The biggest day of all will be its dedication at Durham Cathedral on 20 March, but yesterday was the biggest so far. For the first time, all the parts of the Banner - the Banner itself, the silver bells, and the carrying pole with its mounts and fittings plus a harness to be worn by the carrier - were brought together.
This took place at Fashion and Design building at Northumbria University, which was a nice light spot for it. Several members of the Northumbrian Association committee, the other craftspeople involved and a few journalists were there.
The Banner was taken out of its calico dust sheet, the first time most people there had seen it:
The silver bells, made by Les Howe, were attached to the bottom:
It was then hung on the pole, made by Trevor Duncan - first the cross-piece:
Then the vertical pole:
You can see how the two parts fit together here:
The finial in the shape of St Cuthbert's cross was added to the top:
It was carefully picked up:
And carried outside, where the project's sponsor, John Cuthbert, already wearing the harness made by Ian Corrigan, got ready to carry it:
From the back, you can see how the pole fits through the loops on the back of the Banner, stopping it from flapping about:
It was a bit breezy, so I was glad I'd added them!
And here it is, as it was meant to be seen:
I have to say I was thrilled with how well it looked (and a bit relieved, if I'm honest), and everyone else seemed to be very happy with it too.
I was interviewed by several journalists, and pieces on the day appeared today in the Newcastle Journal, the Northern Echo, and the Sunderland Echo. It was all quite an experience!