• 220-year-old building being demolished

    THE bulldozers moved in yesterday to knock down 220 years of North-East history. Permission was given in 1994 for the Norton's Georgian tannery, on the green near Stockton, to be demolished to make way for a housing development. The derelict and sinking

  • Quakers agree to Aspin's request for release

    DARLINGTON yesterday sprang a surprise by releasing centre-half Neil Aspin. The 35-year-old defender was signed by Quakers during the summer of 1999 from Port Vale, where he had played for ten years. He was a regular for most of last season, and until

  • Back from my castaway island

    IN keeping with the current trend for castaway adventures, a North-East student has been getting to grips with island life. Ecologist Kathy Fletcher spent three months on the remote Coquet Island, off the Northumberland coast. The 26-year-old's task was

  • Inquiry demanded

    THE Government last night faced demands to order an inquiry into delays in the massive compensation scheme for former miners crippled by industrial disease. Prime Minister Tony Blair this week promised urgent action to speed up compensation pay-outs to

  • Children for sale

    HEALTH Secretary Alan Milburn last night pledged to investigate after The Northern Echo was offered a baby over the Internet. It took only minutes for our reporters, posing as prospective parents, to register their interest in a child from the former

  • Thome ranks Kev with Romario

    KEVIN Phillips is struggling to establish himself in the England team - but he's good enough for Brazil! The Sunderland striker would be certain of a place in the Samba set-up, according to his team-mate Emerson Thome. The Brazilian defender even compared

  • Volunteers work flat out to help

    YOUNG volunteers are appealing for help to redecorate a flat that will provide a temporary home for homeless youngsters. A team of 12 is working on a Prince's Trust Volunteers scheme to get the flat looking good for the End House youth project. So they

  • RSPCA hunt after puppy's body found

    ANIMAL welfare officers are appealing for information after a dead puppy was found half-buried on a residential estate. The seven-week-old cross-breed was discovered on a grassed area in Springfield Road, Darlington. The RSPCA is treating the dog's death

  • Government praise for council housing strategy

    A COUNCIL has received praise for getting its houses in order. Whitehall officials say there is clear evidence that Middlesbrough Borough Council's housing strategy is based on extensive consultation with tenants and other home providers, and based on

  • Charity cheers

    SEVEN pub workers have raised more than £1,000 for charity in the Great North Run. The Pubmaster employees from the company's head office, in Hartlepool, raised £589 in sponsorship. Pubmaster added £500 to the total, which has been donated to the Imperial

  • Marks and Spencer rules out £9m store expansion scheme

    MARKS and Spencer has scrapped a proposed £9m expansion of its Darlington store. The plans would have seen the Northgate store double in size, and would have created up to 50 new jobs in the town. But the project was put on hold in November 1998, when

  • Keeping track of your e-mail

    'Hi. how are you? Thought you might like the attached image. See you soon. Have you seen our latest offers? Your shopping order has been received and will be delivered on Thursday. Thank you for your order." Fascinating reading? I don't think so, but

  • 'Dangerous' pit to be fenced off

    A DRAINAGE pit in Darlington is to be fenced off because of safety fears. One motorist, who regularly drives past the pit off West Auckland Road, near the Faverdale Industrial Estate, said: "There's a new estate on the other side of the road, which will

  • New guide maps city

    VISITORS to a new city centre will be given help to find their way around. Sunderland is in the middle of a multi-million pound transformation which has included work to create a new Winter Gardens, along with the revamp of Mowbray Park and expansion

  • Sick teacher's action fails

    A TEACHER remains on sick leave after his attempt to sue Durham County Council for racial discrimination was ruled out of time. Alistair Gittens claims he was racially abused by a small group of about eight pupils at Ferryhill Comprehensive School. As

  • Asleep on duty nurse struck off register

    A MALE nurse who slept while on duty at a nursing home made up a false chart to show he had looked after an elderly patient, a disciplinary committee heard yesterday. He also left care assistants to administer medicine to residents and put the medication

  • Police probe death

    DETECTIVES investigating the death of a patient at a North-East mental hospital are awaiting the results of further medical tests. The body of 29-year-old Keven Knowles was found by a care assistant at Cherry Knowle Hospital, Ryhope, Sunderland, in October

  • Funeral of solicitor who was area coroner

    THE funeral takes place tomorrow of a long-established North-East lawyer who served as a coroner for a quarter of a century. John Heron, a bachelor of law and an OBE recipient, died last Saturday at the age of 83. Well-known in many professional, voluntary

  • Anguish of murder case man who found girlfriend's body

    THE man cleared of killing notorious North-East hardman Lee Duffy smashed his house up in despair after discovering his partner had hung herself, an inquest heard yesterday. Scaffolder David Allison found the body of 31-year-old mother-of-three Beverley

  • Arson inquiry after toxic blaze sweeps tyre warehouse

    AN arson investigation will get under way today at the site of a blaze which spread toxic fumes over large parts of the region and confined dozens of residents to their homes. An acrid plume of smoke from the fire, at the Phoenix Sidings tyre warehouse

  • Businesses backing Interprise

    TWO of the North-East's most imaginative businesses have announced their backing for a major event celebrating innovation. Millenniumpore Limited and Complement Genomics Ltd, both based at the Business Innovation Centre on the Sunderland Enterprise Park

  • Climb aboard for a ticket to speak

    USERS of public transport are invited to give their views on bus services at a series of surgeries staged across town and city centres in the North-East. One of the region's biggest bus operators, Go North-East, hopes to lure people back on to public

  • Good start for lighting fund

    MONEY is rolling in for this year's Mayor's Fund in Ferryhill. Mayor Edith Whitfield is trying to raise £16,000 to replace the town's Christmas lights. Money raised from the Mayor's dinner, a concert by local band Rio and two tombolas in the Market Square

  • Hockey team hit after Russian star shot dead

    THE Mafia-style execution of a top Russian sports star has left the North-East's leading ice hockey team facing a player crisis. Sergei Zemchenok, netminder with Russian Hockey League team Metallurg Magnitogorsk, was shot dead on Monday. His death has

  • Player power lifts Pool

    HARTLEPOOL United boss Chris Turner last night revealed his record-equalling players are making his job easy. Tuesday's goalless draw at Chesterfield ended a run of seven consecutive victories - three points would have broken a long-standing club record

  • Nissan workers 'on the road to victory'

    NISSAN'S North-East factory appeared to be on the brink of victory last night as the battle for the next Micra swung dramatically in favour of Britain. The European Union has cleared the way for a £40m Government aid package for the plant, which is competing

  • So farewell to you, Miss Robinson

    THE shop is so traditional, so old fashioned in a state-of-the-art sort of way, that probably they call it Messrs Dressers. Certainly the retired managing director still calls the general manager Miss Robinson - and Elspeth Robinson, who 46 years ago

  • Celebrations as £2.5m sports complex given the go-ahead

    COMMUNITY groups and sports clubs in Hartlepool are celebrating after a £2.58m sports complex was given the go ahead. Netball, badminton, basketball and trampolining are among the facilities which will be on offer at the complex. Yesterday, Sport England

  • Injuries add to the pain

    NEWCASTLE United's injury jinx struck again as they bowed out of the FA Cup at Villa Park last night. Manager Bobby Robson revealed after the third-round replay defeat that Gary Speed and Stephen Glass have joined the ranks of the Magpies' walking wounded

  • Appetite for charity double act

    PANTO stars took time out before a matinee performance yesterday to help the Cancer Research Campaign. They were urging North-East people to take part in Britain's Biggest All-Day Breakfast. The stars worked up an appetite for breakfast before they went

  • Stars come out to play

    FROM diaries about their lives to online performances, celebrities are embracing the Internet like never before. It is now possible to read how Hollywood actress Melanie Griffith tackled her addiction to pain killers in a sugary online journal at

  • Phillips' double puts Sunderland through

    ENGLAND striker Kevin Phillips fired Sunderland into the fourth round of the FA Cup with two great goals to beat the Selhurst Park jinx last night. But Peter Reid's side had substitute striker Danny Dichio sent off in a white-hot extra time period after

  • Barton blunder spells agony for Newcastle

    ENGLAND Under-21 striker Darius Vassell ended a personal goal drought as the best-laid plans of Newcastle boss Bobby Robson came unstuck with disastrous consequences at Villa Park. Vassell's first goal for over two years was enough to extinguish United's

  • Reaping rewards of being on mark for service

    DURHAM City Council is celebrating after being awarded two Charter Marks for the quality of its service. The council's building control service was praised by assessors for its good organisation and "dynamic, flexible service." And the adaptations for

  • Homing in on battle

    NORTH-EAST home rule campaigners will take their message to Prime Minister Tony Blair's constituency this weekend. The Campaign For A North-East Assembly will be in Sedgefield on Saturday, after an extensive telephone survey of the area. The group claims

  • Pub hours extension opposed

    AN ATTEMPT by two pubs in Stockton town centre to extend their opening hours is being opposed by police. Traders, in Blue Post Yard, and Yates, in the High Street, have applied to Stockton Borough Council to be allowed to open later. Yates wants to open

  • Survey reveals slow recovery in manufacturing

    THE recovery among manufacturers made slow progress last quarter, with exporters continuing to be hit by the strong pound and tough competition according to the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC). The quarterly economic survey from the BCC showed manufacturing

  • Parking work under way

    WORK is under way to ease parking problems for residents in part of Hartlepool. The improvements are being made in the Forth, Findlay and Esk Groves, as well as in part of Wynyard Road in response to residents' calls for more parking spaces. Grass verges

  • Mum At Large

    We've been lumbered with the goldfish. I knew we would be. Senior Son brought it home from university at the end of last term, along with all his dirty washing and a car full of lager cans and takeaway wrappers. And, to be fair, some generous and thoughtful

  • Retailers solid over Christmas

    RETAILERS enjoyed a healthy but unspectacular Christmas, official figures have shown. High street sales for December rose 0.1 per cent against November, while that figure was 4.4 per cent higher than the same period last year. Both figures from the Office

  • Open forum to debate future of axed branch of Barclays

    THE destiny of one of Barclays Banks' former branches could be decided when a Dales community meets to thrash out the options next week. The international banking giant blotted its copy book in Swaledale last year when it announced that one of the offices

  • Stream pollution prompts public alert

    PEOPLE have been warned to keep away from a stream in east Durham after it was found to be extensively polluted. Environmental health staff at Easington District Council have warned those living in the Seaham area to stay away from Seaton Burn while urgent

  • Moxon makes Durham his number one priority

    NEW coach Martyn Moxon signed a three-year contract at the Riverside yesterday and said: "Durham is now my county." Born in Barnsley and now living just outside Wetherby with his wife and two children, Moxon spent 20 years as player and coach with Yorkshire

  • Southwell is the only survivor

    Punters will have to rely on the all-weather action at Southwell today as the current cold snap has wiped out the day's jumps meetings. Prospects for a resumption of racing on turf tomorrow look poor as inspections are scheduled to take place for the

  • BTto reduce its debt with new bond scheme

    COMMUNICATIONS group BT has unveiled radical plans to boost its debt-reduction programme by completing one of the largest ever corporate bond sales. The group, which called the offering a ''sensational deal'', issued bonds worth a total of 9.7 billion

  • Rusedski roars back by beating world No 1

    Greg Rusedski has always had one of the biggest smiles in sport. But after a year when he had precious little to smile about, last night in Melbourne it was wider than ever. Unseeded and unfancied even by himself, Rusedski pulled off the best win of his

  • Dirty movies 'too clean'

    A businessman selling sex films was ordered to pay nearly £6,000 in fines and costs yesterday - because the movies were not blue enough. Nicholas Griffin's company sold the videos, costing up to £50, from adult shops in York and Grimsby, promising customers

  • Boro poised to land Windass

    Middlesbrough are hoping to complete their on-off £1m-plus move for Bradford City's versatile Dean Windass today after talks between the clubs were revived overnight. Windass could become Boro's first signing since Terry Venables arrived last month by

  • Making an unpleasant impression

    I HAVE lived in the Borough of Stockton for all of my 45 years and I do not like what I see around me. Earlier this week, an Audit Commission report said that Stockton had some of the dirtiest streets in the country, dirtier than some inner city areas

  • Raiders took the lot

    BURGLARS have left a disabled widow with just two sofas, a fridge and wall unit after they stripped her house bare. Christine Hunter, 51, is wheelchair- bound and worked hard to furnish her house with her husband, David, a former long distance lorry driver

  • Untidy road clean-up call gains support

    AN insurance firm has supported a call to tidy up one of Darlington's busiest roads . Concern that the town's image is being spoiled by the poor state of parts of North Road has been echoed by managers at BiB Insurance Brokers, whose office fronts the

  • Call goes out for census recruits

    RECRUITS are wanted to help complete the 2001 census in Darlington. The part-time workers will visit 49,000 homes, delivering two tonnes of census forms, which would stretch six miles if laid end to end. The census begins on April 29, when everyone in

  • Antique bear snatched

    A 50-year-old teddy bear was among items stolen from an isolated house in Weardale. Raiders snatched the 20in Merriethought toy, six Royal Doulton figures and ten Naturecraft characters. Police said the thieves struck between January 10 and Tuesday afternoon

  • Axel's goal is to help club revival

    A FOOTBALL club's 'scoop' German signing has been put on hold because of international red tape. Promising teenage goalkeeper Axel Funke had hoped to be in Crook Town's squad for last night's home game against Albany Northern League rivals West Auckland

  • £35,900 for a £12 bet

    A LUCKY betting shop punter yesterday won £35,900 with a single £12 bet. The Bishop Auckland man, who does not wish to be named, placed his bet at Ladbrokes, on Cockton Hill, Bishop Auckland, on a lottery type gamble called Fourty-Niners. Punters pick

  • Getting to grips with the divide

    IT MAY be known as the World Wide Web but how truly world wide is the Internet and the opportunities it has to offer? As the developed countries get more and more economic clout from technology, the so-called digital divide increases so that developing

  • Damages call after builder's blunder

    RESIDENTS are demanding compensation after an 11,000- volt electricity surge cut off the power supply to an entire village, destroying televisions, washing machines and other appliances. The damage was caused by house builders who accidentally cut into

  • 'Metric martyr' trader must wait to hear his fate

    A MARKET trader being prosecuted for selling only in pounds and ounces faces a ten-week wait to discover his fate after his court case was adjourned. Steven Thoburn, a father-of-two, is being prosecuted by trading standards officers for using imperial-only

  • Court told of kidnapping and threats

    A MONEY-LENDER kidnapped a man at knife-point and threatened to "stab him and chop him up", a court heard. Kevin McCully, 31, allegedly dragged Christopher Murray, 23, out of a shop before bundling him into a car and taking him to a flat in Oxclose, Washington

  • Woman sues over breast op complications

    A WOMAN who lost a nipple when complications set in after a breast reduction operation must wait to see if she has won her claim for damages after judgement was reserved. Tracey Rochester, 31, from Cullercoats, North Tyneside, says she was not warned

  • Does 49 quantify the quintessential quilt quotient?

    A STAR-studded quilt is all set to raise hundreds of pounds for the Cancer Research Campaign. Months ago, quilters from in and around Durham City were invited to submit their own individual patchwork squares. A total of 49 enthusiasts agreed to take part

  • Kev stakes claim with club record

    DELIGHTED Sunderland manager Peter Reid again called for his record-breaking striker Kevin Phillips to be given his chance by new England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson after a match-winning performance at Crystal Palace. Eriksson watched Phillips in Sunderland's

  • Ground rules for protecting children from paedophiles

    A NEW document was launched yesterday in the fight to protect children from paedophiles. Protecting Children is a joint initiative by Holme House Prison, Stockton, and the NSPCC. The document, launched by Stockton North MP Frank Cook, provides a blueprint

  • Awards for council workers

    DOZENS of social services workers received certificates of achievement yesterday from Darlington Borough Council's deputy leader, Councillor Bill Dixon. Sandra Dashwood, Mark Miller and Gary Parle received the Practice Teaching Award, which enables qualified

  • Ladder boost for disabled swimmers

    A MULTIPLE sclerosis suffer has paid for a ladder for the disabled to be installed at Beaumont Hill Special School's swimming pool in Darlington. Swimming teacher Jeff Mann was struggling to find the £1,500 for the ladder until David Wright agreed to

  • good hair day as mother and daughter team open for business

    A MOTHER and daughter have become business partners and opened a hair salon. Ann King, 47, and her daughter Joe, 25, have more than 40 years' experience between them which they have used to open The Cutting Room in Cleveland Street, Redcar. Mrs King had

  • Hunt for witnesses to vicious attack

    POLICE have released closed circuit television camera footage in a bid to trace witnesses to a brutal attack. Teenager David Young was left fighting for his life in hospital after he was badly beaten up in Hartlepool's Queen's parade in the early hours

  • Crash shuts road for two hours

    A ROAD was closed for almost two hours after a car collided with an HGV yesterday. The accident, on the A66 at Darlington between the Bland's Corner roundabout and the A1, ruptured the Volvo truck's fuel tank, and diesel was spilled out across the road

  • Come clean over city status bids - Government urged

    THE Government was yesterday challenged to come clean on the rules for city status contests amid fears that one North-East town was wasting its time in last year's millennium competition. Last month, Middlesbrough finally discovered it had failed in its

  • Body in the field: man accused

    A MAN has been charged with murder following the discovery of a body on North-East farmland last month. Robert Sutherland, 35, of Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland, is accused of murdering Mark Anthony Corley between July 7 and December 14. Mr Corley,

  • Boro ready to tempt Venables into staying

    Middlesbrough are confident of keeping Terry Venables at the club beyond the end of the season. Venables is due to leave, because of TV commitments, in May but manager Bryan Robson revealed yesterday: "If he wants to stay something will be sorted. We

  • Creative skills workshop

    PROFESSIONAL artists are to help bring out the creative side of youngsters at a series of workshops. More than 150 primary schoolchildren will learn from members of the Bearpark Artists Cooperative, near Durham. Designed for children aged seven to 11,

  • Toxic leak at chemical plant

    PART of a chemical site was evacuated after a leak of toxic material yesterday. The Dupont company said the evacuation from an area of the Wilton site, on Teesside, was a precautionary measure after the leak of an inflammable feedstock chemical, cyclohexane

  • You've got mail - and possibly trouble

    Recent high-profile sackings and suspensions from major companies over lewd e-mails have once again highlighted the issue of non-work related mail. More than 70 workers at Royal Sun and Alliance were suspended and ten dismissed last week in the biggest

  • Teen mums aid

    TEENAGE mothers have made a video to help other youngsters who are pregnant. It Changes Your Life will be available to pregnant teenagers aged 16 to 19 in North Tyneside. The video has been funded by the Tyne and Wear Health Action Zone and the North

  • Gill's best ever forward sale

    GILL Airways has announced its "best ever" forward sales as its new Dublin route gets set for take-off. The North-East's only independent airline launches the service from Newcastle to the Irish capital this morning, and issued a clear message to the

  • Damaged pipe caused petrol station leak scare

    THE cause of a petrol leak from a filling station has been established. Fears of an explosion were raised on a shopping street when 250 gallons of four star petrol leaked from Morrison's supermarket, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, at the end of last

  • Tempting new year deals from ISPs

    NOW that Christmas is over, the new computer is out of the box and you're fed up with the free games which came with it, you could be wondering where to go for the best Internet access. Whether you are a new surfer or you just fancy shopping around to

  • Success keeps on rolling

    A TEAM of disco dancing roller skaters have successfully defended their national title. Disco Divas, of Durham District Roller Skating Club, won the recent Open Challenge Competition in Colchester, Essex, with a performance called Big is Beautiful. The

  • University's new courses

    TEESSIDE University is offering a wide range of new courses. Starting next month, classes ranging from creating websites and Internet marketing to nursing the elderly and the study of food additives will be available. Advice sessions are being held to

  • A £10m sporting chance for Stockton

    A FRENCH sport's group is looking to create around 90 jobs in the region with a new retail development. Plans have been submitted for a new sports venture on Teesside for the development at the Portrack Interchange Retail Park. Agents for the sports store

  • Short cut closure moves a step closer

    PLANS to close a motorists' short cut have moved a step closer. Gypsy Lane, in Nunthorpe, lies on the administrative border of Middlesbrough Borough Council and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. For years, it has been used as a short cut for people

  • Reasons to be cheerful in the virtual world

    As the year 2000 draws to a close it is time to look at what lies in store for the World Wide Web in the year 2001. The past 12 months have prompted some pessimistic responses to the Internet - not least from the mighty stock markets. High-profile names

  • On the ice

    IT was a quiet week for Newcastle Jesters as we had three days off. I think it was a good thing to have some time away from the rink. When things are not going well it is good to take the time to get ourselves back in good shape both physically and mentally

  • Man mugged for shopping

    A MAN was injured when two men approached him from behind and tripped him to the ground to steal his shopping. After an afternoon shopping, followed by a drink in the pub, the man was walking along Park Lane, Darlington, when the attack happened. As he

  • Man accused over ear biting incident

    A MAN has appeared in court accused of biting off part of a firefighter's ear. Lee Atkinson, 23, of Osbourne Terrace, Ferryhill, County Durham, appeared at Sedgefield Magistrates' Court, Newton Aycliffe, yesterday. He is charged with causing grievous

  • Expansion blow

    MARKS and Spencer has announced a £9m expansion of its Darlington store will not go ahead. The company has blamed the cancellation of the plans, which were put on hold in 1998, on a reshaping of its national strategy.

  • Teenager's sex attacker was armed with a gun

    A TEENAGE girl has told police how a man held a gun to her head and said he was going to shoot before attempting to rape her. The man forced the 17-year-old into a nearby back alley in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, hurled her to the ground and kicked

  • Man who stabbed baby brother jailed

    A MAN was jailed for four and a half years yesterday for stabbing his younger brother and "best friend". Father-of-five Ronald Leckenby, 40, killed his brother, Christopher, last year during a family row. The pair had been drinking at Ronald Leckenby's

  • Phones used to lead soccer riot

    PHONEY football fans used mobile phones to orchestrate crowd trouble at a cup tie involving a North-East team, a match video shows. Bishop Auckland's hosts, Burton Albion, have studied film footage of the mayhem caused by thugs at last Saturday's FA Trophy

  • Hunt is on to rehome puppies

    ANIMAL welfare staff are seeking homes for a litter of five puppies. The Labrador cross puppies were handed over to the Darlington branch of the National Animal Sanctuaries Support League. They were given to the branch by a Shildon man who found that

  • Getting online with William

    The activities of Prince William have been well documented in the media over the past few days and nowhere more so than the Internet. But his high-profile appearances as a volunteer worker in Chile are not reflected in the official online coverage of