Headline Challenge - the year so far in quirky headlines

The Northern Echo:

9:10am Friday 22nd May 2015

The Headline Challenge is played out every week day between The Northern Echo and BBC Tees. You can play along by following @echopeterbarron and @alibrownlee on Twitter.

It's time to think again about HS2

3:14pm Thursday 21st May 2015

WITH that decisive election result, it will presumably be full steam ahead for the HS2 high-speed rail project – but I think it’s time to think again.

Testing times

The Northern Echo:

12:28pm Thursday 21st May 2015

OUR 19-year-old, who’s at Manchester University, appeared at the door, out of the blue, last week: “Hi Mum. Just thought I’d come home to study for a few days, I can’t get anything done in halls, it’s far too noisy and distracting.”

Labour dithered over more power for the North

The Northern Echo: File photo dated 03/02/2015 of shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, who said the next Labour leader must be someone who can go beyond policy and present a "broader vision for the future of Britain" as he insisted he had not yet decided whet

5:56pm Wednesday 20th May 2015

LABOUR infighting stopped the party putting forward radical plans to devolve power to Northern areas, a leadership hopeful revealed.

Lovely Whit memories

5:10am Wednesday 20th May 2015

I’VE fallen into a fit of nostalgia for a movable feast. I refer to this coming weekend which used to be called Whitsuntide – a bank holiday before these things were secularised.

Setting the record straight on action to stop student deaths

The Northern Echo:

10:15am Tuesday 19th May 2015

As some of you will know, I upset some students recently when I addressed the issue of river safety and drinking in Durham city.

Standing up for outstanding beauty

3:53pm Tuesday 19th May 2015

WHAT a colossal abdication of responsibility. After four years of doubtless earnest consideration, the planners of the North York Moors National Park Authority have chosen to make no recommendation on the plan for what would be the world’s biggest potash mine, near Whitby.

A salty plant and battery

The Northern Echo: TASTE OF THE SEA: Samphire – perhaps grown in the Tees estuary – served with hake

12:17pm Thursday 14th May 2015

A FORTNIGHT ago in this space, I was marvelling at Danish Scurvy Grass, the grubby little white flower which is colonising our central reservations.

Be afraid, be very afraid

6:15pm Wednesday 13th May 2015

ALL the talk, after that shock election result, is of two nations drifting apart - but I think the new political map reveals a country divided into four.

Heading for the knacker's yard

6:18pm Tuesday 12th May 2015

IT is just as well that this country, unlike the United States, doesn’t have an annual State of the Union address. The Prime Minister would have to confess that the union is pretty fragile - seemingly heading for the knacker’s yard.

I wish Labour well - honestly

The Northern Echo:

11:16am Tuesday 12th May 2015

BREAKING the habit of a lifetime, I have been worrying about the future of the Labour party.

Mating in Saltburn...

The Northern Echo:

9:53am Tuesday 12th May 2015

THANK you to the ladies of Saltburn Methodist Monday At Eight Club, and assorted guests, who had me as their guest speaker last night and paid me with a generous cheque to the Butterwick Children's Hospice.

Of mice and men

The Northern Echo:

9:46am Tuesday 12th May 2015

HONESTY is, of course, the best policy – but there are times when blind panic gets in the way

Steps to appy-ness

The Northern Echo:

9:40am Tuesday 12th May 2015

THE latest developments in new technology always baffle me. This is where children come in handy. They taught me how to text, engage with Twitter and put music on my iPod. But while many of the new products they introduce me to enhance my life, others can be a curse.

Hand crafted, as always, the column tucks into a food festival – and a record breaking lunch

The Northern Echo:

10:51am Monday 11th May 2015

IF the British army marches on its stomach, as Napoleon supposed, then so – increasingly, it seems – does the local economy. Food festivals flourish: the latest set out its stalls in Darlington last weekend.

Why the slumber party got my nod

The Northern Echo:

7:06pm Friday 8th May 2015

I WOKE up with an election yesterday morning that was all over. The last few General Elections have seen me last the course and make it to the final result, bleary-eyed but with a sense of achievement.

I haven't got the stamina for politics any more

The Northern Echo:

4:39pm Friday 8th May 2015

I WOKE up with an election yesterday morning.

An important local place in the new media world

The Northern Echo:

1:24pm Friday 8th May 2015

THERE have been many elections to cover in my 35 years in newspapers but the latest was extraordinary for all kinds of reasons:

My election diary....as the campaign ends, what were the best bits?

The Northern Echo:

2:30am Thursday 7th May 2015

The key issue of the campaign – just how scary are the SNP? (from April 20)


The Northern Echo: Peter BarronPeter Barron
From The Editor's Chair and Dad At Large columns from The Northern Echo's editor.

The Northern Echo: Mike AmosMike Amos
Stories of the characterful people and colourful places that make the North-East.

The Northern Echo: Rob MerrickRob Merrick
Weekly political commentary from our man in Westminster.

The Northern Echo: Chris LloydChris Lloyd
Strange and trivial fascinations in a quest to understand today’s world.

The Northern Echo: Peter MullenPeter Mullen
Topical and controversial weekly column from The Rev Dr Peter Mullen.

The Northern Echo: Sharon GriffithsSharon Griffiths
Opinion from the region's best known woman columnist.

The Northern Echo: Ruth CampbellRuth Campbell
Ruth on the heartaches & belly laughs that go with being a mum.

The Northern Echo: Harry MeadHarry Mead
An offbeat view of the week's events and how they affect the region.

The Northern Echo: Richard MasonRichard Mason
An irreverent look at life as an increasingly-middle aged thirtysomething.

The Northern Echo: Mike BartonMike Barton
Durham Constabulary Chief Constable Mike Barton's monthly column on policing.


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