Archive

  • The Birdman of Wetherby

    THE view outside Harry Sissen's kitchen window was as pretty as a picture: a colourful array of exotic birds flying around in his aviaries. Yet it wasn't until the renowned breeder of macaws, cockatoos and parrots spent eight months behind bars that he

  • Young boxers do well at regional championships

    MEMBERS of Fishburn Amateur Boxing Club performed well in the North-East schoolboy championships at the weekend. Carl Thompson was defeated in the semi-final on a majority decision by Kevin Ringwood of Hartlepool, who went on to take the title. Fishburn's

  • Fergie still tracking Bellion

    MANCHESTER United are still trying to prise striker David Bellion away from Sunderland before the transfer window closes tomorrow. Reports last week suggesting the deal was dead were premature. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is confident he will land Frenchman

  • Nursing home to create 80 new jobs

    MORE than 80 jobs could be created if plans for a private care home for the elderly are approved. Developers want to build the home in Bishop Auckland, to provide accommodation for about 90 people. Planning officers from Wear Valley District Council are

  • Coach loses fight for compensation in abuse claim

    A leading gymnastics coach who was cleared of child abuse has lost his fight for compensation against the council which unfairly sacked him. Paul Wells, 63, was fired by Newcastle City Council five months before his trial on six charges of indecent assault

  • Romanian sets sights on Boro

    ROMANIAN midfielder Paul Codrea has set his sights on a move to Middlesbrough. Cash-strapped Italian side Genoa, desperate to ease their debts, are willing to off-load 21-year-old Codrea and Boro were yesterday linked with an interest. Juventus and Bayer

  • Centre plays host to region's top brass bands

    ALMOST 1,000 musicians from 32 of the North's leading brass bands are playing for pride at the weekend. Competition will be keen in Sunday's grading competition at Spennymoor Leisure Centre organised by Durham County Brass Band Association. Bands face

  • News in brief: Film break for volunteers

    ANY organisations that have young volunteers are being urged to take part in a video. The Hartlepool Community Network is looking for a team of people aged 18 to 25 to help make a pilot video about the role of young people in Hartlepool. They want to

  • Boost to funds

    A CHARITY to help underprivileged children on Teesside has received £1,000 from police officers. The officers raised the money for the TFM and Magic 1170 Radio charity Make A Child Smile, at last year's Ridewell event. They presented the cheque to breakfast

  • Charities celebrate windfall

    NORTH-East charities are to share in a £5,000 windfall, thanks to the Gateshead MetroCentre. The charitable organisations receiving donations includes Gateshead Womens' Service, which works with victims of domestic violence. Others to benefit are the

  • Low-energy light bulbs for residents

    FREE energy-saving light bulbs are being offered to people in Stockton borough who receive qualifying benefits. The scheme is a partnership between Stockton Borough Council and npower. To qualify, people must provide evidence that they are in receipt

  • Grassroots: Derwentside

    PIT PICTURES: Coalfield Stories is a photographic exhibition being staged from Tuesday, February 11, to Saturday, March 22, in the Lamplight Arts Centre, Stanley, by Amber Side. PARISH MEETING: The Pastoral Parish Council of St Mary's RC Church, in South

  • Deaf issues under the spotlight

    DEAF people and those who care for them are invited to attend a free exhibition. Following the success of a similar day last year, Durham County Council is hosting Spotlight on Deafness, one of the country's largest events focusing on deaf people's needs

  • Unemployed get motivated for change

    MORE than 100 unemployed people have been given coaching on how to change their lives. Easington Action Team for Jobs organised the event, called Optimise, to show people what they are capable of and help them build on their strengths to secure a job.

  • Nes in brief: Parks scrap car fee trial

    NATIONAL Park bosses are to be asked to scrap an experiment which saw a two-band parking fee introduced last year. If the trial in the Yorkshire Dales National Park car parks at Dent and Grassington had proved successful, then others may have followed

  • Builders urged to design in safety

    POLICE officers in North Yorkshire are calling on the UK's biggest housebuilders to help them design out crime. The police authority wants developers to incorporate more safety features into their designs, including good lighting and prickly plants in

  • Youngsters are risking prison

    Police have warned youths throwing missiles at fast moving traffic on one of the North-East's busiest roads that they are endangering lives and risking prison. Northumbria Police, together with the Highways Agency, have put signs on each foot and road

  • The King and I and the other man

    It was the scandal which almost brought down the monarchy. Now, as official records are published for the first time, Nick Morrison looks at the secrets of Edward and Mrs Simpson. SHE was the divorced socialite with a reputation for taking a string of

  • BAE Systems contract brings jobs

    Defence giant BAE Systems was named by the Government today as the prime contractor in a multi-billion pound order to build two new aircraft carriers. The contract will create a jobs bonanza across the country. Four shipyards in Scotland, the North East

  • Centre for sex crime victims to be created

    A NORTH-EAST centre for victims of indecent assault and rape is to be built in the region, it was revealed last night. Cleveland Police have been awarded funding to build a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), which will be located on Teesside. It will

  • Windfall gives ethnic groups rights advice

    A SPECIALIST worker is to be recruited to advise ethnic residents on their welfare rights. The liaison worker's appointment has been made possible with a £60,000 National Lottery grant made to the Redcar and Cleveland Citizen's Advice Bureau. He or she

  • Residents say litter campaign 'rubbish'

    A COUNCIL'S anti-litter campaign has been branded a "load of rubbish" by residents. Darlington Borough Council launched its high-profile clean-up initiative last month with a pledge to crack down on people who drop litter. But yesterday residents said

  • Nursing home to create 80 new jobs

    MORE than 80 jobs could be created if plans for a private care home for the elderly are approved. Developers want to build the home in Bishop Auckland, to provide accommodation for about 90 people. Planning officers from Wear Valley District Council are

  • Village halls face funding headache

    VILLAGE halls threatened with closure under revised Government funding arrangements are being thrown a £150,000 lifeline. Yesterday, Durham County Council's cabinet agreed to recommend that the full council incorporates the sum in next year's budget.

  • Councillors voice opposition to regional assembly

    MEMBERS of a rural council spoke out yesterday against proposals to create an elected regional assembly, which they fear would leave them as a "voice in the wilderness". During a meeting of Teesdale District Council members said that a directly-elected

  • University will honour Sir Bobby

    FOOTBALLING legend Sir Bobby Robson is to receive a university's highest honour. Newcastle University will recognise the Magpies' boss with an honorary doctorate in civil law at a ceremony on Friday, May 9. It will be presented by the university's chancellor

  • Work set to start on market town's community facility

    ANOTHER North Yorkshire market town will be able to boast its own community office this year. Hawes and Leyburn set the trend, finding a single building which could be used as a base for both council and voluntary services, the police and tourist information

  • Small nursing homes losing out, says report

    SMALL businesses running nursing homes for the elderly are losing out to bigger homes with up to 60 bedrooms, says a social services report. The report from North Yorkshire County Council highlighted a growing national problem of smaller homes closing

  • Police officers' bravery hailed

    TWO Richmond police officers have been commended for quick-thinking and bravery beyond the call of duty. Michaela Godridge and Martin Usher were among those who received awards from North Yorkshire's western area commander, Chief Superintendent Andy Parker

  • Lawyer denies levying extra charges

    A solicitor and suspended coroner who denies stealing £185,000 from the estates of clients told a court yesterday he was incompetent but he was not a thief. Jeremy Cave, 52, coroner for the western district of North Yorkshire, has pleaded not guilty to

  • Estate is 'in spiral of decline'

    PLANS to revamp a run-down area of Thornaby will be discussed by councillors tonight. In November 2001, consultants were appointed by Stockton Borough Council to carry out a study into the future of Mandale. The study has now finished, and members of

  • Increase in Orange network

    MOBILE phone operator Orange added 3.6 million customers to its network last year, largely thanks to services such as games and photo messaging. Orange, which is majority owned by France Telecom, said the total number of people using its network rose

  • Search is on for town's bright young achievers

    THE search for Darlington's brightest young achievers began in earnest yesterday with the launch of The Northern Echo's Positive Young People Awards, powered by npower. This year's awards ceremony will take place at Darlington's Civic Theatre on Wednesday

  • Questions over bill for railings

    QUESTIONS are to be asked after more than £1,000 was spent on garden railings at the home of a councillor's daughter. The previous tenants of a council house now occupied by Linda Walker had an application for a fence turned down by Middlesbrough councillors

  • Rural areas win £2.3m travel boost

    RURAL communities in the region are to benefit from a £2.3m public transport boost. Transport Minister John Spellar will today pledge cash for six projects as part of a £20m nationwide programme to establish new bus schemes. In County Durham, the Healthy

  • Community groups celebrate windfalls

    TWELVE community and voluntary organisations in Hartlepool are to receive grants worth a combined total of £172,000. The grants committee of Hartlepool Borough Council approved the awards from the 2003/2004 community pool. The community pool was created

  • Foam-covered streets turn town into winter wonderland

    WINTER returned with a vengeance yesterday as waves battered the North-East coast and high winds scoured the region. As temperatures plummeted, people living in Whitby, North Yorkshire, were confronted with clouds of foam brought in by huge waves. One

  • Benefit advice by MP

    DARLINGTON MP Alan Milburn has written to 5,000 parents in his constituency advising them of the changes that have been made to the new Child Tax Credits. The Secretary of State for Health has sent an individual letter to the parents of each child at

  • Cash will help health staff get childcare

    HEALTH authorities have successfully bid for almost £18,000 to give their staff better access to childcare. Durham and Chester-le-Street, Darlington, Derwentside, Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) have received the sum

  • Discussion group for literature fans

    PEOPLE who enjoy a good read are being offered a chance to join in a monthly series of discussion sessions at Bishop Auckland Town Hall. Called The Write Read, the meetings are led by County Durham author and writing tutor Elizabeth Hankin on the first

  • Skills council contract won by Dunelm

    AN education provider has been awarded a £68,500 contract by the Tyne and Wear Learning and Skills Council. Dunelm Associates will offer management development programmes containing seven sessions over a 20-week period. It plans to offer ten programmes

  • Church helps to keep air ambulance flying

    VOLUNTEERS have been praised after a Christmas fundraising drive made £2,100 for charity. Members of Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, built a Nativity scene which was placed in the Morrison's supermarket in the town during the Christmas period. Two of

  • Couple celebrate 25 yers of college dining

    DEVOTED diners have been rewarded for their loyalty after eating at a college restaurant for 25 years. Bill Arnott and his wife Gladys are eating free during the month of January at the Oak Room Restaurant at Darlington College of Technology. "We started

  • Conference on fear

    A CONFERENCE looking at communities where fear of crime has led to the erection of walls and security cameras is held at St James's Park, Newcastle, on March 20. It has been organised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

  • MP Hague is urging assembly opposition

    GOVERNMENT plans to create a regional assembly should be opposed, MP William Hague has warned. In a speech to Conservatives at Gilling West, near Richmond, Mr Hague said a regional assembly for Yorkshire would see the abolition of North Yorkshire County

  • Sure start is made on family centre

    53WORK has started to build a new office for the Sure Start programme in Darlington. The Government-backed initiative aims to improve the health and well-being of families with young children. It provides education and play opportunities, health care

  • Labour's all-female shortlist for city

    ONE of the region's Labour strongholds looks likely to get its first woman MP after the party announced an all-female shortlist for the constituency. Durham City is one of ten constituencies which the party's National Executive Committee has earmarked

  • Rail line upgrade may be shelved

    RAIL chiefs are today expected to announce the postponement of a much vaunted upgrade of the East Coast Main Line, which would have created thousands of jobs. The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA), which will publish an annual report on its strategic plan

  • £2.5m telehandler deal secured

    A £2.5M deal has been completed by Harrogate's ukforks, a division of national plant hire company Vp Plc, to bring the first hire fleet of Italian-made Dieci telehandlers to the UK. Many of the telehandlers, which lift high loads on construction sites

  • Stores hit the mark for charity

    TWO branches of a high street store have raised nearly £4,000 for a charity appeal. Middlesbrough and Hartlepool Marks and Spencer stores have raised £2,453 and £1,301 respectively for the Breast Cancer Breakthrough Challenge. In-store activities included

  • Hoon receives a ticking off over radar base

    DEFENCE Secretary Geoff Hoon was rebuked by MPs yesterday over his handling of the decision to allow America to use the RAF Fylingdales radar base for its controversial missile defence system. The Commons defence select committee broadly backed the decision

  • Receivers called in to design studio Rage

    THE design studio responsible for creating the computer game version of the hit film Rocky has gone bust. Receivers called time on the development arm of Rage plc, whose Newcastle office designed the boxing game for games consoles and home computers.

  • MP nominated as Rising Star

    REDCAR Labour MP Vera Baird has been nominated for Channel Four's politics award as the Rising Star of 2003. The barrister said: "These competitions are a bit of harmless fun. Some may think it is a great honour to get on to the short-list, but I am still

  • Planning application lodged for £27m college

    A PLANNING application has been lodged for a £27m college complex on the outskirts of Darlington. Darlington College of Technology has submitted the application to the borough council for permission to build a replacement college campus at the Torrington's

  • News in brief: Star author visits WI

    Children's Poet Laureate and author Anne Fine will be speaker at an open night held by Gainford Women's Institute on Wednesday, February 26, at 7.30pm, in Gainford Village Hall. BIKE THEFTS: A child's Suzuki LT quad bike, worth £600, was stolen from a

  • News in brief: Car crash leads to search

    Police are searching for one of the occupants of a car involved in a crash in Sunderland on Monday. A red Ford Escort was travelling down Mill Hill Road when it left the road and struck a fence. Two men, aged 21 and 23, from Doxford Park and Hall Farm

  • Film-makers in line for award

    YOUNG film-makers from the North-East have been nominated for an award to be presented at a ceremony in London's West End. The 14 youngsters, from Middlesbrough, will be representing the region with their film The Boy Who Killed A Fly, which has been

  • Film-makers in line for award

    YOUNG film-makers from the North-East have been nominated for an award to be presented at a ceremony in London's West End. The 14 youngsters, from Middlesbrough, will be representing the region with their film The Boy Who Killed A Fly, which has been

  • Magpies up Woodgate bid to £11m

    SIR BOBBY ROBSON insisted last night that Newcastle United are still hopeful of signing Jonathan Woodgate after they made an improved £11m bid for the defender. Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd met his Leeds United counterpart Peter Ridsdale yesterday

  • Students rise to the challenge

    TEENAGERS have shown professional construction companies the way forward after producing winning designs for a redundant cement works site. Students from five schools were set the task of launching their own construction company and designing an alternative

  • Survey shows cost of childcare rising fast

    CHILDCARE bills in the North-East have reached record levels, according to a survey published today. Although the region has below-average fees, the cost of a nursery place for a child under two is now £112 - a rise of 8.7 per cent from last year. Nationally

  • Waste of money? Not likely

    IT is a well known fact of family life that dads make mistakes and mums don't. Us dads have to accept our mistakes, even when we're not really to blame. Mums find mistakes hard to own up to, even harder to forget. It was months before I was forgiven for

  • Hammond is delighted to be in Deep Water

    MICKY HAMMOND'S unexpected return to the training ranks early on last year hasn't exactly been an unqualified success, although Deep Water (2.40) could do something to redress the balance at Kelso today. Admittedly Hammond has had only 59 runners to date

  • Bid to save factory

    CRISIS talks were held this week following the shock announcement that Crook's biggest employer is closing. Stunned workers were left in floods of tears after J Barbour and Sons Ltd broke the news that it was ceasing production at its Crook site. The

  • Woman beats men for motor awards

    MOTORSPORT fanatic Johann Gibson is dreaming of life in the fast lane after collecting an award from racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart. The 29-year-old, from Darlington, became the first female to graduate from a renowned course at Cranfield University

  • Young people get creative

    THE first phase of a youth arts project in Newton Aycliffe has been completed. A meeting in the Youth House at Silverdale Place was held last week to mark the end of phase one. Funding provided by a County Durham Youth Development Grant has been used

  • Drinks campaign glorified soccer violence

    A drinks manufacturer has been forced to withdraw a costly advertising campaign after a North-East drinker complained it glorified football violence. Last night the makers of Strongbow cider apologised for the drinks mats and confess the advertising campaign

  • Phillips rallies troops for relegation dogfight

    SORRY Sunderland closed ranks yesterday as marksman Kevin Phillips dismissed suggestions that he is like the lone gunman in a side staring down the barrel of relegation. Europe's top scorer and a Golden Shoe winner with 30 Premiership strikes only three

  • Travel boost for rural communities

    A NEW £10,000 scheme to provide villagers with better access to transport will be launched tomorrow. Dene Valley Parish Council was awarded a parish transport grant from the Countryside Agency to help residents with their everyday travel needs. The money

  • Make way for skateboarders

    KILLJOY motorists who stop youngsters from using a mobile skateboard park are being asked to move their cars. Sedgefield Borough Council can't run weekly skateboarding sessions in Spennymoor because drivers are refusing to clear the Festival Walk car

  • Lib Dems oppose college move

    A GROUP of Liberal Democrat campaigners gathered outside Darlington College of Technology on Tuesday to opose its move to Yarm Road. The college, in Cleveland Avenue, unveiled its £27m plan to relocate to the outskirts of town last October. Protest organiser

  • Health club boss builds orphanage

    DARLINGTON businessman Duncan Bannatyne is building an orphanage in Romania for abandoned and HIV infected children. The 53-year-old fitness club boss has pledged around £100,000 towards the full cost of building the home in the Transylvania area of Romania

  • 30/01/03

    NEW LABOUR: ONCE upon a time, I was proud to be British. It was my land and, like so many more, I was patriotic. In the Royal Air Force, I was glad to serve my country. Today things are so different. New Labour seems to be intent on destroying everything

  • Healthcare jobs created in hospice Lottery boost

    MORE than a dozen healthcare jobs will be created in the region thanks to a big influx of Lottery funds into the hospice movement. The announcement this week that £1.2m of National Lottery money is being invested means Butterwick Hospice Care will shortly

  • Plans to revamp historic park

    ONE of Wear Valley's historic parks will be given a £1m revamp if a lottery bid proves successful. Plans to repair, restore and upgrade Auckland Castle Park in Bishop Auckland, have been backed by councillors in order to attract more visitors to the town

  • John North: Ronnie's great escape

    RONNIE "Rubberbones" Heslop, the first man to go over the wall at Durham Jail, has died at 68. "He was an absolutely wonderful person, a true Robin Hood without an ounce of badness in him," says his friend and former partner in crime George Reynolds.

  • Better sport facilities

    PLANS aimed at improving sport and recreation facilities throughout the borough will be launched in April. Darlington Borough Council has devised a five-year sports and recreation strategy following an independent report in October which criticised some

  • Dancers wanted

    TWO dance schools have joined forces and hired a theatre to showcase new talent. The Ian Pyle On Your Toes Dancers from Ferryhill has teamed up with the Bishop Auckland-based Sandra Welsh School of Dance for the one-off production. Together the schools

  • Grassroots: Yarm and Eaglescliffe

    CRICKET PRACTICE: Yarm cricket club holds indoor nets practice at Conyers School on Sundays from 4pm to 6pm. New members welcome. For details call John Towell, on (01642) 599897. GUIDES DINNER: The Guiding UK divisional dinner will be held at Teesside

  • Shoppers help hospice funds

    A SUPERMARKET is asking its customers to give generously to a local charity throughout next month. Envelopes will be placed at the entrance to Asda, in Peterlee, and a mailbox will be provided in the store for customers to donate money to Hartlepool and

  • Geordie night at the opera

    OPERA fan Gary Winn has landed a grant to put his Geordie version of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado on stage. Mr Winn has spent a year re-writing the show, replacing the courts of imperial Japan with North-East workingmen's clubs. The 51-year-old hospital

  • Bellringers want to show recruits the ropes

    CHURCH bells which have rung out for more than 460 years could soon fall silent - through a lack of ringers. But in a bid to ensure the peals continue, posters pleading for help have been distributed around Kirkby Malzeard, near Ripon. The ringing crisis

  • News in brief: Car crash leads to search

    Police are searching for one of the occupants of a car involved in a crash in Sunderland on Monday. A red Ford Escort was travelling down Mill Hill Road when it left the road and struck a fence. Two men, aged 21 and 23, from Doxford Park and Hall Farm

  • Reserve's future is in safe hands

    ONE of North Yorkshire's finest nature reserves has had its future safeguarded after it was bought using donations from thousands of wildlife enthusiasts across the county. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, backed by a flood of public donations and cash from

  • Agencies to tackle juvenile drinking

    UNDER-age drinking is a blight on Derwentside and will no longer be tolerated, police have said. Durham Constabulary is to work with local courts and Derwentside District Council to launch a crackdown on drink-related anti-social behaviour. Police believe

  • Adult learners catch the computer bug

    PEOPLE were invited to sample computer courses at an open day yesterday. The Hermitage School, in Chester-le-Street, invited members of the community to its UK OnLine Centre, which opened 18 months ago thanks to a £220,000 Government grant. Intended to

  • Jazz band plans spring reunion

    FORMER members of a jazz band are being invited to a re-union in March. Leadgate Spartans, which attracted members from across north-west Durham in the 1970s, played at fairs, carnivals and competitions throughout the North-East until it disbanded in

  • Concerns over economy rise

    THE economic outlook is of increasing concern to people in the North-East, a report by analysts Experian Business Strategies reveals. The report, for the final quarter of last year, found that the number of people in the region who said there were able

  • Veteran reporter Adie to leave the BBC

    VETERAN war correspondent Kate Adie is quitting her job with the BBC, 35 years after joining the corporation in the North-East. The Sunderland-born broadcaster, who became a familiar figure reporting from the world's troublespots, is stepping down after

  • News in brief: Star author visits WI

    Children's Poet Laureate and author Anne Fine will be speaker at an open night held by Gainford Women's Institute on Wednesday, February 26, at 7.30pm, in Gainford Village Hall. BIKE THEFTS: A child's Suzuki LT quad bike, worth £600, was stolen from a

  • Guide dog association's appeal for puppy-walkers

    THE Guide Dogs for the Blind Association has launched an appeal for volunteers to raise dogs. The charity needs volunteer puppy walkers to care for and educate dogs from six weeks old. At one year old, guide dogs leave their temporary owners and begin

  • Blair spells out Iraq link with bin Laden

    Tony Blair's struggle to convince a sceptical public of the need for action against Iraq moved up a gear yesterday when he made his strongest connection yet between Saddam Hussein and al Qaida terrorists. The Prime Minister told MPs that the Government

  • Secrets of the greatest Royal scandal

    INTIMATE details of Edward VIII's abdication - hidden from the public for 67 years - are revealed for the first time today. The official documents give a previously unknown account of the biggest ever Royal scandal, which plunged the country into a constitutional

  • First phase of gorge project is completed

    VOLUNTEERS have spent nearly 2,000 hours working on a project in the Nidd Gorge, a beauty spot linking Harrogate and Knaresborough. The first phase, supported by Bilton Conservation Group and Knox Valley Residents' Association - helped by young soldiers

  • Windfall gives ethnic groups rights advice

    A SPECIALIST worker is to be recruited to advise ethnic residents on their welfare rights. The liaison worker's appointment has been made possible with a £60,000 National Lottery grant made to the Redcar and Cleveland Citizen's Advice Bureau. He or she

  • Comment: Taking a new line of offence

    OVER the next few days and weeks George Bush and Tony Blair will attempt to muster support for military action against Iraq. The President initiated proceedings in his State of the Union address, asserting that Saddam Hussein supported and protected terrorists

  • Security checks offered on homes

    SECURITY checks are being carried out on houses in an area of Darlington where residents have called for protection from burglars. More than 250 council houses in the Minors Crescent and Witton Crescent areas of Cockerton are being visited by Darlington

  • Accident verdict on pensioner's cot rails death

    AN ELDERLY woman choked to death after being trapped in cot railings that were there for her safety, an inquest heard. Ethel Doreen Stobbs, 80, died after getting caught up in the cot railings attached to her bed in May last year. The hearing was told

  • MP's insight into crime detection

    COUNTY Durham's "murder mansion" unveiled its secrets to Government Chief Whip Hilary Armstrong as she checked up on new crimefighting techniques. Police forces all over the world send students to catch up on advances in forensic science at Harperley

  • University will honour Sir Bobby

    FOOTBALLING legend Sir Bobby Robson is to receive a university's highest honour. Newcastle University will recognise the Magpies' boss with an honorary doctorate in civil law at a ceremony on Friday, May 9. It will be presented by the university's chancellor

  • Actors plan Valentine's musical show

    LOVE is in the air in the Richmond area thanks to two newcomers to the area deciding to arrange a Valentine's concert using their showbiz contacts. Actors Sinead Brennan and Daniel Coll fell in love with the town so completely that they started an acting

  • Cash for mayor's charities

    A CHRISTMAS raffle held at a Ferryhill pub has raised £300 for charity. The Manor House Hotel raffled off a spirit hamper over Christmas and donated the proceeds to the Mayor of Ferryhill's charities. Manor House co-owner Pat Giusti handed over a cheque

  • Animal feed firm in row over restrictions

    AN animal feed manufacturer has hit out at plans to restrict goods vehicles using his company's factory. Chris I'Anson, chairman of I'Anson Brothers, at Masham, has written to Harrogate Borough Council saying the firm had to retain flexibility to respond

  • Guards keep lights out of harm's way

    AYCLIFFE Fabrications has won contracts to provide anti-vandal guards for two lighting projects in the region. Lytestream Electrical Engineers have installed floodlights to highlight Bowes Museum, in Barnard Castle, County Durham, and they commissioned

  • 17th Century brought to life

    SEVENTEENTH century music will be performed using period instruments when the Gonzaga Band gives a recital in Richmond. The seven-strong band has been booked by Richmondshire subscription concerts to play at the King's Head hotel on Saturday, at 7.30pm

  • Support for young players

    A NEW football club has kicked off at a primary school thanks to a housing group's support. After learning that Laurel Avenue Community Primary School, in Sherburn Road, Durham, had been struggling to find volunteer coaches and money to buy equipment,

  • Look to North-East for property bargains

    ANYONE searching for a bargain in the property market should look no further than the North-East. Four of the region's towns feature in a new list of the top ten cheapest places to buy a house in the UK. The County Durham towns of Stanley and Peterlee

  • EU postcode in campaign over Europe

    THE UK Independence Party yesterday opened a campaign headquarters in an office with an unfortunate postcode. All mail to the Hartlepool office of the party, which wants Britain to withdraw from the EU, will be addressed to TS24 7EU. Sedgefield and Darlington

  • New deputy mayor chosen

    DARLINGTON has a new deputy mayor and mayoress after the death of Councillor Ken Walker. Councillor Ron Lewis, the Conservative member for Mowden ward since 1987, and his wife, Margaret, were invested with their chains of office at a council meeting on

  • Rescue team seeks volunteers

    RESCUE volunteers are looking for recruits to cover part of the North York Moors National Park and the Yorkshire coastline. Scarborough and District Search and Rescue Team is holding an open day at its headquarters in Snainton, on Saturday, February 23

  • Charity concert is grand success

    A CHARITY concert organised by the chairman of Richmondshire District Council has raised nearly £1,000 for his chosen causes. The event, at St Andrew's church, Grinton, Swaledale, on January 11 featured Reeth Brass Band, Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Parish

  • Charity concert is grand success

    A CHARITY concert organised by the chairman of Richmondshire District Council has raised nearly £1,000 for his chosen causes. The event, at St Andrew's church, Grinton, Swaledale, on January 11 featured Reeth Brass Band, Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Parish

  • Photo of poet may top £3,000 at auction

    A BLACK and white photograph of a North-East poet is set to raise more than £3,000 in a New York auction. The 1860s photo of Sir Henry Taylor from Bishop Middleham in County Durham will be auctioned by Christie's at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York on

  • Offenders will clean up town

    PLANS to set up an anti-graffiti squad in Hartlepool have moved a step closer. The plans, in partnership with the Teesside Probation Service, were drawn up following the success of a pilot project last year. The squad will operate mainly in seven of the

  • Discussion group for literature fans

    PEOPLE who enjoy a good read are being offered a chance to join in a monthly series of discussion sessions at Bishop Auckland Town Hall. Called The Write Read, the meetings are led by County Durham author and writing tutor Elizabeth Hankin on the first

  • Man critical after car and van collide

    A MAN was critically ill in hospital last night after an accident which closed the A64 in North Yorkshire for several hours. Police had to set up diversions for other vehicles after the man's car was in collision with a van at Crambeck, between Malton

  • Nurse to encourage people to be donors

    A NURSE is playing a key role in a campaign to persuade more people carry organ donor card. "Transplants are one of the most miraculous achievements of modern medicine, but they depend entirely on the generosity of donors and their families who are willing

  • Farmers face jail if they don't play ball over EU pig ruling

    FARMERS have been told their pigs will no longer be happy in muck - they now need toys to keep them content. The EU has ruled that farmers have just 90 days to put a toy in all pigstyes or face up to three months in jail. The ruling states that farmers

  • Snooker ball injures bus passenger

    A young woman had a lucky escape when she was struck by a snooker ball thrown through the window of a bus. A police spokesman said the 20-year-old was sitting in the number eight bus on Hylton Road, Sunderland, at 8.50pm on Tuesday when a man at the side

  • Murder charge

    A MAN appeared in court yesterday charged with the murder last summer of York busker Anthony Grayson. Ethan Wharton, 23, from York, was remanded in custody by magistrates and will appear before the city's Crown Court on Monday. He is also charged with

  • Boyfriend hurt baby, court told

    A MOTHER told a social worker that her boyfriend had hurt her baby but she did nothing about it, a court heard yesterday. Two-month-old Kane Simpson, from Billingham, suffered brain injuries, two skull fractures, broken legs and arms and six broken ribs

  • Council tax rise for town criticised

    THE proposed six per cent rises in council tax for Darlington have been criticised by opposition politicians. The increase will mean the majority of people in the borough, who live in Band A properties, will be paying an extra £34 a year. Leader of the

  • Northern Rock on course for successful year

    NORTHERN Rock is anticipating another successful year after recording 35 per cent growth last year. The building society-turned-bank saw profits leap 18 per cent as it benefited from the booming housing market. The group is known for its strategy of building

  • News in brief: Car crash leads to search

    Police are searching for one of the occupants of a car involved in a crash in Sunderland on Monday. A red Ford Escort was travelling down Mill Hill Road when it left the road and struck a fence. Two men, aged 21 and 23, from Doxford Park and Hall Farm

  • £700,000 fund will help convalescents

    A fund is being set up to help people convalescing. The £700,000 fund, which will be launched today, was formed with the proceeds from the sale of the former Ropner Convalescent Home at Middleton St George, near Darlington. The home was established in

  • Fisherman to start afresh

    A SIXTH generation of a Scarborough fishing family has quit the beleagured industry. Danny Normandale, 31 is now taking a course to join the Merchant Navy because of the plight of the fishing industry after skippering the trawler Imperial, owned by his

  • News in brief: Car crash leads to search

    Police are searching for one of the occupants of a car involved in a crash in Sunderland on Monday. A red Ford Escort was travelling down Mill Hill Road when it left the road and struck a fence. Two men, aged 21 and 23, from Doxford Park and Hall Farm

  • Charities told that they can do it

    Charities and community groups in the region are invited to apply for a B&Q You Can Do It award. The awards aim to regenerate local areas and over the past seven years £500,000 has been handed out. Another £100,00 worth of products will be distributed

  • Darlington council tax to rise 6%

    COUNCIL taxes in Darlington are set to rise by six per cent this year with promises of extra investment but no cuts in services. The borough council has stressed that despite the tax increases, householders will continue to pay the lowest council tax

  • Let this be a wake-up call over allergies

    THE tragedy of baby Thomas Egan, who died after a nursery nurse gave him cereal containing milk, despite being told he was allergic to it, is that his death could so easily have been avoided. The only glimmer of hope to emerge from this sorry case is

  • Anti-war message on PM's doorstep

    ANTI-WAR protestors took their campaign to the Prime Minister's constituency at the weekend. More than 100 demonstrators descended on Sedgefield to show the strength of their opposition to military action against Saddam Hussein. And they held a vigil

  • Jenas pounces to put United second

    WHO needs Jonathan Woodgate? Certainly not Newcastle United, now sitting proudly in second place in the Premiership, on the evidence of this late, late show. Jermaine Jenas' goal was timed at 89 minutes 35 seconds and it came after Newcastle's much-maligned

  • Last Night's TV: Witchcraze (BBC2) : A Place In The Sun (C4)

    The witch report in all its gory I MADE the mistake of eating my tea while watching Witchcraze, a documentary-style recreation of the witch-hunts in Scotland where, from 1590 to 1597, between 1,000 and 1,500 people were executed for witchcraft. James

  • Library service goes online

    A investment of £72,000 to bring the latest technology to library users in Darlington will be unveiled next month. An 'e-library,' giving people access to 28 new computers, is to open at the town's Crown Street library. The computers, along with new furniture

  • Speculation mounts on fate of Northumbrian Water

    NORTHUMBRIAN Water could be split and its southern assets sold in a deal to cut its parent company's debt. Suez, the French utility, has commissioned City organisation Morgan Stanley to produce a report on the viability of selling Northumbrian, as reported

  • Footballers say thanks

    FOOTBALLING teenagers made a special visit to a nursing home to thank residents for their sponsorship. The team from Spennymoor Comprehensive went to Lothian House in the town, sporting a new football strip provided by the nursing home. Residents were

  • Pop crew blaze into town

    CHART-TOPPERS Blazin' Squad thrilled an audience of 250 students at a Darlington school. The group were performing at Eastbourne School for a specially invited group of pupils. The ecstatic youngsters won the chance to see the band live after the school

  • End of ban clears the way for exporting masterpiece

    A LOST masterpiece by one of the world's greatest artists looks about to be lost to Britain for good. A Government-imposed temporary export ban on the Michelangelo drawing, A Study of a Mourning Woman, has expired after two months. Because no British

  • War protest held on PM's home patch

    ANTI-WAR protestors from all over County Durham took their campaign to the heart of the Prime Minister's constituency at the weekend. More than 100 demonstrators descended on Sedgefield to show the strength of their opposition to military action against

  • New group to resurrect civic society

    THE first steps towards re-establishing a civic society to campaign on environmental issues in Darlington were taken last week. Dozens of residents attended a public meeting at the Dolphin Centre on Wednesday to hear of plans to resurrect a local branch

  • Hunt for Millie's killer turns to North-East

    The hunt for the killer of teenager Millie Dowler has dramatically switched to a tiny church in the North-East 350 miles from where her body was found. DNA evidence taken during the probe of a theft at St Paul's Church in Sunderland matched that taken

  • Pupils bring dragon to life

    CHILDREN at a Bishop Auckland primary school brought an oriental dragon to life to celebrate the forthcoming Chinese New Year. After painting the second eye on the head of a 30ft paper dragon in a traditional Chinese ceremony, pupils at Cockton Hill Infant

  • Tenants to get safer homes

    SECURITY checks are being carried out on houses in an area of Darlington where residents have called for protection from burglars. More than 250 council houses in the Minors Crescent and Whitton Crescent areas of Cockerton are being visited by Darlington

  • Waste of money? Not likely

    IT is a well known fact of family life that dads make mistakes and mums don't. Us dads have to accept our mistakes, even when we're not really to blame. Mums find mistakes hard to own up to, even harder to forget. It was months before I was forgiven for