Volunteers plan online Barnard Castle Meet parade
VOLUNTEERS who organised a four-hour online radio show to commemorate VE Day are hoping to encourage residents in Barnard Castle to dust off their fancy dress costumes and take part in a virtual Meet procession this week.
Alex Humphries, Tom Howe and Grace Howard have raised more than £6,000 for the NHS through a Facebook group, Covid Cutz, which they set up in March.
They have encouraged residents of Teesdale to shave their locks, make “hero” scarecrows and have organised bingo evenings, music nights and even created fund-raising merchandise.
Now they are hoping to take Barnard Castle’s annual Meet weekend activities online and are asking residents to get involved. They will be raising funds for the The Hub’s care packages delivered to the needy. Mr Howe said: “We’ve got a lot of things planned and we thought it would be a great way to bring the community together. I know a lot of people enjoy coming to the Meet and will miss it, so we thought why not take it to them? It will be the Meet but in a wholly different format.
“Alex and I will be going around the streets in Barnard Castle on Friday, May 22, to film anyone in fancy dress and we’re hoping families will get fully involved.
“Although it would be nice to recognise all the key workers and those in the NHS, any kind of fancy dress is great. If someone wants to put on a tuxedo or if a guy wants to put a dress on that’s great too – it’s just about having a little bit of fun."
Mr Howe added: “The idea is to get as much socially distanced footage of people in costumes as possible – in their gardens – then we’ll turn the clips into one long procession, which I’m hoping to dub over some authentic background noise from a parade to make it feel like it’s really happening. “
The video parade will be streamed on bank holiday Monday (May 25), starting at about 2pm.
The group has organised more entertainment.
Kicking off the virtual Meet weekend on Saturday, May 23, will be live music from more than 18 local singers and musicians who will be performing 30 minute sets throughout the afternoon through the Covid Cutz group Facebook page. There will a prize bingo, sponsored by Barney Brewery, from about 7pm.
On Sunday, May 24, youngsters will be encouraged to take part in a scavenger hunt through their homes, trying to find as many of listed everyday items against the clock.
Mr Howe added: “Entrants will have to post photographs of the items they’ve found.”
A virtual dog show will follow and it is anticipated there will be about half a dozen categories with more prizes up for grabs.
Sunday’s online entertainment will be rounded off with more music from Teesdale performers.
The weekend will be rounded off with the procession.
Mr Howe said: “We’ve got loads of prizes lined up for all the different activities and we hope it will be a great weekend.
“We’ll be trying to fundraise throughout and have said we will be donating 20 per cent of everything taken over the weekend to the TCR Hub to help with their care packages because they are doing such a great job which is really needed.”
Winners of the fancy dress costume competition will be announced after the procession.
He added: “We know it’s a completely different Meet this year – an online one – but it's one I don’t think people will forget."