Northumberland Miners’ Picnic 2015 takes place at Woodhorn Museum next Saturday, 13th June, and a great programme of entertainment and family fun is guaranteed.
The event celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, and although in a different format to days gone by, it continues to commemorate and celebrate the coal mining history and heritage. Many people fondly remember when brass bands accompanied miners and their colourful union banners through the streets before listening to rousing speeches from mining leaders and political greats, but The Picnic still endeavours to bring everyone together with a programme of traditional entertainment and community celebration.
The Marquee Stage shines a spotlight during the day on the mining heritage beginning with the Miners' Memorial Service at 10.15am accompanied by Ashington Male Voice Choir and Colliery Band. Following wreath laying at The Miners' Memorial statue, the marquee features performances by a young Northumbrian pipers ensemble, acclaimed folk singer songwriter Jonny Handle, music by Appletwig Songbook and a celebration of the distinct dialects of the region with the Northumbrian Language Society.
Elsewhere, there will be more music from Ashington Colliery Band, Bedlington Youth Brass Band, the brilliant New Rope String Band with their superb musicianship and side-splitting comic genius, plus the Baghdaddies whose mad musical blend of brass, harmony and rhythm will make it impossible not to dance.
Organisers are pleased that Picnickers will be able to enjoy a world premiere performance of new music inspired by local tales and experiences. Haalin' the Lines is a celebration in songs and stories of the fishing and mining communities of Northumberland performed by members of 20,000 Voices, Wansbeck Voices, 4Corners Music Network and Jayess Newbiggin Brass Band! This performance begins at 1.30pm.
There are lots of activities to keep the kids entertained at The Picnic too with street theatre (and some extraordinary, larger than life dancing squirrels!), ANIMATE with BALTIC Centre For Contemporary Art (animation and model making activities), face-painting, a bouncy castle and much more.
This year, throughout the day, Picnic visitors will also be able to browse and buy fantastic products from talented Northumbrian makers and producers as the Workshop Galleries hosts a food and craft fair. Outside, a mysterious Gallery of Wonder will be making an appearance: visitors will find themselves drawn to the space to view a captivating and spellbinding exhibition.
As always admission to the Picnic is free and a free bus will operate from Ashington Bus Station every 20 minutes. Full details are available at www.experiencewoodhorn.com