Council to discuss taking on the Boundary Ride

AN authority has been asked to become the lead organisation for a traditional Morpeth event.

In its heyday, the Boundary Ride, based on the tradition of making sure a town’s borders were secure from invaders, attracted about 100 participants, but numbers started to reduce during the last decade.

Councils were previously in charge of the arrangements and they were then taken on by a group of trustees.

Over the last few years, when the horse riding event has gone ahead the attendance figures have been decent, but it has also been cancelled on a couple of occasions.

Now the trustees have written to Morpeth Town Council, asking it to take on the responsibility for the arrangements and nominate a representative to act as chair on the committee.

At a recent meeting, members agreed with Coun Les Cassie’s suggestion that they can’t make a decision on this at the moment because the matter needs to be discussed as part of its budget considerations.

Coun David Parker said: “We can hardly take on a new service that will take up the council’s time and have financial implications when we’re in the process of reviewing the services we provide.”

Councillors also stressed the importance of the event, including Ken Brown who said: “It is a great spectacle and whatever we decide, I hope you agree with me that we don’t want the event to disappear from the Morpeth calendar.”

Also during the discussion, Coun Bob Robertson said it may be worth asking the Greater Morpeth Development Trust and Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade to help with the organisation of the ride through the Morpeth Town Team initiative.

Coun David Clark said holding the event on a Saturday could increase the number of participants and spectators.

In its response to the trustees, the town council has asked them to provide more information about the current arrangements.