Music marks end of London 2012

HUNDREDS of music fans packed into a park after Hartlepool was chosen as a flagship town to mark the end of the London 2012 Games.

Talented young musicians from the town performed as part of the nationwide Bandstand Marathon held at Ward Jackson Park yesterday afternoon.

Nick Dixon (left) and Jordan Grylls

Nick Dixon (left) and Jordan Grylls

It was just one of a series of events this weekend which attracted thousands of visitors.

Hartlepool hosted the flagship event for the North-East as part of the national Bandstand Marathon to celebrate the final day of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

At 2pm Nick Dixon, 16, and 19-year-old Jordan Grylls played Coldplay’s stirring hit Vida La Vida – a scene that was replicated at bandstands up and down the country at the same moment.

Around 20 town performers aged between 12 and 18 and who work with Hartlepool charity Red Dreams played during the marathon.

Dawn McManus, founder of Red Dreams, said: “We only had just over two weeks to get ready it, but it was a brilliant day.

“We reckon there were between 400 and 500 people there.

“The representative from the national organisers couldn’t believe just how incredible the young people are, so it has been really lovely to be part of it.”

The event in the park was one of 11 taking place at bandstands around the region, plus hundreds more up and down the country.

The initiative was staged by Superact, a non-profit making arts organisation and Making Music, the UK’s leading organisation for voluntary music.

It was supported by the Government’s Department for Communities and Local Government.

Red Dreams were also involved with a concert and funday on Saturday.

The event was held at Dyke House School field to help residents get involved in the £1 million Big Local improvement scheme for the area.

Attractions included the Hartlepool Hawks cheerleading squad, jazz band, face painting, bouncy castles and nail art.

It was organised by a small group of local residents to encourage others to have a say in the 10-year improvement programme.

Elwick Village Fete also attracted crowds with stalls, crafts, raffles, fairground rides, a dog show and a photography competition.

In Billingham, the country’s top muscle men battled it out in the Britain’s Strongest Man Challenge Competition.

It was part of the 20th annual Billingham Carnival and Garden Show which also featured produce and arts and crafts competitions, a dog show and children’s rides.

l See tomorrow’s Mail for more pictures of the events.