• Church draws up a busy schedule of events

    A DARLINGTON church is offering a variety of events this month. The busy calendar at Elm Ridge Methodist Church starts with Stainer's Crucifixion on Sunday, at 6pm. Singers are Brian Simpson and Malcolm Brown, with the Elm Ridge choir and organist Allan

  • Literary lunch is revived

    AUTHOR Frances Fyfield visited Darlington yesterday as guest speaker at Latimer Hinks' first literary lunch. The author of the Helen West omnibus and Undercurrents joined 60 guests at the Kings Head Hotel for the resurgence of what used to be one of Darlington's

  • Plans to extend nursery face opposition from neighbour

    A WOMAN who says a council-run nursery forced her elderly father from his home is opposing its expansion. Irene Ord says noise and traffic at Woodburn plant nursery, in Hummersknott, Darlington, contributed to her 81-year-old father John Simpson's ill

  • Tributes for British Legion club founder

    TRIBUTES have been paid to a Newton Aycliffe war veteran and club stalwart who died the day before his 50th wedding anniversary. Joe Burke, 79, was one of the founder members of the Newton Aycliffe branch of the Royal British Legion Club and was a well-known

  • Football fans may get another supporting role

    FOOTBALL fans who turn up to watch a celebrity match at the weekend could find themselves appearing in a feature film. The film Down Amongst the Dead Men is based on the autobiography Flipper's Side by disabled Darlington FC supporter Paul Hodgson. The

  • Fire drama on bus

    EIGHT passengers were safely evacuated after a service bus burst into flames. The driver of the Number 81 Arriva bus was praised for keeping calm after he was able to get all his passengers safely off the vehicle as fire engulfed the engine. Firefighters

  • Court cases heard

    The following cases were dealt with by Darlington magistrates yesterday: INDECENCY CHARGE: The case against John Kelly, 52, of Montrose Street, Darlington, who has been charged with 18 counts of taking indecent pictures of a child, has been adjourned

  • Police tackling youth disorder

    TWO police operations to crack down on youth disorder and vandalism are under way in Durham. Derwentside Police has launched Operation Counter, in Dipton, and Operation Companion, in South Stanley and South Moor. Sergeant Andy McConnell, who will run

  • Desert endurance for Ian

    A KEEN runner plans to take part in the toughest race on earth to raise money for charity. Ian Harding, 21, who works at Northern Rock's head office, in Gosforth, will run in the week-long Marathon of Sands, in the Sahara Desert, Africa, from Sunday.

  • Pensioner in battle to get pills refund

    A PENSIONER is hoping trading standards officers will get a refund from a company which sold her pills to cure arthritis. Ann Tomlinson, 72, of Newton Aycliffe, ordered the £49.50 pills, claimed to cure arthritic pain, from a Green Park Institute brochure

  • New powers ensure care for patients

    COUNCILS are being granted powers to ensure hospitals are giving patients a good service. Graham Girvan, regional manager for community health councils, highlighted the enhanced role of local authorities after the abolition of patient watchdogs this summer

  • Cats curtain call

    THE world's most successful musical is celebrating its 22nd birthday this month. Cats is appearing at the Empire Theatre, in Sunderland, from April 29 to May 17. The show won the 1981 Olivier Award for best musical and in 1996 it became the longest-running

  • Father and son injured in attack

    A FATHER and a son are recovering in hospital after being attacked in the street. Bob Martin, 66, and Gary Martin, 42, suffered serious head and facial injuries when they were punched and kicked by a man in a lane at the top of Ascot Street, Easington

  • Helping ease transition for school leavers

    A CONFERENCE looking at ways of easing the transition from the classroom to the workplace has been held in the region. More than 200 delegates from businesses, schools and colleges in the North-East gathered for the Developing Work Readiness event, at

  • Precision modelmaker's craft on display at auction house sale

    Two shipbuilder's precision models will go under the hammer at next week's Spring Catalogue Sale at Tennants Auctioneers, in Leyburn. The auction centre is holding a two-day sale, including glass, oriental art, jewellery, paintings, rugs and furniture

  • Anger over otter legal trap tragedy

    GAMEKEEPERS and land-owners have been warned that bad practices will not be tolerated after an otter died an agonising death in a legal trap. Police wildlife officer Mike Pannett was called to a stretch of water on the Derwent river network, in North

  • Theme park must remove ride cladding

    ONE of the county's top attractions yesterday lost a planning battle over one of its newest white-knuckle rides. Government inspectors have upheld Ryedale District Council's decision to take enforcement action against Flamingo Land, near Pickering. It

  • When streets are an obstacle course

    OVERGROWN hedges, bollards, cafZ chairs, and holes in the pavement are top of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association's list of street hazards. But for Gavin Atkins, 50, who has been blind since he was nine, broken glass is the biggest problem. His last

  • Don't panic over electronic benefits payout'

    THE Government last night urged pensioners and jobseekers in the North-East not to panic as it launched its scheme to pay benefits electronically. From yesterday, some recipients of child benefit, state pensions and jobseekers' allowance will only be

  • Actions by care nurse -led to death of burns victim'

    AN intensive care nurse deliberately killed a schoolgirl by withdrawing drugs that were keeping her alive, a tribunal was told. A doctor told how Sister Kathleen Atkinson stopped the supply of adrenaline, which was keeping burns victim Patricia Dryden

  • Bank holiday fare of finest local produce

    THOUSANDS of people are expected to try some of the best local produce when they visit a market town next month. About 15,000 people were tempted by the taste of local produce at the Dales Festival of Food and Drink, in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, during

  • Arnison out to impress Newell

    HARTLEPOOL UNITED boss Mike Newell last night urged Paul Arnison to 'show us what you're made of'. Arnison has had to bide his time in the reserves since Newell took over the reins at Victoria Park in November - he has only made two starts in that time

  • Patron saint remembered

    PLANS are well in hand for celebrations to mark St George's Day, later this month. Ripon Cathedral is at the forefront of celebrations with a service marking the 1700th anniversary of the death of England's patron saint. The service will be held at 2pm

  • Leisure staff praised for swim rescue

    AN epilepsy sufferer has praised staff at Darlington's Dolphin Centre for helping her when she had a seizure during a sponsored swim. Katherine McLeod was attempting to swim a mile to raise money for Macmillan Nurses when she had the fit. "I had swam

  • Week one - and police chief gets first complaint

    THE NEW chief constable of Cleveland Police is facing his first complaint - just 24 hours after taking up the post. Sean Price, who took over from controversial former chief Barry Shaw on Monday, has already been threatened with allegations of malicious

  • 'Young' robber has his jail sentence cut

    A TEENAGER involved in post office robbery only days before assaulting a jeweller with a truncheon won a reduction in his jail term yesterday - because of his age. Thomas Michael Reay, 22, was jailed for 12 years at Newcastle Crown Court last June after

  • Seeking to solve landmark mystery

    AN appeal has gone out for information about an unusual landmark in Hartlepool. It is hoped to discover more about Dead Man's Hollow, part of the 100-acre Summerhill site being developed by Hartlepool Borough Council for a range of sports, outdoor pursuits

  • Grassroots: Yarm and Eaglescliffe

    COMMUNITY AWARD: Katie Brown has been presented with the Stockton Mayor's Achievement Recognition Trophy for community work. The Egglescliffe Comprehensive pupil represents Stockton South on the Youth Parliament and works for Tees Valley Connexions and

  • Top Spec can help Hannon continue his run

    RICHARD HANNON'S brisk start to the season shows no signs of stopping at Ripon this afternoon where he seeks to improve an already excellent two-year-old strike-rate with Top Spec (2.00). While other trainers have been keeping their youngsters wrapped

  • Combating the vandals

    At first instance Trevor Arnold doesn't appear to be a violent man, moreover, a kindly uncle, full of anecdotes and swift to offer a coffee. Sitting in his large office, he betrays the image of a man who amassed a mammoth 18 red cards in his playing days

  • Police appealing for help to catch robber

    POLICE are appealing for witnesses after an attempted robbery in Bishop Auckland last week. A woman was followed by a teenager after she left Bishop Auckland College on Wednesday night last week at about 10pm. The youth came out of a path alongside St

  • Safety first at Roots Hall

    With Third Division football all but assured next season caretaker boss Mick Tait believes avoiding defeat at Southend this weekend should confirm that his rejuvenated Darlington side are safe. Quakers head to Roots Hall on the back of two straight wins

  • Tributes paid to two North soldiers killed in action

    TRIBUTES were paid yesterday to two young soldiers from the North-East killed in Iraq. Christopher Maddison, who was 24, died from wounds suffered during a river patrol in southern Iraq, on Sunday. His headmaster added to tributes paid to the Marine killed

  • City planning carnival atmosphere

    CITY bosses are aiming to create a carnival atmosphere in Sunderland today, as thousands flock to the North-East for England's crunch game against Turkey. Sunderland City Council has decked the city centre in red and white - the national colours of both

  • Feud that ended in stabbing tragedy

    A DOCK worker was beginning a three-and-a-half year jail sentence last night after a court heard how a deadly feud between rival gangs ended in tragedy. Father-of-two John Barry Durham stabbed former friend John Robertson in the neck only yards from a

  • Rise in hospital parking charges sparks outrage

    THE son of a stroke victim has accused hospital bosses of penalising distressed people after a sharp increase in parking fees for visitors. Garth Rookes, 56, was outraged when car parking charges at the University Hospital of Hartlepool went up on Tuesday

  • North-East Turks in call for friendship

    FOOTBALL fans from the region's Turkish community will lead the 5,000-strong support for their national team in tonight's clash with England at the Stadium of Light. Hundreds of Turks living in the North-East will gather in Newcastle later today, before

  • The Ming and Fong dynasty

    Crook may have had more facelifts than Elizabeth Taylor. Every time you open the paper there's news of an urban regeneration programme, or a town centre improvement funding partnership or a grot spot awareness week - and all commendable, no doubt. The

  • Awards deadline draws near

    WOMEN running their own business in the North-East have just over a week to go for a £10,000 cash prize before entries close in the T-Mobile Women Mean Business Awards. Organisers say that, unlike the rest of the UK, businesswomen from the region have

  • Famous whalebone arch is back in pride of place

    ONE of the most eye-catching landmarks on the East Coast is proudly back in place - and local people are planning a series of celebrations to mark the event. For decades a huge whalebone arch has overlooked the sea from the West Cliff at Whitby, a reminder

  • Business Briefs: Ofgem chief's City role

    The head of energy regulator Ofgem has been appointed as the chairman of City watchdog the Financial Services Authority. Callum McCarthy will take over one of the most influential roles in the City in September when the current chairman, Sir Howard Davies

  • External inquiry launched into alleged breach of law

    A TOWN hall is in disarray after a council leader said fraud squad detectives should be involved in an investigation into an alleged breach of election rules. A full council meeting of Thornaby Town Council on Monday agreed to launch an external inquiry

  • Bank customer stunned by £51m bill

    A MAN was left shocked when his bank informed him he was £51m in debt. Bill Lindsay knew he had overspent on a weekend trip to Brighton, which left him in the red. But he almost collapsed when a letter arrived from Northern Rock asking for the eight-figure

  • Reds stay ahead of financial game

    Manchester United hailed a significant improvement in its financial performance after turnover and operating profits moved sharply ahead. Higher media revenues and more home cup games lifted turnover in the six months to January 31 by 13 per cent to £92.6m

  • Work begins to upgrade listed bridge

    MAJOR works have begun to strengthen an 18th Century bridge to allow it to be used by heavier vehicles. The Grade II-Listed bridge carries a minor road over the River Leven north-east of Hutton Rudby. The £236,000 scheme, which began this week, will strengthen

  • Anger over street parking charge proposal

    RESIDENTS are continuing their battle against a proposed parking scheme, saying they fear their streets will become unofficial car parks. Residents-only parking was introduced in Renny Street, Ellis Leazes, Kepier Terrace and Bakerhouse Lane, in Durham

  • Cormac gets some help for 35-hour run

    A MAN who is to run 95 miles in aid of a Hartlepool charity has taken a step in the right direction. Cormac Hamilton has secured his first major sponsor as he prepares for the run across the West Highland Way, in Scotland, in aid of Hartlepool Shopmobility

  • News in brief: Officers seek dispute witness

    Police want to speak to a young woman who may have caught a disturbance on film. She was seen by people living in Elm Close, Northallerton, at the time of a quarrel in the road on Sunday, between 8pm and 8.30pm. The dispute resulted in one man being taken

  • Firm offers free staff IT training

    SMALLER businesses in the Tees Valley area are being offered free IT training for their staff. ClickHere, IT and personal development training company, has Learning Skills Council funding to provide courses for 300 employees of SMEs towards the European

  • News in brief: Children earn bowling reward

    A GROUP of 51 pupils from the borough of Stockton are being taken on a trip to Hollywood Bowl at Teesside Park, Thornaby, as a reward for their school attendance record. The centre is one of the sponsors of the Stars (Schools Tackling Absence and Rewarding

  • News in brief: Equality ruling on bus passes

    Health Minister and Darlington MP Alan Milburn has welcomed news that men are to become eligible for bus travel concessions at 60 - the same age as women. Until yesterday, men had to wait until they were 65 to get half-price bus fares on services in Darlington

  • Hopper still in full voice

    Sun high in its heaven, March in a meteorological madhouse, a bloke in the middle of the cricket field is cutting the expectant square and singing "On a wonderful day like today" in a very fair tenor. Save for the corn not being as high as an elephant's

  • Truants may face electronic registers

    A £1.4M Government scheme to tackle the growing menace of truancy in the North-East could lead to electronic name-taking and truancy sweeps of surrounding streets. Primary and secondary schools across the region are to share the Department for Education

  • Comment from The Northern Echo: Shaming the bonus bosses

    BATTLING to save Britain's steel industry should be keeping the directors of Corus fully occupied. Their company is being consumed by a mountain of debt, with losses running at more than £1m a day. They should be recognising their responsibility for the

  • Sharks, simulators, soft shapes and snakes

    With a few months yet before summer arrives, Nicola Cutler takes her young son to four indoor attractions in the North-East BLUE REEF AQUARIUM Grand Parade, Tynemouth (0191 2581031) THERE is a car park behind the centre, a bus stop outside and it's within

  • 'Danger' yo-yo toys warning to parents

    THOUSANDS of yo-yo type toys have been taken off shop shelves after a child almost choked. Tradings standards officials for Middlesbrough Council have seized or suspended the sale of about 3,000 yo-yo balls. Others have been handed in voluntarily by traders

  • Joining forces

    DARLINGTON accountancy firm Robert Barker and Company has joined forces with Barnard Castle practice Vince Blaeford CA. Sue Blaeford, of Vince Blaeford, will take over the day-to-day running of the Darlington office. Robert Barker will remain as a consultant

  • Railway dream a step nearer reality

    FUNDING for two key appointments has moved railway enthusiasts' dream of opening up a redundant line a step closer. The Weardale Railway Trust is taking on a project manager, Tyneside project engineer Tony Greeno, and outdoor works manager Dave Foxton

  • Aid worker Nigel leads refugee camp effort

    AID camps set up to accommodate up to 10,000 refugees fleeing the war in Iraq remain empty. Rumours that anyone leaving the county will have their property seized, together with the expanses of open desert, have combined to persuade most of the civilian

  • Guitar legend forced to pull out of tour

    NORTH-EAST guitar legend Mark Knopfler has been forced to cancel his European tour following a motorbike accident. The 53-year-old Dire Straits star broke his collarbone and six ribs in the collision last month. He had been due to begin his tour in Lisbon

  • 02/04/03

    WAR AGAINST IRAQ: I AM increasingly suspicious of the motives of TV news reporters constantly criticising our forces on Iraq. We apparently have under-estimated Saddam, we are over-stretched etc. This encourages Saddam to think he will survive and inflames

  • Hair salon in line for 'Oscar'

    SAKS Darlington is celebrating after being shortlisted for the Northern finals of the hairdressing "Oscars". Saks Darlington has been selected to compete in a national hair competition, the L'Oreal Colour Trophy. The team is one of 13 Saks branches to

  • Murder trial told of caring husband

    A MAN accused of murdering his disabled wife was yesterday described at Teesside Crown Court as a caring husband. Kenneth Hood, 57, of The Garth, Coulby Newham, near Middlesbrough, has denied the murder of his wife, Irene, 55, and has pleaded not guilty

  • Fears eased on benefits payout

    THE Government last night urged pensioners and jobseekers not to panic as it launched a scheme to pay benefits electronically. From yesterday, some state benefits will only be paid directly into banks, and within two years, the Government plans to pay

  • Aid worker Nigel leads refugee camp effort

    Aid agencies have been anticipating a refugee crisis in Iraq long before the first bombs dropped. Steve Parsley spoke to Durham man Nigel Young, who has been helping establish camps in Jordan and Syria AID camps set up to accommodate up to 10,000 refugees

  • Brass band accolade for dedicated Hannah

    A FAMILY'S love of brass band music has led to a young musician collecting an award. Twelve-year-old Hannah Gray, who plays the cornet, has been presented with the award for her special achievement with the junior section of Stanhope Silver Band, in Weardale

  • Cruelty pair banned from keeping pets

    A COUPLE have been banned from keeping animals for five years after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to two German shepherd dogs. Mark Robinson and Lisa Marie Kieran, of Edgemoor Road, Darlington, were also ordered to pay £200 towards

  • 23 trains passed stop signals

    THERE were 23 incidents in which trains passed stop signals in February, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said yesterday. In its monthly report on so-called Spads (Signals Passed at Danger), the HSE said it was the lowest number for the month of

  • Tributes paid to two North soldiers killed in action

    TRIBUTES were paid yesterday to two young soldiers from the North-East killed in Iraq. Christopher Maddison, who was 24, died from wounds suffered during a river patrol in southern Iraq, on Sunday. His headmaster added to tributes paid to the Marine killed

  • Rail firm shortlisted for North franchise

    ARRIVA Trains has made it on to a five company shortlist to bid for the new Northern Rail franchise which begins in the summer of next year. The franchise includes rural and urban services throughout the whole of the North of England, taking in routes

  • Sales performance worst for 11 years

    RETAILERS suffered their worst sales performance in 11 years last month after war fears wrecked consumer confidence, figures showed. The Confederation of British Industry said only 28 per cent of firms reported better sales in March than a year earlier

  • Student turns teacher to help others in India

    A STUDENT is travelling to north-east India to help young people. Alan Strickland, 18, has volunteered as an English teacher at the Denjong Padma Choeling Academy, near Darjeeling. The academy provides free education to destitute children who would not

  • Train will be in town next week

    BLUE Peter, one of the country's most famous locomotives, will arrive in Darlington next week, it was confirmed last night. Plans to move the engine, a national favourite of the golden age of steam, to the town are on schedule and it should be at the

  • Young swimmers make a big splash

    The Darlington School Sports Association Swimming Gala for Small Schools was held at the Dolphin Centre. More than 200 children from 13 small primary schools in Darlington took part. Results were as follows: Girls freestyle: Charlotte Johnson (Holy Family

  • Feud over game of pool led to attack

    A TEENAGER who beat up a rival after a long-standing grudge over a pool game was spared jail yesterday. Dominic Boiston, 19, left Gary McCormick badly bruised after the attack in Sunderland on October 6. Newcastle Crown Court heard how the assault was

  • Battling Alex rewarded for dedication

    TEENAGER Alex Eland does not think she has done anything special - but plenty of other people do. The 17-year-old, who has been nominated for one of The Northern Echo's Positive Young People awards, was diagnosed with Hodgkins' Disease three years ago

  • Theatre company goes all the way for production

    A THEATRE group has pulled out all the stops for its £75,000 performance of a hit musical. Members of amateur operatic group West End Operatic Society have spared no expense on their production of Annie Get Your Gun. The show's backdrop was commissioned

  • Librarian steps down

    A LIBRARIAN is beginning a new chapter of his life as he retires after 42 years service. Peter White, 59, is stepping down as Darlington libraries manager to spend more time reading some favourite books of his own. Mr White studied at the Newcastle School

  • Goodbye to school's 'legend'

    CHILDREN at a Newton Aycliffe school have said goodbye to a member of staff who is leaving after 24 years service. Margaret Willis has worked as a lunchtime supervisor, clerical assistant and, more recently, a classroom assistant at Vane Road Primary

  • Jennie aids disabled to play music

    A PIANO teacher is hoping to help disabled people as she branches out in her business. Having achieved a 100 per cent exam pass rate since starting her business, 23-year-old music teacher Jennie Nicholson, of Witton Gilbert, hopes to repeat the success

  • New multi-purpose building offers facilities for everyone

    THE first of a series of council-run multi-purpose centres has been opened in Hetton-le-Hole. The £3m Hetton Centre is the first of six that Sunderland City Council plans to build as part of its Peoplefirst initiative, by which it hopes to retain its

  • Terrible day when years of tension led to killing

    After Barry Durham's conviction for the manslaughter of John Robertson, Stuart Mackintosh examines the feud between rival gangs which ended in tragedy JOHN Robertson popped out one fateful morning last September to return a rental video and to give his

  • Invesment pays off with awards

    A NORTH-EAST company with a base in Darlington has picked up two industry awards. SCA Packaging won a gold and silver award in the European Flexographic Technical Association (EFTA) 2003 Print Awards. The awards were for an LG Electronics Microwave pack

  • TV drama lifts hotel bookings

    A LEADING hotel group believes that the ITV1 drama Heartbeat has contributed to Yorkshire's emergence as its most popular Easter Break destination this year. Ramada Jarvis has noted a rise in online bookings for its Yorkshire hotels when Heartbeat or

  • Bus service improvements

    A BUS company is improving its service to Dales villages. New services provided by Harrogate and District Travel will start on Sunday, April 27 and include an hourly bus between Harrogate and Pateley Bridge every day except Sunday. In Harrogate, there

  • Pointless loss of caring family man

    A DEVOTED family man, John Paul Robertson was described by friends as the life and soul of the party. His funeral last year brought scores of mourners to St Cuthbert's Church, in Darlington, to remember "a loving and caring husband and father" with a

  • Police put on hiking boots to catch arsonists

    POLICE are to pose as walkers to catch would-be arsonists as hills in a part of the region become tinder dry this summer. The undercover stakeout is a joint campaign between Cleveland Police, the fire brigade, local councils and farmers, and has been

  • Recyclers earn green rewards

    FOUR Hambleton residents have realised that recycling can be a very productive pastime. They have each won prizes in a free draw supported by the district council to promote the Rethink Rubbish campaign. More than 1,000 recyclers across the county entered

  • Schools' building boost

    A HUGE cash boost will provide improved facilities at two Middlesbrough schools. Ormesby Comprehensive School and St Clare's RC Primary School, in Acklam, are benefiting from a £1.1bn nationwide building improvement and modernisation programme announced

  • Abattoir meat was falsely labelled

    AN abattoir boss has been ordered to pay £20,000 after hygiene inspectors found that he was selling meat older than labelled. Eight sheep carcasses were discovered at Stockton Butchers Slaughtering Company bearing false quality marks, Teesside Crown Court

  • Airborne medics get a rabbit response unit

    A GIANT bunny on a bike gave paramedics at Teesside International Airport a laugh yesterday. Six-foot tall Harry was launching the Great North Air Ambulance's summer fundraising campaign. But his presence was also something of an April's Fool joke for

  • Business support firm grows

    A COMPANY has announced it hopes to expand in Darlington after a multi-million contract was renewed. Business support company Capita said half of its Darlington staff were moving to new premises in the town, which will allow for the company's growth.

  • Villagers praised for help

    A NEW village police officer who has launched an advice surgery has praised residents for their help. PC Kevin Kilkenny, who has taken over the role of beat officer, at Leadgate, near Stanley, County Durham, said: "The response from residents so far has

  • It's time for the feuding to stop, families told

    POLICE last night demanded an end to the violent feuding which ultimately claimed the life of John Paul Robertson. Riot vans and large numbers of uniformed officers have been called upon too often to keep the peace in Darlington, amid simmering tension

  • Competitionon to find talented DJs

    BUDDING DJs are being urged to put their talents to the test on the competitive stage. Heats are under way for the 2003 DJ Competition organised by the Continuing Education Unit of North Yorkshire County Council. Three contests have been held in Tadcaster

  • War hits plans for -super hospital'

    THE war in Iraq has forced North-East health bosses to delay plans to open a "super hospital". Departments at Middlesbrough General Hospital such as accident and emergency should be moving to the new James Cook University Hospital site over the next few

  • 'Quality councils' get cash rewards

    A NUMBER of councils in the region have won awards from the Government for the quality of their public services. Six authorities in the North-East and North Yorkshire will now receive a share of £5m as a reward for promoting best practice. Councils are

  • 50 years of service come to an end

    A celebration is being held for a church organist who is retiring after 50 years. Mary Parkinson, who is the organist at St Mary Magdalene Parish Church, in Yarm, will retire on Easter Sunday. Miss Parkinson, who was a music teacher, had to learn new

  • Football fans may get another supporting role

    FOOTBALL fans who turn up to watch a celebrity match at the weekend could find themselves appearing in a feature film. The film Down Amongst the Dead Men is based on the autobiography Flipper's Side by disabled Darlington FC supporter Paul Hodgson. The

  • Week one - and police chief gets first complaint

    THE NEW chief constable of Cleveland Police is facing his first complaint - just 24 hours after taking up the post. Sean Price, who took over from controversial former chief Barry Shaw on Monday, has already been threatened with allegations of malicious

  • Should we fear the killer flu?

    As a new and potentially deadly virus causes panic in the Far East, Nick Morrison asks if we should be donning our masks, and looks at the history of global killers IF you're on a train or a bus in Hong Kong, and you feel a sneeze or a cough coming on

  • Concern grows for boy's safety

    CONCERN was mounting last night for the safety of a ten-year-old boy who has been missing from home since Friday. Sonny McDougal was last seen in Hylton Avenue, South Shields, South Tyneside, at about mid-day. He was wearing a navy blue and red Reebok

  • Conflict gives ailing sector a hammering

    CONFLICT in Iraq has further hit Britain's ailing manufacturing sector, it emerged yesterday. The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply's (CIPS) monthly purchasing managers' index shows that manufacturing orders nationally fell at their steepest

  • 01/04/03

    PETER MULLEN: ON reading Peter Mullen's column (Echo, March 18) I can only assume he has finally flipped his lid. He comes out with this ridiculous story about local authorities banning hot cross buns and pancakes and not a shred of evidence to back it

  • 'We can handle hooligans' promise Euro-clash police

    ANY hooligans arriving in the region for England's football clash with Turkey tonight will not be allowed to run riot as they did in Switzerland at the weekend. Thousands of fans from both sides are pouring into Sunderland today and will be at the Stadium

  • Regulars quizzed over attack

    POLICE visited a village club last night to ask regulars about the death of a 59-year-old man. Barrie Lee was attacked on Tuesday night last week as he walked home from Langley Park Workingmen's Club, near Durham City, at 11.35pm. Mr Lee, who had spent

  • Police hunt fire alarm raider

    AN audacious thief escaped with thousands of pounds after a daring broad daylight raid on a building society. It is thought the thief may have set off a fire alarm to clear the headquarters of Darlington Building Society before walking in to snatch the

  • Harry Mead: Why our troops will never be liberators

    MUCH quoted in the Iraq war, the Geneva Convention is framed not only to secure humane treatment of prisoners but also to allow civilian life to continue as decently as possible. It therefore forbids targeting civilian sites. But though these include

  • How's your average Kevin meant to cope?

    Tricky being a teenager. Always was. Always will be. But now, apparently, it's worse than ever. Record numbers of teenagers are said to be suffering from stress, according to a survey by the Medical Research Council. And some of it's our fault. The main

  • Fat cat steel bosses get bonus bonanza

    Bosses of a troubled steel company are gearing up to pay themselves massive bonuses while thousands of workers face the fear of redundancy. Corus is on the brink of making swingeing job cuts in its UK operations after running up debts of £1.4bn. But the

  • News in brief: Museum's free entry success

    Visitor numbers to the National Rail Museum, in York, rose more than 100,000 in a year - thanks partly to free admission. The museum's annual review for 2001/2002 revealed that 587,862 people took in the sight and sounds of rail during the 12 months from

  • Man critical after accident

    A 43-year-old man is in a critical condition after being involved in a road traffic accident. Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident, which occurred in Norton Avenue, Stockton, at 1pm on Monday. The man is thought to have been crossing from

  • Family man jailed over child porn offences

    A FORMER newsagent caught in a joint police operation with the FBI for downloading child pornography off the internet was jailed for 12 months today. Ian Thomas Waller, 45, a father of three children under 16, was caught with 530 indecent images of children

  • Four hurt in collision

    A DRIVER suffered a broken nose after his car careered into a railway bridge. Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident, which occurred on Monday at 9.20pm, in Port Clarence Road, Port Clarence, near Billingham. The accident is believed to have

  • Grassroots: Chester-le-Street Birtley and District

    EASTERN PROMISE: Chester-le-Street Community Centre is starting a course in belly dancing and other Middle East folk dancing on Tuesdays, from 5.45pm to 7pm for beginners, and from 7.15pm to 8.30pm for improvers. The course costs £21. To book, call 0191

  • Bank cash helps young

    DISADVANTAGED children are aiming for a brighter future after NatWest Bank gave them £310,000. The youngsters, from the Fairbridge project, Newcastle, have been learning skills to give them a fresh start in life. They put their culinary skills to the

  • Activity club for fathers and their children a success

    A CLUB in Hartlepool which involves organised activities for fathers and their children is proving a big success. Sure Start (South) has launched the club, known as Saturday Stars, which operates each Saturday morning from the Sure Start centre in Rossmere

  • Ron takes readers back to world war

    A BILLINGHAM author is taking readers back to a time of rationing and blackouts. Former school governor Ron Restall has put the finishing touches to his book, Just a Lad from the Village. The book, which described the changing lifestyle of post-war Billingham

  • Prison visitor smuggled cannabis

    A PRISON visitor was arrested by police after cannabis was found hidden in his underpants. Police were tipped off that Christopher Lonsdale was attempting to supply drugs to a prisoner at Deerbolt Young Offenders' Institution, near Barnard Castle, County

  • Beckham hurt by passion 'insult'

    DAVID BECKHAM last night claimed he was "personally insulted" by the accusation that the England team lacks passion. After Sven-Goran Eriksson and his players were heavily criticised for apparently not caring enough, Beckham mounted a strident defence

  • News in brief: Lib Dems fight all city seats

    THE Liberal Democrats are fielding candidates for all the seats on Durham City Council. The party is making a strong push to wrest control from Labour. Labour has 42 candidates for the 50 seats. Eleven Independents are standing, the Conservatives are

  • Vardy on road to 100

    EXPANDING motor retail company Reg Vardy is on the verge of snapping up seven new dealerships as it pushes toward the magic 100 mark. The Sunderland firm, which aims to hit the century figure by the end of next year, signalled to the City yesterday that

  • How's your average Kevin meant to cope?

    Tricky being a teenager. Always was. Always will be. But now, apparently, it's worse than ever. Record numbers of teenagers are said to be suffering from stress, according to a survey by the Medical Research Council. And some of it's our fault. The main

  • Convergent secures Costain deal

    CONVERGENT Telecom, the North Yorkshire mobile telecommunications service provider, has signed a two-year deal to provide a network for international construction and engineering company Costain. The mobile phone coverage includes new handsets and associated

  • Eriksson laughs off Gunes' sack jibes

    SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON came out fighting last night and insisted his job is safe as he approached England's Euro 2004 moment of truth. Turkey coach Senol Gunes cranked up the pressure on Eriksson when he claimed the Swede could be sacked if England lost

  • Drive to reduce noise levels on road

    THE Government yesterday announced plans to resurface sections of one of the region's main link roads following complaints about noise. Concrete sections of the A19 will be replaced with low-noise surfaces which reduce noise both inside and outside vehicles

  • Good omens scarce as Platt's youngsters held

    IF Sven-Goran Eriksson had travelled to St James' Park last night looking for good omens ahead of England's crucial encounter with Turkey at the Stadium of Light, he would have returned to their Slaley Hall base disappointed. Like Eriksson's senior team

  • Ryanair's Buzz takeover hits snag

    UNION leaders were last night seeking urgent meetings with Ryanair after the airline's expected take-over of low cost carrier Buzz failed to go ahead. The Irish airline announced it was still waiting for final clearance of the deal from the Office of

  • Sculptor's creations beginning to take shape

    WORK has started on the next stage in turning more than 200 naked North-East volunteers into a permanent work of art. Anthony Gormley, the award-winning sculptor behind the Angel of the North, was back in the region yesterday to launch the second phase

  • Last Night's TV: A sexy path and then off for a pint

    The City Gardener (C4): The patch of land at the back of Phil's house isn't so much a garden as "a sad space with a lot of potential". Fortunately, he has a friend called Matt James, who's a horticultural expert and the presenter of one of the programmes

  • Jenas offers Eriksson no new clues

    WITH Sven-Goran Eriksson sat in the Milburn Stand, Jermaine Jenas would have been keen to prove a point last night. But Eriksson will have gone away thinking that this is a player with plenty of potential - nothing changed there then. Jenas enjoyed a

  • Record sales

    RECORD sales at a Darlington opticians has led to a extra staff being employed. Specsavers Opticians, in High Row, has hired two members of staff since the new year, after an increase in sales. During the second week of this year, sales rose by five per

  • Man jailed for car offences

    A BISHOP Auckland man who admitted a string of motoring offences has been jailed for five months. Brian Milner Speight, 24, of St Chad's Close, Bishop Auckland, appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court yesterday. He pleaded guilty to four offences

  • Parents tackle council over cost of treating autistic son

    THE parents of an autistic child are taking their local authority to a tribunal after it refused to pay for pioneering treatment. Allison and Geoff Hardy estimate that it costs £16,000 a year to teach their five-year-old son, Conor, under the Growing

  • Upland birds at risk

    SOME of the region's rarest upland birds could be at risk unless walkers, cyclists and ramblers ensure their dogs are under control in the current nesting season, it was warned today. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, along with the Moorland

  • Bus is ticket to the moors

    GETTING out and about on the North York Moors without a car should be easier than ever this year. The National Park's Moorsbus service, which gets under way on Sunday, has more routes than before, with 150 locations served with the new timetable. The