On visiting the Tall Ships at Blyth early on a sunny Friday evening expectations were very high as we walked from the north park-and-ride drop-off point.
When we came onto the Quayside we were greeted by a mega cacophony of sound coming from the main stage. The crew of the nearest shop must have suffered.
Then the big let-down — the steel crowd barriers were erected a ridiculous distance away from the ships, which prevented everyone from seeing close up some of their fine detailing.
Pre-advertising stated that up to 30 ships would be in attendance, 14 would probably be the number moored. Expecting to see more ships at the North Quay by walking through from the Commissioner’s Quay, we were refused entry and told to “come back tomorrow” by a member of the security team.
Did none of the organisers attend the event held at Newcastle some years ago or bother to ask Newcastle for advice?
Was there anything good? Yes, the park-and-ride. We spent more time on that than at the regatta.
We had booked park-and-ride for two separate days, needless to say we didn’t go back. What a turn-off.
Full marks however, go to Newbiggin-by-the Sea Maritime Festival, which ran over the same period — more to see, more to do, great music at an audible level, a totally family-friendly event and a fantastic community effort.