TWO NORTH EAST charities have received a well-deserved boost after an annual event had its most successful year yet.

The popular Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race – which starts and finishes at the Blackbird – returned last month (January) after being cancelled last year due to pandemic restrictions.

And the 2022 event was the most successful in its history, with a record turnout and more than £3000 raised for St Oswald’s Hospice and Tynedale Hospice at Home.

43 teams showed up to take part in the event, which is a tradition in the village and is thought to date back to the 14th century.

Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race, New Years Day 2022

Spectators turned out in their masses to watch the race, with a new record set for the Ladies Race.

Stuart Young of the Northumberland Pub Company, which operates the Blackbird, was delighted to see the event return.

“The Wheelbarrow Race is one of the highlights on the pub’s calendar and it was fantastic to see everyone come together to celebrate the tradition once again,” he said.

“St Oswald’s Hospice and Tynedale Hospice at Home are two very worthy causes and it is brilliant to be able to do our bit towards raising some much needed funds to help them continue with all of their good work.”

Philip Peacock, chairman of the Ponteland 41 Club – which organises the race alongside the Ponteland Rugby Club – said: “After the cancellation of last year’s Wheelbarrow Race due to covid, we were extremely pleased to be able to go ahead with this year’s event.

“It proved to be a very successful event and I would like to thank our partners Ponteland Rugby Club and the Blackbird, together with all the volunteers for their considerable help.”

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