FESTIVAL OF HOPE: Cllr Rima Chatterjee
FESTIVAL OF HOPE: Cllr Rima Chatterjee

PLANS for a weekend festival of colour in Barnard Castle next spring are forging ahead.
The brainchild of town mayor Cllr Rima Chatterjee, the event is based on the Indian holi festival and is aimed at spreading love, happiness and magic.
Events planned for the festival, which will start on Friday, March 18, 2022, include a colour run, flag parade, music, dance and a children’s art exhibition.
In a meeting this month, community groups, schools and representative of town venues, including The Bowes Museum and TCR Hub, shared their ideas for the festival.
Cllr Chatterjee said: “The idea is to be inclusive so it involves everyone in the town and it showcases the town, and to have fun.”
Rachel Tweddle, of TCR Hub, told the meeting that an application had been made through the town council for £10,000 in funding to cover groups’ costs, as well as pay for professionals to provide school workshops in dancing, flag-making and cooking up holi sweets and cookies.
Norah Foster, of Barnard Castle Scouts, said Cubs from the troop planned to make marigold garlands that could be given out to people while the Girl Guides plan to open their HQ for activities during the weekend.
Montalbo Primary School headteacher Chris Minikin announced that classes would be producing artwork using sponges, powder paint and coloured sand for the exhibition which will be held at the new Sixth Form Centre at Barnard Castle School.
Martin Pepper, of Barney School, said: “The shape of the centre is perfect for exhibiting.”
The Bowes Museum’s representatives offered to help prepare the exhibition space.
Teesdale School pupils will create colourful kites for the festival.
Ms Tweddle said activities would be spread around the town with the colour run to be held at Scar Top, Indian dancing at The Witham, the flag parade in the grounds of The Bows Museum and the exhibition and civic guests
function at Barnard Castle School.
Teesdale Operatic Society representative Joanne Wall said the group would perform parts of their Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat production during the civic function.
She added that Teesdale Athletics Club could get involved with organising the colour run.
Ms Tweddle said white T-shirts would be given free to all children who take part in the colour run.
The meeting agreed that a tentative programme of events would be drawn up once the funding had been confirmed, which is expected to be this month.
A follow up meeting is planned later this month.