Traditions on show at annual Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering

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A three-day festival of Northumbrian traditions took place in Morpeth at the weekend.

The 48th Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering saw some 60 events taking place across the town with thousands in attendance over the three days.

The opening ceremony at Morpeth Town Hall was 
carried out by Morpeth Mayor Nic Best, and also in attendance was the Gathering’s own figurehead, Morpeth Gadgy Alex Swailes, and many of the festival’s performers and participants.

Throughout the opening day there were art, dance and music workshops, craft activities, exhibitions and singing.

And in the evening there was a concert of music hall and peace songs at Morpeth Methodist Church, and a free musicians’ session at the Tap and Spile pub.

Other activities over the weekend included the traditional Saturday morning pageant, re-enactments, competitions, street entertainment and more music, art, craft and dancing.

A wartime musical treat was served up by talented duo Hautbois, consisting of Rick and Nellie Heavisides.

They provided entertainment from a covered cart in the Market Place.

The lively duo, who performed music from the First World War era dressed in the fashions of the period, use music as a vehicle for historical entertainment, offering a unique style of performance which balances a detailed knowledge of the given period in history with the presentation of the music.

In line with its aim to keep traditional crafts alive, the festival hosted a pipe bag makers’ workshop.

The town had the ideal venue for such a session in the famous Bagpipe Museum, located within the Chantry.

Jackie Boyce showed the techniques needed to make the bags for a variety of instruments, including the Northumbrian Pipes.