Thousands join the fun

Morpeth Fair 2011.'The motorbike procession through the town.
Morpeth Fair 2011.'The motorbike procession through the town.

PEOPLE of all ages enjoyed all the fun of the fair in Morpeth on Sunday.

Thousands flocked to the town centre for the many attractions at the annual Fair Day event, which is organised by the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade.

Organisers gave a conservative estimate of 30,000 throughout the day.

Music on the main stage included Pete Dodds and Red Box Band, Morpeth Pipe Band and the Wansbeck Colliery Band and the grand parade featured classic and vintage cars, Harley Davidson motorbikes and marching bands.

Wrestling action took place in the Queen’s Head Hotel and visitors could get into the action themselves with gravity boost trampolines and an army paintball range and climbing wall in High Stanners.

Conditions were decent for the event and when the rain eventually arrived at about 4pm, the exhibitors and the public were just about ready to go home so it caused no problems at all.

Chamber Chairman John Beynon said: “It was a fantastic event – everything went perfectly from the organisational side of things and people once again turned out in good numbers. Sanderson Arcade confirmed that there were over 3,000 extra visitors in the arcade against the same day last year.

“The weather was great for most of the day and our new stalls this year, including the continental and Northumberland producers markets in Oldgate, were very popular and something to continue and develop in the years to come.

“We would like to thank the various organisations that provided the stewarding help throughout the day – Northumberland County Council staff, Greater Morpeth Development Trust, Sea Cadets, Air Cadets, Morpeth Rotary and Morpeth Round Table – as well as event organiser Tony Osborne and his wife Julie for the immense amount of work they have put in.”

Morpeth Mayor Phil Taylor, who was among the Chamber’s guests, praised the event not only for the quality of the stalls and the entertainment but also for the professional manner in which everything was organised and planned.

The Morpeth Lions Club had a tent and the prize of two wheelbarrows laden with groceries certainly caught the eye of those attending the fair. The lucky winners came from Morpeth and North Shields.

In addition, Alison Starkey and friends from Morpeth Theatre Group provided a face painting service.

The £715 raised was to be split between the groups, however the Lions decided that the total should all go to the entertainers for future production costs.

One of the most popular attractions at the fair was Morpeth Antiquarian Society’s local history exhibition in the Town Hall, which attracted more than 1,000 visitors over the weekend.

The display was based on the streets and alleyways of Morpeth and despite having to bring collections from its store room in Newbiggin, the society was able to provide pictures, maps, models, books and other artefacts.

The event not only raised awareness of the heritage of the town, but also gave a greater understanding of the Antiquarians’ work and the group signed up a number of new volunteers.