FAMILIES took advantage of the sunny bank holiday weather to get out and about in South Tyneside.
Thousands flocked to Bede’s World to celebrate May Day in style and the good weather meant it was busy on South Shields seafront.
Youngsters danced around the Maypole, listened to folk music and tried their hands at some traditional crafts at the historical site in Church Bank, Jarrow.
Families travelled to the museum and farm from across the region to take part in the May Day celebrations, which were followed by an evening of live folk music.
Members of Jarrow Vikings rugby team were on hand to help put up the Maypole, and volunteers helped children get crafty, making their own May Day garlands and skipping ropes.
Childcare officer Stephanie Hawrot, from Westoe, South Shields, was at Bede’s World with her 16-month-old daughter, Eryn.
The 34-year-old said: “We’ve been here once before a couple of years ago and we wanted to come again with the baby. We just came down and we didn’t realise all this stuff was on, but it’s brilliant.
“Eryn has been dancing around all day and she’s really enjoyed herself.”
Ann and Simon Wright, from Consett in County Durham, were at the event with their son Charlie, five.
Teacher Ann, 39, said: “I’ve been here before but my husband hadn’t.
“It’s something different to do and it’s not too expensive and a really nice day out.
“Charlie has loved going into all the little houses and seeing the animals. It’s a great place to visit, especially when the sun is shining.”
Michael and Rachel Maughan, of Harton, South Shields, visited Bede’s World with daughters, Ellen, two, and Anna, one.
Michael said: “Today has been brilliant. We’ve got a family pass, so we got an e-mail from Bede’s World about it and we decided to come along.
“The weather is beautiful and there’s loads on for the kids.
“We’ve had a fantastic day and the weather is so beautiful.
“There are so many activities on today, and I love what they’re doing with the place by building the new amphitheatre and all the new buildings. There’s a really great atmosphere here and we love visiting.”
Pearl Saddington, deputy director of Bede’s World, said: “We’re celebrating a traditional English May Day and everyone is really getting in the spirit.
“We’ve got traditional crafts, the kind of food that would have been eaten at festivals throughout the years, and lots of activities for the kids, and we’re ending it all with a folk festival.
“We’ve had people coming along from all across the region and everyone seems to really be enjoying themselves.
“The children have enjoyed having a go at dancing round the Maypole and making their own garlands.
“I think it’s been a great way to welcome in the spring.”