Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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August 2018

Stockton International Riverside Festival

The 31st Stockton International Riverside Festival was sensational as usual. It was my privilege and pleasure to open the festivities on Thursday.

The Lord Lieutenant of Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon, and I also opened The Danger Tree exhibition in Wellington Square. This is an emotional and fantastic exhibition of augmented reality paintings commemorating the centenary anniversary of the end of WW1. The artist, Marc Marot and Scarlett Raven have produced amazingly evocative paintings which are embedded with poetry and stories that can be accessed by tablet technology. The specially commissioned Stockton painting, 1245 Sunflowers, is particularly emotional as it tells the story of 'shot at dawn' Stockton solider, George Hunter. So now we have 1246 Sunflowers. I was proud to present a copy of the interactive painting to the Lord Lieutenant and also to George Hunter's granddaughter.

The opening show of SIRF was 'This is not for You' which paid a moving tribute to Britain's wounded war veterans in a performance of music and acting.The story tells the struggle for recognition and respect for the service men and women who lost limbs in conflict, suffered from PTSD, or other severe consequences of serving their country.

The Saturday Community Carnival was as usual a colourful, loud, and vibrant event. The schools and community groups produced the most wonderful costumes and music. I led the parade in front of a group of women celebrating 'votes for women'. To join in this celebration I had purple white and green flowers painted on my cheeks and admit to being carried away and dancing along the route.

I know that everybody who attended the 150 performances over the course of SIRF and the magnificent fireworks display that was the finale had a marvellous time. I know I did!






Community Garden at Roseworth Library

It was my pleasure to open the wildlife community garden at Roseworth Library. Thanks to the Wildlife Trust, Roseworth Residents Association, the Library Friends and Tesco for supporting this venture. Also to Bub Bacon for the mosaics and Keith Ferry for Bugingham Palace Insect Hotel, Roseworth Youth Club for the colourful benches and special thanks to Deborah Blakey for her warm welcome and much needed cups of tea.