Brian Harvey from Ushaw: Historic House, Chapels & Gardens has been announced as the 2019 Durham Tourism Superstar by Visit County Durham. The results of the public vote were revealed yesterday as part of Visit County Durham’s annual Summer Garden Party celebrations at Hallgarth Manor.

90-year-old Volunteer Gardener Brian has had an affiliation with Ushaw for over 80 years, first stepping foot into the estate as an 11-year-old school boy. The Durham Tourism Superstar winner is now part of the historic attraction’s volunteer programme, interacting and entertaining visitors by bringing Ushaw’s gardens and grounds to life.

Brian said: “It is a great honour for me to win Durham Tourism Superstar and represent Ushaw.  I’m delighted to win this award and spread the word about Durham’s best kept secret. I think that all of the staff and volunteers who have transformed Ushaw into a tourist attraction are all superstars”.

Ivor Stolliday, chairman of Visit County Durham, said: “It’s a privilege to announce Brian as the winner of Durham Tourism Superstar 2019. The awards continue to recognise the incredible individuals who make Durham such a fantastic place to visit. Brian and all of the finalists are wonderful ambassadors for our county”.

Michelle Gorman, managing director of Visit County Durham, said: “We’d like to congratulate Brian on being crowned Durham Tourism Superstar 2019. His passion is admirable and the fact he’s dedicated 80 years of his life to showcasing Ushaw is remarkable. It’s people like Brian who really make Durham shine”.

Brian will now be nominated by Visit County Durham for the national Tourism Superstar 2019 shortlist, organised by VisitEngland. Last year’s winner, Emily Hope from Beamish, The Living Museum of the North was crowned national Tourism Superstar 2019 in association with VisitEngland and The Daily Mirror.

Picture caption 1: Durham Tourism Superstar Brian Harvey, from Ushaw College with Visit County Durham Chairman Ivor Stolliday