The arts, sport and music are the latest sectors to support the first-ever Northumberland Day, taking place on Sunday May 28, 2017 and in the days leading up to and after this date.
Craster Art Club is holding an exhibition of its artists’ works in oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolours and mixed media, at an exhibition at Howick Village Hall, running from Saturday May 27 to Monday May 29. Many paintings will celebrate the beauty of Northumberland’s coastal landscape and works will also be on sale for those wishing to be reminded of this in their own homes.
Members of the club include Maureen Stephenson, who has an Art degree from Newcastle, Brenda Parker and Marjorie Firth, who ran a small gallery in Warkworth, Margaret Stephenson, and Pat Stiles and Frances Cook from Embleton. The club currently has only one member – Mike Finlay – but has room for new recruits.
Over in Tynedale, the Hexham Art Club is also currently arranging an event, which will be held in Hexham on May 28. Other artists and crafts people, including Chantelle Wilson and Holly Fisher, are taking part in the May 27 event being staged by Langley Castle, which first put out the call for a Northumberland Day back in July 2015 and which will now be celebrating it with a Border Reivers event that will also encompass falconry, an arts and crafts fair, a local school steel band and a special ‘reveal’.
On the music front, the Northumberland County Show, taking place on Monday May 29, will be marking the contribution of Lance Robson, founder of the Northumbrian Musical Heritage Society, who would have been 101 on Northumberland Day. Visitors will be welcomed with the sound of Northumbrian pipes, and a huge helping of red and yellow bunting and flags, as the show remembers how many young pipers have been inspired by Mr Robson, whilst also providing its own celebration of Northumberland Day.
In Howick, the Howick Coastal Choir will be performing in a two-hour concert in the Earl Grey Tea Rooms at Howick Hall, on the evening of Sunday May 28. The concert will celebrate Northumberland Day through song, fiddle playing and the poetry of Noel Hodgson. With local Northumbrian songs, instruments and food, this promises to be a wonderful foray into Northumbrian music and culture. Ticket details can be obtained by calling 01665 577285.
On the same day, the Ashington Rocks event will be staged in Ashington, featuring local rock bands. Tickets cost just £10, for an event that will go on until late, and can be bought from www.wegottickets.com/event/388082 or by calling 01670 814091.
When it comes to sport, SMILE Through Sport – a not-for-profit organisation founded by Paralympian Stephen Miller MBE – is arranging two open-to-all, inclusive Northumberland Day taster events, to encourage more people with disabilities and mental health conditions to get involved with sport.
The first taster event is at Willowburn Leisure Centre in Alnwick, between 10am and 12 noon on Tuesday May 23 and will have triple Paralympic throwing champion, Stephen Miller, attending as a special guest. At both this event, and a second taster event, taking place at Blyth Sporting Club, on Saturday May 27, again between 10am and 12 noon, those attending are encouraged to dress in red and yellow, to celebrate Northumberland Day.
National Trust Wallington is encouraging people to get involved in a sport of a different kind, as it links its opening of its new Dragon Cycle Trail in with the Northumberland Day celebrations. Red and yellow colours are again encouraged, as biking beginners and those a little more accustomed to life in the saddle, explore two new trails – one of 1.5km and the other of 4km. Both cross Broomhouse Farm’s fields and cyclists can visit a wildlife hide en route.
The opening event will also provide an opportunity to explore different kinds of bikes, such as tandems and electric bikes, benefit from cycling skills workshops, have a go on a turbo bike and watch a rider demonstrating the art of riding a penny farthing.
Finally, competitiveness of another sort will be at the fore of a Northumberland Day event in Slaley village’s Commemoration Hall, as teams of four compete in a Community Amusement Tournament. The event, starting at 7.30pm, will see each team battling to win as many 10-minute games as possible during the evening, as they take on board, skills and card games including Famous Faces, Scrabble, Gin Rummy, Dominoes, Bingo, Roll-a-Ball, Dingbats, Victorian Skittles, Uno and Codeword.
There will be a Northumbrian-themed refreshment break and the bar will be stocked with Northumbrian drink. Northumbrian prizes await the victors and a Northumbrian-themed raffle will add to the competitive spirit underpinning the event. Entry costs £5 per person, with proceeds going to the Ladycross Nature Reserve and the Slaley Commemoration Hall toilet refurbishment fund.
Northumberland Day organiser, Jane Hunt, says: “These arts, music and sports-focused events show how Northumberland Day is touching every aspect of life in the county. It’s not too late to put your own event on, have a great time, unite the community and maybe scoop one of our very special ‘Northumbie’ awards, designed in fused glass by local artist, Helen Grierson.
“Northumberland Day is about communities and people coming together and celebrating everything that makes the county great. These events embody all that the day stands for.”
More information about all events, along with ideas of how to get involved, can be found at www.northumberlandday.net To make enquiries, email NDay@catapultpr.co.uk
Press calls: Jane Hunt, Catapult PR, 01253 891114 – firstname.lastname@example.org