arrowheads, metal tools and two gold hair tresses.

Now, a dig at Kirkhaugh near Alston has unearthed similar finds. They're thought to be more than four thousand years old.

Keith Akehurst reports:

Remarkable discovery of 4,000-year-old gold

Four schoolboys from Alston, Cumbria, have found an ancient gold hair tress.

The gold hair tress is the partner to an ornament found in 1935 Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The discovery was made when the youngsters, all from Alston Primary School, had taken part in a community dig at Randalholme Farm in Northumberland. They had been inspired by an archaeology project at school.

The 4,300-year old hair tress is the partner gold ornament to a one found during a previous dig at the site in 1935 led by Herbert Maryon which was found by one of the four boys - Luca's - great-grandfather.

They told ITV about their discovery:

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Green flag awards for Alston and Penrith cemeteries

Alston and Penrith cemeteries have been named some of the very best in the UK.

The cemeteries are among 1,476 parks and green spaces that have received a prestigious Green Flag Award.

The awards, handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country.

A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards and is beautifully maintained.

Alston and Penrith cemeteries are maintained by Eden District Council and their contractor Amey.

Local residents are also actively involved in how the Council maintains these facilities through Friends Groups.

“We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award again from the Keep Britain Tidy. This Award recognises and highlights that people in Alston Moor are benefitting from a green space of the very highest quality.

– Councillor Pat Godwin, Alston Cemetery Friends Group

Lottery grant means bright future for South Tynedale Railway

A boost for one of the top tourist attractions in the North Pennines.

A lottery grant of over £4 million is set to be used to revitalise the South Tynedale Railway in Alston.

The line was closed for seven years in the late 70s and early 80s, but now its steam engines attract thousands of visitors each year. Matthew Taylor reports.

New station for South Tynedale Railway

The money will help to revamp the entire stretch of line Credit: ITV News Border

The entire stretch of the South Tyndedale Railway is about to be transformed by a £5.5 million investment.

The money's coming from a grant of over £4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £1.3 million raise by themselves.

Duncan Graham, a trustee of the South Tyndale Railway said: "We're going to extend our railway to Slaggyford, a mile and a quarter away and build a cafe and a new station there. And then at Alston where we are standing there will be a covered."

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