Highfield Fest

Highfield Fest

Highfield Fest is a free, family fun day that is held on the last Sunday of June each year at Highfield Park, off Highfield Lane (locally known as the High Road).

The event is hosted and funded by Prudhoe Town Council and with the help of local community groups, there is something for everyone and lots to keep the kids entertained.  The event has grown in terms of its size and popularity each year and we hope that this continues.  As well as family-friendly attractions, there is a scooter competition on the skate park.

If you would like to offer any feedback about the event, or for more information, please contact the Town Council.

Highfield Fest has a dedicated Facebook page; click to visit.

If you did not manage to get up to Highfield Fest on Sunday you really did miss out on a free, fun-filled day.

Melanie Nicholson said of the event “Amazing once again, Highfield Fest gets better every year and is a great day out for all the family.”

Although the Town Council had to make last minute changes to the attractions, there was still plenty on offer.  Wind was our nemesis this year and as everyone knows, there isn’t often a day when there is no wind at Highfield Park, however this year the forecast of strong gusts meant that the large inflatables, that have been there each year, were not advisable for safety reasons.

Rachel Blackburn, mother of twin boys, commented she really appreciated the withdrawal of the inflatables due to the high winds as it was good to know that safety was a priority.  Rachel also said “My boys were entertained from 11 till 3; good, honest, family fun – what more can you ask for?  A huge thank you to everyone involved in Highfield Fest.”

NBK Leisure were still able to attend and brought with them a rodeo sheep, surf simulator, toddler zone, giant garden games and crazy golf, and whilst it was disappointing not to have the usual giant inflatables, Harrison Hancock was able to provide bungee trampolines and a mini-Miami fairground ride, so there was still an abundance on offer for the young people arriving throughout the day.

Prudhoe Plodders attended with a team of volunteers and offered a timed obstacle course with every child being presented with a certificate at the end.  Prudhoe Plodders are a local, dedicated running club, run entirely by like-minded volunteers that want to help adults and children be more active.  As well as being very grateful for their presence at Highfield Fest, the Town Council is especially delighted that they are running the Essity Prudhoe Miners Race this year, being held on Sunday 29th September 2019.

Lesley Ineson said of the event “Highfield Fest is an amazing event.  I attended as a volunteer on the Prudhoe Plodders Obstacle Course, which was very well organised and great fun, and then had the pleasure of having a look around with my children, who absolutely loved all of the rides and the fire engine.”

John Robson aka Mister Disco was on-hand all day and facilitated the Best-Dressed Teddy Bear, lost and found and also entertained those visiting with acoustic band ‘The Whistle Testers’.  The wind hampered sound slightly so there will be a re-think next year with regards the PA and speaker system.

In special recognition of Armed Forces Day, Prudhoe Army Cadet Force and 216 Squadron, Royal Logistics Corps’ brought recruiting vehicles and helped throughout the event.  The absence of adult teams for the tug-of-war did not deter this test of strength as Cllr Chris Barrett led our younger lads and lasses in a mini-tournament; competitive team spirit is definitely alive and well in Prudhoe.

Prudhoe Youth Club Football Club have supported Highfield Fest for many years and young people look forward to testing their skills alongside family and friends.  Football coaches give a lot of their time for training and matches and the Town Council appreciate their attendance at this annual event, in addition to the time they dedicate already.

Prudhoe Co-op Foodstore were thrilled to be part of Highfield Fest which they attended for the first time, following many year’s support of the Town Council’s Christmas Lights Switch-On event.  Iain Watts, Store Manager said “The event is excellent; there cannot be many other places where families can be out in the open air, enjoying a completely free day.  Prudhoe Co-op sets itself apart from other retailers in that it is very community-driven by way of sponsorship and time, and we will certainly be back next year.”

Showing that Prudhoe Fire and Rescue are never ‘off-duty’ our retained fire fighters pleased the crowds not once but twice when they were called away.  Always exceptionally smart and wonderful role models for the young aspiring firefighters of the future, every event must have a Fire Engine.

The newly established Prudhoe Youth Project attended the event for the first time with festival make-up and said “We had a great day at Highfield Fest Family Fun Day meeting lots of young people who we hope will become part of our project and we are very grateful to Prudhoe Town Council for inviting us and putting on such a fabulous free event.”

Many parents have endured a queue for face-painting; it has become a simple fact of life, but ‘Face-painting by Julie Charlton’ is definitely worth waiting for; if you don’t believe me ask the lions, tigers, butterflies or the camouflage faces if you can find them.

What a year for the scooters at Highfield Fest.  Island Extreme/Juicy Wheels, the brainchild of young entrepreneur Blake Nash (age 21), showcased a selection of pro-riders, including Prudhoe’s home-grown talent Josh Newton (age 10), riding alongside Sam Jefferz (age 19), Callum Blake (age 19), Dane Arminger (age 19) and Harley Chamberline (age 21).

Michael Champion, father of Bobby who was placed 2nd in the 13 and under category said he hopes that the event will continue forever, adding that those involved should be very proud.

The competition had two age categories with superb prizes of scooters, bars, wheels, grips, grip tape, t-shirts, stickers and wrist bands; those placed were:

Click to view competition results

Cllr Tracy Gilmore has been Chair of Prudhoe Town Council since May 2018 so this is her 2nd year as Town Mayor during the event.  Cllr Gilmore described the event as a huge success and great value for money.

“The event itself, not including staff time costs almost £4,000; this equates to an annual cost to the Prudhoe taxpayer of £1.19.  I think that is exceptional value for money and furthermore it provides the Town Council with a great opportunity to engage with the community and to promote ourselves, as well as providing that same opportunity to the amazing community groups and volunteers who support us, without whom the event wouldn’t be possible.  Many thanks to all our volunteers on stalls, with event set-up, car-parking, litter collecting, signage and flyer distribution.  We made a conscious effort to collect feedback this year and it is clear that the event is much-loved and appreciated.  Next year will be the 10th Anniversary so hopefully we can think of something to make Highfield Fest 2020 even bigger and better!”

All photographs will be posted on the event Facebook Page

Highfield Fest Family Fun Day and Island Extreme Scooter Competition was held on Sunday 24th June with great weather and attractions enjoyed by all.  Although the England fixture being at 1:00 pm on the same day was a concern, this didn’t have a huge impact and the event stayed busy throughout.  Young people were still about later in the day enjoying the park and bounced and slid to their heart’s content.

As well as the usual paid attractions, we were delighted to welcome Prudhoe Plodders, Happy Faces, Prudhoe Motor Project and Prudhoe Pathforce, who all volunteered their time to provide something for young people and families.

Prudhoe Town Council has organised and funded Highfield Fest for 7 years and each year we say ‘This is going to be the best yet!’  We said it again, and it was!

Please see images uploaded to the Hexham Courant gallery.


NBK Leisure, Turners Fun Fair  and Julie’s Painted Faces brought the fun of the fair, along with Community Groups volunteering their time.

Prudhoe Youth Football Club brought football challenges to Highfield Park with some super results on fastest goal and target goal.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed having a go; see results.

1st Prudhoe Guides got creative and crafty with home-made catapults and a jam jar s’mores roasting.  The had the most beautiful tent set up, very welcoming and with a certain touch of vintage about it!

Our Fest has to have a little bit of ‘street’ and lots of ‘cool’ and we certainly got that from Annesha’s School of Dance.  Dancing on the grass made no difference to their slick moves and a great crowd cheered them on throughout.

John Craggs our neighbourhood graffiti artist, in the best way possible, was supported by Prudhoe Youth Charity Shop to work with the young people to create their own graffiti art boards.  It was a great attraction to the event and lots of young people left happy with a graffiti named board to adorn their bedroom wall.

Wheels returned with vengeance last year thanks to Team Override and Reiver Sports.  This year there was an even bigger buzz as the prizes were amazing.

Override ran a high-hop and a limbo mini-competition and 2 scooter competitions.  Click to view the results.

Hundreds of people enjoyed the 6th annual Highfield Fest on Sunday 26th June and the field filled up quickly from 11am with families taking advantage of the fabulous weather and free attractions.  Prudhoe resident Derek Steel posted “What a great day and a great turn out, so nice to have the weather and to see everyone enjoying themselves.”

Alongside NBK Leisure did the town proud again with a wonderful array of inflatable fun; children and parents alike enjoyed battling it out on the demolition zone, paid for by Thompson’s of Prudhoe.  Painted Faces by Julie worked non-stop and as always her fabulous artwork could be seen on the children racing about, whilst parents gave a huge sigh of relief when they reached the front of the queue.

It was also a first for Prudhoe Kumon Centre who attended to promote their maths and English study programmes that cater for children of all ages, based at the Fuse Media Centre.   Rajul Shah (Kumon Instructor) was delighted to have been given the opportunity of a stall at Highfield Fest, Rajul said “It is a lovely site, families seemed to have enjoyed themselves and the event seemed to be very well organised and well managed. This was my first time at this event and would certainly like to consider it for forthcoming years.”

Most people are aware that Highfield Fest began in 2010 as a BMX event but turned into a much larger and more inclusive ‘Family Fun Day’.  Last year it was obvious what was missing… WHEELS!  Prudhoe resident Jane Langston contacted the event via its Facebook Page and set down the gauntlet to put this right.  Highfield Fest 2016 welcomed the Override Team (Indoor Skate Park at South Shields) with stunt scooters, BMX displays, tricks and tips; this was very well received and the skate park was swarming with activity all day.  Carol Quinn and Ian Lowery from Prudhoe East Youth Centre gave out wristbands and stickers that the council received free from Madd Gear Action Sports, a well known brand in the skate, scooter and BMX fraternity, and engaged with almost 200 young people over the course of the day.  Simon Downie who used to go to Prudhoe East ran a SK8 Competition and donated three skate decks, DVD’s, wheels and grip tape from his company Reiver Sports.  Youth Worker Carol Quinn said “It was good to see so many people enjoying the day. A wonderful Park and a Festival we feel proud to be part of.  Highfield Fest is a great day out for all the family and we especially want to thank Simon Downie from Reiver Sports and Prudhoe Town Council Young People’s Forum for his support with the SK8 competition.”

Click to view the scooter and skate competition results.

Thanks to Tony Monnelly and Lubbers Logistics Group, four local bands shared the stage that was a very large, very shiny, flat bed truck.  ‘Cherry Leather’, namely Dayna, Joe, Lewis and Lily opened the show, followed by ‘Vulpes Vulpes and the Copper Dragon’.  Having a very unusual band name was certainly a talking point and if you Google ‘Vulpes Vulpes’ it means red fox.  Joe (also of Lyrical Whisky, who performed last year) and Adam provided an acoustic duo before ‘Painted Skies’ were welcomed to the stage.  The very hard working ‘Painted Skies’ also performed in 2015 but under a different band name; it’s all very ‘rock and roll’ for Cameron, Liam, Marcus and Nathan.  ‘Jade’ brought the event to a close, and just in time as the dark clouds loomed in the sky line.  As well as being part of the band ‘Jade’, John Robson (aka Mister Disco Man) was helped by Keith Park to ensure all the bands technical set-up went without a hitch; this part of the event would certainly not be possible without John and Keith.  ‘Jade and members Frank, Geoff and Jill are happy to support John in his local town and although she was very poorly on Sunday, singer Jill did not let us down.

Where there is music there must be dance, and this year Highfield Fest welcomed Annesha’s School of Dance with a series of upbeat, street style dances as well as a very touching solo contemporary dance.  Annesha’s girls are a very tight bunch and it was wonderful to see them in their team jackets enjoying all the fun of the fair, before and after their dance performance.

Over 500 people enjoyed the fabulous FREE event that is Prudhoe’s Highfield Fest on Sunday 28th June.  This is the 6th event of its kind and it is fair to say the occasion has grown with more and more local groups and enterprises becoming involved.

New this year was Ley Poleguns, a Pole Fitness expose by Lesley Jackson and local artist John Craggs brought graffiti art to Highfield Park and 20 young people went home with their own stylized artwork on boards.  This successful attraction was funded by Prudhoe Youth Charity Shop who are always looking for ways to put their fundraising back into the community, for the good of young people.

The selfie tent was also an added attraction this year and the event was lucky enough to have FREE wifi thanks to Radio Prudhoe.  There were lots of hats, wigs and other props to feed the selfie craze and some crazy portrait photographs as a result.

Wonderful photographs were taken of the inflatable attractions from NBK Leisure, set against the impressive landscape, the skies were ever changing and the weather was due to be kind, and thankfully it was.  Thompson’s of Prudhoe sponsored The Demolition Zone, for obvious reasons, and there was a constant queue of adults and children alike, wishing to knock friends and family over with a boulder.  The inflatable assault course is another much loved attraction and this along with the bouncy castle and giant slide kept the little ones entertained for hours, what is not to enjoy, and all for FREE!  For the more adventurous there was a rodeo bull, with many a rider landing softly before having yet another go.

t us going; from the modern hits to the classic Led Zeppelin and Dire Straits tributes.  Again, thank you for letting us enjoy sharing in this super event.”

Both Energize Dance Group and Annesha’s School of Dance performed at Highfield Fest and were delighted to have been part of the event.  Jill Newton of Energize Dance said “we are asked to do a lot of events in the community and we always want to support this one as it is about families enjoying themselves on their doorstep.”

There were four bands playing at The Fest this year; it’s a great opportunity to showcase the talent in the town and adds a festival theme of the event, especially playing from the impressive trailer from RTH Lubbers and ex-trucker and local lad Tony Monnelly.  JADE, The Neighbourhood Blues Band, Divine Crown and Lyrical Whisky all play regular gigs and can be contacted via Prudhoe Town Council or find them on Facebook.

The wind caused minor problems for the tents of Kirkley Zoo and Prudhoe Parents Group, but their tenacity won out and animals and crafts were enjoyed in equal measure.  Prudhoe Parents Group provided a crafty interlude between running and bouncing; they bring lots of glitter to events and their home at Sure Start Children’s Centre on Broomhouse Lane.  We are assured that all the animals went home with Kirkley Zoo, but if whilst you are at Highfield Park you run into a giant snail, please contact Prudhoe Town Council.

See further coverage and photographs from the Hexham Courant.

Sunday 29th June was the 5th Family Fun Day to be held at Highfield Park in Prudhoe and each year it is fair to say that the ‘Fest’, as it is known locally, gets bigger and better.

This year the Fest saw live performances, in the morning from local dance group Energize, managed by Jill Newton and Nicola Oliver.  Jill and Nicola were delighted to be part of the day; Nicola said “the atmosphere was amazing and the event was very well organised”, Jill added “it was great that everything was free for families, and our dancers were thrilled with their thank you certificates and goody bags from the Town Council; we are asked to do a lot of community events and it makes a difference when the children are rewarded”.

The afternoon saw 2 live band performances; the first from Divine Crown, a relatively new band with members still in full time education and the 2nd from band Lyrical Whisky, who although have slightly older band members (college age), they are certainly not as old as some of the greats they played.  Both bands rocked Highfield Park from a trailer brought along by Tony Monnelly of RTH Lubbers; the open trailer gave the bands a fitting stage and wonderful outlook, and allowed spectators to see, as well as hear the musicians in all their glory.

As always the Fest provided families with free inflatable fun, including crazy golf and a rodeo bull this year, and as always Julie Charlton painted hundreds of faces and applied just as many glitter tattoos.  Prudhoe Scouts provided instruction in archery and had a steady stream of merry men, women, girls and boys all day; with 3 targets and a large open space for safety reasons, there was lots of skill on display but no splitting apples from people’s heads thank goodness.  Scout Leader Claire McDougle said “1st Prudhoe Scout Group leaders were thrilled to welcome so many adults and young people to have a go at archery and are very grateful to the Town Council for their ongoing support and commitment to the young people of Prudhoe”.

Although it was hoped that England’s World Cup dream would still be alive, the disappointment that it wasn’t didn’t stop Prudhoe Youth Football Club and North Country Leisure’s Football and Sports Centre from celebrating the great game, with youngsters taking part in a feast of football challenges.

Prudhoe Detachment Army Cadet Force was on hand to help with car-parking and on occasion disappeared from their recruitment tent into the grass, in full camouflage; fortunately the snake brought along by Kirkley Zoo was well supervised and didn’t disappear into the grass, Kirkley and their partners from Northumberland College were a welcome attraction to the event.

Biscuits and bubbles were on the menu courtesy of Adderlane First School governors Mrs Susan Snowdon and Mrs Judith Simpson.  Mrs Snowdon said “being part of a community event for families is really worthwhile and we have thoroughly enjoyed it”.

Sunday 30th June was definitely a ‘fun’ day for families in Prudhoe.  The sun may not have been shining, but the children who visited Highfield Park were able to take full advantage of free face-painting, bouncy castle, an inflatable bungee, a giant slide and an obstacle course.  Mr Disco-Man, John Robson provided music and PA throughout the day, adding greatly to the atmosphere and also challenging the skill and dexterity of his audience with ‘The Cube’ style games.

As well as the inflatable fun, Prudhoe Waterworld was also on-site with sporting challenges, from football keepy-ups and hula-hooping to ‘how far you can throw a coconut’.  It all made perfect sense to the children who were delighted to try their luck at winning free passes to use at Waterworld and sweets for having a go!

Prudhoe Youth Football Club is a great asset to this Town and was invited to Highfield Fest to take advantage of the crowds and the goal with some small-scale fundraising.  Father and Son team Alex and Matt Psarianos, who coach Prudhoe under 7’s, kicked off the goal challenge, followed by Chris Hill of Prudhoe under 8’s.  The coaches were delighted to be part of the event, as were the mums of the very successful Prudhoe under 10’s team, who ran a tuck shop and cake stall whilst sporting their returning champions ‘Scarborough 2013’ hoodies.

Younger visitors were able to explore some crafty-fun and imaginative play with Prudhoe Parents’ Group, who operate out of Prudhoe Children’s Centre.  They act like a mobile playgroup, bringing inside fun outside, so ideal for Highfield Fest as well as offering some valuable course for parents at the centre.  Abby Wintersgill of Prudhoe Parents Group said “Community events like this are a brilliant way of getting ourselves known and also finding out what else Prudhoe has to offer. Hopefully we can reach out to at least one family through these events and get them involved.  Having activities for free can often make a difference, meaning that the low income families we try to reach out to, can enjoy a family day out without the worry of how they will pay for it.”

Prudhoe Town Council Events Committee is indebted to Prudhoe Army Cadet Force who always provide military standard car-parking and assistance at events.  Jon Scott and John Hirst of the Prudhoe Detachment are proud to help out and consider Highfield Fest a worthwhile recruitment arena.

With this free event the Town Council hopes to draw a good family crowd to Highfield Park, which is very well used by young people, especially throughout the summer.  The Town Council is always keen to hear what people think and this is so true of events; any feedback received will help us make improvements for future years.

Enjoy the photographs of another successful Highfield Fest with BMX/scooter/skate competition in conjunction local BMX enthusiast Neville Potts and sponsors Fox Europe.

Once again the Town Council in conjunction with Fox Head Europe, Prudhoe Youth Service and Northumberland County Council were able to facilitate a BMX competition and family fun day at Highfield Park on Sunday 26th June.  Everything on the day was free, funded by the Town Council and the weather and the setting were magnificent.  It was a great success not only in terms of the weather but the fact that families stayed at the park well after 5pm when the BMX competition and displays had ended, proving what a great open space this is in the Town.

Young people from aged 8 to 17 entered the competition and bravely jumped and entertained on the newly re-surfaced track in front of a noisy Prudhoe crowd as well as wowing the Fox Europe professionals.

Well done to everyone who took part, click to view the competition results.

This event is championed by Neville Potts, a local professional and enthusiast and was sponsored by Fox Head Europe.  Fox not only offered sporting commentary during the BMX competition but also entertained the crowds with trial demonstrations, a promotional stand and free merchandise.