Organisers of the inaugural Northumberland Day want more towns and villages to follow the example set by places such as Beadnell and Ashington.
The north Northumberland seaside village and the town are being heralded as beacons of good practice following the call to turn the county red and yellow from top to bottom in the run-up to Sunday, May 28.
Fervent support for Northumberland Day and the opportunity it presents for residents, businesses, schools, communities and others to celebrate everything Northumbrian, past and present, is evident in Beadnell.
The village is a definite contender for the Northumbie trophy for Best Dressed Village or Parish, sponsored by The Northumbrian magazine, as an array of activities has been planned and bunting and decorations are already being made by hand, so that the village can be turned red and yellow on the day.
While plans are still evolving, there is already an impressive amount of activity planned.
The Craster Arms Pub and Hotel is holding a special event within its gardens, which will include a hog roast and music from a Northumberland piper and drummer, other live music and free space in which local Northumbrian businesses can set up and sell their wares.
The Salt Water Café will also be participating and selling a locally-sourced, traditional Northumbrian breakfast, which will be available all day for both locals and visitors alike.
The WI Hall in Beadnell will be the scene of a historical exhibition that brings to life the village’s history, from its fishing roots to the present day, and a raffle will feature prizes donated by local businesses.
The pièce de résistance may, however, be rooted in food.
The traditional Beadnell gingerbread cake recipe will become the focus of a great Northumberland Day bake-off with competitors all using this same recipe in an attempt to create the finest Beadnell gingerbread cake imaginable.
As the ingredients will be the same, this will really test the technical skills of the competing bakers, while the pursuit of excellence will be good news for afternoon-tea lovers, as all cakes entered into the contest will be sliced and served up with a lovely cuppa.
Northumberland Day organiser, Jane Hunt, whose client Langley Castle has championed Northumberland Day since July 2015, said: “Ashington and Beadnell are beacons of good Northumberland Day practice and are showing other towns and villages what they too could do to show their passion for Northumberland, their community spirit and their civic pride.
“We want to know of any other events, particularly around Berwick, Morpeth and Corbridge, where our knowledge of what is happening is patchy. For reasons that we shall reveal shortly, we need to know of every event or celebration that is taking place, as we have a special plan to capture all of the activities and enable them to become lasting memories. If we don’t know about it, event and activity organisers could miss being included in the Northumberland Day credits.
“Villages and schools should also remember that we have Northumbie Awards that they could scoop if they are deemed the best celebrators and participants in Northumberland Day. We are also hoping to bring more corporate sponsors on board, which will mean more Northumbies, in more categories. Don’t let your rivals beat you to the prize or the kudos of being a sponsor.”