A POPULAR New Year’s Day event has raised over £3,000 for two local hospice charities.

Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race returned this year after the centuries-old tradition was cancelled last year due to Covid restrictions.

The race is believed to date back to the early 1300s when the Lord of the Manor encouraged residents to scour the countryside to survive a particularly harsh winter.

This year, the 43 teams which took part in the event were watched by huge crowds.

The mile-long, circular course started and ended at the Blackbird pub.

Through sponsorship and entry fees, more than £3,000 was raised which will be donated to Tynedale Hospice at Home and St Oswald’s Hospice, which provide care and support to people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

The Open Race was won by Mark Turnbull and Julian Goodhall in seven minutes and 20 seconds.

Mark and Julian also won in 2019, with a time of six minutes and 35 seconds.

In second place were James Mould and Sam Olds, followed by Elliot Blain and Will McGubbin who came third.

The winners of the Ladies Race were Abi Leiper and Caitlin Flanagan who completed the race in seven minutes and 36 seconds – the fastest ever recorded time for the Ladies Race.

Joanne Shallcross and Alexandra Longton came second, and Louisa Hamilton and Charlotte Naughton finished third. Joanne Shallcross has now run in five of the eight fastest recorded times for the Ladies Race.

The Junior Race was won by Philip Waite and William Bush. Second were Cate Johnson and Millie Johnson, and third were George Forster and Ethan Turner.

The race is organised by Ponteland 41 Club and Ponteland Rugby Club with support from The Blackbird Inn.

Anyone who would like to sponsor a wheelbarrow in next year’s race should contact Andy Lawson at andrew_lawson@btconnect.com or on 07989 355 557.