• Crime is shared concern

    A NEW way of sharing information has been set up between Cleveland Police and Teesside unitary authorities. The new protocol allows police and local authorities to work together to help reduce crime and disorder. Representatives from Redcar and Cleveland

  • £5m bid to help restore park

    NATIONAL Lottery officials are being asked to help fund a bid to restore a nationally important historic landscape in Sedgefield. Durham County Council has submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for nearly £5m to help restore Hardwick Park

  • Darts News

    Tow Law Bass - Cornsay Royal Oak rejoiced after only their second win of the season but it proved a nail-biter for they were taken to the deciding doubles before edging through against the visiting Hamilton Row Black Horse. The Horse set the early running

  • Brave John achieves goal

    John Batteye repeated a fantastic weight-lifting feat with another top ten place finish at the World Bench Press Championship in New Zealand - despite suffering from menieres disease. The Darlington-based weight-lifter battles daily against the disease

  • The prison reformer with town links of note

    THE North-East connection to the £5 note, thought to be at an end with the removal of George Stephenson, is to continue after all. The Bank of England announced this week that railway pioneer Stephenson is to be replaced on the note next summer by 19th

  • Looking Back

    From this newspaper 100 years ago. - A remarkably good display of Christmas stock is on show by the butchers of Richmond. The beasts and sheep hail from the rich agricultural districts of Swaledale, Wensleydale and the Vale of Mowbray. Elsewhere, there

  • Card sender's identity revealed

    The mysterious identity of a sailor, who sent a Christmas card to his best friend from the mighty HMS Hood, has been revealed. In The Northern Echo earlier this week, Joan Leyland of Sedgefield, County Durham, appealed for information about the card sent

  • Darlington - Pupils serve up a real cracker

    PUPILS at a Darlington school put more than 150 elderly people in the Christmas mood with a slap-up meal and party. Students from Longfield School invited local pensioners to join them for food and entertainment during a festive party. All pupils from

  • Trading watchdogs swoop to sink the movie pirates

    TRADING standards officers have swooped on pirate movie operations in the North-East and North Yorkshire. The raids coincided with an investigation by The Northern Echo which found that bootleg copies of hit films such as Harry Potter are freely available

  • Burglar drank priest's alcohol

    A BURGLAR broke into a priest's home and drank his bottles of spirits, a court heard yesterday. Dean Chapman, 20, of Springfield Terrace, Whinney Banks, Middlesbrough, admitted three charges of burglary when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court. Deborah

  • Proud day as junior soldiers go on parade

    parents will look on proudly today as junior soldiers graduate from their first phase of military training. The 16-year-olds joined the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, in January, for a course offering military skills and vocational

  • Region takes a turn for the better in export stakes

    IT has been a record breaking year for North-East exporters. The region's companies have increased exports of their goods outside the UK by 20 per cent, topping £8.5bn in the year to September. The growth is revealed in figures released by Trade Partners

  • My fair lady

    MUMS, as I've mentioned before, are very peculiar when it comes to shopping - a bargain has to be snapped up whether it's needed or not. But give a woman some responsibility for a school Christmas fair and she becomes even more obsessed. My wife was given

  • Wellock's World

    THANK goodness for Bobby Robson. In another week of shocking reminders of the lack of morality in football, the Newcastle manager shone out like a beacon. How uplifting it was to hear his hoarse voice proclaiming the virtues of learning how to lose after

  • Museum offers visitors a Christmas gift

    A MUSEUM is getting into the festive spirit by waiving admission charges on two days over Christmas. The DLI - formerly the DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery at Aykley Heads, Durham - is offering free entry to visitors on Boxing Day and New Year's Day

  • Mayor has date with the most famous one of them all

    SOME would say political life is a pantomime all year round. Councillor Pat Walker, Mayor of Middlesbrough, might be in a better position to judge than most after meeting a mayor from the land of panto. Game for a laugh Coun Mrs Walker donned her civic

  • My dinner is a waste of money, says chairman

    A COUNCIL chairman's dinner might go ahead without its chairman, after he declined to hold the event in a bid to save taxpayers £2,000. Coun Newton Wood, the often controversial figurehead of Teesdale District Council, told members on Wednesday that he

  • Hard to avoid the final frenzy

    OK, let's face it. If you haven't got it all done by now you're in a bit of a panic. And as for making a cake, forget it. But relax - Christmas dinner is actually one of the easiest meals of the year to cook, especially if you ignore all the frills and

  • New street lights 'like Blackpool illuminations'

    LAMP posts described as monstrous have ruined the appearance of part of the Bedale conservation area, according to town councillors. The galvanised metal lighting columns have been erected on and around Wycar green by North Yorkshire County Council in

  • Hear All Sides

    Letters from The Northern Echo THE BEATLES AS a Beatles hater, it's nice to read something critical about the group for a change. Peter Mullen (Echo, Dec 11) is once again to be congratulated on speaking out against this sick society. Never, surely, has

  • Villagers urged to support campaign for more trains

    A VILLAGE is being urged to support a campaign to persuade rail chiefs to allow more trains to stop at its station. Middleton St George community partnership newsletter, which is delivered to every home, says it needs statistics to prove that more people

  • Bowes changes tack to make £30m lottery bid

    IN ITS most ambitious plan to date, the Bowes museum will start to prepare a bid to the national lottery in the new year, which it hopes will net it up to £30m in funding. The Barnard Castle treasure house originally planned to submit a bid to the regional

  • Stone cross joins the silent sentinels

    WALKERS out and about over Christmas can enjoy a fine stone cross on the North York Moors, which was dedicated on Sunday. It overlooks Rosedale and has a backdrop of open moorland. This will join the ancient crosses and was commissioned to mark the millennium

  • Care centre planning New Year health walks

    A NEWTON Aycliffe care centre is launching a series of health walks around the town in the New Year. The Pioneering Care Partnership and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers have joined forces for the scheme. Organiser Janet Price said: "As well as improving

  • Care chiefs reel from cost of 'forgotten' patients

    DARLINGTON social services is facing a financial crisis after being ordered to review the care needs of hundreds of "forgotten" nursing home patients. Last week, social services chiefs received a government order to reassess the needs of 212 nursing home

  • Drug addict targeted the vulnerable

    A HEROIN addict who robbed elderly women was jailed for five years yesterday. Graeme Chappell, 22, told police he chose them because: "They are vulnerable and easy to steal from." Yesterday, at Teesside Crown Court, he admitted charges of robbery, theft

  • The holly, the ivy and the hassle

    HAVE you noticed hordes of anxious, but determined, women out stripping hedges, lopping down branches, gathering twigs and berries and filling bags with leaves recently? Armed with tell-tale glue guns, cans of gold and silver spray paints, they are, you've

  • The best gaming systems this Christmas

    CHRISTMAS is almost upon us and gamers have never had it so good. Not since the format war of 1995/6 have so many gaming systems fought for shelf space at your local store but which are truly deserving of your cash and what are the pitfalls to watch?

  • All light on the night, but you should have seen the

    A HUTTON RUDBY councillor felt less than festive when he mistakenly chopped an electricity cable to the village's new Christmas tree lights. Public-spirited Coun John Richardson was only trying to help. He and Coun Stan Lennox, both in their 70s, had

  • Animal sanctuary inundated with puppies

    AN animal sanctuary has taken in a record number of puppies in the run up to Christmas. The National Animal Sanctuary Support League, in Darlington, is used to taking in puppies after Christmas, but this year it has already been inundated with dogs. The

  • Young boy saves his gran's life

    A QUICK thinking four-year-old is being hailed a hero for saving his grandmother's life. Brave Adam Courtley, from Tudhoe, is being hailed a hero after his diabetic grandmother was taken ill while looking after him on Wednesday night. Yvonne Foreman had

  • Healthy collection of teddy bears waiting for hospice

    IF you had gone down to a North-East health centre yesterday you were sure of a big surprise. There were 80 teddy bears at David Lloyd Leisure, near Stockton, waiting for collection by Teesside Hospice appeal staff. Club members have donated the bears

  • Fireman reunited with boy he saved

    A firefighter has been reunited with a three-year-old boy whose life he saved after the child was thrown through a car windscreen. Ethan Blackburn needed 260 stitches and nearly lost his life four times because of the horrific head injuries he suffered

  • Window fall girl's death 'due to head injuries'

    A FOUR-YEAR-OLD girl who fell 20ft from a bedroom window died from a fractured skull, a post-mortem examination has confirmed. Lyndsey Churlish fell to her death from the window of her home in Trimdon Station, County Durham, on Tuesday evening. She had

  • Lack of facts scuppers cash plea for Bedale relief road

    MORE uncertainty surrounded a relief road for Bedale, Aiskew and Leeming Bar this week after the government said it did not have enough information on which to base a proper decision on funding the project. The future of the scheme, planned by North Yorkshire

  • Wear Valley - Man treated for burns

    A 35-YEAR-OLD man was taken to hospital after an accident at an electrical sub-station. Police and fire crews were called to the incident at the Northern Electric site in Toronto, near Bishop Auckland, last week. The man, who was working at the station

  • Callers are rooting for singer Zoe

    PRAISE for Pop Idol hopeful Zoe Birkett has continued to pour into The Northern Echo as she prepares to make it into the competition's next stage tomorrow night. The 16-year-old, from Darlington, is a strong contender in the ITV contest. Last weekend's

  • Benbyas shows Eyre festival form

    CHELTENHAM on Friday saw another of our Twelve to Follow in winning vein, together with an old favourite, also on the scorecard, as both Benbyas and Paddy's Return made the trip to the Cotswolds pay off. Sadly, the frost hit before Saturday's card and

  • Police force gets formal dress code

    A POLICE force is to be drilled on keeping up appearances. Cleveland Police is breaking ranks to become the only force in the North-East to have a formal dress code, covering everything from body piercing to cartoon character socks. The question of what

  • Maureen makes a big effort

    MAUREEN Lund reckons her decorations are so spectacular that even the police stop to have a look. Mrs Lund, of Doric Road, New Brancepeth, near Durham, has been "going to town" at Christmas for as long as she can remember. Among her decorations this year

  • Just look who's in the north to celebrate

    FORMER Dr Who Colin Baker will once again travel through time to showcase the North-East's rich legends next year. The doctor's latest assistant, local musician George Hastings, will help him put on an ambitious musical show at one of the region's most

  • Consett & Stanley - Diver buried by landslide under water

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

  • More herds show higher cell counts

    THE proportion of National Milk Recorded dairy herds in the higher cell count bands has reached 38pc, compared with 25pc two years ago. November cell counts over the past three years show a big rise in herds with 201,000 to 300,000 cells/ml - 18pc in

  • Panto stars raise smiles at hospital

    PANTOMIME stars took time out from their hectic festive schedule to bring some seasonal cheer to youngsters at Darlington Memorial Hospital's children's ward. The annual visit was led by the Chuckle Brothers, Paul and Barry, who play Wishee and Washee

  • Divided council votes to sell off its workforce

    A DIVIDED North Yorkshire County Council agreed by seven votes on Wednesday to sell operations including winter road gritting to a private company based hundreds of miles away. The full council backed a recommendation by nine members of the Conservative-controlled

  • Consett & Stanley - Pool work starts at last

    AFTER more than five years, four multi-million pound lottery bids, drastic cost cuts and major planning changes, work finally began last week on Stanley's new £4.5m swimming pool. And local hero Glenn McCrory cut the first sod while taking a trip down

  • Why did our darling daughter have to die?

    THE grieving parents of Elaine Basham last night asked why it took the death of their daughter to highlight problems with new disposable surgical instruments. The Government has now banned single-use electric diathermy forceps following a series of "adverse

  • Angling News

    North-East legend Ian Worton topped an amazing Yarm AA Fur and Feather on the Lower Tees recording 21.13.0 to lead 16 double figured weights on a day when not a single skimmer showed for the 63 anglers, writes JEFF HERBERT. Drawing peg 136 on hotspot

  • North-East Christian Fellowship League

    The last Saturday of fixtures before the Christmas break saw the second legs of The Charity Shield semi-final. Leading 3-0 from the first leg, Whitley Bay Churches went to Jesmond Parish Athenian. Keith Chambers opened the scoring for Athenians before

  • North Yorkshire - Villagers given stake in future

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

  • Richmond plans four-day celebration

    FOUR days of celebration are on the cards for Richmond next summer as the Meet, the Queen's golden jubilee and the town festival coincide. The government has set aside June 3 as a national holiday to mark 50 years since the Queen ascended to the throne

  • When does our Christmas begin?

    WITH shops selling Christmas gifts many weeks ahead of December 25 and advertisers reminding us of the proximity of this happy season as early as October, it is difficult to identify the actual beginning of Christmas. In rural Yorkshire, probably within

  • Who needs Rudolph!

    A GROUP of pony-mad youngsters came up with a great idea to raise some cash for their four-legged friends this Christmas. Last weekend the friends, who help look after 14 ponies at Hunters Rest Farm, Eaglescliffe, transformed Shetland stallion Dennis

  • Junior Football

    Thirsk Falcons - THE Under-9s entertained Bedale, winning three out of the four games and also scored their 100th goal of the season whilst only conceding 11. Thirsk A took on Bedale B in the first game and went in at half time 3-0 up. Nick Newcombe scoring

  • N-E officers to help test out stun guns

    NORTHUMBRIA Police have become the first force in the region to volunteer officers to trial controversial electronic stun guns. The force says it recognises the importance of providing armed officers with "as wide a range of weaponry as possible", including

  • In-store grotto helps hospice

    Father Christmas will be in Chester-le-Street's In-Shops today and tomorrow. The grotto, in the Front Street store, is open from 11am to 2.30pm. Organised in association with Chester-le-Street District Council, the grotto will help raise money for the

  • Man locked up after ram-raid on pharmacy

    A MAN who helped to ram-raid a pharmacist's shop was jailed for two years yesterday. John Mount, 22, of Greenway, Thorntree, Middlesbrough, admitted a charge of burglary, one of aggravated taking of a vehicle without consent, driving while disqualified

  • Police centre's poor designs disapproved

    THE Home Office has been slammed for poor design work on a police training centre to be built in North Yorkshire. Officials have been told to go back to the drawing board and produce something more likely to win one of Prime Minister Tony Blair's better

  • New bid to demolish estate sparks row

    A new bid to demolish part of an internationally-known housing complex sparked a row over its architectural significance. The Byker Estate, in Newcastle - which includes the Byker Wall - has been recommended for Grade II* listing by English Heritage and

  • School is a FunZone

    A DARLINGTON school is running a holiday club during the Christmas holidays. The festive FunZone is being organised at Polam Hall Junior School. It will provide places for pupils aged four to twelve and their siblings. The FunZone is being operated by

  • Good news for Mr Brown

    BRITAIN'S economy remains on track to hit the Chancellor's growth targets this year, despite the global slowdown, according to official figures. Higher household spending helped Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rise by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter of

  • Last carols sung in old chapel

    TEARS were shed at a Methodist Chapel's final Christmas Carol service. Dozens packed into the chapel at Laverton, near Ripon, for the service, which has been a tradition at the tiny chapel for generations. But with just ten regular members of the chapel

  • Derelict site may harness the wind

    ONE of the world's largest wind farms could be built in the region. Steel firm Corus and Amec Wind, of Hexham, have asked Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council for permission to site 19 140m wind turbines on derelict Corus land at Lackenby and Redcar,

  • Boxing Day return for Market Place meet

    The hunting scene will return to Malton on Boxing Day after a lapse of ten months, but the surrounding countryside will be out of bounds to riders and hounds because of the foot- and-mouth outbreak. Large crowds are expected to attend the traditional

  • Redi pins his faith in Sunderland Academy development

    Peter Reid yesterday described as "vital" the development of a soccer academy at Sunderland. The club yesterday announced details of revamped plans for the academy, at Whitburn Moor, to include an indoor training 'barn,' hostel and community classroom

  • North Yorkshire news in Brief

    Ten-week swim pool closure SCARBOROUGH swimming pool is to be closed for ten weeks while work is carried out on a new sports centre development. The borough council took the decision to upgrade the plant room during the winter and the results will mean

  • School bus in car collision

    NINE children suffered shock yesterday when their school bus was in collision with a car. The youngsters were travelling to St Augustine's School, in Scarborough, in a double-decker bus, when the accident happened at about 8.55am. The bus was in collision

  • Gift is music to patients' ears

    STAFF and patients at the Stead Memorial Hospital, in Redcar, will be getting into the Christmas spirit thanks to the generosity of a local pub. Staff and patrons at Rosie O'Grady's pub and restaurant in the town centre recently held a raffle to raise

  • Child snatch bid inflames parents' fears

    PARENTS' fears about a potential child abductor have been rekindled a year after a series of attempts to snatch youngsters from a North-East town. Police are warning parents to be extra vigilant after a man tried to snatch a child, following similar abduction

  • Helen beats the rest to part-time police role

    A MOTHER of two has become the first trainee police officer in the country to be recruited on a part-time basis. Helen Boston, 35, has been taken on by Cleveland Police as a bobby on the beat. Cleveland Police's equal opportunities officer, Inspector

  • All Taylor wants for Christmas is ...

    QUAKERS face a striker crisis ahead of the start of the busy holiday period. With the recall of two-goal Daniel Chillingworth by Cambridge United just hours into his second month on loan, Darlington manager Tommy Taylor must decide who is to partner fit-again

  • Santa's on his way, despite foot-and-mouth

    It's time for sighs of relief all round. Fears that Christmas could be missing one of its essentials have been proved groundless. Santa is definitely on his way. Foot-and-mouth disease may have caused misery for millions this year, but Father Christmas

  • Poultry farmers face high annual bills

    POULTRY farmers face having to pay thousands of pounds a year to meet new anti-pollution laws. Units with 40,000 to 400,000 birds will have to pay almost £3,000 as a one-off registration fee, followed by an annual licence charge of almost £2,000. Those

  • Dismay as cancer victim's home ransacked by thieves

    HEARTBROKEN parents have hit out at thieves who ransacked their dead daughter's home. Eric and Valerie Stephenson, from Sunnybrow, near Crook, County Durham, were devastated when 31-year-old Joanne Draper lost her battle against ovarian cancer last month

  • £450,000 plan for Hillside rural events centre

    A PERMANENT home for Borrowby Agricultural Show could be created by a plan to provide a new location for outdoor events in the Hillside area near Thirsk. This is thanks to a European grant which could see £450,000 coming into the area. The proposals took

  • Experts tipping David to emulate McCory

    AFTER the glory, glory years of former world boxing champion Glenn McCrory, experts reckon Derwentside's new kid on the block could surpass even his achievements, writes CHRIS WEBBER. David Pendelton-Passmore, still only 18, took a gold medal at the Multi-Nations

  • Quarantine all new stock, NSA told

    SHEEP farmers have been urged to put all new stock into quarantine to reduce the risk of spreading disease. Dr Colin Macaldowie of the Moredun institute, said it was an easy way to reduce the risk of introducing disease on to a farm. "The poultry and

  • Family distraught on learning of attackers parole

    The mother of a boy left for dead at a beauty spot has reacted with disbelief after learning that one of his two attackers will be released shortly on parole. Just last week the family were relieved to learn that his second attacker had been refused parole

  • Advice is on its way

    A TOURING exhibition aimed at helping rural businesses recover from the effects of foot-and-mouth begins a circuit of North Yorkshire market towns in January. The mobile display unit was funded by a £40,000 grant from Yorkshire Forward to the Federation

  • Special school treats off the Giving Tree

    GIFTS from generous shoppers have been presented to special school pupils. Wellbank Special School, in Washington, was nominated to benefit from the Giving Tree at The Galleries shopping centre, in Washington. The school caters for about 60 pupils from

  • Pool News

    Durham Ranking Tournament Final Michael Rhodes of Durham lived up to his Number One ranking throughout the year when he won the best of 17 frames final against Paul Brockway of Durham in a match at Durham Snooker Club, which produced some spectacular

  • Consultation on town centre work complete

    A CONSULTATION exercise on the long-awaited extension to Newton Aycliffe Town Centre is complete after months of intensive discussions. Planning officials are now hoping an application for the development of the former Avenue School site could be considered

  • Case against farmer dropped

    CHARGES against a farmer, accused of interfering with a badger set on his land, have been dropped, a court was told yesterday . Mark Simpson, 45, pleaded guilty in November to two charges under the Protection of Badgers Act, which alleged he blocked the

  • Attraction scoops top US award

    A TOURIST attraction has scooped its second award in two months. Last month, Sunderland's Winter Gardens won a Grand Award from Associated Landscape Contractors of America. Now it has secured the organisation's overall Judges Award, marking the first

  • Whitley Bay Boys kitted out

    Whitley Bay Boys Under-13s have struck a sponsorship deal with Northgate plc's on-line van rental brand, The team, which are in the Nestle Rowntree Division One were in need of a new strip to get them through the season so came

  • Gala concert sells out

    TICKETS to see Westlife at the launch of a North-East theatre have sold out. But there are places available in a marquee in the grounds of Durham Sixth Form College, where the concert will be shown live on huge screens. To mark the opening of the Gala

  • Signal joy for railway

    THE North Yorkshire Moors railway has won the Westinghouse Signals award in the National Railway Heritage awards. Three of its projects were submitted: the Grosmont signal box, signal 19 at Goathland, and the Pickering station refurbishment. The winner

  • Old school days recalled

    PARENTS and grandparents are being asked to cast their minds back to their schooldays as a community tries to recreate playground games. Spin the top, hopscotch and skipping games will be brought back as the Shildon Centre collects memorabilia from the

  • Grassrooted: old friends and old, old stories

    Ten things only Backtrack readers might have known: * The Sheffield Wednesday player whose brother had a number one Christmas hit was Gilles de Bilde. His brother's Bob.... * St Jude the Obscure is the patron saint of hopeless causes (and thus the Backtrack

  • Grandma's light show

    A COUPLE decided to illuminate their home to see their granddaughter's face light up. After placing fairy lights in a window last year Brenda Raine, from James Terrace, in Coronation, near Eldon Lane, Bishop Auckland, caught the house illuminations bug

  • New life proposed for old river mill

    A water mill considered by heritage experts to be of national importance, is on the verge of being brought back into use after 15 years. Conservationists behind a £500,000 scheme to restore the mill at Gayle, near Hawes, in Wensleydale, are hoping to

  • Body-in-case victim traced to China Sea

    DETECTIVES investigating the murder of a woman, whose body was found in a dumped suitcase, say they have made a major breakthrough in their efforts to identify her. The victim, whose bound and gagged body was discovered in a hedge outside Askham Richard

  • The Wearside League

    High-flying New Marske gave youth its chance at the weekend - and the move reaped rich dividends. When regular players Stephen Hodgson, James Masterman, Wayne Hughf and Gary Young were unable to make an early start for the long journey to Whitehaven,

  • Thirsk club marks anniversary in style

    ENGLAND and Yorkshire cricketing legend Freddie Trueman bowled members of Thirsk cricket club over when he helped them celebrate the club's 150th anniversary in magnificent style recently. The celebratory dinner dance, held in a large marquee at Thirsk

  • The Northern Echo Darlington Sunday Invitation League

    This week saw most teams involved the first round of The Northern Echo League Cup, and as ever with the cup there was a fair share of shock results and high drama. The shock result of the day came in the match between Division Three leaders AFC Orange

  • Begin the New Year on right footing

    A FREE festival of walks is being held to allow people to tone up for the New Year while enjoying the great outdoors. The Ramblers' Association's 12th Festival of Winter Walks runs from tomorrow until January 1, and includes more than 450 walks nationwide

  • Heartache as burglars steal kids' presents

    A FAMILY'S Christmas has been ruined by burglars who stole the children's presents - and then left their pet snake dead. The thieves escaped with every gift that Lisa Mount, 25, had bought and wrapped for her children, seven-year-old Jonathan, Luke, aged

  • Letters: Frustration shared

    Sir, - I was astounded to read Coun Robson's letter with his scurrilous attack on Coun Doris Jones. It is even more astounding that Coun Robson can publicly and personally criticise his fellow councillor, after the council was found seriously wanting

  • Wellock's World

    THANK goodness for Bobby Robson. In another week of shocking reminders of the lack of morality in football, the Newcastle manager shone out like a beacon. How uplifting it was to hear his hoarse voice proclaiming the virtues of learning how to lose after

  • Anger at changed plans for school of football

    REVAMPED plans for Sunderland AFC's proposed football academy are to be submitted to meet latest FA criteria. But the addition of an indoor training area, plus other revisions to original plans for the Academy of Light site, on green belt land at Whitburn

  • Pony dates

    Cleveland PC. - Dec 29: Junior disco at Carlton Methodist hall, 4-6pm. Admission £2.50 for children. Contact Claire Sutcliffe 01642 712948. Cleveland Hunt PC. - Tomorrow: pony club meet and pleasure ride with the hunt, meet at the Kennels 11am. Dec 23

  • Snooker News

    Worthington CIU Winter League - Wingate produced their best display of the season to beat the visiting Second Division leaders, Langley Park and move them down into second place. The home side have had troubles in establishing a settled team but showed

  • School move to bring more unit facilities

    A SCHOOL is hoping to expand its services for students when it moves into a new building next year. Felstead School, in Sunderland, is a learning support unit for seven schools in the area. Through the Government's Excellence in Cities (EIC) initiative

  • Puma team-mates celebrate championship

    Local motorsport personalities came away with a host of major awards when the Ford Racing presentation evening took place at a star-studded ceremony held in Nottingham recently. Leading the way was Durham driver David Henderson who along with co-driver

  • Standing room only warning to travellers

    VIRGIN last night warned festive travellers it could be standing room only on some trains. The company which runs cross country services between Newcastle and the South-West said it was extremely busy with Christmas and New Year bookings. It is urging

  • The Albany Northern League

    The League have fined Second Division Eppleton £2,500 for their poor administration. Under league rules, Eppleton are supposed to send their registration forms and match result forms as soon as possible to the league after signings and matches are completed

  • Arson attack wrecks year's work at disabled day centre

    VANDALS set fire to a day centre for disabled people in Hartlepool, after crashing a car into it, the night before their Christmas party. Staff arrived at Havelock Day Service, in Burbank Street, yesterday morning to find a burnt-out car embedded in the

  • The hardy souls who will be dipping in for charity

    WHILE most people in the North-East will be spending Boxing Day recovering from the excesses of the day before, some hardy people will be taking a quick dip in the North Sea - and it is all for charity. Boxing Day dips have become a firm part of many

  • Durham - Panto treat for senior citizens

    PUPILS brought a bit of early Christmas cheer to local pensioners by inviting them to watch their pantomime. Senior citizens from the Newton Hall area of Durham were treated to music and dance when upper school pupils at Blue Coat Junior School held the

  • Bosses barred for unpaid tax bills

    TWO company directors from Teesside have been disqualified for non-payment of taxes. Steven Irving Paling, 39, from Belmont Avenue, Billingham, was disqualified from acting as a company director for five years as a result of his unfit conduct as a director

  • House fire in Seaham

    Fire officers were called to a report of a living room on fire at Hoy Crescent, in Seaham, at around 7pm on Thursday. Nobody was injured in the incident.

  • Runners head for county contest glory

    MORE than 200 youngsters from east Cleveland braved the elements to take part in the annual Redcar and Cleveland Schools Cross Country Championships. The event was held at Laurence Jackson School, Guisborough, last week. The top ten runners from each

  • Chester le Street - Gritters call on hi-tech assistance

    THE TRUE grit of a dedicated team of road maintenance workers is poised to keep County Durham's highways flowing during the coming winter months. Almost £2.5m has been earmarked by the county council to beat the freeze and ensure roads are kept clear

  • The hard sell

    DESPITE the relentless commercialisation of the Christmas season, it is encouraging to note that the nation has not lost touch completely with what Tuesday's celebration is all about. Separate surveys have shown that more of us will attend some form of

  • My fair lady

    MUMS, as I've mentioned before, are very peculiar when it comes to shopping - a bargain has to be snapped up whether it's needed or not. But give a woman some responsibility for a school Christmas fair and she becomes even more obsessed. My wife was given

  • New life for pillboxes

    A PLEDGE to preserve a unique pair of wartime pillboxes, used as look-out posts, has been given as plans are unveiled for a new footbridge in Marske. Redcar and Cleveland council hopes to secure listed building status on the two pillboxes as tenders are

  • Letters: Taking questions

    Sir, - In response to the letter from A Hemsley (D&S, Dec 14), I felt it was worth writing to set out a few facts. This year, the government's figures suggest that council tax for the district council (at Band D) should be £90.25 - Hambleton charged

  • Hard to avoid the final frenzy

    OK, let's face it. If you haven't got it all done by now you're in a bit of a panic. And as for making a cake, forget it. But relax - Christmas dinner is actually one of the easiest meals of the year to cook, especially if you ignore all the frills and

  • Ramp is unwelcome, but necessity wins the day

    A CONTROVERSIAL ramp scheme for Guisborough courthouse has been approved. Worries about the ramp being an eyesore and a possible danger for playing children lost out to the need for easier access for the disabled. The decision by Redcar and Cleveland

  • North Yorkshire - Army helps Santa to drop in on pupils

    A SLEIGH and reindeer may be OK for Christmas cards and cartoons, but last week Santa Claus opted for an altogether more up-to-date mode of transport. Donner and Blitzen were left in the stalls when Father Christmas took advantage of some military hospitality

  • Fine finish in Poultry Run

    MORPETH Harrier Rob Holladay completed a hat-trick of victories in the 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 teacher

  • Crash driver was heart victim

    A MOTORIST who died at the wheel of his van had suffered acute heart failure, police said yesterday. Andrew Todd, 54, of College View, Esh Winning, near Durham, was found dead in his Ford Transit pick- up after it left Peth Lane, at its junction with

  • Wear Valley - Castle wins title for hospitality

    AUCKLAND Castle, the residence of the Bishop of Durham, has won an award for its high standards of hospitality. People have been entertaining guests at Bishop Auckland's most famous home since Medieval times, when the Prince Bishops entertained their

  • Durham - More police to be given baton guns

    ARMED police are to be routinely issued with plastic bullets to deal with gun incidents. The move means they will be able to fire without killing or seriously wounding armed suspects. The baton guns have been used to quell riots in Northern Ireland for

  • Patients kept in hospitals due to funding problems

    Hundreds of patients who are well enough to go home will have to spend Christmas in hospital because of "bed-blocking" - largely due to funding problems. A month ago The Northern Echo carried out a survey which showed that 228 patients were awaiting discharge

  • Darlington - Singer Zoe wins again

    POP Idol star Zoe Birkett hit the right note with viewers again when she won through to the next round of the television show. Sixteen-year-old Zoe, of Welbeck Avenue, Darlington, was the only contestant to be given a glowing report by all four judges

  • Letters: Leave Mel alone

    Sir, - I was disturbed to note the moves (D&S, Dec 14)to ban the vagrant known as Mel from Leyburn market square. I have found him, over recent months, cheering company. He brings a bright relief to my everyday problems, being polite, interesting

  • Skinless black pudding wows the judges

    A SPECIALITY black pudding created by Mrs Doreen Haigh has won second prize in the Great Yorkshire Pork pie and sausage competition. Her black pudding, made at Haigh's butchers on the Dalton industrial estate and baked without the usual skin, was a hit

  • Focused Taylor is ready to wait for a new forward

    Darlington manager Tommy Taylor is hoping Santa Claus will leave a new striker under his Christmas tree on Tuesday morning because he's had no luck in the transfer market. On Monday Taylor added a forward to his Christmas shopping list when Dan Chillingworth

  • Search for the ho ho home of 2001 reaches a climax

    A MAN who has decorated his house with festive lights for four years, has put up a record number of decorations this year. Every year, John Barnes decorates the house he shares with wife Linda and their three children, Carrie, 16, Zoe, 12, and Lee, nine

  • Basketball News

    Durham League - Tyneside will line up against Newcastle College in the end of season Womens' Durham County Cup Final as both won their semi-final ties at East Durham and Houghall Community College this week. Tyneside clinched their place in the final

  • Youngsters' castle visit was time travel

    CHILDREN from a village nursery have been dressing up in Victorian costume as part of a visit to a castle's Christmas grotto. Mrs Lynne Linsley, manager of the Small World nursery at Staindrop, said she usually tried to introduce the youngsters, who range

  • Something special: Great Yorkshire Show 2002

    PLANS are well under way for the 2002 Great Yorkshire Show. Mr Christopher Hall, show director, said he was determined next year's event would focus on enjoyment and the revitalisation of the farming industry. "We are very hopeful that the livestock classes

  • A class act, thanks to vital link

    A NEWLY-launched furniture business aims to be top of the class after securing its first major order from a leading public school. Castles UK, which manufactures furniture for boarding schools, has received an order to supply 80 sets of furniture to Millfield

  • Chester le Street - Friends answer sailors' SOS

    A COUPLE tucked up in their Chester-le-Street bed came to the rescue of a pair of amateur sailors facing death on the high seas more than 1,000 miles away. As John and Margaret Moore snoozed in their home, friends Jill and Robert Watson were battling

  • Package will put farms on-line

    A DARLINGTON firm has set up a national scheme to encourage more farmers and rural businesses to step into the computer age. Mr Peter Johnson, of Executive Office Services in Valley Street, has started the Rural Technology Partnership, offering cut-price

  • Couple celebrating marriage milestone

    A RETIRED French polisher with a fondness for spinning yarns and a former cloth mill worker have woven together 65 years of happy marriage. Fred and Mary Burns, of Durham Street, Spennymoor, celebrated their sapphire wedding anniversary on Wednesday and

  • Troubleshooting prefects to ride the school trains

    SIXTH-formers are to be paid to "police" younger children on a troubled school run. The teenagers will get £5 an hour, the same as school midday supervisors, to keep an eye on other pupils on train journeys in the Esk Valley. The pioneering move is the

  • Historic can make it an Ascot day to remember

    HISTORIC can edge another step closer towards supremacy in the staying hurdle division by taking the notable scalp of Baracouda at Ascot today. The classy pair clash in the £55,000 Cantor-sponsored Long Walk Hurdle, a race won by in emphatic fashion by

  • The UniBond League

    The National League system is considering a relaxation of one of the conditions for promotion. Under the present pyramid rules, any club which wishes to be promoted must finish in the top two, as well as having its ground up to the required standard.

  • It's a cold shoulder for punters

    Weather experts reckon the North-East has the best chance in Britain of a white Christmas - but punters won't be able to cash in on a regional snowstorm. Betting rules traditionally dictate that snow must fall on the met office in Newcastle, but that

  • Sport festival bowls into town

    A NEW bowling festival is being launched which will bring together able-bodied and wheelchair players from all over Britain. The week-long competition will take place at the Alexandra Bowls Centre, in Scarborough, next May. The festival will be open to

  • Comment from The Northern Echo - Not playing the game

    PREMIER league footballers should not take their status and wealth for granted. While their skills and talents may earn them the right to play the game at the highest level, it is ordinary members of the public who grant them prosperity. Without supporters

  • More footpaths reopening as crisis recedes

    MORE footpaths are to reopen in the Yorkshire Dales as foot-and-mouth disease loosens its grip on the region. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has given consent to farmers to reopen their land if they have completed secondary

  • New hospital's service provision to be reviewed

    FEARS are growing that the new Bishop Auckland hospital will not have a full range of services when it opens next year, following the announcement of a review of acute hospital services. Health bosses have invited Professor Ara Darzi, of Imperial College

  • The ultimate test . . .

    BINMAN Trevor Maguire, a Middlesbrough FC fan, faces the ultimate Boxing Day challenge - dashing in the freezing North Sea wearing a Newcastle United shirt. Mr Maguire and nine workmates from Redcar and Cleveland Council's cleansing section, will raise

  • 14 drivers a day caught over limit

    HUNDREDS of drivers across the North-East have ignored repeated warnings and drink-driving campaigns to take to the roads under the influence of alcohol. Of almost 300 drivers positively breath-tested by the region's police forces, more than half were

  • Newcastle news in Brief

    Pair jailed over drugs ring Two men have been jailed after undercover police smashed a drug dealing ring which was supplying Ecstasy tablets to clubbers. Officers launched the investigation after a tip-off that drugs were being sold in a night club at

  • Blairs hail 'possibly the best school in the world'

    PRIME Minister Tony Blair has hailed a new £4.5m school for children with severe learning difficulties as one of the best in the world. Mr Blair and his wife Cherie formally opened the Portland School, in Sunderland, which also caters for autistic youngsters

  • Looking down the thin red line

    As British troops prepare to lead the peace-keeping force in Afghanistan, Nick Morrison meets the man stepping down after eight years in charge of Army recruitment in the North East. WHEN Colin Robinson went to enlist in the Army, his mother was none

  • Visiting the treasure houses on our doorstep

    IT is always a temptation, in this parish of Spectator's, to keep the secret of its pleasures in order to enjoy them without what passes for crowds in this region. But credit where it's due. On a damp and dreary December weekend, when the moors and dales

  • Darlington news in Brief

    Woman cut free on A66 A WOMAN suffered head injuries in an accident involving a car and a light goods vehicle on the westbound A66, near Barnard Castle, last night. The woman, who had to be freed by firefighters, was taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital

  • Jobs bonus as baths bar scheme opens

    FORTY jobs have been created with the opening of a huge bar that can house up to 750 customers on two floors. The Bar Med, in Harrogate's Royal Baths, represents a £1.5m investment by the owners, the SFI Group, which also owns the Slug and Lettuce, Litten

  • North-East duo aid car jobs rescue

    TWO of the region's largest law and corporate finance firms have exported their services outside the North-East to protect jobs in the automotive industry. Newcastle commercial law firm Robert Muckle and corporate finance experts Tait Walker have helped

  • East Cleveland news in Brief

    Play promise for village A FORGOTTEN village looks likely to get a much wanted play area. People living in Dunsdale, near Guisborough, complained to Guisborough Town Council that they were forgotten about while four areas in the town were getting new

  • Slimline Heather loses more than just the stones

    WHEN slimmer Heather Cleasby swapped her big bloomers for tiny thongs, she was delighted, until she realised the extra pounds were not the only things missing. Heather, from Leeholme near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, had never dared hang her underwear

  • Night in police cells raises cash

    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