Clifford’s Tower

English Heritage re-enactors prepare to leave Clifford’s Tower in York on foot and horseback as they follow the 300-mile route of King Harold to the site of the Battle of Hastings. The journey marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 where the forces of King Harold and Duke William of Normandy met in battle on October 14, 1066 on the outskirts of Hastings. William won the battle and was crowned king on Christmas day 1066. The battle marked the beginning of the Norman conquest of England.

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Hadrian’s Wall Live

The lives of Roman Legionnaires were re-enacted during the Hadrian’s Wall Live event at Birdoswald and Housesteads Roman forts over the weekend. The event which was organised by English Heritage brought together over 120 re-enactors from around Europe to create a living history camp for visitors to the ancient Roman forts on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland and Cumbria. During the weekend the sights, sounds and smells of Roman and Barbarian life from around 124 AD were recreated with battle tactics, patrolling, camp life, cooking skills and equipment demonstrated. Hadrian’s Wall stretches 73 miles from sea to sea across the north of England and is a World heritage site.

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Hinderwell Show – 2016

The Hinderwell show in north-east Yorkshire has been held since 1868 providing family entertainment and fun with opportunities for people to show their skills and animals.

This year was the 147th show…here’s a few pictures from the day:

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

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Images copyright Ian Forsyth

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Kynren – An epic tale of England

Taking its lead from the Puy du Fou theme park in France the Eleven Arches production of KYNREN takes the audience on a journey through 2,000 years of English history as seen through the eyes of Arthur, a 10-year old boy from the North East. He encounters myth, legends and history encompassing Roman times, the Viking and Norman invasions, St Cuthbert and the Lindisfarne Monks, medieval feasts, the Elizabethan era, Georgian Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution and the World Wars.

The spectacular event will be performed for the public on certain nights from July until September – see here for dates – and takes place on a 7.5 acre stage. The event involves more than 1,000 volunteers from the local area as the cast and crew who have all been professionally trained.

I photographed at the press evening performance in June ahead of the opening night which is where these pictures are from but after watching it again last night as part of the regular audience the show is a great spectacle and well worth making the effort to go along and see if you can.

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The 50th Masham Steam Engine Rally

This weekend sees the 50th annual Masham Steam Engine Rally in North Yorkshire.

The fair which began in 1965 saw over forty steam traction engines, thirty miniature steam engines and displayed commercial vehicles, vintage and classic cars and tractors to the hundreds of visitors who attended the weekend long event.

 

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The real Northern Powerhouse

More than two decades after the last pit closed in the Durham Coalfield the Durham Miners Gala or the ‘Big Meeting’ as the event is also known remains as popular as ever. The Gala forms part of the culture and heritage of the area and represents the communal values of the North East of England. The 131st gala held today saw the traditional colliery bands marching through the city ahead of their banners before passing the County Hotel and heading down to the Racecourse. In the early years of the meet those attending left their villages early in the morning and then made their way on foot to Durham from all directions but these days people either drive or arrive on buses.

Beginning in 1871 the Gala is now the biggest trade union event in Europe and many thousands of people still meet up in the market place of the city to follow their banner and pass the County Hotel on Old Elvet as they walk past union leaders, invited guests and local dignitaries who greet the march from the hotel balcony.

Once all the bands have passed through speeches are held on the racecourse. Amongst those speaking this year or joining to march with the procession (and shown in some of the pictures below) were Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn and Liz Kendall. Tosh McDonald, the president of ASLEF – The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen – and Owen Jones, a columnist with the Guardian newspaper and political activist and many more.

The contemporary artist Grayson Perry also attended. Visiting the gala as part of a documentary he is making and the actor Alun Armstrong, the son of a miner and originally from Anfield Plain in County Durham stood on the County Hotel balcony.

More importantly though than all of these guests and trade union speakers and their rhetoric are the men, women and children who attend the miners gala each year without fail and who make the event the occasion that it is. These people and the pride in the mining heritage of the region is where the real northern powerhouse is to be found: The group of ladies who arrive very, very early each year to secure the same place on the steps near the market place who start the day with strawberries and pink champagne.

To Nora Newby, a wonderful 81 year old from Chilton who has attended 60 out of the last 61 gala’s who arrives at around 6am on the morning of gala day to stand in the same spot each year. The missed year was so that she could attend her granddaughters wedding! An unfortunate tongue-in-cheek fact that she reminds (scolds) her granddaughter of often.

Former miner Billy Raine, 89, from Easington is a regular who entertains the crowds outside the County Hotel wearing his orange coveralls and miners hat as he dances and salutes as the bands perform and of course the thousands more who attend but especially the colliery bands and the former miners and miners wives who make this occasion what it is and who help create an event that continues to bring well over 100,000 people back year after year. Long may it continue.

CLICK to listen and recorded today: Gresford – The Miners Hymn

To keep the Durham Big Meet going any contributions and support are welcome through the Friends of Durham Miners Gala website.

 

Some of the pictures that I shot from the day are below. Enjoy Marra.

 

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Nora Newby, 81, from Chilton0005 0007 0008 0009 0010 0011

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Former miner Billy Raine, 89, from Easington0019

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Labour MP Liz Kendall0037 0038 0039 0040 0041 0042 0043 0044 0045 0046 0047 0048 0049 0050 0051

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn0052 0053 0054

Tosh McDonald, the president of ASLEF – The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen 0056 0057 0058 0059

Owen Jones0060 0061 0062

 

 

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Redcar Land Sailing Regatta

Land sailing events in Redcar date back as far as 1909 and the sport still maintains a strong following of enthusiasts who travel all over the country to compete in various events. This weekend saw the Redcar regatta take place which is held on the wide open sandy beach of Coatham Sands…

 

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