Grace Darling has topped a vote conducted by the organisers of Northumberland Day, to ascertain which woman, born in Northumberland, is regarded as the historic Lady of the North.

The vote was organised to mark the fact that a Northumberland Gathering and official Northumberland Day photo will be taken at Northumberlandia, at 11am on Sunday, with the the site colloquially being known as the Lady of the North.

Lighthouse rescue hero, Grace Darling, won 52% of the vote, ahead of social reformer and female rights campaigner, Josephine Butler (31%) and woman’s footballer and pioneer, Bella Reay (10%).

A special woman’s memorial football match will be taking place at 12 noon on Northumberland Day, to mark Bella Reay’s achievements, when Cramlington United take on the Bedlington Belles, at Northburn Sports Centre, Cramlington.

Northumberland Day 2023 is also still searching for a current-day Lady of the North, with nominations for someone who goes the extra mile to help others, or their community, still open until June 1, by emailing the name of a nominee and an explanation of why they deserve the title, to

The Northumberland Day Gathering will see one face in the photo rewarded with a £100 voucher with another prize for a child.  The community group or parish best representing itself can win a special Northumberland Day ‘Northumbie’ Award – a glass trophy designed by local glass artist, Helen Grierson.

Also at Northumberlandia, there will be a rock hunt taking place in the woodland trail area, at the entrance to the site.  Those finding rocks can take a photo and post it on social media.  If tagging in @NorthumberlandDay on Facebook or Instagram or @NLandDay on Twitter and using hashtag #NorthumberlandDay, rock finders can also potentially win a prize.

Other competitions are still open too, including the Northumbear’s writing competition. The first school to enter this was Prudhoe Castle First, whose Reception pupils have made sure mascot, Northumbear, has something delightful to see and read.

All details of competitions, plus a Northumberland Day education pack, worksheets and colouring sheets, are at

Organiser, Jane Hunt, says, “We would like to see as many people decked out with red and yellow as possible on Sunday, so head to Northumberlandia with flags, tons of county pride and lots of colour and be part of the official photo.  If you are the face picked out from the photo, you could be celebrating with a prize.

“We look forward to crowning our current-day Lady of the North and also celebrating Grace Darling more, through our forthcoming Northumberland Day activities.”

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