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Ford and Etal

Woodhorn Northumberland Miners’ Picnic

Other posts by  |  Steve Smith on Google+ |  June 5, 2013 | 0 Comments
Captain Jack Sparrow at Woodhorn Northumberland

Captain Jack Sparrow at Woodhorn Northumberland

In a tradition stretching back close to 150 years, families will gather on Saturday 8th June at Woodhorn museum to celebrate the proud industrial heritage of the area with the 2013 Northumberland Miners’ Picnic. Musicians, performers and craft folk will join with the community in the shadow of the pitwheels at the former colliery site, for a fun filled family day in the spirit of the past.

Northumberland’s unique culture will be marked with a rolling programme of traditional and contemporary performance including clog, rapper and Irish dancing, folk music and of course the sound of a Picnic, a brass band.

Organisers are delighted that this year’s event will also feature a very special one-off performance from celebrated North East folk stars Bridie Jackson and The Arbour.

Described as “somewhere between the lushness of Norah Jones and the quirkiness of Joanna Newsom”, Bridie Jackson & The Arbour’s music is simultaneously beautiful, ethereal, dark and powerful. The band was recently revealed as winners of the 2013 Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition, as “the kind of beguiling, affable folk band whose sound feels so natural and inviting you wonder why your first listen wasn’t so much sooner”.

“We are delighted to be able to welcome Bridie Jackson and The Arbour to Woodhorn for our big event” says Museum Director Keith Merrin, “and we are particularly excited that their performance will incorporate the area’s past and feature brand new compositions inspired by our own archive collections. Bridie, Emily Portman and Ditte Elly have made several visits to Northumberland Archives here at Woodhorn in recent months. They have spent hours examining original historic documents and talking to archivists to find inspiration for new material and we are really looking forward to hearing the results at the Picnic.”

A large gathering of the community offers the perfect opportunity for a moment of reflection and the Picnic will be the final UK location for Anniversary – an act of memory. This is a performance series in 60 acts focussing on the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human rights (UDHR). It was launched in December 2008 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Declaration, and features solo, collective and multi-lingual recitations from memory of the entire UDHR by Monica Ross and co-recitors from the region.

The Picnic is about fun stuff too so the International Ministry of Play will be encouraging everyone to let their hair down and enjoy fun and games for the whole family with It’s Playtime on board the Festival of the North East bus. And football fans of all ages can join NUFC’s Toon Times Team as they bring footballing history to life through object handling, memory sharing and craft activities. Gorgeous gifts and tasty treats from the region will be available for visitors in the food and craft fair; you can take a ride on the narrow gauge train, discover proggy matting, enjoy face painting, and there’s even a bouncy castle.

And this weekend is the last chance to catch the sumptuous Dressing the Stars film costume exhibition. Captain Jack Sparrow himself will be visiting to delight and entertain throughout the day!

The fun starts at 10am and full details of activities are available at

This year’s Picnic is in association with the Festival of the North East.

The performance by Bridie Jackson and The Arbour is part of Music in Museums, which is funded by The Arts Council, and supported by Generator North-East.

Anniversary—an act of memory UK tour 2011 – 13 is supported by Arts Council England.

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