Houghton’s feast of firework fun

Pauline and Nigel Lamb with, Kyle,3, Craig,8 and Courteney,9 at the Houghton Feast firework display.
Pauline and Nigel Lamb with, Kyle,3, Craig,8 and Courteney,9 at the Houghton Feast firework display.
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AN annual tasty treat proved too good to miss for hundreds of Wearsiders.

Festivalgoers queued for hours at Houghton Feast to ensure they got their hot sandwich at this year’s roasting of the ox in Rectory Field.

The Mayor of Sunderland, counc Norma Wright helps members of the Rotary club serve up the first ox roast sandwich at the Houghton Feast.

The Mayor of Sunderland, counc Norma Wright helps members of the Rotary club serve up the first ox roast sandwich at the Houghton Feast.

Ron Young, co-ordinator of the Rotary Club, who prepared the 214kg beast, said: “We enjoy the roasting and there’s always a big queue.

“There was only one year that we didn’t sell out and that was because of bad weather.

“People used to just come and get a sandwich for themselves but now people buy as many as 20 at a time. We normally sell about 1,000 sandwiches in the first hour.”

The tradition, which originated in the 16th Century, was revived in 1967.

Mayor of Sunderland Coun Norma Wright said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that something that has been a tradition for so many years is still going.”

Research scientist Nicola Fuller, 35, grew up in Houghton but moved away at the age of 18.

But yesterday she travelled from Epping, Essex, with husband Gareth, 35, and 21-month-old Benjamin, back to her roots at Houghton Feast.

She said: “I used to come to Houghton Feast as a child and being back here has brought back some lovely memories.”

The roasting was followed by a fireworks display.