Northumbrians fly the flag to celebrate our special day

Jannick Genouw, of Taste of Northumbria, with some of the produce promoted during Northumberland Day celebrations.
Jannick Genouw, of Taste of Northumbria, with some of the produce promoted during Northumberland Day celebrations.

Northumberland turned red and yellow as the county celebrated its own special day.

Sunday was Northumberland Day, when thousands of people enjoyed a host of activities in communities all over the area.

The Noggie cheese and onion pasty, with Carla Robinson, general manager of Langley Castle, and head chef Norman Bradford.

The Noggie cheese and onion pasty, with Carla Robinson, general manager of Langley Castle, and head chef Norman Bradford.

Jane Hunt, managing director of Catapult PR and organiser of Northumberland Day, said: “I was so proud to see all the people celebrating and to see pictures of flags, painted rocks, our heart logo drawn in the sand on various beaches, pub gardens heaving and so much more. We have really captured the hearts and minds of proud Northumbrians and this can now only grow, as those who missed out on the fun begin to get involved.”

Red and yellow flags and bunting flew at locations across the county, with Kirkharle flying more than 30 flags along the length of its driveway.

Taste of Northumbria in Alnwick was the setting for food launches and tastings for a whole week.

Jannick Genouw said: “I wanted to participate in Northumberland Day, to help embed it into the county’s calendar and to encourage other businesses to get involved next year. We put up bunting to attract attention and invited in dedicated producers, such as Lady Waterford marmalade, as well as launching new products such as the brand-new Hadrian’s Wall gin, the new beer from the VIP Brewery and a new-look Hepple gin.

Music in the sun at Beadnell. Picture by Ian Beresford

Music in the sun at Beadnell. Picture by Ian Beresford

“The shop has heaved at times and there is no doubt that Northumberland Day has helped make that happen. We loved getting involved, but we’ve also seen a direct business benefit, which is fantastic.”

Blyth saw a variety of events staged in the town, with Headway Arts re-running its popular Stotties, Sarnies and Singing Hinnies event, Blyth Battery getting involved, businesses decorating their windows and the Friends of Ridley Park attracting an unexpected 20 people for a dawn chorus walk.

Alnwick was another hotspot for activity with heritage tours by the town’s Heritage Heroes, a disability sport event by SMILE Through Sport and a Northumberland Day-themed market.

A music festival was held at the Aln Valley Railway, where the engineering shed hosted entertainment throughout the day by the Lionheart Singers, Fiona Fairnington and Friends, Mad Hattie and the Eclectic Guitar and The Alnwick Playhouse Concert Band.

The Alnwick Playhouse Concert Band entertains the crowds in the engineering shed at the Aln Valley Railway.

The Alnwick Playhouse Concert Band entertains the crowds in the engineering shed at the Aln Valley Railway.

In Ashington, the Ashington Rocks concert allowed people to celebrate into the night, while in Berwick, the lighting of the Royal Border Bridge was something to behold.

A massive foodie treat was the centre of attention at Langley Castle – the birthplace of Northumberland Day. A huge pasty, full of 9kg of the Northumberland Cheese Company’s oak-smoked cheese, plus onion, measuring 1.5metres across and weighing 40kg, was revealed by new head chef Norman Bradford, who cut into what has been dubbed the Noggie – the Northumbrian version of the Welsh oggie, with new general manager, Carla Robinson.

Visitors to Langley enjoyed falconry displays by Falconr Days, took advantage of free castle and battlement tours interpreted by Kevin Robson, of Wild Dog Outdoors, while enjoying the sound of the Northumbrian pipes played by talented young piper, Jack Famelton.

The new-look Northumbie Awards, designed and handmade by fused-glass artist Helen Grierson, were on display.

Flags flying at Kirkharle. Picture by Beccy Richardson

Flags flying at Kirkharle. Picture by Beccy Richardson

The entry deadline for the Northumbie Awards, sponsored by Hexhamshire Brewery, the Angel of Corbridge, Newcastle International Airport, Langley Castle, JustBookItNow.com, Catapult PR and the Helen Grierson glass studio, is June 7. The entry form can be downloaded from the Northumberland Day website.

Bessie Rogerson flew the Northumberland flag in her garden.

Bessie Rogerson flew the Northumberland flag in her garden.

Flying the Northumberland flag at Beadnell. Picture by Sandra Phillips-Dinning

Flying the Northumberland flag at Beadnell. Picture by Sandra Phillips-Dinning

Northumbrian piper Jack Famelton played at Langley Castle.

Northumbrian piper Jack Famelton played at Langley Castle.