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Village gets in festival mood.

FINAL preparations are underway for the biggest ever festival in the history of a Northumberland village.

A group of hard-working volunteers have organised the festival at St Mary's Church, Stannington, near Morpeth, Northumberland.

The festivities are centred on a flower festival, The Joy of Creation, by the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (Northumberland & Durham Area). The floral displays begin on Thursday, August 30.

But the four-day festival at Stannington Village Hall, the village primary school and the church also includes performances by Northumbrian artists, traditional crafts and children's entertainment.

Church warden and festival chairman Edna Beveridge said: "We decided to host a traditional Northumbrian festival.

"It is the biggest event Stannington has ever hosted and we are hoping to attract visitors from far and wide.

"Proceeds will go towards restoration work at the church, and also to the Stem Cell Appeal at Newcastle's RVI hospital."

Artists booked over the four days include acclaimed harpist and singer Janet Bennett, comedians Alex Swailes and Bob Bolam; Northumbrian piper Jessica Lamb, 12; clog dancer Shona Harper accompanied by Alastair Anderson; and Peter Wright, organist and director of music at London's Southwark Cathedral, featuring Rachel Little, a soprano.

Ms Beveridge, from Reigate Square, Cramlington,

Northumberland, said the decision to raise funds for the Stem Cell Research Unit at the RVI was "a personal one".

She added: "A very good friend of mine benefited from the work being carried out in stem cell research at Newcastle, and we wanted to make a donation to the unit. Money raised from the festival will also go towards church improvements, including renovating the stone work."

The festival begins on Thursday, August 30, and continues until Sunday, September 2.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 10, 2007
Words:281
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