• 25/10/03

    PRINCESS DIANA: I QUITE agree with Sharon Griffiths that the subject of the late Princess Diana should be put to bed once and for all. It is about time people stopped trying to make money from theories. - J Watson, Washington. PUBLIC UTILITIES IN answer

  • A tenor's triumphant return

    Michael Bennett can't wait to perform in a new opera at Durham's Gala Theatre, he tells Gavin Engelbrecht TENOR Michael Bennett has enjoyed a glittering international career since completing his music degree in the North-East 15 years ago. Among the many

  • Hospice founder collects cash from supermarket trolly dash

    MARY BUTTERWICK has collected £750 raised for the Stockton hospice she founded. The money was raised at a trolley dash at Safeway, in Ingleby Barwick, which was won by Andrew Knox. Yarm District Lions president John Millington handed over the cheque to

  • Weatherman bob opens village's £80,000 community wing

    TV weatherman Bob Johnson opened the new community wing at a village primary school. The Tyne Tees star, renowned for his dislike of "skitey bits", delighted youngsters from the reception class at Pittington Primary School, near Durham City, by reading

  • Teenagers learn of motoring pitfalls

    SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLDS were given the chance to get behind the wheel of a car and drive as part of a police initiative this week. More than 230 teenagers took part in Cleveland Police's Megadrive at Redcar racecourse, where they were given a short course in

  • Princes' fury at 'cold betrayal' of mother

    Princes William and Harry launched a ferocious attack on former royal butler Paul Burrell last night accusing him of a "cold and overt betrayal" of their late mother. Diana, Princess of Wales, would have been mortified at his revelations if she were still

  • 3,000 people could lose right to vote

    THREE thousand people in Richmondshire could lose their right to vote at the next election if they do not return registration forms to the council by the middle of next month. The district council has distributed 21,000 forms across the area as part of

  • Police turn their attentions to birdlife to help new campaign

    BIRDLIFE is being given a helping hand throughout the cold winter months as North Yorkshire Police help launch the RSPB's new bird-feeding scheme. Officers and staff at the police headquarters, at Newby Wiske Hall, near Northallerton, have been taking

  • Operatic society reflects on its musical centenary

    IN 1903, while Henry Ford was founding his motor company and the Wright brothers were conducting their first flight, a group of Chester-le-Street shopkeepers and tradesmen were busy setting up an amateur dramatics company. Now the group is celebrating

  • Cycling fan Lisa moved by toddler's plight

    WHEN big-hearted 21-year-old Lisa Hemsley heard about the plight of a North toddler, she decided she had to do something to help. Joshua Peacock, of Northallerton, North Yorkshire, was only three weeks old when he was diagnosed with a form of cerebral

  • Church lit up in memory of John

    A VICTORIAN church in the region is to become a night-time landmark with the introduction of floodlighting to the spire. Holy Trinity Church, at Startforth, near Barnard Castle, County Durham, is installing the lighting after nearly £2,000 was raised

  • Where, exactly, was the magic in Blaine's stunt?

    THANK goodness David Blaine has finally come out of his perspex box and put us all out of our misery. Am I the only one who missed the magic of David's latest stunt? Where was the illusion, the razzmatazz, the trickery? We watched a man enter a box, sit

  • Comment from The Northern Echo: A Judas in their midst

    PRINCES William and Harry made public last night their fury at Paul Burrell's "cold and overt betrayal" of their mother. They have every right to be angry. Mr Burrell was a trusted confidante of Diana. He was in a position of great privilege. He professes

  • Hathrah good enough to give Hills armchair ride at Newbury

    RICHARD HILLS was handed a free passport to fame and fortune when he was appointed first jockey to Hamdan Al Maktoum, the powerful Dubai-based owner whose charismatic royal blue and white colours have claimed a bevy of British and European Pattern races

  • Bobby to bury the hatchet with Solano - on Monday

    NOLBERTO SOLANO has been axed from the Newcastle United squad once again - but manager Sir Bobby Robson insists the Peruvian still has a future on Tyneside. The skilful winger has continually been at loggerheads with Robson over his international duties

  • Success is crystal clear for spin-off

    A UNIVERSITY spin-off company is hoping to emulate the success of one of its forerunners. Durham Scientific Crystals (DSC) evolved out of ground-breaking research in making semi-conducting crystals at the University of Durham. The crystals are used in

  • Region exports wood... to Scandinavians

    IT may sound like a case of taking coals to Newcastle - but the region really is exporting wood to Scandinavia. For the first time, the Forestry Commission is supplying 2,000 tonnes of timber to Denmark from its forests on the North York Moors, for use

  • Second tragedy strikes family

    A FAMILY is mourning their second loss in tragic circumstances in five years. Phillip Hoban, 38, whose brother, Paul, a university gardener, was killed five years ago, was found hanged at a friend's home on Tuesday. Police are not treating the death as

  • Business hatchery opens

    THE second stage of a project to increase the number of entrepreneurs in the region has been launched. The University of Sunderland City Campus Hatchery will nurture business ideas based on the sciences. It aims to give Sunderland students past and present

  • Children bank on extra help

    OFFICE workers got their hands dirty when they helped give a primary school a facelift. Nineteen Barclaycard employees spent the day at Riverdale Primary School, in Redcar, as part of the company's Volunteer 2day scheme, which gives each employee two

  • Transplant kidney put on wrong plane

    A BAGGAGE handling service has launched an investigation after its workers put a kidney intended for transplant on the wrong plane. The organ, taken from a Newcastle donor, was supposed to go to Northern Ireland, but ended up 700 miles away in Paris.

  • School's head remembered at annual speech day ceremony

    THE death of a school's headteacher signalled the end of an era, pupils were told yesterday. Susanne Davison, acting headteacher of Polam Hall School for Girls, in Darlington, paid tribute to Helen Hamilton, who died earlier this year after a short illness

  • Town's history recorded by retired policeman

    A BOOK on the history of Northallerton has been published. Called A Northallerton Miscellany, the book, by Dr David Severs, features various stories about the town and its inhabitants. It contains transcripts of a financial notebook, kept by a Northallerton

  • Volunteers help clear woodland paths

    VOLUNTEERS have cleared paths through the centre of a woodland on the outskirts of Durham. The Friends of Pelaw Woods, set up to look after the 35-acre site in the Gilesgate area of the city, yesterday marked Make a Difference Day by clearing overgrowth

  • Police pledge on youth nuisance

    POLICE in Darlington have pledged to take strong action after receiving complaints from residents about drunken youths causing mayhem. The promise comes after a series of alarming incidents involving fireworks being let off, under-age drinking and anti-social

  • New aid for victims of violence

    VICTIMS of domestic violence can access confidential advice and support from a drop-in centre launched in a Darlington supermarket yesterday. Victim Support has set up the listening service in the foyer of Asda, in Whinbush Way, in the hope of strengthening

  • Charity effort in pink

    HUNDREDS of children helped to support the Breast Cancer Campaign yesterday by wearing something pink at school. More than 700 youngsters at Branksome School, in Darlington, paid a donation to the charity and donned pink wigs, clothes and ribbons for

  • Protest over pitches built on parkland

    RESIDENTS say they have been given no warning that football pitches are to be created on parkland near their homes. Helen Beaumont, of Estoril Road, Darlington, said she was devastated when she saw goalposts being set in concrete on Tommy Crooks Park.

  • Motorist sought after girl is injured

    POLICE are appealing for information after a teenager walking with friends in Peterlee town centre was struck by a car which failed to stop. The incident happened at about 1pm on Thursday as the 15-year-old girl and some friends were crossing Passfield

  • Pumping new blood into horror

    With the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre about to hit cinemas, horror films are well and truly back in fashion. Steve Pratt looks at what makes us sleep uneasy in our beds. It's enough to bring you out in goosebumps and send a shiver up your spine

  • Children's theatre group award

    A theatre group for youngsters in Teesdale has received an award for its work. The self-funded Teesdale Youth Theatre, based in Staindrop School, was presented with the award by Investing in Children, an organisation set up by Durham County Council. Artistic

  • Pupils celebrate year of success

    SCHOOL pupils celebrated success with their parents and teachers at an awards evening recognising a year of achievement. The Northern Echo's award-winning columnist Mike Amos presented prizes at Parkside School, Willington, Headteacher Roland Sterry reported

  • Alert sounded over burglar alarm sales

    UNSCRUPULOUS burglar alarm salesmen are targeting residents in part of County Durham. Derwentside police have been carrying out crime prevention work through Operation Darc, which aims to cut the number of winter burglaries, as thieves take advantage

  • Protests force suspension of chemist's needle scheme

    PLANS to offer drug addicts a needle exchange service from a chemist's shop have been suspended. Middlesbrough councillors Barry Coppinger, Ken Walker and Javed Ismail, from the Gresham ward, which includes the Parliament Road shop, made the announcement

  • Hopes high for village post office

    A COUNCILLOR behind a scheme to reopen a post office in Heighington says he is hopeful that a replacement service could be operating in the New Year. Councillor Gerald Lee met Post Offices Ltd representatives yesterday to discuss the possibility of reopening

  • Rough ride for track maintenance firms

    TRACK maintenance firms have had a buffeting ride on the stock market following Network Rail's announcement that it planned to take rail safety work in-house. Shares in Peterhouse Group, which owns rail maintenance company First Engineering, dropped 26

  • And the winners are...

    Could you choose between Bad Girls and The Bill, and do you think Tracy's trickery in Conronation Street is enough to win actress Kate Ford a best newcomer title? Its your chance to pick the winners in the National Television Awards next week. THEY'RE

  • Lethal bonfire uncovered

    LIVES are being put at risk by people who have carelessly dumped dangerous appliances on a bonfire only yards from a children's play area. Hazardous white goods were hidden beneath a pile of wood that families in a County Durham village had built ahead

  • Surfers' limbless dolls protest

    A GROUP of surfers yesterday attempted to deliver 50 limbless dolls to the company planning to dismantle condemned American warships. Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) claimed the dolls were symbolic of the harmful effects of PCB chemicals, which they allege

  • Funds boost for street lighting

    ONGOING efforts to improve street lighting and make people in Hartlepool feel safer have been given a boost. Earlier this week, Hartlepool Borough Council's grants committee approved funding of £10,000 towards the cost of a social lighting programme.

  • Meeting over housing plan

    A PUBLIC meeting is being held for residents to voice views about a proposed development on green land. The application is for 111 three or four-bedroomed properties on a 47-hectare site at High Grange Farm, in Normanby, Middlesbrough. The land is designated

  • Father Christmas to help Romanian burns girl

    WALKING down a Stockton side-street, you could be mistaken for believing Christmas has come early. For outside the Feed a Child Cafe, in Ramsgate, is a 6ft Father Christmas that happily shouts "ho, ho, ho" to passers-by. However, it is all in a good cause

  • N-E man's day to remember on plane's final trip

    A NORTH-EAST businessman last night recounted his unforgettable day rubbing shoulders with the great and the good on Concorde's last flight. Steve Best, a Durham property owner and a regular transatlantic flier, was on board Flight BO 002 when it touched

  • Part-time army sought

    Supermarket group Asda is planning to assemble a 10,000-strong part-time army of workers to handle seasonal rush periods. The company, owned by US store group Wal-Mart, wants a pool of permanent positions for people such as the over-50s looking to work

  • McClaren still awaiting return on £8m 'gamble'

    MIDDLESBROUGH boss Steve McClaren has admitted he is still waiting for his £8.15m "gamble'' on Massimo Maccarone to pay off. The Italian striker is in line to make his first senior start this season in tomorrow's game at Tottenham after confirming his

  • Director adds to medical musical influences

    THE ranks of musical health professionals are growing in one part of the region. Following the appointment earlier this year of a guitar-playing Italian doctor with a passion for rock music, the new director of Sedgefield Primary Care Trust (PCT) has

  • Town halls battle for 'missing millions' after census blunders

    COUNCILS have been denied millions of pounds in Government grants because of mistakes during the last census. The errors have prompted politicians to demand recounts in a number of areas around the country - including Middlesbrough, where civic leaders

  • For Your Benefit: Should I sign on unemployed?

    Q I am about to take early retirement at the age of 57, having worked since I left school. My works pension will stop me getting Jobseeker's Allowance, but should I sign on unemployed to get credited contributions for my State Pension that is due at 65

  • Council members face pay reform

    COUNCILLORS could be put on performance-related pay to make sure they earn their money. Mayor Ray Mallon is considering rewarding the workers and punishing the shirkers who represent council tax-payers in Middlesbrough. The town's 48 councillors receive

  • Quakers are snubbed by Old Trafford starlet

    Manchester United starlet Daniel Nardiello has turned down the chance to join Darlington on loan in favour of a move to Third Division rivals Swansea City. Quakers boss Mick Tait last night revealed the 21-year-old striker, who has already scored 12 goals

  • Opencast companies urged to offer more reassurance

    RESEARCHERS have urged opencast mining companies to do more to reassure people when seeking permission for sites. A study by Newcastle University showed that residents were likely to oppose proposals for opencast mines, even if people living near existing

  • Footballer helps college celebration

    SPORTING students at a specialist college are showing that playing games is a serious business that can boost their learning and strengthen community ties. Years of hard work at Sedgefield Community College, in County Durham, paid off yesterday when it

  • Abandoned greyhound to make silver screen debut

    IN a tale of rags-to-riches, an abandoned racing dog has found a new career on the silver screen after landing a star role. Things were looking bleak for Cerberus, a greyhound who was picked up by the North-East Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue group after

  • Youth court hearings

    THE following cases were heard at South Durham Youth Court, in Darlington, yesterday: OFFENCE ADMITTED: A 17-year-old Darlington youth admitted resisting arrest during a brawl in Bondgate, Darlington, on October 18, and was fined £100. He was also fined

  • School's head remembered at annual speech day ceremony

    THE death of a school's headteacher signalled the end of an era, pupils were told yesterday. Susanne Davison, acting headteacher of Polam Hall School for Girls, in Darlington, paid tribute to Helen Hamilton, who died earlier this year after a short illness

  • Chief constable issues warning over BB guns

    A POLICE armed response team was deployed following reports that two men were brandishing a silver handgun. They were first spotted at the Askham Bar car park, on the edge of York, and later seen again in St George's Field car park, near the city centre

  • Pupils given lessons on fireworks hazards

    CHILDREN learned about fireworks safety yesterday during a police visit. Pupils at Mount Pleasant Primary School, Darlington, learned about the dangers of fireworks from police and Dolphin Centre staff. A fireworks safety team has visited primary schools

  • Spy cameras for town park

    ONE of Darlington's main parks is to be the first in the town to get closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance. From next week, a camera in Eastbourne Park will begin sending live pictures to the town hall CCTVcontrol room. The Darlington Borough

  • Warning on village's sewerage

    A COUNCILLOR says a village's sewerage system is about to collapse because a water company is delaying vital improvement work. Councillor Doris Jones, who represents Middleton St George on Darlington Borough Council, told a meeting of Lower Dinsdale Parish

  • Premier Commentary: Still remembering the name: Wayne Rooney

    Before the start of last season, how many people had heard of Wayne Rooney? Mr and Mrs Rooney - yes. David Moyes and Walter Smith - certainly. But outside Liverpool, or more specifically the Everton side of the city, there were few who knew of the burgeoning

  • Survey calls for action on transport

    A SURVEY published yesterday revealed that 97 per cent of people living in the Vale of York think more attention should be paid to the area's transport issues. Constituency MP Anne McIntosh carried out the survey, published in the last edition of her

  • Reveller survived knife

    A NIGHTCLUB reveller survived a drunken attack in which he was stabbed in the head with a 3in knife, a court heard yesterday. David Siddle was taken to hospital with the pocket knife protruding from his temple, following the attack in April. He underwent

  • Crackdown on disorderly and anti-social behaviour

    POLICE are stepping up their battle against disorderly and anti-social behaviour with a crackdown in Northallerton. The blitz was launched yesterday when extra, high-visibility patrols took to the streets. Code-named Operation Plus, the move by the town's

  • Arson attacks prompt police warning

    ARSONISTS have started farmyard fires causing damage running into thousands of pounds. The firebugs have already struck three times this year at Whitehouse Farm, Craghead, near Stanley. A recent attack destroyed 700 straw bales worth £5,000, along with

  • Child porn charges man locked up

    A FATHER who downloaded images of child porn from an Internet site was jailed yesterday for 12 months. Newcastle Crown Court heard how Jon Start, 34, admitted possession of almost 1,500 indecent images which were downloaded from a US website. The court

  • Proposed JobCentre closure is criticised by councillors

    PROPOSALS to close Teesdale's only JobCentre have been criticised as another example of the long-term decline in rural services. Councillors say that the loss of Barnard Castle JobCentre will place an extra burden on the district's unemployed. Under the

  • Andrew confident of victory in front of the cameras

    ROB Andrew is confident his Newcastle Falcons side can topple unbeaten Premiership leaders Bath in front of the Sky TV cameras at Kingston Park today (2.45). Even without suspended skipper Mark Andrews and injured prop Marius Hurter, the Director of Rugby

  • Burglars' hints help crime fight

    HOUSEBREAKING tips provided by burglars are being used to fight crime. Twelve prolific burglars were interviewed and gave an insight into what makes easy pickings for thieves. One said that a house in darkness was always an open invitation. The information

  • College celebrates new specialist sports status

    SPORTING students at a specialist college are showing that playing games is a serious business that can boost their learning and strengthen community ties. Years of hard work at Sedgefield Community College paid off yesterday when the staff and students

  • Nightclub owner threatens closure over noise dispute

    A NIGHTCLUB owner in Barnard Castle is threatening to close his business if his entertainment licence is revoked. Teesdale District Council's licensing committee is to discuss taking action against Andy Power, landlord of the Raby Arms Hotel, in Barnard

  • Manufacturing sector told to embrace service industry

    THE region's hard-hit manufacturing sector must embrace the service industry to turn around ailing fortunes, according to a leading businessman. David Bowles said production companies could no longer expect to keep in-house all the expertise needed to

  • Mr Blair's Eden connection

    THE only Prime Minister in British history to resign because of stress - or "severe overstrain" as it was called in those days - was Sir Anthony Eden. Sir Anthony was born just metres inside the Sedgefield constituency of Tony Blair, the British Prime

  • Farmer mucks in for charity calendar

    STRETCHED out across his tractor and wearing nothing more than a cheeky smile, North-East farmer Richard Hodgson is proud of his model looks. Featuring as Mr April in the 2004 Farmers Calendar, the 40-year-old from Ingleton, near Darlington, has jumped

  • Potter scar is Shay's badge of courage

    A YOUNG Harry Potter fan who was almost killed saving his best friend's life has been left with a scar just like his Hogwarts hero. Shay Corrie, nine, was left in a coma after he threw himself in front of five-year-old Jack Briggs and took the full impact

  • Pair grew cannabis because dealers 'charged too much'

    FED up with the high price of drugs, two North-East men decided to go into business for themselves. But their plan ended yesterday when the pair were jailed for growing cannabis at three sites in a County Durham village. The motivation behind the drug

  • At Your Service: With the grain

    While the Methodist chapel at Wind Mill may have its problems, it still knows how to celebrate harvest in style, as demonstrated last Sunday. ON the premise that what goes around comes around, as folk rather strangely now suppose, we have been back to

  • Pool to hit the heights?

    EXTENDING their long unbeaten home record could see Hartlepool United hit the heights of second place tonight. Pool meet Wycombe Wanderers at Victoria Park for the first time since The Chairboys entered the Football League in 1990. If they become the