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Thursday, October 27, 2016
Medieval banquet, jousting and flower festival at Ushaw
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¬†Ushaw College is holding a flower festival and medieval entertainments as part of its 200th anniversarycelebrations. The four-day flower festival ≠ from 12 - 15 June≠ is also intended to commemorate the 150 anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, so the theme of the Mysteries of the Rosary. The festival is open and open daily from 10am to 6pm each day and is free of charge. Arrangements have been created by people from parishes within the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle as well as members of flower clubs in the Northern region. Festival Organiser, David Smith, is a student at Ushaw College. David, who is to be ordained to the priesthood on June 20th, said: "There are up to 500 per day expected to come, but I think there will be more. This festival would not be possible without people's generosity of time. We've had people here of different abilities ≠ one elderly couple are in their 80s, and the lady is in a wheelchair a lot of the time, but through the help others she's still managed to take part, and that's really important. Thanks to all of them. "The festival aims to provide a prayerful environment with a sense of pilgrimage, which is what the college was set up for ≠ for people to express their faith and for their faith to grow. We could have done dragons and hot air balloons that would have looked great, but would not have been right for Ushaw. Artists have taken their inspiration from scripture and architecture within Ushaw College. Each arrangement will have a plaque telling visitors what event in the life of Jesus it represents and a well-known prayer relating to that mystery. It will also say who the arrangement is by and the parish or flower club the artist represents. Judith Clancy, representing St Mary's RC Cathedral in Newcastle, is a former art teacher and studied a City and Guilds at Houghall College when she retired. She produced a display based on Mystery entitled Jesus' Scourging at the Pillar. She said: "I wanted it to look quite violent and the flowers have strong reds and purples to represent that. I was loaned the Roman shield by a friend from a Roman re-enactment group. I taught art for 34 years and I always see things in the form of sculptures and that has helped. It was certainly challenging because of the dimensions of the pillar." Along with the Flower festival, Ushaw College will be holding a Medieval Festival on Saturday and Sunday, with a Medieval Banquet on Saturday night. The Medieval Festival takes place in the college grounds from 1pm to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15. The festival features a jousting tournament by the Knights of Merry England, a falconry display, medieval music and Hog Roast. The Knights of Merry England also bring their own jesters and other characters to add to the medieval atmosphere. Tickets are still available for Saturday night's Banquet with whole roast chickens and spare ribs, flagons of mead and jugs of wine, which begins at 7.30pm in the College's main dining hall. They cost £28.50 and are available from Kathryn Alderson at Ushaw College on 0191 373 8579 or on
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