Washington Heritage Festival celebrates area’s rich history

Pupils from Usworth Grange Primary School prepare for the Washington Heritage festival with Sunderland Councillor John Kelly, portfolio holder for Safer City and Culture.
Pupils from Usworth Grange Primary School prepare for the Washington Heritage festival with Sunderland Councillor John Kelly, portfolio holder for Safer City and Culture.
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A COLOURFUL celebration of Washington’s rich heritage will take place through its historic streets.

The third annual Washington Heritage Festival begins next Saturday with a marching miners’ banner parade led by Murton Brass band.

The parade of banners moves off from Front Street, near the Washington Gardener’s Club, at 10.30am and travels to the F-Pit Museum in Albany Park to help mark the beginning of the free, family festival which ends at 4pm.

Among the banners representing Glebe, Usworth, Washington F Pit, Springwell and Harraton Collieries will be those designed by primary schools from across Washington who are also taking part in the parade.

Funded through the city council’s Washington Area Committee and supported by the community, the festival helps chart the fascinating history of Washington and includes music, dance, traditional crafts, games, children’s rides, exhibitions and a range of activities and attractions.

To add to the event, Washington ‘F’ Pit Museum will be open throughout the day offering guided tours offering an insight into the history of coalmining in the area.

Chairman of the Washington Area Committee Coun Bernie Scaplehorn said: “Our community has much to be proud about and this annual festival helps bring us all together to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Washington.

“This is truly a family event, with children at the heart of the festival. It’s a fantastic chance for them to learn more about the magnificent history and tradition of the area and feel part of it.

“It’s also a chance for everyone to enjoy themselves, and we hope even more people will come along to support the event this year.”

l Limited free public parking is available at Washington School, Spout Lane. Parking around the festival site is limited. The 56 bus runs every 10 minutes, which leaves from Park Lane Interchange (Stand K) and drops off at Concord. The M1 and M2 services are also available with the park ten minutes walk from the bus station.

l For more information on the Washington Heritage Festival, contact the Tourist Information Centre, on Tel. 553 2200, or visit: www.sunderlandlive.co.uk

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho