• Man in cliff death named

    A man who plunged to his death over a cliff edge has been named as Darren Drummond. The 31-year-old, from Southfield Crescent, Norton, Stockton, lost control of a kite buggy he was riding as it gathered speed down a slope above a sheer, 150ft drop at

  • Theme park ride under scrutiny

    Owners of one of the region's biggest theme parks are facing an anxious wait as a newly-opened attraction comes under further official scrutiny. Flamingo Land, near Malton, North Yorkshire, unveiled its £5m Cliff Hanger ride only a fortnight ago after

  • Open-air schools were cold comfort for pupils

    Recalling the early 20th Century health craze for open-air schools and examining the political expediency that brought a remarkable industrial co-operative experiment to a sad end. IT was announced last week that three Darlington schools are going to

  • TV review: Putting the tease into striptease

    Baring All (C4) SHE spoke, Nicholas Parsons told us, like a vicar's wife running a tea party in the vicarage garden. But Phyllis Dixie's job wasn't anything to do with the church, although she did have her fans - two of them that she twirled tantalisingly

  • Rare letters illuminate railway history

    Rare letters detailing the early life of the Darlington and Stockton Railway go under the hammer next week. The letters, dating from the 1830s and 1840s, include one from the founder of the railways, George Stephenson ordering railway carriage wheels

  • Fight to clear man's name over 'robbing priest' charge

    THE family of a churchgoer found guilty of posing as a priest and robbing a pensioner are campaigning to clear his name. Steven Gray was convicted in January of robbing 94-year-old Isabella Brown at her home. He pleaded not guilty, but a jury at Newcastle

  • Fury as animal ovens approved

    VILLAGERS say they have been left shattered after councillors approved two controversial animal incinerators near a North-East beauty spot. Durham County Council granted planning permission for two 50ft chimneys at a knacker's yard at Eden Hall, Hamsterley

  • Reyna backs Phillips to end drought

    UNITED States captain Claudio Reyna, two-goal man-of-the-match in Sunderland's crucial 2-1 home win over Leicester City, is backing ace striker Kevin Phillips to end a seven-game drought in the quest for Premiership safety. Reyna, who answered the call

  • The dangerous side of Alan Titchmarsh

    SO DID you spend the Bank Holiday dicing with death? And that doesn't mean parachuting, bungee jumping or driving down the A1 with your eyes shut. No. Nearly as dangerous as all those is DIY, which is almost guaranteed to take you straight to Casualty

  • The Queen Mother I never knew

    OF COURSE the Queen Mother always had a strong cohort of admirers, even if they did not, over the last 20 years or so of her life, amount to the legions once imagined by Palace and State. To mark her death, they planned nine full days of solemn national

  • Need some educational Elastoplast?

    AS IF in response to a major emergency, a metaphor which may not be inappropriate, offers of First Aid in English have been arriving from all directions. It's the book, briefly re-opened in recent columns, which helped us through the fundamental 50s at

  • Golden couple celebrate

    A COUPLE who have read The Northern Echo every day since they were married celebrate their golden wedding anniversary today. Ted and Barbara Neave, who were introduced by a mutual friend, married at Darlington Register Office in 1952. Mrs Neave, who is

  • Driver died as car aquaplaned

    A TRAINEE jockey probably died as a result of his car aquaplaning on standing water, an inquest heard. Neil Anthony Hill, 18, from Langley Park, County Durham, was killed when his car slid into the path of another vehicle on the A6108 between Leyburn

  • News in brief: Debate on town's future

    ENTRIES are being invited from communities who have enhanced their environment in the past year. Councils have been sent entry forms for the 2002 Durham County Tidy Village competition, which this year features seven categories, relating to villages'

  • Community in the frame to mark jubilee

    A DALES community will be caught on camera and placed in the history books as part of the Queen's golden jubilee celebrations. Every building in Middleton-in-Teesdale will be photographed and recorded in a book being produced to mark the jubilee. The

  • Youngsters join in village spring cleaning

    YOUNGSTERS took time out from their Easter break to spring clean their village. The children from Sunnybrow, near Crook, joined forces for a mass litter picking exercise which covered the village green and other open spaces in the community yesterday.

  • Ex-councillor has sex abuse sentence cut

    A DISGRACED councillor who was jailed for abusing children has had his sentence reduced following a successful appeal. Martyn Locklin was given 15 years by a judge at Teesside Crown Court after he was convicted of a string of sex offences. Following a

  • Trusts bid to save at-risk habitat

    GARDENERS in the region are being urged to buy peat-free compost to save the country's dwindling peat bogs. The national Wildlife Trusts say the continued use of compost made of peat is devastating one of the nation's most important wildlife habitats.

  • Fraudster gets more time to pay

    A LIMOUSINE-driving benefits scrounger - who went jogging three times a week while claiming to be wheelchair-bound - was given more time to pay a confiscation order yesterday. Businessman John Moses was jailed for fraud last month. He had claimed to be

  • Pub pair get industry accolade

    A DARLINGTON pub has won an industry award for the best family pub of the year. John and Sheila Redman, managers of the Shuttle and Loom, in Whinfield Road, Darlington, owned by the Laurel Pub Company, are celebrating winning the bronze award at the Morning

  • Falklands veterans urged to attend service

    FALKLANDS War veterans across the North-East are invited to a 20th anniversary memorial service for those who lost their lives in the South Atlantic conflict. Any ex-servicemen are welcome to attend, particularly those who took part in the 1982 campaign

  • Teenager is locked up after attack on friend

    A TEENAGER who kicked his friend repeatedly in the head, leaving him requiring surgery, was locked up yesterday. Christopher Hopwood, 17, of Clynes Road, Grangetown, Teesside, admitted a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Paul Boyes

  • Soldiers take up canoeing challenge

    THREE North-East soldiers have just completed one of the world's most arduous canoe races through the jungle in Central America. Gary Haughton and Paul Carr, both from Spennymoor, with Leigh Baker, from Seaham, are stationed in Belize as part of the British

  • Crime-cutting initiative

    AN initiative to cut crime in Wear Valley is being launched this week. The Wear and Tees Community Safety Partnership hopes to cut anti-social behaviour by ten per cent and house burglaries by 15 per cent through the joint strategy. The plans will be

  • Grassroots

    Radio Display: Crook Councillor Trevor Carroll is displaying his amateur radio memorabilia in Crook library. On show is an example of a Branly radio message receiver that was used by British POWs in Germany during the Second World War. "The British prisoners

  • Management qualifications

    STAFF at a big American firm's Darlington plant have achieved management qualifications after an eight-month development project. The project was carried out on site at Cummins Engine Company, with Jan Deardon, Darlington Business Venture co-ordinator

  • Era ends as company chief steps down

    ONE of Darlington's longest-established businesses has finally left the hands of the family which ran it for 83 years. WM Sykes (Electrical Contractors) was set up in 1919 after electrician William Sykes moved to the town from Huddersfield. The business

  • £70,000 grant gives a boost to family firm

    A FAMILY-run Darlington business is ready to take a step forward with the help of a £70,000 Department of Trade and Industry enterprise grant. Sub-contract engineering company Malcolm Engineering (MEC), on the McMullen Road Industrial Estate, Darlington

  • Human bones riddle solved

    HUMAN bones unearthed from an old rubbish tip date from ancient times, it was confirmed yesterday. The remains are now being treated as an archaeological find, although details of the discovery are still being passed to the local coroner. The bones were

  • Nissan woman's disgust at lunch break porn

    THE only woman working on the giant car production line at Nissan is suing her bosses for sex discrimination after male colleagues watched hardcore porn during their lunch breaks. Outraged Beverley Ward, 24, also claims she was told she would not have

  • Flogging a dead horse to get issue across

    Campaigners staged a protest in a town centre yesterday. Dressed as a jockey and a racehorse, the protestors hoped to highlight the harsh conditions and fate they claim racehorses suffer. They handed out leaflets encouraging shoppers in Darlington not

  • Three-year term for drug dealer's 'warehouseman'

    A MAN who stored more than £8,000 of Ecstasy in his home for a drug dealer has been jailed for three years. Heroin addict Stuart Armstrong, 22, of Cromwell Avenue, Stockton, admitted a charge of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply, when

  • Chance to clean up with prize

    ENTRIES are being invited from communities across County Durham who have done their bit to enhance their local environment in the past year. District and parish councils have been sent entry forms for the this year's Durham County Tidy Village competition

  • Region puts its sorrow in words

    BOOKS of condolence have been opened across the region following the death of the Queen Mother. Mourners throughout the North-East signed the volumes to pay tribute to Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who died in her sleep at Windsor, on Saturday. Bowes Museum

  • Funding boost to give new lease of life to famous area

    A HERITAGE grant of more than half-a-million pounds has been confirmed to improve a part of Darlington. English Heritage has confirmed that Darlington Borough Council's bid for money to improve the Northgate area of town has been successful. The money

  • Industrial estate makeover unveiled

    INDUSTRIAL units are ready for occupation following a £275,000 refurbishment. Work has been completed on the units at Leechmere Industrial Estate, in Sunderland, by Lamb and Edge's building consultancy, on behalf of owners LNC Properties. It involved

  • Clarke tipped to add to strike

    HARTLEPOOL United boss Chris Turner has tipped goal-hero Darrell Clarke to find the net more often. The 24-year-old struck with just four minutes remaining to clinch victory over promoted Plymouth on Monday to keep Pool's faint play-off hopes alive. The

  • Hear All Sides: Hunting

    I AGREE with Jim Ross (HAS, Mar 28) regarding his views on fox hunting. Where were all these anti-voters when thousands of healthy animals were being slaughtered on the say-so of a Government which does not know what day it is. I am an animal lover. I

  • Sharon Griffiths: The dangerous side of Alan Titchmarsh

    SO DID you spend the Bank Holiday dicing with death? And that doesn't mean parachuting, bungee jumping or driving down the A1 with your eyes shut. No. Nearly as dangerous as all those is DIY, which is almost guaranteed to take you straight to Casualty

  • Cheers - pub staff celebrate service with a smile accolade

    PUB staff were celebrating yesterday after winning a national award for their service with a smile. The Appletree Country Inn at Marton, near Pickering, North Yorkshire, took the Customer Service of the Year title at the Publican Awards, beating competitors

  • Seven arrests follow week of police raids

    SEVEN people have been arrested following drugs raids. Middlesbrough police carried out seven raids in seven days across Middlesbrough as part of its Dealer a Day campaign and seized heroin, cannabis and cannabis plants with a combined street value of

  • How Operation Rose began

    OPERATION Rose was one of the country's biggest investigations into historic sexual and physical child abuse. The inquiry was launched in August 1997 when a woman in her 20s disclosed to a social worker that she and a friend had been both sexually and

  • Operation Rose: Why investigation has left me marked for life

    Former teacher Derek Gordon, of Chester-le-Street, County Durham, was found not guilty of child abuse, but he says he will be a marked man for life. Here is his story: OUTSIDE the unreal worlds of science fiction, there are not many ways in which you

  • Outrage at £500 death crash fine

    THE distraught family of a girl killed when a teenage driver lost control of his car branded his sentence of a £500 fine and a 12-month ban as "pathetic" last night. Belinda Blagg, 17, died when she was thrown from a car driven by Lewis Hardy in August

  • Comment from The Northern Echo: The innocent need answers

    WE sympathise with those individuals accused and subsequently cleared in Operation Rose. It is difficult to imagine the trauma of being suspected or charged with the abuse of children in your care. In the eyes of society, these are among the most serious

  • Family members and MPs pay respects

    Members of the Royal Family will pay their respects to the Queen Mother today as her coffin rests at St James's Palace after a solemn journey from Windsor on Tuesday witnessed by crowds of people. The indomitable matriarch died on Easter Saturday at the

  • Reynolds reaffirms he will stay at Quakers

    Darlington chairman George Reynolds last night hit back at rumours circulating about his future at the club, and he also rubbished claims that work on the new ground had come to a standstill. There has been talk he was about to walk-out of the Feethams

  • Investigation after burned body of dog is found

    AN investigation has been launched after a dog's badly burned body was found in woodland. Children found the remains of the black and white collie-cross near The Avenue, in the Glebe area of Washington, on Wearside, at teatime on Saturday. Earlier the

  • 'Abuse inquiry wrecked our lives'

    TEACHERS and care workers who claim their lives were destroyed as a result of one of the North-East's biggest child abuse inquiries last night launched a bitter attack on police. During Operation Rose - the codename for North-umbria Police's five-year

  • Zoe sets sights on stardom

    Darlington's Pop Idol star Zoe Birkett, 16, has made the shock decision to quit her A-level studies at the town's Carmel Technology College and go in search of showbiz success. In Thursday's Northern Echo, Zoe explains in full why she has made that decision

  • Protest over priests shortage

    A CHURCH official has complained to the Bishop of Durham about the problems of attracting and retaining clergy. David Warren, the secretary of the parochial church council at St James the Great Church, in Darlington, has suggested positions in parishes

  • Candidates pledge to clean up town

    TWO Middlesbrough mayoral candidates unveiled their manifestos yesterday with pledges to clean up the town - in more ways than one. Charity worker and independent candidate Rod Jones, 54, promised to tackle the town's escalating drugs and prostitution

  • Shearer left waiting to reach 200th goal

    ALAN Shearer took a step nearer becoming the first player to score 200 Premiership goals at Aston Villa last night - but his close range effort was not enough to secure a Newcastle United victory. The 31-year-old struck his 199th after just three minutes

  • Gadfly: Need some educational Elastoplast?

    AS IF in response to a major emergency, a metaphor which may not be inappropriate, offers of First Aid in English have been arriving from all directions. It's the book, briefly re-opened in recent columns, which helped us through the fundamental 50s at

  • Cummins bids to allay job fears

    ENGINE-maker Cummins has played down fears of imminent job losses after announcing its latest restructuring plans. The US-owned business, which employs 735 people at its plant in Darlington, is to transfer out its storage and logistics section to another

  • Go-ahead for new nature reserve

    WORK to create a nature reserve in the North-East is to begin later this year. Proposals to develop a 270- hectare wetland nature reserve, near Billingham, Teesside, were unveiled yesterday by Teesside Environmental Trust (Tet). The reserve is expected

  • Robson relieved to earn point

    RELIEVED Newcastle United boss Bobby Robson admitted his side were fortunate to come away from Villa Park with a point last night. Magpies goalkeeper Shay Given made a number of fine saves to keep out the Villans, as they pressed for a second half winner

  • Addict raided home of drug dealer

    A DRUG addict broke into his supplier's home while he was in prison and stole £500 worth of property, a court heard yesterday. John Denham, 24, of Church Street, Howden-le-Wear, admitted two charges of burglary at Teesside Crown Court. Paul Newcombe,

  • Police shake-up boosting local ties

    A POLICE shake-up is bringing beat officers closer to Wear Valley communities in response to public demand. The new team will be travelling by bus instead of panda car to get closer to the people on their patch. From next week they will spend their working

  • Villagers seek cash support for millennium play project

    MEMBERS of a tiny dales community are looking to councillors to give their millennium project a cash boost. It has taken more than two-and-a-half years for people living in Ireshopeburn to raise just under £20,000 for a playpark in the village. Now the

  • Careers centre expands its advice service

    A careers centre has been opened in Darlington to help people plan their futures. Staff and services from the former Gladstone Street premises have been moved to the new centre in Houndgate. Although aimed primarily at young people between the ages of

  • Unlawful killing verdict on soldier

    A SOLDIER from North Yorkshire died after being kicked unconscious outside an Austrian nightclub, an inquest heard. North Yorkshire deputy coroner Geoff Fell ruled yesterday that Corporal Derek Osborne, who was based at Catterick Garrison, was unlawfully

  • School meal price increase

    THE cost of school meals is going up in east Cleveland. Redcar and Cleveland council's loss-making education catering service has put up prices by three per cent. Education director Jenny Lewis yesterday told members the catering service had operated

  • Sunnie in search of a loving new owner

    SUNNIE, a four-year-old cross breed dog, is in need of a new home. The dog needs to find a permanent home after its owner could not cope with looking after it. The National Animal Sanctuary Support League, in Darlington, has placed Sunnie in a foster

  • Steam locomotive has big name to live up to

    THE first mainline steam locomotive to be built in over 40 years will be called Tornado. The station commander of the fighter base at Leeming, near Northallerton, Group Captain Andy Walton, has presented the Darlington-based A1 Steam Locomotive Trust

  • Three-star accolade for hotel and restaurant

    A HOTEL near Darlington has received an award for its restaurant and a second three-star rating. Walworth Castle Hotel's grading from the RAC follows an earlier three-star branding from the AA. The RAC has also presented the hotel's owners, Chris and

  • Building society reaps investment reward

    DARLINGTON Building Society is celebrating gaining the business's fourth successful Investors in People accreditation. The company first achieved its Investors in People status in March 1996, and underwent its latest assessment in February. Since the

  • Centre's youngsters piece activities together

    A mosaic celebrating the activities of a Middlesbrough community centre was unveiled yesterday. The mosaic, made up of more than 3,000 tiles, was put together by children aged four to 13-years-old at Langdon Square Community Centre, Coulby Newham. It

  • Latest figures reveal plastic spending frenzy

    CONSUMERS are continuing to spend on the high street and are using credit cards to fuel their buying, figures have revealed. Data out yesterday showed Britain's high streets are still in a robust state, with the CBI's monthly survey reporting that sales

  • Police in appeal for crash witnesses

    POLICE are appealing for witnesses to an alleged road rage incident which resulted in two cars being damaged. The incident started at about 7am on Good Friday. Two four-wheel drive vehicles, a dark blue Daihatsu Four Track and a white Toyota Hi-Lux, narrowly

  • Worker injured in pan blaze

    A TAKEAWAY worker suffered minor burns to his hands and face when he threw water on a burning fat fire yesterday. Fire chiefs said the 29-year-old man, who has not been named, was lucky not to have suffered more serious burns. Firefighters from High Handenhold

  • A piper's lament and tears from the butler

    A lone piper played a Highland lament as the Queen Mother's coffin was carried solemnly from a small Windsor chapel yesterday on its way to the capital. The Dark Island lament, played by Queen's Piper Pipe Major Jim Motherwell, was one of the Queen Mother's

  • Chance to choose your top citizen

    MORE nominations for the Mayor of Darlington's community awards are being invited. Previously known as the Citizen of the Year awards, the name and categories have been changed to encourage more people to nominate someone who has made a difference to

  • Army trio takes to the water in jungle canoe challenge

    THREE North-East soldiers have just completed one of the world's most arduous canoe races through the jungles of Central America. Leigh Baker, from Seaham, Gary Haughton and Paul Carr, both from Spennymoor, are stationed in Belize as part of the British

  • Scent of an answer to dog fouling problem

    A FRAGRANT method of persuading owners to clean up after their dogs is being introduced by Stockton Borough Council. Free scented poop scoop bags are being supplied by the council. It is also installing 120 dog dirt bins, as well as 7,500 dog fouling

  • Trauma for pigeon fancier after killing spree by thugs

    A PIGEON fancier as told how drunken thugs went on a killing rampage in his pigeon loft. When Barry Watson arrived at his loft on allotments near Chester-le-Street outdoor market he was horrified to find six of his prize birds dismembered. It is thought

  • Village access road closed

    ACCESS to a Teesside village will be closed this week to allow for resurfacing work. Work is due to start today on the A174 Lazenby bypass in east Cleveland, from the Greystones roundabout across the junction with Lazenby High Street. It is expected to

  • Drama touch in early years play

    A DRAMATIC approach to children's play has helped childcare and early years workers enjoy the benefits of a new training scheme. The course, organised by the Redcar and Cleveland Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership, working with the Cleveland

  • Bolting the dooor on garden break-ins

    AN anti-burglary campaign has been launched by council officials and police in Hartlepool. They are targeting garden shed owners to encourage them to adopt basic security measures and reduce break-ins. To help get the message across a shed featuring some

  • 'My terror on Mount Tumbledown'

    On the 20th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War, Nick Morrison talks to a man involved in the last major battle of the conflict. LYING helpless on the ground, shot in his leg and arm and unable to defend himself after his rifle was knocked out

  • Host of golden daffodils will greet visitors to hospital

    A CARE home will celebrate spring this weekend by opening its grounds to the public. This Sunday, people will be able to explore the grounds of Durham's Christ's Hospital, which is also known as Sherburn Hospital, from 2pm to 4pm - and Joanne Carr was

  • News in brief : Letting policy on the agenda

    Concerned residents of an area in Billingham are holding a public meeting tomorrow to discuss drug issues and community policing. The Low Grange Residents' Association is holding the meeting to discuss problems with drugs in the area and concerns with

  • Operation Rose: Police defend inquiry decision

    POLICE have vowed to change the way they run Operation Rose-style inquiries. But one senior officer has also criticised the courts for taking decisions which lengthened the process and denied some alleged victims the chance to have their say. Northumbria

  • Musical tale of wartime

    THE team that produced Captain Corelli's Mandolin will be staging a very different story at Darlington's Civic Theatre on Tuesday, April 30, at 8pm. Private Angelo is a musical which tells the story of an Italian soldier who thinks he lacks courage, but

  • Operation Rose: Anger of care worker who fled to Spain

    CARE worker Stephen Milbourn gave up his 25-year career, sold his £100,000 home and moved his family to Spain after the pressure of facing false allegations became too much for him to bear. It took two-and-a-half years for the trial to go ahead and Mr

  • The nightmare that wrecked a teacher's career

    Teacher Ray Johnson has endured a five-year nightmare fighting off false accusations of physical child abuse. He tells Lindsay Jennings how the trawling methods used by police have left his 23-year career in ruins. SPREAD out along the 8ft oak dining

  • Driver admits causing death

    A MAN admitted a charge of causing death by dangerous driving at Teesside Crown Court, yesterday. Habib Khan, 23, of Newlands Road, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Shamraz Khan on May 10, last year. The court heard Habib Khan was

  • Business news in brief: Oil company in shock move

    ANGLO-DUTCH oil firm Shell shocked the City with a surprise move for the UK's biggest independent operator, Enterprise Oil. Italian rival Eni had been widely linked with the London-based exploration and production business. However, Shell said yesterday

  • Residents draw up spending proposals

    A housing plan for part of Hartlepool is being drawn up with the help of the community. People living in the town's New Deal for Communities (NDC) area - from Hart Lane to Belle Vue - are drawing up the community housing plan to determine how more than

  • Echo Memories: Open-air schools were cold comfort for pupils

    IT was announced last week that three Darlington schools are going to be demolished and a £21m educational village built in Haughton to replace them. One of the schools which is due to be bulldozed in 2005 is Beaumont Hill Special School, to the north

  • Pushing out the boat for floral competition

    A COMMUNITY group is appealing for an old boat to help with an east Cleveland town's flower display. Saltburn has been a key figure in the Northumbria In Bloom competition for several years. This year it has been entered in the seaside town category.

  • £30m housing development to safeguard thousands of jobs

    A HOUSING developer has announced a £30m regeneration programme which will involve 450 homes being built and also safeguard thousands of jobs. Broseley Homes, of Sunderland, will build the homes at six sites in Wearside, Tyneside and north-east Durham

  • Carrie to revel on Turf

    David Barron, fresh from another successful stint on the all-weather, can be on the mark on Turf with Carrie Pooter in the Nick-Wilmot-Smith Memorial Handicap over six furlongs at Ripon this afternoon. The daughter of Tragic Role hasn't had much racing

  • Philips shocks union with jobs cuts

    Union leaders expressed shock today at the loss of 300 jobs because work is being transferred from the UK to a factory in Slovakia. The cuts at a plant in Washington, Tyne and Wear, were attacked as "bad news" by officials of the Amicus union. National

  • Passengers brace themselves for more rail chaos

    Rail travellers are bracing themselves for a 48-hour strike across northern England after peace talks ended without agreement. Leaders of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union met managers from Arriva Trains Northern but claimed that the company had made