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51st Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering: 6-8 April 2018

The Golden Morpeth Gathering took place in 2017 on the usual weekend after Easter and by all accounts it went extremely well, thanks to a huge community effort and extra funding for the special 50th milestone festival from the Big Lottery, Northumberland County Council, Active Northumberland and Morpeth Boundary Ride Trustees.

Old and new friends from the last half century were welcomed to the town, though sadly the figurehead Morpeth Gadgy was missing as that great character, Alex Swailes, had been rushed to hospital. Six different people had to be brought in at very short notice to take on his various roles over the three days! Happily he was back in action a short while later.

The extra-special level of activity for the 50th Gathering cannot easily be repeated - although many of the organisers are happy to keep things going thanks to the wonderful response they have received from audiences and performers, there is an increasing challenge to the future of the event as funds and volunteers are less forthcoming, compounded by the usual bugbears of health and safety and logistical complexities.

So, with a “Back to the Roots” theme for 2018, the organisers hope to scale back some of the activities but still maintain the quality of people’s experiences, concentrating on the hard core of Northumbrian music and traditions. They would be happy to hear from anyone willing to join them in sustaining this unique event. There is plenty of scope for helping with ideas, skills and donkeywork!

For more info see their website or ring Kim on 01670 513308.