Thousands turn out to mark park’s 130th anniversary

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A celebration of a popular park’s anniversary attracted hundreds of people.

The Duchess of Northumberland was guest of honour on Tuesday to mark the 130th anniversary of Northumberland Park, in North Shields.

The official re-opening of  Northumberland Park park by the Duchess of Northumberland, seen with  Mayor Norma Redfearn, Park development officer Pixie Phelan and Ivor Crowther of Hertitage Lottery Fund North East. Picture by Jane Coltman

The official re-opening of Northumberland Park park by the Duchess of Northumberland, seen with Mayor Norma Redfearn, Park development officer Pixie Phelan and Ivor Crowther of Hertitage Lottery Fund North East. Picture by Jane Coltman

She was on hand to plant a commemorative tree after being taken on a tour by Mayor Norma Redfearn.

The park has recently undergone a multi-million pound facelift, which has included creating a new tea room and community space, restoring or replicating lost Victorian features, a new sculpture trail and an improved play area.

The Duchess of Northumberland said: “A great deal of history lies within the park and an enormous amount of hard work and dedication has been put into the recent restoration project and archaeological works, the results of which will be extremely important to the educational value of the site.

“I am honoured to be part of the park’s history”.

Mrs Redfearn said: “The park has been completely transformed and is looking absolutely stunning.

“My heartfelt thanks to the New Friends of Northumberland Park who are so passionate about the park and have helped us hugely every step of the way.

“I would also like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund for their grants, Kier North Tyneside who carried out many of the restorations and to council staff for all their hard work.”

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “Northumberland Park has undergone an amazing transformation and is now back at the heart of the community as a place to play, work, get in touch with our natural heritage and spend time with our families.”

Thousands of people attended a family fun day on Saturday, August 8, to mark the end of the project.

They were treated to a host of activities and live music.