A tourist visiting Newcastle was stopped before her flight home because of an illicit substance – pease pudding. Helen Hook had been visiting old friend Anne Watson in the North East over the weekend and had picked up two tubs of the Geordie delicacy to share with her friend and husband.
But just before boarding her plane from Newcastle1 to Bristol on Sunday evening, she was stopped and made to hand over the contraband from her hand luggage. Security officials said that the pease pudding, a traditional delicacy made using split peas which are turned into a sandy coloured spread, was a liquid and therefore banned.
The tasty condiment, usually spread on top of ham inside a stottie, is rarely available outside of the North East.
Anne Watson of Backworth, North Tyneside, holds some pease pudding (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
She said: My friend Helen had come up from Bristol to spend the weekend up here.
She was asked by a friend to take some pease pudding back so she bought two tubs of pease pudding from the market in Tynemouth at the Priory.
She had it in her hand luggage when she went to the airport on Sunday.
They said it was a liquid and confiscated it. Anne, a former teacher, added: We were just flabbergasted . How can you describe pease pudding as a liquid?
I know you have got to have the security but we re trying to sell the North East and it s a local delicacy.
Helen had been taking in the sights of the North East during the weekend break, following Anne s recent move back to the region after 35 years in London.
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During the trip, the friends of 25 years went to the Tynemouth Christmas Market where Helen picked up a jar of original pease pudding for a friend and a beer-flavoured one for her husband. On her way to board an easyJet flight to Bristol, before travelling back to Dubai where she now lives, Helen s haul was confiscated. Despite trying to give the tubs to a security officer to take home, the gifts were instead binned.
Anne, 52, said: She said to one of the ladies, I bought this from a farmers market can you have it?
But they put it in the bin in front of her.
Anne added Helen had been disappointed to leave the pease pudding behind. This is not the first time pease pudding has been flagged up by airport security. In 2015, a 58-year-old man was stopped on his way to fly from Newcastle to Gatwick during routine searches of his hand luggage.
He was allowed to take his pease pudding on the flight though, after being warned to keep it in the hold next time. According to Newcastle Airport s guidelines, only a limited quantity of liquid can be carried in hand luggage. Liquids, creams, gels, pastes and aerosols must be 100ml or less and need to be shown in a transparent plastic bag.
An airport spokesperson said: In accordance with security regulations, we regrettably could not permit the customer s item through the security search.
The safety of our passengers and staff is of paramount importance and as such security is taken very seriously.
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Armed police have begun patrolling at Manchester s Christmas markets. To bolster security even further steel and concrete barriers have been placed around the popular stalls for the first time this year. As revealed in the M.E.N . undercover plain clothes officers carrying guns who will mingle with the crowds.
The heightened security comes after the Manchester Arena bomb and the fact that according to the Metropolitan Police the current threat level to the UK from international terrorism is severe. But Leaders in Manchester insist the city is open for business .
Concrete barriers have been placed around the popular stalls (Image: Manchester Evening News)
Superintendent Chris Hill from GMP said: People s natural response when they see extra security can sometimes be one of fear or concern, worrying that the extra measures mean that it s more dangerous.
“I want to assure people that we are strengthening protective security as an extra precaution to keep people as safe as possible, and it should make people feel more comfortable and reassured about attending events like the Christmas Markets . Our priority is the safety and security of all those attending or involved.
This has been a difficult year for the city and we must never forget the people who have been affected . However, we have already all come together and shown our strength and determination to carry on enjoying our day to day lives .
I want to encourage everyone to do the same . We are here and we re doing everything that we can to keep you safe.
Firearms officers will patrol the markets across the city centre (Image: Manchester Evening News)
The new barriers will be placed around Albert Square and firearms officers will patrol the markets there and at other sites across the city. GMP and Manchester City Council are also working together to install other protective security measures in key areas and have been working closely with the market managers and organisers.
Councillor Pat Karney from Manchester council said: Visitors to our markets will see the precautionary measures we are taking to make sure everyone who visits the city feels safe, and that they know we have done everyone we can to make their visit enjoyable.
We have worked closely with GMP to make sure the security in place is as robust as possible, and we look forward to welcoming the millions of visitors to our Christmas Markets over the next six weeks.