Our own Olympics are brought back to life

Designer Daniel Weatheritt at the Morpeth Olympics Re-imagined exhibition at Woodhorn.
Designer Daniel Weatheritt at the Morpeth Olympics Re-imagined exhibition at Woodhorn.

FOOTAGE of Morpeth’s famous annual sporting event and new creative works can be seen in an exhibition.

The doors to Time Vault: the Morpeth Olympics Re-imagined have opened to reveal the results of months of research.

There are also art and music workshops inspired by the festival, which included athletics, wrestling and quoits, and attracted competitors from across the UK.

Young people from Morpeth, Stannington and Ashington visited the Northumberland Archives at Woodhorn to research documents relating to the Morpeth Games and explore relevant themes and concepts for the project.

Their findings were then developed into illustrations during a series of workshops with designer Daniel Weatheritt. Many of his own works will also be showcased in the exhibition at the museum, alongside an interactive guide and the archive documents that inspired them.

Old film of the Morpeth Olympic Games was a great source of inspiration.

Clive Temple has provided footage of the event from the 1930s and 1950s captured by his father, Tom Temple.

It will be shown during the exhibition, which forms part of the Time Travel Northumberland project.

Encouraged by this remarkable film, youngsters from BlueJam and Alnwick Creative Music Club have created an Olympic anthem, Let My Feet Have Wings, which can be heard at Woodhorn.

Time Travel Northumberland Creative Mentor and Project Co-ordinator Juliet Hardy said: “The young people who have been involved in the preparation and development of Time Vault have found it an extremely worthwhile project.

“It has given them the chance to take the lead and plan an exhibition from scratch, which is a really empowering, valuable experience for them.

“They have worked with highly skilled professionals to create for visitors of all ages to Woodhorn an exhibition that re-interprets an iconic historical event.

“I feel it shows how young people can take something from the past and inject creative ideas to interpret their heritage in ways that are relevant and engaging to them.”

Time Vault: the Morpeth Olympics Re-imagined will run until November 4. For more information, visit www.experiencewoodhorn.com/temporary-exhibitions/

l YOUNG historians in Northumberland have been honoured with a national commendation.

Time Travel Northumberland, which was set up by Woodhorn Museum and the Northumberland Youth Service, has been highly commended in the national Museum and Heritage Awards for Best Educational Initiative.

The project, which is funded by the Olympics Legacy Trust UK regional programme NE-Generation, aims to make local history more accessible and interesting for young people.

Activities inspired by the Northumberland Archives are developed by youngsters.

The scheme took 35 teenagers back to the 1840s to live at Featherstone Castle, dressing, working and living as their ancestors would have done 170 years ago.

This summer, the project will take young people back to the 1940s, to encounter rationing and the activities of the time.

Project Co-ordinator Juliet Hardy said: “We used our archive and local history to engage and inspire the group, but it was their vision and energy which turned ideas into a living reality.

“History is a powerful learning tool and it is so rewarding to see Northumberland people and Woodhorn Museum recognised on the national stage.”