• Saying farewell with care, respect and dignity

    We've all been to godless funerals, even with the priest in all his feeble frippery, but how many to a humanist one? We've many of us been to funerals where the minister got the name wrong, where the conveyor ran on automatic pilot - dead man's handle

  • RSPCA cannot halt safety culls

    THE RSPCA admitted last night there was little it could do to prevent the slaughter of animals at leisure and visitor attractions, as the epidemic continues to spread. Chief Inspector Neil Mitchell, who covers North Yorkshire, County Durham and Cleveland

  • Surgeon about to operate on Hope

    RADICAL surgery to rebuild a little girl's disfigured face is due to take place this weekend. Hope Elliott, five, of the Redhouse Estate, Sunderland, suffers from a rare condition, known as cystic lymphovenous malformation. It means that she has a large

  • Schumacher triumphs in adversity

    FERRARI'S Michael Schumacher yesterday overcame torrential rain and calamity in the pits to become the only man alive to win six races in a row. Only the late Italian Alberto Ascari stands ahead of him, winning nine consecutive races in 1952-53. Schumacher

  • Stress is beginning to show on Hussain

    Nasser Hussain emerged from his finest achievement as England captain to give a unique insight into the pressures and problems involved in leading the cricketing hopes of a nation. Hussain has become the first England captain since Mike Brearley more

  • Pool show their true promotion credentials

    SURELY no-one can have any doubts about Hartlepool United's promotion credentials now. If a club record-breaking 18 games without defeat isn't enough to convince, the way they took the game to top-four rivals Brighton must be enough to persuade even the

  • Cleveland Bridge payout 'just tip of the iceberg'

    A WORLD-CLASS engineering company could face hundreds of thousand of pounds of compensation claims for vibration white finger after a former employee won a substantial out-of-court settlement. Contractor Stanley Barber, 74, received an undisclosed payment

  • Benji is just barking glad for his Sharni

    A LOVESTRUCK dog turned into a latter-day Lassie when his frantic yapping brought rescuers to save his pregnant girlfriend, who was trapped down a rabbit hole. Seven-year-old springer spaniel Benji refused to leave his long-term pooch partner Sharni when

  • Months to go until epidemic is tamed

    AS the number of confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth disease last night passed the 320 mark, Agriculture Minister Nick Brown warned the epidemic is likely to persist for "several months" yet. Mr Brown admitted it would take at least three months to wipe

  • Compton Bolter has the class to win Winter Derby

    LINGFIELD'S Bet Direct-sponsored Winter Derby is a relatively new addition to the all-weather calendar, but it has not been slow to attract some top-notch performers, lured no doubt by the £55,000 purse on offer. A couple of established class acts turn

  • Orange in health drive for workers

    A MAJOR employer in the region has responded to taunts that call centres are modern-day sweatshops by launching a health promotion scheme in partnership with the NHS. Last month, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) claimed that too many call centres were

  • Quakers bounce back with hard-earned point

    DARLINGTON will have mixed feelings about this well-earned point at Aggborough as they moved up a place in their fight against relegation. Quakers were much better than they were on Tuesday night, when manager Gary Bennett blew his top after the game

  • Reid prepared to bring in more foreign talent

    SUNDERLAND manager Peter Reid is ready to cast a world-wide net as he tries to establish Sunderland as a top-five Premiership club. The Wearside boss has just returned from a six-day scouting mission to Argentina, where he checked personally on recommended

  • Stress fracture operation for Dyer

    NEWCASTLE United boss Bobby Robson last night revealed that £20m-rated Kieron Dyer has been suffering a stress fracture for much of the season. The England starlet, who was thought to have a shin-splint problem, undergoes a bone graft today in a bid to

  • Babysitter seduced by Net user

    A MOTHER-of-three was behind bars last night after letting an Internet chatroom user seduce her schoolgirl babysitter after he and his friend travelled hundreds of miles to visit her home. Married father-of-three Andrew Mandefield and a friend travelled

  • Battle of the giants as wily duo fight for derby honours

    BRYAN ROBSON could be forgiven for feeling like an interloper today as the grandfather and the godfather of English football attempt to settle a little local dispute at St James' Park. Never in the history of North-East derbies can the managerial combatants

  • The search for the perfect contraceptive

    WHEN she began advising women on contraception on March 17, 1921, Marie Stopes was a trailblazer - for Britain was not a sexually-enlightened nation. Ignorance was so rife that Stopes, who married in 1911, had been a wife for more than a year before she

  • Farewell to tragic student

    MOVING tributes were paid yesterday to a much-loved student who died after an incident on a late night train. Fellow undergraduates, joined family and friends to pay their last respects to 21-year-old Patrick Brown at a funeral and thanksgiving service

  • Comment from The Northern Echo - Responsibility and reason

    FOR obvious reasons, feelings in rural communities are running high at present. Emotions are charged among farmers who are living in fear of having their livestock slaughtered. And businesses in the countryside are struggling as the public have stuck

  • On being voted out of the House

    As William Hague breezes cheerfully into The Northern Echo's offices, the morning's papers are still being digested. Mr Hague, though, has already consumed them all and is ready to spit them out. "I don't believe the Labour Party's lead is anything like

  • Hague laughs off poll blues

    TORY leader William Hague got some Comic Relief from election fever yesterday when he visited the head offices of The Northern Echo. Mr Hague visited the newspaper offices in Priestgate, Darlington, yesterday morning as part of his build-up to the General

  • Gateway to support services opens wide

    TEESSIDE University has opened a gateway to its support services with a new Centre for Enterprise. David Irwin, chief executive of the Small Business Service, opened the centre in Victoria Road, Middlesbrough, yesterday. Dr John Bridge, chief executive

  • Not the shocky horror show it once was

    She was a real head-turner in her day but, 27 years later, her ability to surprise and shock has lessened. Regan MacNeill's devilish behaviour of vomiting green bile, uttering foul language and doing unmentionable things with a crucifix made 1970s cinema

  • Fury over minister's plea for tourism

    ANGRY farmers last night accused ministers of irresponsibly jumping the gun by trying to reopen the countryside despite the foot-and-mouth epidemic. Environment Minister Michael Meacher said the countryside was not out of bounds, as long as visitors behaved

  • 'Five-year wait' for pitmen

    THE compensation fight faced by thousands of North-East miners took a new twist last night after it was revealed it could still take five years to test every claimant. About 7,000 men in the region whose lungs have been wrecked by coal dust remain trapped

  • Body found in river during search for missing man

    POLICE believe they have recovered the body of a man who jumped into a fast-flowing river to evade a police helicopter he thought was following him. A mountain rescue team, using canoes, discovered the body, thought to be that of 21-year-old John Fisher

  • Tears shed as Windass ruled out by freak injury

    DEVASTATED Dean Windass last night admitted he was reduced to tears by the freak back injury which forced him to miss Middlesbrough's derby victory at Newcastle. The £1m signing from Bradford City, who was due to make his debut, cried in pain and anguish

  • When the chips are down your shorts

    WE'VE all heard of placing a microchip beneath the skin of pets. The practice is common in cats and dogs. Even tortoises and fish can be "chipped". But what about using the same technology to monitor the performance of professional footballers? As far-fetched

  • Hear All Sides

    Letters from The Northern Echo POWER LINES COUNCILLOR Jeremy Atkinson (HAS, Mar 8) can be assured the NRPB Report suggests power lines are not a major source of childhood leukaemia, though the evidence suggests that relatively heavy average exposures

  • Cats back on the Euro trail after ending jinx

    SURPRISE package Sunderland finally beat a 44-year jinx at Stamford Bridge as they kick-started their Euro-drive with a first double of the season. But even the most optimistic Wearside fan could have expected Peter Reid's men to put four goals past a

  • Ince urges Tel to extend love affair

    TERRY VENABLES last night confessed he has fallen in love with Middlesbrough - and that their Premiership survival is more important than his personal pride. The former England coach is refusing to make any commitment to Boro beyond the end of the season

  • Gray day for the skipper

    DARLINGTON have been hit by the news that Martin Gray has now been ruled out for the rest of the season. Gray hasn't kicked a ball for Quakers since he played in the 2-2 draw at Lincoln in January because of a back injury, and a specialist has now recommended

  • Future of M&S European stores hangs in the balance

    MARKS & Spencer is still deliberating on whether or not to close a batch of its European stores. A spokesman for the troubled retailer said reports it was about to announce the closure of one-in-five of its European outlets were "pure speculation"

  • Blue Bird helps Henlys fly high

    BUS and coach builder Henlys said its US acquisition of the yellow school bus maker Blue Bird had driven pre-tax profits to record levels. Blue Bird, bought for £415m in October 1999, accounted for more than half of group turnover, which increased 91

  • Absorbing business idea

    A YOUNG man is making his way as an agricultural entrepreneur after nurturing links with New Zealand. Richard Hawlor, of Barnard Castle, County Durham, is finding his niche in the business world thanks to a formula from his grandfather and the help of

  • The biggest circus in the world

    HEAD to toe in red, the little boy stands with his face pressed to the wire. Ferrari hat, Ferrari shirt, Ferrari shorts, desperately hoping to see his hero, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher. Beside him is his brother, resplendent in the yellow of rival

  • Maclure given chance to taunt Tigers again

    FOR the second successive season Newcastle's Gareth Maclure has the chance to impress before a full house at Welford Road today. Leicester Tigers can expect noisy backing from their fans as they can clinch the Premiership title with the expected victory

  • Hunt for waitress given Lowry's last work

    The hunt is on for what may have been LS Lowry's last work - a rough sketch on the back of a menu. The artist gave the picture of a dog - which could be worth thousands of pounds today - to a waitress at a Sunderland hotel, but it has never resurfaced

  • Turner on a mission to shoot down the Seagulls

    FOCUSED Hartlepool United manager Chris Turner knows this afternoon's clash with bogey side Brighton is one his side can't afford to lose. Pool lie two places and ten points behind Mickey Adams' side in the promotion race. And even though Chesterfield's

  • Quakers hope for happy return

    Darlington fans will be suffering a sense of deja vu when they travel to Kidderminster today. Quakers' last visit to the Worcestershire club was in May 1990 in their penultimate game of their Conference winning season - but now the Conference is beckoning

  • Tributes pour in for 'people's champion' Tony

    TONY Moore was last night described as a champion of the people - a man who will be sorely missed by the community he represented for almost 30 years. The 59-year-old councillor died after a suffering a heart attack yesterday afternoon at the pool-side

  • We're all saying Pants to Poverty

    THE generous North spirit shone through yesterday, as thousands of fundraisers in the region rallied round to help brighten the lives of millions of deprived people around the world. Fundraising stunts ranged from the ridiculous to the remarkable, as

  • Temporary lifeline for bus link to hospital

    A BUS route providing a link to a hospital has been thrown a temporary lifeline. Arriva has proposed changes to the 3B service, which runs between Bishop Auckland and Hartlepool. It says the section between Ferryhill and the Trimdons is little used, and