Costumes and crowns fit for a princess

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THE Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering will have a real street party flavour this year after extra funds were awarded for Royal Wedding activities.

Event organisers have received support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England to bring extra stalls, living history projects and entertainment to Morpeth Market Place.

Funding has been awarded to host family art workshops where royal costumes, crowns, tiaras, flags and wedding charms will be created to wish Prince William and Kate Middleton luck on their happy day.

The free sessions will run at the Chantry Bagpipe Museum during the school Easter holidays, and the first, for pre-booked places on Wednesday, April 20, will see children make two party table sculptures that will be the centrepiece of the festivities.

During the following week, families can drop into the Chantry between 11am and 2pm, Tuesday to Thursday.

And on Friday, April 29 — the opening day of the Gathering and the date of the Royal Wedding — there will be costume workshops in the Barnabas Safe and Sound yurt in the Market Place.

Sessions have taken place in schools to make banners for the grand pageant on Saturday, April 30, which feature local wedding traditions and images of the ancient Northumbrian kings and the royal seat of Bamburgh.

Other new work at the Gathering will be song writing workshops for young people by singer and composer Laura Victoria, a digital sound sequence featuring the voice of Alan Sambrook of Pegswood, actor Ray Alexander taking on the role of the 7th Earl of Carlisle, Morpeth’s railway baron, during the event’s railway-themed On The Write Lines concert, and a new arrangement of the Wild Wannie Line for Voice Male, Coquet Singers and the Wannie Liners of Middleton.

A full programme is available from Morpeth Chantry Tourist Information Centre, libraries, shops and on-line at