Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Campaign to re-open George Stephenson's birthplace

I am encouraged to hear that The National Trust are working with a group of students from Newcastle Business School to find a solution to re-open George Stephenson's birthplace in Wylam. Stephenson lived in the cottage for the first eight years of his life, but it was closed earlier this year due to costs and falling visitor numbers. However, The National Trust said at the time that they hoped the closure would be temporary and they are now working with four students from Northumbria University's Business Clinic initiative, where students form their own consultancy firms to provide free advice to businesses. Meetings are apparently going well, with the students putting forward some good ideas to make the cottage financially viable, including creating a mobile app to guide visitors around the birthplace and they are currently looking into finding funding for the project. I have written to The National Trust making clear my hope that the site will be re-opened, and I hope to see George Stephenson's birthplace back open to the public soon as it is an important part of the region's history and a valuable facility for the community. 

Brilliant Businesses- The Rat Inn

Delicious British food, real ales and a rustic atmosphere- Anick’s Rat Inn is the perfect country pub!

Full of history, The Rat was originally a drovers inn, however the origin of its unusual name is unclear- local rat catchers may have regularly met there, but another story claims that the largest ever rat was caught there, and there is also a tale than the inn’s ale keeper gave information to the crown during the Jacobite risings in 1715 and 1745, and was known afterwards as ‘the Rat’. Whichever story you prefer, you can certainly feel centuries of history in every one of The Rat’s atmospheric rooms.

Locally sourced produce is served in the bar, conservatory and restaurant/dining room, whilst the beer garden is home to incredible views across the Tyne Valley. With both cosy fires and outdoor dining, The Rat is a great place to enjoy a local meal whatever the season.
Next time you eat out, make sure to think of The Rat Inn- it’s one of my personal favourites! 

Monday, 24 July 2017

What's on in Hexham... 24th-30th July

Ahead of another busy week in the constituency, here are a few examples of what’s on in the area this week…

Walltown Family Summer Festival, Thursday 27th- Saturday 29th July, 10am-5pm- Part of National Parks Week 2017, the Walltown Family Summer Festival at Walltown Quarry Country Park will have something for everyone this week. A climbing wall, pizza making, pottery and small animal handling- be sure to pay a visit!


Taste Tynedale, Friday 28th- Saturday 29th July- Back for a second year, the successful food festival will take place at Abbey Park, Hexham, showcasing produce from all over the North, as well as offering demonstrations, live music and children’s’ activities. It promises to be a brilliant celebration of Northumbrian food- a great way to spend the weekend!

Opening of The Sill, Saturday 29th July, 9.30am-6pm- Celebrate the opening of the National Landscape Discovery Centre, The Sill, on Saturday with live music, craft activities and tours of The Sill’s fantastic grassland roof and viewing platform. Having visited last week, I can promise that it is well worth a visit!