Plans for the county’s first ever Northumberland Day on May 28 are gathering pace, as organisers continue to stage meetings across the county and spread the word via social media.
Exciting events, initiatives, openings and community gatherings are being planned from Berwick in the north, to Blyth and Haltwhistle in the south, with more people, groups and businesses getting involved almost every day.
Headway Arts in Blyth was the location for the latest ‘Northumberland Day’ briefing for those wanting to join in the fun and celebrations, with the meeting being attended by a cross-section of businesses from the Blyth and Morpeth areas.
The next meeting will be held in Rothbury, at the Northumberland National Park Authority’s Coquetdale Centre, between 11am and 1pm on Friday April 7 and organisers hope to inspire more Northumberland Day activity at that session.
The information sessions give community groups, businesses and individuals a host of ideas of how to celebrate Northumberland Day, either on the day itself, May 28 2017, or in the weeks surrounding it. This is putting action into place that will realise the vision of Langley Castle, in Langley-on-Tyne, which first put out a call for a Northumberland Day in July 2015.
This year, the aim is to embed Northumberland Day at a grass-roots level, so that communities celebrate all that is great about the county, independently of any funding. Next year, if funding comes along, the celebrations will have a new dimension, but still have the grass-roots, community events that help bring people together in an inclusive and positive way.
Attendees at the Headway Arts meeting heard how activity is already planned in locations such as Haltwhistle, Haydon Bridge, Hexham, Ashington, Morpeth, Berwick and Alnwick and how everyone can get involved, in a variety of ways.
Businesses such as Whitehouse Farm Centre in Stannington, the Newbiggin Maritime Centre, The Plough at Ellington and The Inn Collection Group of pubs, all committed to taking part in the Northumberland Day programme.
Headway Arts also revealed how it will be staging a Northumbrian afternoon tea, complete with stotties, sarnies and singing hinnies, on May 25, as it too gets involved. This celebration will take place between 4pm and 6pm.
Eleanor Phillips, chairperson of Longhoughton Village Development Trust, left the meeting with ideas of how to get her local community involved, and an intention to get other groups and associations involved too, perhaps in a sporting capacity.
From the education sector, Newsham Primary School in Blyth was represented by assistant head teacher, Caroline Elton, who wanted to get pupils involved, to enable them to have a sense of Northumberland’s heritage and culture.
Attendees heard how Northumberland Day is seeking sponsors for some initiatives that would help create an even bigger impact and how organisers are currently challenging people to take the Northumberland flag to somewhere unusual and photograph it there, in the run up to Northumberland Day’s celebrations.
Jane Hunt, managing director of Catapult PR, said: “Our Headway Arts session was a very vibrant and uplifting meeting, during which the passion that everyone has for Northumberland Day really shone through. Events and activities planned through this meeting alone will see celebrations taking place from May 23, right through to the first week of June, which is fantastic, as it gives people every opportunity to enjoy several events during the Northumberland Day celebration period.”
Any business, individual, school or community group wishing to attend the Rothbury meeting should email NDay@catapultpr.co.uk or call 01253 891114 . More information and updates are available at www.facebook.com/northumberlandday
Press calls: Jane Hunt, Catapult PR, 01253 891114 – firstname.lastname@example.org