STAFF and volunteers at a North East visitor attraction banded together last night to launch the region’s latest drinks venue.
Last year the National Trust’s Gibside estate near Rowlands Gill piloted a bar on Friday evenings.
It was such a success that it raised £2,000 towards the restoration of Gibside’s walled garden.
Last night the Wylam Brewery bar was back, with “Sun down at Gibside” which will take place every Friday night between 6pm-9pm until the end of September.
The first Friday of each month will feature a buskers’ night and the event was kicked off last night by Gibside landscape manager Phil Bolam, wildlife warden John Grundy, visitor welcome officer Richard Bradley, and volunteers Rike Kroener and Niklas Weber.
Gibside visitor services manager Emily Bryce said: “They are all friends who enjoy jamming together and we hope that they inspire other people to perform.”
Gibside’s property manager Mick Wilkes said: “This started off when we noticed a local Facebook group lamenting the lack of a pub in Rowlands Gill.
“We felt this was a great opportunity to provide a facility for the local community while supporting our own plans to restore the walled garden to its historic best. Gibside’s family-friendly atmosphere means the grown-ups can enjoy a drink and relax knowing the children will be safe.”
Extra attractions this year include live music, a monthly pub-style quiz and giant outdoor games like jenga, connect four, snakes and ladders or pick up sticks.
Rowlands Gill Primary School will also be organising its football team’s practice sessions to take place on the same evenings in the parkland at Gibside.
The bar will be open whatever the weather, with indoor accommodation inside Gibside’s cafe and an outdoor tea garden that will be heated by braziers in cooler conditions.