Get ready to party like a puffin as the Friendliest Port finds its wings

Amble is preparing to have a puffin-powered good time on the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, with a flock of varied and entertaining events in the pipeline.

By Paul Larkin
Friday, 17 May, 2019, 14:00
Amble Puffin Festival mascot Tommy Noddy is getting ready for this year's event.

The Amble Puffin Festival takes place from Saturday, May 25, to Monday, May 27, and is an eclectic, nautical festival with a nod to the iconic parrots of the sea, including stalls, crafts, live entertainment, environmental and historical walks and talks, watersports and children’s entertainment.

Organised by the Amble Development Trust, the fun in the Friendliest Port coincides with the best time of year to see the Coquet Island puffins, as they prepare to take care of their newly-hatched pufflings.

Here are some of the highlights:

Tom Greenfield is an international kite flyer, who performed in the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. He will be combining kite-flying and stilt-walking along Queen Street, Town Square and Harbour Village on Saturday.

The dog show is hugely popular, it’s on Sunday – registration is at 11am and judging takes place from 1pm. It’s run by People’s Animal Rescue and Rehoming Team (PARRT), from Amble, and takes place on the Braid.

Resident pop-up poet Ian Williams will be performing in various cafés and shops during the weekend – he is always met with smiles and appreciation.

This year, the Northumberland Lobster Hatchery will be holding a baby lobster release on Saturday afternoon at the rocks next to Paddlers Park. This event is perfect for families, but you are advised to wear suitable footwear.

Dry Water Arts is putting on a host of creative workshops in its studio, from printing to silver jewellery making, and if you fancy a guided relaxation, you can even do some Puffin Burrow yoga with them.

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Down at the Harbour Village, Sheila Cartwright will be holding her Puffintastic craft sessions for children. There are also two craft workshops held by local artists Nevill and Kate Wilson, plus an exhibition by local artists in the Dovecote Centre.

As far as the talks go, there’s international author Vincent Hunt, who will be talking about Pollution, Politics and Perestroika, on the Sunday, from 4pm to 5.30pm, at the Dovecote Centre.

Richard Ilderton, from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, will give a talk entitled Seal Bites and Fish-heads at 2pm to 3.30pm at the Dovecote Centre, and as it’s the Puffin Festival organisers are delighted that RSPB Coquet Island’s Paul Morrison will be holding a free drop-in event from 10.30pm to 12.30pm on Sunday at Fourways2, in Dilston Terrace, to talk about the puffins on Coquet Island – he will also have a virtual reality set where you can see the actual puffins on Coquet Island in 360 degrees.

Bart Rippon’s local history talks are always a very popular event – he will deliver Along the Railway Line on Sunday from 2pm to 3.30pm at the Dovecote Centre.

Two local photographers will be giving talks too, professional photographer Ivor Rackham (The Camera Always Lies, Dovecote Centre, Sunday, 4pm to 5.30pm), and wildlife photographer and volunteer with Hauxley Nature Reserve, Tim Mason, who will be talking about wildlife from Amble to Cresswell (Sunday, 7pm to 8.30pm, Dovecote Centre).

Live music from local folk band Cloudberries, Tom O’Donnell, Cramlington Crew Steel band, and local musicians including Brian English, and The Band2. Tenth Avenue Band, a streetband from Newcastle, will be performing on the Saturday.

And there’ll be entertainment from youngsters from Dansformation, plus sports from Coquet Shorebase Trust, Northside Surf and Kickstart Sports.

For more information about the event, visit www.amblepuffinfest.co.uk