• Cleveland Police hunt attacker

    Police are hunting a man who attacked a young mother yesterday evening. The man grabbed the 18-year-old woman on the A66 footbridge as she headed towards Ayresome Grange in Middlesbrough with her son in his pushchair at 5.10pm. He attempted to drag her

  • Survey to solve trawler mystery

    AN underwater survey to remove any lingering doubts about the fate of the trawler Gaul will be held in the summer, it has been announced. Ever since the Hull-registered vessel went down in 1974 in the Barents Sea with the loss of 36 crewmen, including

  • Bones mystery solved

    Old bones dug up during a city-centre excavation could belong to a Blitz victim, it emerged yesterday. The partial skeleton unearthed by developers building a new Morrison's supermarket in Byker, Newcastle, has mystified police since its discovery ten

  • Cash boost helps villages plan future

    A group of North Yorkshire villages have become the first in the region to win cash to help them plan for a prosperous future. The Hillside Parishes, near Thirsk, have been awarded almost £15,000 by the Countryside Agency's Vital Villages initiative to

  • Law change pledge to protect children

    THE Government last night ruled out allowing the public unrestricted access to the Sex Offenders Register, but promised to toughen the laws protecting children from paedophiles in the wake of the murder of Sarah Payne. Home Secretary David Blunkett is

  • Cause of gas explosion unknown

    Mystery surrounds a gas explosion which left a family's home in ruins. The blast hurled 30-year-old mother of three, Marie Johnson, through the ground floor window and into the garden of her home in Eamont Road, Norton. Emergency services arrived to find

  • Inquest opened

    An inquest into the death of a man who was found collapsed at his home in the early hours of Sunday morning was opened today. Owen Dudley Harriott, 27, of Viner Street, Ripon, North Yorkshire, was rushed to Harrogate District Hospital, but was pronounced

  • Wilko boots Falcons into quarter-finals

    JONNY Wilkinson kicked all Newcastle's points as the holders recovered from a dreadful first half to snatch a dramatic victory in the sixth round of the PowerGen Cup. The lead had already changed hands in injury time before Wilkinson landed the decisive

  • Agricultural show set to be re-launched

    Preparations are well under way for the return of the biggest event in the north's agricultural calendar. Last summer the annual Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate had to be cancelled because of the foot-and-mouth crisis. And next year organisers are determined

  • Youngsters hit high notes at airport

    A GROUP of youngsters treated aircraft passengers to some seasonal songs at Teesside Airport. Twenty boys and girls from Middleton St George Primary School sang Christmas carols for travellers and visitors in the main concourse of the airport, near Darlington

  • New Year licensing extensions debated

    COUNCILLORS will today decide whether to let pubs and clubs in Darlington extend their opening hours over the New Year. Members of Darlington Borough Council's licensing committee will discuss three applications during a meeting at the town hall this

  • Holladay hat-trick at Loftus

    MORPETH Harrier Rob Holladay completed a hat-trick of victories in yesterday's 17th Loftus Poultry Run. The non-appearance of previous winner Craig McBurney meant that Holladay's main challenger was clubmate Ken Harker. But the 26-year-old Guisborough

  • Nine injured as car collides with minibus

    NINE people were taken to hospital after a car collided with a minibus late on Saturday night. The female passenger of a VW Polo had to be cut free after the car failed to negotiate a left-hand and collided with the bus outside the Sportman's Inn, at

  • Hopes fade for missing man who vanished without trace

    Mystery surrounding the whereabouts of missing war veteran Robert English deepened after another search proved fruitless. Police and search and rescue teams are baffled by the 77-year-old's disappearance, and are now losing hope of finding him alive.

  • Record bid for industry relic

    A PLAQUE made by one of the region's most famous companies has gone under the hammer for a world record sum. The 21in circular plaque, crafted by Tyneside company Maling, sold for £7,590 at auctioneer Anderson and Garland, Newcastle. The piece was made

  • Investigation into patient's ordeal

    AN investigation is under way into why an accident victim was initially taken by ambulance to a cottage hospital, delaying her arrival at a main accident and emergency unit by more than four hours. The ambulance service was called to Ripon Market Place

  • Sir Paul and Heather to wed in style

    SIR Paul McCartney and former North-East model Heather Mills are to marry in showbiz wedding in the Scottish Highlands, it has been revealed. The celebrated couple will follow in the footsteps of Madonna and Guy Ritchie by tying the knot at the secluded

  • Wind farms ready to bring power boost

    TWO wind farms have been completed with the installation of the sixth turbine. The farms, at Tow Law and High Hedley Hope, were brought into use on Friday. They have taken just six months to build and should generate enough electricity to meet the needs

  • Students' houses to be protected in scheme

    A CRACKDOWN on theft from students' houses over Christmas has been launched by Teesside University's Student Union. Student homes are a frequent target for burglars over the festive season when they know many students have returned home to be with family

  • Vow to protect wartime defences

    SOME of the last surviving defences built to repel a Nazi invasion during the Second World War are to be preserved. A council has vowed to maintain one of the North-East's last pairs of wartime pillboxes, used as lookout posts to defend the coast against

  • One turkey that's not afraid of a roasting

    IT is a time of year which has most turkeys trembling with fear, but Clever Trevor's remarkable talent has saved him from a festive fate. While most of his counterparts are doomed to end up stuffed with sage and onion at the centre of a lavish dinner

  • Prince Charles to visit disease-hit communities

    THE Prince of Wales will visit some of the region's worst foot-and-mouth affected areas today as he endorses a major rural recovery campaign. Prince Charles is expected to enjoy a tipple at the Craven Heifer Hotel, in Stainforth, North Yorkshire, as part

  • Gazza: I want to play for the Quakers

    GEORDIE soccer legend Paul Gascoigne has revealed he is interested in playing out his career at lowly Darlington. The 34-year-old former England star admitted to being a fan of the Third Division Quakers, and said he would not rule out a sensational return

  • Family's delight as attacker's parole bid fails

    A TEENAGER who left his friend for dead after a brutal attack has had an application for early release from prison turned down. Robert Fuller, of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, has served two years of a six-year sentence for attempting to murder Ashley Murray

  • Trampoliners hit the heights

    YOUNG trampoliners hit new heights at the weekend when they staged their Christmas show. Sixty children from the Hambleton Gliders club put on the event, based on the famous Cirque de Soleil, at Northallerton Leisure Centre. Trampoline coach Melanie Richards

  • Culture centre plan unveiled

    Plans to turn a disused building into a beacon for culture and youth art have been unveiled. Community theatre company Cap-a-Pie aims to establish a centre in Dipton, creating a focus for the arts in Derwentside and the wider region. Proposals for the

  • Tackling skills shortage

    STOCKTON Borough Council has taken on four building apprentices to tackle the shortage of skilled workers. The council's building maintenance department appointed the trainees to its heating, ventilation and electrical section. Richard Frame and Paul

  • Fantasy trip at castle

    WOODLAND characters and scenes from the Charles Dickens ghost story A Christmas Carol are the inspiration for a festive fantasy land created for visitors to Raby Castle. Families are being invited to enjoy the spirit of Christmas at the castle, near Staindrop

  • Hospital building work complete

    THE final stone has been put in place at Bishop Auckland's new £67m hospital. After two-and-a-half years, building work on the impressive new hospital has been completed, with the last stone being set in place, at the entrance, on Friday. But it will

  • Mandelson rubbishes claim he is 'hired out' at parties

    MP Peter Mandelson last night vehemently denied accusations of accepting cash to sip champagne at private parties. The former Cabinet Minister, who has twice been forced to resign from the Cabinet after being embroiled in scandal, has been accused of

  • Night in cell is a haunting experience for fundraisers

    FUNDRAISERS spent the night locked up in the disused Victorian cells of a haunted police station at the weekend. Youth workers got a taste of criminal life when community police sergeant Colin Askey locked them up in Loftus cells between 11pm and 7am

  • Fans given sympathy after wasted Pool trip

    RIVAL managers Chris Turner and Garry Thompson joined forces to sympathise with Hartlepool United fans who suffered a 580-mile wasted journey on Saturday. Pools game at Bristol Rovers was abandoned after just 12 minutes, leaving the 200 or so Pool fans

  • The vexed question of race relations

    SO David Blunkett wants immigrants to develop a sense of British identity. This from a political party that has always undermined Britain and wants to send us headlong into being part of a European superstate. So which part of British culture does he

  • Coalfield groups get share in £45m

    COMMUNITY groups in former coalfield areas of the North-East have been invited to apply for a share of a £45m funding package. The invitation was made by regeneration minister Lord Falconer as he unveiled new guidelines and priorities for managing the

  • Helicopter plucks ship's crew to safety

    A BLAZE onboard a cargo ship in the North Sea has been extinguished. The five-strong crew of the 72-metre Rosebank was rescued by helicopter early on Saturday after a distress call was picked up by the Royal Navy fisheries protection vessel, HMS Anglesey

  • Breast unit opens

    CHERIE Blair is to open a hospital unit in the North-East this week. The Prime Minister's wife will launch the £330,000 breast unit at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, Teesside. Mrs Blair will open the unit at 2.30pm on Thursday.

  • Rescue bid fails to save diver

    TRIBUTES have been paid to a commercial diver who died while inspecting an underwater gas pipeline off the Dutch coast. Andrew Ross Cleugh, 29, described as a gentle giant with an impeccable safety record and a sixth sense for danger, was buried under

  • Volunteers rewarded

    THE National Trust has said thank you for the gift of time by honouring almost 500 years of dedicated voluntary service. At a lunch last week in the Treasurer's House, in York, it rewarded 29 volunteers who had each given more than 20 years' service at

  • Residents invited to join German exchange visits

    EAST Durham residents are being given the chance to take part in two exchange visits. Seaham Town Council is organising the trips to its German twin town of Gerlingen. The first will be in July for an annual music festival, and the second will be in September

  • Christmas party welcome for Santa

    CHILDREN at a day nursery in Norton had an early festive visitor when Santa Claus visited their party. More than 85 children from The Rainbow Day Nursery received presents as part of the treat, organised by owner Northumbrian Trust Day Nurseries and the

  • Information and support on hand as The Junction opens

    A project to help young people in Redcar has been opened by the town's MP. Vera Baird QC launched The Junction, in Station Road, in front of an audience of young people, friends and representatives of agencies which support young people. The Junction

  • Tenants turn out for board elections

    TENANTS in east Cleveland have voted a local woman on to the board of a not-for-profit organisation which is being set up to manage council houses in the area. Susan Taylor, who lives in New Skelton, takes the place of Peter Baldwin, who died earlier

  • North Yorkshire news in brief

    MONKS at Ampleforth Abbey enjoyed a Christmas concert with a difference this year when they were joined by a choir of girls for the first time. The Schola Cantorum choir, from St Martin's School, Ampleforth, sang at Vespers in the abbey church. Christopher

  • Soccer fun for children

    CHILDREN in the Chester-le-Street area have the chance to take part in a mini-soccer league at the Riverside Sports Complex. The event, organised by Chester-le-Street District Council, starts on February 2 and runs for 11 weeks, from 9.30am to 2pm on

  • East Cleveland news in brief

    A REDCAR playgroup has packed up its toys for the last time after 30 years. The group was set up in 1971 at Zetland Park Methodist Church but demand for playgroup places has fallen because of the rise in nursery education for younger children. Many children

  • Jobs boost for Teesside

    It is hoped more than 200 jobs will be created by the end of next year after a contract to bring a new lease of life to a construction yard was announced today. D-CECC Ltd has been contracted to by the engineering company Qualter Hall to construct two

  • Robbery getaway car is found

    POLICE have recovered an abandoned getaway car used in an armed robbery on a jewellers shop. Detectives were yesterday carrying out a detailed search of a beige Toyota Corina, which was found abandoned near Grange Road, in Darlington, soon after the raid

  • Middle Earth here we come

    Last week Sharon Griffiths wrote about why she prefers cold showers to reading Tolkien. CHRISTEN PEARS leaps to the defence of the master of Middle Earth I'VE spent many a happy hour in the company of the Ents, those strange creatures in The Lord of the

  • Tenants turn out for board elections

    TENANTS in east Cleveland have voted a local woman on to the board of a not-for-profit organisation which is being set up to manage council houses in the area. Susan Taylor, who lives in New Skelton, takes the place of Peter Baldwin, who died earlier

  • Charity shop raises £1m

    A charity shop is celebrating raising its first million after 18 years of business in Redcar's High Street. The Imperial Cancer Research Fund shop opened in 1983, and the volunteer team, shop manager and area manager will attend a celebratory dinner at

  • Students' community spirit earns its reward

    SIX youngsters from Thornaby are celebrating after being awarded the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award for their outstanding contribution to the community. Vicky York, Susan Badger, Claire Orah, Lydia Smith, Dana Rodham and Louise Armstrong, who

  • Archaeology projects

    A COMMUNITY archaeologist has been appointed to Hartlepool's Headland as part of the Heritage Initiative Programme. Mark Simmons, a graduate of the University of Wales, was education officer for Redcar and Cleveland museums service before moving to Hartlepool

  • Mowden revival fizzles out in seven-try setback

    DARLINGTON Mowden Park slipped further out of contention in the National Division Three North promotion race when they lost 48-19 at Scunthorpe. The watertight defence which was a feature of their play as they won their first four matches has vanished

  • Ashamma's life of shame

    This year, Christian Aid's Christmas Appeal focuses on India's 250 million untouchables. Press officer Katie Splevins talks to one woman whose life has been devastated by the country's hidden apartheid system. LIKE me, Ashamma is 25 years old, yet the

  • Workers injured in chemical spill

    Five people were taken to hospital today after inhaling chlorine following a chemical spillage. The incident happened at soft drinks maker Histogram, on Belmont Industrial Estate, near Durham, just before 11am, when around 1000 litres of hypocleanse,

  • Investigation launched after pensioner's death

    An investigation has been launched after the family of an elderly man claim he was left in appalling conditions in council-run sheltered accommodation. Brian Rudd claims his 95-year-old father-in-law, William Mould, was living in squalid conditions at

  • Expedition struggles just days after dramatic rescue

    A British Army Antarctic Expedition was turning into a disaster today after a yacht became marooned in the ice. The latest set back came just days after the expedition's leader was saved from certain death by North Yorkshireman Captain Harry Scrope when

  • Speed dismisses title talk as 'premature'

    WHEN it comes to talking about Champions League places this season, the usual suspects like Liverpool, Arsenal, Leeds and Manchester United are always the first names mentioned. Newcastle, however, are still seen as pretenders at the top - despite being

  • What's hot and what's not

    What's Hot IN A STEW: As the winter nights draw in, it's time to cook something wholesome and warming to keep you healthy through the dark months. Casseroles have not been trendy since 1970 when it was the hip thing to invite your friends round to join

  • Witnesses to accident sought by police

    A teenage girl suffered serious head injuries when she stepped into the path of a car. The incident happened as the 16-year-old, from Bearpark, near Durham, was crossing Toll House Road, Durham, at the west end of the bridge over the river Browney. She

  • Double crash loco to return to N-E service

    A LOCOMOTIVE involved in the Selby and Hatfield crashes is to be back on the North-East's railtracks in the New Year. GNER has confirmed that Engine 91023, which by coincidence powered both passenger trains, had been through a maintenance programme and

  • Police launch Christmas anti-terrorism drive

    Armed police have set up stopping stations on the region's roads as part of a Christmas crackdown on terrorism. The anti-terrorist drive is part of a national campaign called Operation Floodgate which has been set up following the recent terrorist attacks

  • Farmer denies failure to track animal movements

    A County Durham pig farmer has denied failing to keep records of animal movements from his farm just prior to the foot-and-mouth outbreak. Alan Clement, 58, today pleaded not guilty to 14 charges of failing to keep and failing to produce legal documents

  • Tables point to schools' success

    LEAGUE tables have revealed that Darlington has the best performing schools in the region. The league tables, published by the Government's Department for Education and Skills, have shown that Darlington is ranked 35th out of the country's 150 local primary

  • Marching orders for Woodgate: Quit N-East

    SHAMED soccer star Jonathan Woodgate has been ordered to leave his North-East home, or face the sack by Leeds United. Woodgate's manager David O'Leary has told his wayward star to move to Leeds and away from the temptations of his home town of Middlesbrough

  • Ruud awakening for McClaren

    IF Steve McClaren wanted to show his former boss Sir Alex Ferguson how much he had learned during his time as his lieutenant, well he succeeded. McClaren is said to be Ferguson's first choice to take over at Old Trafford when the Scot retires at the end

  • Lions gather parcels of cheer for elderly

    MORE than 150 food parcels will be delivered to elderly people in Darlington by the Lions Club this Christmas. The club members collect money and food at supermarkets each year to make up the parcels. This year they have collected £1,600 at Morrisons

  • Comment from The Northern Echo

    THE popular view is that there should be full public access to the sex offenders' register, and it is very hard to argue that parents do not have the right to know if a paedophile is living in their street. But whatever legal changes are made in the wake

  • Charity will score each time Boro hits the net

    MIDDLESBROUGH football club's scoring success for the remainder of the season could help a charity towards its goal, thanks to a North-East jeweller. Bradleys Jewellers, which has six branches across Teesside, has pledged to give £25 for every goal the

  • £5,000 raised by cathedral choir's charity concert

    THE first event to raise money for Ripon Cathedral Development campaign, which aims to secure £3m to ensure financial security for England's oldest cathedral, has been held at Harewood House, near Leeds. More than £5,000 was raised to boost the cathedral's

  • Desert island would drive me mad, says author Fine

    THE idea of being stranded on a desert island would drive Anne Fine mad, she told Sue Lawley yesterday on Desert Island Discs. "I would be so miserable, you wouldn't believe it. I find the idea horrific," the Teesdale writer told Radio Four listeners.

  • The lure of the Vikings

    GEORDIES think they are of Viking origin, citing the expression 'ganin hyem' because hyem is similar to the Scandinavian for 'homewards'. I thought the Tees was the northern boundary of Danelaw while Northumberland and Durham remained English? Vic Woods

  • Hebburn lose in thriller

    GALLANT giant-killers Hebburn finally met their match when they lost 82-81 in an extra time thriller to a powerful Cumbria side in the fifth round of the Denny Cup. The little Tyneside club, which operates with only three rinks, accounted for Hartlepool

  • Spooky season's greetings at dungeon

    A GHOULISH grotto, where Santa Claus has given way to the red-cloaked Prince of Darkness, has been opened at a tourist attraction. While Father Christmas has taken centre stage at shopping centres across the region, York Dungeon is offering a spooky alternative

  • Stores reopen after shopping centre fire

    A NORTH-East shopping centre which had to be evacuated after a fire last week is almost back to full trading. Captain Cook Square is open again, with just two shops closed, following the fire in a store room last Sunday. The two shops still closed are

  • Nursery school firm sells for £22m

    A BUSINESSMAN who started a nursery school company because of the trouble he had finding a place for his two daughters is £22m richer after selling his stake in the firm. Darlington businessman Duncan Bannatyne has sold Just Learning, which is one of

  • Anger as bypass plans are dropped

    FURY has erupted in a North Yorkshire village after its planned £14m bypass was dropped by the Government despite a near 70-year wait for action. Killinghall, north of Harrogate, was first promised a bypass in 1934, but the proposed route has now been

  • Housing may be refused

    A SCHEME to convert old brewery maltings into 28 new homes is being recommended for refusal when planners meet on Thursday. Historic Buildings Conservation wants to convert the Grade II listed New Maltings at Langthorpe, Boroughbridge, into the new homes

  • Family hit the top

    A FATHER and his twin sons have scored a triple success in tae kwondo gradings. Peter Siberry, club instructor at the Riverside Taekwondo Club, at Durham Sixth Form Centre, and his sons Jonathan and David, 17, all qualified as third dans in the latest

  • Warning to beware of thieves at Christmas

    POLICE in a vast rural area are warning people not to make life easy for opportunist thieves over Christmas. The calls came after a district-wide survey in Ryedale, showed less than half the population had spent anything on crime prevention measures in

  • Clark unimpressed by quality of the Pilgrims

    PLYMOUTH might be six points clear at the top of Division Three, be unbeaten for 19 games and have the best defensive record in the Legaue, but Darlington's Ian Clark remains unimpressed. The recent signing from Hartlepool has made the move from Quakers

  • Bureau voices concerns over court closures

    THE proposed closure of a town's courthouse has prompted a fresh wave of complaints from community leaders. Richmond Magistrates' Court has been earmarked for closure as part of a major review of the justice system in North Yorkshire. The plans have sparked

  • Man's death investigated

    A POLICE investigation into the death of a man who collapsed at his home will continue today. Owen Dudley Harriot, 27, was found at the house in Viner Street, Ripon, North Yorkshire, at 3am yesterday. He was taken to Harrogate District Hospital, but was

  • Weddings website a hit

    A WEBSITE promoting North Yorkshire as the idyllic place to get married has created a lot of interest. Internet surfers from across the world have been logging on to the county council site, which gives details of more than 80 civil wedding venues. In

  • Village sports centre likely to gain approval after saga

    VILLAGERS who feared their plans for a new sports complex could be ruined by the threat of flooding are on the verge of getting the go-ahead. Council planners are expected to approve proposals for the centre, with changing facilities, to be built in Brompton

  • Festive display angers shoppers

    A council has been labelled a Scrooge over its Christmas tree this year. Shoppers in Stockton joined Councillor Stephen Smailes, leader of the opposition on the council, in criticism of the fir tree. Coun Smailes has branded it a "twig" and said it is

  • Festive display angers shoppers

    A council has been labelled a Scrooge over its Christmas tree this year. Shoppers in Stockton joined Councillor Stephen Smailes, leader of the opposition on the council, in criticism of the fir tree. Coun Smailes has branded it a "twig" and said it is

  • The snow hero of drama at top of 'bottomless' crevasse

    A SOLDIER taking part in a major exploration of the Antarctic has saved the expedition's leader from plunging to certain death 200ft down an icy crevasse. Quick-thinking Captain Harry Scrope saved the life of Major James Harris when the snow-covered ground

  • Pupils' hospice boost

    SECONDARY school pupils have presented a cheque for £300 to their local hospice. Year seven students at Staindrop Comprehensive School have chosen to support the Butterwick Hospice in Bishop Auckland with money raised from an evening of entertainment

  • Massive response to charity appeal

    THE Darlington Giving Tree appeal has brought a massive response from the public, with gifts coming from across the region. The appeal, which is supported by The Northern Echo, is run every year and encourages the public to buy an extra Christmas present

  • Wind farms begin generating power

    TWO environmentally friendly wind farms have started to produce electricity. The wind farms, at Tow Law and High Hedley Hope, were set in action on Friday, when the sixth turbine was finished. They have taken six months to construct and annually should

  • Art students create bright spot at YMCA

    A COLOURFUL mural is brightening up the lives of people in Darlington thanks to the help of three A-Level students. The walls of the main staircase at the YMCA building in Darlington have been transformed with the mural based around the four elements.

  • The Monday Poem

    A Wintry Day Woke up this morning and peeped through the curtains to see A white snowy blanket as far as the eye could see. Crawled back into bed feeling heavy with cold My head ached, my throat sore, my nose red and I'm feeling old. A few hours later

  • Consistency is the key for high-flying Magpies

    CONSISTENCY is a key factor to finishing somewhere near the top of the Premiership, and a lack of it goes a long way to explaining why every May, since 1997, Newcastle have failed to find themselves in the top half of the league. Since then a win over