Crowds flock to Amble Puffin Festival

Festival mascot Tommy Noddy with junior footballers and Tiny Woods Football Academy coach Josh Rutherford. Picture by Anna Williams/The Ambler
Festival mascot Tommy Noddy with junior footballers and Tiny Woods Football Academy coach Josh Rutherford. Picture by Anna Williams/The Ambler
0
Have your say

Amble Puffin Festival has got off to a flying start, with plenty of fun for all the family.

The annual event celebrates the iconic birds and takes place at the best time of year to see the Coquet Island puffins as they care for their newly-hatched pufflings.

The Harbour Lights choir sang sea-related songs, among others. Picture by Andrew Mounsey.

The Harbour Lights choir sang sea-related songs, among others. Picture by Andrew Mounsey.

The week-long extravaganza started last Saturday and runs until this Saturday. Despite the cold weather, the festival has been proving popular with locals and visitors alike.

Amble Town councillor Helen Lewis said: “We had a good turn out at the weekend, with the craft fair being popular and everyone was really pleased with the variety of stalls.

“There has been a good mix of people coming to the festival, with good support from locals and from visitors to the town, including some foreign visitors.”

The action-packed schedule includes something for all ages and activities that have taken place so far include the arts and crafts fair, Amble’s Proud Football History Exhibition, the Radcliffe Club Family Fun Day, tribal belly dancing from Tribe Zuza and various guided walks, among other things.

Puffin-festival mascot Tommy Noddy. Picture by Andrew Mounsey

Puffin-festival mascot Tommy Noddy. Picture by Andrew Mounsey

On the festival’s opening day, renowned author Jenny Colgan gave a talk about Neil the Puffin, which is a character in several of her books.

Her visit came after the puffin-festival committee sent her a replacement soft-toy puffin, after her daughter lost her own cuddly companion.

But while the festival is well and truly under way, there is still plenty happening over the course of the remaining three days.

Highlights today include puffin-themed crafts, children’s storytelling, bird watching at Hauxley Nature Reserve and an evening talk with Bartle Rippon entitled Amble in Old Photographs, while tomorrow there are activities such as a circus workshop, a birds-of-prey display and a guided history walk with Harry McQuillen.

Red Row-based blacksmith Stephen Lunn held interactive workshops. Picture by Andrew Mounsey

Red Row-based blacksmith Stephen Lunn held interactive workshops. Picture by Andrew Mounsey

On Saturday – the festival’s final day – there is a food festival, with more than 20 food stalls, as well as the Great Puffin Festival baking competition, skiff sprint racing, dog show with numerous different classes and The Colony 
Music Festival.

Throughout the festival, there has been a Pete the Puffin trail, children’s puffin artwork displayed in various shop windows, appearances from Tommy Noddy the giant puffin, a fishermen’s ganseys display at Amble Harbour Village and puffin cruises from the harbour (weather permitting).

As part of the festival, Coun Lewis has created a new children’s book, featuring the adventures of one of the event’s mascots, Arty.

The book, entitled Arty Visits Amble The Friendliest Port, is £4 and available to buy from Amble Town Council office, Queen Street Post Office, 42 Queen Street, Spurreli, Harbour Post Office, the harbour village and the Marina office. 50p from each copy will go towards helping the puffins on Coquet Island.

Mascot Tommy Noddy with members of Amble Women's Institute. Picture by Anna Williams/The Ambler

Mascot Tommy Noddy with members of Amble Women's Institute. Picture by Anna Williams/The Ambler

The remaining profits will go towards community events throughout the town.

l For more information about the event, including the full programme, visit www.amblepuffinfest.co.uk or visit the Amble Puffin Festival Facebook page or follow @AmblePuffin Fest on Twitter.

Tribal belly dancing in the Town Square with Tribe Zuza. Picture by Andrew Mounsey

Tribal belly dancing in the Town Square with Tribe Zuza. Picture by Andrew Mounsey

Tommy Noddy doing the Kick Start obstacle course. Picture by Anna Williams/The Ambler

Tommy Noddy doing the Kick Start obstacle course. Picture by Anna Williams/The Ambler

Kites on The Braid. Picture by Andrew Mounsey

Kites on The Braid. Picture by Andrew Mounsey