Wheely fun event in Ponteland to return

A community group and pub are putting the wheels in motion to celebrate the new year as a popular event is coming back.

By Andrew Coulson
Thursday, 11th November 2021, 11:30 am
Updated Thursday, 11th November 2021, 12:03 pm
The start of the Open Race at the Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race 2020 event. Picture by Colin Morgan.
The start of the Open Race at the Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race 2020 event. Picture by Colin Morgan.

After having to cancel the fun in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers have announced that the Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race will return on its traditional New Year’s Day date to start 2022.

The mile-long course is keeping with tradition by starting and ending at The Blackbird. Adults and children will take part in races from noon.

The event will once again raise money for St Oswald’s Hospice and Tynedale Hospice at Home, which provide care and support to people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

And the pub will continue the celebrations after the races have ended, with a selection of food and drink available outdoors at the venue.

Record crowds came along for the 2020 event and organisers Ponteland 41 Club, supported by Ponteland Rugby Club, are hoping for another great turnout on January 1.

Philip Peacock, chairman of Ponteland 41 Club, said: “It is fantastic to be able to announce the return of the Wheelbarrow Race, which is a hugely anticipated event on Ponteland’s social calendar.

“We are currently deep in the planning stages to pull out all the stops this year and it’s already shaping up to be another amazing event.”

Supporters can make the most of the pub’s pizza oven and a barbecue outside, along with seating and a fully stocked bar at the tipi, with hot drinks served throughout the day.

Stuart Young of the Northumberland Pub Company, which operates The Blackbird, is looking forward to the return of the event.

He said: “The Wheelbarrow Race is not only great fun for all involved but also raises a huge sum of money for two very worthwhile causes, so it’s great news that it will be back in January.

“We have a new outdoor street food kitchen and our very own tipi this year, so we hope that supporters will stay back after the race to make the most of everything on offer.

“It’s always a brilliant day out for people of all ages and I can’t think of a better way to start the new year.”