• Making the races safer

    WELL-dressed in smart suit and straw trilby, the elderly gentleman stands impassively, a slight stoop betraying his age. With three furlongs to go he straightens to his full height, craning his neck to see how his horse is doing. As the field approaches

  • PC extends his beat to the local supermarket

    CUSTOMERS at a supermarket will find themselves in the 'cop shop' when an unusual partnership is launched tomorrow. Wednesday morning sees the first of a regular series of police surgeries at Asda's Whinfield store in Darlington. Local PC Jonathan Stoker

  • Vigil will mark activist's first year in Burmese jail

    THE family of pro-democracy activist James Mawdsley plan a high-profile protest to mark the end of the first year of his 17-year prison sentence in Burma. Mother Diana Mawdsley, a nurse from Brancepeth, near Durham, will be joined by other members of

  • Viera off again as a red-card Poll takes hold

    That Arsenal secured their first win against Liverpool for six years to kick-start their season was by the end largely forgotten amid a plethora of red cards that marred a tempestuous encounter at Highbury. By the end of the match there were just 19 players

  • Given ready to take a new St James' deal

    Shay Given wants to stay at Newcastle for the rest of his career after sparing the Magpies a drubbing at Manchester United. The Irish international is eager to secure a new deal before his present contract expires at the end of the season. Given, currently

  • Riverside rest plan for star man Boksic

    Bryan Robson yesterday named Alen Boksic as the best front man in the Premiership but warned: "We must wrap him in cotton wool." The Middlesbrough boss ordered complete rest for Boksic before the test against Spurs at the Riverside tonight. The Croatian

  • Victim group's anger over plans for prisoners' union

    PLANS to establish a prisoners' trade union have angered a North-East victim support group. Lawyers acting on behalf of Britain's 65,000 inmates are hoping to secure better living and working conditions in the country's jails. They plan to ask the Prison

  • I didn't agree to sex with DJ, says woman

    A NORTH-EAST DJ raped a woman in a city centre back lane after flirting with her inside a nightclub earlier in the evening, a court heard. The 21-year-old woman claimed disc jockey Andrew Thompson led her down a dark alley and raped her. The woman told

  • Gray looks for a recall

    STAND-IN Sunderland skipper Michael Gray could find himself back in England contention after his eye-catching start to the new Premiership campaign. The 26-year-old Wearsider, who was given the captain's armband in the continued absence of central defender

  • High note for museum with concert date

    ITS usually a shrine to east Cleveland's mining history, but this weekend the Tom Leonard Mining Museum will be transformed into a concert hall. The museum is host to a talented group of musicians who are part of the North Yorkshire Moors Chamber Orchestra

  • Theatre group aiming to shrug off injury jinx

    MEMBERS of a theatre company will be banning the phrase "break a leg" when they perform their new production next month. The last time Glenholme Theatre Club, in County Durham, put on a play it was forced to cancel the event after being hit by a series

  • Trial halted for legal reasons

    THE trial of a County Durham man accused of causing death by dangerous driving, collapsed for legal reasons yesterday. David Firbank, 42, of Ryeland Way, Pity Me, was due to stand trial at Newcastle Crown Court. He denies the charge of causing the death

  • Girls set sail on sea adventure

    AN INTREPID group of teenage girls set sail today on an adventure that would shiver the timbers of any landlubber. Eight girls, who are cared for by Durham County Council social services department, set off in a 72ft boat, the Hartlepool Renaissance,

  • Former Claret drinks in big match atmosphere

    HARTLEPOOL United striker Kevin Henderson returns to Burnley tonight insisting he has nothing to prove. The former Morpeth front-runner swapped Turf Moor for Victoria Park last summer after being freed by Clarets' boss Stan Ternant. Tonight he is part

  • Young Williamson ready for chance to chop down Forest

    Darlington teenager Gary Williamson is set to get his big chance when he makes his full debut at home to Nottingham Forest in tonight's mouth-watering Worthington Cup tie. Quakers have been hit by injuries in the forward line and manager Gary Bennett

  • Durham to decide on Betts

    DURHAM will decide this morning whether to unleash Melvyn Betts against the Derbyshire team he destroyed at Darlington. The England A paceman has been troubled by knee problems since taking seven for 30 in the innings victory at Feethams. He missed the

  • Chart-topping teen band to star at holiday festival

    CHART-TOPPING teen band Atomic Kitten will top the bill at a festival which has grown so big organisers have had to change its name. From this year, Allensford Show will be known as the Allensford Music Festival to reflect its higher profile. Last year

  • Internet firm seeking designers

    A DARLINGTON Internet company is offering would-be web designers a start in the industry. Intermedia Solutions has made three new appointments but says it is still keen to find more new website designers to work on its rapidly expanding portfolio. The

  • Women in with chance to win

    AN EVENING of sport and entertainment is on offer for women at one of the North-East's top racecourses. Women visitors to Redcar on Saturday night - the final British evening meeting of the season - will find themselves the centre of attention. There

  • Jobsearch 2000

    MORE details about the jobs below are available from the Employment Service Direct on (0845) 606 0234. Secretary/personal assistant, Darlington. £4.50ph, approx 10hrs pw. To work in self-employed capacity. Must be IT literate with minimum RSA 1 with three

  • Drivers to compete

    THE best fork lift truck drivers in the region are to gather next month to test their skills. The North-East heat of the Champion of Champions contest for the drivers, to be held in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, is expected to attract up to 80 entrants

  • dancer gemma fixes her sights on improving her steps

    PERFORMERS are going back to school this summer to brush up on their dancing and singing skills. Choreographer Lisa Torun is teaching 14 to 25-year-olds - including 18-year-old Gemma Wynne, of Jarrow, Tyneside, dance and voice work as part of the Sunderland

  • Pensioner calls for rule change over taxi access

    A PENSIONER has called for traffic rule changes after a taxi driver refused to drive a few yards to pick him up after he suffered an angina attack. Harold Chipchase, 89, was shopping in Darlington on Saturday when suffered the attack on High Row. He managed

  • Phone mast site health protests

    RESIDENTS living near the proposed site of a mobile telephone mast fear their health could be affected by radiation from the 11.5m transmitter. More than a dozen people living less than 40 yards from the proposed site in Northfield, Barnard Castle, say

  • Multi-million pound AMEC Quayside scheme complete

    AMEC Developments has successfully let all available space at its Quayside scheme in Newcastle upon Tyne. This £170m flagship development has transformed the derelict riverside into a thriving business and leisure quarter in just over a decade. Dickinson

  • Jobsearch 2000

    MORE details about the jobs below are available from the Employment Service Direct on (0845) 606 0234. Assistant manager, Peterlee. £5.06ph, 39hrs pw. Required for retailer. Supervisory experience essential. Ref: PEV 15707. Sales advisor, Peterlee. £5.30ph

  • Rail fans ready for model train rally

    NORTH Yorkshire will be playing host to a railway gala with a difference over the Bank Holiday weekend. Enthusiasts from all over the country are expected to attend the Mainline Rally, in the village of Gilling East, near Helmsley. But instead of watching

  • Village flourishing with hall funded by £3m Lottery grant

    A COUNTY Durham village is finding itself increasingly popular thanks to a new £3m hall. The community of Waterhouses may be small and off the beaten track, but a bumper Lottery windfall has helped put it firmly on the map. With the facility proving a

  • Man's death treated as suspicious

    A MAN found slumped in a city street with serious head injuries was named last night as Kevin Forman. Mr Forman, 32, of Sceptre Place, Elswick, Newcastle, was found by police officers next to telephone kiosks in Newgate Street at 10.45pm on Sunday. He

  • Government's countryside plans debated

    THE possible impact of Government plans for the countryside will come under scrutiny in North Yorkshire later this year. The Great North Meet, the major agricultural conference for the region, will be taking place at Camp Hill, Kirklington, near Bedale

  • Mark swaps the civil service for Durham development role

    FOR a man who's used to grilling Foreign Secretary's and Prime Ministers, business leaders from this country and abroad should prove little problem for Mark Lloyd. His new role at Durham County Council may be a far cry from the corridors of power at the

  • clowns sound off as the circus comes to town

    THE Big Top has been raised to mark a fortnight of circus fun by the river. Riverside Park, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, is the latest stopping-off point for the touring Great British Circus. Director Martin Lacey, a veteran of the legendary Gerry

  • GPs to test new cover system for holiday

    SPECIAL out-of-hours medical cover will be provided for 47,000 North-East people in a trial scheme on Bank Holiday Monday. Patients on the lists of 11 GPs' surgeries in the south of Sunderland will be offered cover in the pilot service, using local doctors

  • scrub a dub dub . . . that's way they used the tub

    THE labour-intensive secrets of doing the laundry Victorian-style couldn't be more different from the high-tech convenience of today. But demonstrations of those long-forgotten washing techniques have been keeping visitors entertained at the Ryedale Folk

  • Pensioner's body discovered in river at local beauty spot

    THE body of an elderly woman was discovered in the River Tees yesterday. Lorna Beevers was found face down in the water at the Broken Scar beauty spot, near Darlington. It is not known how the 70-year-old, who lived in Elton Road, Darlington, came to

  • Investigation into gipsy race threats

    THREATS made against gipsies living next to a proposed football stadium are being taken seriously by police. Racist messages were posted recently on one of Darlington FC's unofficial web sites. It followed the news that the building of the ground at the

  • Summerbell's first earns point for Boro

    MIDFIELDER Mark Summerbell's first League goal salvaged a point for Middlesbrough as Bryan Robson's side threatened another roller-coaster season at the Riverside Stadium last night. Summerbell, a surprise late call-up, headed Boro level on the hour after

  • Task force meets to help steelworkers find new work

    A TASK force established to examine how efforts can be co-ordinated to help find new jobs for steelworkers facing redundancy met for the first time yesterday. The meeting included senior figures from Government agencies, regional and local bodies, Redcar

  • CATS Cool for Proms

    A YARM musician is helping to trumpet the news about this year's Proms in the Park. Robert Lambert, a student engineer with BP Amoco CATS at Seal Sands, agrees that Proms in the Park 2000 will hit the right note with this year's audience. The CATS gas

  • The Echo says

    THE calls for a public inquiry into the Richard Neale affair should grow even louder this morning. The former chief executive at Northallerton's Friarage Hospital has said that he has no regrets about off-loading the incompetent surgeon onto another hospital

  • The stultifying tripe that is TV today

    SIR John Drummond, former Controller of Radio Three, is surely right to claim that Britain in general and the broadcast media in particular have dumbed down to an abysmal level. If you are tempted to think that intelligence and taste still count for something

  • Death case nurse returns to work

    A NURSE who accidentally scalded a mentally-handicapped patient to death has been allowed to return to work. But the woman has been disciplined and moved to a non-nursing role after the tragedy at Prudhoe Hospital, Northumberland. Meanwhile, Northgate

  • A taste of 'owd England

    EARLY to rise, the Breakfast Club was at Lewis and Cooper as they threw back the bolts, followed upstairs the allure of fresh ground coffee and found a table by the window. Mr George H Lewis and Mr B B Cooper set up shop in Northallerton High Street in

  • Discount chain stretches jobs tally

    BROWN & Jackson, the retailer which runs the Poundstretcher chain of discount stores, plans to create 1,500 jobs over the next four years. The chain, which also runs the What Everyone Wants and Your More Store discount chains, said it aimed to open

  • -Children dicing with death' on rail bridge

    POLICE are warning children that they are dicing with death by playing on a busy North-East railway line. Officers are becoming concerned about the number of youngsters who have been seen on the Five Arch viaduct, which goes over the River Skerne in Darlington

  • Task force meets over steel job losses

    A SPECIAL task force meets for the first time today in a bid to find alternative work for hundreds of redundant steel workers and communities devastated by the job cuts. The group was set up following the announcement by Corus, formerly British Steel,

  • Online to Europe

    A WEBSITE carrying details of new European business opportunities totaling more than £125.5m a day has been launched by Business Link Country Durham. is an extension of the Tenders Electronic Daily service that has been running for

  • Rain reigns on banks of Tees

    On the familiar ground that it never rains but it pours, things have been pretty stormy for our dear old friend Charlie Walker, the Demon Donkey Dropper of Eryholme. Eryholme's a dot of a place by the Tees - right by the Tees - about five miles south

  • Company fined £5,000 after worker hurt cutting drum

    A WORKER suffered fractures to his hand when a drum which had contained a chemical exploded as he cut it up, a court was told yesterday. Mark Griffin also needed four stitches to his head after the explosion at the Teesport depot of East Coast Slag Products

  • Pensioners' delight at garden project success

    RESIDENTS at a sheltered housing complex have set about improving their communal gardens. The elderly residents at Cypress Court, Primrose Hill, Stockton, have joined forces with their council and landlord and yesterday a gazebo and water feature were

  • Sally's fulfilling bra business gets even bigger!

    THE most uplifting of farm diversification schemes has gone global in more ways than one. Farmer's wife Sally Robinson launched her online business Ample Bosom from a North Yorkshire barn a year ago. As its name suggests, the business specialises in supplying

  • Jones In the mood

    PROVIDED positive tactics are adopted on Inigo Jones (3.10) for today's £175,000 Tote Ebor, he is fully capable of causing a major upset in the richest handicap ever run at York. Sadly for backers of the Peter Harris-trained four-year-old that was not

  • Sex charge man killed himself

    A RETIRED man took his own life after being advised to plead guilty to indecency charges, an inquest was told yesterday. Widower Joseph Harbisher was found hanging by nylon cord on a landing at the home where he lived alone, last Thursday. His son, Neville

  • Letters

    SAFETY FIRST THERE is no acceptable excuse for the failure to respond instantly to the tragic plight of the Russian submariners. History is littered with examples of betrayal and incompetence in the deployment of military personnel, and human lives are

  • Riverside rest plan for star man Boksic

    Bryan Robson yesterday named Alen Boksic as the best front man in the Premiership but warned: "We must wrap him in cotton wool." The Middlesbrough boss ordered complete rest for Boksic before the test against Spurs at the Riverside tonight. The Croatian

  • The Echo says

    RONNIE CAMPBELL'S message to Tony Blair yesterday was typically blunt. The Blyth Valley MP, who chairs the Northern Group of Labour MPs, said: ''I would tell him to get his head out of the sand and have another look at the North-East and other regions

  • Christie off air over drugs

    Linford Christie is out of the BBC team covering the Olympics Games after world athletics chiefs upheld a ban imposed on him when he tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone. Two other athletes, Doug Walker and Gary Cadogan, will also serve

  • Widow inquest to start

    AN inquest was due to be held today into the death of North-East widow Jane Ploughman who died weeks after being robbed. Mrs Ploughman, 74, was found dead in bed at her home in Seaham, County Durham, on New Year's Day. Mrs Ploughman was knock-ed to the

  • Mining museum plays host

    IT'S usually a shrine to east Cleveland's mining history, but this weekend the Tom Leonard Mining Museum will be transformed into a concert hall for a free concert. The museum is playing host to an enthusiastic group of musicians, who are part of the

  • Believe it or not, this is England In August

    Homes and businesses were mopping up yesterday after being hit by a freak storm which caused up to six inches of hail, torrential rain, lightning - and even a tornado. The storm hit the area between York and Hull, flooding at least 60 properties, forcing

  • Bus is ticket for fun

    A DAY of family fun coupled with information about jobs and benefits will be the order of the day in Redcar on Friday when the Employment Service's best deal for families roadshow rolls into town. The service will be joined by TFM Radio, the Child Support

  • -Stay calm' plea follows assault

    POLICE have appealed for calm after a man indecently assaulted a four-year-old boy. The boy and a younger child were playing in Priory Road, Jarrow, South Tyneside, near to the Shell oil refinery, when the attack happened between 6.30pm and 6.45pm on

  • Task force plan agreed

    A TASK force set up to deal with job losses in the Tees Valley steel industry yesterday agreed on a strategy for tackling the short-term impact on workers and their families. At its first meeting since the announcement of more than 750 job losses at the

  • Shayler back - but may have been robbed

    Former secret agent David Shayler was freed on bail last night after being charged with two offences under the Official Secrets Act. The former intelligence officer, who hails from Middlesbrough, faces prosecution over claims of incompetence by his former

  • Fresh effort to aid Chernobyl youngsters

    A WOMAN who gave children from Chernobyl a holiday in the North East, opened a charity shop yesterday to raise funds for a repeat visit. Ukrainian youngsters spent three weeks in Crook as respite from the region, which was contaminated by the world's

  • Efforts of social services win praise from blind woman

    WHEN Mary Lithgow lost her sight, she found she also lost her mobility and joy of life until she received a helping hand from social services. Ms Lithgow, 61, from Bishop Auckland, spoke of her experiences at a session for clients and staff held by Durham

  • Former Claret drinks in big match atmosphere

    HARTLEPOOL United striker Kevin Henderson returns to Burnley tonight insisting he has nothing to prove. The former Morpeth front-runner swapped Turf Moor for Victoria Park last summer after being freed by Clarets' boss Stan Ternant. Tonight he is part

  • Young Williamson ready for chance to chop down Forest

    Darlington teenager Gary Williamson is set to get his big chance when he makes his full debut at home to Nottingham Forest in tonight's mouth-watering Worthington Cup tie. Quakers have been hit by injuries in the forward line and manager Gary Bennett

  • Dog warden steps up poop-scoop campaign

    A NORTH Durham council's fight to persuade dog owners to use poop-scoops gathered pace this week. Derwentside District Council's dog enforcement and education officer Lynn Copeland took her campaign out of the classroom. She went on to the street to support

  • Theatre workshop proposal rejected

    A COMMUNITY theatre group's plans to build a workshop have been blocked by councillors. Managers at successful theatre group Cap-a-Pie, based at Manor House Farm, near Lanchester, were hoping to build a theatre workshop near their offices. But, as expected

  • Regeneration treasures

    BUILDERS regenerating an historic part of Sunderland have preserved mementoes of the past and made sure they will be retained for posterity. Frank Haslam Milan, a leading Wearside-based contractor, has demolished an existing housing estate in Tunstall

  • Artist criticises gallery access

    AN artist says disabled friends have been unable to see an exhibition of his work because of access problems. An display of Arthur Hughes's silk screen posters is being staged at Darlington Library and Art Gallery until Friday. But many people, including

  • Prison term for siege man who had arsenal of weapons

    A MAN who held police at bay in a five-hour siege had an arsenal of weapons in his flat, a court was told yesterday. Paul Metcalfe's collection included two high-powered air rifles, two crossbows with home-made arrows, a machete, other knives and a martial

  • Youngsters to create miners' memorial

    CHILDREN and volunteers are to create a garden in memory of miners who worked at a Wearside pit. Teenagers from Emmanuel College, Gateshead, have chosen the memorial garden for ex-workers of Harraton Colliery, Washington, as their environmental project

  • Top academic stages teachers' training day

    ONE of the country's leading academics is to pass on his expert knowledge to hundreds of East Durham teachers. Neuro psychologist Dr Roy Paget will be travelling to Peterlee next month where he will head a one-day training session for 350 teaching staff

  • Steve is a real prize

    THE chance to win a slave for a day will be one of the main attractions at a fire station open day. Firefighter Stephen Reed has volunteered to be a raffle prize for the family fun day being held at Newton Aycliffe Fire Station. He will perform any household

  • Pensioners step up fight with council over -unsafe' windows

    PENSIONERS in an east Cleveland village are preparing for the next battle in their war with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council over replacement windows. Residents at Shepherd Court and Fenton Street, Boosbeck, have asked the council to replace secondary

  • Call the consultants' bluff

    FAMOUSLY, Nye Bevan, architect of the NHS in Labour's immediate postwar Government, secured the agreement of hospital consultants to this most beneficial of institutions by, in his own strong phrase, "stuffing their mouths with gold". On top of generous

  • Jobsearch 2000

    MORE details about the jobs below are available from the Employment Service Direct on (0845) 606 0234. Sales consultant, Northallerton. Full or part-time. Required to sell holidays to public. Must have minimum two years' ABTA experience. Ref: NOE 11682

  • Jobsearch 2000

    MORE details about the jobs below are available from the Employment Service Direct on (0845) 606 0234. Mobile crane operator, Ingleby Barwick. £5 to £6ph, 8am to 5pm, Mon-Fri, plus overtime, temporary. Must hold relevant licence and be experienced. Ref

  • Pensioner father is jailed for making his daughter pregnant

    A TRAGIC youngster who cooked and cleaned for her two brothers and her pensioner father gave birth to his baby when she was just 13, a court heard yesterday. The court was also told that the girl's mother was barred from entering Britain. The girl was

  • Police fears over grenades

    GRENADES used by the SAS have found there way into the hands of thugs, police fear. Two explosions from the thunder flashes were heard on Friday night in Wear View, South Hylton, Sunderland. Police have warned that the explosives - which can be bought

  • Garry casting for reel success in world championships

    TOP angler Garry Blanchard is hoping to make a big splash at next month's World Long Casting Championships - but there will not be a drop of water in sight. Garry, 29, of Peterlee, County Durham, will join the best fishermen from around the globe at the

  • Teacher wins millennium award for RE

    A REDCAR teacher has been given an award which recognises his success teaching religious education to youngsters with special needs. Taliesin Nye is the RE coordinator at Kirkleatham Hall School, Kirkleatham Village, and has been presented with a Farmington

  • Hartlepool United gets a boost from Darlington Building Society

    DARLINGTON Building Society has paid out a handsome dividend from its Pool Supporter Account to Hartlepool United Football Club. Since the account was launched 18-months ago, almost 600 fans have opened accounts with Darlington Building Society. The account

  • Lottery -no' fails to halt hall plan

    MAJOR redevelopment at a town hall is to be funded by a loan after an application for National Lottery cash was turned down. Proposals to refurbish the 60-year-old annexe at Thirsk and Sowerby Town Hall were drawn up last year in response to fears that

  • Police plea to soccer fans over car crime

    POLICE have appealed for Middlesbrough football fans to help keep their team bottom of the league in terms of crime, before tonight's home game against Spurs. Fans' cars are vulnerable to being broken into or stolen when left while their owners watch

  • Quakers grab cup lifeline

    Darlington are still in with a good chance of progressing in the Worthington Cup after holding first division Nottingham Forest to a 2-2 draw at Feethams last night. Quakers battled all the way and played some good football in the process and were denied

  • More golfers wanted to tee off for charity match

    GOLFERS are lining up to tee off for charity next week, but organisers are still looking for more teams to join in. The Pro-Am Charity Golf Competition is organised by members of Cleveland Police, and this year it will be raising money for the special

  • Burning Questions

    WHEN was the submarine invented and when was it first used in a military attack? - Jeff Wilkinson, South Moor, Stanley. ONE of the earliest ways of going underwater without getting wet was to be submerged in some kind of capsule, such as a diving bell

  • Reid fears for his troops against the City slickers

    UP-BEAT Sunderland manager Peter Reid faces his former club Manchester City for the first time in the Premiership at Maine Road tonight and admitted: "I fear a back-lash." The Blues are licking their wounds after a 4-0 mauling at Charlton and will be

  • Doing away with the medicals

    THOUSANDS of sick and dying miners who are pursuing compensation claims for illnesses caused by coal dust could be spared the anguish of having to wait for a medical. The Department of Trade and Industry has confirmed that it is to set up a pilot scheme

  • I have no regrets - Neale's old boss

    THE boss in charge of The Friarage Hospital at the height of the Neale affair says he has no regrets, despite increasing calls for a public inquiry. Haydn Cook was chief executive of the Northallerton trust when a much-criticised deal was struck to persuade

  • Simon's the man in fashion

    SIMON Raper, buyer for men's fashions at Barkers, Northallerton, has been appointed fashion controller. He will now buy ladies' wear in addition to men's wear. "This is a wonderful new challenge for me," says Simon, who has successfully introduced contemporary

  • Line dancers' £12,000 boost for cancer therapy centre

    THREE line dancing couples known as The Holistics have helped a planned North-East complementary health centre move a step closer to reality. Cash raised by the dancers at weekly dancing sessions in Middlesbrough have helped to raise the £500,000 needed

  • Young sports stars aided

    GRANTS were awarded to promising young sports people from across Wearside in a ceremony at Sunderland Enterprise Park. Sponsored by Sunderland Sports Council and motor dealer Bristol Street Motors, the awards were presented in recognition of achievements