Competitors show traditional skills

Morpeth Gathering 2014'Picture by Jane Coltman
Morpeth Gathering 2014'Picture by Jane Coltman

Competitors came from far and wide to show off their skills at the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering.

The annual three-day festival is a celebration of Northumberland’s heritage and traditions, offering up a wide range of entertainment and events that are enjoyed by thousands of people.

But as well as the performances and activities, it also puts traditional talents to the test in a number of competitions.

This year dozens of entrants were eager to display their crafts, leaving judges with tough decisions to decide the winners.

Gathering Committee Chairman Kim Bibby-Wilson said: “The entries were of a very good standard.

“We had more competitors in the music classes this year than previously, including a number of adult novice smallpipes players so that was encouraging. It’s good that people are taking these things up.

“We were down a bit on craft entries, but we had more shepherds’ sticks.

“Children’s entries were down because teachers have moved on from a couple of schools where we had established links and we used to get whole year groups entering. We have to re-establish that level of entry for the future. We didn’t get many children’s entries in writing, but we did have some dialect poetry from youngsters in the northern part of the county.”

The festival took place from April 25 to 27.

The results

Group A: Art and Craft.

Art (Lynda Swift Trophy): 1 Angela Wilkie (Morpeth), 2 Alison Starkey (Morpeth), 3 Delphine Blenkinsop (Ashington); Junior Art: 1 Andrew Laidlaw (Morpeth), 2 Gregor Laidlaw (Morpeth); Senior Art: 1, 2 and 3 Honoria Brown (Gorfenletch); Photo: 1, 2 and 3 Mark Harrison (Morpeth), Highly Commended and Commended Helen Soady (Cramlington); Exotic T-shirt Photo: 1 Richard Stewart in Iraq (Morpeth), 2 John and Caroline Turnbull in Moscow (Woking), 3 Andrea Capitain in Carcassonne (Cologne).

Open Plain Horn Stick: 1 and 2 Paul Clark (Blyth), 3 J Hume (Stakeford); Open Plain Horn Crook: 1 B Thompson (Alnwick), 2 and 3 Paul Clark; Open Fancy Horn Stick/Crook: 1 J Hume, 2 Jimmy Turnbull (Chathill), 3 J Hume; Open Wood Stick/Crook: 1 Jimmy Turnbull, 2 and 3 Paul Clark; Open Fancy Wood Stick: 1 B Thompson, 2 and Special Award Jimmy Turnbull, 3 B Thompson; Open Thumbstick: 1 and 2 Paul Clark; Open Half-Head Stick: 1 Paul Clark, 2 Jimmy Turnbull, 3 Paul Clark; Silver Pheasant (most points): Paul Clark; Best Stick In Show: B Thompson.

Patchwork: 1 Wendy Jackson (Blyth), 2 Janet Roberts (Cramlington), 3 Linda Jewson (Morpeth), Highly Commended Freda Taylor (Ashington) and Elizabeth Manners (Morpeth); Canvaswork: 1 Freda Taylor; Cross-Stitch: 1 and 2 Maureen Jackson (Blyth), 3 Libby Lally (Ashington), Highly Commended Freda Taylor; Own Design Needlework: 1 and 2 Linda Jewson, 3 Hazel Thompson (Blyth), Highly Commended Jerry Boynes (Morpeth); Needlework: 1 June Pirie (Acklington), 2 Ann Dinsley (Cramlington), 3 Hazel Thompson; Fine Crochet: 1 G Lambert (Blyth), 2 Ann Dinsley, 3 G Lambert, Highly Commended Linda Clark (Blyth); Wool Crochet: 1 Deborah Eastman (Blyth), 2 Linda Clark, 3 M McCreton (Morpeth); Hand Knitting: 1 Lynden Jobson (Ashington), 2 Marina Callaghan (Cramlington), 3 Lynden Jobson; Soft Toy: 1 Jill Tait (Morpeth), 2 Elizabeth Manners, 3 Brenda Shotton (Morpeth); Hooked Cloth Rug: 1 Delphine Blenkinsop; Yarn Rug: 1 Delphine Blenkinsop; Macrame: 1 and 2 Freda Taylor; Junior Bobbin Lace: 1 and 2 Rachel Jackson (Blyth), 3 Caitlin Wilcox (Whitley Bay), Highly Commended Rachel Jackson; Bobbin Lace: 1 Helen Purvis (Whitley Bay), 2 Wendy Jackson, 3 Ann Dinsley and Diana Blackburn (Cramlington), Highly Commended Betty Sheavils (Blyth) and Marilyn Sarkar (Cramlington).

Miscellaneous Craft: 1 Freda Taylor; Easter Cracket: 1 Brenda Shotton; Dyed Pace Egg: 1 and 2 Brenda Shotton; Disabled Person’s Craft: 1 Ann Purvis (Pegswood), 2 John Snowdon (Benmar House), 3 Barbara Gibson (Benmar House), Highly Commended Susan Hine (Morpeth) and Patricia Rescigno (Morpeth); Junior Individual Craft: 1 Katie Byard (Morpeth); Junior Group Craft: 1 Morpeth First School (Goosehill); Wyn Bibby Ingenuity Award; June Pirie.

Shop Window: 1 FH Hardy, 2 Sewing Box (both Newgate Street, Morpeth); Group Costumes: Iain McNichol and Friends (The Quack, his Assistant and the Wild Woman); Cushie Butterfield Costume: Maureen Pearson (Dorothy Robson Group); Cuddy Butterfield Costume: John Burke (Pageant Piper); Special Award for Tea Towel Wielding: Jim Rudd.

Group B: Writing and Composing.

Song Writing: 1 The Haltwhistle Burn, Colin Storey (Fenham), 2 The Rothbury and the Hollywood Hills, John Homer (Rothbury), 3 Decision To Move to Berwick upon Tweed, Beth Lister (Stoke on Trent); Melody: 1 Willie’s Hat Jig, Jane Waites (Barnard Castle), 2 Gannin Aboot, Ian Scott (Kirkwhelpington), 3 Whin Sill Waltz, Jane Waites, Highly Commended Spittal Two-Step, Peter Dunn (Kettering) and The Octagenarian, Pauline Page (Clackmannanshire), Commended A Newcastle Lass, Philip Straw (Whitley Bay), Newbrough, Ian Scott, Tobias Taylor-Robinson, Richard Taylor (Gateshead), The Northern Lights and The St David’s Day Jig, Susan Clarke, and Winter’s End Reel, Jane Waites; Composing Excellence: 1 Jane Waites, 2 Ian Scott, 3 Susan Clarke; Variations: 1 Roslin Castle, Pauline Page.

Novice Northumbrian Verse: 1 A Silly Bit Vorse, Peter Arnold (Hexham), 2 Will Anyone Save Us?, Nick Short Jnr (Telford, Shropshire); Open Northumbrian Verse: 1 Geordie and Santa, Brian Dawson (Blyth), 2 Me Trusty Steed, George Carrick (Cramlington), 3 Hruffty Tuffty Frae Newbhruffty and The Newbhruffty Travellhor, Nick Short (Hexham), Highly Commended Wor Helen, Herbert Savory (Gateshead); Junior Northumbrian Verse (Middle School): 1 The Sheep Stealer, Fiona Hesler and Kate Waklett, 2 The Girl In The Photo, F Gesler and K Waklett, 3 Rothbury, Jacob and Frazer Cansfield (all Rothbury); Senior Northumbrian Verse (High School): 1 Nowt but Everything, Olivia Sheed; 2 A Year On The Farm, Anna Comber, 3 Ow The Meadows, Kirsty Famelton and ‘Emily Wilding Davison’ Rachael Kennedy (all Rothbury).

Northumbrian Prose: 1 The Lambton Worm Saga, Peter Arnold, 2 Mr Bits of Feet, Nick Short, 3 Time, Herbert Savory; Stage Sketch: Commended The Extra Prince, Adrian McRobb (Cramlington); Short Story: 1 Star Gazing (Dreaming of Yem), George Carrick, 2 Rabbit, G Carrick, 3 The Tale Of Two Pigs, Nick Short, Commended Northumberland 2013: Autumn On My Mind, Adrian McRobb; Essay: 1 What’s Source For The Goose, Peter Arnold, 2 Redundancy? Eureka!, Herbert Savory, 3 Auld Enemy (or New-Found Friend), George Carrick; Historical Article: 1 Aldfrith the Forgotten King of Northumbria, Peter Arnold, 2 Cresswell and the Enigma, Adrian McRobb, 3 Just A Whiska Away, George Carrick, and Plashetts, Nick Short; Junior Short Story: 1 The White Lady of Morpeth, Cameron Dick (Morpeth).

Group C: Performing.

Unaccompanied Song: 1 Brian Hunt (South Shields), 2 Pat Oldale (Eyemouth), 3 Marilyn Framrose (Chollerton); Accompanied Song: 1 Chris Jones (Wall), 2 Anne Dolphin (Ovington), 3 Minnie Fraser (W Mickley); Traditional Ballad: 1 Ian Dunsmuir (Chollerton), 2 Pat Oldale, 3 Anne Dolphin; Folk Group: 1 Duns and Roses (Hexham), 2 Canny Crack (Ovington); Country Dance Band: 1 Tyneside Fiddle Alliance (Gateshead), 2 Redheughers (Gateshead).

Intermediate Accordion: 1 Archie Herdman (Edlingham); Novice Fiddle: 1 Emma Hardy (Seaton Sluice), 2 Hal Hodkinson (Newbrough); Intermediate Fiddle: 1 Bill Stafford (Ashington), 2 Alan Alden (Newcastle); Open Fiddle: 1 Stewart Hardy (Seaton Sluice); Novice Smallpipes: 1 Ian Stephenson (Ryton), 2 Richard Taylor (Low Fell), 3 Steve Riddell (Corbridge); Intermediate Smallpipes: 1 Richard Taylor; Open Smallpipes: 1 Dawn Goff (Weedon, Northants), 2 Peter Dunn (Kettering, Northants); Instrument Solo: 1 Ruth Harvey (Blyth), 2 Jimmy Little (Christon Bank), 3 Eric Davison (Ashington), Commended Trevor Wilkinson (Newcastle); Instruments Duet: 1 Ruth Harvey and Jimmy Mitchell, 2 Stewart Hardy and Colin Bradford (Alnwick); Border Pipes: 1 Iain Gelston (South Shields), 2 Dunmail Hodkinson (Newbrough).

Junior Clog Dance: 1 Amelia Ellis (Crawcrook), 2 Daisy Christopher (Wall), 3 Charlotte Dillon (Durham); Senior Clog Dance: 1 Eleanor Dixon (Winlaton), 2 Solomon Christopher (Wall), 3 Kay Adamson (Wall); Open Pedestal Clog Dance: 1 Rebecca Adamson (Wall); Northumberland Clog Championship (Open): 1 Rebecca Adamson; Junior Clog Group: 1 Naomi and Daisy Christopher, 2 Ellie Fox and Charlotte Dillon; Senior Clog Group: 1 Addison Youth Team (Ryton), 2 Clever Clogs - Sol, Kay and Huw (Wall); Open Group Clog: 1 Tiffany Walker (Newbrough) and Rebecca Adamson; Clog Special Award: Charlotte Dillon and Ellie Fox.

Fine Northumbrian Speech: 1 Raymond Reed (Stakeford), 2 Carl Stianson (Hadston), 3 Nick Short (Hexham); Story-Telling: 1 Chris Jones, 2 Nick Short, 3 Raymond Reed; Hoafy Trophy: 1 Anna Fancett (Bedlington), 2 Peter Arnold, 3 Nick Short.