Everything turned out fair for town’s big day

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THERE were many positives to take from Morpeth Fair Day after organisers had to deal with some difficult circumstances.

Chairman of the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade committee which puts together the activities in the town centre, Tony Osborne, gave a report to members of the business group at a recent meeting.

And although there were reductions in some areas, he said the event was well received by residents and visitors alike and the total profit is approaching £7,000, which is better than expected.

This money will be a welcome boost after an alleged theft of thousands of pounds from its coffers.

There was an Olympic flavour to this year’s celebrations as representatives from Coca-Cola, which owns Schweppes Abbey Well in Coopies Lane, displayed the torch from the Turin Winter Games, Morpeth Antiquarian Society presented a local history exhibition based on Sporting Morpeth and the Morpeth Olympic Games and three times Paralympic Gold medal winner Stephen Miller was the guest of honour to open the fair and start the fun run.

The vintage cars and Harley Davidson bikes were once again among the main attractions, those attending enjoyed the fairground rides, music, stalls and markets and High Stanners also attracted crowds with its variety of entertainment, ranging from falconry displays to paintball.

Mr Osborne said: “It was always going to be a challenging Fair Day for the committee with the current economic climate and the previous main sponsor Benfield Motors moving out of the town.

“Thankfully, Coca-Cola stepped in late in the day to be the new main sponsor and we were able to do everything we had planned.

“The food producers stalls and continental market in Oldgate organised by Jimmy Bell was a big success and hopefully we can expand this next year as there’s more space for traders.

“Even though there was a lower number of Harley motorbikes and music performers, people still enjoyed the main activities and the parade ran very smoothly.

“I’m very grateful to everyone on the committee for their efforts, my wife Julie for her support and the Fair Day marshals who were very effective.

“There was a small increase in stall fees but in hindsight we should have kept them at last year’s levels because there was a reduction in bookings. We’re going to have a look at advertising them in future years.”

He gave a present to Pat and Caroline Elton and Paul and Lucy Cook – who are not members of the Chamber – for their help in organising some of the activities. Morpeth Town Council was also praised for allowing the use of the Mayor’s Parlour for guests on the day.