Northumberland Miners' Picnic making a return this weekend following two-year break

A popular event celebrating Northumberland’s proud mining heritage is making a return this weekend.

By David Sedgwick
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 3:24 pm
The Northumberland Miners' Picnic is returning after a two-year break.
The Northumberland Miners' Picnic is returning after a two-year break.

Museums Northumberland’s much-loved Northumberland Miners’ Picnic will be held at Woodhorn Museum on Saturday, June 11, after a two-year absence because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 158th edition will feature live music, performance, and family friendly activities.

First held at Blyth Links in 1864, the Northumberland Miners’ Picnic has taken place in the county every year since 1864, except during the first and second world wars, the general strikes of 1921, 1926 and 1984, foot and mouth disease in 2001, and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

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A host of events and activities are planned at the 2022 Northumberland Miners' Picnic.

Rowan Brown, chief executive of Museums Northumberland, said: “The Northumberland Miners’ Picnic is one of oldest gatherings of its type in the UK.

“Originally held to celebrate the mining industry in the county, and give people who lived and worked in coalfield communities the chance to come together; today, the Northumberland Miners’ Picnic is a way for people to remember our mining history and revel in the sense of community spirit the event is famous for.

“This year’s picnic will be extra special as it will be the first time in two years we’ve been able to gather in person to enjoy our contemporary take on this historic mining tradition.”

The Picnic will begin with the traditional miners’ memorial service and wreath laying, commemorating those who died in the coal mining industry.

Four local brass bands – Ashington Colliery Brass Band, Bedlington Brass Community Band, Ellington Colliery Band, Newbiggin Jayess Brass Band – will perform together during the service, before taking to the main stage for a lively and energetic performance to start the day’s entertainment.

The music will continue throughout the day on the main stage with more local acts, including Dennis; Ladies of Midnight Blue; and headline act, The Baghdaddies.

Families are invited to take part in a mini Pride event in Woodhorn’s pit yard with Curious Arts while there will also be crafting, storytelling, Let’s Circus, pop-up artworks and more.

There will also be pop-up food and drink stalls and at the Winding House Cafe.

The picnic takes place from 10am to 5pm. The event is free to attend, but onsite car parking is £5 per vehicle.

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