Boost for artists as Alnmouth showcases talent once more

The re-opening of the newly refurbished Hindmarsh Hall in Alnmouth, plus the lifting of Covid restrictions, has given the area’s artists an opportunity to showcase their work for the first time in two years.

By Paul Larkin
Thursday, 8th July 2021, 8:51 am
The Hindmarsh Hall during the last Alnmouth Arts Festival in 2019.
The Hindmarsh Hall during the last Alnmouth Arts Festival in 2019.

The idyllic Northumberland seaside village has become equally well known for its annual arts festival, held over two days every June.

The event started 17 years ago and usually attracts around 70 artists and crafters, but for the past two years it had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, with a planned return for 2022.

This along with the cancellation of many similar arts’ events and gallery closures due to lockdown has been a huge blow to many artists.

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Now as restrictions are being lifted, local artists have found a way to bring art back to Alnmouth this year with three small monthly fairs in August, September and October.

The events will take place at the newly refurbished Hindmarsh Hall in the village, which is one of the Arts Festival’s main venues. The first two art fairs on Sundays, August 8 and September 5, 10am until 4pm, have been organised by The Tin Shed, which was set up by former ITV news reporter Lesley McNish.

The third is being staged by the hall’s trustees on Saturday, October 30.

On August 8, Northumberland artist Ruth Bond, who is a regular at the festival, will not only be taking part in the first art fair, but at the same time will stage her own open house exhibition at 10 Grosvenor Terrace, Alnmouth.

She’ll be joined by 23 of the region’s best local artists who’ll be showcasing and selling their work which ranges from original paintings and prints to glass, ceramics, photography, textiles, jewellery and much more.

Admission to the events is free.

Lesley McNish said: “It’s been such a difficult year for everyone and it’s fantastic to be able to bring art back to Alnmouth this year, though on a much smaller scale. It gives the artists who usually attend the festival an opportunity to showcase their new work, much of it produced during lockdown.”

The Tin Shed is hoping this will be the start of a regular monthly art fair at Alnmouth, to run from Easter throughout the summer months.

Organisers of the Art Festival have said they aim to return with their event as usual in 2022.

The Hindmarsh Hall is a former granary built in Alnmouth over 250 years ago. Over the years, it has also been used as a church, meeting hall and was often referred to as Alnmouth’s Town Hall.

During 2020/21, the Hindmarsh trustees launched an extensive refurbishment programme of the upper hall, which has led to new flooring, heating and lighting. The stage has been removed revealing the splendid east windows and creating a bigger, brighter space.

The Hindmarsh Hall will be officially re-opened by the Duchess of Northumberland at 11am on July 31.

The first art fair takes place at the Hindmarsh Hall the following week on August 8.

For further information about the art fairs visit