Belsay Hall flying the flag for NHS and announces new bus service
Belsay Hall was among the castles in the North East to fly the NHS flag for the 73rd anniversary of the service.
The activities to mark the occasion also included landmarks being lit up blue.
Richard Barker, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s regional director for North East and Yorkshire, said the anniversary of the founding of the health service (July 5, 1948) was a moment to reflect upon an extremely challenging year and celebrate its achievements – including the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
“The NHS 73rd birthday is a chance to say a big thank-you to our staff, partners, a whole army of volunteers and local communities for working so hard to deliver the extraordinary Covid-19 vaccination roll-out,” he added.
“While marking, over the coming days, all the NHS and its partners have achieved, we’ll also pause, as a simple act of respect, to remember those who, sadly, have lost their lives to Covid-19.”
Meanwhile, Belsay Hall operator English Heritage and bus company Go North East have come together to trial a new bus service connecting Newcastle city centre with the popular visitor attraction.
Four return journeys will take place every weekend during July and August from Newcastle’s Haymarket Bus Station to Belsay Hall and it is hoped that the service will persuade visitors to leave their cars at home and also attract new visitors who do not have access to a car.
The service is part of Belsay Awakes, a National Lottery Heritage funded project that will transform Belsay Hall over the next 12 months.
A return family ticket to Belsay will cost £12 – it can be purchased in advance on the Go North East app, or on the day from the bus driver, with contactless payment also available on the bus – covering up to two adults and three children under 16. Visitors using this service will be able to claim a 20 per cent discount on admission to the site.
Adult returns between Newcastle and Belsay are also available on the bus for £7.
If the trial is a success, it is hoped that the bus route will run every summer with an expanded service.