Sunshine due for weekend festivals

AS THE North-East basks in an Indian summer there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the overdue fine weather this weekend.

AS THE North-East basks in an Indian summer there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the overdue fine weather this weekend.

To start with, the Seahouses Festival in Northumberland is taking place both today and tomorrow.

A whole array of entertainment is on offer at this free event, including the chance to see a circus performer show off his skills.

SkyArtists will be putting some colour in the skies with kites of many shapes and sizes.

There will also be story and poetry telling live from the streets of the town.

And finally there will be a display about life in Roman times and an opportunity for youngsters to dress up in Legionnaires’ costumes and carry safe swords in controlled drill practice to train to become Centurions.

Combine all that with lots of stalls, a sheep dog show and town crier and it becomes a weekend not to be missed.

Just follow the signs for Seahouses Festival off the A1, there is ample parking in the town centre and on the harbour.

Meanwhile, a lonely donkey who found love and featured on the pages of The Journal will be on show in Bishop Auckland.

Last month, we ran a story about Seamus the donkey, who lives at South Causey Inn, near Beamish Museum in Stanley, County Durham.

He was making so much noise and waking guests at the Inn that owner Susan Moiser found him a partner to keep him quiet. And when Lizzie and baby Rex moved in, Seamus found happiness. Now all three will be on show at the Stanhope Agricultural Show, held at Unthank Park, Stanhope, County Durham.

Susan said: “It’s the first time we’ve ever been to one of these shows, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure Seamus and his family are too.”

The Stanhope Show itself, both today and tomorrow, will have something for everybody. Organisers are expecting more than 10,000 visitors on each day.

Events will include wife carrying, bale pulling and racing pigs. There will be a full complement of horse, pony and donkey classes, as well as some sheep.

Organiser Linda Graham said: “We are one of the first shows to be able to have sheep after the foot and mouth restrictions were lifted on Monday. They weren’t lifted in time for us to have cattle, but we did manage to get a few of the sheep classes organised in time.”

And finally the Ingram festival is taking place today on Ingram Farm, near the Northumberland National Park offices, off the A697 north of Powburn.

This small rural show will feature sheepdog trials, terrier racing and a dog show, among other things.

Show organiser James Shell said: “There will be a sheep show just using sheep from Ingram Farm.

“This means no sheep have to be transported and we get round the foot and mouth restrictions, which were not lifted in time for us to organise a full sheep show.

“One novel thing at our event is the fact that we are allowing visitors to be the judges of the sheep and decide which walks off with the prizes.”

There will be lots of adult and children’s sport, finishing with the annual race up steep Ingram Hill.

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