• New mental health consultant

    A NEW mental health consultant for elderly people has started work at hospitals in Darlington and Teesdale. Andy Phipps will work as a consultant at the Richardson Hospital, in Barnard Castle, and at Darlington Memorial Hospital. His role is a new post

  • Free lights for young cyclists

    FREE lights are to be given to children at a bicycle security day in Ferryhill. The event has been organised by PC Chris Metcalfe, who has 60 sets of front and back lights, supplied by Cycle Force in Durham, to give to the first 60 children aged 12 and

  • Bogus callers target pensioner aged 84

    AN 84-YEAR-OLD woman was left shaken after a man forced his way into her home, posing as a workman. The Darlington pensioner answered her door to the bogus caller at about 1pm on Tuesday. He said he needed to check her water supply and pushed his way

  • Girls carry out six con raids

    POLICE are hunting two girls believed to be responsible for six burglaries at the homes of pensioners. On Friday, two girls went to a house in Stokesley Grove, Newcastle, and told the 83-year-old woman they were collecting old clothes. She became suspicious

  • Pub's entertainment policy is praised

    ENTERTAINMENT nights at a Darlington pub have not generated unacceptable noise levels or caused nuisance, councillors have been told. The Wheatsheaf Hotel, in Yarm Road, was granted an entertainment licence in May, despite a petition signed by 300 residents

  • School launches borough's first road safety travel plan

    DARLINGTON'S first school travel plan was launched at a special assembly at Harrowgate Hill Junior School yesterday. The £65,000 scheme is the result of months of consultation between Darlington Borough Council officers, teachers and children. Transport

  • Girl, 18, gives her evidence in rape trial

    A GIRL who claims she was raped told a court of the day a man barged into her home and dropped his trousers. The 18-year-old girl told Teesside Crown Court that Mark Cochrane, 23, tried to rape her in his car months later. Talking about the time he walked

  • Bill has brush with the law

    A RETIRED police inspector's new-found artistic skills can be viewed in the coming days at a visitor centre. Since quitting the Durham force in 1993 after 27 years of service around the county, Bill Brennan has turned his hand to painting. He honed his

  • Generosity helps to send Jack for treatment in US

    A COUPLE are a step nearer to realising their dream thanks to the generosity of those who have given to an appeal to help their son. Jake Burgess, of Catterick, suffers from autism and, although there has been some recent improvement in his condition,

  • Temporary waste station bid rejected

    NEIGHBOURING businesses were breathing a sigh of relief yesterday when it was confirmed the local authority had rejected a bid for a waste station in Brompton-on-Swale. The Yorwaste base at nearby Scorton is earmarked for closure in the summer so the

  • Overture on staircase then grand entrance

    A PIANO worth £43,000 made a grand entrance when it arrived at its new home this week. The Steinway Model B instrument was delivered to Auckland Castle, the concert venue of its proud new owner Bishop Auckland Music Society. But the procedure of getting

  • Ambassadors needed to teach pupils

    COMPANIES are being asked to release employees to become "business ambassadors" in the North-East. The ambassador scheme has been running in County Durham and Darlington for more than ten years and in Newcastle for two years. The aim is to improve links

  • Monsters and heroes take to the stage

    A TALE of monsters, heroes and blood feuds will come to Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre on Sunday. Julian Glover, who played Nazi Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and was General Maximillian Veers in The Empire Strikes Back, will be telling

  • Youngsters celebrate opening of nature reserve

    GREEN-fingered children were planting woodland bulbs in Stainton Quarry yesterday to celebrate the opening of the first local nature reserve in the Middlesbrough area. Pupils from Hemlington Hall Primary School added to the 1,000 snowdrops, bluebells

  • Impressions of region are highlighted in art exhibition

    A DRAMATIC industrial skyline combined with the rugged beauty of the North Yorkshire coast and moors has provided inspiration for a London artist. Sarah Woodfine spent three months working in the area and her impressions of the region are being exhibited

  • Staff rewarded with time off

    PEOPLE who provide mental health services in Teesside are getting an extra day's holiday after scoring well in a recent inspection. More than 2,800 workers who help people with psychia-tric problems and learning difficulties will be awarded time off by

  • Son's pride over hero pilot who saved village

    A SECOND World War flying ace, whose dying action was to save an entire village, is finally to be honoured by the community. And his only surviving son, who barely knew his father, will be there to witness the occasion, after being traced by The Northern

  • Listed building's future to be decided

    A STAND-OFF between heritage societies and a council over a Grade II listed building will come to a head next week. A decision on whether to tear down decorative fencing surrounding the 18th Century Sunnyfield House, in Guisborough, will be made on Tuesday

  • Parks' success flagged up

    A TOWN really is flying the flag - a green one. Middlesbrough's Albert Park, Stewart Park and Pallister Park have all won Civic Trust Green Flag awards, symbols of excellence. It is the first time for Albert Park, the third time for Stewart Park and the

  • No time to go-it-alone

    PRESIDENT Bush will feel emboldened by the victory of his Republican Party in the mid-term elections. With a fresh mandate and a pliant Congress, the President may feel encouraged to go-it-alone against Iraq. He must resist that temptation. While the

  • Children learn valuable lesson about waste

    THE importance of recycling waste materials is being taught at an early age. Children from Hackforth and Hornby Primary School, in Hackforth, spent time yesterday learning which materials in household waste can be recycled. A North Yorkshire education

  • easyJet seeking views on choice of destinations

    A LOW-COST airline is offering people the chance to help decide on its new destinations from the North-East. Last month, easyJet announced plans to set up a new base in Newcastle, bringing a range of low-fare destinations. The move follows easyJet's buyout

  • Sex change nurse speaks about experiences

    A NORTH-EAST nurse who has undergone a sex change has told a national conference of her experience of becoming a woman while working in the NHS. Clare Morgan, a former male nurse at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, addressed delegates

  • Over the moon with pride

    THERE is something deeply moving about seeing your little boy running out for football training wearing a new Arsenal shirt with his name and a number nine emblazoned on the back. BARRON looks good on the back of an Arsenal shirt, I thought to myself

  • Entente loses its cordial in the translation

    BROTHERS are seldom cut out to be friends while they're growing up. My elder brother and I couldn't stand the sight of each other when we were kids. We scrapped, traded insults, and generally viewed each other with contempt. (He was the one, you may recall

  • Whose round is it anyway?

    OUR eldest has got his first job. My chest swelled with pride when Christopher asked if he could get a paper round in our village to earn extra pocket money. "Good for you, son," I said. "It's never too early to become a wage-earner." Christopher is only

  • Farmers threaten to sue Government

    FARMERS fighting for more than £1m from the Government for work during the foot-and-mouth crisis vowed today never to work for them again unless they were paid up front. More than a year after the region was declared disease free, the Northumberland and

  • Work fair success for retail park with 800 jobs on offer

    HUNDREDS of jobs are up for grabs as work progresses on a new retail outlet park in a North-East employment blackspot. Potential recruits for companies earmarked for the £40m Dalton Park development in Murton, east Durham, were yesterday given details

  • Gentry insight for makeover show audience

    FOR years, Changing Rooms has been one of the great TV successes. But now, the show has moved away from its usual place in semi-detached suburbia - and into the Upstairs Downstairs world of the landed gentry. Tonight, viewers will get to see something

  • Seize homes of drugs dealers - watchdog

    VILLAINOUS landlords could have their houses confiscated, if the chairman of a police watchdog has his way. Police already have the power to seize the assets of drugs barons such as vehicles, boats and planes. With growing evidence showing gangs of drug

  • Rising waters threaten historic landmark

    ONE of the North-East's most famous landmarks is threatening to disappear beneath the waves for good. Emergency measures are now being taken to protect the historic causeway which links Lindisfarne to the mainland. For the past three years, the stretch

  • Electronic voting proposed to increase poll numbers

    VOTERS in the Darlington borough could be electing councillors by email in the next elections, as part of an attempt to increase the voter turnout level to 40 per cent. Polling stations could also be abolished under the scheme, which aims to address the

  • Fire chief gets a new Jag as his crews fight for pay rise

    FIREFIGHTERS battling for a 40 per cent pay increase are fuming after their chief was bought a new Jaguar car. The County Durham and Darlington Fire Authority is believed to have paid more than £30,000 for a dark blue S-type model for chief fire officer

  • Greatest gift a friend can make

    A FATHER-of-two is giving his best friend a gift of life - by donating one of his kidneys. In what is believed to be the first friend-to-friend organ transplant in the region, Derek Marshall, 56, is giving his life-long mate Bill Brough, 54, a kidney.

  • Court order on 999 hoax pest

    AN ALCOHOLIC who rang 999 26 times in six months has been made the subject of an Anti-social Behaviour Order. Joseph James Hope, from Sycamore Gardens, Crook, accepted that he had made the calls but told Bishop Auckland Magistrates he could not remember

  • Culinary floral tribute to centenarian

    THE emblem of Teesdale was used to decorate the birthday cake of retired teacher Doris Crighton, who celebrates her 100th birthday this Sunday. The cake, made by neighbour Joyce Makepeace, depicts the upper dale's blue gentian and reflects Mrs Crighton's

  • Drugs raid illegal immigrant sent to jail

    AN ILLEGAL immigrant has been jailed for three years following the first crack house raid by Cleveland Police. Mother-of-six Arecia Williams, 39, of no fixed address, admitted possessing crack cocaine with the intention to supply and to attempting to

  • Scheme to cut repeat burglaries

    AN initiative designed to cut the number of repeat burglaries in the Tees Valley area is under way. The project - conceived and developed by Safe in Tees Valley - involves detailed research to identify the characteristics of vulnerable households in order

  • Hearing forum held to question services

    PEOPLE with hearing problems are being given the chance to question council leaders about services. Co.deaf, an organisation promoting equality of access for people, is holding a forum at the headquarters of Durham County Council on Friday, November 22

  • Santa's little helpers get ready

    THE build-up to Christmas starts in earnest on Saturday, when Santa Claus returns to Gateshead's MetroCentre. The annual Yuletide parade will travel through the centre, before dropping Santa off at his grotto in the Garden Court, where he can be found

  • Gannin along the London road . . . to buy the Blaydon races

    A RARE image of a celebrated event in North-East heritage is to remain in the region. William C Irving's portrayal of a scene from the Blaydon Races has been saved for the North-East following a successful bid at auction in London yesterday. Following

  • 'Miracle' as Olivia is walking

    MIRACLE girl Olivia Anderson has taken her first steps, despite doctors' warnings that she may never walk. The two-year-old suffers from cerebral palsy and has been unable to stand or crawl at all. Doctors said she may never be able to walk but, after

  • Crime of the last century

    A body was found on a train yesterday, sparking as murder manhunt. However, as Emily Flanagan discovered, the crime dated almost 100 years and the detectives were more youthful than usual. THERE was no smoking gun, but there was a body, an empty station

  • Robert blow for Magpies

    LAURENT Robert suffered a suspected fractured cheekbone last night, adding injury to the insult of Newcastle United's Worthington Cup exit. Robert missed the final penalty of Newcastle's 3-2 shoot-out defeat to Everton, having been hurt during the dying

  • Spotlight on an Army regiment and its links with King of Siam

    The King of Siam is perhaps best known from his deception in the King and I. But, as Sarah Foster discovers, he also had an unusual connection A North-East Army regiment renewed its acquaintance with the King of Siam yesterday after its unlikely link

  • A new view to working on the web

    STAFF and students at a college for the visually impaired have been offering their ideas into how to make websites more user-friendly. Students at the Henshaws College in Harrogate discussed ways in which the Millennium Volunteers' (MV) website and marketing

  • Stewart spikes Gunners

    MARCUS STEWART struck twice in as many minutes as Howard Wilkinson claimed his first win as Sunderland manager in sensational fashion at Highbury. With a catalogue of injuries and a Premiership relegation battle looming, this Worthington Cup third-round

  • Charity's stalwart Annie dies at 94

    A WOMAN who made more than 2,000 garments for Third World children has died at the age of 94. Annie Mottram, of St John's Close, Northallerton, made the clothes to help the local branch of Oxfam. A trained seamstress, she specialised in making cotton

  • Familiar faces as technician joins garage

    A GARAGE has attracted a third motor industry expert to its team. Steve Morrison, 33, from Houghton-le-Spring, has joined Mill Audi in Sunderland as a technician. He has been reunited with two former colleagues - service manager John Smiles and workshop

  • Vagrant is back before magistrates

    VAGRANT Mel Bird was back in court on a public order offence yesterday. The 57-year-old, who confesses to preferring beer to water, has held regular court in Leyburn Market Place, in North Yorkshire, after frustrating attempts to have him moved on. However

  • Pat on back for health staff

    THE NHS could learn a thing or two from a Teesside mental health trust when it comes to boosting staff morale, according to a new report. The Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) has praised the high staff morale among workers employed by the Tees

  • Co-op revival plans bring promise of more vital jobs

    AMBITIOUS plans to revitalise a 137-year-old co-operative society, creating much-needed jobs in a County Durham dale, have been revealed by one of Britain's last independent groups. The revamp will be sparked off this month by the closure of the drapery

  • Business leaders snub lights

    BUSINESS leaders are failing to help pay for illuminations which draw hundreds of shoppers to a North Yorkshire market town every Christmas. Northallerton's Town Council and the chamber of trade have both criticised local companies for not helping to

  • Hear All Sides

    CHANCE TO LIVE: HATS off to The Northern Echo, Alan Milburn and the local partners involved in he launch of the project A Chance To Live. The health problems of south-west Durham are well documented and this is a truly worthy campaign. Let's hope that

  • Why I'm sticking up for the Queen

    I NEVER thought I would say this but I'm sticking up for the Queen. Reading the papers this week, you could be forgiven for thinking she is a forgetful, doddery old woman who doesn't have a clue what is happening in her own family, let alone her kingdom

  • Valentine has no regrets

    Ryan Valentine insists he has no regrets about his summer move down the divisions after swapping Everton for Darlington. Valentine has made the left-back spot his own since signing a one-year deal with the club following his free transfer from Everton

  • Clean and safe routes to school

    A TWO-PRONGED campaign has been launched by council officials to make Hartlepool safer and cleaner. They are promoting an initiative called Safer and Cleaner Routes to School, which involves encouraging more youngsters to complete the journey to and from

  • Timber company moving to region

    A TIMBER company has announced plans to build a £5m manufacturing plant in Seaham, east Durham, resulting in the creation of 40 jobs within the first two years. Robertson Timber Products (RTP) yesterday signalled its intentions to build a timber frame

  • Jail for 'Smack Lane' pushers

    An evil drugs gang netted up to £6m - using six-year-old children as lookouts. Last night, the men - who spent the cash on expensive sports cars, luxury holidays and designer clothes - were jailed for a total of 25 years after they were caught out by

  • 'Dispute played no part in loss of franchise by Arriva'

    SOURCES close to Arriva Trains Northern last night denied that its handling of the strike by conductors had lost it the Trans-Pennine franchise. A source close to the company, which has admitted being disappointed by the Strategic Rail Authority's (SRA

  • Pool success elevated Turner

    FOR Hartlepool United, this season was always going to be about when and not if Chris Turner departed. Just as good Third Division players get snapped up by a bigger club, so too do the best managers - and Turner certainly fits into that category. In

  • Fears for owls as Harry

    IT was the scene which captivated the nation and spearheaded the marketing campaign for the Harry Potter movie phenomenon. At a time when last year's filmgoers were desperate for any snatch of Harry Potter and the Philsopher's Stone, the clip of Hedwig

  • Lights switch on

    FORMER Big Brother star Jonny Regan was the star guest at the switch on of a shopping centre's Christmas lights today. The Peterlee fireman, who made it down to the last two in the popular reality television show, flicked the switch at the MetroCentre

  • Fairground accident trial

    A travelling showman faces trial in connection with a fairground accident in which three teenagers were injured when a ride came loose at a summer carnival. The youngsters were injured in an incident on the Ultimate Buzz ride during a summer carnival

  • McClaren's rookies found wanting

    FOR a competiton that is rapidly turning into a footballing joke, there were precious few laughs for a makeshift Middlesbrough side soundly beaten by Joe Royle's Ipswich at Portman Road last night. The former League Cup has had many incarnations before

  • Jilted stalker jailed for stabbing ex-lover

    A stalker who became obsessed with an ex-lover whom he met via the Internet was today jailed for life after he admitted stabbing her to death. Council printer Paul Evison, 38, pleaded guilty to murdering nurse Sandra McKean who he attacked in her own

  • Search for missing teenager

    AN ARMY of family and friends gathered today to begin distributing more than 1,000 posters, in a bid to track down a missing teenager. Craig Foreman, 19, has not been seen since the early hours of Saturday, October 26, when he left his home in Denecrest

  • The day Barrymore had me exiled to Skegness

    Les Dawson loved him but the Roly Polys wouldn't speak to him and Michael Barrymore's jealousy almost scuppered his career. Nick Morrison meets a real showbusiness legend. IF it weren't for Aggy Holland's stagefright it might all have turned out differently

  • Whose round is it anyway?

    OUR eldest has got his first job. My chest swelled with pride when Christopher asked if he could get a paper round in our village to earn extra pocket money. "Good for you, son," I said. "It's never too early to become a wage-earner." Christopher is only

  • Last Night's TV

    Was Hitler Gay? Revealed (five) - Lord Byron: Exile On Fame Street (BBC1) AT last the origin of the Nazi salute is explained. The hand stuck defiantly in the air was a result of Adolf Hitler trying to dry his nail polish. The idea, proposed in the Revealed

  • Jabs to be used in next farm disease outbreak

    Vaccination will be used in any future foot-and-mouth outbreak, the Government revealed last night. Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said infected animals would still be slaughtered under the Government's emergency planning guidelines, but that

  • Effects genius honoured

    SPECIAL effects maestro Ray Harryhausen is to be honoured by a North-East university. The legendary animator was responsible for creating the dinosaurs in One Million Years BC, Valley of Gwangi and the skeleton battles in Jason and the Argonauts and Clash

  • Project team aims to help police reduce burglaries

    A FORMER police inspector is hoping to come up with a blueprint to help police and councils defeat burglars. Retired Cleveland Police officer Brian Neale, his project team and police officers are visiting the victims of repeat burglaries in an attempt

  • Wilko's fairytale triumph

    SUNDERLAND manager Howard Wilkinson last night hailed his "Cinderella'' side after they pulled off a fairytale victory at Arsenal. The Black Cats overturned a two-goal half-time deficit in dramatic style to book their place in the fourth round of the

  • Agony for Chopra as Magpies lose shoot-out

    IN his first appearance in the Newcastle senior side, Michael Chopra missed a penalty in a dramatic shoot-out as their hopes of a famous five were dashed by Everton. Chopra blazed over the crossbar as Newcastle, who took an early 2-0 lead in the shoot-out

  • Armed raids in city centre

    ARMED police swooped on three addresses in the same street today during a dramatic early morning raid. More than 60 officers surrounded the three houses in York before searching them and a nearby caravan. Three men were arrested during the operation,