North East families enjoy bank holiday weekend events

North East families made the most of the spring sun during a host of activities across the region over the Bank Holiday weekend


Smiling families made the most of the spring sun through traditional Maypole dancing and a host of activities during May Day celebrations across the North East.

Kites were soaring high over Blyth as the last of three days of the annual Blyth Kite Festival took place at South Beach.

It was the largest collection of kites ever flown in Northumberland and included displays of single, two-line and four-line kite flying to music, and large displays including parrots, fish, eels, lizards, crabs and more.

Some of the best kite fliers in the country were in attendance including Josh Mitcheson from Ashington, who is the youngest person in the world to fly three two-line kites at the same time to music.

Graham Lockwood, from Huddersfield, is acknowledged to be the best in Europe and could be seen flying three two-line stunt kites to music at the same time.

To celebrate the arrival of May, Segedunum Roman fort, at Wallsend, Newcastle, made merry with a mix of performances and activities on Bank Holiday Monday.

There was music and dance, from the Benfieldside Morris Dancers, as well as circus performers and skills workshops.

There was also May Day celebrations at the Cherryburn National Trust site at Mickley, Northumberland, where two local children were named the village’s very own May King and Queen.

Jack Siddle, four, and eight-year-old Myla Caudle were crowned at lunchtime to rapturous applause from hundreds of visitors to the birthplace of artist Thomas Bewick.

And it was nine-year-old Sam Swatman who had the best pursed lips on the day, after he was named champion of the annual Thomas Bewick whistling competition which has been held at Cherryburn since 1998.

Ed Jagger, Cherryburn’s events manager, said: “It’s been a great day and the weather has been especially kind to us.

“We’ve had around 600 visitors through our gates which is fantastic for a place as small as Cherryburn. “People have been having a whale of a time and we’ve welcomed lots of visitors to Cherryburn for the first time. Hopefully, they’ll be back.”


David Whetstone
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