1) Riley Smith-Baker from Newsham Primary's 'Seahorses' reception class in Blyth Harbour, with his handmade Northumberland Day flag.
2) (Top right) Riley with his brothers Ryan (left) and Harvie and his Northumberland Day flag, at his family's favourite place, Blyth Beach
3) The Weddr App that is going to be the means through which Northumberland Day's amazing events, across the county, are shared in real-time, recorded and compiled into a video.
Northumberland Day has attracted a fourth sponsor for its ‘Northumbie’ awards, with Waitrose’s Hexham branch now sponsoring a brand new awards category of ‘Best Community Involvement’.
With less than two weeks to go before the first-ever Northumberland Day, the organisers have also announced the involvement of a fabulous new App called Weddr. This will achieve what had seemed an impossible dream - allowing all involved in events at www.northumberlandday.net to create very special memories of their inaugural celebrations and gain recognition in the end-of-the-show showreel!
Weddr is a brand new groundbreaking wedding App, which allows brides and grooms to view their wedding through their guests’ eyes and video clips, which are not only shared in real-time, but also then, uniquely, professionally edited into a once-in-a-lifetime video of memories that would go otherwise unseen.
When Catapult PR, organiser of Northumberland Day, was appointed to handle PR for Weddr, it quickly popped the question and asked if its event organisers could use the App, to create the ultimate Northumberland Day video. Weddr offered the App as its form of sponsorship and has also provided one as a prize for Northumberland Day’s Facebook followers.
The county day’s Facebook page has already been set alight by The Commissioner’s Quay Inn in Blyth – part of the Inn Collection Group – generously offering an overnight stay for two, with full Northumberland breakfast, as a prize.
The Northumbie Awards, which are very special handmade trophies, referencing elements of Northumberland’s landscape and heritage, are already being created. Photos of local fused glass artist, Helen Grierson, working on the designs can be viewed in a slideshow at the Northumberland Day website.
As one of the very first events organisers to create an event was Hexham Racecourse, the Northumberland Day organisers have issued suggestions of who might be the current runners and riders in line for each award, to encourage more entrants to join the race for glory.
For the ‘Best Community Involvement Award’ sponsored by Waitrose, Hexham, possible contenders so far could be the three community groups in Haydon Bridge, laying on a Northumberland Day picnic and fair, between 2pm and 4pm on Northumberland Day (May 28). The event encompasses games such as hoopla, tombola and tug of war, street food, crepes, cakes and candyfloss, craft and art stalls, heaps of red and yellow decorations and a 4pm balloon race, followed by a church service.
This event could go head-to-head with a vibrant Beadnell event, encompassing everything from gingerbread cake competition to dog show and car boot sale, a community event at the Newbiggin Maritime Centre, sarnies, stotties and singing hinnies at Headway Arts in Blyth and SMILE Through Sport events for those wishing to have a go at disabled sport.
A variety of villages could also compete for the ‘Best Dressed Village or Parish’ Northumbie, sponsored by The Northumbrian Magazine. This could see Prudhoe and Elsdon coming up on the rails, but as many villages haven’t officially declared their events yet, this category could still be wide open.
The ‘Best Dressed Event’ Award, sponsored by Helen Grierson, will tactfully not be awarded to Langley Castle – which first put out the call for Northumberland Day in July 2015 and has championed it ever since. Langley has laid on a spectacular day of activities on Saturday May 27, which will include a Border Reivers event, complete with pike drills, children’s battle, potions, Warden’s court and more, for most of the day, as well as falconry, food and drink and arts and crafts stalls and a special centrepiece yet to be revealed!
With Langley having ruled itself out of contention, events such as Hexham Abbey’s Turbulent Tales of Northumberland could be triumphant. This event will bring William Wallace and Saint Wilfred to life and reveal why Hexham was so smelly, how to make a love potion and not get your knickers in a twist, plus ways to work clay and leather, be a knight, and write medieval letters.
Two other events should be in the running soon, as Northumbria Tweed and Experience Northumberland become dark horses that could upset the form book, with activities that both have a touch of mystery about them. The wonderful planning that has also gone into Ashington’s celebrations could also score highly.
The fourth award – ‘The Jill Bradbury Award for Most Inspiring School’ – sponsored by Catapult PR, has some outstanding entrants, including Newbiggin Primary School, which has involved children, parents and community in its celebrations and set in motion a huge number of exciting and curriculum-linked activities. The reception children, including Riley Smith-Baker (5), have already made Northumberland Day flags and taken them to their favourite places in the county, to be pictured there with them.
Pumpkin Pie Nursery in Felton also has inspirational activities with the children wearing red and yellow to celebrate Northumberland Day and planting red and yellow flowers. Parents are picturing their children at their favourite Northumberland place, whilst children are tackling arts and crafts projects, cooking and tasting Northumbrian food, completing a Northumberland word quiz and discovering Northumbria’s famous people.
Meanwhile, Commissioners Quay’s head chef, Richy Moore, is working with The Dales school in Blyth – a school for children with severe and complex learning needs – and setting the children a challenge of coming up with a Northumberland Day dish that will then go on the inn’s special boards over the Northumberland Day period. This adds another contender to the schools’ Northumbie category.
With a variety of pubs, including the Plough at Ellington, The Railway in Haydon Bridge and The Angel at Corbridge, all laying on special events, Catapult PR hopes a fifth sponsor may come on board to inspire more pubs to compete for a trophy.
Northumberland Day organiser, Jane Hunt, says: “We are delighted to have new sponsors on board, corporate partners and, of course, the Weddr App, which will allow all events organisers to record how they played their part in the first-ever Northumberland Day and helped create an extraordinary cross-county grass-roots community celebration and events programme. We can’t wait to see the final video and the blaze of red and yellow that we shall create across Northumberland.”
Press calls: Jane Hunt, Catapult PR, 01253 891114 – firstname.lastname@example.org