Party in the park for bloom youths

The Morpeth in Bloom Fest  Carlisle Park
The Morpeth in Bloom Fest Carlisle Park

PEOPLE of all ages came along to Carlisle Park to enjoy an event run by Morpeth teenagers.

The Morpeth in Bloom Fest was put together to celebrate this year’s entry to the Northumbria in Bloom and Britain in Bloom competitions and it was officially opened by town Mayor Mark Horton.

There were a mixture of stalls and activities, organised by members of the King Edward VI School Student Voice Team, which included a mini-Olympics event on the tennis courts to celebrate World Sports Day led by Harvey Johnson, Dominic James, Robert Hodgson and Robbie Morgan. This also involved a coconut shy and a range of traditional games such as egg and spoon races.

Rebecca Fisher ran a face-painting section, Mark Pollard and Curtis Jeffery led a treasure hunt and hook the duck and Angus Kirk wrote a park quiz for adults and children.

Kate and Rachael Charlton, who recently ran with Olympic Torches, gave the public the rare opportunity to have their photograph taken with the torch in aid of Rachael’s forthcoming expedition to Thailand, taken professionally by Student Voice Ambassador Simon Pickles, who also designed fantastic posters and banners for the event.

Student photographers and film makers included Ashleigh Hunter, Calvin Willis and Freddie Bowles, and stalls and activities were also supported by Alex Sikkink and Calum Thomson.

KEVI’s music group Matt and the Hatters literally took centre stage on the bandstand under one of the gazebos. The group is composed of Craig Martin, Mark McGarry and lead singer Matt Dunbar.

The event welcomed Dr John Sadler and Time Bandits, who exhibited a range of wartime artefacts in uniform. Barry Mead, Alan Davison and John Bibby donated photographs to form an exhibition of the history of Carlisle Park.

There was willow-weaving by Ruth Thompson of Sylvan Skills and samples of delicious jams and pickles from Katie Simpson of Holesome Foods.

Luke Bramhall, Youth Participation Worker from Northumberland County Council, put together an exhibition on a range of youth groups available to young people in the county. KNW Energy attended, led by Director Carol Hepple, and donated energy-saving light bulbs to the public.

Student Angus Kirk asked visitors and some of those involved in the event what they thought.

Philippa Goode said: “I think it’s amazing and they’ve got loads of people here and it’s good fun. I’m enjoying the event a lot, everyone has been very friendly and it’s been very well organised.”

Robbie Morgan said: “The event has been a huge success”

And Rebecca Fisher said: “The event has been a real success. The face-painting was very popular and the auction was enjoyable and raised lots of money. The exhibitions were really good too.

“Overall, it’s been a great day. Lots of people came to the event, it’s been great.”

Head of Student Voice, Leadership and Enrichment at the school, Victoria Najafi, said: “It was a fantastic day and Mayor Mark Horton and many other members of the public have already requested that another event take place next year.

“An official Morpeth in Bloom Facebook page has been created which includes photographs of the event, as well as a fantastic viral competition in which people can win signed celebrity photographs, including from world championship boxer Amir Khan, and comedians Richard Ayoade from the IT Crowd, Ross Noble, Dylan Moran and Justin Lee Collins.”

Competition winners included 13-year-old Harry Shashoua, who won first prize in the best cake competition, followed by KEVI student Angus Kirk in second place.

Winner of the best jam went to 13-year-old Rioghan Bruce, second place was awarded to Ruth Le Masurier, and joint third were Ruth Le Masurier and Nicky Wall. Prizes were sourced by Sanderson Arcade Manager Medi Parry from The Body Shop and Energie Fitness.

The event was in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind and it raised £140 from donations to games, as well as an auction led by Angus. Charity representatives held a tombola, which raised £87.

KEVI Maths teacher Cheryl Waterhouse completed the Great North Swim on the same day also in aid of the Guide Dogs for the Blind. KEVI students are continuing to raise money for the charity via the sale of refreshments in school.