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Are you sitting comfortably? Artists are listening to stories in Newbiggin for a new project

Artists Danielle Burn and Paul McDougal are gathering memories of Newbiggin from the comfort of a park bench

Artists Danielle Burn and Paul McDougal are asking people to share their memories, stories and tales of Newbiggin to be part of a new exhibition
Artists Danielle Burn and Paul McDougal are asking people to share their memories, stories and tales of Newbiggin to be part of a new exhibition called, The Life and Times of a Park Bench

Artists from South East Northumberland are using a park bench overlooking Newbiggin to bring stories to life... and are appealing for local people to help.

Danielle Burn and Paul McDougal are asking people to share their memories and stories of Newbiggin to be part of a new exhibition called, ‘The Life and Times of a Park Bench’.

Over the last two months, the pair have sat on the bench overlooking the sea at Newbiggin to meet local people and capture their tales of times gone by.

The creative pair will next be sitting comfortably at the bench on Wednesday, August 13 from 10am to 4pm to collect more stories from people of all ages.

Danielle says: “We’ve met some really interesting people at the bench already. We’d love to hear from more people, of all ages to tell us more about the atmosphere of the town, its people and its history.

“We are fascinated by how a simple park bench can be a place where people take the time to stop and think and recollect. With such a beautiful view across Newbiggin, we knew this bench would be the place to discover some great memories from people about the town.”

So far, the bench- which as its own twitter account by the way @newbigginbench - has helped Danielle and Paul gather a number of stories.

Some of these stories include snippets like:

  • “I have loads of memories of being little here. We all used to go on there, the moor, where the golf club is now. We would picnic, we would play on the little beach, it was lovely.”
     
  • “One thing I do remember is the upturned boats. The upturned boats; the fishermen used to live in them. They had little stoves inside to cook and a funnel sticking out of the roof.”

Paul adds: “The completed exhibition will be a celebration of the history and heritage of Newbiggin, its people and their stories – and will include video, audio, artwork, photography and performances by young people.”

  • The Life and Times of a Park Bench will be exhibited at Newbiggin Maritime Centre on the weekend of September 6 and 7. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. Contributions can also be sent by email newbigginbench@hotmail.com.

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