TALL SHIPS: Let’s build on the success

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The Blyth Tall Ships festival is now over, and what an amazing event it was.

We went on Friday evening and saw the ships in their full glory, moored up on Blyth Quayside.

There was plenty of entertainment available, including bands, fairground rides and children’s entertainment.

There was also a fringe festival just up the coast, here in Newbiggin by the Sea.

This featured dinghy racing and sideshows, and the whole event had a pirate theme.

The event culminated on Monday afternoon with seeing the Tall Ships heading out for their parade of sail.

This event has brought many thousands of people to experience the glorious Northumberland coastline, and the visitors have been boosting our local economy.

We moved up here from the East Midlands a couple of years ago, and since moving here we’ve been absolutely stunned by the beautiful coastline and amazing countryside.

Many visitors to the North Sea Tall Ships festival would have experienced their first ever visit to our part of the country, and I’m sure that it would have been a rare treat for them to witness the ships up close.

Northumberland County Council and Northumberland tourist officials should really capitalise on this by staging an annual Northumberland Regatta, with all the local coastal communities staging their own festival on the same day.

This could feature yacht, dinghy and powerboat racing close enough to the shore to allow viewing.

Blyth has its own Tall Ship that is being renovated at the moment so this would be a great draw to visitors.

It just goes to show that when our great local people pull together anything is possible.

I know that this was a very special one-off occasion, having the ships coming to Blyth, but let’s build on its success by staging more events like it.

Three cheers for the Blyth Tall Ships festival.

Rick Smith

Newbiggin by the Sea