Do you know your overwintered nucs from your Angel Bookmaker? That’s one of the questions posed by Northumberland Day organisers, ahead of the county day taking place for the sixth time, with this year’s event falling on Sunday May 29.
A variety of initiatives are already underway to celebrate the county day and get the red and yellow colours flying high across the county. One is the What is It? Where is It? Challenge, asking participants to track down items on a list of oddly named or lesser-known things, all found in Northumberland. This could lead to one lucky winner winning a voucher for a bed and breakfast stay for two at Langley Castle, in Langley-on-Tyne and should create a lot of intrigue and head scratching as folk try to fathom out what’s what and where.
There’s also an exciting scarecrow challenge, with prizes for the best scarecrows created as either saints, seafarers or awesome others. If you see scarecrows appearing in unexpected places shortly, this could be why.
A schools’ writing contest is already engaging schools like Whittingham CofE Primary in a battle for trophies and prizes, as children seek to scoop accolades won by pupils across the county last year. Children can also enter the Northumbear’s Writing Competition independently, should their school not be taking part.
The Northumberland Day Food Bank Challenge and FB Cup is also underway, asking people to give what they can to the county’s food banks, focusing on red and yellow foods. The FB Cup has seen ‘teams’ drawn against each other, to try to mobilise as many much-needed donations for foodbanks as possible.
However, despite all of this activity and more, the latest Northumberland Day initiative is one focused on 2023. People across the county are being invited to send in pictures that could see them becoming ‘poster boys’ (or girls) for the 2023 Northumberland Day official poster.
“Previous publicity shots have shown families on the beach with Northumberland flags and sandcastles, children with rocks bearing Northumberland flags and flag-bearing in a wide variety of locations. The possibilities are endless and it is something that any one, of any age, can do,” says organiser Jane Hunt.
“Just send a picture that would be worthy of gracing an official Northumberland Day 2023 poster to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be part of the official promotion for next year. We want to see pictures that are brimming with red and yellow, county flags, or other things that shout ‘Northumberland’ and will select the very best from the entries we receive. There are also prizes for those that make it on to the poster, so get entering!”
Other things happening in celebration of Northumberland will be three new drinks launches, of Collingwood Special Reserve, ARD Mead and Lindisfarne Pink Gin, arranged by A Taste of Northumbria in Alnwick, with a special event taking place on Sunday May 29, at the Alnwick Brewery’s Brewery and Tap Room on the Hawkhill Business Park, Alnwick. Additionally, the shop in Market Place, Alnwick, will have special offers running on all Northumbrian produce, in the days around Northumberland Day.
Historic and landscape interpretation company and exciting tour operator, Ancient Britain, is also offering a 10% discount on all of its tours, so whether you want to get to grips with Roman history, or learn about another period in the county’s past, you can take advantage.
2022 will also see the return of one of the very first events ever staged in celebration of Northumberland Day – Ashington Rocks. Rock musicians from six bands, including Djooks, Dead Hand and Hair of the Derg, will be performing from 1pm on Northumberland Day until late, at the White House Social Club, Ashington.
Charity fundraising events are taking place at Druridge Bay (May 29) and at Embleton Quarry Nature Reserve (June 4), with the latter giving people a chance to learn to firewalk, whilst also raising money.
There is an open day at the atmospheric lightship, LV50, in South Harbour, Blyth, on Thursday May 26 and a brilliant chance to see two of the top blues musicians in the world playing on board on June 3. Hexham Racecourse ran a race night that helped celebrate Northumberland Day, on May 17.
Then there are the Northumbie Awards, which reward participation in Northumberland Day and which can be scooped by schools, businesses, individuals and communities, with five superb Helen Grierson Glass Studio-designed, bespoke glass trophies up for grabs in 2022.
“Anyone, anywhere can get involved by simply using the hashtag #NorthumberlandDay in social media posts on the day, posting their favourite pictures of Northumberland or posing with the Northumberland flag in an unexpected or atmospheric place, so as to be part of our Northumberland Flag challenge,” says Jane Hunt. “Doing the latter might also create the perfect ‘poster’ shot for 2023, so give it a go!”
Things are being added to the Northumberland Day website all the time, so keep an eye on what’s going on at www.northumberlandday.co.uk over the next couple of weeks and join in with the fun.