Join the celebrations on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June
June 2019 marks a hundred years since the official ending of the First World War and Alnwick Castle will be celebrating in true Peace Party style on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June.
Although the guns of the First World War fell silent with the Armistice on 11 November 1918, officially the war did not end until the Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1919.
As a result, grand celebration street parties or “peace parties” swept through the UK during this year. These joyful, street events, often involving entire neighbourhoods with long tables laden with tea and cakes and accompanied by bunting, flag waving, cheering, brass bands, entertainment and dancing, eventually evolved into a British tradition associated with celebrating national occasions.
The 1919 Peace Parties were a celebration of relief and joy that the previous four years of struggle and hardship were finally over. People rejoiced wildly at the liberation of Europe as well as the signing of a formal peace treaty between the allied powers and Germany.
To commemorate this auspicious summer of 100 years ago, Alnwick Castle will host its own wonderful 1919-style Peace Party, bursting with fun and entertainment for all the family over two full days! Candy Floss will be on sale to get everyone into the party spirit
Mr “Posh” Peter Cooper will be presenting tons of tomfoolery along with his fun, retro variety act “the celebrated human torch”. This show was popular at the Empire Variety Theatre in Newgate Street, Newcastle in the early 20th century. As you’ll imagine it involves plenty of fire and flames so stand well back and prepare to be amazed!
Visitors can enjoy entertaining comedy with fast paced and action-packed live performances of Punch & Judy by professional puppeteers. You’ll be totally enthralled by their mischief and naughtiness.
Why not take part in some fun and games yourselves? Popular outdoor games of this era such as quoits, skittles, bowls and more will be available to play over both days. Start a family contest!
If you lose at skittles, you might win the traditional “Test your strength” game whereby contestants hit a block with a hammer and if it’s a strong enough blow it will ring a bell.
Throughout the day you’ll be able to hear great live music from the times. Lovely, traditional peacetime melodies will be performed by two talented Northumbrian instrumental groups: Ellington Colliery Band on the 29th June and the Alnwick Playhouse Band on the 30th June.
Visitors are invited to bring their own Peace Party picnic and celebrate this momentous centenary at Alnwick Castle this summer.
This weekend extravaganza is free with admission to Alnwick Castle! Please check the ‘What’s On’ board upon arrival for timings and locations, as these can vary day to day.
All the other fun, wacky Alnwick Castle activities will be on offer too this weekend – and all are free with the price of admission.
No picnic? No problem. Visitors to Alnwick Castle can enjoy a great choice of tasty food, drink and snacks. You’ll find a newly refurbished restaurant – The Courtyard - serving a delicious, new affordable menu. The Courtyard also has its own bar selling a good range of drinks as well as local brews. There’s now a take-away in Artistans Courtyard – The Armoury Takeaway - which is handy for this fun children’s activity and craft area. A Piaggio cart will also be in the grounds selling hot drinks and snacks.
Alnwick Castle has been the location for many well-known films and TV series including two Harry Potter films and Downton Abbey. As ever, young and old Harry Potter fans can try Alnwick Castle’s ever-popular broomstick training in the exact same spot where Harry Potter was taught in the film. Film location tours will be taking place at various times during the day and you’ll find out a few behind-the-scenes secrets of the famous films and TV series that have been located here.
For history fans, there are fascinating historical tours given by knowledgeable and engaging guides, tours of the magnificent State Rooms and additional on-site museums and exhibitions. You can discover fascinating stories of the bravery of soldiers from the Northumberland Fusiliers; explore Constable’s Tower, see an ever growing collection of archaeological finds in the Antiquities Museum and delve into the history of the famous Percy family, owners of the Castle for over 700 years.
Lying in wait within the deepest dungeons of Alnwick Castle, is the most fearsome beast of all Northumberland. Will you stand your ground when you finally stand face-to-face with this most ferocious of creatures? Enter the Dragon Quest and find out!
For more information on Alnwick Castle please visit www.alnwickcastle.com or call 01665 511 100