A really enjoyable festive event is the annual Late Night Christmas Shopping evening at Haltwhistle. The Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP) staff and volunteers are now regular participants of the event. The Education Centre for TVCRP is housed in the Old Booking Office at the Railway Station and this is large enough to be put to good use for this community event.
This year TVCRP has worked with local small businesses who have set up stalls within the building. There is a good festive atmosphere and as dusk descends so the Christmas lights, gifted by ACoRP last year, are switched on and light up the approach to the station from the main street. Along with the town's wonderful display of Christmas lights, the festive atmosphere is enhanced with carol singing by the children of Haltwhistle Academy, the arrival of Santa Claus and the Hadrian Singers.
Inside the Old Booking Office are: Becci Dixon's “Brew and Biscuit”, providing specialist coffee and cake; “Elephant in the Room”, lovely handmade knitted and crafted items by Christine Dunn, (who has supported every event TVCRP has had in the Old Booking Office); “Dog treats and cakes”, by Ruth Murray; “Starforcesparkle” jewellery by Sarah, and “Lovely Lampshades”, by Elizabeth Lanka. Julie Gibbon, TVCRP's multi talented Company Secretary has produced handmade rugs and scarves for sale made from local sheep fleece. Also on sale are some TVCRP railway themed cards and A3 signed prints of Haltwhistle Station pre First World War, painted by Zig Zag's very talented Phil Ambler.
Northern also helped sponsor the event by giving a prize of a free train ticket for the Haltwhistle Chamber of Trade's Christmas Lights raffle. The money raised goes towards maintaining the lights, buying new ones and paying towards the running costs.
The publicity notices all mention the activities taking place in the Railway Station, so if it is as popular this year as it was last year, the TVCRP volunteers are in for a very busy evening promoting Northern and the work of the TVCRP.