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Opening of 'The Bridge' Friday 21st May 2010

'The Bridge' is now officially open and a short programme of events was held to celebrate this.  Here are some photographs and speeches from those attending the formal opening.

Presentation Group

The presentation group with the NULAG funding plaque.

From L to R Roger Wilson, Chairperson NULAG: Marguerite Gracey, Heritage & Libraries Manager, NCC: Mark I'Anson, Chairperson, Haydon Bridge Development Trust: Councillor Alan Sharp, NCC.

Some of the Guests & Speakers

Messers Thompson and Burrows

Joanna Thompson with Ida Burrows

Messers Foster and Plaice

Ian Foster and Jean Plaice (Hexham T.I.)

Messers Fletcher and Telford (foreground)

Foreground Peter Fletcher and Dennis Telford

Ian Haggie

Michael Haggie (Bridge Architect)

Margurette Gracey

Marguerite Gracey, Heritage & Libraries Manager NCC who emphasised the commitment of the Haydon Bridge volunteers and the excellent partnership between the community and NCC.  She said "The Development Trust and the Parish Council have shown great determination in developing 'The Bridge' and we have been very impressed by the recruitment of well over 30 volunteers, who we have been training to run the library service.  This is a really successful partnership between the community and the local government"

Messers I'Anson and Wilson

Mark I'Anson, Chairman HB&HPDT and Roger Wilson, Chair Northumberland Uplands Local Action Group.

Mark said "We have come a long way since we first developed the Parish Plan to address the economic and social sustainability of our community following the development of the Haydon Bridge bypass.  The opening of 'The Bridge' is tangible evidence of the energy and skills of our community to fight for its future health and well-being.

We see the opening of 'The Bridge as just the start of a bigger development programme.  The next phase will include developing the role of and activities at 'The Bridge'; further volunteering opportunities; more walks and trails for walkers and cyclists; better publicity and marketing about what our community has to off; improved welcome and customer service for visitors; and a range of activities about the artist John Martin linked to the major exhibition at The Laing and Tate Britain galleries in 2011.

We all give our time voluntarily - directors and the volunteers at 'The Bridge' - and we have no paid staff.  We would like to thank our funders and partners for their ideas, with the continued support of our partners we will continue to make progress"

Roger Wilson explained how "We were very impressed with the depth of community consultation and clear vision for the sustainability of this rural community which underpinned the funding bid to NULAG.  This has been carried through into delivering real benefits on the ground for both local people and visitors"

Councillor Sharp

County Councillor Alan Sharp said "I was delighted to provide some capital funding support towards the refurbishment costs of the library.  It is a privilege to represent a community which is so committed to taking practical action to address the issues and challenges it faces"

The guests

More of the guests

More guests

Vera Fletcher
and Jackie Armstrong

Pat Snowdon

Pat Snowdon catches up in the fiction section

Martin Book

Haydon Bridge's most famous son 'John Martin' on the shelves


Community volunteers Ida Burrows and Sonia Bailes

The guests

The guests confer

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