Brackenlea Cottage


41 st Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering

28th -30th March 2008

Annual 3-day festival of Northumberland's traditional music and culture with plenty of fun for all the family. (N.B. events in March this year because of the early Easter)

The annual festival of Northumberland's music and traditions will feature the usual concerts, barn dance, stories, dialect, crafts, exhibition, workshops, street shows, children's events, history, stories, literature, tours, pub sessions, competitions, bellringing, orienteering and Saturday morning pageant, with the magnificent giant figure of piper Jamie Allan making a return visit after his unveiling in 2007.

The 2008 special theme will be "Crossing Borders" along with Tudor-related events to mark the 500th anniversary of Morpeth's son William Turner, the "Father of English Botany". Artists will include the York Waits, Iain McNicol, Northumbrian Ranters, Castle Band, Neil Smith, Misericordia, Dodgy Clutch Theatre, MacUmba, Rent a Peasant, Sealed Knot and performers from the English/Scots and English/Welsh borders.

The programme of over 50 events will include a film presentation on the Czech international bagpiping festival at Strakonice with archive footage of Northumbrian musicians and dancers; artist in residence Catherine Stott exhibiting the paintings created at last year's event; more puppet tales from "Time for George" and a display of modern miners' picnic banners created by children from Whitley Memorial CoE First School, Bedlington.


All 3 days: Crafts Exhibition with stalls, workshops and refreshments (Town Hall) plus exhibition by artist-in-residence Catherine Stott ( Methodist Church ).

Friday 28th March:

Daytime: storytelling, craft/music workshops and concerts including:

  • 11.00 OFFICIAL OPENING of Gathering by Chairman of Morpeth Town Council Town Hall Exhibition
  • 11.00 - 4.00 HAUTBOIS plus PUNCH AND JUDY Early music duo and puppets (Market Place) Free
  • 7.30 CROSSING BORDERS gala concert: Northumbrian Ranters, Misericordia and special guest stars ( Methodist Church )

Saturday 29th March ( 10-4 Park & Ride at County Hall)

A full day of indoor and outdoor entertainment, workshops, competitions, concerts and dancing including Rent and Peasant in the Park and:

  • 11.00 PAGEANT Border piper, flags, Lord Greystoke's return from Otterburn, welcomed to Town Hall by Morpeth Gadgy. Musicians, dance groups, street theatre shows by Dodgy Clutch Theatre Co. with giant figure of piper Jamie Allan
  • During this time (10.45 - 11.45 am) Market Place & town centre from Chantry roundabout to Manchester St.closed to traffic. Alternative routes via Dark Lane / DacreSt./ Manchester St . or Chantry Place / Newmarket / Oldgate.
  • COMPETITIONS for singing, dialect, instruments, clog dance (various venues)
  • 2.00 - 5.00 FREE FAMILY SHOWS including Time for George puppets and other performers ( Methodist Church )
  • 3.00 - 3.30 BATTLE RE-ENACTMENT with the Sealed Knot Park Bandstand area 4.00 CALL OF DUDY presentation of archive films of Czech bagpiping festival ( Chantry Bagpipe Museum )
  • 6.30 WINNERS' CONCERT last year's champions and guest piper Neil Smith ( Bagpipe Museum )
  • 8.00 BARN DANCE with the Castle Band. Bar. No stilettos! (St George's Church Hall)

Sunday 30th March

Concerts, church services, tours, outdoor entertainment, including:

  • 1.30 - 3.00 FAMILY CONCERT 2007 junior winners (Town Hall)
  • Afternoon TOURS OF OLD COUNCIL CHAMBER, Mayor's Parlour, Civic Silver (Town Hall) Free
  • 3.00 - 3.30 BATTLE details as Saturday
  • THE YORK WAITS - in full costume - perform Tudor music to celebrate the 500th birthday of William Turner, Morpeth-born Father of English Botany ( Methodist Church )
  • Above details are provisional. Full confirmed details will be posted on the website in due course. Colour programmes and tickets will be available from 1 st March, or sooner if possible, at Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum, Bridge Street, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1PD (tel. 01670 500717) and Morpeth Chantry Tourist Information Centre tel. (01670 500700; fax 01670 500710).

Queries 01670 513308


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