• Driver, 19, in fight for life

    SIX teenagers are in hospital following a head-on car crash near Chester-le-Street. A 19-year-old driver is fighting for his life with severe chest and internal injuries at Durham's Dryburn Hospital, after the crash between a Micra and a Sierra on the

  • First Choice set to fly higher

    THE UK travel industry saw more consolidation last week when Thomas Cook was snapped up by German giant C&N, but the City is widely expecting First Choice Holidays to continue on its own expansion trail over the coming year. The destination specialist

  • Belasis move set to create jobs

    A TEESSIDE firm is set to complete a record year by launching another recruitment drive, after seeing its workforce triple in 11 months. Pearson-Harper will begin 2001 by moving to larger premises in Billingham to cater for the increasing numbers, with

  • Happy returns at the Rovers

    WHEN Coronation Street was created, it was scheduled to last just a few weeks. One critic memorably wrote after the first episode was screened: "It is doomed from the outset, with its dreary signature tune, grim terraced houses and smoking chimneys."

  • Happy landing for flying sturgeon

    STANLEY the sturgeon is the luckiest fish alive after surviving being caught by a heron and dropped in a back garden. The flying fish is believed to have been lifted out of a pond by a hungry heron which flew high over trees before losing its grip and

  • Anger at more flood help for South

    THE Environment Agency has added insult to injury for thousands of the region's flood victims by declaring that extra flood-defence funding will go to the more affluent areas in the South first. The agency's formula for defending flood-prone areas is

  • Now it's reserved seats only on the East Coast line

    RAIL travellers on the East Coast main line at Christmas will have to book all seats in advance - or face not being able to travel at all, it was announced yesterday. Great North Eastern Railways, which has its route between London and Scotland, announced

  • Gray keeps Wearsiders flying high as Tel ponders

    A DOUR derby game left Sunderland fans celebrating a fourth consecutive victory in their 2,000th home League game while dejected, bottom-of-the-table Boro supporters trooped away from the Stadium of Light wondering if former England manager Terry Venables

  • Arsenal on higher plane

    The flight path to Heathrow takes you over the impressive Arsenal Stadium in North London. It also takes you over Brentford's slightly less impressive Griffin Park Stadium. If Newcastle are ever to get back to winning ways in the capital, their best bet

  • North's rural life looks good on surface at least

    NORTH-EAST countryside dwellers enjoy a quality of life that is among the best in Britain, according to a new report published today. It also says the region offers some of the most picturesque scenery to be found in the UK - a far cry from the traditional

  • My head's on line with Boro, claims Venables

    TERRY VENABLES breezed into crisis club Middlesbrough yesterday and insisted: "My head is on the line as much as anyone.'' The former England coach, who has come to the rescue of Boro boss Bryan Robson, took charge of his first training session on the

  • Classic car is reward for lost dog

    A CLASSIC car is being offered as a reward for the safe return of a family pet. Sunderland bus driver Dennis Stothard says he will part with his 44-year-old Ford Anglia 100E saloon, worth about £1,000, if border terrier Bridie is found. Bridie, who is

  • Pool chief Turner opting for a first-choice LDV_line-up

    CHRIS Turner is ready to send out his first choice side in Monday's re-arranged LDV Vans Trophy tie with Scunthorpe. The Pool boss was planning to give his squad players a chance to impress if the game had gone ahead as planned last Tuesday. But with

  • Corrie is right up Prince's Street

    The Prince of Wales yesterday praised the ''wonderful institution'' of Coronation Street as he laughed and joked his way round the set of the soap on the eve of its 40th anniversary. Members of the cast broke off last-minute rehearsals for a special hour-long

  • Susan's boat sails in after 25 years

    IT IS 25 years since Susan Jameson captured the nation's heart as virtuous Jessie Seaton in When The Boat Comes in, but it was also her last well-known television role for a reason. She had earlier fallen in love with her co-star James Bolam when they

  • Teenager locked up for mugging

    A MAN walking his dog had a knife held to his throat by a teenager demanding money, a court heard yesterday. John Pallett, 19, wanted money for drink, but when his victim, Melvyn Jepson, aged 60, told him he had nothing, he ran off, York Crown Court heard

  • What's hot, what's not

    BUILDING BLOCKS: He may seem an unlikely pop star and icon, but Bob the Builder is set to take over the charts and our shopping lists this Christmas. The animated handy-man has captured the hearts of a generation of youngsters and their parents with his

  • Claiming benefit when a partner dies

    Q My friend aged 41, has lived with her partner for 18 years but he has recently died. She is too ill to get a job and has not paid National Insurance for 22 years. How does she go on? A She cannot get Incapacity Benefit because this is based upon recent

  • Deck the halls with boughs of holly

    It used to be tradition at this time of the year for Victorian garden boys to gather holly tips and evergreen foliage for wreath-making. In the run-up to Christmas, most estate gardeners were directed towards making decorations, especially holly wreaths

  • Dallaglio recalls 'most traumatic decision'

    Lawrence Dallaglio has described England rugby union players' unprecedented strike action as ''the most traumatic decision'' of his career. Dallaglio and the England squad staged industrial action over performance-related pay following their 22-19 success

  • Sunderland boss Reid is braced for a Robson backlash

    WARY Sunderland manager Peter Reid is tensing himself for a back-lash today. His close friend, Boro manager Bryan Robson, hopes to plot a derby upset with his new right-hand man, former England boss Terry Venables, at a packed Stadium of Light. Sixth-top

  • Orange logs on to the entertainment superhighway

    MOBILE phone giant Orange has pioneered a new system to turn its phones into navigation devices. The system will allow Orange users to find the nearest hospital, cash-machine, garage or even cinema. Orange will launch the UK's first multimedia location

  • Williams backing rivals Boro to beat the drop

    TEESSIDER Darren Williams is licking his lips at the prospect of lining up against his home-town club this afternoon - but he stresses: "I don't want Middlesbrough to be relegated." The 23-year-old utility man took some verbal abuse three seasons ago

  • Murton seeking new home

    Troubled Second Division club Murton could be looking for a new ground again soon. Murton were forced to look around for a new home during the summer after a huge hole appeared in their Welfare Park pitch, and they were eventually given permission to

  • Not again! Gales and storms sweep in

    THE region was on flood alert again last night as the storms which caused havoc in Wales and the West Country moved north across Britain. Families were anxiously watching rising rivers, and there was more misery for rail passengers when the East Coast

  • Cometh the millions, cometh the man

    ANOTHER week, another classic example of the Prime Minister upstaging his humble Health Secretary. It's not that Tony doesn't trust Alan. It's just that Mr Blair can't resist hogging the limelight when it comes to announcing zillions of extra cash for

  • Crime-free shopping is aim of campaign

    POLICE in Stockton have launched their Christmas crackdown on thieves and fraudsters who take advantage of the busy spell. Both opportunist thieves and organised gangs see the busy shopping areas, with shoppers laden with bags, carrying credit cards and

  • City is still seeking answers on services

    SUNDERLAND residents are being urged not to miss out on their chance to shape key city services. Four thousand residents were sent questionnaires recently, asking their views on a range of council services, from street cleaning to local transport and

  • Yorkshire game in the running for top prize

    WILD boar and kangaroo have helped Yorkshire Game pick up the top regional prize in this year's Parcelforce Worldwide Small Business Awards. The Newton Aycliffe-based business will now go forward to the national finals, to be held in January. The firm

  • Stadium sets green standard

    STADIUM Packing Services is setting the standard by introducing revolutionary new green technology to cut wastage. The Gateshead-based firm was the first company in the UK to use the Greenweld process, pioneered in the forests of New Zealand, to finger-joint

  • Watching you watching them

    IF THEY used the same method to add up television ratings as they do to count American Presidential votes we'd still be waiting to discover if more people watched the birth of the first TV millionaire or the death of Victor Meldrew. Happily for ratings-conscious

  • The dog you can give for Christmas

    DO YOU remember Doctor Who's annoying pet dog K-9? Back in the 1970s, the concept of a robotic dog was the stuff of science fiction. Today it's science fact. Earlier this year Sony decided to flex its corporate muscle to produce the world's first fully

  • Will's way of rallying support

    EVEN the most ardent royalist would concede that the image of the Royal Family has taken a battering in the years following the death of the Princess of Wales. Increasingly seen as out of touch with the people, there was a clear need for a public relations

  • Boro out, but Tel could stay on

    Middlesbrough are hopeful that Terry Venables could be persuaded to extend his spell as coach at the Riverside beyond the end of the season. Chief executive Keith Lamb said yesterday that the former England coach might find it ''difficult'' to walk away

  • Derby jinx strikes

    BRYAN ROBSON carried the can as he failed again to rid himself of his North-East Premiership derby jinx. This was the 14th time in his six-and-a-half years with Boro that he had been denied victory on such an occasion. Robbo just can't win - literally

  • Heart patients look to help from Belgium

    DESPERATE British patients are calling the Belgian Embassy every day in the hope of beating the queue for heart bypass operations, The Northern Echo can reveal. The situation has become so bad in the North-East that health bosses have been moved to consider

  • Elf you go down to the woods . . .

    A WOOD in a North-East beauty spot is being turned into a magical world by a couple with a passion for elves, gnomes and fairies. Retired seaman Harry Davison and his wife Val have already started moving in all manner of creatures as they aim to attract

  • Battling Leonne is dancing queen

    A TEENAGER born with walking problems has been voted a dancing queen. Champion of the dance floor, Leonne Campbell, 13, was born with a dislocated hip and was introduced to dancing as a toddler in a bid to improve her coordination and help her to walk

  • Butler's decision may be swayed

    DarlingtoN may fancy their chances of an appearance in the third round of the FA Cup - but they might have to go into the replay against Luton without star midfielder Thomas Butler. The on-loan star is considering a return to the Stadium of Light this

  • Child centre worker 'abused by inmates'

    A woman worker at a North-East centre for child offenders told a court yesterday she was indecently assaulted by the youngsters as well as a manager. The assaults - by inmates of the secure unit at the Aycliffe Young People's Centre, County Durham - happened

  • Youth is cleared of starting school fire

    A YOUTH was cleared yesterday of starting a blaze which left a teacher engulfed in thick black smoke after she was trapped in her office. The 16-year-old, who cannot be named, was accused of setting fire to a chair outside the year head's office, trapping

  • Prisoner Bronson aids couple's cause

    A COUPLE raising money for one of the region's special schools have received support from an unlikely source, Britain's most notorious prisoner, Charles Bronson. Philip and Claire Raper of Darlington, County Durham, struck up a friendship with Bronson

  • Curbs on seal -fish menace' sought

    Yorkshire coast fishermen want contraception devices used to curb the fast growing seal population which they claim is having a devastating effect on their catches. Coupled with new cuts on landing quotas for next year being introduced as part of European

  • Weir confined to bench as Falcons seek revenge

    NEWCASTLE have put skipper Doddie Weir on the bench for tomorrow's Tetley's Bitter Cup quarter-final at home to London Irish. The 30-year-old former British Lions lock suddenly finds himself competing with fellow Scot Stuart Grimes to play alongside Hugh

  • Newcastle boss lines up bold swoop for Ronaldo

    NEWCASTLE United boss Bobby Robson is lining up a shock New Year loan swoop for Brazilian superstar Ronaldo. United are understood to have failed this week in an attempt to land Inter Milan's Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane on temporary terms

  • Underdogs Jesters looking for a steely cup final performance

    NEWCASTLE Jesters are hoping heart and determination will help them beat their Sheffield voodoo and take home the Benson and Hedges Cup tonight. Extra seating has been installed at the House of Steel, Sheffield Arena, to meet the demand for tickets and

  • Offshore yard strikers going back

    STRIKERS at a Tyneside offshore yard are due to return to work on Monday after action which lasted nearly two weeks. The strike, at Amec, Walls-end, started after workers said they were forced to accept pay cuts of up to 25 per cent. Management and unions

  • Fergie's decision to stay on at United warmly welcomed

    Sir Alex Ferguson will stay at Manchester United after he retires as manager. Ferguson has confirmed he will remain at Old Trafford in some capacity when he steps down as manager at the end of next season. He reiterated he will not continue as manager

  • Bennett calls on troops to show fighting spirit

    Darlington manager Gary Bennett is looking for his players to repeat their Worthington Cup heroics as Second Division Luton visit Feethams in the second round of the FA Cup this afternoon. Quakers pulled off a magnificent win at Nottingham Forest in the

  • 'No flood threat to sporting complex' - as rains return

    VILLAGERS who feared their plans for a new sports complex could be ruined by the threat of flooding are hoping the Environment Agency will drop its objections to the project. Council planners have deferred a decision on Brompton Parish Council's bid to

  • Avoiding the seasonal calorie calamity

    CHRISTMAS is a cruel time of year for anyone who wants to lose weight or cut down on calories. Even regular exercisers have to work extra hard to find the motivation, and the energy after all that food, to get to the gym. Mike Gallagher, leisure manager

  • Attack man jailed - then freed

    A YOUNG man earned a reprieve yesterday after a brief taste of custody. Darren King, 22, was taken to the cells at Durham Crown Court after receiving a nine- month prison sentence for a wounding offence. But after discussion in chambers between legal