• Letters: Constructive point

    Sir, - In bringing to the fore the subject of local government re-organisation you are undertaking a vital public service. It is no secret that local government has been below par throughout the country and the point of recent legislation is to involve

  • Sign up for jubilee baton relay

    NOMINATIONS are needed for people to take part in a national relay race which will visit Middlesbrough this summer. The Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay will travel around the country for 50 days before arriving in Manchester in time for the opening ceremony

  • Warning to violent patients

    HOSPITALS have been given Government backing to refuse to treat violent, drunk or abusive patients over the New Year period. It comes after bosses at Middlesbrough General Hospital revealed yesterday they are investigating a violent incident against a

  • Needy young can bank on branches for support

    SOME needy and disabled youngsters had a brighter Christmas than usual thanks to a bank's efforts. Co-operative Bank branches throughout the region took part in a collection of selection boxes and second hand toys for the charity St Cuthbert's Care. St

  • Dale is on the way to improving finances

    A LOCAL authority is starting to turn the corner in its bid to improve its financial standing, but must not take its foot off the accelerator yet, said the district auditor. Members of Teesdale District Council were pleased to hear from Mr David Parkin

  • Pony dates

    Cleveland PC. - Tomorrow: Junior disco at Carlton Methodist hall, 4-6pm. Admission £2.50 for children. Contact Claire Sutcliffe 01642 712948. Cleveland Hunt PC. - Dec 30: Junior rally at Unicorn centre with Lucy Hamilton, tel Jane Chapman 01642 590971

  • McNamara loses out as stablemate wins big one

    SNOW and frost are splendid for Christmas scenes, but not welcome on Boxing Day when we were set for a northern feast. The wintry weather meant lost meetings, including at Wetherby and Sedgefield. However, there was some consolation by a warm fireside

  • Camera lenses focus on stadium's last days

    THE last few months of a football stadium's life are to be captured on film for posterity. Darlington Football Club's Feethams ground is to close next year when the team moves to a new stadium in Neasham Road. To commemorate the club's final few months

  • Hands-on job for Betty's bakers

    WHEN workers have finished trying festive ribbons on hundreds of handmade chocolate boxes ... guess what they tie up their own Christmas parcels with - sticky tape! "I'm so fed up of tying ribbons in bows that I don't want to see another for another 12

  • Comment from The Northern Echo; The mark of an honourable man

    WITH the New Year Honours about to be handed out to a long list of people, with varying degrees of justification, it is worth highlighting one particularly deserving cause here in the North-East. If the honours system is to recognise true dedication,

  • Procession and service becoming tradition

    A PROCESSION and service, fast becoming a New Year's Eve tradition in a cathedral city, will take place for the third time on Monday. Durham Churches Together, made up of members of city congregations, staged the first procession to mark the onset of

  • Mrs Blair speaks from the heart

    MRS Cherie Blair has spoken movingly about her personal experiences with breast cancer. As she opened a new breast screening unit in Stockton, the Prime Minister's wife told how she had lost a relative and a friend to the disease. She also spoke of her

  • Bus rips car apart in crash

    Six people were injured when a bus ripped a car apart in a terrifying head-on smash yesterday. The car driver, who had to be cut free from the wreckage, suffered a broken leg plus head and neck injuries. The driver of the bus suffered a blow to the head

  • Letters: Down to parents

    Sir, - I must take issue with aspects of your leading article entitled "Wide-eyed, legless" (D&S, Dec 14) in which you rightly criticise the prevailing cult among so many young people of drinking to obscene excess. One of the prime difficulties today

  • Trapped couple's blaze horror

    THE neighbour of a disabled pensioner has described the screams of the man's wife when the couple became trapped in their burning home. Norman Mollon, 74, told how neighbours Robert and Sheila Bryden, both 66, escaped with their lives when flames and

  • Old Shildon enjoy break with a five-point lead

    Worthington CIU Winter League Old Shildon go into the holiday break with a five-point lead at the top of the First Division despite losing by the odd point at Wheatley Hill A. The Hill had wins from Jack Wright, Dean Bryden and Dave Walker whilst Steven

  • North Yorkshire - Trust secures charity status

    AN ambitious scheme to create a village community to provide care and support for adults with special needs is taking big steps forward. The Pendragon Community Trust is hoping to raise £450,000 to establish community-style residential care base at an

  • Wear Valley - Review leads to fears for new hospital

    FEARS that the new Bishop Auckland hospital will not have a full range of services when it opens next year have been fanned by the announcement of a county-wide review of acute hospital services. Health bosses have asked Professor Ara Darzi from Imperial

  • Man injured in collision

    A MAN was badly injured when he was in collision with a car. The 32-year-old unidentified man from Guisborough, east Cleveland, sustained a fractured pelvis and knee cap when he collided with a Vauxhall Corsa. A spokesman for Cleveland Police said: "At

  • Trust wins charitable status

    A SCHEME for a village community offering care and support for adults with special needs has received a boost with the granting of charity status. The Pendragon community trust wants to raise £450,000 to establish community residential care on the edge

  • Darlington - Film club gets off to good start

    A NEWTON Aycliffe film club is planning to screen more movies following the success of its first feature. Greenfield Community and Arts Centre recently held its first film night, a showing of Tomb Raider, in front of a packed audience. A spokesman for

  • Trio's guitar gadget is a big hit

    A GUITAR gadget invented and marketed by three musicians has proved a hit around the world. Woodies G-Band - a clever single string capo that can be placed on either the top or bottom E string to reach otherwise unobtainable chords - is claimed to have

  • Radio mast may be preserved

    A POLICE force may have to preserve its distinctive radio mast even when it becomes obsolete. The 150ft-high concrete tower at Durham Constabulary's headquarters at Aykley Heads, Durham City, could be declared a listed building. But the force, like others

  • Chester le Street - Rebecca shares the spotlight

    A SIX year-old star is treading the boards as the youngest cast member in a pantomime. Rebecca Edwards, from Chester-le-Street, is among a 24-strong cast performing Cinderella at Newcastle Opera House. The youngster, who attends a stage school at the

  • Wear Valley - Couples given fertility lifeline

    FIFTY couples have been fast tracked for fertility treatment thanks to an £80,000 handout from Primary Care Groups in County Durham. The new money allocated by the Dales, Darlington, Sedgefield, Durham and Chester-le-Street and Derwentside groups means

  • Internet firm earns new seal of approval

    AN Internet services company has a new ring to its name. Middlesbrough's chilli media has become one of the first in the North-East to achieve a new standard set by the Government-endorsed National Association of Approved Internet Services (NAAIS). The

  • Hunting the peaceful little wren

    THIS year's Boxing Day, like Christmas, has passed into history and while many of us are aware of the true reason for celebrating the latter, the origins of the name of Boxing Day remain something of a puzzle. Perhaps the most likely explanation is that

  • Town's 'gateway' role enhanced in £50m valley plan

    A £50M regeneration plan for the Tees Valley has been given the go-ahead. News of the green light, delivered on Christmas Eve, has been described as the ideal launch pad for exciting times ahead. The blueprint has been drawn up by the Tees Valley Partnership

  • Durham - Pitman's art draws crowds in Paris

    PAINTINGS depicting life in County Durham's coal mines have been the centrepiece of a touring exhibition visiting France and Belgium. Hundreds of thousands of people saw the paintings by Bishop Auckland artist and former miner Tom McGuiness when they

  • The best window in town

    A HAIRDRESSER showed she was a cut above the rest when she won a recent window dressing competition. Mrs Sharon Walker, who runs the Cut Above salon in Horsemarket, Barnard Castle, came top of the 14 entries which entered the contest run by the town council

  • Community farm looks at shoppers' club

    A SHOPPING club could be set up at a community-owned farm shop in Stokesley, where local bread, organic meat and vegetables are sold. The shop at Mill Rigg is owned by the Larchfield Farm community, of Coulby Newham, where residents include adults with

  • Key to rural society

    FOR many readers it will be hard to look on 2001 with anything like a fond backward glance. For the farming community, and all those whose livelihoods are linked to it in some way, it was a disastrous year. Foot-and-mouth was truly horrendous in industry

  • Band reaches contest final

    A BAND with members from Darlington and Newton Aycliffe have battled through to the final of a music competition. The Shining have won a heat and semi-final to reach the last three in The Studio Battle of the Bands competition, in Hartlepool, the final

  • Disabled services to be reviewed

    AN initiative is being launched to move people with learning disabilities away from large day-care centres and into community-based projects. As part of the plan, day services such as those provided at Beck House, Darlington, would be run alongside new

  • Darlington news in brief

    Help for young swimming star Swimmer Christopher Surtees, from Crook, has received help from the local Rotary Club to pursue his ambition to compete in this year's Commonwealth Games. After winning medals in the Luxembourg International Open and Junior

  • Meg's pups mark birth of new hope for farming

    PROUD mum Meg the border collie and her new litter of pups are a symbol of better times to come for Britain's beleaguered farming industry. Meg was one of 200 working dogs handed over to The Border Collie Rescue Society, in Richmond, North Yorkshire,

  • Donation eases the pain of illness

    A MULTIPLE sclerosis patient has got a £1,500 chair to ease the strain on his back, thanks to his former employer. Les Willans, 39, of Stargate, near Ryton, Gateshead, bought the electrically-powered chair following a donation from gas pipeline company

  • North Durham and Tyneside news in brief

    Chance to visit German 'twins' SEAHAM Town Council is organising two trips to its German twin town, Gerlingen, next year. The first will be in July, for Gerlingen's music festival, and the second will be in September, for the Strassenfest. Both trips

  • Go-ahead for Tees Valley's future

    THE Tees Valley has received the go-ahead for a £50m plan to regenerate the area. An action plan, drawn up by the Tees Valley Partnership, was approved by the board of regional development agency One NorthEast earlier this week. And, according to Alistair

  • Partners plan learning for all at new centre

    SOON it will not be just the children setting off for school but mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Children, grown-up relatives and neighbours will be attending classes on the same site because there is a proposal to build a £218,000 local

  • Hear all sides

    PENSIONS IN REPLY to Jeremy Wark's letter (HAS, Dec 19), I'm one of his ten million "moaning minnies" and he's someone who has obviously been conned by Phoney Tony's Labour spin boys. The winter fuel allowance is not a permanent payment and can be stopped

  • Teesside news in brief

    Log on for refuse details A TOWN'S refuse workers are hitting the information superhighway. Residents in Middlesbrough can find out about bin collection days by logging on to the Middlesbrough Council website on the Internet. They will find not only details

  • Cash tills ring out as John Lewis sales rise

    DEPARTMENT store group John Lewis enjoyed record sales in the build-up to Christmas. The privately-owned firm, which owns the Bainbridge store in Newcastle, took £76.9m in the week to December 22 with widescreen TVs, DVD players, toys and books among

  • Business news in brief

    City workers not so gloomy CITY workers are on course to pick up average bonuses of £2,500 despite turbulence in financial markets, according to a new report. While payouts are likely to be 45 per cent down on last year, Close Wealth Management said many

  • Learning disability services to be revised by council

    AN initiative is being launched to move people with learning disabilities away from large day-care centres and into community-based projects. As part of the plan, day services such as those provided at Beck House, Darlington, would be run alongside new

  • Timely gifts for dale events, and more to come

    ORGANISERS of events in Teesdale have benefited from the first wave of cash paid out under a new grant scheme, with more still available. Teesdale Marketing, formed three years ago to promote the dale and encourage economic prosperity, has already paid

  • House prices boom to eclipse the South

    AVERAGE house price increases in the North-East and North Yorkshire next year will outstrip rises in the affluent South for the first time in a decade, experts predicted last night. With prices in some parts of the region already rising by more than 15

  • 'Play-off place still possible' insists Clarke

    DISAPPOINTED midfielder Darrell Clarke is convinced Hartlepool United can still claim a Third Division play-off place. Clarke signed for the Pool in the summer confident that this season would end in promotion with his new club. And following the postponement

  • Over the river on the trail of mining artists

    I HADN'T been out and about much so when a friend told me that the interesting County Durham painter and collector Nerys Johnson had died, and that her work and collection were going to be sold locally, we decided to hit the trail. My friend, Sandra,

  • Man on school drugs charge

    A MAN appeared in court yesterday after school staff called in police to investigate allegations of widespread use of cannabis among pupils. Gavin William Quarrie, 20, was remanded on bail by magistrates, accused of supplying cannabis at Upper Nidderdale

  • Cormorants and geese on increase

    THEY are some of the most successful birds in the region and now new research has shown the extent to which they are taking over. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has carried out a survey, some of it in the North-East and North Yorkshire, which

  • Review of the year

    JANUARY The killers of toddler James Bulger won a court order protecting their anonymity once they were freed with new identities. Marie Therese Kouao, 44, and her boyfriend Carl Manning, 28, were jailed for life at the Old Bailey for the murder of Kouao's

  • Callous owners abandon pets

    PET owners who have abandoned and dumped animals in the region in the run-up to Christmas have been branded callous and irresponsible by the RSPCA. RSPCA centres throughout the North-East are already struggling to cope with a steady stream of unwanted

  • Trader's cry sends neighbour bananas

    A greengrocer has been threatened with court action because his traditional street cry of "Bananas 50p a pound" is too loud. Kevin Thoburn has been warned if he doesn't tone down his sales patter he will face legal action. Mr Thoburn, brother of metric

  • North Yorkshire - Applause for theatre cash award

    A BIGGER-than-expected lottery grant has helped secure the future of one of the region's theatrical gems. The Heritage Lottery Fund had already pledged a provisional amount of £575,000 towards the restoration of The Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond

  • Taylor in for Wreh the Saint

    DARLINGTON are targeting former Arsenal striker Christopher Wreh as manager Tommy Taylor bids to pull-off a transfer coup. Liberian Wreh won a Premiership and FA Cup double with the Gunners, appearing as a substitute in the FA Cup Final 2-0 victory over

  • Homes plan stirs up a new row for Gambol

    PLANNING councillors are being urged to reject a new homes scheme on green space in Guisborough. Officers say there is no need for extra housing which would justify use of the site. But the applicant has already appealed because the council has not made

  • It's back to work for firm hit in Enron fallout

    A NEW company has been formed by managers of a Stokesley engineering firm which recently laid off 140 workers. NEL Power has been formed from Nepco Europe and at least 50 employees could be back at work in the new year. The Nepco offices are at Stokesley

  • Quayside expected to be party spot at New Year's

    Party goers have their pick of New Year bashes this year with celebrations in Newcastle leading the way. About 38,000 people are expected to descend on Newcastle's Quayside for an event feted as the biggest New Year's Eve celebrations in England. To kick-start

  • Ormesby team takes the honours

    NORTHFIELD School, Billingham hosted the first weekend for both the regional ETTA National Junior League (U17) and ETTA National Cadet League (U14) on Saturday and Sunday. In both events there was a strong eight team entry from across the region. Team

  • Festive Angel image breaks with tradition

    A DARLINGTON lecturer is employing technology to push back the boundaries of photographic art. Mr Rob Elliot, who teaches electrical and electronics engineering, has used his expertise to produce a stunning new image of the Angel of the North which is

  • Jonathan receives prestigious honour

    Jonathan Harries has been presented the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the school. The Bedale High School pupil, who was a runner-up in the Under-16 age group at The Northern Echo's Local Heroes

  • Consett & Stanley - Gala opens in style

    finishing touches are being put to a £30m development in time for its January opening. Durham's Millennium City, - comprising the 500-seat Gala Theatre, a visitor centre, public square, business advice centre, meeting rooms for voluntary groups, a library

  • Police force to advertise for officers

    A POLICE force is to launch its first national recruitment drive for experienced officers. Durham Constabulary is taking out paid-for advertisements in the hope of filling a shortfall of about a dozen officers. The force has suffered from experienced

  • Heroic, but Royal Oak are felled by New Market B

    Tow Law Bass Cornsay Royal Oak forgot their bottom place in the table when they visited Tow Law New Market B and put up a good fighting performance before going down by just three points. The trebles were shared and then the New Market were able to open

  • Daly not ruling out Gold Cup glory

    HENRY DALY didn't rule out a crack at the Cheltenham Gold Cup next March with classy Behrajan following his runaway success in the valuable Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby yesterday. Despite conceding over a stone in weight to the entire field, Behrajan

  • Angling

    Fixtures were sparse for the festive period and the sudden heavy snowfall depleted turnouts to only the most dedicated, writes JEFF HERBERT. Northallerton & District AC's Open attracted 45 competitors to a swollen Swale 18" up on the Scruton to Far

  • Farmers hope end of disease imminent

    THIS weekend marks a milestone for farmers as the industry hopes the country will be declared a foot-and-mouth free zone in the New Year. On Sunday, it will be exactly three months since the last recorded case of the disease hit Cumbria. And farmers throughout

  • Chester le Street - Burglary crackdown 'won't ease off'

    POLICE in Durham and Chester-le-Street are warning burglars they will not be taking a holiday over the festive season. A crackdown on thieves is running to counter a 60 per cent rise in house break-ins across the division. So far more than 40 suspects

  • Wild and rare birds increase after years of decline

    THE UK's common wild bird population has reached its highest level in ten years and rare birds are also flourishing. Statistics published by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs show a particular rise in woodland birds, with 24 out

  • Rural art works call on Oriental methods

    VILLAGES in some of the most picturesque countryside in North Yorkshire are about to boast new attractions. But the new art works for the village halls owe as much to ancient Japanese methods as they do to traditional local crafts in the Howardian Hills

  • Firm's sign of prosperity

    SIGNS created by South Shields businessman Jim Laing can be seen sailing the seven seas. His firm, Essential Signs and Graphics, produces computer designed vinyl signs that can be seen on the funnels of container ships. The firm, based at Tedco Business

  • Silent night as christmas baby is born

    WITH presents under the tree, a North-East hospital's first Christmas baby decided not to hang around. Sharon and Gary Raisbeck's baby girl arrived at 2.20am on December 25 at Bishop Auckland General Hospital, County Durham, after less than an hour in

  • Dead man's relatives

    RELATIVES of a homeless man killed in an accident with a taxi have come forward. Police put out an appeal after Scottish-born Dennis Gillespie, 64, died in hospital of head injuries after the accident in Durham City's Market Place, at 10pm last Friday

  • Easingwold rider wins jump-off to take the spoils

    GRACE Walker from Easingwold won a seven-horse jump-off to take the 31-starter Blue Chip Power qualifier over Amanda Cole's excellent course at Richmond equestrian centre, writes Malcolm Bewsher. The 14-year-old was riding the five-year-old French-bred

  • Truancy success

    Police on Wearside say a recent crackdown on youngsters playing truant was a big success. More than 30 officers teamed up with educational welfare officers from Sunderland City Council and found that 170 of the 259 youngsters they spoke to on the streets

  • Football clubs switch cup kick-off times

    NORTHUMBRIA Police have put the safety and enjoyment of football fans at the top of their list of priorities for the three FA cup ties being played the same day. The force has asked Sunderland to kick off their match against West Brom-wich Albion at 12.30pm

  • Attack accused is refused bail

    A MAN who spent Christmas behind bars accused of attacking his former partner lost his bid for freedom yesterday, in spite of a claim she had made up the allegation. When Michael Reeve appeared before Harrogate magistrates, in North Yorkshire, to deny

  • Fall girl's funeral held today

    The funeral of a four-year-old girl who died after falling from a bedroom window just before Christmas took place in her home village today. Family and friends of Lindsay Churlish gathered at St Paul's Church in Trimdon Station, County Durham, for an

  • Pupils' library name challenge

    A NOVEL name for a new library was just what judges were looking for. Children attending Abingdon School, Middlesbrough, were set a challenge to come up with a name for a new library at the school, which is to be used by the whole community. Year five

  • Four men missing as Quakers face Pirates

    DARLINGTON face a mounting fixture backlog and increasing pressure on playing resources following the postponement of their last two matches. The loss of the Boxing Day game at Carlisle means the suspensions of Barry Conlon and Mark Ford drag on - depriving

  • Tight at top in the Premier

    Sunderland Catholic Club Over-40s League All of Saturday's games were postponed owing to the weather and the same fate hit the Boxing Day Villa Real Cup final. The premier league championship is still wide open as there are only eight points difference

  • Quality field lines up for Christmas Stages spectacular

    FOR the first time in more than a decade, Northallerton AC has managed to assemble a capacity 90-car entry for the annual Christmas Stages Rally to be held tomorrow. With the traditional army ranges around Catterick out of bounds because of foot-and-mouth

  • Athletics

    Shildon The club resume their training after the Christmas break on Wednesday, January 2. Forthcoming fixtures: January 5 Durham Pine North East XC League at Meadowfield Durham; January 6 North East Indoor Championships at Monkton Stadium Jarrow; January

  • Rail and water to play bigger role in freight

    ALLAN McVeigh's role in life is to get everyone thinking about freight transport. As North Yorkshire County Council's newly-appointed freight transport officer, he recognises the importance of the lorry in maintaining a thriving economy. But his post

  • Mr Gill sees co-operation as key word

    THE devastation and despair caused by foot-and-mouth will dominate our memories of 2001, says the president of the National Farmers' Union, Mr Ben Gill. The emotional heartache and the financial losses would take even longer to fade, but the first task

  • Dale's NFU secretary sees positive future for farming

    AS 2001 draws to a close, many in the farming industry will be glad to turn their backs on their own annus horribilis. But, as the year turns, one man is determinedly looking forward to what he sees as a positive future for agriculture. Mr Phil Barber

  • Tune on a train puts songwriter on track

    A CLEVELAND police officer is heading for success - pounding a beat of a musical kind. PC Brian McCarthy, aged 35, has been writing songs since he was a teenager but so far his audience has been limited to his wife, Catherine, and their two young daughters

  • Auctioneer's patter is heard again

    THE auctioneer's "gabble" came out of mothballs at Hawes on Saturday for selling poultry after a ten month enforced break as Mr Raymond Lund returned to his usual patter to sell 331 items of poultry over more than three hours. With a packed ring of local

  • Durham - Care shake-up to go ahead

    A CONTROVERSIAL plan to close old people's homes and build new-style accommodation for pensioners is going ahead. Durham County Council's executive committee has accepted the scheme, which has been revised after consultation. The shake-up was prompted

  • Reminder over road safety plan

    VILLAGERS in North Yorkshire have until early next month to contribute to plans for safer roads through the community. The county council has committed itself to a package of measures worth an estimated £150,000 in Catterick Village, Tunstall and Brompton-on-Swale

  • Willington rejoice after win

    Willington League Willington Club will celebrate the holidays with extra vigour in the knowledge that they have moved two points clear at the top following their win over their visiting fellow Championship contenders, the Prospect Club. The home side

  • Rain no damper to sales day fever

    BARGAIN hunters ignored the wet weather yesterday to spend thousands of pounds on the first day of the sales. Eager shoppers queued outside stores in all the region's major towns desperate to get their hands on the best deals. In Gateshead, motorists

  • Wandering Caspar saved by a whisker

    A cat who disappeared from home in November has reappeared almost 35 miles away, to the astonishment of his owner. Caspar, a three-year-old white and brown cat, turned up in the village of Grosmont, near Whitby, North Yorkshire, four weeks after going

  • New way to tag property

    VALUABLE property can now be micro-chipped thanks to a Darlington company. Cleveland Studios, in Lingfield Way, has created a tagging system for use on caravans, and gardening and electrical equipment. The micro-chips, called ChiptraC work in the same

  • Computer lessons down at the local

    A TRIP to the local has become more than a pint and a game of dominoes for regulars at a Newton Aycliffe pub. A computer course run at the Aycliffe Arms, in Silverdale Place, has proved such a success that it is to be extended. It all started when landlord

  • Valley secures £50m funding

    THE Tees Valley is to be transformed after a £50m regeneration programme was given the go-ahead. The Tees Valley Partnership received an early Christmas present when the scheme was given the go-ahead by the board of regional development agency One NorthEast

  • TUC chief warns of potential euro 'disaster'

    ANY decision to delay a referendum on the euro until after the next election would be "disastrous" for British industry, which is set to lose another 150,000 manufacturing jobs next year, the head of the TUC has warned. General secretary John Monks said

  • Fears for sixth forms in education shake-up

    TEACHERS fear school sixth forms in the North-East could fall victim to a shake-up of the way post-16 education is organised. Union leaders claim thousands of A and AS-Level students will be hit by legislation it says will deny local communities a say

  • Hard graft can keep us on top - Bellamy

    STRIKER Craig Bellamy has been blown away by Newcastle United's form and admits: "We deserve to be top of the League." Boxing Day's 3-0 win at home to North-East rivals Middlesbrough was the Magpies' fifth consecutive Premiership win. And that run of

  • Gem of a Christmas for jewellery group

    JEWELLERY group Goldsmiths provided early proof that shoppers carried on spending this Christmas as it unveiled record sales figures. The retailer said sales in its 161 stores during the four weeks to Christmas Eve were almost 11 per cent higher than

  • McClaren backs Boksic to prove doubters wrong

    MIDDLESBROUGH manager Steve McClaren will continue to stand by under-fire star striker Alen Boksic when they make the trip to Arsenal tomorrow Boro have lost their last three games to Newcastle, Manchester United and Liverpool - teams in the top six -

  • Darlington - Police warn of suspect prize wins

    POLICE fear a bogus company could be targeting elderly people by calling them up and asking for credit card details after telling them they have won £1m. The company, which calls itself Pacific Coast International, rings elderly people at home and tells

  • Electors 'want to choose mayor'

    GIVING voters the chance to choose their mayor could be the answer to election apathy for North-East councils, a Government study has revealed. Although many of the region's councils have rejected the idea of US-style directly elected mayors, a poll of

  • Houghtonians into next round

    Durham League Christmas came early for most teams, and apart from one County Cup game only a handful of sides were in action this week. Third division Hartlepool CJ Hydraulics B entertained second division guests Old Houghtonians in their delayed County

  • Prospects looking up for young surveyors

    STUDENT surveyors in the North-East now have the chance to get paid for studying and have a guaranteed job when they leave university. Lecturers at Northumbria University's school of the built environment have launched a sponsorship scheme in which companies

  • Good samaritan

    Police have appealed for a good Samaritan who went to the help of an off-duty police officer who was being attacked, to come forward. The officer was on his way home through The Garth at Winlaton, Gateshead, at 11.30pm on December 22, when he was set

  • Women warned after sex attacks

    POLICE have warned New Year revellers to take extra care after a young woman was dragged into a city centre alleyway yesterday and subjected to an horrific sexual assault. The 29-year-old, who had earlier been enjoying a Boxing Day night out with friends

  • Investigation reveals time is running out for clock

    CONCERN is growing about a town clock which has fallen into disrepair. It is a dream of many to see Redcar's clock restored to its Edwardian glory, but the extent of any facelift depends on how much money can be raised to secure its future. Vandals broke

  • Budget dilemma may leave childcare under pressure

    A CASH squeeze on social services could leave the care of vulnerable children under severe pressure in the coming year, as council chiefs wrestle with budget dilemmas. Director of social services in North Yorkshire, Rosemary Archer, said the number of

  • Games

    Tow Law Scottish and Newcastle Cup Lanchester King's Head were taken to the deciding pool doubles before they edged through to victory at Esh Football Club. The pool singles were shared when John McCormick, Colin Neil and Simon Slater won for the home

  • The gas that draws ships to their doom

    A YEAR-LONG research project into one of the great mysteries of the sea - giant methane bubbles which can sink ships within seconds - will be aired in the New Year. The new Savage Planet programme, made with the help of North-East experts, examines the

  • Inspector backs matching wing

    PERMISSION has been granted to build a two-storey extension at a cottage in Over Dinsdale, despite Hambleton District Council's objections. An appeal against the decision to grant planning permission was heard by government inspector, Mr Michael Aldous

  • Flood defences 'not enough'

    NEW flood defences will not eliminate the risk to a housing site in the centre of Boroughbridge, the Environment Agency has claimed. The agency made the claim while commenting on plans to build eight new homes at the junction of Horsefair and St Helena

  • Caravan plans pulled from flood-risk site

    PLANS for a new caravan site in an "undefended" area at risk of flooding from the River Ure, near Boroughbridge, have been withdrawn. Members of Ripon area planning committee of Harrogate Borough Council had been recommended to refuse the application

  • Woodier once more seals title win

    Riverside Car Sales Singles League Steve Woodier has retained his title for the fourth year running, but admits that its getting harder and harder every year. His unbeaten run of 73 matches came to an end this year as runner-up Stuart Richardson inflicted

  • Medieval manor house's ghost proves an attraction

    GHOSTLY goings on are leaving visitors spellbound at a medieval manor house. As with any historic attraction worth its salt, Crook Hall, in Durham, boasts its own resident ghost. Tales of the paranormal have descended down the generations following blood-curdling

  • Out with the old, in with the new at Catterick

    CATTERICK stages the last day's racing in the north in 2001 and the region's first fixture of 2002 with the course's traditional two-day meeting on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The action on New Year's Eve is scheduled to begin at 12.40 and features

  • A seat with a view

    WALKERS on the coast-to-coast route can enjoy the panorama of Richmond in comfort, thanks to a bench built at a favourite viewpoint. The town boundary at the top of Westfields was highlighted by hikers' champion Mr Alfred Wainwright, who devised the 180

  • T'awd hoss celebrates in customary style

    CHRISTMAS was heralded in Richmond with the appearance of "t'awd hoss" - a Christmas Eve custom believed to have its origins in pagan times. The grotesque hobby horse, made of a genuine equine skull covered in black fabric and decorated, was paraded around

  • Looking Back

    From this newspaper 100 years ago. 1901 has been a year of deep sadness and some hope. The War and the illness and death of our beloved Queen Victoria have created much gloomy news. Yet at the close of the year, we are beginning to see gleams of light

  • Letters: Best of both worlds

    Sir, - Claims that so called "eurocreep" will lead to widespread use of the euro in Britain next year are hugely exaggerated. Despite all the hype, British retailers do not expect any significant change to their businesses. Major retailers already accept

  • Building work at hospital nearing end

    STRUCTURAL work on a new hospital should be completed early in the New Year. Work on the long-awaited Sedgefield Community Hospital, County Durham, began at the end of July after Prime Minister Tony Blair cut the first turf. The external structure has

  • Award marks council's efforts to protect the environment

    AN award has been presented to Stockton Borough Council for its efficiency at saving energy. The accolade, given by the National Energy Accreditation Scheme, recognises the council's efforts to help the environment by promoting energy-saving methods in

  • Parents must back cameras in war against vandalism

    CLAIMS that a town's CCTV system is not working as it should have been scotched. Councillors in Guisborough fear a recently-launched camera network is failing to curb vandalism. Town council chairman Coun Barbara Punshon told last week's meeting: "I don't

  • Woman driver cut free from car after smash

    FIREfighters cut a woman motorist from her car after it overturned on a busy road in Darlington yesterday. The car landed on its roof at the junction of Thompson Street and North Road after being involved in a collision with another vehicle at 3.40pm.

  • Rock solid scheme to help jobless

    A BACK-to-work pilot programme to help the unemployed take the first steps on the career ladder has been launched on Tyneside. Created specifically for a recruitment drive by Northern Rock, the training is aimed to ensure unemployed people on South Tyneside

  • Yes to homes but caravan site plan is withdrawn

    PLANS for a new caravan site in an "undefended" area at risk of flooding from the River Ure near Boroughbridge have been withdrawn. Members of Ripon area planning committee of Harrogate Borough Council had been recommended to refuse the application from

  • In line for cold weather payments

    THE most vulnerable people in the region are to get a financial boost to help them cope with cold weather. Cold weather payments of £8.50 a week are to be made automatically to many pensioners and benefit claimants. The payments, which are made when the

  • Steam railway jobs loss after foot-and-mouth

    North York Moors Railway is to shed jobs after a dramatic drop in passengers this year due to the-foot-and mouth disease outbreak. Chairman Roger Heath said up to 10 jobs are likely to be axed by the railway which employs 80 permanent staff plus 40 seasonal

  • Museum preparing bid for £30m Lottery funds

    ONE of the region's most popular museums is preparing a bid for £30m of National Lottery money to create storage areas for its treasures. Staff at Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham, also hope to move the cafe and shop to make space for displays

  • Jobs on the way with new 60-place nursery

    A COMPANY which specialises in running day nurseries has won permission to launch an operation for up to 60 children at Northallerton. Fourteen full-time and six part-time jobs are expected to be created when Warnes Nurseries opens a new building planned