The Headline Challenge 2014

1:20pm Wednesday 30th July 2014

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.

The end of the line for Esk Valley?

10:33am Wednesday 30th July 2014

THE delightful Esk Valley Railway is under threat again. What this newspaper headlined as “struggling stations”

Ghost writing

The Northern Echo:

10:31am Tuesday 29th July 2014

PAUL Screeton’s new book drops, substantially, onto the doormat. It’s his 11th or 12th. Most might broadly be said to concern the paranormal; this one’s about ghosts.

Hamas must go for peace to succeed

9:57am Tuesday 29th July 2014

WHEN the Palestinians in Gaza complain that they have been under Israeli siege for eight years, they have a point. They have no airport and no seaport. The Israelis operate a naval blockade and they control passage between Israel and Gaza by means of seven border checkpoints.

Live news and public mistakes

10:38am Monday 28th July 2014

HANDS up all those who’ve never made a mistake in their working lives. Congratulations if you’re one of those with their hands still firmly by their sides.

Get up and go, life won’t wait

The Northern Echo:

9:55am Friday 25th July 2014

AND you wonder why bosses despair… Some 30,000 teenagers are to be allowed to lie in bed later in the mornings and start school at 10am, or even 11am in the case of sixth formers.

Kept in the dark

9:51am Friday 25th July 2014

THE Shafts of Light exhibition at the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle is brilliant.

Let mum have a party

The Northern Echo:

9:53am Friday 25th July 2014

SO Prince George is one year old and very bonny he looks too. Just like a one year old. Very reassuring.

Backchat: In praise of small weddings

9:51am Friday 25th July 2014

What next? Do you remember years ago when people got married the reception was usually in a chapel/ church hall, and the meal consisted of a plate with ham, pease pudding, lettuce and tomato and buttered bread buns, beetroot and pickles etc, cakestands with cream cakes and individual trifles?

Repository just keeps on giving

The Northern Echo:

9:24am Friday 25th July 2014

IN 1872, Matthew Richley, the Bishop Auckland historian, wrote that a field at Binchester was “an inexhaustible repository of antiquities”.

Help us to interview a showbiz legend

The Northern Echo:

5:59pm Thursday 24th July 2014

It’s the interview they all wanted – the chance to quiz a showbiz legend - but it’s The Northern Echo which has bagged it.

End of an era

The Northern Echo:

10:59am Thursday 24th July 2014

WHEN I left primary school what seems like a hundred years ago, I can’t remember anyone marking the occasion.

Thirsty work

The Northern Echo:

10:57am Thursday 24th July 2014

COUNTY Durham lad Keith Bell, long in Canada, detects a familiar accent among the expert World Cup analysts on Canadian television.

The beach boys

10:22am Thursday 24th July 2014

YOU thought that England didn’t cut it on grass? Compared to the beach football team, we were brilliant.

Tories may be in for a big surprise

9:55am Thursday 24th July 2014

AS Westminster packs up for the summer holidays, one of the big parties is grinning and the other is gloomy – but it’s far from clear why.

Part of the union

10:11am Thursday 24th July 2014

IT’S possible that my membership of the Goalkeepers’ Union has lapsed. It’s possible, even though it’s said that you have to be mad to be goalkeeper, that it was laughed out of court.

What price for peace in our time?

9:47am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

THOUGH there might be a high proportion among newspaper readers, there aren’t all that many people left now who remember the end of the Second World War, never mind the conflict itself.

Alms and the man

The Northern Echo:

11:30am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

FIRSTLY to Redcar, sun high and glass of wine in hand, to help acknowledge the end of Peter Sotheran’s inspired and outstanding service to Sir William Turner’s Almshouses.

Hamas has orchestrated this tragedy

10:50am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

LIFE is intolerable for Palestinian families living in Gaza. They have to negotiate hundreds of Israeli checkpoints, and Israel’s navy has imposed a blockade.

Marry in haste...

The Northern Echo:

10:29am Friday 18th July 2014

A MCDONALD’S wedding?

Please, anyone but Boris

The Northern Echo:

10:27am Friday 18th July 2014

Bad enough that William Hague is retiring from parliament.

Parking benefits

10:23am Friday 18th July 2014

HOSPITALS are apparently making a fortune out of parking charges. I have no problem with that – if only they used the money to create more parking spaces.

Don’t blame the parents

10:21am Friday 18th July 2014

AMOTHER has been mocked for spending over £1,000 on dress, makeup and car for 11-year-old daughter’s primary school prom.

Labour rail plan hit by the buffers

9:46am Thursday 17th July 2014

WHEN Labour’s policy chief moaned recently about a “dead hand at the centre” of his party – blocking bold ideas – did he have the railways in mind?

Rail sell-off would be a humiliation

9:31am Wednesday 16th July 2014

FEW regions of Britain have railways more in their DNA than the North- East – George Stephenson, the Stockton and Darlington Railway and all that; colliery wagonways even earlier; a long tradition of train building – locos and rolling stock – newly revived; and we needn’t speak of the Railway King, York’s George Hudson, whose place in railway history – hero or villain – is still hotly debated.

Tanfield roar

The Northern Echo:

10:13am Tuesday 15th July 2014

Sunniside up – and down – the column spends a summer day on a historic railway

Just beware of what you wish for

9:36am Tuesday 15th July 2014

Ono George, no George, no… I never thought I would see the day when I disagreed with anything said by the admirable former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey.

The scourge of Twitter shame

The Northern Echo:

11:59am Friday 11th July 2014

WHO needs hellfire when we’ve got Twitter?

No care costs for Rolf

The Northern Echo:

12:01pm Friday 11th July 2014

PAEDOPHILE Rolf Harris, 84, will soon be moving to Leyhill Open Prison, the so-called “Savoy of Slammers”, where we’ll be paying nearly £33,000 a year for his upkeep, though I’m not sure if that includes his £8 a week pension.

Holiday horrors

The Northern Echo:

10:06am Thursday 10th July 2014

SON number three has just headed off on his first lads’ holiday, without his dad, me, or any other adult, in charge. Technically, since they have all turned 18, they are adults. But, as I say, that’s just technically.

The dodgy dossiers and democracy

9:43am Thursday 10th July 2014

WESTMINISTER is gripped by some sort of paedophile hysteria – which will, I fear, further corrode a cynical and suspicious public’s faith in our democracy.

Mysteries of Le Tour de France

9:48am Wednesday 9th July 2014

THEY say that cricket, our national summer game – at least in the fortnight or so that participants of “the beautiful game” (see foot of column) change their boots for a new season – is mystifying to foreigners. I say ditto about the Tour de France, cycling’s greatest showcase, the world biggest sporting event.

Flying colours

The Northern Echo:

10:46am Tuesday 8th July 2014

Two brothers plan a fitting salute to a near-forgotten air force

The sinister secrets of ‘Saint Jim’

10:25am Tuesday 8th July 2014

IGET very queasy about all these childmolestation trials, ancient “dossiers” and (horrible phrase) “historical childabuse”.

A ‘gruelling’ ride ahead this week

10:21am Friday 4th July 2014

IT IS brutally long, stupefyingly hard, and a punishing test of human endurance. It is gruelling.

Flexibility must work both ways

The Northern Echo:

10:08am Friday 4th July 2014

WE’RE all such children.

A very saucy curriculum

10:07am Friday 4th July 2014

SEX is such an integral part of co-educational Stowe School – fees £33,000 a year – that it apparently ran out of the morning-after pill for their girls.

Litter louts, the lot of them

The Northern Echo:

10:07am Friday 4th July 2014

TRAVELLERS to and from Appleby Fair last month left a disgusting trail of rubbish in their wake.

Backchat: Happy memories

10:05am Friday 4th July 2014

I READ your article about your son joining you on holiday just after we came back from our caravan in Northumberland.

Feeling prickly

The Northern Echo:

10:26am Thursday 3rd July 2014

FOR nearly a quarter of a century, my family have put up with the details of their lives being laid bare in this column.

How to fix the North- South divide

9:33am Thursday 3rd July 2014

ONLY the oh-so-proper speaking style betrayed that the politician was from a different age – the words sounded bang up-to-date.

Grammar schools are the cruellest

9:26am Wednesday 2nd July 2014

PRIVATELY educated and privileged beyond belief, Prince Charles wants grammar schools back. He’s lobbied Cabinet ministers for their return. As king he would happily preside over arguably the cruellest, most divisive system of education we’ve yet had.

Cheers Charlie - you're a star

3:31pm Tuesday 1st July 2014

Staff here at The Northern Echo would like to say a big thank you to Charlie, the shih tzu, from Teesville, Middlesbrough. Charlie featured in the paper recently after getting his hair dyed in support of England's World Cup campaign. Despite England's failure, Charlie was so pleased with his 15 minutes of fame, he's sent us a thank you card and a box of Continental biscuits. Cheers Charlie!

Sevenoaks isn't ready for sushi

12:14pm Tuesday 1st July 2014

Regular readers will know how much I love news bills and I'm grateful to John from the Boro Fishbar for sending me some classics...Brace yourselves.

We won the war, but not the peace

9:58am Tuesday 1st July 2014

DAVID CAMERON’S failed attempts to block the appointment of Jean- Claude Juncker to the presidency of the EU Commission has made our Prime Minister a laughing stock – again. There is no stopping the relentless drive towards federalism, “ever closer political union” and the superstate.

Life’s a beach

The Northern Echo: Cyclists, including Sir Bradley Wiggins, riding the roads in the Dales

11:09am Friday 27th June 2014

DAVID CAMERON said this week how he loves to spend every possible moment of his Cornish holiday with his children doing simple seaside things.

Infant wisdom

The Northern Echo: Don Johnson

11:05am Friday 27th June 2014

MIAMI Vice star Don Johnson used to know how to party – sex, drugs, rock and roll, a lot of women and two marriages to Melanie Griffith.

Sur votre velo, Jacques

11:04am Friday 27th June 2014

WHILE people are still wondering if the Dales are going to be crammed to the hill tops with cyclists and spectators for Le Tour – or unnaturally empty because the roads will be closed and no cars can get in – it’s great to see all the yellow bikes popping up on walls, in gardens and shop windows in the Dales, ready for Le Grand Depart. All good fun. Pity about the soggy health and safety officials but there’s still plenty of bunting and little jumpers to gladden the heart.

Backchat: Fine hotel holds special memory

10:59am Friday 27th June 2014

Dear Sharon, While I agree with you about Judy Murray and her attention to detail, I think it is worth pointing out that Cromlix House was already a longestablished luxury hotel with a fine reputation.

It’s just like watching Brabazon

10:05am Friday 27th June 2014

WITH interest waning in the World Cup, my attention has been drawn this week to the Brabazon Trophy in Seaton Carew. It is a prestigious competition for the world’s leading amateur golfers, and it has very similar letters to Brazil, only they’re arranged in a different order.



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