• Lifeline aims to head off family crises

    PARENTS are being thrown a safety line to help with the challenges of raising children. An interactive website and telephone hotline are being launched to head off family problems before they become major crises. Help on issues ranging from bad behaviour

  • Oh Brother! Why did they do it?

    THE organisers of Comic Relief can laugh all the way to the bank with the charity proceeds of Celebrity Big Brother, but the housemates have had the smiles knocked off their faces. They've discovered the hard way that sitting in a bath of cold baked beans

  • Angling

    Woodland Lakes at Carlton Miniott attracted the biggest entry for their Sunday Open 106 competitors but Saturday's event produced the best match weight of the weekend. A rise in temperature encouraged carp to feed and Map Elton's Andy Waistell bagged

  • County's first victims say they will return to farming

    THE Wensleydale family blighted by North Yorkshire's only foot-and-mouth outbreak to date have vowed to go back into farming as soon as their property has the all-clear. With the remains of the ash from their slaughtered stock still smouldering, the Lamberts

  • Workshops for absolute begrinners

    THE people who enjoy making the North-East laugh, Newcastle Comedy Festival, are putting on free workshops to help the next generation of laughter-makers. This Sunday afternoon and every second last Sunday in the month, free workshops for Absolute Begrinners

  • Snooker

    Worthington CIU Winter Andrew Aisbitt of Cockton Hill topped the ton for the highest break in the First Division when he put in 105 at Fishburn A. Aisbitt already had the top spot with 75. Despite his fine effort his team went down by the odd point when

  • When ignorance is bliss...

    The best thing about Senior Son being away from home is that I don't know what he's getting up to. Believe me, this can only be a good thing. Okay, I've got a pretty good idea - he forgets that I, too, was once a 19-year-old student - but, apart from

  • Anxious wait as second county case is feared

    TRADING standards officers were still anxiously waiting yesterday to learn whether a suspected foot and mouth case at Borrowby would be confirmed. The Ministry of Agriculture on Monday issued a form declaring the small unidentified sheep farm, close to

  • Satellite system takes flight

    A MOTORIST did not know which way to turn when he returned to his car to find thieves had stolen the satellite navigation system. The equipment, worth about £3,500, was taken from his BMW, which was parked in the Northumberland Street car park, Darlington

  • We're living in a ghost town . . .

    THE hills are still there, every detail picked out by the early spring sunshine. Crocus blooms add splashes of colour and, from a distance, sheep appear as tufts of white and cream, stuck motionless to the landscape. The rivers, now back within their

  • Centre hits back at closure gossip

    FEARS of leaking methane gas have sparked gossip that a village recreation centre is closing. Loftus Leisure Centre manager Mike Readman criticised the rumours, saying they had hit day-time attendances at the centre - the nearest building to the former

  • Cabaret nights to light up church

    LAST-minute rehearsals are under way for a cabaret concert in Guisborough to raise funds for the rewiring of the parish church. Members of the congregation have set themselves two years to raise £30,000 for a rewiring and lighting project at St Nicholas

  • 40 sheep culled and losing £10,000 a week - I'm sick of it

    Peter Monkhouse is already losing £10,000 a week from the foot-and-mouth crisis. But in another few weeks, he reckons he may not have a haulage business left to run. Mr Monkhouse, 37, who saw 40 of his sheep culled last Wednesday after foot-and-mouth

  • Three-goal Roberts in a hurry

    Classic Trophies UK Milddlesbrough Sunday League A first half-hat trick from Anthony Roberts was enough to give Priory SC victory over Jack and Jill. Priory still dominated in the second-half but concede a late goal. Roberts has now hit the net 31 times

  • Rugby: Twickenham beckons Yarm boys

    YARM School's under 15 rugby team stand just one game from a dream appearance at Twickenham in the final of the Daily Mail Cup. They set off today to play John Fisher School from Purley in the semi-final at Castlecroft, Wolverhampton tomorrow. The final

  • Wear Valley - Foot-and-mouth hits businesses

    BUSINESSES in the Wear Valley face massive losses as the foot-and-mouth crisis tightens its grip. Visitors are staying away from the area in droves as footpaths are closed and people are warned to keep out of the countryside. Pubs, shops and cafes have

  • Bitter-sweet day on North-East jobs front

    HOPES were fading for more than 1,000 North-East steel jobs last night after Corus said it had plunged more than £1bn into the red. Managers said a rescue plan put forward by the unions to save the doomed coil plate mill at Redcar was unrealistic. The

  • Regeneration group hit by voting dispute

    RESIDENTS are calling for Government action amid claims that a regeneration group is failing their area. About 50 local people went to the Future of Regeneration of Grangetown (Frog)'s annual meeting on Wednesday night. When a vote was taken on the new

  • New poll on city schools selection

    RESIDENTS in Ripon could soon be facing a referendum on selection of pupils for Ripon Grammar School and the neighbouring Ripon College. Ripon City Council, which has parish council status, confirmed that a request for a poll would be tabled at its annual

  • Games

    Willington Ladies League The resignation of Willington Brewer's Droop has caused major changes to the league tables. The Prospect Club now lead the darts section by five points from Hunwick Quarry Burn A, who are one point ahead of Willington Club. The

  • Darlington - Sirs get ready to perform The Full Monty

    TEACHERS have been gearing up for a one-off performance of their own version of The Full Monty. Four members of staff at Hummersknott School and Language College in Darlngton will be performing at the school's cabaret evening. The night of entertainment

  • Teamwork recognised

    A COUNCIL in the North-East is in the running for a top partnership prize. Stockton Borough Council's education, leisure and cultural services department is among a number of finalists for the TNT Modernising Government Partnership Award 2001. The award

  • Hathaway Auckland and District League

    Hathaway Auckland and District League BLACK and Decker moved into third place after the 10-0 destruction of Brewer and Firkin who could only muster nine men. Scorers for Black and Decker were Michael Quinn (3), Lee Thistlewaite (3), Mark Fleming, James

  • Innovative engineering centre heads for Wilton

    A NEW chemical process engineering centre is to be based at the Wilton complex near Redcar, it was announced on Monday. The Process Industries Centre for Manufacturing Industry is backed by the Department of Trade and Industry, as well as a number of

  • Traffic measures a waste of money

    Sir, - You report (D&S, March 9) that North Yorkshire County Council's area committee for Hambleton voted in favour of traffic calming measures for Great Ayton. Given the well-researched objections from our local councillors, June Imeson and John

  • Golf club votes to re-open despite livestock all around

    A DECISION to re-open a rural golf club this week was described as "absolutely indefensible" because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak. A local councillor who farms nearby called for the Barnard Castle course to close down again. The club, which is surrounded

  • The frosty morning when the Luftwaffe came a-calling

    MEMORIES came flooding back on Thursday for a mother and son tartgeted by Hitler's war machine 60 years ago. On March 15, 1941, a German Luftwaffe pilot dropped a bomb on Loftus. It seriously damaged the Newton chapel and several of the houses on the

  • 'Money-grabbing' parking fees scheme condemned

    MOTORISTS are furious at a new "money grabbing" car parking scheme in Redcar. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is introducing a scheme into Redcar High Street this week that involves drivers entering their car registration number. This forms part

  • Motorsport: Champion ready to join the race for honours

    AFTER being given a motorbike at the age of three and then taught to drive in a field at the ripe old age of ten, there was never any doubt that motor vehicles would play a major part in Ryan Champion's life. That encouragement, coupled with a number

  • Basketball - Teesside League

    Teesside League Tigers kept up their First Division title challenge with a 81-74 home win against a depleted Darlington Devils side. The home team opened a seven-point gap at the halfway stage, 39-32, dominating inside play with Lee Woolams and Steve

  • Badminton: Darlington boys win silver medals

    YOUNG badminton players from Hummersknott School, Darlington kept up the fine traditions established there over the years with outstanding performances at the national schools' finals at Luton last weekend. The boys' under 13 team returned home with silver

  • Crisis, what crisis? Here's a new Euro dictat

    AS IF our farmers weren't already up to their oxters in the Slough of Despond, with a sickeningly deep crisis deepening by the day with foot-and-mouth, the EU has to be even sillier than usual. Red-tape merchants in their expensive Brussels offices, where

  • Football: Gloom deepens at Feethams

    ANOTHER disastrous week saw Darlington slide closer to the dreaded drop and lose a key player through injury. Two derby games saw Quakers scrape a lucky point at home to Hartlepool United then lose 2-0 at York City. They are now in 21st position in the

  • GM crops firm says 'don't be concerned'

    OFFICIALS last night attempted to allay fears over plans to grow genetically modified crops in the North-East. Within the next few weeks, modified oil seed rape is to be planted at a farm near Oakenshaw, Willington, County Durham, as Aventis CropScience

  • Durham end cup hoodoo

    Durham School first team have booked a place at Twickenham for the final of the national Under-18 Daily Mail Cup competition. Durham's opponents in the final at Twickenham on March 31 will be Campion College from Essex who narrowly defeated Durham's local

  • Table Tennis

    The first Darlington Primary Schools Table Tennis festival was held at the Dolphin Centre with 12 teams competing for a place in the county final, to be held in June. The series of fun-based skill tests, devised for last year's Millennium Youth Games,

  • Ralph rides a new road

    Ralph Ferguson, director of technical services at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, is taking a change of direction after 23 years with the council - and just one year before he plans to retire. As part of a change of structure at the council Mr Ferguson

  • Britain's best campaigning weekly

    The Darlington & Stockton Times' Market Town Revival campaign has been recognised with a national award. The newspaper has been named Campaigning Weekly Newspaper of the Year in the Newspaper Society Newspaper Sales and Promotions awards for 2000.

  • Chester le Street - Victory for five

    AFTER weeks of disrupted fixtures due to the adverse weather, all six of Waldridge Park Juniors FC teams were in action. The U16s progressed to the semi-finals of the Edward Wanless Trophy with an extra-time win over Usworth. In a competitive first-half

  • Contestant reveals TV secrets

    A CONTESTANT from The Weakest Link TV show entertained a meeting of Cleveland Retired Men's Association. Guest speaker Barbara Galloway, from Spennymoor, told more than 70 members of the Redcar-based group tales of TV quiz shows and behind-the-scenes

  • Park 'needs grassroots decision-makers'

    A PLEA has gone out for more grassroots involvement in national park decision-making. A moorland parish council also wants to see less red tape on local issues with more emphasis on community opinion. The call has been backed by a Conservative candidate

  • Swimming

    There were many excellent performances at the first of this year's four Northumberland and Durham championship gals at Middlesbrough, including eight titles for Middlesbrough's Natasha Crawley, the former Darlington member, who won the junior and senior

  • Wear Valley - Workers quit plant

    MORE than 100 workers are to go at Black and Decker in Spennymoor after answering a call for volunteers for redundancy back in November. A spokesman said: "No number was put on the number of volunteers required as it was designed as a natural efficiency

  • Widower takes legal action over 'unjust' benefit discrimination

    AN airline pilot from Thornton Watlass is suing the government in the European court for alleged discrimination over widowed fathers' benefits. Mr Keith Bartlem has instructed a firm of solicitors in London to go ahead with the legal challenge, even though

  • Finals fiasco

    Four North-East boxers won gold at the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) national schoolboy championships last weekend, but the night ended in a shambles. Because of crowd congestion proceedings were brought to a sudden halt last Friday evening. Police

  • The money is out there, town told

    CASH to improve Guisborough is up for grabs, according to an action group in the town. The Countryside Agency chose Guisborough as the pilot for a scheme aimed at reviving market towns. Residents will take part in a "health check" to highlight strengths

  • Brass band's plea for cornet players

    A BRASS band has launched a search for cornet players to help maintain its lyrical sound. Hetton Silver Band, based at Hetton-le-Hole, near Sunderland, is on the look-out for skilled principal and solo players. With a series of concerts and competitions

  • Pupils celebrate science success

    MARSKE school pupils are celebrating success in a top science competition. Gerald Lee, Samantha Hicks, Stephanie Henderson and Michael Osborne from Bydales School came 11th in the Royal Society of Chemistry's national schools' competition which involved

  • Dominoes

    Willington and District League Willington Football Club upset the visiting league leaders, Willington Market with an odd point victory. Tony Atkinson and Carol Hawkins put the footballers ahead but then Stephen Shillan and Tom Barrass levelled. In the

  • Birmingham move for Liddle a non-starter - Bennett

    DARLINGTON have strongly denied rumours that central defender Craig Liddle is set to sign for Birmingham City today. The former Middlesbrough defender has been linked with a £500,000 move to the First Division club, but Quakers have moved quickly to confirm

  • The Northern Echo Darlington Sunday Invitation League

    The Northern Echo Darlington Sunday Invitation League Division One leaders Coundon Miners Arms made it maximum points from 11 games with a 4-2 victory over fellow championship challengers Team Scania. Scorers for Coundon were John Musgrave (2) and Steve

  • Junior Football

    Darlington 21st Allstars After what appeared to have been an eternity since a full league programme, the Spring-like weather allowed all 17 teams to play, the greater percentage of successes in the 20 games played coming from the seven-a-side teams. The

  • Animal movement measures under fire from Ripon MP

    MR David Curry, MP for Skipton and Ripon, has highlighted several inconsistencies in the foot and mouth measures. One concerns the restriction on the movement of animals close to the farm if they have to pass other animals on the journey. He has written

  • Howarth welcomes new faces

    THE Howarth Timber group has appointed a new manager for its flourishing Richmond branch. Alan Nelson moves to Howarth from rivals North Yorkshire Timber Company, bringing with him his assistant manager, Steve Thornton. Mr Nelson has more than 40 years

  • Callan can help Calypso to waltz to victory

    COUNT CALYPSO can lead his rivals a merry dance by winning the closing Bet Direct Handicap at Southwell this afternoon. Only eight runners go to post for the £5,600 sprint, but that is not to say it is an easy race to solve since the majority of the field

  • £90,000 worth of drugs are seized

    POLICE have seized more than £90,000 worth of drugs during two raids in the Billingham area. Officers taking part in Operation X-Ray searched a house and vehicle and found 3kg of amphetamine and 5kg of skunk cannabis, worth £50,000. Three local men were

  • Russian asylum seekers to hear fate

    A RUSSIAN family have been told that a verdict will be delivered in three months on their final effort to avoid deportation. For three years, the Brodski family, who are living in North Yorkshire, have been battling to win political asylum in Britain

  • Ferry loses fans over fox-hunting

    Fans of glam rockers Roxy Music are boycotting the band's reunion tour after frontman Bryan Ferry championed fox hunting. A group of women admirers, who have worshipped the singer since the group's 1970s heyday are furious at his support for the blood

  • Mohawks under orders

    Teesside Mohawks end the NBL Conference season with three tough away games. Trevor Lowe, Mohawks' general manager, wants his side to secure runners-up spot and attempt to retain the Championship play-off title after being ruled out of the Conference League

  • Young gang of muggers locked up

    THREE muggers, including one aged 12, have been jailed for their parts in a violent handbag snatch campaign. During one attack, 78-year-old Ethel Newton was badly bruised after she was dragged down an embankment when she refused to let go of her bag.

  • Schemes get more to play with

    PLAYSCHEMES have been given a boost through extra local authority funding. Youngsters aged eight to 13 in Redcar and Cleveland Borough, will benefit from more opportunities during the long summer holiday. The money was provided as a result of a best value

  • North Yorkshire - Lap dance club planned

    A SEX shop owner is planning to open a lap-dancing club in North Yorkshire. John Middleton says he has pinpointed at least three possible locations in the county for a members-only club. Mr Middleton is being prosecuted over a caravan near Thirsk which

  • Cash reprieve for bus service

    A BUS route which provides an important link to hospitals has been thrown a lifeline. Bus company Arriva proposed changes to the 3B service, which runs between Bishop Auckland and Hartlepool. It said the section between Ferryhill and the Trimdons was

  • Ellen sets her sights on life before the mast

    A 16-YEAR-OLD girl has turned down a summer holiday in Ibiza in an attempt to take part in a sailing challenge. Ellen Taylor from Dalehouse Village, near Staithes, North Yorkshire, is hoping to join a Hartlepool crew taking part in the Cutty Sark tall

  • Mandelson in town jobs call

    EX-NORTHERN Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson stepped back into his role as a constituency MP yesterday by calling for Government intervention to help match people with jobs in Hartlepool. Mr Mandelson was speaking in the Commons for the first time since

  • Vote gets the job done for Bob theme park

    BOB the Builder is coming to the North-East in a new adventure park by the end of the month. Councillors voted to grant permission for the £2m Diggerland park which is due to open on Saturday, March 31. The children's park, which will feature fictional

  • Badminton

    Hummersknott School maintained their impressive national badminton form, stretching back over 20 seasons, when competing in the English Schools Under-13 event at Luton Regional Sports Centre. The girls competition involved four teams who had won through

  • Hear All Sides

    Letters from The Northern Echo TAXES GORDON Brown, the most notorious highway robber of all time, is now the grand master of the stealth tax. He says he wants people to provide for their old age, but raids their pension funds and then forces them to suffer

  • Sales hit hopes of interest rate cut

    HIGH street sales last month were "considerably stronger" than expected, dampening hopes of an April interest rate cut. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed sales volumes in February jumped 0.6 per cent month-on-month, way ahead

  • Virgin profits hit turbulence

    VIRGIN Atlantic's profits fell by more than half in the year to April 2000, hit by tough competition and higher fuel costs. The group, which has 32 planes covering 20 destinations, said pre-tax profits, stripping out exceptional costs, came in at £40m

  • Iceland issues fresh warning but pledges to bounce back

    TROUBLED frozen food retailer Iceland has issued another profits warning to the City - saying sales across the chain were continuing to fall. The group said pre-tax profits for the 15-month period to the end of March would not exceed £40m before exceptional

  • Durham - Inquiry call as young boxers' competition ends in chaos

    AMATEUR boxing chiefs have called for an inquiry into an incident which saw national schoolboys championships abandoned. Fourteen young boxers from clubs in the region travelled to Essex to take part in the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) National schoolboys

  • Trio rocks on for Comic Relief

    Three 15-year-old pupils from Park View Comprehensive School, Chester-le-Street, will take to the stage in a rock concert for Comic Relief tonight. Surplus - James Morrison, Matthew Robinson and Richard Trotter - will perform at the town's Red Lion pub

  • Athletics

    Tees Valley Tees Valley young athletes were in brilliant form at the North of England Sportshall finals at Thornaby Pavilion with both boys and girls U-15 teams winning their events to qualify for the national final in Birmingham next month. Dale Jordan

  • National praise for coast clean-up

    THE £10m clean-up of the coal-blackened Durham coast has won national praise. Turning The Tide, which is creating beauty spots out of eyesores in east Durham, was commended in the community initiative category of the Local Government Chronicle Awards.

  • Three-month wait before body found

    THE body of a missing pensioner lay undiscovered in a field for three months after he wandered away from home. An inquest was told yesterday that the remains of George Harding, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, were found just a mile from his home

  • Plea to save heather moorland

    PLEAS for the regeneration of the famous heather tracts on the North York moors have been made by leading conservation groups. The chairman of the moors association, Mr Geoff Belbin, said: "While we concern ourselves with telecommunication masts, the

  • Switch on lights with mind over matter

    A NEWCASTLE-BORN scientist has been involved in a project in which an electric light was switched on using a human brain. Using the latest scientific technology, known as the Mind Switch, Professor Les Kirkup, 44, and a team of scientists in Australia

  • Fishing for success

    WHEN Tom Barker opens his shop on Saltburn's Prince's Street next week he will be taking the first step of turning his hobby into a dream business. Mr Barker has kept Japanese koi carp in a pond at his Brotton home for years, and believes that his personal

  • Festival rescheduled as more meetings are lost

    THE Cheltenham Festival has now been rescheduled for April 17 to 19 and will clash with the Craven meeting at Newmarket, one of the first important flat meetings of the season. This was good news in a week when meetings continued to be lost because of

  • Walking festival could go ahead

    ORGANISERS of a walking festival in the region are hoping it will go ahead, despite the foot-and-mouth crisis. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has linked up with environmental organisations to promote the Coast and Country Festival of Walking. Due

  • Rivalries forgotten as teamwork becomes order of the day

    Rivalry between black and white and red and white fans is one of the fiercest in football. But Newcastle and Sunderland fans from the same school put aside their differences to work together on an art project. Despite being in Sunderland, Grindon Hall

  • Musical first scored with

    A SCHOOL is about to score a first for the North-East by staging a new musical. Chester-le-Street's Park View Community School will be the first school in the country to perform the Hot Mikado musical, which had just 12 performances since it was first

  • Darts

    Tow Law Bass League The Captain's League top spot was thrown wide open when the leading pair both lost. Darren Yeoman of Tow Law New Market A lost to Stephen Boughey of the visiting Cattle Mart, but still holds a one point lead because Jeff Sneath of

  • Satisfying crash of huge egos

    IN Rwanda, people are starving. In Mozambique, whole communities have been wiped out. Children have been orphaned. Thousands of families are homeless. Meanwhile, here in Britain, what do Vanessa Feltz and Anthea Turner - two of the six stars who have

  • Satisfying crash of huge egos

    IN Rwanda, people are starving. In Mozambique, whole communities have been wiped out. Children have been orphaned. Thousands of families are homeless. Meanwhile, here in Britain, what do Vanessa Feltz and Anthea Turner - two of the six stars who have

  • Consett & Stanley - Student lay hurt after beating

    POLICE are hunting three men who attacked a Durham University student as he walked home alone early on Saturday. The un-named 20-year-old, who had been visiting a friend, was set upon in Gilesgate at 12.30am. He had a brief conversation with his attackers

  • FA must keep shirts on

    THIS column is not designed for straddling the fence, but there have been a couple of disputes this week where the need for compassion has clouded the issue. Firstly, the Wycombe footballer who was sent off for rapturously removing his shirt when they

  • Friendly bookshop will be missed by villagers and visitors

    ALTHOUGH Great Ayton Bookshop has been open for only 22 years, Aytonians feel that they will be losing what to them is an important part of their heritage when it closes, since there are no plans to replace or continue it. When visitors flock to the village

  • Looking Back - Tale of a trans-Pennine cat

    From this newspaper 50 years ago. - When Mr Robert Wearmouth, of Dotheboys Hall, Bowes, thought he saw a pussy cat a-creeping up on him along the Bowes Moor road towards his establishment the other day, it was not an illusion as one might imagine, but

  • Borough looks to the clearest way ahead

    HARTLEPOOL Borough Council has launched a policy to ensure its actions are understood. The policy is designed to ensure equal access to all council buildings and services. It includes using plain English when communicating with the public, and clear print

  • Yarm dreaming of Twickenham

    YARM School hope to reach the Daily Mail Cup Under-15 final to be played at Twickenham when they take on John Fisher School in tomorrow's semi-final, writes Olly Du Croz. With three defeats all season - one of which against Durham School was avenged by

  • Pupils enter Big Teacher room

    PUPILS hope they will fare better than Nasty Nick and Anthea Turner when they stage their own Big Brother contest. Eight students and a teacher will be locked in a classroom today, when Bishop Barrington School runs a Big Teacher competition for Comic

  • Club given ultimatum over players' wages

    UNION bosses have issued a seven-day deadline to the owners of the Newcastle Jesters ice hockey club over the players' unpaid wages. The Ice Hockey Players' Association (IHPA) will finalise legal claims for the money owed to the players at the club if

  • When ignorance is bliss...

    The best thing about Senior Son being away from home is that I don't know what he's getting up to. Believe me, this can only be a good thing. Okay, I've got a pretty good idea - he forgets that I, too, was once a 19-year-old student - but, apart from

  • Report delights staff

    STAFF at a primary school said they were "delighted" with a recent Ofsted report. But the Government inspectors at Ebchester CofE Primary School, Ebchester, near Consett, still noted a few areas where the school could improve. The report said that the

  • Crisis management

    The Agriculture Minister, Mr Nick Brown, was castigated this week for denying the foot-and-mouth outbreak was out of control. He could hardly be expected to say anything else under the circumstances, but he could also be deemed correct in that the outbreak

  • Managing beauty for all to benefit

    Sir, - I refer to Mr R McCarthy's letter "A mismanaged beauty spot" (D&S, Feb 23). As manager of Catterick lakes, which is private property with no public right of way, I have welcomed visitors providing they observe the rules of the Leeds and District

  • Basketball

    Durham League TEESSIDE Huskies A managed what all of the other Teesside men's first division teams failed to do last week - they reached the semi-finals of the Durham County Cup. Huskies gained a 70-60 win in their delayed quarter-final tie against Third

  • Transport worry

    Sir, - The community care association in Stokesley owns two minibuses purchased with money from the national lottery, which are specially designed to give easy access for the elderly and infirm, with a tail-lift facility for wheelchairs. The drivers of

  • Communities live in fear of more devastation

    SOUTH Church will never forget June last year, when even the local shop did not escape the filthy floodwaters that deluged the area. The communities of South Church and West Auckland, near Bishop Auckland, were badly traumatised when the River Gaunless

  • Make mine a Wallop

    A BEER drinkers paradise opened in Darlington last night with an estimated 4,000 pints of real ale and ciders expected to be downed by Sunday evening. Darlington Camra - the Campaign for Real Ale - is staging its festival alongside the 16th annual Spring

  • Durham - Joe takes day off to keep royal date

    CAR park attendant Joe Byrne had a rare day off last week to receive his MBE from the Queen. The 56-year-old, from Ferryhill, received the accolade for his tireless work patrolling the car park of Durham's JobCentre. He has not had one day off for sickness

  • Monster fun with science

    THOUSANDS of schoolchildren will descend on Northumbria University from today as part of a ten-day celebration of science. More than 3,000 schoolchildren, the majority from the North-East, will join TV's Live and Kicking celebrity Dr Bunhead in a series

  • Lifeline aims to head off family crises

    PARENTS are being thrown a safety line to help with the challenges of raising children. An interactive website and telephone hotline are being launched to head off family problems before they become major crises. Help on issues ranging from bad behaviour

  • Battle still on for jobs

    STEELWORKERS were this week offered a glimmer of hope in their battle to save 1,100 threatened jobs. Corus management and senior union officials met on Monday to discuss rescue plans outlined by the workforce to save steelmaking in the region. Both sides

  • Weather Watch - Ground stays icy despite lots of early sunshine

    THE dry weather at the very end of January ceased as a fierce battle was fought between a bitter, Siberian airstream trying to push into Britain from the north-east, and very mild south-westerlies. On the 3rd, temperatures ranged from 12C (54F) over south-west

  • Link-up helps European language year

    A COLLEGE is leading the way in embracing the spirit of European Year of Languages with a triple country link-up in the space of a month. Last week, ten students from Prior Pursglove's "link", or sister school, in Strasbourg, sat in on lessons at the

  • Talent scheme bid to find a star

    THE Tim Henmans and Sue Barkers of the future could be unearthed thanks to a tennis talent scheme for youngsters. The Durham and Cleveland Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is launching a project to encourage primary schools in County Durham and Teesside

  • Police condemn attack on tanker

    A CHEMICAL tanker driver battled to keep his lorry on the road after young thugs hurled a brick through his windscreen on a dual-carriageway, it emerged yesterday. Cleveland Police believe the youths deliberately targeted the vehicle and hid behind crash

  • Music groups' tribute concert

    A TOWN'S music groups are joining forces to pay tribute to a long-serving member who died last year. Syd Lawson, of Shildon, sang with Bishop Auckland's choral and musical societies, as well as Darlington Choral Society. His former colleagues have arranged

  • Pupils take growing interest in site

    RESIDENTS with ideas to improve the image of their town are to be given the green light. About 30 youngsters from Newport Primary School, Middlesbrough, helped to launch a project yesterday to plant an eyesore former railway marshalling yard with 400

  • Millions spent - but now heli-base may close

    FEARS that the Ministry of Defence could shut down a key North Yorkshire helicopter base and switch its operation to Somerset have prompted growing protests. Dishforth airfield, near Ripon, is a key base for army helicopters as part of the Ministry of

  • Methodists plan luncheon club after work to church hall

    HELPERS at Cockerton Methodist church hall hope to launch a luncheon club following the refurbishment of a kitchen area. The new kitchen, funded by a Help the Aged grant of more than £5,000, also boasts a new cooker and energy efficiency measures courtesy

  • £150,000 boost for orchestra

    AN AWARD-WINNING youth orchestra has been given a £150,000 cash injection thanks to a water company. The grant made yesterday to Young Sinfonia from Northumbrian Water represents the beginning of a new partnership between the company and the orchestra

  • Now Fletcher dust has settled, parish is uneasy

    CONTROVERSY over a Stockton councillor who caused havoc at a committee meeting is having serious repercussions in the ward he represents. Egglescliffe Parish Council, of which Coun John Fletcher is also a member, reports deep unease about the restaurant

  • Consett & Stanley - Ex-police worker on sex charge

    A FORMER civilian employee of Durham Police and his business partner appeared at crown court this week accused of running an escort agency over the internet. John Docherty, 28, a former finance officer with the Durham force, and 38-year-old clothes designer

  • University hero Kilburn set to miss Blaydon cup clash

    PETER Kilburn helped Northumbria University reach Twickenham on Wednesday, but he will not be able to do the same for Blaydon tomorrow. After playing for Blaydon last week following his recent signing, the centre is ruled out of the Intermediate Cup semi-final

  • No Place finds its way into a history book . . .

    WHEN, in the late 1930s, a weary motorist pulled up at a tiny village near Stanley and asked exactly where he was, a seven-year-old Bill Lees re-plied: "No Place, mister." The driver's response was not printable, but it implied that the child's response

  • Scout's memories of Norse play

    FREDDY Shepherd was right, of course, 63 years really is a long time since Newcastle United staged a full international - though Jack Hixon remembers it like yesterday. "A twopenny tram ride from Heaton, 1/3d on the Gallowgate end or whatever silly bloody

  • Marts lay off staff as restrictions continue

    MANY auction marts across the region having to make difficult decisions about their staff. Carlisle-based holding company H&H Group has taken action to ensure that Harrison and Hetherington, its farmstock auction subsidiary, keeps losses to a minimum

  • Band of gold is find of a lifetime

    A METAL detector enthusiast made the find of a lifetime when he unearthed a gold Bronze Age coin worth thousands of pounds. Now Norman Smith, from Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, hopes to put the object on display after being told he can keep it. Mr Smith

  • A touch of magnetism attracts youngsters to school

    A LONDON band was in the region yesterday to show young musicians the ropes. The Magnets performed to a capacity audience at Haughton Community School in Darlington, County Durham, as part of a nationwide schools tour. When they are not performing and

  • The fruit 'n' veg girl

    WHEN vandals were discovered wrecking communal gardens, the organisers didn't call the police - they asked the teenagers if they wanted to help them grow food. Amazingly, they did. That enlightened, constructive approach has been adopted in North America

  • Countryman's Diary - Tragedy that touches so many

    AS I compile these notes, the countryside and livestock farmers in particular are reeling under another ferocious onslaught. Foot-and-mouth disease has been confirmed in numerous areas of Britain and as I write this budget (a couple of weeks before it

  • All the President's men

    IF you'd switched between Channels 4 and 5 around 11 o'clock last Thursday, you'd have seen Martin Sheen on both. And by coincidence, he was playing the President of the United States in both. Not the same President and not a real one either. His regular

  • All the President's men

    IF you'd switched between Channels 4 and 5 around 11 o'clock last Thursday, you'd have seen Martin Sheen on both. And by coincidence, he was playing the President of the United States in both. Not the same President and not a real one either. His regular

  • Town troubles

    GUISBOROUGH Town were beaten 2-0 at home by Marske (Thompson 2) in the Albany Northern League on Wednesday night. Town had suffered a 3-0 defeat to Bedlington on Monday and lost 1-0 to Seaham Red Star on Saturday. They are away to Whitley Bay tomorrow

  • Marske cup run ends

    MARSKE United manager Charlie Bell has backed Bedlington Terriers to go all the way to the Villa Park FA Vase final after his side were thumped 4-0 in their quarter-final replay at Welfare Park. Marske were never in the hunt after Bedlington went into

  • Tributes for devout Quaker

    TRIBUTES were paid last night to Lady Anne Fry, who died at her North Yorkshire home following a long illness. Lady Fry, who was in her eighties, was a devout Quaker and a descendent of both the historic Cadbury family and the Pease family. Born Anne

  • Park chiefs urged to destroy -countryside closed' myth

    THE people of Hawes are hoping national park chiefs will throw their businesses a lifeline next week. With headlines declaring the countryside closed, tourists have presumed the same applies to rural towns and trade has dried in the village in the heart

  • Old friends join forces to take bridge title

    A GRANDMASTER bridge player from Darlington and his partner have beaten off strong competition to win England's premier pairs competition. The victory was sealed after a remarkable reunion that led the two friends to enter the competition after losing

  • The UniBond League

    Bishop Auckland bounced back to form with a 3-0 win at Gateshead on Wednesday night. Third-placed Bishops took the lead when David Bayles scored with a right-foot shot from the edge of the box and Danny Mellanby fired a second before half-time. Bishops

  • Pony dates

    Bedale Hunt SC. - May 6: Maunby hunter trials, tel: 01845 587258. June 23: Kennels open day, Little Fencote, tel: 01325 378259. July 21: Summer dance. Bedale and West of Yore PC. - All mounted activities cancelled until further notice. Cleveland PC. -

  • Holiday plea for tragic families

    A CHARITY has launched a £20,000 appeal to create a retreat for the families of murder and manslaughter victims. The Teesside branch of Support After Murder and Manslaughter (Samm) is hoping to raise enough funds to buy a static caravan for use by relatives

  • Men's Hockey

    Darlington After five weeks of frustration, the weather finally allowed Darlington to resume league fixtures, achieving a 5-0 away win over Sunderlands seconds in the North-East League, Division Two. A fixture against Sunderland was not exactly the easiest

  • Venables admits to talks over Ravanelli

    TERRY VENABLES last night admitted that Middlesbrough have discussed the possibility of bringing Fabrizio Ravanelli back to the Riverside Stadium. The controversial Italian striker, who fell out with manager Bryan Robson and went AWOL before moving to

  • By raising funds, you are smartest link

    TELEVISION viewers will today discover whether school cook Janice Latter is The Weakest Link. The 51-year-old, who works at Hummersknott School, Darlington, will appear on the afternoon version of the show, which is hosted by Anne Robinson. Ms Latter

  • Rat trap catches cat around neck

    A CAT may have suffered brain damage after a rat trap snapped shut around its head. The black male cat, nicknamed Sooty, was rescued by the RSPCA after a passer-by saw him trapped by the neck. RSPCA inspector Damian Woolliscroft, who rescued the animal

  • The Albany Northern League

    Mattie Pearson, the former Spennymoor manager, is set for a Northern League return with Tow Law. Pearson, whose last job in the Northern League was at Ferryhill before he left for Spennymoor eight years ago, has been added to the Lawyers coaching staff

  • Ideal place to show off

    GARDEN landscape materials manufacturer Marshalls is showing off some of the best garden design ideas at the Ideal Home Show, in London, which runs until April 8. The Eaglescliffe company will be showing off its paving and walling products in the Gardens

  • Billiards

    CIU Individual League There were only two games played at Crowtrees because Jimmy Alcock of Wingate was unable to attend. In the first Heppell Hodgson of Wolsingham played John Hall of Crowtrees and came through the first frame with ease. In the second

  • Comment from The Nortthern Echo - Getting the timing right

    WHILE rural communities are consumed by foot-and-mouth disease, the political classes are being consumed by election date fever. Before we wade in on the latter, we should remind ourselves of the nature of the political game. Understandably, since October

  • Great Yorkshire team has new member

    THE success of the Great Yorkshire showground as a national venue has led to a new addition to the team. Mr Paul Davidson, formerly of the Northern Development Company's exhibition unit, has joined Yorkshire Agricultural Enterprises as events co-ordinator

  • Crisis has silver lining for flat-out Thirsk firm

    A THIRSK-based firm is pulling out all the stops to make and supply farmers with vehicle and stockman pads for protection against the foot and mouth virus. Originally designed to combat more common foot diseases, the pads made by Power Plastics are encased

  • Mail shot warning sounded

    CONSUMER chiefs are concerned at the number of dubious mail shots sent by foreign firms. Durham County Council officials are warning people about an offer from a Dutch company attempting to sell them expensive alternative health products, with the lure

  • Relief as North-East farms spared cull of healthy stock

    FARMERS in Durham and Northumberland were left with mixed feelings last night when they escaped the threat of a widespread cull of healthy stock. Agriculture minister Nick Brown's "safety first" policy to combat foot-and-mouth disease, which is backed

  • Playwright heads for stage near home

    ONE of Britain's greatest playwrights is snubbing the glamour of the West End for the premiere of his latest show. Alan Bennett has chosen to open his show in Harrogate, closer to his beloved Yorkshire home. The production, called Hymn, will be staged

  • Teachers ready for staff protest

    TEACHERS in Middlesbrough are to begin taking action over staff shortages as soon as their employers have been informed. More than 90 per cent of members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women

  • Farmers threaten revolt

    Furious farmers today threatened to halt the slaughter of up to a million sheep, pigs and goats. The Government has ordered the mass cull of healthy animals within a two-mile radius of infected farms in Cumbria and south-west Scotland. It is taking the

  • Journalist died from pneumonia after street fall

    A NORTH-EAST journalist died from pneumonia after suffering a head injury, an inquest heard yesterday. Middlesbrough Evening Gazette sports reporter Michael Spence, 49, from Darlington, died on March 6. The inquest heard Mr Spence, who was single, fell

  • Celebrities tell favourite gags

    ACTRESS Wendy Craig, who lived on a farm in Yarm while going to school in Darlington, said: "Some parents are worried sick about their little boy, he's six-years-old and hasn't spoken a word in his life. One day, he looks at his breakfast and says, 'can

  • Scheme to improve school website under way

    WE are updating the school website with profiles of new members of staff and school information, while creating a new version with enhanced features in parallel. The original website was created about three years ago, in 1998, while I was studying at

  • Motor Racing

    Last year Ian Waller entered a car racing championship with his 1968 Ford Cortina but he wasn't expecting much success, writes CRAIG STODDART. In fact, he now admits that he wasn't intending to take the competition aspect too seriously however, he's since

  • Darlington - Whippet event faces virus threat

    ORGANISERS of a national sporting event are hoping it can still go ahead in County Durham next month, despite the foot-and-mouth epidemic. The All England Whippet Derby is due to take place in Newton Aycliffe over the Easter weekend on April 14 and 15

  • Labour's man gets prepared

    THE man selected to follow in the shoes of veteran Labour MP Giles Radice has confirmed he is to stand down from his council seat later this month. Newcastle city councillor Kevan Jones, 37, a senior member of the council's cabinet, was recently selected

  • Cricket club may be stranded

    A VILLAGE cricket club is caught up in the middle of an access wrangle at Middlesbrough football club's Hurworth training ground. Rockliffe Park cricket club faces being unable to get cars into its own ground unless the football club reaches a solution

  • Chester le Street - Boy racers take over town centre

    TEENAGE boy racers are turning the main street of a market town into a late-night race track. According to Chester-le-Street residents, youths are driving round the town centre in "hot hatchbacks" - a practice they say will lead to someone getting killed

  • North Yorkshire - Health centre work begins

    WORK is finally under way on a new, state-of-the-art health centre in Colburn, Catterick Garrison. The first turf was cut at a ceremony yesterday, marking the start of the £800,000 building project, which should be complete by autumn. When the new facilities

  • Farmers reassured Blair 'is doing everything possible'

    A DELEGATION of North-East farmers held crisis talks with Tony Blair at the Prime Minister's Trimdon home yesterday. John Rider, a pig, cattle and arable farmer from Guisborough, Cleveland, and Tony Wilson, a beef and arable farmer from Trimdon Station

  • Council criticised for allowing farmers' market to go ahead

    DARLINGTON Borough Council has been criticised for allowing a farmers' market to go ahead today, despite foot and mouth disease. Mr Bill Oldfield, who runs restaurants in Barnard Castle and Darlington, said he was appalled at the news. But markets manager

  • 'No need to panic' says P&O chairman

    PORTS operator P&O said it was confident it would keep any economic slowdown at bay as it posted a 12 per cent rise in full-year profits. The company, which last October floated off its luxury cruise line P&O Princess Cruises, runs container ports

  • Cobbler's court claims rejected

    BATTLING cobbler Tony Martin, who has waged a one-man campaign against alleged council mis-management, is refusing to pay more than £1,600 in business rates to Durham City Council because he claims it will be stolen. Mr Martin began his campaign when

  • Shocked Elaine to have no truck with TV show

    A WOMAN has said that she will have nothing more to do with a national TV contest because she would have had to share a room with a man who is not her husband. Elaine Sibley, from Craster in Northumberland, was a favourite to win the bizarre Channel 5

  • The long and the short of it

    Being short may be considered a disadvantage in the boardroom and the bedroom, but it does have health advantages. According to new research, the vertically-challenged live longer than their taller colleagues. Scientists have found that the hormone which

  • 250 ewes fall victim in Durham dale

    Mr Robert Thompson, who farms six units around County Durham, has become one of the latest victims of the outbreak at his holding at Edgeknowle, Hamsterley. Mr Thompson, who was the host of North Sheep '96, called in the ministry last Friday after discovering

  • Qualification suspended by BSJA

    IN the light of the escalating foot-and-mouth epidemic, there will be no qualifications/double clears awarded for any British Show Jumping Association (BSJA) qualifying competition held from March 13-29 at any affiliated shows. The policy, which will

  • Cures not to be sniffed at

    HAD a bad cold lately? Able to breathe yet? No, neither can the rest of us. Rotten, isn't it? The cold has gone, but the malady lingers on, making you still feel horrible and blocked up. We swear that central heating makes it worse, but aren't tough enough

  • Careless drivers and weather combine to take toll on bridges

    A BRIDGE approaching its 200th birthday on a busy main road near Northallerton is being strengthened against the weather, juggernaut lorries and careless motorists who crash into its ancient parapets. The estimated £160,000 being spent on Morton-on-Swale

  • Volunteers wanted

    VOLUNTEERS are being sought for a newly-created team aimed at dealing with an influx of asylum seekers into Teesside. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has a contract with the Home Office to provide 150 homes across the borough for asylum seekers.

  • Soccer fan sailors enjoy stadium tour

    ROYAL Navy sailors with Sunderland football affiliations were welcomed on board at the Stadium of Light. A dozen-strong detachment of Black Cats fans, who usually have to follow their team from afar, took the opportunity of visiting the home of Sunderland

  • Cricket: New teams add extra spice to Wensleydale league

    COMPETITION is set to hot up in the D&S Times Wensleydale Evening League this summer with two new teams joining the fray. Heighington and Dales, who play at Reeth, had their applications to join accepted recently, bringing the total number of teams

  • Pupils turn waste into art for fair

    PUPILS from schools in Shildon will be showing how waste can be recycled in artistic ways at a fair at the town's Timothy Hackworth School, tomorrow. The youngsters have been working on projects with a waste and recycling theme for a week. MP Derek Foster

  • FA must keep shirts on

    THIS column is not designed for straddling the fence, but there have been a couple of disputes this week where the need for compassion has clouded the issue. Firstly, the Wycombe footballer who was sent off for rapturously removing his shirt when they