What’s happening and when at the 50th Houghton Feast?

Billy Purvis the clown entertains spectators at last year's event.
Billy Purvis the clown entertains spectators at last year's event.

Houghton Feast travels back in time to mark 50 years since the annual celebration was revived in its current format.

Doctor Who’s fearsome Daleks are among the attractions at the event with an exhibition of memorabilia from television soap Coronation Street also on display.

Michael Adams's collection of Coronation Street memorabilia returns.

Michael Adams's collection of Coronation Street memorabilia returns.

Traditional favourites such as the fun fair, carnival parade, ox roasting and firework display are not forgotten either.

Although the feast dates back more than 800 years, it was back in 1967 that churches and communitiy groups joined together to restore its fortunes amid fears that it had become a mere four-day drinking session.

Now it lasts 10 days with this year’s event running from today until Sunday, October 15.

Paul Lanagan, 31, chairman of event organiser the Houghton Heritage Society, said: “2017 is the 50th year since Houghton Feast was revived as a community festival.

A flashback to the 1979 feast.

A flashback to the 1979 feast.

“This year will see the 50th ox roasting as well as the 50th anniversary carnival parade.

“It’s amazing to think that both of these events have being going since 1967.”

Mr Langan, who has delighted spectators by dressing up as Victorian clown Billy Purvis at the feast’s carnival parade, said: “I am looking forward to attending the 50th anniversary ox-roasting.

“It’s quite a spectacle and the smell of the roasting meat is one of the best things ever!”

He also praised the feast team for their efforts throughout the year to help the event succeed.

Mr Langan continued: “The longevity of Houghton Feast is down to the feast’s ability to evolve in format, while maintaining that core element of the community coming together.”

“Bringing the community together is particularly important nowadays when community spirit can be hard to put in place.

“I am very proud to be apart of the Houghton Feast team, I attended as a child so its part of my blood. I am volunteer and it makes me proud to know I am doing my bit for the Houghton community.”

Friday, October 6

9.30am-11.30am: Coffee morning. Houghton Methodist Church, Mautland Street. Free.

1pm: Fun fair official opening. Rectory Field, Diary Lane. Invitation only.

6pm-8pm: Musical medley. The Broadway. Organ playing and St Michael’s church bells ringing. Free.

7pm: Opening ceremony. The Broadway. Music, Doctor Who-themed lanterns, the illuminations’ switch on and a laser show finale. Free.

Saturday, October 7

7.30am-2pm: Open golf competition. First prize of £300. Houghton Golf Course, Copt Hill. £40 per team.

10am-noon: Dalek Meet and Greet. The Broadway. Small donation.

11am-3pm: Corrie: TV Through Time. Houghton Blind Centre, Thornhill Street. Michael Adams presents his collection of memorabilia from the TV soap. Free

2pm: Carnival Parade. Newbottle Street, The Broadway, Rectory Park. Free.

2.30pm: Classic Car Show. Kepier Academy, Dairy Lane. Free.

Sunday, October 8

10.30am: Morning Worship. Houghton Methodist Church, Mautland Street.

10.30am: Civic service. Houghton Parish Church. Free.

6pm: Hymn Singing. Houghton Parish Church. Free.

Monday, October 9

2pm: Craft Group. Houghton Methodist Church, Mautland Street. Free.

4pm: Ox Roasting. Rectory Field, Dairy Lane.

7.30pm: Firework Display. Durham Roadplaying fields. Free.

Tuesday, October 10

9.30am-11:30am: Coffee Morning. Houghton Methodist Church, Mautland Street.

10.30am: Shoppers Service, Church Service. Houghton Methodist Church, Mautland Street. Free.

Wednesday, October 11

10am: War Memorial. Visit to the Cenotaph. Kepier Hall, Church Street. Free.

1pm: Women’s Fellowship Meeting. Guest Speaker. Houghton Methodist Church, Mautland Street. Free.

7pm: Brass Band Concert. Houghton Parish Church. £5.

Thursday, October 12

9.30am-5pm: Houghton Feast Photograph Exhibition. Houghton Methodist Centre railings, Mautland Street. Free.

Friday, October 13

10am: Wildlife Walk. Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve, Chilton Moor. Free.

1.30pm: Toddler Group. Houghton Methodist Church, Mautland Street. Free.

7.30pm: Gilpin Dinner. Celebrating anniversary of Richard Gilpin. Live Music, licensed bar. Houghton Parish Church. Book tickets 07917 817879.

Saturday, October 14

1.30pm: Heritage Walk, led by local Historian Paul Lanagan. Houghton Methodist Church, Mautland Street. Free.

7pm: Variety Show. Dance performances, laser effects, licensed bar. Zazz Theatre, Newbottle Street. £6 entry.

Sunday, October 15

10.30am: Morning Worship. Houghton Methodist church, Mautland Street. Free.

8pm-10pm: Quiz Night. Cash prizes, licensed bar. Houghton Rugby Club, Dairy Lane. £1 per person.

On going events:

Murphy’s Fairground. Rectory field, Dairy Lane.

St Michael’s Church Open Days. Houghton Parish Church. Free.

Back to the Future Merchandise and Memorabilia collection. Houghton Library, Newbottle Street. Free. Same opening times as Library.