• Farmers win mats battle

    FARMERS have won their battle to have the main route through a dale disinfected. Landowners along a stretch of Weardale, between the Cumbria border and Wolsingham, fear that foot-and-mouth disease is closing in on them from both sides, and have been pressing

  • Nissan's driving force in new role

    SIR Ian Gibson, the driving force who helped make Nissan's Sunderland plant the most efficient in Europe, has a new job. He will use his tough negotiating skills to head the Government's new automotive industry partnership, set up to coordinate a strategy

  • Top companies get just rewards

    THE North-East's top companies have been recognised. The North-East Business Awards, at Auckland Castle, were the culmination of three heats in Northumberland and Tyneside, Tees Valley and Durham, and Wearside. The top award, Company of the Year, in which

  • Barton back to his best

    AS usual the supporting card for the Grand National lacks nothing in quality, with pride of place going to the £120,000 Martell Aintree Hurdle. The glittering all-star line-up includes the 1999 track and trip winner Barton, Hors La Loi 111, Mister Banjo

  • These prickly delights are simple to grow

    CACTI are amongst the most fascinating plants a gardener can grow. Indeed, if your indoor gardening is confined to the centrally-heated living room, it is one of the most successful groups of plants to cultivate as all, except the jungle cacti, thoroughly

  • Repair bill estimated at £25,000

    REPAIRING a community centre, which was badly damaged by arsonists, is expected to cost about £25,000. The hall on Carr House Drive, Newton Hall, Durham, was targeted last month and was put out of action by the blaze. Durham City Council officials are

  • Police station on schedule

    SPENNYMOOR'S new £2m police station is starting to take shape and is on target for an October opening. The two-storey, slate-fronted building, on waste land next to Spennymoor Leisure Centre, will double the size of the 95-year-old station in Dundas Street

  • Historic town map to be restored and displayed

    A TOWN'S priceless heirloom, hidden from view for decades, is to be given a £50,000 makeover and put on public display. The store room treasure is a map, painted in oils on sail cloth, in 1716 - a century before the birth of the industrial and commercial

  • Pig farmers' problems are growing

    PIG farmers fear their livestock could suffer under continuing movement restrictions imposed to try to control the spread of foot-and-mouth. Restrictions introduced in the early days of the outbreak have prevented farmers in affected areas from moving

  • Solano arrested

    Newcastle United star Nolberto Solano was today arrested for drink driving. The Peruvian international was pulled over by a patrol car in his silver £30.000 BMW 3-series sports car in the early hours of this morning. Salono was flagged down by traffic

  • Survival before derby passion for Tel

    TERRY VENABLES has told Middlesbrough to "forget it's a derby'' when they face Sunderland in Monday's Tees-Wear showdown. Head coach Venables wants Boro to ignore the passion of the occasion at the Riverside and focus on Premiership survival. Fourth-bottom

  • Developers alter plans for leisure scheme

    DEVELOPERS are altering their plans for a controversial leisure development in the centre of Durham. Amec plans to change elements of the £21m Walkergate scheme that is part-funding Durham City Council's Millennium City development. The scheme includes

  • Still feeding the poor

    GIVE or take one or two, the Rev John Marshall last year conducted 59 weddings, 200 baptisms and 213 funerals. "The bishop," he grumbles, "won't even give us a curate." The Bishop of Durham is among his parishioners, a short step away and a frequent 8am

  • Still feeding the poor

    GIVE or take one or two, the Rev John Marshall last year conducted 59 weddings, 200 baptisms and 213 funerals. "The bishop," he grumbles, "won't even give us a curate." The Bishop of Durham is among his parishioners, a short step away and a frequent 8am

  • Seventh bride show springs into action at Metrocentre

    VISITORS to the MetroCentre can pick up more than just their shopping this weekend. The Gateshead shopping centre's seventh Bride and Home Exhibition started yesterday, and will run until tomorrow. Shoppers can take a look at the latest spring fashions

  • Tourist drive as disease marches on

    PRIME Minister Tony Blair appealed for tourists to save Britain's beleaguered holiday industry while on a visit to York yesterday. As the drive was launched in North Yorkshire, elsewhere in the county foot-and-mouth was confirmed in an area previously

  • Hit-and-run driver left woman dying

    A MANIAC hit-and-run driver who sneered "watch this" before mowing down a young mother and leaving her dying in a pool of blood has been jailed. David Little, 25, drove his van at 35-year-old Angela Armstrong as she walked towards her home. Newcastle

  • Man attacked ex-lover with garden fork

    A SPURNED lover lurked in his former partner's garden in the early hours of the morning before attacking her with a garden fork when she returned home. Mark Pawson, 33, attacked Michelle Race after she ended their relationship and refused to consider

  • Heroin dealer 'plagued' teenagers

    A woman drug dealer was jailed for five years yesterday after she pestered teenagers to buy heroin. Beverley Jeffries, 27, repeatedly left answering machine messages for a 17-year-old who was trying to quit drugs, asking if he wanted to buy heroin, said

  • Bobby on the Sierra Leonne beat

    IT WON'T be the horrific sight of hundreds of mutilated children aimlessly wandering the streets that will make PC Barry Coulson's beat in County Durham seem a world apart. And it won't be the searing, hot sun, the constant threat of violence or even

  • TV's Wendy in split from husband

    BBC Newcastle presenter Wendy Gibson has split from her broadcaster husband, Simon Willis. The TV couple, who used to work together on the regional news programme Look North, said in a statement that "sadly our professional lives have taken us in different

  • Hear All Sides

    Letters from The Northern Echo DISABILITIES ARTICLES highlighting disability issues to the public are always welcome. However, it should be pointed out that the regular feature, Access All Areas, must not be looked on as a guide or that a town or attraction

  • All eyes on high street retailers

    IN the run up to the Easter holidays, the City will have its eyes on the high street, as a host of retailers - including Tesco and Debenhams - are set to report their figures. Supermarket chain Tesco is expected to smash through the £1bn barrier when

  • Drink led young woman to offend

    Single mother Tracey Clark told police she did stupid things when she was drunk, a court heard yesterday. Peter Scott, prosecuting, told Harrogate magistrates that among Clark's stupid acts had been the theft of a mobile phone while waiting in a queue

  • Little council takes on Mr President

    A TINY council has bared its teeth at the American president for his controversial decision to opt-out from the Kyoto agreement on anti-pollution measures. Pateley Bridge Town Council, which represents just 2,000 people in Nidderdale, near Harrogate,

  • Depressed mother hit baby's head on wall

    A YOUNG mother killed her six-month-old baby by banging his head against a wall while suffering post-natal depression. Corey Raine suffered multiple fractures to his head after his mother, Sarah Allison, 19, snapped. Newcastle Crown Court heard that Allison

  • Election bid 'to get city better deal'

    RIPON city councillor Andrew Williams wants to voice residents' concerns on North Yorkshire County Council as well. For the past eight years, he has represented Harrogate's Bilton Ward on the county council, but wants to switch to Ripon's West ward. Councillor

  • Loss of tyre failed to halt car, court told

    Loss of a tyre in a shower of sparks did not halt the progress of a Ford Orion along the busy Harrogate-Ripon road, a court heard yesterday. The car continued its route through Killinghall and into Harrogate, cross the town to reach Park House Green before

  • Presenter gets push

    Big Breakfast presenter Paul Tonkinson was today axed from the wacky early morning show after just two months. North-Yorkshire born Tonkinson joined the Channel 4 show in February but was told of his sacking after yesterday's programme. A statement from

  • Campaign begins to tackle hooligans

    POLICE and council officers have announced they will abandon "softly-softly" tactics when dealing with trouble-making youngsters. The Acceptable Behaviour Campaign, which starts on Monday, is being spearheaded by Cleveland Police and Redcar and Cleveland

  • Adam building a whole new career on artistic foundations

    ARTIST Adam Baldwin is aiming to build a career based on his love of art after giving up a lucrative life in the construction industry. The 54-year-old, from Northumberland, decided to pack in his job travelling the world as a successful building boss

  • Council ban lifted after challenge

    A BAN on a grandfather attending council meetings has been lifted. Burly private guards hired to keep asthmatic 52-year-old Chris Snowdon out of Middlesbrough town hall - because he refuses to stand up when the mayor arrives-have been withdrawn. Mr Snowdon

  • Safe play area bid to gain support

    A CAMPAIGN by parents to create a safe play area for their children looks set to win a council's support. Durham City Council's community services committee will be recommended on Wednesday, to lease land that the Pity Me Play Park Initiative wants to

  • Residents voice vandalism fears

    A COMMUNITY meeting to clamp down on anti-social behaviour has been hailed a success. In response to vandalism and abuse by young people living on the Bankfields Estate, Eston, the community association organised a public meeting, involving 20 local agencies

  • Leisure complex planned at quarry site

    PROPOSALS have been submitted for a leisure complex near the village of Scorton. The suggestion that more could be made of the old quarry workings south of the village is not a new one - a meeting only last month discussed the possibilities of an hotel

  • Region's runners to pull in the punters

    MILLIONS of punters are expected to gamble record sums on the Grand National today. Punters in the region are expected to flock to bookies with extra vigour because two local runners are rated realistic prospects among the 40-strong field for the Martell-sponsored

  • Murphy's choice to Return triumphant

    SOFT-GROUND should not hinder my each-way selection for this afternoon's Grand National, the 25-1 shot Ferdy Murphy-trained Paddy's Return. The days of really long-priced winners like Foinavon (100-1) seem all but gone now that the "lottery factor" has

  • Derby clash aims to be happy event

    FOOTBALL fans are being urged to arrive early for a North-East derby clash to take advantage of a promotion. Middlesbrough Football Club, which is hosting its clash with Sunderland on Monday, is holding a happy hour promotion prior to the match. Fans

  • Eggs in the best possible taste

    CHILDREN at a Ferryhill primary school enjoyed an eggscellent last day of term. Cleves Cross Primary School held an Easter egg decorating competition, organised by The Castles Residents' Association. The group organised a similar contest last year, and

  • Rob does the honours

    NEWCASTLE Falcons director of rugby, and former England fly half, Rob Andrew has opened the new business contact centre of 2Touch, in Sunderland. The company moved to the 140,000sq ft premises, on the Doxford International Business Park, in January. It

  • Club players kick off families' help scheme

    PLAYERS from Hartlepool United, and club mascot H'Angus, will promote a new initiative for children in the town next week. Sure Start (South) is designed to give youngsters the best possible start in life. During the next two years, £2.26m will be spent

  • Employment group helps 150 into work

    A TEAM set up to tackle unemployment rates has helped more than 150 people since it was set up six months ago. Easington Action Team for Jobs opened for business in October, last year. It is one of eight teams set up by the Employment Service in areas

  • Community groups boosted by grants from Lottery scheme

    COMMUNITY organisations across County Durham are celebrating after getting grants totalling £85,355 from the National Lottery Awards for All programme. The money is going to 24 small groups in Chester-le-Street, Derwentside, Durham, Easington, Sedgefield

  • Police hunt alley 'flasher'

    POLICE are appealing for information after a man exposed himself to a 12-year-old girl. The incident happened at about 8.30pm on Friday, March 16, as the youngster was walking along the alley way at the rear of Grosvenor Road, Hartlepool. She was approached

  • Four men spared jail for drug production

    FOUR men involved in cannabis production in attics across the North-East were yesterday spared immediate prison sentences. Durham Crown Court was told the quartet were arrested in police raids at several addresses in the Bishop Auckland area, and elsewhere

  • Bhoys clinch championship

    Celtic have been crowned Scottish champions in front of 60,000 ecstatic fans at Parkhead. Tommy Johnson's 38th minute goal was enough to beat bottom-placed St Mirren and secure the quickest title triumph in 26 years. After the Bhoys had missed a hatful

  • Paralympics heroine opens fitness centre

    PARALYMPICS star Tanni Grey-Thompson opened a £200,000 fitness suite at Redcar Leisure Centre yesterday - and said it was so good she would use it for her own training. The Energy Club has been funded by Tees Valley Leisure (TVLL), which manages leisure

  • Museum jewel show caught in mouse trap

    IT sounds like the perfect plot for a Pink Panther film. A world-renowned museum is busily getting ready to put on a dazzling exhibition of fine art and jewellery. But one key piece is missing. A rare gold mechanical mouse, only one of four made, has

  • Clinton plans to cash in on regional differences

    CLINTON Cards plans to cash in on regional differences this year by rolling out a system that automatically registers which cards sell best in certain areas of the country. The Essex company is spending £1.4m on installing the software on to its tills

  • Passport to a capital time

    MOST people who visit London do so to see the many attractions the capital city has to offer. But, because the city is the heartbeat of the nation, you can also expect to pay capital prices. And if you are making an extended stay, you may end up seeing

  • Shamed politician planningreturn

    A DISGRACED former national park chairman has provoked a storm of controversy by seeking a return to public office. Robert Heseltine is planning to stand for re-election to North Yorkshire County Council less than a year after he was convicted of fiddling

  • Internet generation learns about the joys of books

    A NURSERY is going back to basics to introduce the next Internet generation to the wonders of books. St Wilfrid's Nursery, Bishop Auckland is making sure the printed word is not overlooked, by taking toddlers on regular trips to Woodhouse Close Library

  • Grand National joy for Red Marauder

    Red Marauder won the 154th Martell Grand National at Aintree in one of the most gruelling races ever. The 33-1 shot outpaced Smarty, backed at 16-1, in an amazing race which saw just four horses finish out of a starting field of 40. Blowing Wind, also

  • Quakers match off

    Darlington's Third Division clash with Mansfield was today postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. After a 10am inspection, the Field Mill pitch was deemed to be unplayable by the match referee. No new date has yet be set. The Quakers are no strangers to

  • Tickets on sale for 'Proms'

    A 200-STRONG choir will take part in this year's Last Night of the Proms event at a North-East leisure centre. The concert, organised by Music for Darlington, attracts people from all over the region. This year's Proms evening, which takes place at the

  • Museum is open for business

    AN open-air museum reopens its doors today after being closed for more than a month because of foot-and-mouth. Beamish Museum, near Stanley, County Durham, is hoping for a good start to its summer season to make up for revenue lost during the closure.

  • The Elder statesman of the National

    Millions of punters around the world will be cheering on the runners and riders in the Grand National this year. But one man has seen it all before. MARK FOSTER reports WHEN they are under starter's orders at Aintree this afternoon, few people will be

  • Getting the right bleeps and squeaks

    THE BIGGEST problem for the PlayStation 2 owner at the moment is finding something decent to play on it. Gamers looking for something beyond the usual glut of sequels to PSOne material are desperate. Even the Dreamcast had a more innovative line-up of

  • Bennett wary of threat from wounded Stags

    DARLINGTON manager Gary Bennett has warned his players to be on their guard at Mansfield today. Quakers go to a refurbished Field Mill unbeaten in their last five matches and having suffered just one defeat in their last ten, a stark contrast to their

  • Museum on the move due to crisis

    STAFF from a museum forced to close due to the foot-and-mouth outbreak have been bringing the past to life in schools. Kilhope, the North of England Lead Mining Museum in Weardale, was due to open this month, but is now closed until further notice, and

  • Friends' tributes as head injury victim is laid to rest

    FRIENDS and family yesterday gathered to pay their respects to a man who died after being found lying unconscious in a street. Father-of-two Paul Simpson, 34, of Eldon Street, Darlington, died in Middlesbrough General Hospital after suffering a fractured

  • Spring show hopes that attendance will bloom

    Gateshead Spring Flower Show opens its doors to the public today and hopes to attract record numbers of visitors over the weekend. The show is held annually at the Central Nursery, Lobley Hill, and is one of the country's leading shows. It draws visitors

  • Protests at bid to stop phone mast monitoring

    PEOPLE in Spennymoor have objected to a request to scrap monitoring of emissions from a mobile telephone mast. Permission for the 22.5m mast at Green Lane, Spennymoor, was granted last August. But councillors imposed a condition that a survey was carried

  • Overcharged? We'll be back

    BEING overcharged by a hotel would result in most people vowing never to return there. But it did not prevent Vic and Rita Hindmarch from returning to the place where they were on honeymoon 50 years ago. The couple, who used to live in Darlington before

  • Pensioners confronted by thieves in flat

    AN elderly couple were left shaken after they found a pair of thieves burgling their flat. The 87-year-old man and his wife found the front door of their Darlington home damaged when they returned from an afternoon out at 5.35pm on Thursday. Inside, they

  • Police chase driver fined £2,000

    A MAN escaped a prison sentence yesterday after admitting dangerous driving. Anthony Strudwick, 42, of St Oswald's Court, Newton Aycliffe, admitted the offence when he appeared before Teesside Crown Court. The court heard that on the night of the incident

  • Edmond catches the eye

    HERE we are again. Another Grand National. A great day's racing and we're all scratching our heads looking for the winner. It's never easy to find but over half of the last 27 winners had starting prices ranging from 9-1 to 14-1. It's also worth noting

  • Ancient grave find of a warrior queen and her royal chariot

    AN ANCIENT burial site of a tribal queen was unveiled in the region yesterday by archaeologists as the earliest of its kind found in Britain. The skeleton of the queen, whose body had been placed in the third to fourth century BC grave with a dismantled

  • Company suspends disposal of carcasses

    A LANDFILL site operator has suspended plans to dispose of animal carcasses at its site. Biffa said last night it would not accept any consignments of carcasses at its Thornton Fields landfill facility, near Guisborough, east Cleveland, until the company

  • Unwanted hat-trick for unluckiest fans

    THE world's unluckiest football fans finally met their idols yesterday. Dedicated Jimmy Whithead and his mates have travelled 21,000 miles from the United States to follow Newcastle United - but have so far never seen a game. Each time they arrived on

  • Desert Island risks

    Paralympic gold medalist Tanni Grey-Thompson gets a bit flustered when asked about which records she's chosen for her appearance on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs this weekend. It's not the fact that she can't actually remember all of the eight gramophone

  • Drug-case mother spared prison

    A mother was given a last chance by a judge yesterday after a court heard she swallowed a wrap of drugs rather than hand it over to police. Instead of jailing Melanie Davidson, 25, of Royal Crescent Lane, Scarborough, Judge Paul Hoffman ordered her to

  • Yet another police probe ends in farce

    A WAR of words broke out last night over who was responsible after yet another investigation into Cleveland Police collapsed. Operation Dollar was set up to examine allegations made by zero tolerance pioneer Detective Superintendent Ray Mallon after he

  • Bigger, better and with more smells

    JUST a few feet in front of you, a middle-aged man squats above a stinking cess pit, his face grimacing as he groans with the strain, with only a wicker fence to half-obscure the view. Not something most people would pay to see but, in this case, it's

  • Comment from The Northern Echo - Timely backing for tourism

    NOW the Easter holidays are upon us, it is time to resume as much as possible of our normal spare-time activities. Tourism is one of our major industries - far more so, economically, than agriculture - and just as we've been supportive of farmers in their

  • Future is bright for female soccer stars

    TALENTED female soccer players will be able to get on the ball and keep up with their education at a new academy. Premiership high-fliers Sunderland have teamed up with Gateshead College and Durham County FA to launch the scheme. The club's community

  • Soccer fan fights racism conviction

    A football fan accused of shouting racist abuse at a Premiership match must wait until Monday to see if he has succeeded in clearing his name. Frank Wheatley was picked out by a steward at the Stadium of Light for allegedly making anti-Jewish remarks

  • Early Easter treat for home

    EASTER came early for residents and staff at a Chester-le-Street nursing home when they received a batch of hot cross buns from Greggs. West House Nursing Home, in Waldridge Road, always celebrates Easter with a special tea party, so when Birtley Greggs

  • Tinkler goes back to his Roots with point to make

    HARTLEPOOL United boss Chris Turner is hoping a return to his Roots will prove a promotion spur for Mark Tinkler. Pool are at Southend this afternoon, with midfield enforcer Tinkler back at Roots Hall for the first time since his free transfer move to

  • Mowden's chances are decimated by omissions

    DARLINGTON Mowden Park have suddenly found themselves with ten players either injured or unavailable as their 100 per cent record in North One faces a stern test at Macclesfield today. Despite not having played for the last two weeks because of foot-and-mouth

  • Holiday fun for youngsters

    YOUNGSTERS are being invited to take part in a range of activities taking place during the Easter school holidays. Hartlepool Youth Offending Service and the town's youth service have teamed up to stage Easter Splash 2001, for 13 to 17 year-olds, from

  • School secretary stepping down

    A SCHOOL secretary has retired after more than 22 years working at the same Darlington school. Pamela Davison started work at Whinfield Infant School before it opened. Since then, the 65-year-old has found herself looking after the children of those who

  • £75,000 grant to help arts projects

    AN arts organisation has been awarded £75,000 to help towards its running costs. Cleveland Arts has received the money from The Baring Foundation, one of Britain's major grant-giving trusts. The organisation, which runs events and activities throughout

  • Brave woman foils handbag snatcher

    A WOMAN foiled a robber by clinging to her handbag as he dragged her along the ground. She struggled with the thief until a group of builders working heard the 54-year-old woman's yells and went to her aid. The robber fled empty-handed after being chased

  • Robson will profit from Venables, claims Reid

    SUNDERLAND manager Peter Reid has backed Middlesbrough counterpart Bryan Robson to emerge as a stronger coach thanks to the help of Terry Venables. Reid pits his wits against the Boro management duo in Monday night's Tees-Wear clash at the Riverside Stadium

  • Puds across the atlantic to spread store's fame

    SPECIALIST food retailer Lewis & Cooper is targeting the US after a showcase event in North Yorkshire. The Northallerton company attended an event for US buyers at the Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. The event was organised by North Yorkshire Export

  • Immunisation 'may help fend off cot death'

    CHILD health experts in the region say immunisation might help to protect babies against cot death. Paediatricians at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary analysed the circumstances surrounding more than 470,000 babies born in England between 1993 and

  • Shearer rounds off good news week for United

    ALAN SHEARER rounded off a rare good news week for Newcastle United yesterday when he revealed he is ready to return to light training. The United skipper, told to rest for at least a month after suffering a reaction to the knee on which he underwent

  • Blair in plea to the 'lost' tourists

    TONY Blair went on the offensive yesterday to push home the message that Britain is still open for the holiday business. Accompanied by his wife, Cherie, the Prime Minister visited York in an effort to encourage the stay-at-homes to venture out. Media

  • An Asian jewel that's like no place on Earth

    THERE can be few places in the world where the contrasts are so great as in Hong Kong. That Asian jewel, resplendent in an emerald setting of the South China Sea, where make-shift villages exist alongside the most luxurious shopping malls in the world

  • Captain Corelli's island faces tourist invasion

    THE film adaptation of Louis de Berniere's best selling novel, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, is doing wonders for the tourist trade on the largest island in the Ionian Sea, Kefallonia. Directed by John Madden, it is set to influence thousands of people

  • Funeral payments to double

    QMy mother died recently. Does her case qualify for the £1,000 death grant? The form the DSS sent asked for details of the income of all my family. Is it means tested and will mother's £2,400 insurance be counted? A There is no Death Grant any more. The