Crowds turn out to savour country life

Thousands flocked to a variety of events at the weekend - from the sights and sounds of an agricultural show to a military parade.

Ridgeside Falconry give a display at the Thropton Show

Thousands flocked to a variety of events at the weekend - from the sights and sounds of an agricultural show to a military parade.

Saturday's Thropton Show, near Rothbury, Northumberland, drew a record crowd of more than 1,000.

It included a horticultural and industrial show, pony sports, sheepdog trial, terrier racing, dog show, quoits, a display from Ridgeside Falcons and Simonside Fell Race, a 6.7-mile run with a 1,200ft ascent, which was won by Nick Swinburne, of Rothbury.

Also on Saturday, soldiers of the 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers marched through Newcastle and Alnwick to celebrate the battalion's formation. The Fusiliers' only Territorial Army battalion formed a freedom parade leaving Newcastle's Civic Centre with a saluting platform at Grey's Monument.

The battalion was inspected by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Coun Diane Packham.

Alnwick Castle was the setting for the afternoon's parade, where the Duke of Northumberland, who is honorary colonel of the battalion, took the salute before presenting operational medals.

Hexham Abbey Festival also continued over the weekend with a concert from the Festival Chorus performing Bach's B Minor Mass in the abbey on Saturday and an afternoon performance yesterday by Antiphon.

The festivities continue on Wednesday when Jim Tomlinson, a Hexham sax player will be playing alongside his American wife, top jazz singer Stacey Kent, at 7.45pm in the Queen's Hall.

The festival will end on Saturday with a candlelight concert in the abbey when The Cardinall's Musick, of London, perform songs written for the Sistine Chapel, including Allegri's Miserere.

For more information or to book tickets call the Queen's Hall on (01434) 652477.

For more pictures of The Thropton Show, log on to our photosales website.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer