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Traditional village Gala offers a great get-together

Widdrington Parish councillors (l-r) Joe Sennett, Shelly Willoughby, Isabell Fraiser and George Askew who have helped arrange a gala on the bank holiday weekend. GM039905

Widdrington Parish councillors (l-r) Joe Sennett, Shelly Willoughby, Isabell Fraiser and George Askew who have helped arrange a gala on the bank holiday weekend. GM039905

All the fun of a traditional fair can be had at a Village Gala Day.

The event will be held in Widdrington Station and Stobswood Community Park in a bid to bring the whole village together.

There will be a fancy dress parade, dog show, games and children’s rides, as well as an array of stalls, including WI and church stands, crafts from young entrepreneurs and refreshments.

Stobswood Welfare Recreation Club will organise five-a-side football, penalty shoot-outs and other sports.

And Army cadets will give marching displays, as well as stay behind to help with the clearing up.

Backworth Brass Band will provide the musical entertainment in what is thought to be a first performance in the village ‘bandstand’.

Parish Chairman Shelly Willoughby said: “There is a circle of stones in the park that I call the sundial. Apparently, it was supposed to be used as a bandstand, but it has never been christened by a band so it is quite exciting that Backworth Brass Band is coming along.”

Organisers have hired a marquee for the event and villagers are invited to take along their own gazebos.

The tents could be put to good use for the Village Baker of the Year competition, which has sections for the under 12s, 12 to 18-year-olds and over 18s, and there will also be an opportunity for people to pick up new cookery ideas, with a Recipe Tent inspired by a TV show.

Coun Willoughby said: “We have pinched an idea from the Hairy Bikers to have a recipe tent where people can pin up their favourite recipes and other people can note them down. We will then collect all the recipes to put a village cook book together, which we sell to raise funds for next year’s gala.”

The gala will also raise awareness of local issues and services, with information on Meals on Wheels and police and fire service in attendance.

Banks Mining will have a presentation unit to discuss its plans for an opencast site at Highthorn, near Druridge Bay, and enable people to sign up to community workshops on the proposals.

The Toma Fund, which supports North East families affected by childhood cancer, will be collecting funds to go towards buying a caravan for respite breaks.

Coun Willoughby said: “Fingers crossed we will have a sunny day, with a brass band playing, sandwiches and teas, and kids running around enjoying themselves. What more could you ask for?

“It just shows it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to have a great day.”

The Gala Day takes place on Saturday, May 24.

 

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