Summer parade will turn South Shields into Wonderland

GETTING CREATIVE ... Paul Shriek is designing the costumes for this year's South Tyneside Festival parade.
GETTING CREATIVE ... Paul Shriek is designing the costumes for this year's South Tyneside Festival parade.

A LEADING fashion designer is urging people to get creative for this year’s South Tyneside Festival summer parade.

Paul Shriek has been recruited as artistic director for this year’s parade, and he is offering South Tynesiders the chance to see their handiwork included.

GETTING CREATIVE ... Paul Shriek is designing the costumes for this year's South Tyneside Festival parade.

GETTING CREATIVE ... Paul Shriek is designing the costumes for this year's South Tyneside Festival parade.

The parade, marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Lewis Carroll book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, takes place in South Shields on Saturday, July 4.

It aims to be on a grander scale than ever before, with more eye-catching floats and costumed characters.

People from across South Tyneside and the rest of the North East are being invited to contribute to the event by joining a number of free craft workshops.

Proggy mat workshops are being held every Wednesday at Boldon Community Association, in New Road, until May 20, and anyone interested can go along and use time-honoured techniques to create topiary trees to form part of the parade.

This year’s parade will be something spectacular.

Paul Shriek

Led by artist Kath Price, the sessions run from 4pm until 6pm and are open to anyone wanting to help revive the craft skills.

There are also a number of opportunities to help create paper flowers for the parade to be used on hats.

Those sessions, led by artist Claudia Van Lieshout Smit, are being run at Whitburn Parish Hall, in Church Lane, every Tuesday until May 19 from 1pm to 3pm, and they are also open to anyone who would like to be involved.

Paul, working alongside co-artistic director Matt Fox, said: “This year’s parade will be something spectacular, but we are also using it as an opportunity to include as many people from the local community as possible and as a showcase for some of the skills that are linked with the region but might have been forgotten by many people.”

Anyone interested can drop in at the sessions, but booking in advance is advisable. To book, e-mail Fiona McKeown at fiona.mckeown@customshouse.co.uk

Paul and Matt are also interested in hearing from anyone with other skills they feel they could offer to help them create a new Wonderland in South Shields.

They can be contacted online at www.foxandshriek.com

Twitter: @shieldsGazVicki