Washington - Down Your Way

Bob Chilton, stand-in for Rotary Club of Washington's president, presents Michael the Rainbow Trust's Lavery with the club's cheque.
Bob Chilton, stand-in for Rotary Club of Washington's president, presents Michael the Rainbow Trust's Lavery with the club's cheque.
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Residents in areas of Washington are organising litter picks on a regular basis.Fatfield residents meet the first Sunday of the month at Fatfield shops at 11am. All volunteers are welcome.

Bridge Street residents are holding a monthly litter pick at 11am on the last Sunday of the month, although another day will be arranged for the December pick. The meet at the grassed area beside the back lane. You can learn more about litter picks by visiting the Keep Washington Tidy Facebook page.

Friday, December 2, at The Arts Centre, there is an adult panto with a difference. It starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £12.50. The improvised panto there is no script, no score and no children. Newcastle’s legendary Improv comedy team will be wreaking havoc with off the cuff, off the wall festive fun. Every show is different and made up on the night. With sell out shows at Northern Stage for the last seven years, this year the panto is on tour. The Washington show has a strong cast with special guest Phillip Pellew from Showstoppers, the West End 2016 award-winning improvised musical . Be warned, The Suggestibles put the X into Xmas. For an 18-plus audience, running time is two hours 30 minutes.

The first Saturday in December would not be the same without a visit to the Christmas Craft Fair at the Arts Centre. A wide variety of stalls sell products created by local artists and craftspeople. Jewellery, cards, bags, home-baking and more. The Arts Centre’s own community choir will be singing Christmas carols.

On Saturday evening, the Davy Lamp Folk Club welcome Anthony John Clarke, a top songwriter on the folk scene, and Dave Pegg, the legendary Fairport Convention multi-instrumentalist. Pay on the door no need to book. Monday, December 5 to 11, sees the Blunderbuss Theatre Company presents Santa’s Little Helper.Tickets £11, starting times vary across afternoons and evenings with a 50-minute running time. It is suitable for aged three years plus. Visit the Arts Centre website for full details of performance times. This new show combines a terrific blend of music, puppetry, high energy story telling with lots of laughs,sing-along-songs and opportunities to join in along the way.

Washington Wildfowl Centre has a number of activities throughout the month. Saturday, December 3, there are two tours. Walking with wildfowl starts at the picture window in reception at 2pm. You can learn fascinating facts on a guided walk with the Aviculture expert and hear more about the conservation breeding programme. Alternatively on the Saturday at 10 am until noon or 2pm to 4pm, you can join an expert in a hide who will help you discover more about the diverse wild bird species.

Every weekend in December and daily in the school holidays from December 17 to January 3 you can join in the festive fun creating a wealth of Christmas crafts.Venue is The Discovery Room between 1pm and 3.30pm. A small charge is applied.

Any Churches , Community centres, schools or organisations with events in December if you would like them mentioned in this column please email me with details and I will be delighted to inform the public of your events or Christmas services.

It was the turn of The Rainbow Trust charity to benefit from funds raised through this year’s annual Rotary Club of Washington Bike Ride. Michael Lavery, volunteer ambassador for the trust, attended a meeting to receive the cheque. Michael is executive director for external relations at Teeside University, but because he had personal first hand knowledge of the amazing help the charity give to the individual and their families, he wanted to give something back. The Rainbow Trust helps children who have a life limiting disease or a terminal illness that effects the whole family. Michael provided an excellent video showing case studies ,the content of which touched all. Bob Chilton, stand-in for the club’s president, presented Michael with the cheque.