Record breaking Bedlington again
More than 6000 people descended upon Bedlington last weekend as one of Northumberland’s biggest family fun days had yet another record breaking year.
The Big Event 4, organised by local charity Leading Link, took place at Attlee Park in the town, with 4000 people enjoying the early summer fun throughout the afternoon – a new record for the event.
Later in the day, more than 2000 locals enjoyed an evening of summer fun as Bedlington played host to its first ever open-air cinema, with the musical classic Grease entertaining the crowds from a giant inflatable screen on the park’s bandstand.
The events were made possible thanks to substantial funding from West Bedlington Town Council, the R.W. Mann Trust and Northumberland County Council’s Community Chest Scheme.
The covering of core costs allowed for another record year of fundraising, with vital funds being raised for the charity’s continuing work with young people and the local community.
Lyn Horton, manager of Leading Link, was delighted with the public response to the two events and to the amount of support that the charity received from volunteers on the day.
She said: “Overwhelmed is the only word I can use to describe The Big Event this year – Bedlington certainly did us proud!”
“As for the volunteers, both young and old, who worked their socks off from 8am until well past midnight - what can I say? We are extremely privileged to know, and work with, some truly amazing and special people.”
“We are a core staff team of just three people and we couldn't pull off something as amazing as this without the help, support and pure dedication of those volunteers.”
As well as funding support, The Big Event was boosted by support from several organisations, including the Arts in Partnership, Phoenix Taxis, Greggs, Warburtons and Northumbria Water.
Reay Security also donated stewards for the car parks, whilst Five Ring Circus worked with Youth Ambassadors to provide some interesting entertainment throughout the day and night. This was made possible through Woodhorn Charitable Trust on behalf of bait, with funding from Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council.
Lyn added: “From local councillors manning our information point and transporting tables in a donated van, to residents giving up their time to help man the barbeque and litter pick, The Big Event is the epitome of the community spirit that exists in this area.”
As well as fun fair rides, a sizzling BBQ, mini golf, pony rides and a host of local businesses and organisations, the event also saw the highly anticipated final of Northumberland’s Got Talent.
Once again the final was decided by a public vote, 13 year old musician Brook Miller edging out Shania Gleghorn and Demi Lynass to the Got Talent crown.
In the evening Attlee Park was transformed into an open air cinema, with a crowd of thousands making their way down to the bandstand with picnic blankets and deck chairs in tow.
The 8m x 4m inflatable screen featured the hit musical Grease, with many families dressing for the occasion and singing and dancing the night away to some of film’s classic numbers.
Jonny Hall, Assistant Manager of Leading Link, said: “The open air cinema is an idea that we have been floating around the office for a number of months – but we really could not have anticipated what the public reaction would be.”
“I have to say every person on that field was a credit to the local area – despite concerns, there was not a single issue in the crowd at all.”
“It was just a nice feel-good family night, and there have already been calls for us to do it again!”
For more reaction to The Big Event 4, full photo galleries and videos will be available on the Leading Link website, Facebook and Twitter pages later this week.
Photo by North East FPV.