The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author

Joe Willis LATEST

Secondary school pupils enjoy sporting success

The Northern Echo: ON A RUN: The Wensleydale School's unbeaten Y11 boys football team.

11:42am Friday 19th December 2014

A SECONDARY school has enjoyed a winter term of sporting success and special guests.

Rule one: don't talk about fight/book club

11:12am Friday 19th December 2014

YIPPEE, only six sleeps 'til Christmas – or 12 if you like a 20-minute lunchtime power nap sat on the office toilet with your head slumped against the toilet door.

Police hunt van thieves

The Northern Echo: VAN STOLEN: A van was taken from outside a newsagents in Harmby Road, Leyburn. Picture: Google Streetview.

5:05pm Thursday 18th December 2014

POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a van was stolen from a Yorkshire Dales town centre.

North-East telecoms company at centre of fraud investigation collapses owing £700,000 to taxman

The Northern Echo:

5:32am Monday 15th December 2014

A COMPANY at the centre of an alleged telecoms fraud has collapsed owing more than £700,000 in unpaid tax and a string of angry customers across the North of England.

Relax at the KP

6:26pm Friday 12th December 2014

YOU have probably heard of boutique hotels, but what about boutique lodges?

Water companies told to cut bill - but prices still set to rise

The Northern Echo: PRICE CUT: Northumbrian Water which takes supplies from Kielder Water in Northumberland, pictured, has been told to cut bills by five per cent by 2020.

5:48pm Friday 12th December 2014

WATER bills are set to be around £30 higher in 2020 - despite water companies being told to cut annual bills by five per cent over the next five years.

Tory candidate takes an interest in potholes and dog poo

11:29am Friday 12th December 2014

I WAS thrilled this week to receive a personally-addressed pre-election letter from William Hague and the Richmondshire Conservatives.

Police called to separate two pensioners fighting over parking space

The Northern Echo: POLICE CALLED: Police responded to Thornborough Hall, Leyburn, after reports of two scuffling pensioners “rolling around on the floor”.

5:04am Friday 12th December 2014

POLICE were called to separate two pensioners fighting over a parking space outside a public library.

Pacers could be replaced by old London Underground trains, union claims

7:04pm Thursday 11th December 2014

OLD London Underground trains could be used to replace the region's unpopular Pacers, union officials have claimed.

Man jailed for drunken attack on girlfriend

The Northern Echo: Teesside Crown Court, Middlesbrough  -  A large police presence at the court on the day of sentencing of four Asian men involved in a sexual grooming case.  Members of the English Defence League attended the hearing. (13651495)

3:54pm Tuesday 9th December 2014

A JEALOUS boyfriend throttled his partner and garrotted her with a jacket after accusing her of having an affair.

Hospital staff saved father's life after infection took hold

The Northern Echo: Hospital cheque: Clinical sisters in CICU Helen Richardson, left, and Hazel Speck with Chris and daughter Becky.

5:07pm Monday 8th December 2014

A worried daughter who’s dad was rushed to the James Cook Hospital weeks before her wedding has thanked the hospital staff who saved his life.

Big bang theory

7:51am Friday 5th December 2014

THEORIES abound on what caused the large bang near Catterick Village in the early hours of Saturday. The soldiers understandably thought they were under attack from terrorists. Similar sounds were heard across the UK and in the US. Some said it could have been the sound of a pulse detonation engine from a spy plane.

Fracking fund for North is 'fantastic opportunity', say business chiefs

The Northern Echo: FRACKING PROTEST: An anti-fracking demonstration outside Barclays branch in Malton which followed plans by a company with links to the bank to frack nearby.

7:10pm Wednesday 3rd December 2014

GOVERNMENT plans to use income from controversial fracking to boost the North of England economy are a "fantastic opportunity", say business leaders.

Motorists urged to leave keys at home ahead of blackest days for drink driving

The Northern Echo: ANNUAL CAMPAIGN: A Cleveland Police officer tests a driver during a previous anti-drink driving campaign.

7:50am Thursday 4th December 2014

DRINKERS are being urged to leave their car keys at home as the North-East prepares for two of the blackest days for drink drive accidents on the region’s roads.

Proud nation

6:17pm Friday 28th November 2014

Sir, – Your correspondents Dr Gibbins and Andrew Bennett are not alone in being proud to be British. Most British people are intensely patriotic. This country has a long and proud history of extending friendship to other countries, as evidenced by our Commonwealth of Nations which stretches right across the globe, generous overseas aid, United Nations etc. It is one thing to be friendly with our overseas neighbours but to be ruled by an undemocratic, bureaucratic, inward-looking, inflexible and restrictive European Union is something else altogether.

Hospital concerns

6:13pm Friday 28th November 2014

Sir, – After reading the letter last week from Russell Smith about South Tees Hospital Trust having to find £91m over the next three years, I remember the letter several weeks ago about staff at Middlesbrough and Newcastle saying that the ultimate aim was to shut the Friarage. The only response to that was a statement from the Friends that were trying to raise money for a scanner. Yes the scanner would be for Northallerton and no where else – but if it closed the scanner could be moved elsewhere. There has been no response from the trust.

Nature act

6:09pm Friday 28th November 2014

Sir, – I am not normally a campaigner. However I recently came across an issue which I feel is very important.

Brewery boost for mountain rescue team

3:56pm Friday 28th November 2014

A FELL rescue group has been given a refreshing boost by a brewery.

Patient jailed for hospital fire

1:49pm Friday 28th November 2014

A PATIENT at a psychiatric hospital who set fire to his room after downing a bottle of vodka has been jailed for two years.

Swaledale Big Dig reveals Reeth's medieval past

12:32pm Friday 28th November 2014

COMMPELLING evidence that Reeth enjoyed a prosperous medieval past has been unearthed.

New book

11:58am Friday 28th November 2014

Sir, – We have just published a book called Home Comforts about the role of First World War Red Cross auxiliary hospitals in the North Riding which pays tribute to the many people in the county that not only cared for wounded and sick soldiers in the Great War but also provided comforts and fundraised for these comforts and for the 32 hospitals. County Hall in Northallerton was one of the hospitals and stately homes such as Crathorne Hall, as well as village halls, schools and the workhouse in Middlesbrough. We think they would make very good Christmas presents. Books costing £7 are available from North Yorkshire County Council records office, telephone 01609-777585 or email

Business support

11:48am Friday 28th November 2014

Sir, – Today, thanks to Richmond Duck Club, the Christmas lights will be switched on in the Friary Gardens. Richmond Town Council has arranged for children’s fair rides in the market place and mulled wine and mince pies will be served at the Market Hall. The Christmas tree is back in place, by the fabulous reopened Green Howards Museum, thanks to Richmond Rotary and the Christmas business window judging takes place at 4.30pm. Why not come into town early to soak up the atmosphere?

Book sale

11:42am Friday 28th November 2014

Sir, – As a volunteer for Yorkshire Air Ambulance I have been given a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1951 edition, to sell and raise money for the service. There are 31 books in the set and they are in immaculate condition.

NHS advice

11:36am Friday 28th November 2014

Sir, – I had a need to seek medical advice early last Saturday as my partner was very unwell following day surgery at Northallerton Hospital two days earlier. As the surgery in Hawes was shut, I rang the 111 service. It was made very clear to me during the telephone conversation with 111 that no one would come out to the house, and the only option was to drive one-and-a-quarter hours to Catterick on a foggy Saturday morning. On arrival in Catterick I discovered that the out of hours centre moved two weeks ago to a health centre in the town. However, the official signs still direct you to the old site, as does the surgery website. Army staff there helpfully confirmed it was shut and had moved but were not certain whether in the town or in Northallerton.

Library fears

11:33am Friday 28th November 2014

Sir, – The library consultation process in North Yorkshire haunts us again. From Scarborough to Skipton, from Stokesley to Selby –across Ryedale, Hambleton,Harrogate-the whole magnificent library system (over 30 libraries) is threatened with near-annihilation.

Library fears

2:44am Friday 28th November 2014

IT will have come as no surprise to anyone aware of the current financial pressures faced by local authorities that North Yorkshire County Council has launched a new review of its library services.

Consultation launched of future of North-East culture

6:03pm Thursday 27th November 2014

A VISION for the cultural development of the North-East over the next 15 years is to be set out.

MPs urged to reform "failing" drugs policy

The Northern Echo: SENSIBLE NOT SOFT: Chief Constable Mike Barton & PCC Ron Hogg at a drugs symposium event at the Ramside Hall Hotel. Picture: TOM BANKS.

5:05pm Thursday 27th November 2014

FORMER addicts, police chiefs and academics have called on MPs to reform the UK's "failing" drugs policy.

Hearing into conduct of Dales councillor adjourned indefinitely

The Northern Echo: OFFICIAL COMPLAINT: John Blackie is accused of being discourteous to officers and other members.

5:42pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

A HEARING to consider allegations against a member of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) has been adjourned indefinitely.

Man jailed after stabbing friend and injuring pet dog

The Northern Echo: JAILED: Dean Scullion.

6:19pm Monday 24th November 2014

A MAN with a history of carrying weapons stabbed a friend and injured his dog after a drunken play fight got out of hand, a court heard yesterday.

Government to demand rail firm replaces hated Pacer trains

The Northern Echo:

6:20am Thursday 20th November 2014

NEW train operators will be tasked with making major improvements to the region's rail network - including replacing the unpopular Pacers, a senior Government official has told rail experts.

Police investigate sexually explicit comments to six-year-old playing Minecraft

The Northern Echo: POLICE INVESTIGATION: Police are investigating after a man made sexual remarks to a six-year-old boy playing Minecraft.

1:50pm Thursday 20th November 2014

POLICE are investigating after a father walked in on a man making sexual comments to his six-year-old boy over the internet

Combined authority would keep Tees Valley in "premier league"

The Northern Echo: NEW AUTHORITY: Each council leader, plus Middlesbrough's elected mayor - currently Ray Mallon - would sit on the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

6:09pm Tuesday 18th November 2014

THE creation of a combined authority would keep the Tees Valley in the "premier league" and hand the area the "major prize" of devolved powers, councillors will be told.

Region's police forces failing to record all crime, report reveals

5:33pm Tuesday 18th November 2014

THE Home Secretary has admitted that a report which revealed the widespread under-recording of crime in the region made disturbing reading for victims.

"Exciting future" for Darlington FC as accounts reveal improving finances

The Northern Echo: COMING HOME: Darlington FC hopes to be playing at Blackwell Meadows in time for the start of next season.

6:04am Tuesday 18th November 2014

DARLINGTON Football Club can look forward to an exciting future, club bosses say as an annual review reveals improving finances and growing stability.

Rail report calls for new trains, better stations and zoned fares

5:29pm Monday 17th November 2014

THE North should be given new trains, better stations and a zoned fare system to address the North-South divide, a new report claims.

Cameras catch 1,400 speeding motorists in A1 roadworks in two months

The Northern Echo:

8:33am Monday 17th November 2014

ALMOST 1,400 motorists have been caught speeding in less than two months by new cameras installed on the A1.

Yorkshire Dales community leader "brought authority into disrepute"

The Northern Echo: OFFICIAL COMPLAINT: John Blackie is accused of being discourteous to officers and other members.

8:23pm Friday 14th November 2014

A PROMINENT community leader claims he is the victim of a politically motivated and vexatious conspiracy after an investigator found he had brought a local authority into disrepute.

Tees Valley councils unveil combined authority plans

The Northern Echo: JOINING FORCES: From left, Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon, Redcar and Cleveland Council leader George Dunning, Tees Valley Unlimited managing director Stephen Catchpole, Darlington leader Bill Dixon, Stockton leader Bob Cook and Hartlepool leader Christop

5:07pm Thursday 13th November 2014

A COMBINED authority for the Tees Valley would lead to greater prosperity, it was claimed today as plans were unveiled for the area's five authorities to come together to seek devolved powers and greater funding.

Experts and politicians to debate future of region's rail network

The Northern Echo: ROLLING STOCK: A Northern Rail Pacer at Darlington railway station. Picture: ANDY LAMB

6:06am Tuesday 11th November 2014

THE future of the region's rail network will be debated at York's National Railway Museum next week.

Government urged not to skimp on A1 improvements

The Northern Echo: IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED: Traffic congestion on the A1 at Gateshead.

5:56pm Monday 10th November 2014

THE Government has been urged not to skimp on long-awaited upgrades announced today (Monday, November 10) to the region's road network.

A1 improvements due to be unveiled by Prime Minister

The Northern Echo: IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED: Traffic congestion on the A1 at Gateshead.

5:03am Monday 10th November 2014

LONG-awaited upgrades to key North-East roads are set to be unveiled today (Monday, November 10)by the Prime Minister as part of a £15bn investment strategy.

Government plans threaten future of national park, community leaders say

The Northern Echo: NATURAL LANDSCAPE: The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority offices in Bainbridge.

12:02am Monday 10th November 2014

GOVERNMENT plans to alter planing rules could speed up the steady tide of young families leaving the region's countryside, national park officials have warned.

Ten people rescued from island by lifeboat

The Northern Echo: CUT OFF: Ten people were rescued from St Mary's Island, near Whitley Bay.

11:51pm Sunday 9th November 2014

COASTGUARDS rescued ten people from an island after the party became cut off by the rising tide.

Car passenger left fighting for his life after Shildon crash

The Northern Echo:

11:31pm Sunday 9th November 2014

A MAN was left fighting for his life after a head-on collision between two cars on Sunday.

Injured soldiers appeal boosted by Echo's Remembrance Sunday special edition

7:55pm Sunday 9th November 2014

THE '£100,000 For 100 Years' appeal to help the rehabilitation of injured soldiers was boosted yesterday (Sunday) by the publication of a Remembrance Sunday special edition of The Northern Echo.

Wensleydale villagers given hope of high-speed internet

The Northern Echo: Residents in Chilton claim BT has left them cut off

11:43am Sunday 9th November 2014

A YORKSHIRE Dales village is to pilot ground-breaking technology which could provide a solution to the problem of delivering high-speed internet to remote communities.

"North-East rail fares are high enough," campaigners tell Prime Minister

5:55pm Friday 7th November 2014

CAMPAIGNERS have pointed out that rail tickets near the Prime Minister's own constituency are cheaper that those in the North-East.

BBC rejects claims it invited Ukip to sit in Question Time audience

The Northern Echo: POLITICAL DEBATE: David Dimbleby chairs the debate during an earlier recording of BBC's Question Time at the Gala Theatre in Durham.

5:19pm Friday 7th November 2014

THE BBC has rejected suggestions that Ukip was invited to send members to sit in the Question time audience.

London hotel proves a winner with all the family

The Northern Echo: The Novotel London Blackfriars.

4:51pm Friday 7th November 2014

DURING the 2012 Olympics we found a bed and breakfast near King's Cross that was as cheap as chips and had a room that wasn't much bigger than a deep fat fryer.


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