Events Archive


Allendale May Fair 27th May 

The local history group will be holding a stand at the Allendale May Fair this year.  We aim to advertise and showcase our activities, current and future, giving out information on forthcoming talks and events.  If you can contribute any display material or objects to the stand, or if you can spare an hour or two of your time on the day, please contact Dorothy by using the contact form on this website.



Monday 15th May, 7.00 p.m. – Allendale Village Hall, Remaking Beamish

Come along to Allendale Village Hall to hear about plans to include the Georgian and 1950s periods in developing Beamish Museum. Geraldine Straker, the project officer for the ‘Remaking Beamish’ project will present archive photographs and explain the historical research behind the project.

This is a major development for the museum; £10.9million has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Remaking Beamish project.

£2 entry at the door –  teas & coffees available.
Proceeds to go to Allendale Village Hall

Sunday March 5th, 10.00 am  –  Allen Smelt Mill.

This is a chance to see the work carried out at Allen Smelt Mill over the last year, and to hear about plans for work at the site in the future  – plus an opportunity to become involved yourself, if you wish! The visit will start with a tour of the newly revealed structures.  There will be time to help with clearing the larger rocks in front of the bingsteads, ready for contractors to reseed at the start of the growing season.

Thursday March 2nd, 7.00 pm – St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, Allendale

Come along and enjoy Altogether Archeology’s talk about their work in the North Pennines.

Altogether Archaeology is a community archaeology group that undertakes fieldwork and research in the upland landscapes of the North Pennines. Find out how LiDAR surveys have sparked fascinating work in the field. The group extends a warm welcome to everyone with an interest in discovering more about the rich archaeological heritage of this area.

Everyone welcome!

For more information contact: Fiona Knox at the North Pennines AONB Partnership, 01434 683517

Thursday January 19th, from 3.00 pm, Allendale Village Hall.

Everyone is welcome to join The North Pennines AONB Partnership for high tea in Allendale Village Hall. Come along especially if you have a story to tell, or if you have knowledge to share about key sites and local people – or simply come to hear about the history of the local area.

Such input from the local community will be of enormous help to the AONB team, now in its last full year of the Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership Scheme, as they continue to work with a local interpretation and design company to compile and present information and material on the Allen Valleys.

To assist with catering numbers, please contact the AONB office in Allendale if you plan to attend, tel.: 01434 683517

On New Years’ Eve, the Allendale Tar Barrel event, Market Place, Allendale.

At about 11.45 pm, over 40 men, or ‘guisers’, disguised in fancy dress and holding blazing barrels on their heads, will start out from Hardington Place, near St Cuthbert’s Church.

Their route continues up to the Wesleyan Chapel, down through the village to the Primitive Methodist Chapel (now the Library), before returning up the Store Bank. They will return to the square just before midnight to throw their barrels on to the waiting bonfire, setting it alight.

The origins of the custom are unclear, with claims for both pagan and Christian roots. One account dates from 1850-60 when, one dark, squally night, the local band and singers in the Market Square were unable to read their music because the candles were continuously blown out by the wind. A bandsman set light to a quarter rain barrel, filled it with wood shavings and “killen” sticks, and doused the contents with paraffin. He lifted the barrel upon his head and carried it, blazing, into the square to light the concert.

The guisers are always men, except in the 1950s, special dispensation was granted to Miss Vesta Pearl as a thank-you for making a large number of costumes, many of which are still worn today. To participate in this tradition, too, you must have been born in the Allen valleys. And if you drop your barrel during the procession you may be excluded from the following year’s event.

But come along to watch the festivities in the square and help Allendale welcome in the New Year.

Friday December 9th, 6:30pm, Allendale Village Hall.

How well do you know your local history?

Join us for a review of the year, mince pies and a winter warmer.  Take part in the Allen Valleys Local History Quiz set by the local community. For more information and to submit quiz questions contact Fiona: – 01434 683517