Dene festival is poetry in motion

YOUNGSTERS had the rhyme of their lives at an annual festival to celebrate a green oasis to the north of Whitley Bay.

More than 700 people turned up for this year’s Brierdene Festival last week, opened by Tynemouth poet Sheree Mack.

Sheree wasn’t the only poetic thing about the event either as poetry awards were handed out to the winners of a competition for children organised by the Friends of Brierdene.

Prizes went to South Wellfield First School’s Jessica Lively and Aidan Jones, Whitley Lodge First School’s Andrew Pearson and Coquet Park First School’s Sarika Nadkerni. They were all given copies of a book containing their own poems and 45 others.

Six other young poets were highly commended – Shay Marley, of South Wellfield First School; Jessica Scott, of Whitley Lodge First School; Emily James, of Langley First School; and Callum McPherson, Daisy Jamison and Anna Fullerton, all of Southridge First School.

The poetry book, Brierdene in All Seasons, is available at

Those going along were also entertained by morris dancers, a display of birds of prey display, a concert by the Whitley Bay choir Bay:Vox, a coconut shy, tombola, raffle, dog show, storytelling, stalls run by various groups and Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade’s demonstration abseil down the side of the dene.

Emma Bowers, the festival’s organiser, said: “It was wonderful to see so many of our local community coming out to support us and enjoy themselves – a really, really fantastic demonstration of Tyneside spirit.”

“We would like to say, from the very bottom of our muddy wellington boots, a big thank you to everyone.”