From vintage gear to a heart-safe valley

Jam jars at the ready - members of Rothbury WI.
Jam jars at the ready - members of Rothbury WI.

A vintage fair is aiming to raise enough funds to turn Coquetdale into the UK’s first ‘heart-safe’ valley.

The newly-formed Rothbury WI is holding the event in the village on Sunday, June 29, with the hope of raising £10,000 for the Stephen Carey Fund, which will in turn distribute 10 public defibrillators across Coquetdale.

It initially started as an antiques valuation day but has snowballed into a celebration of everything vintage, with a major event that will close off the village for the day.

Auctioneers Anderson and Garland will be valuing antiques, alongside other attractions including an exhibition of Rington’s memorabilia, vintage stalls, a special vintage tea room with tea and coffee provided by Rington’s, live music and even vintage cars.

The Stephen Carey Fund will also be putting on an old-school football match with the players in old school kits to match the event.

Kate Holt, president of Rothbury WI, said: “We decided to do one big event and try to buy as many defibrillators as possible for Coquetdale so we can become a heart-safe valley.

“It would be fantastic to become the first valley in Britain to achieve this.

“When we approached Anderson and Garland with our idea they were on board within 30 seconds.

“They are being very generous with their time and we can’t wait to welcome their experts and see what everyone will bring for them to see.”

Andrew McCoull managing director of Anderson and Garland said: “A number of us live in Northumberland and know of the Stephen Carey Fund, which has the extremely worthwhile aim of making the area safe. This coupled with the drive of the Rothbury WI team made our involvement an easy decision indeed and we’re now very much looking forward to the day.”

There will also be a shop window display competition, judged by the window dresser at Rutherfords in Morpeth and sponsored by the Gazette, the event’s media partner.

And artist Judith Kell is donating her entire collection for sale at the event.

Stephen Carey Fund spokesman, David Wilson, said: “Groups have started to approach us with fund-raising ideas as they are keen to collaborate to secure defibrillators for their communities.

“It’s imperative we get as many communities as we can involved and raise awareness.

“We have set ourselves an ambitious target with the antiques and vintage day.

“It’s going to be really big and completely different to anything done before and it keeps growing.”