• Poignant record of a flight from poverty to new world

    Echo Memories joins Jonathan Moscrop on his journey from Darlington to Dunedin in New Zealand, and his escape from grinding poverty A NEW start in a new year. In January 1879, Jonathan Moscrop decided on a new country altogether, and swapped Darlington

  • Advertising campaign puts county on the tourist map

    A £2m tourism campaign has been launched to attract people North Yorkshire. The advertising campaign, called Britain's Biggest Break, highlights some of the visitor hotspots, including Harrogate, historic abbeys and Ripon's deer park. The initiative aims

  • Mentoring scheme in search of more helpers

    A MENTORING scheme to help small businesses in the Darlington and Teesside area is planning to expand with more volunteers. The Business Volunteer Mentor Tees Valley has a team of experienced enterpreneurs offering advice to small businesses or people

  • Hijack threat man loses appeal

    A British tourist's appeal against a prison sentence imposed for threatening to hijack an Australian airliner failed today. Thomas James Lilico, 21, from Darlington, Co Durham, will have to serve one month in prison for making a threatening and false

  • Why we should all have flexi-time

    SO parents are going to be entitled to flexi-time... Great idea. So great, in fact, that we should all have it. Parents, of course, need time off to fit in with children's schooling, illnesses, concerts, holidays But do the rest of us not have lives to

  • Places of worship share in windfall

    THREE of the region's most magnificent buildings will undergo vital repairs thanks to grants of more than £280,000. The cash has been allocated to Durham Cathedral, to continue with work on the external masonry, Ripon Cathedral, to replace its leaking

  • Inquiry begins into quarry appeal to extend workings

    A QUARRY company is trying to overturn a council's refusal to allow it to extend its workings. Durham County Council has twice rejected planning applications by the Sherburn Sand Company to work an extension to the Crime Rigg Quarry near Shadforth. The

  • Sporting chance for town's playing fields drafted up

    A DRAFT plan to develop Hartlepool's largest recreation ground into a top sporting attraction will be discussed by councillors next week. Grayfields covers 16 hectares with facilities for a range of sports, including football, rugby, basketball, outdoor

  • Wilkinson to fight for Bellion's future

    SUNDERLAND are ready to fight in a bid to keep flying winger David Bellion from making a move to Manchester United. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson wants the Frenchman to make the switch to Old Trafford before the transfer window closes at the end of the

  • Man questioned by police after house blaze

    A man was due to be questioned this afternoon following a fire at a house. It took 19 firefighters more than an hour to bring the blaze at the house in Marsh House Avenue, Billingham under control on Tuesday night. The fire completely destroyed the three-bedroomed

  • Insurer invests further in North

    One of the UK's leading general insurers has strengthened its operations in the North-East with the announcement that it is to create 60 jobs in Darlington. Axa Insurance is to expand its customer sales team in the town's Beaumont Street - in addition

  • Shame of North mothers on drugs

    DRUG misuse among pregnant women in the region is much higher than previously suspected, a study has revealed. Researchers from the Northern and Yorkshire Public Health Observatory found that close to one per cent of all babies were born to drug-misusing

  • Bag stolen at church funeral

    AN elderly woman's handbag was stolen as she made her way into church for a funeral, a court heard. The bag was snatched from the 73-year-old mourner outside the church in Washington Village, Wearside, in June. Durham Crown Court heard a 17-year-old youth

  • Hotels group's profits grow

    Hotels group Jurys Doyle returned to profits growth as it said it remained on track to add 1,000 rooms to its UK portfolio by next year. Despite challenging trading conditions, the Dublin operator said the popularity of its three-star Jurys Inn brand

  • £2m work starts on school block

    PUPILS will benefit from new facilities thanks to a £2m development. Pupils returned to Durham High School for Girls this week as builders began work on a new science, computing and library block. It has been funded by the school's Building for a New

  • Events to mark twin towns' milestone

    PLANS for the 50th anniversary of Darlington's town twinning celebrations will be discussed at a meeting of the borough council's cabinet next week. The first town twinning exchanges of young people made between Darlington and Amiens, France, and Mlheim

  • FA_Cup minnows honoured

    SOCCER underdogs who captured the hearts of the nation with an FA Cup run this season, were honoured for their exploits at a civic reception. Harrogate Railway, part-timers from the Northern Counties East League, became the lowliest side ever to progress

  • Conference centre aim unveiled

    PLANS to transform Darlington into the gateway to the North-East have been revealed. Darlington Borough Council has announced what it would like to see in the town as part of The Gateway Project to make it a major conference and travel centre. The council

  • Short-breaks rise pays off

    Caravan park group Parkdean Holidays said it was cashing in on a sharp rise in the number of people taking short-breaks in the UK. Chairman Graham Wilson said market demand was currently as buoyant "as I can remember in my 20 years in the business". Pre-tax

  • Starved dogs' owner traced

    A WOMAN was being questioned yesterday after two dogs were left to starve to death over Christmas in a stable on allotments in County Durham. The plight of the four-year-old Dobermann, which died, and 17-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier horrified RSPCA

  • Durham to stage reunion

    DURHAM are to hold a reunion of the three teams which have reached the County Championship final at Twickenham in the last 35 years. It will be held at the first home match in this season's championship on May 10 at a venue yet to be decided, when the

  • Charity groups may receive £2,000 boost

    Charities and community groups in the region could get a £2,000 boost under a by chartered accountants' scheme to reward voluntary work. The Institute of Chartered Accountants' 2,900 members in the North-East and Cumbria have until next Wednesday to nominate

  • Bin ready to receive residents' change

    A BIN has been placed in Richmond Town Hall to collect donations for community projects. The Coins for the Community scheme could help provide facilities featuring high on a residents' wish list. A cinema, workshops, performance and music venues, and

  • Street warden's tip-off led to drug find, court told

    FOUR men who travelled to the region to sell drugs were caught on the evidence of a sharp-eyed street warden, a court was told yesterday. The senior street warden employed by Middlesbrough Council saw a stream of drug addicts calling at a house in his

  • Opportunity to shape up swimming facilities

    PEOPLE in Hartlepool are to be offered the chance to help shape the future of swimming facilities across the town. Hartlepool Borough Council's cabinet met on Monday and agreed to mount a consultation exercise in the spring to draw up a strategy that

  • Independent political group

    A NEW political group has been set up in east Cleveland. The Marske Independent Group will not be linked to the East Cleveland Independents. Founder member, Mike Findley, will stand in the Redcar and Cleveland elections in May. He said: "The aim will

  • Drivers warned of road works

    DRIVERS in Hartlepool are being warned that work starts shortly on a project to ease congestion and improve safety on a busy junction. Work starts on Monday to remodel the junction of Hart Lane and Raby Road. The scheme will take 11 weeks to complete,

  • Shuttle bus launched to encourage use of public transport

    A shuttle bus service aimed at encouraging more people to travel by public transport was launched yesterday. The Stockton Shuttle, which links Stockton High Street to Thornaby Railway Station via Teesdale business centre, runs every 15 minutes Monday

  • Introduction of officers defended

    A SENIOR police officer has defended the introduction of community support officers on Teesside. Forty support officers have been recruited and the first group of 20 will start a three-week training course towards the end of this month. They will tackle

  • Move to break down community barriers

    IN a move to take policing to the heart of the community two officers will be based in Stockton International Family Centre. Funding for the officers has been granted from a government initiative called Neighbourhood Management. The money will also provide

  • Burglary brings heartbreak for family

    A CRUEL burglary brought New Year heartbreak for a single mother and her two young children. Unemployed barmaid Paula Kelly had struggled to make Christmas special for her seven-year-old daughter Tyler-Marie and son Charlie, three. She had collected several

  • Golden memories of the fishing fleet's glory days

    Once upon a time Britannia ruled the waves and the North-East fishing fleet was one of the largest in Europe. Things may have changed but a new book has rekindled old memories. Mark Foster reports THE days when the fishing industry was still the major

  • Schools benefit from safety drive

    PRIMARY school youngsters are reaping the benefits of a safety competition after winning cash prizes. More than 150 children from three Wear Valley schools took part in the competition, which was organised by Lafarge Cement's Weardale works. The company

  • Cyclist was lying in road, inquest told

    A CYCLIST who was struck by a car after apparently lying down on a darkened road died from chest injuries, an inquest was told yesterday. Extreme sports enthusiast David Sturdy, 48, from Yarm Road, Darlington, was killed on Monday last week when he was

  • Tattoos idea makes mark for charity

    PROCEEDS from a city's first tattoo party were donated to charity yesterday. Louise Wilson, of the NSPCC, received a cheque for £594.50 raised by the event, held at Durham Students Union Building in November. Organised by the Artful Ink Tattoo Studio,

  • Railway modellers keep alive industrial memories

    As North-East industrial landscapes disappear under business parks and housing estates, a group of model enthusiasts are ensuring their memory lives on. John Dean reports IN a couple of cramped rooms, a group of model railway enthusiasts are bringing

  • £20m partner plans more flights and new airport terminal

    TEESSIDE International Airport is about to forge a bright new future after announcing a partner which will invest £20m in the operation over the next five years. Peel Holdings, the Manchester firm behind the revolution at John Lennon airport in Liverpool

  • Children on the ball in training sessions

    FORTY youngsters have been improving their football skills with the help of professional coaches. A team from Sunderland football club visited Bedale Leisure Centre for a one-day training session with boys and girls aged between four and 14. The coaches

  • Julie is 'best' entrepreneur

    A GLOBE-trotting businesswoman has won an award for boosting a company's sales. Julie Lightfoot, 33, has been named as Best Woman in International Trade in this year's North-East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. In her role as managing director

  • Estate agency cements deal to help customers

    An estate agents and insurance group have joined forces to bring customers a better service. Darlington-based estate agents Ann Cordey and The Gale & Phillipson Insurance Group, which has its headquarters in Northallerton, have announced the agreement

  • Don't let them get away with it

    OUT of work? Fancy a change? Become a burglar. Thanks to the Government's latest start-up initiative, the ranks of this already overcrowded profession are sure to swell. For the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg (he of the expensive taste in wallpaper

  • Hear All Sides

    ZIMBABWE - Why is there all this shilly-shallying over whether the England cricket team should go to Zimbabwe or not. The bottom line is that Zimbabwe, at present, is in a dangerous state of near chaos. There have been countless bloodthirsty, racist murders

  • Last Night's TV

    Signal for war on the home front - Wife Swap (C4), Red Cap (BBC1) THERE was little doubt that Wife Swap wasn't going to be all sweetness and light. Anyone with a modicum of sense could predict that switching wives for two weeks was fraught with problems

  • Magpies warned off move

    NEWCASTLE United are planning their next step after Marseille issued a 'hands off' warning to clubs interested in Daniel van Buyten. The giant centre-back, he stands at 6ft 5ins tall, remains the Magpies' number one target but his French club are keen

  • Encouraging use of public footpaths

    MORE than 20 footpaths are to be improved to encourage people to use them more. Durham County Council plans to increase the number of signposts and install tarmac on well-used routes. The council is also carrying a survey of all 4,122 public rights of

  • Police appeal for attack witnesses

    THREE people who stopped to help the victim of an unprovoked assault could hold vital information on his attackers, say police. The 28-year-old man, who has not been named, was attacked as he walked from Consett to his home in Medomsley Edge, at about

  • Grassroots: Chester-le-Street and Birtley & District

    JAZZ NIGHT: Jazz in Birtley will be entertained by Phil Mason's All Stars with Christine Tyrell from 8pm to 11pm on Thursday, January 16, in Birtley St Joseph's CMS Club and Parish Centre, tickets are £2. BALTIC TALK: The Sacriston and District Everyman's

  • Poignant record of a flight from poverty to new world

    Echo Memories joins Jonathan Moscrop on his journey from Darlington to Dunedin in New Zealand, and his escape from grinding poverty A NEW start in a new year. In January 1879, Jonathan Moscrop decided on a new country altogether, and swapped Darlington

  • 'We must learn to spot virus sooner'

    THE family of a baby who died after developing meningitis have urged parents and doctors to be more aware of the symptoms. Seven-month-old Luke Hanratty died on Friday, two days after his parents realised he was ill. At first doctors thought Luke, from

  • Health bosses winning war on heart disease

    Health bosses have made an upbeat assessment of the war on heart disease in the region. Northumberland, Tyne & Wear Strategic Health Authority says "real progress" is being made in reducing deaths and illness. Members of the authority meeting in Newcastle

  • Why Bill's mother's still in the dark

    WELCOME back. As ever it was a quite splendid Christmas, though those who annually embrace asceticism - £10 on gifts and the rest to the nearest Donkey Sanctuary - would find little tethering in our house. Among many presents was "Oops, Pardon, Mrs Arden

  • Raid recovers mass of ecstasy tablets

    Police have recovered 40,000 ecstasy tablets in their biggest ever haul of the drug. The tablets - the most to be recovered in County Durham at once - were stored in four packages in the footwell of a four series Rover's passenger side, as it travelled

  • Watson issues a title warning

    HARTLEPOOL United talisman Gordon Watson is back in training - with a warning for Division Three defences. Watson, out of action since breaking his leg against Darlington on September 14, was training with his teammates at Victoria Park yesterday. And

  • Wombles showing the way to recycling proficiency

    BRITAIN'S favourite hoarders, The Wombles, are visiting Wear Valley this weekend to encourage residents to follow their example at the launch of a £700,000 recycling scheme. About 80,000 homes in the Wear Valley, Teesdale and Derwentside areas will be

  • Tait Walker tops league of deals

    Tait Walker was named as 2002's leading North-East corporate finance firm. Despite what has been named the North-East's worst year for dealmaking, independent firm Tait Walker beat the big four in a league of deals completed in the region. Tables published

  • County music boss denies deception charges

    THE head of a county's school music service has been accused of attempting to obtain money transfers by deception. At Teesside Crown Court yesterday, John Allen, 50, of Mill View, Loftus, east Cleveland, denied two charges involving Durham County Council

  • Vandals strike at town's war memorial

    A REWARD has been offered in an effort to catch vandals who defaced a town's war memorial. The vandals used spray paint to daub graffiti on three sides of the memorial at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough. The memorial bears the names of those who died fighting

  • Housing scheme wins applause

    CHILTON residents have applauded plans to replace a derelict school with housing. Chilton County Primary School, which has been boarded up for months, is to be demolished to make way for a development of 21 detached and semi-detached homes. The planning

  • Farm animals moved as river bursts banks

    ANIMALS have been evacuated from a community farm after heavy rains have left half the 20-acre site under water. Clarence's Community Farm, in Billingham, Teesside, is closed until further notice after a river burst its banks and deluged the popular visitor

  • Life goes on, but vigilantly

    FOR over 30 years Britain has learned to live with the constant fear of terrorist attacks. The threat from the IRA may have abated, but the threat from international terrorists is now of the utmost concern. The arrest of terrorist suspects in London and

  • 'Communities at heart of improving countryside'

    THE key to improving rural areas is to involve local people, claims an annual report by a pilot project in the North York Moors. The Farm and Rural Community Scheme was set up to test and demonstrate how communities can play a huge role in the development

  • Coppington to get off to Flying return

    COPPINGTON FLYER (12.45) makes a quick-fire return to action at Lingfield this afternoon having scored over course and distance on Saturday. "She's a really tough and genuine filly," reported trainer Brendan Duke after the three-year-old had provided

  • Disfigure me doctor, please

    As Leslie Ash becomes the latest celebrity to turn to plastic surgery, Women's Editor Christen Pears reports on the fascination with altering our looks and why some people go too far SOMETHING has happened to Leslie Ash's face. As one of the stars of

  • Debt couple agree to five-year ban

    THE directors of a North-East crane company have agreed to a disqualification from running any company for five years. Michael, 50, and Josephine Coleman, 41, of Westpark Drive, Darlington, agreed to the ban after their company, Height Gain Services Ltd

  • Floods wash out dream business

    REPEATED rainfall has flushed out the owners of an underground restaurant that was once a Victorian public convenience. Flooding has proved very inconvenient for Mark and Catherine Holdsworth, who were forced to close their business only six months after

  • Hospice driving towards its goal for full-time care beds

    THE niece of an architect who spearheaded a hospice fundraising campaign has raised hundreds of pounds for the appeal. Rob Niven, 51, of the Darlngton architects' firm Niven and Niven, died last August, just months after being diagnosed with terminal

  • Why we should all have flexi-time

    SO parents are going to be entitled to flexi-time... Great idea. So great, in fact, that we should all have it. Parents, of course, need time off to fit in with children's schooling, illnesses, concerts, holidays But do the rest of us not have lives to

  • Experts roll in to gather moss after rare 'flowering'

    Scientists are studying the genetics of a rare moss which has "flowered" for the first time in more than 130 years. Nowell's Moss is found on old limestone walls in the Yorkshire Dales and has declined as the walls have deteriorated. It does not produce

  • Traffic calming move rapped by councillors

    PLANS to build speed humps and road cushions around Barnard Castle have been criticised by local councillors. Barnard Castle Town Council described the proposals by Durham County Council as "absolutely ridiculous". Members of the town council feel that

  • Reservists called up as task force sent to Gulf

    The Government last night announced the deployment to the Gulf of a powerful amphibious task force with 3,000 Royal Marine commandos in a dramatic ratcheting up of the pressure on Saddam Hussein. Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said the dispatch of the force

  • Carbon monoxide death

    HEALTH and safety and gas experts are checking a gas fire after a 61-year-old bachelor died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The investigation was launched after the death last week of Stephen Hindmarch, who was found lying on a sofa in the front room

  • Drugs charge man in court

    A REMOVALS worker was sent for trial when he appeared in court in Harrogate yesterday, accused of pushing drugs in a nightclub. Jon Thomas Graham, 29, is charged with three drugs offences said to have been committed in Sly's club in Ripon on October 5

  • Task force accused of failing to

    A TASK force set up to revive a dale devastated by the loss of its major employer was last night accused of failing to create "real jobs". Durham county councillor John Shuttleworth said the Upper Weardale Task Force, created in the wake of the closure

  • £6m sports lab unveiled

    ATHLETES will soon be able to weather temperatures ranging from freezing to tropical - without stepping outside. An environment chamber, with temperature controls changed with pinpoint accuracy to simulate the climate of almost any country in the world

  • Why Bill's mother's still in the dark

    WELCOME back. As ever it was a quite splendid Christmas, though those who annually embrace asceticism - £10 on gifts and the rest to the nearest Donkey Sanctuary - would find little tethering in our house. Among many presents was "Oops, Pardon, Mrs Arden

  • Blades aiming to strike deal for Windass

    SHEFFIELD UNITED are hoping to convince Middlesbrough to part with striker Dean Windass on a permanent basis later this week. Blades boss Neil Warnock is determined to clinch a deal for the 33-year-old, but faces a tough fight to acquire his services.

  • Line dancing event to raise charity cash

    A COUNTRY music night could hit the right note for charity. Line dancing instructor Paul Badrick, better known as PJ, is holding the event tonight at Pelton RAOB, near Chester-le-Street. It features the duo Diamond Jack, from Preston, Lancashire, and

  • Pond death widow was to have been honoured

    A WIDOW whose body was found in a pond at the weekend was due to receive an award for her work with horses, it was revealed yesterday. The Durham branch of the British Horse Society planned to present 73-year-old Evelyn Graham with the accolade next week

  • Residents urged to recycle festive trees

    RESIDENTS are being urged to help maintain rural footpaths by having their Christmas trees recycled. In the past two years, people living in Gateshead have recycled almost 5,000 Christmas trees, which have been used for repairing public footpaths. This

  • City road closed to vehicles for water pipe repair work

    THE main route to Durham Cathedral is closed for the week for work to be carried out on water pipes. Signs went up on a stretch of Saddler Street on Monday as contractors, who have been renewing water mains in the city for the last 18 months, turned their