It's the Whickham Community Festival this weekend. We also have news about the Metro refurbishment and the new date for the Marley Hill opencast application. And do you know any 13-18 year olds who want to join the air cadets? Please feel free to Share eFocus with others who may find it useful.
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Whickham Community Festival this Saturday
The bunting went up today, Friday 4th July, for the Whickham Community Festival tomorrow on St Mary's Green.
Two years ago, for the first time in living memory, the centre of Whickham played host to a Community Festival; with a theme based on ‘The Olympics’. And last year’s festival took Whickham back to medieval times, when the village was named Quykham.
Both events were hosted by the ‘Lighting Up Whickham’ group and all funds raised have been put back into the community - for our Christmas tree lights.  This gives rise to the group’s name ‘ Lighting Up Whickham’, as the group are also responsible for organising the annual switch on of our Christmas tree lights.
Following these two hugely successful Community Festivals; the organising group have taken on another challenge - to organise an event that will commemorate the start of World War One – 100 years ago this year.
So, this Saturday, July 5th, we will witness the centre of Whickham playing host to another Community Festival, this time with a theme based on the Great War.
The event, starting at 11 am and going on until 4 pm, will bring together the whole community, centred in our ‘village’.  There will be competitions for children, dancing, entertainment and stalls throughout the village. Our local Theatre Group will be giving us a sneak preview of this year’s pantomime and we will even have a wartime pub!
Cllr Peter Craig – Chair of Lighting Up Whickham, said “As well as raising funds for our Christmas lights, this important event brings people into our village centre and boost the vitality of our community.
 â€œPlease support our event if you are able to.  The Lighting Up Whickham group does a super job in organising this fantastic event that brings together people of all ages and from all parts of our community. Many local organisations, groups and charities from our area will be represented and they will all benefit from your support.”
The event is organised annually, so if your group, organisation or charity would like to be involved, please contact Cllr Peter Craig on 0191 488 0787 for further details of how you can become involved.
Entertainment at the first Whickham Community Festival in 2012. This time, the Festival will have a Great War theme.
Another new date for opencast application
Cllr Jonathan Wallace, right, is leading the battle against plans for opencast mining at Marley Hill.
The date on which the planning application for opencast mining at Marley Hill will be decided has been put back again, this time to Wednesday 16th July.

UK Coal want to extract a million tonnes of coal from the site to the south of Marley Hill. The area includes the former colliery as well as neighbouring countryside.

Cllr Jonathan Wallace has been leading the campaign against the application and will be speaking against it on 16th July.

"If this application goes ahead, heavy lorries will be sent through Sunniside, Streetgate and Lobley Hill," said Jonathan. 

"The A692 is already one of the busiest roads in the region and has a poor accident record. This plan, if given the go ahead, will make a bad traffic situation worse. It will rip up our local countryside and disrupt the lives of people living near the site and along the route the lorries will take."
Air cadets
Do you know anyone aged 13 – 18 who would like to join the Air Cadets? The 1313 Whickham Squadron parades on Mondays and Thursdays in Dunston, next to the Dun Cow. You can contact them on this link.
Metro refurbishment reaches halfway point
The £30m modernisation of Tyne and Wear Metro trains has now reached the halfway mark, with the work expected to be completed by next year. The work has seen the fleet of Metro trains undergo numerous updates and improvements.

Each Metrocar is stripped down to its frames and then built back up again.  Metro welcomed the 43rd and 44th of 86 cars to be refurbished back into service in February.
News snippets
Dunston Post Office

The Post Office on Ravensworth Road, Dunston, is applying for planning permission to install a cash machine at the front of the building.

Housing on Bridon Fibres

Planning permission for 93 homes has been granted for the former Bridon Fibres site on Derwentwater Road, Gateshead.

St. Philip Neri RC Primary School

Planning permission is being sought to build new classrooms, a visitor centre and staff facilities at St. Philip Neri RC Primary School, Ellison Road, Dunston.
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