A GROUP of men who were as strong as an ox came away with the trophy after winning the main competition at this year’s Belsay Fete.
The tug-of-war event became a formal competition in which teams of five represented their village or hamlet.
Each match-up was keenly contested and provided good entertainment for all the spectators. In the end, The Ox – Middleton (Archie Singer, Mac Singer, John Carden, Jonty McGorie and Andrew Whaley) defeated The Highlander – Milbourne in the final.
There was a big turnout on the day, which was blessed with sunny and warm weather.
The fete was opened by Belsay schoolchildren and Kathy Anderson playing the accordion.
They did several traditional songs, including Bobby Shaftoe and Blaydon Races, which were well received.
Money raised from the stalls will go to regional charities and the tombola was a particular success due in part to the large number of prizes donated by the community.
The pony rides and dog agility were a big hit with the children and many other attractions also brought in the crowds.
One of the organisers, Angus Thompson, said: “This tug-of-war in the scaled down version will I feel become an annual occurrence at Belsay, due in part to the genuine enthusiasm from not only the participants and spectators but also the children, who demanded to have their own competition at the end of the main one.
“A huge number of children were also very keen to compete in the sports events, which were well organised by Fiona Davidson.
“Another big success of the day was the Newbiggin Brass Band who were superb. The selection of music and the tone of the instruments really created a lovely atmosphere, and the fact that the school field is in an amphitheatre hollow meant that the sound was pure and clear, with no traffic noise to spoil the occasion.
“The fete is organised by several people from the Belsay community – too many to give an individual mention to – however the Fete Committee is organised and run by Laura de Wesselow, who is keenly supported by those on the committee.”