Festival in town was a feast for the senses

Members of the Pearl of Africa Childrens Choir performed in Bridge Street. Pictures by Trevor Walker.
Members of the Pearl of Africa Childrens Choir performed in Bridge Street. Pictures by Trevor Walker.

Beautiful weather and a top line-up of stalls and entertainment saw record crowds visit Morpeth on Saturday for the fourth annual Food and Drink Festival.

Town Mayor Andrew Tebbutt opened the event, which featured a range of stalls and attractions at Sanderson Arcade, Bridge Street, the Market Place, Newgate Street and the Town Hall.

The 2016 festival produced a record attendance for the event.

The 2016 festival produced a record attendance for the event.

Producers of food and drinks from across the region and further afield joined local traders and a number of chefs delighted the crowds at the demonstration kitchen in the Market Place, which was hosted by Matt Baker from Capital FM.

Street musicians at the event included Monsoon Steel Band and Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir and those in attendance were treated to the sounds of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Band. Members performed in Sanderson Arcade and along Newgate Street and Bridge Street.

A special performance area outside Morpeth Chantry that was sponsored by O2 also proved popular.

As well as showcasing some of the region’s delicious produce, the event gave the area’s keen bakers the chance to show off their skills with hotly-contested competitions held for the tastiest pies, scones and jams.

Seven chefs put on a session for the crowds at the demonstration kitchen in the Market Place.

Seven chefs put on a session for the crowds at the demonstration kitchen in the Market Place.

Sanderson Arcade centre manager and Morpeth Food and Drink Festival committee member Medi Parry said: “We are delighted with the turnout and the fantastic response from our visitors, as well as all the great stall-holders, performers and exhibitors at this year’s festival.

“It really was the best one yet and we’ll be working hard to build on that success for next year.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has worked so hard for the last 10 months to bring this event together and particularly the sponsors Stratstone BMW, which make such a great contribution to the event.”

The festival was launched four years ago and has grown to one of the busiest days in the town’s calendar.

Morpeth Mayor Andrew Tebbutt, who opened the event, was among those who enjoyed the music at this years Food and Drink Festival.

Morpeth Mayor Andrew Tebbutt, who opened the event, was among those who enjoyed the music at this years Food and Drink Festival.

This year saw visitor numbers recorded at the arcade 3.5 per cent up on last year’s event. A park-and-ride service sponsored by Taylor Wimpey operated throughout the day.