Pageant on the march

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A BAND of Suffragettes will be marching through Morpeth – and locals are invited to join in.

The Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering will this year focus on women in the county as one of its major themes to tie in with the 100th anniversary of the death of Northumberland Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, who lived in Longhorsley.

As part of the celebrations the festival’s traditional pageant will include women marching in Suffragette colours, before gathering for a rally.

Residents are encouraged to dress up and join in the fun, either as supporters of “votes for women” or anti-Suffragettes.

Gathering Committee chairman Kim Bibby-Wilson said: “We are inviting community groups and individuals to come along and join in and be Suffragettes or anti-Suffragettes.

“There will be a rally at lunchtime on the Saturday and we really want to show what it was like.

“People can come along in Suffragette colours to be part of the crowd.”

Actress Lottie Alexander will take the part of Emily Davison.

Other activities running throughout the festival are crafts exhibitions, outdoor entertainment, stalls, art workshops, dance sessions, a women’s costume display, stories, music, a battle re-enactment and concerts, including North Country Lass by female musicians celebrating women.

The main Gathering events run from Friday, April 5, to Sunday, April 7. The pageant, featuring Border pipers, flags and entertainment, takes place at 11am on the Saturday.