Vikings raid town for fun in the sun

Norwegian teenagers are helping to paint the boarded up Benfield Motors at Morpeth to improve the gateway to the town (left to right) Karoline Fure (15) and Kyersti Andreassen (18).
Norwegian teenagers are helping to paint the boarded up Benfield Motors at Morpeth to improve the gateway to the town (left to right) Karoline Fure (15) and Kyersti Andreassen (18).

VIKING raiders took Carlisle Park by storm as crowds turned out for fun in the sun.

The annual Picnic In The Park was held on Sunday, with various art, craft and entertainment activities taking place. But this year there was an added bonus, as the event was spread over two days to tie in with an Olympic theme.

And on Saturday, 24 Norwegian volunteers helped to run a range of sports and activity sessions, served up a free barbecue and put on a show of strength in an Extreme Vikings display.

The group was visiting Morpeth and staying with local families for a week in a trip organised by Norwegian churches to thank Northumberland for its role in spreading Christianity.

Morpeth New Life Christian Centre Minister Mike Willis, who helped to run the visit, said: “The whole trip was a success. It was great for us and the weather held up.

“The event in the park was brilliant. We gave away about 600 burgers and nearly 600 sausages, all free, and the park was really busy.

“There was free football and swimming in the leisure centre, kayaking on the river and there was just so much going on. We organised tug of war, face painting and crafts, and the Viking show was brilliant. They were breaking bricks with their heads and biting through bars. There was about 200 to 300 people there who had come specially to see the Extreme Vikings, and they were pretty extreme.”

Earlier in the week, the Norwegian visitors had run a holiday club for children at Stobhillgate First School, and they painted the boarded up Benfield Motors premises in Castle Square with artist Karen Willis.

Mark said: “The artwork went really well and we were so pleased with the result. We were getting so many fantastic comments from people. We also met the Northumbria in Bloom judges and they were very positive.

“The Norwegians had a lot of tears when they left on Monday. They had a really great time and said they would love to come back.”

The Carlisle Park activities were organised in partnership with the Greater Morpeth Development Trust, Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure, Morpeth Bowling Club, Morpeth Churches Together, Morpeth Town Council, Northumberland County Council, Barnabas Safe and Sound and Collingwood Arts and Media College.