The organisers of the first ‘Northumberland Day’, which will take place on Sunday, May 28 2017, are urging all Northumbrians to get involved and take up the baton of celebration planning, just as the south-west of the county has done.
Langley Castle Hotel and Restaurant, which first put out the call for a Northumberland Day in July 2015, and its PR consultancy, Catapult PR, which devised the concept, have together staged the first ideas session for those wishing to get involved. This took place at Langley Castle, Langley-on-Tyne, on January 24.
The next ideas session is scheduled for February 15, at Newton Hall, Newton-on-Sea, whilst another is already in the diary for March 15, at Headway Arts in Blyth. Both will brief any businesses, community groups, teachers and individuals that wish to attend, as well as inspiring them to plan some sort of activity.
Activities for Northumberland Day itself, and the days around it, are already being planned in Haltwhistle, Haydon Bridge and Hexham. Events include a village celebration in Haydon Bridge, organised by the Get It Together Society (GITS) and the parish, a special outdoor event staged by the Haltwhistle Walking Festival and a medieval and crafts fair at Hexham Abbey, which will have input from Wild Dog Outdoors (May 27).
Newly engaged businesses now planning activity, include Northumberland Cheeses and The Northumbrian Tweed Company. Both were inspired by suggestions they picked up at the ideas session and they are now working out the logistics and seeing what can be done to create a stir.
Speaking on behalf of the Northumberland Cheese Company, marketing manager, Charlie Pears-Wallace said: “We shall be looking at what we can do linked to our Northumberlandia handmade, farmhouse cheese and trying to generate as much noise about this as we can, highlighting the cheese’s provenance, which is rooted in the Northumberland landscape. Watch this space!”
The new event and activity development is supplementing things already in the diary, including a food market on Saturday May 27, organised by Ashington Town Team and a rock concert in Ashington (May 28), organised by a passionate individual, John Emery.
Meanwhile, the first Northumberland Day race meeting at Hexham Racecourse, which will take place on May 23, has attracted its first sponsor – the Port of Blyth.
Langley Castle has also confirmed that it will be staging a ‘Reivers’ event on Saturday May 27, which will feature everything from pike drills to period food, with ballads, storytelling and a children’s battle thrown in for good measure.
A new Northumberland Day website should be developed soon, to showcase all activities and help deliver the economic benefit to Northumberland that a vibrant, county-wide celebration should bring.
Langley Castle’s general manager, Eric Kortenbach, says: “New events and celebrations are being planned by numerous groups and individuals now and we are determined to avoid any parish, school, community group, business or tourism attraction missing out, or being embarrassed because they didn’t plan anything.
“Our two forthcoming ideas sessions are intended to create a spark that will light up a place, building, school or business on and around Northumberland Day, ensuring that everyone in the county can celebrate Northumberland’s culture, music, heritage, sport, landscape and commitment to community. If we can do this, we know that visitors will arrive, wishing to share Northumberland’s vibrant culture and landscape.”
Anyone wanting to attend either the February 15 Newton Hall event, or the March 15 ideas session at Headway Arts in Blyth, should email Jane Hunt at NDay@catapultpr.co.uk or call 0191 653 1121 or 01253 891114.
Catapult is also hoping to shortly announce sessions in Morpeth, and the north of the county.