Northumberland Day: All about the first celebration

Today is the first Northumberland Day.
Today is the first Northumberland Day.

Today is the first Northumberland Day, so check out our guide to what is on around the county.

Northumberland Day – Sunday, May 28

Allendale: May Fair. A Churches Together service at St Cuthbert’s church will see the launch of The Allen Valleys Crafted Miracles Project. There will then be bands on stage in the market place: Uncle PAF (12 -1pm); The Mount Hooley Band (1.30pm-2.30pm), Undershield (3pm-4pm) and Dansi (4.30pm-6pm). There will also be the ever-popular wheelbarrow race at 2pm and a mini Allendale Challenge.

Allensford: The Allensford Hotel will be staging a day of family fun on Northumberland Day, with activities including pony rides, kids fairground rides, a climbing wall, archery, balloon animals and face painting.

A hog roast and barbecue will be available on the food side, complemented by a sweetie cart. The event will be a great chance to linger al fresco, with an outdoor bar available, plus live bands and a DJ.

Amble: Amble Puffin Festival continues. Visit www.amblepuffinfest.co.uk

Ashington: Ashington Rocks at the White House Unique Social Club. John Emery was the first person to create a bespoke Northumberland Day event, creating Ashington Rocks as a celebration of the county through local rock music. This musical extravaganza will feature six bands: Hair of the Derg; The Hookahs; Dead Hand; King Size Voodoo Traveller; Ma Kelly’s Boys and HED. 1pm to late. Tickets £10.

Beadnell: Decked in red and yellow bunting and decorated with flags and balloons, Beadnell village will be thrilling visitors with a special Northumberland Day celebration involving a historical display in the WI Hall that will highlight Beadnell’s development through the centuries, from its roots as a traditional Northumbrian fishing village, right through to the modern day. A not-to- be-missed feature will be the traditional gingerbread cake competition, also in the WI Hall, in which bakers will compete to make the best cake, using the same recipe. All cakes entered will be sold with afternoon tea. Eateries, the Craster Arms and the Salt Water Cafe, will be laying on Northumberland-based menus, a hog roast, and music from a Northumbrian piper and drummer. Local food producers will also be taking up their offer of free tables in the pub garden, from which to sell their wares. Meanwhile, the sailing club will also have coffees and teas available. A fun dog show takes place at 3pm with five different categories, entries £2 per dog per category. Registration will take place from 9am during the car boot sale.

Berwick: The 28 arches of the spectacular Royal Border Bridge will be lit in the red and yellow colours of the Northumberland flag, as dusk falls on Northumberland Day. 9.40pm.

Blyth: The Friends of Ridley Park celebrate with a Wildlife Walk in the Park. 10am and 11am.

Corbridge: Blistered Molly playing live in The Angel Bar, in a free-to-attend event.

The Cheviot: Bag a peak on Northumberland Day by heading up to the county’s highest point and enjoying a 13-mile excursion by foot which is graded as difficult. Starts in the Harthorpe Valley at 9.30am. £14. Visit www.shepherdswalks.co.uk

Ellington: The Plough at Ellington is celebrating its refurbishment, helping to fund-raise for a charity trek to Costa Rica for Marie Curie’s Newcastle Hospice and celebrating Northumberland Day in this hat-trick event. Stacey Hunter will be trying to raise funds for her charity mission on an evening that will involve a yellow and red dress code, Northumberland-style food, lots of fun and bunting and a hamper prize of Northumberland-related donations.

A quiz starting at 5pm and costing £1 to enter will be Northumberland-themed and test knowledge of the county and its heritage. There will also be prizes for the best Northumberland dress/outfit worn on the night.

Elsdon: The Tea Set is holding a special afternoon tea in Elsdon Village Hall. Elsdon’s villagers are making good use of the Elsdon recipe book, which was compiled from the recipes donated by Elsdon residents and supporters in 2013. 2pm to 4pm. £5 per person.

Haltwhistle: Haltwhistle Walking Festival is laying on two special circular walks to celebrate Northumberland Day. Both depart from Haltwhistle Market Place (GR NY 707640) and are followed by tea and finger food (included in the price) at the Comrades Club.

Pre-booking is essential and numbers are limited. Visit www.haltwhistlewalkingfestival.org

Haydon Bridge: The Haydon Bridge Northumberland Day Planning Group, comprising the Get It Together Society (GITS), parish council, Haydon Bridge Development Trust and the community library are laying on a special village celebration. 10am to 5pm. Free.

The Railway will be decked out in red and yellow and serving up Northumberland butties at the village’s street party. At 6.30pm (outside, weather permitting) there will be live music from duo Emma & Bob.

Howick: The Howick Coastal Choir will be joining forces with another local choir in a two-hour concert that will celebrate Northumberland Day through song, fiddle playing and the poetry of Noel Hodgson.

Earl Grey Tea Rooms, Howick Hall.

Kirkley Hall: From noon to 2.30pm, Kirkley Hall will be serving a Sunday lunch packed with local produce sourced from the Northumberland landscape. £14.95 adults, £7.95 children.

Morpeth: The Pudding Parlour, in Sanderson Arcade, will be creating special offers, free gifts and samples of its delicious and divine treats, with the award-winning company keen to spread the love of Northumberland through food.

Newbiggin: The Newbiggin Maritime Centre is celebrating Northumberland Day with an exhibition in its Latimer Room entitled 150 Years of Newbiggin Rocket Brigade. From 2pm onwards, subject to suitable weather conditions, there is a chance to get hands-on and creative, in the centre’s courtyard, with the team from KEAP Creative. Visitors can buy a pot for just £1 and decorate it, glaze it and watch it being fired in the kiln.

Shilbottle: Prayers for celebrating Northumberland Day followed by refreshments. St James’ Church, 6pm.

Slaley: Community Amusement Tournament at the Commemoration Hall in which teams of four will battle to win as many 10-minute games as possible, during the course of the evening, with each challenge being based on a board, card or skills game, including famous faces, scrabble, gin rummy, dominoes, bingo, roll-a- ball, dingbats, Victorian skittles, Uno and codeword. 7.30pm. £5 per person.

Vallum Farm: Visitors will be treated to a behind-the- scenes experience that will take in visits to the artisan bakery and ice cream parlour and, best of all, a chance to taste the delights produced in each. 10am to noon. £3 per person.

Wallington: The opening of the new family-friendly Dragon Cycle Trail coincides with Northumberland Day celebrations and visitors are encouraged to dress in red and yellow, to help celebrate both events. 11am to 4pm.

Monday, May 29

Amble: Amble Puffin Festival continues. Visit www.amblepuffinfest.co.uk

Bywell: Northumberland County Show. The County Show has been a huge supporter of Northumberland Day and its marquees will be festooned with red and yellow bunting, while visitors will be greeted with the delightful tunes of Northumbrian pipers. The latter will also be a touching remembrance of Lance Robson, founder of the Northumbrian Musical Heritage Society, who would have been 101 on Northumberland Day and who taught so many youngsters around the region to play the Northumbrian pipes. The show is also hosting a children’s art competition on the theme of Visions of Roman Northumbria. School children are invited to display paintings and drawings, pottery, models and any creative work inspired by the Roman occupation of the region and have them judged by artist, Karen McDougall, who is responsible for several pieces of public artwork for sites along Hadrian’s Wall. 9am to 6pm. £15 adult, £13 OAP, £5 child, £35 family.

Corbridge: The Angel’s car park will be the place to head if you wish to sample Angel Street Food, including The Posh Box (coffee, crepes and afternoon tea served from a stunning converted horse box); 72 Angels and Burgers (freshly-minced Northumberland lamb and beef burgers with various toppings and relishes) and Moroni Pizza (real clay oven-baked pizza made to order served by the slice or full pizza).

Newbiggin: Newbiggin Maritime Centre will be staging an all-day event encompassing a wedding and prom dress fashion show between 1pm and 2pm, organised by Sitting Pretty.

There will also be other things perfect for any Northumbrian wedding, from crafts, cards and table centres, to wedding singers, balloons, jewellery and vintage wedding and party cars (supplied by Vogue Limousines).

Prudhoe: Prudhoe Community Centre will be the place to which to head if you want to enjoy a Teddy Bears’ Picnic, no matter how old you are. There will be music, games, face painting, story-telling and a bouncy castle. 2pm to 4pm.

Efforts to be rewarded with Northumbies

Passion, community spirit and creativity are to be rewarded as events to mark the first Northumberland Day on Sunday.

Organisers have created special awards – The Northumbies – to recognise Northumberland Day’s Most Inspiring School, its Best Designed Event, Best Community Involvement and Best Dressed Village or Parish.

The Northumbies are not off-the-shelf trophies, but specially-designed glass awards communicating the essence of Northumberland.

Each Northumbie has been designed by talented fused and stained glass artist, Helen Grierson, whose studio is about to expand and relocate to the new Broomhill Business Park.

Helen worked with Northumberland Day organiser Jane Hunt, of Catapult PR, to create a design reflecting the county’s past and present. The glasswork will be mounted on a wooden plinth, creating a reward for those pouring passion into the inaugural Northumberland Day celebrations.

The Jill Bradbury Award for the Most Inspiring School is sponsored by Catapult PR, creators of Northumberland Day on behalf of its client Langley Castle, while Best Dressed Village or Parish is backed by The Northumbrian magazine.

Capturing all the action thanks to an app

Organisers of the inaugural Northumberland Day have teamed up with a new app to enable a very special record of the event to be created.

The involvement of a new app called Weddr will achieve what had seemed an impossible dream – allowing all involved in events for Northumberland Day to create very special memories of their inaugural celebrations and gain recognition in the end-of-event show-reel.

Weddr is a ground-breaking wedding app, which allows brides and grooms to view their wedding through their guests’ eyes and video clips, which are not only shared in real-time, but also then professionally edited into a once-in-a-lifetime video of memories that would go otherwise unseen.

When Catapult PR, organiser of Northumberland Day, was appointed to handle PR for Weddr, it quickly popped the question and asked if its event organisers could use the app, to create the ultimate Northumberland Day video.

The company offered the app as its form of sponsorship and has also provided one as a prize for Northumberland Day’s Facebook followers.