THE Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition has proved a successful recipe for Durham in more ways than one.
Programme director Keith Bartlett said visitor numbers were on target and feedback has been almost universally positive, as celebrations during the book’s visit continue.
Speaking at the judging of a gospels-themed cake competition, Dr Bartlett said: “So far we have sold 93,000 tickets and there’s still more than a week to go.
“That equates to about 90 per cent of capacity, so the exhibition has certainly been an enormous success from the point of view of the visiting public.
“People were running out of superlatives in our visitors’ book in the first week.
“It was important to us the exhibition was world class, and not just ‘good for something in Durham’.”
Tickets must be bought in advance, partly to avoid queues, but also because only a set number of people can be allowed in the same room as the gospels at any one time.” Humidity and temperature must be strictly controlled,” said Dr Bartlett.
“Numbers of people have an impact, as does the outside weather.
“The exhibition cannot be extended, so anyone still wanting to see it should book tickets now.
“Days are mostly full, but there is still some space in the evenings.”
There have been a series of events linked to the exhibition, including the competition to bake a gospels-themed cake.
About 20 home bakers and a couple of professional cake makers took part, with awards given for the people’s choice cake and most unique design.
The entries were put on show on a stall at the regular farmers’ market in Market Place, Durham City.
A panel of judges, including Dr Bartlett, picked their favourites.
Visitors to the market were invited to vote for their choice.
“Home baking is very popular at present,” said Dr Bartlett.
“The cake competition is a fun and imaginative way for people to show what the Lindisfarne Gospels mean to them.”
The gospels will be on show until September 30 in the Wolfson Gallery of Palace Green Library.
l More details can be found via lindisfarnegospels.com.