Thoughts from author: jojo oldham

the power of five

Superhero Fun Kirstin Sillitoe

Inspired by our superhero ad, the Purple Patch Arts Group for Manchester Teenagers got down to some PVA glue based fun and whipped up some heroes of their own, who we happen to think bear more than a passing resemblance to a popular five piece boy band.

From left to right we present Dude in a Hood, Spiderman-Rap, Village Person, Pipe Cleaner Man and Swimming Small Face. Our little caped crusader's quaking in his smoothie-filled boots.

one man and his ladder


Clearly unfazed by the everyday perils of negotiating the London Underground, this chap takes the challenge of commuting to a whole new level. As the sight of an oversized rucksack is usually all it takes to send hardened tube-goers into a tutting frenzy, we really applaud his bravery.

We're just wondering how on earth he's going to wrap it.

autumn fun


When life gets just a bit too serious and you need to let off some steam, try embracing your inner five year old and skipping through a lovely pile of crisp autumn leaves. It honestly works a treat. Just beware of any dog related surprises. That could really spoil things.

it's (stanhope) showtime

The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, and it was raining a bit - perfect conditions for the 169th annual Stanhope Agricultural Show to kick off in true style.

The highlight of Weardale's social calendar, the show began way back in 1834 and has taken place just about every year since (with the exception of the war years and during the foot and mouth outbreak).


Each year locals and visitors from far and wide descend on a field just outside the town of Stanhope, County Durham, to witness the best sheep, cattle, horses and produce that the local area has to offer.

There are prizes for the fluffiest (and most obedient) pooches

Dog class

The best painted stones

Painted stones_001

Painted pizza

Delicious baking, jams and other tempting stuff

Afternoon tea

Not to mention a dazzling array of knitted goods and some animals made from vegetables.

Captain jack sparrow

Knitted monkeys

Fruit and veg animals

And for those looking for excitement and that all important element of danger, the main arena plays host to show jumping, llama racing and acrobats jumping over pieces of farm machinery.

Meaning there really is something for everyone.


Things hot up even further on Sunday as the annual bale pulling and wife carrying competitions properly sort the men (and women) from the boys.

Wife carrying

And finally after two days of non-stop entertainment, it's back to the beer tent for the chance to let off some steam to a night of live music, which this year came courtesy of the north east's premier Celtic rock cover band, the Emerald Thieves.

To miss it all next year would be a crying shame.

So go and write it in your 2011 diary in pen immediately.