Spent the whole of last Saturday in the west of Northumberland in Tarset, at the Falstone Show and in Bellingham. Regular readers will know I am a huge fan of The Tarset Community, based around Greenhaugh and Lanehead. They are few in numbers but do more for their community, and the wider area, than any other in Northumberland. The origins of so much of what we are trying to do in relation to fuel poverty, petrol supplies, oil buying, innovative tourism and so much more comes from this special area and the people who make it happen.
So I was delighted to be asked to visit the incredible community orchard, visit the Shilla Bastle and open the Bastle trail panel opposite the Holly Bush Inn in Greenhaugh. Space prevents me from thanking all the dozens of volunteers and key groups who made the events of the last year + worth of effort to ensure these events took place and were possible, but special mention must go to the pub for hosting us, Jan Ashdown who was chief organiser and so much more, the team from the Forestry Commission, and the team behind the Orchard, with its famous Murray Henge and local guardians. Because of the Falstone Show I left the pub earlier than I would have liked and before having had a chance to chat with everyone there, so please accept my apologies. On a final note many thanks to all those who made a contribution to the Great North Air Ambulance by coming to the Lunch on Saturday.
Falstone Show was a triumph of man over rain - many congratulations to the organising team who ensured everyone had a great time.
I was asked to cut the rope in Greenhaugh, not with a pair of scissors, but with a Cavalry Officers Sword borrowed from the Heritage Centre in Bellingham. They had wanted me to ride through the village and cut the rope at speed but I suspect that might have been a little tricky to organise even for this crowd. We will save that for the next panel / opening event. One pic shows me getting the full expanation and examining the sword with Mr Murray the Henge Meister and Sword liberator!