Thousands turn out for 150th Miners’ Picnic

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Thousands of people celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Northumberland Miners’ Picnic in Ashington at the weekend.

The miners’ picnic has been a longstanding tradition in Northumberland, and Woodhorn Museum hosted the 150th anniversary celebration on Saturday with a packed programme.

The event included everything from traditional music and dance to street theatre with the Ashington Colliery and Bedlington Youth brass bands, Werca’s Folk, Monkseaton Morrismen, music from The Unthanks, Northumbrian language readings and poetry, acclaimed folk singer Johnny Handle, top singer songwriter Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze.

The day began with a memorial service and wreath laying by leader of Northumberland County Council Grant Davey, Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery, former MP and current secretary of the Northumberland NUM, Denis Murphy, John Browne-Swinburne chair of Woodhorn’s Trustees, and Venerable Peter Robinson Archdeacon of Lindisfarne.

Woodhorn director Keith Merrin said: “The picnic this year still reflects the original spirit, 150 years on and this event is still about bringing the whole north east community together, to strengthen bonds and have fun.

“It’s not just about Ashington, but about the whole region as so many have a link to coal.”




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