• Bagpipers raise £1,000

    MORE than £1,000 was raised for a Teesdale bagpipe band when it performed in Darlington. The Rowan Pipe Band performed in the town on Monday to raise money. Pipe major Barry Waldron said: "We got a wonderful reception, and played some requests, including

  • Your vote could put town on the map

    PEOPLE in Middlesbrough are being urged to put their town firmly on the map by voting in a national competition. Local historian Araf Chohan, of Grange Road, put the town forward for the competition launched by BBC Breakfast TV. It calls on viewers living

  • Choir brings Christmas preparations to an end

    A SCHOOL choir's busy week of festivities came to an end with a rousing carol service. The Barnard Castle School choir earlier led a carol service for boarding pupils, followed by a mid-week service for friends of the school, former colleagues and parents

  • Society helps buy computer

    DARLINGTON Building Society has donated £1,000 towards the purchase of a new computer for a local charity. St Teresa's Hospice will use the computer to give presentations at in-house training sessions. Hospice director Jane Bradshaw said: "Our training

  • Bagpipers raise £1,000

    MORE than £1,000 was raised for a Teesdale bagpipe band when it performed in Darlington. The Rowan Pipe Band performed in the town on Monday to raise money for new equipment. Pipe major Barry Waldron said: "We got a wonderful reception, and played some

  • Council house contacts

    THE company that runs thousands of former council houses and flats has announced its seasonal office closing times. Sunderland Housing Group's offices will close at 4pm on Friday. The Thorney Close office will remain closed until 8.30am on Tuesday, January

  • Race For Life earns council top award

    A COUNCIL has scooped a national award for its support of a major charity event. Darlington Borough Council was named the Best Supporting Council in recognition of its commitment to Cancer Research UK's Race for Life. Darlington's Quakers Running Club

  • House prices tipped to pick up next year

    HOUSE prices in the county are continuing to perform poorly compared to the rest of the UK, new figures show. The latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors housing market survey shows that more chartered surveyors in North Yorkshire are reporting

  • Council's fair deal on housing

    WEAR Valley's 5,000 council tenants receive a fair service from the district's housing department, according to an independent report issued yesterday. Inspectors from the Audit Commission gave the housing service one out of a possible three stars. They

  • Doris, 86, is 2005 Hambleton hero

    AN 86-year-old who has run a weekly children's club for the past 30 years has been named as Hambleton's Local Hero for 2005. Doris Mitchell has also been actively involved in her local church and Guiding association. She has now decided to slow down a

  • Panto cast to visit hospital

    PANTO stars will today pay a visit to children who are facing the prospect of spending Christmas in hospital. The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk, which runs at The Gala Theatre in Durham City until January 8, will visit patients on the Treetops Nursery

  • Harringay is back in the good books

    Harringay attracted plenty of negative publicity last month but was in the news for the right reasons with victory at Ludlow yesterday. The stewards at Towcester fined trainer Henrietta Knight £1,000, suspended Harringay from running for 40 days and banned

  • Call for action to cut winter deaths among the elderly

    CONSERVATIVE councillors in North Yorkshire yesterday called on the Government to do more to tackle fuel poverty. But Liberal Democrats said the county council should do more to help old people struggling to heat their homes. Melva Steckles, Conservative

  • Concert finale for station volunteers

    A CHAMBER music concert will be held to mark the end of a successful year of fundraising by volunteers aiming to redevelop a railway station. The Dales Chamber Orchestra will perform at Richmond Parish Church next Thursday. The concert has been organised

  • Ex-addicts group working for community

    A GROUP of recovered drug and alcohol users has achieved a major milestone in their drive to put something back into the community. As a result of the success of their first fundraising day, they have been able to hand over a cheque for £387.12 to local

  • Christmas cheer for the needy

    FAMILIES in need and the elderly are on the list to receive a well-stuffed early Christmas present. Employees from HBS consultancy service Middlesbrough spent the past few weeks making up 30 food hampers full of seasonal goodies. The first 20 were handed

  • Housing for site of former factory

    PLANS for a residential development on the site of a former factory in north Durham have been given the go-ahead. Derwentside District Council's development control committee has approved the plans by Miller Homes (North East Region) for housing on the

  • Staff face losing jobs - but still help kids

    KIND-HEARTED staff at a Darlington call centre have given scores of presents to a children's Christmas appeal, despite learning they will be made redundant in the new year. Employees at the RAC call centre, in Beaumont House, have been raising money for

  • School jumping for joy at high praise in Ofsted report

    A SMALL hill-top community can now boast two top-performing primary schools. Despite its tiny population, the village of Esh, near Langley Park, County Durham, has both Roman Catholic and Anglican voluntary-aided primary schools. They draw children not

  • Businessman funds refurbishment

    A MIDDLESBROUGH businessman has donated more than £27,000 for a refurbishment programme at the Rest Garden, in Linthorpe Road. The owner of SG Eaterie, Steve Gavin, provided the funds to improve the view from his premises, which overlook the garden. The

  • On TV

    Open Wide (ITV1) Unstoppable Wave (BBC1) BEWARE of one-off dramas shown in the week before Christmas. It usually means they're not very good, with schedulers hoping people will be too busy getting ready for Christmas to notice. Open Wide wasn't bad, just

  • ... and don't forget trees

    VILLAGES across Hambleton have set up Christmas tree recycling points. So far, 29 parish councils have agreed to create compounds to collect the trees, which will then be chipped and composted under a scheme run by Hambleton District Council. The project

  • Mum At Large: playing safe with a Christmas smacker

    IT was the infant nativity this week. As usual, there was much blubbing and wailing and proffering of tissues amid supportive cries of: "There, there," "You can do this" and "I know you'll get through it". And that was just the mums and dads. It's got

  • College students celebrate a year of achievements

    HUNDREDS of awards have been presented to teenage students for their achievements in the past school year. Northallerton College held its inaugural awards ceremony at Hambleton Forum, Northallerton, last week. A string of awards were presented by the

  • 'Government has stabbed us in back with a funding gap'

    COUNCILLORS on Teesside fear a Government funding deficit will hit residents with unreasonable council tax rises and cuts in services. East Cleveland councillors will take a deputation to Whitehall in an all-party plea aimed at striking a better deal

  • Explorer offers to guide pupils through Antarctic

    YOUNG people from the North-East are being offered the once-in-a-lifetime chance to discover the Antarctic with a renowned polar explorer and adventurer. Robert Swan, who is UN Ambassador for the Environment and Youth, yesterday announced he is joining

  • "Boring" teen jailed for fire prank

    A DRUNKEN teenager who set fire to a pensioner's hair to prove he wasn't "boring" was locked up for two years yesterday. Philip Wooton, held a lighter to 82-year-old Elizabeth Collins' head after sitting behind her on a Metro train travelling towards

  • Tears of joy for Judy and Jay on their big day

    THERE was a strong scent of perfume in the air, but it seemed like any other wedding as friends and family gathered in Darlington's Register Office. The wedding photographer, sitting with his tripod at the back of the room, whispered, "we're making history

  • Parents of dead toddler arrested

    MURDER squad detectives have arrested the parents of a boy who died days before his second birthday. Gemma Fennelly, 23, and her 33-year-old partner, Mark Bate, were arrested early yesterday in Hartlepool, following the death of Mitchell Allan Bate. The

  • Darts

    THIS week, we have witnessed sport at its most pure. Two men, going head to head for a world title. Two men, with nowhere to hide, parading their skills in front of a baying public. The essence of gladiatorial combat re-packaged for the 21st century.

  • Industry struggling to meet the cost

    RISING fuel costs sending energy bills spiralling are causing alarm at many North-East companies. Circatex and Prestige Seating Technology, both of South Shields, South Tyneside, have spoken out after seeing costs rise in recent months Printed circuit

  • Carer Sue talkes her third litter in six weeks

    KIND-HEARTED Sue Sleightholm has taken her third litter of foster puppies into her home in six weeks. Mrs Sleightholm, from Redcar, east Cleveland, is one of the foster carers for Saltburn Animal Rescue Association. As one of the carers, she always has

  • Poorer N-E likely to lose out on Euro millions

    TWO areas of England will share about £500m of European aid likely to be denied the North-East - despite them being richer. Statistics released yesterday revealed that the North-East's poorest area is more deprived than either Merseyside or South Yorkshire

  • Church crisis as gay vicar ties the knot

    THE Bishop of Durham was last night taking advice on what to do after a homosexual vicar had his gay marriage blessed at a church service - flouting Church of England guidelines. The Reverend Christopher Wardale, 59, and retired Northumbria University

  • England head home with a little pride restored

    England stood firm for a narrow victory over Pakistan in the final one-day international at Rawalpindi to ensure they can return home for Christmas with some pride still intact. There was relief, as well as a touch of satisfaction, in captain Marcus Trescothick's

  • 'Degrading' posters removed after policewomen complain

    RAUNCHY posters designed to cut drink-fuelled violence on Britain's streets have been removed from police stations because female officers find them offensive. The images used to promote the national Nightsafe scheme in County Durham have been taken down

  • Contract win for high-fliers who escaped to the North

    A COMPANY set up by city high-fliers who gave up London salaries and moved to the North has won a major contract with Reuters. Thecitysecret, a software design company, in Richmond, North Yorkshire, provides services for investment houses and banks. It

  • 'In celebration and defiance'

    The controversial former Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend David Jenkins, yesterday criticised the Church of England for its unfeeling dogmatism in handling matters of human sexuality. Here is the full text of his sermon, given at the thanksgiving

  • Keep park-and-ride open over holidays, demand traders

    TRADERS are asking transport bosses to think again after they announced the region's biggest park-and-ride scheme would be closed on some of the busiest shopping days of the year. The £10m park-and-ride scheme in Durham City, which opened earlier this

  • New hope for engineers

    THREE engineers employed at a factory that closed in the summer have found work delivering skills to manufacturers across the region. Shaun Wood, Andrew Rispin and Alan Jones lost their jobs with electronics company LG Philips when it closed its Belmont

  • Committee divided over interest rates

    HOPES grew for a fall in the cost of borrowing early next year after it emerged that a member of the Bank of England's rate-setting panel voted for a reduction this month. Stephen Nickell broke ranks with colleagues on the monetary policy committee (MPC

  • Fakenham double is on the cards for Thomson

    Fakenham is today's destination for the ambitious Bolam-near-Darlington trainer David Thomson, who travels to Norfolk hoping to complete a double with Charlie Tango and Sovereign State. Thompson does exceptionally well with the limited ammo at his disposal

  • United baffled by Luque-go-home rumours

    NEWCASTLE United have acted quickly to refute suggestions Albert Luque could be on his way back to Spain in the January transfer window with the club revealing a determination to bring the best out of the winger. Luque is fully fit again after struggling

  • McClaren lays into players

    A FURIOUS Steve McClaren blasted Middlesbrough's efforts in last night's Carling Cup defeat to Blackburn and claimed his side's performance was as bad as anything he had seen during his time at the club. The Boro boss was still seething when he delivered

  • Takeover suitor is biding its time

    A car dealership considering a bid for Reg Vardy said it was unlikely to reveal its next move until after Christmas. Lookers reported good progress in arranging finance for a potential offer, which has to beat the £450m already been offered by Pendragon

  • Isn't it time that we ditched 'sex sells' images of the past?

    IN the 70s and 80s, we had semi-naked girls devouring Cadbury Flakes, the camera moving in for close-ups as they clamped their glossy red lips around the bars. In the 1990s, supermodel Eva Herzigova said hello to all the boys in her Wonderbra, with a

  • Playing safe with a Christmas smacker

    IT was the infant nativity this week. As usual, there was much blubbing and wailing and proffering of tissues amid supportive cries of: "There, there," "You can do this" and "I know you'll get through it". And that was just the mums and dads. It's got

  • Arsonist jailed for starting blaze after split

    A SPURNED lover who caused £67,000 worth of damage to a bus depot by setting it alight as a display of his "burning love" was jailed for two years yesterday. Steven Profit, 22, caused massive damage at the Kimberley Coaches depot in Prudhoe, Northumberland

  • Elderly dog left to freeze to death in quarry

    AN ELDERLY dog was abandoned in a disused quarry on one of the coldest nights of the year. The RSPCA is now searching for the owner of the 15-year-old black and tan cross-breed, which was found by a member of the public tied to a tree in a quarry off

  • Plan aims to end vandalism at former Quakers ground

    AN action plan has been drawn up to tackle chronic anti-social behaviour near Darlington Football Club's former ground. Councillors in the Park East area of Darlington have been plagued by complaints from residents in Quaker Lane and Polam Lane, near

  • Gym'll fix it for couple

    A COUPLE has landed the trip of a lifetime to the Big Apple by winning a prize draw at their local gym. Adrian and Dorothy Jenkins won a holiday to New York with spending money from Spennymoor Leisure Centre. The trip was won through a draw after loyalty

  • Police appeal in vandal attacks

    POLICE are appealing for information following a spate of vandalism at an industrial estate. Telephone lines were damaged at the Grorud Engineering plant on Castleside Industrial Estate, near Consett, between 6pm Tuesday night and 8am yesterday. PC Ruth

  • How your Christmas tree saves the world

    LAST-MINUTE shoppers who have yet to buy their Christmas tree are being urged to do their bit for the environment. Waste experts are urging householders to buy a real tree and are running a prize draw scheme to encourage them to go green. Tree plantations

  • Doorman spiked woman's drink

    A DOORMAN who spiked a young woman's drink with a drug so she would submit to sex has been jailed for five years. Michael Wright tipped the chemical into the victim's drink from a water bottle, saying it was vodka. Shortly after, the woman collapsed unconscious

  • Councillor fears police will withdraw officers from area

    HOME Secretary John Reid is being asked to investigate plans to reduce the police presence in Weardale. John Shuttleworth, Durham county councillor for the area, says he has heard that senior officers plan to move a sergeant to work in another area when

  • Judge warns parents who -buried heads in the sand'

    A COUPLE were warned to "keep their heads out of the sand" to prevent their son's continual absence from school. District Judge Michael Wood gave the warning to Andrew and Denise Jakeway, after he heard of their repeated failure to ensure 13-year-old

  • Revised waste collection dates

    REDCAR and Cleveland Borough Council is issuing recycling information for the festive period. Christmas catch-up collections will be one day behind the normal collection day during Christmas week, and back to normal the following week. Christmas cards

  • Message to drinkers to curb alcohol-fuelled violence

    DRINKERS in pubs and clubs across east Durham are being targeted in a campaign to prevent violent and drunken behaviour. Almost 350 pubs, clubs and bars in the district are taking part in the scheme, launched earlier this week. More than 60,000 beer mats

  • Don't deal in counterfeits, shoppers told

    TRADING standards officers in North Yorkshire have vowed to catch the counterfeiters. The declaration comes after officers carrying out pre-Christmas inspections at markets in the county found a wide range of fake goods. County council staff say counterfeit

  • Prize draw incentive to buy a real tree

    LAST-MINUTE shoppers who have yet to buy their Christmas tree are being urged to do their bit for the environment. Waste experts are urging they buy a real tree, and are running a prize draw to encourage them to go green. Tree plantations soak up greenhouse

  • Parade lights up night with lanterns

    THE darkened streets of two villages were lit up for Christmas as more than 200 children took part in a lantern parade. On Monday, the children, beating samba rhythms on their drums, paraded from the Booker Amateur Boxing Gym, in North Road, Catchgate

  • Money pledged for church damage

    A WOMAN who was baptised at a church desecrated by vandals days before Christmas has started a fund to repair the damage. Beth Carr, 70, of Consett, County Durham, was furious to read in The Northern Echo that the 5ft calvary had been torn from the wall

  • Tributes paid to former schoolteacher

    TRIBUTES have been paid to an old-fashioned dales school teacher with a vast knowledge of local history Margaret Elizabeth Baum, who died on Monday, aged 85, taught hundreds of people in Teesdale during her decades of service at Cotherstone Primary School

  • Centre on track to rehome greyhounds

    A GREYHOUND rehoming centre which is the first of its kind in the North-East was opened yesterday. Lord David Lipsey, chairman of the British Greyhound Racing Board, opened Hollin Hall Greyhound Rehoming Centre at Fir Tree Kennels, Crook, County Durham

  • From pitch to classroom to encourage pupils

    FOOTBALL stars have scored with numbers during a school project for pupils. Hartlepool United Football Club and Hartlepool council have hailed the project as a success following this year's report. The Playing for Success initiative involves children

  • Scientists discover genetic clues to survival

    SCIENTISTS have discovered a genetic variation that can make people twice as likely to survive severe infections such as pneumonia and MRSA. The survivor gene, as it has been dubbed, has been discovered by doctors and researchers studying the genetic

  • Know your limit message to revellers

    A HEALTH chief is appealing to revellers to know their alcohol limit and not wreck Christmas for themselves and others. Drink or Drunk - You Decide is the message from the Safer Middlesbrough Partnership to Christmas partygoers in the town centre. Pubs

  • Families urged to think green over Christmas...

    RESIDENTS were yesterday asked to recycle as much as possible over Christmas. Bosses at waste management company Yorwaste urged people not to bin bottles and cans, but to leave them out for kerbside collection or take them to recycling points. They also

  • 'The tsunami made us want a baby'

    It began as the honeymoon of their dreams and turned into a fight for survival. In the first of a three-part series a year after the south Asian tsunami, Lindsay Jennings speaks to a couple who almost lost their lives in the disaster. THEY felt the tremor

  • Takeover suitor is biding its time

    A car dealership considering a bid for Reg Vardy said it was unlikely to reveal its next move until after Christmas. Lookers reported good progress in arranging finance for a potential offer, which has to beat the £450m already been offered by Pendragon

  • Housing development faces opposition from English Heritage

    A MULTI-MILLION housing development is to be built in the centre of an historic North-East city despite opposition from English Heritage. The landmark former ice rink on the banks of the River Wear in Durham City is to be bulldozed and replaced with luxury

  • Let's hear it for the boys

    It seemed like a good idea at the time. You couldn't say we'd rushed into it. I'd be embarrassed to admit how long it is since one of our two main bedrooms was decorated. Suffice to say that wallpaper like that hasn't been around since the 1970s. But

  • Council hoping for performance reward grant

    LOCAL authority chiefs are hoping for a £1m boost to council coffers after hitting Government quality targets for footpaths and bridleways. Almost 77 per cent of the public rights of way in North Yorkshire passed an ease of use test. North Yorkshire County

  • Pigeon fanciers celebrate as avian flu precautions lifted

    PIGEON fanciers have welcomed the lifting of a ban aimed at preventing bird flu from spreading to hum-ans. The temporary ban, announced by the European Union at the end of October, was introduced as a precaution against the spread of the potentially deadly

  • Monster minnow is weigh smaller than Jim's record

    AN angler who gracefully conceded his record for the biggest minnow ever caught in British waters has once again landed the title. Jim Sawyer, of Ferryhill, County Durham, was last week forced to admit defeat when an aquatic scientist from Wiltshire claimed

  • High energy prices force Christmas shutdown

    AS one brick maker in the region prepares for closure in the new year, others across the UK are implementing an extended shutdown this Christmas because of spiralling energy prices. Dyson Refractories, in West Hunwick, near Willington, County Durham,

  • Stead hoping his first goal will spark team's revival

    JON STEAD is hoping for some double festive cheer over the next ten days - Sunderland picking up rare points and the striker breaking his Wearside scoring duck. The £1.8m summer buy from Blackburn is still waiting to register four months after his move

  • The private poet: mystic or madman?

    He's won praise from the likes of Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and he's sat on top of the Tyne Bridge to gain publicity. Now Newcastle-based poet Andrew Tait has finally got his first collection into print. Through written responses - Andrew is agoragphobic

  • Parnaby's error hands early present to Rovers

    CHRISTMAS is traditionally a time for giving, and full-back Stuart Parnaby was certainly in the mood for handing out presents last night as his last-minute error ensured a dramatic end to Middlesbrough's Carling Cup campaign. With Boro's quarter-final

  • Clark released after attitude questioned

    Former Darlington and Hartlepool midfielder Ian Clark is to be released by Scarborough after the manager questioned the player's attitude. The 31-year-old spent three-and-a-half years with the Quakers and four with Pool but, despite signing a one-year

  • Course plans could lead to richest race in North-East

    A RACECOURSE has submitted plans that would allow it to offer the largest racing prize money in the North-East. Redcar Racecourse, in east Cleveland, hopes the proposals will allow it to invest £3m in the track and the business. Chief executive Neil Etherington

  • 22/12/05

    FLUORIDE: IN reply to A Hall (HAS, Dec 15), it is true that, in excess or in the wrong combination, fluoride is poisonous - but that's true of most things, including much that we could not last two seconds without, even of oxygen. The fact is the anti-fluoridation