• Prizes for winners of Christmas competition

    THE winners of an annual competition to design Christmas cards and write festive verses have been presented with their prizes. The competition is open to people who live in one of the county council's older person's homes or attend a day centre. The card

  • Mobile prisons unveiled to help fight anti-social behaviour

    PRISON wagons are being used by a North-East police force in its fight against anti-social behaviour. Cleveland Police have been issued two mobile jail cells, adapted to hold six prisoners at any one time. The first cell targeted trouble hot spots in

  • Tennis tired me, admits Henman

    Tim Henman admits at times he tired of tennis during 2005 after enduring a difficult year. The British number one started the year ranked sixth in the world but then experienced his earliest exit from Wimbledon in a decade before being eclipsed by the

  • Hopes for £1m boost after footpaths hit quality targets

    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

  • If you feel poorly over the holidays...

    PEOPLE on Teesside hit by minor ailments over the Christmas and New Year holidays will be able to receive medical treatment at walk-in clinics organised by Middlesbrough Primary Care Trust (PCT). They will be open on Boxing Day, Tuesday, and January 2

  • Guided walks into history

    LOCAL historian David Butler will help ramblers blow off the festive cobwebs on two walks over the Christmas holiday in Durham. The grimy side of Victorian life will be examined in Mr Butler's now annual two-mile stroll through former city grot-spots

  • Church in full bloom

    FLOWER arrangers followed up a successful church festival last summer by creating colourful displays for Christmas. Marjorie Cooper and Phyllis Wilkinson, who are both members of the congregation at St Paul's, in Hunwick, answered a call from Fr Stewart

  • Pub bouncers to watch over taxi queues after last calls

    PUB bouncers are to patrol Durham taxi ranks in a bid to curb early-hours trouble as revellers spill out of pubs and nightclubs. The trial scheme starts tonight and will see door staff from premises in North Road, the city's drinking hot spot, keeping

  • MP backs guide dogs appeal

    NORTH Durham MP Kevan Jones has pledged his support to the Guide Dogs' appeal, Rethink Rehab. Mr Jones recently met with guide dog owner and campaigner Dave Kent, with his guide dog, Reuben, at the Houses of Parliament, who informed him of the social

  • Man hurt in unprovoked assault

    A MAN was admitted to hospital after being attacked by a gang of thugs. Their unnamed victim was asssaulted between Wilton Lane and Castleton Road, Grangetown, on Wedneaday. Cleveland Police say it was an unprovoked attack. As he walked across an area

  • All places taken for charity dip

    ALL 1,000 places have been taken up for Europe's biggest Boxing Day dip. The charity event, at Sunderland, takes place at 11am. Numbers have been limited for health and safety reasons to 1,000 and all places have now been taken. While the public can turn

  • Josie's delighted to hear carols for the first time

    THE sound of carols has brought joy to a 12-year-old girl who can hear for the first time this Christmas. Josie Caven was born profoundly deaf and, since the age of two, has worn hearing aids that allowed her to distinguish a few sounds. Ear implants

  • I'm sorry to mention this, but...

    There are few things in life that get me more annoyed than impoliteness. It's probably because bad manners are so easily avoided and good manners can make such a difference as to how people feel. Some people are often very quick to criticise public services

  • What's big for the box

    This year the machines thousands of gamers hope to find beneath their tree on Christmas Day is Microsoft's mighty Xbox 360. So is the first of the "next genreation" machines really the quantum leap forward Bill Gates would have everyone believe? And what

  • Judge jails two ahead of Christmas festivities

    A JUDGE warned that drink is no excuse for violence when he jailed two teenagers on the eve of the Christmas festivities. Judge Leslie Spittle told Brent Fellows,18, and Stanley Collin,19, that they were guilty of "thuggish and loutish behaviour" that

  • Police review delivery man killing riddle

    DETECTIVES investigating the murder of takeaway delivery man Paul Logan 12 years ago are reviewing the case in the hope of finding new evidence, it was revealed last night. The body of Mr Logan was found on farmland near Shotley Bridge, near Consett,

  • Youths gathering at bus station on a Haydn to northing

    CLASSICAL music is to be piped into a bus station to encourage young people to conduct themselves better. Youths have been congregating at a new £4.2m bus station in Stanley, County Durham, and intimidating passengers. Police are working with Derwentside

  • Our worthy winners

    THREE North-East community groups yesterday shared a £5,000 prize fund for their outstanding Internet sites. Entries flooded in for the Best Community Website competition for sites set up through the CommuniGate initiative, run by Newsquest (North East

  • Little cheer as Elliott is ruled out of busy period

    SUNDERLAND have been forced to accept they are no nearer to knowing how long highly-rated striker Stephen Elliott will be missing from their Premiership relegation fight. It has emerged the talented, young Republic of Ireland striker has suffered a stress

  • Skipper takes the blame for Boro's Carling Cup exit

    A GLOOMY Gareth Southgate has shouldered responsibility for Wednesday night's Carling Cup quarter-final defeat to Blackburn, claiming: "I didn't do my job." The Middlesbrough skipper, who lifted the trophy when Boro broke their 128-year silverware duck

  • Burton's Bytes

    PROJECT GOTHAM RACING 3 Publisher: Microsoft. Price: £39.99. IF you want a title that will show the difference between current games and the Xbox 360 then this driving simulation is the way to go. It may be the third in a series that started on the Xbox

  • Inquest verdict on couple gunned down by terrorists

    TWO British aid workers from the North-East who had dedicated their lives to helping African children were gunned down by a terrorist group linked to al Qaida, an inquest was told yesterday. Childhood sweethearts Dick and Enid Eyeington were watching

  • Burke return crucial to relegation fight

    NEWCASTLE Falcons are hoping the return of Australian full back Matt Burke will help tip the balance in their Guinness Premiership relegation battle at Leeds on Tuesday (2.30). Burke sat out the two European Challenge Trophy ties against Italian club

  • Tanfield targets Middle East

    A COUNTY Durham plc has won two strategic contract - one of which will help it crack the Middle East market. The Tanfield Group's specialist airport vehicle maker Norquip won an order for a bespoke lift to transport passengers with disabilities, or VIPs

  • University breaks finance records

    NEWCASTLE University said its annual turnover had smashed all North-East records by reaching £276m. The annual accounts, which have just been published, show that the university's turnover for the academic year ending July 31 was £276.1m, almost 11 per

  • Service suspends 999 crew in probe

    AN ambulance crew has been suspended from work while allegations about their treatment of a dying nightclubber are investigated. News that the pair have been suspended while an investigation is carried out by the Tees East and North Yorkshire Ambulance

  • Wensleydale cheese makers hoping for bumper Christmas

    THE makers of Wensleydale cheese are hoping for record sales over Christmas as figures showed growth of 23 per cent in sales in Britain's biggest supermarket. Sales of Wensleydale Cheese, made by the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes, North Yorkshire, have

  • Badger is latest victim of illegal snares

    ANOTHER animal has been found dead in the North-East after it was caught in a snare. The badger, one of several creatures to have died in a similar way in recent years, was found by a countryside ranger at Beamish Burn Wood, also known as Carricks Hill

  • UK deficit at record high

    Profits taken by overseas companies and insurance claims from Hurricane Katrina sent the UK's current account deficit to a record high yesterday. The outflow of funds meant the balance of payments for the third quarter widened to £10.2bn, from £1.4bn

  • Plunkett stars on tour many players will be keen to forget

    WITH England's cricketers back on home soil for Christmas, Chief Sports Writer Scott Wilson picks out the successes and failures from a particularly unsuccessful tour of Pakistan. BATSMEN Andrew Strauss: 3 Awful in the Test series, with his four innings

  • Safe future for Bunny Burrows

    AN animal sanctuary will become a permanent fixture after receiving council backing. Bunny Burrows, in Whitefields Drive, Richmond, has been given permission by Richmondshire District Council to keep operating. The sanctuary, which provides a home for

  • Rural project wins contest

    A COMPETITION to recognise the best rural community projects has been won by a scheme based in Catterick. A1 Community Works Ltd has won the Village Ventures competition run by the Yorkshire Rural Community Council (YRCC). The scheme has been awarded

  • Celebrating Christmas in a medieval manor house

    VISITORS are enjoying a first midwinter look round a medieval manor house attraction, which is usually only open in the spring and summer seasons. Crook Hall, on the banks of the River Wear, just half-a-mile from Durham city centre, has been offering

  • Investigators searching crash site

    ACCIDENT investigators were yesterday searching the site of a helicopter crash in Perthshire in which a North-East man died. Police last night named one of the victims as Edward Lapsley, 56, of Rowlands Gill, near Newcastle. Another man, from Glasgow,

  • Fears over charity sale

    POLICE are appealing for information after concerns were raised about people "touting" for charity in Bishop Auckland yesterday. A group of people were selling tickets in Bishop Auckland town centre, offering an exotic holiday in Greece apparently in

  • Mobile phone mast bid refused

    A bid to erect a 52ft mobile phone mast opposed by 237 objectors in a town of about 900 people has been refused. The plan sparked fury in Masham, near Ripon, where applicants Airwave MM02 wanted to put up the mast on an entry to the town. But when the

  • No cards, but gifts for those in need

    HEALTH centre staff have decided not to send traditional Christmas cards this year - to help victims of domestic abuse. Nurses, administrative staff and emergency care practitioners at the Darlington Primary Care Trust centre donated cash instead and

  • Order from court lets police shut down a 'crack house'

    A DRUGS den was last night closed down after police obtained an order from magistrates to stop the tenants returning. People living and working near the former council flat made dozens of complaints about the activities of Leslie Dowson. Yesterday, magistrates

  • Town council unveils plans to improve sports facilities

    A COUNCIL has revealed it aims to improve sports facilities in Ferryhill -and redevelop its two main venues. Ferryhill Town Council has set the development of outdoor sports grounds at the top of its agenda for 2006. The council hopes to improve both

  • Historic bells find a new home

    THE much-travelled bells from a Teesside church have found a prominent new home as part of a £117,500 refurbishment. The bells, from the parish church of St Hilda's, were relocated in the 1970s to the rear of All Saints' Church, in central Middlesbrough

  • Congregation's sad farewell to church

    A congregation is saying a sad farewell to a 90-year-old North Yorkshire church which is crumbling away despite more than £1m being spent on its upkeep. St Mary's Anglican Parish Church, in the Cold Bath Road area of Harrogate, is being closed after a

  • Holly, 14, sends a message of peace

    THOUSANDS of Teesside residents and workers will be reminded every day next year of a schoolgirl's peace message. Artwork by 14-year-old Holly Price has been chosen by judges to illustrate a message of world peace for the front cover of 22,000 copies

  • Dispersal order considered for teenagers

    POLICE are targeting a group of troublemakers who are making residents' lives a misery. Officers are looking to impose a dispersal order in parts of Pickering to put a stop to the behaviour of what they say is a hard core gang of 11 teenagers. The orders

  • Kicking man's head 'very serious offence'

    A MAN accused of kicking an unconscious victim's head following a fight outside a pub was warned a prison sentence is likely to follow. Twenty-one-year-old David Holmes yesterday admitted assaulting the man, causing him actual bodily harm, in a short

  • Conservation status to preserve areas' special qualities

    THE creation of two conservation areas in Middlesbrough will move a step closer when council chiefs are expected to rubberstamp the schemes tomorrow. Proposals to protect the old town's heritage will result in stringent planning controls that should guarantee

  • Soldier ready to slalom her way to success

    A YOUNG soldier hopes to slide her way to sporting success when she hits the slopes in a top Army contest. Shelley Briggs, of Ferryhill, is one of 135 soldiers taking part in the Army's snowboarding championship on the Stubai Glacier in the Austrian Alps

  • Former inmate spared jail over gun purchase

    A FORMER inmate breached firearms regulations after buying an air rifle for use by his girlfriend months after his release from prison. When police visited her home, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in July, James Swainston Vint pointed out the .22

  • Surgery and pharmacy at hospital car park approved

    COUNCILLORS have agreed to allow outline planning permission for a surgery with a pharmacy on the site of a hospital car park. The proposed three-storey building, with a total floor area of 1,800sq metres, would be on the site of the staff car park at

  • Stabbed in the back for confronting yobs

    A MAN who rebuked a group of youths in a North-East town was hunted down then punched and stabbed in an attack that left him paralysed. Sixteen-year-old Kristofer Davies boasted to his friends that he had twisted the knife before he pulled it out of his

  • 'Jamie's school' to get new home

    THE school that featured in celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's TV series about junk school dinners is to get a new home. Eden Primary School, in Peterlee, County Durham, is on a split site, but it is to get a £6.4m building on the site of the former Ellison

  • Man denies theft of Bat Out of Hell

    A MAN has denied stealing a fruit machine from his employers and then making a statement to police claiming others had taken it, a court heard. Twenty-year-old Kiel Johnson, 20, is alleged to have bragged to a former girlfriend that he had taken the Bat

  • Teenager tore head off pigeon

    A PIGEON had its head torn off by a teenager in a busy shopping street, a court was told. Frankie Pearson, 19, left Yates's Wine Lodge, in North Road, Durham, took the bird, pulled its head off then put it in a bin and returned to the bar, said Sharon

  • The yearly ritual of returns

    OH gosh, yes, how we hate to be party poopers. There you are, still up to your neck in wrapping paper, sticking yourself to the sticky tape and lost the scissors, again. (Doesn't wrapping presents always take MUCH longer than you think?) And before you've

  • The yearly ritual of returns

    It may be a bore but taking things back is as much a part of Christmas as tinsel and turkey. Shoptalk helps you shift the unwanted gifts. OH gosh, yes, how we hate to be party poopers. There you are, still up to your neck in wrapping paper, sticking yourself

  • Agency takes on new CEO

    REGIONAL development agency Yorkshire Forward has appointed a new chief executive. Northallerton-born Tom Riordan, deputy chief executive, will succeed Martin Havenhand as chief executive early next year. He will become the youngest chief executive officer

  • False economy

    THE festive season can never be far away when the darts take flight at the sporting metropolis of Purfleet. As I'm still one of the Great Undished - that is I don't reach for the Sky - I don't get to listen to Sid Waddell's commentary. At 65 he apparently

  • Collins heads home with glowing report

    NEILL Collins has just two more games to go before he swaps League One for the Premiership. The Sunderland central defender signed a half-season loan at Hartlepool United in August which expires after next Wednesday evening's game with Swindon Town at

  • Support Our Port: Race for port sites' expansion intensifies

    THE race to bring thousands of jobs and millions of pounds worth of investment to the region intensified last night after the Government dealt a major blow to the expansion of a port. Despite overwhelming opposition from residents in Harwich, Essex, and

  • Comment from The Northern Echo: Finishing the job in Iraq

    WHATEVER the arguments over the decision to go to war with Iraq, Tony Blair is right to tell British troops that their continuing presence in the country is of huge importance. The war happened and the debate over its justification will go on. But our

  • Campaign hot on the trail of burglars

    COUNCIL bosses have launched a fresh crackdown on bogus doorstep sellers after figures showed part of the region had the highest rate of distraction burglaries in the country. Nearly eight per cent of all burglaries of homes in County Durham involve residents

  • Tiny disc could help combat cancer

    A VIBRATING disc the size of a dust speck could help diagnose and monitor common types of cancer and detect chemical weapons. The European Commission has awarded 12m euros to an international consortium to develop biosensor technology. Based on gyroscope

  • Go-it-alone plan by police forces

    TWO North-East police forces could go it alone with controversial merger plans aimed at creating a new force - leaving a third out in the cold. Police chiefs in Durham and Northumbria issued a joint statement that said they still favoured a single North-East

  • Rape threat made to council housing official

    A TENANT involved in a wrangle over rent arrears threatened to rape a council housing officer in poison pen letters sent to her office. Peter Fraser later said he wanted to repay her for the "misery" he claimed she brought him, in her role with Chester-le-Street

  • Councillor charged with theft

    THE former chairman of a North-East council has been charged with stealing thousands of pounds from a community association in his ward. Alex Clements, 60, who stepped aside as chairman of Wear Valley District Council, in County Durham, following his

  • 23/12/05

    ENGLISH PARLIAMENT: HELEN Cannam is back once again asking about the English, and once again she asks the wrong question. She asks what it means to be English (Echo, Dec 1), when the question should surely be when will the English be recognised? The UK

  • Turnberry still untamed

    One of the British Isles' real golfing gems is Turnbury, home of The Open Championship in 2009. Tim Wellock paid a recent visit to the spectacular course. GOD forbid that Turnberry is ever totally tamed. The wild, coastal setting is an essential feature

  • Ice rink to make way for city housing

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

  • Hodgson confident Quakers will rise to occasion

    CARLISLE United may be expecting their biggest crowd in over a decade when Darlington visit Brunton Park on Boxing Day, but David Hodgson is insistent his side will rise to the occasion. Ticket sales have been going so well that Carlisle club officials

  • Christmas messages from troops overseas

    Lance Corporal Ross Clarkson, 24, from Redcar, east Cleveland. Military job - chef. 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers "Hello mam, dad and sister Polly. Hope you are all okay and keeping well. Have a Merry Christmas. Also like to say Merry Christmas

  • Army officer expecting medical equipment tonic

    AS families prepare to exchange Christmas presents, an Army officer from the region is expecting an unusual present - an operating theatre. Lieutenant Colonel Bob Duncan, who heads the British military field hospital and medical provision in Iraq, hopes

  • Workers recommended to accept offer by Elementis

    UNIONS have recommended that workers accept an improved redundancy package put forward by troubled chemical company Elementis Chromium. More than 80 employees at the plant in Teesside met with union officials on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the revised

  • Madonna favourite is a North true brew

    BEER-LOVING pop queen Madonna has turned to the Yorkshire Dales to find her perfect Christmas tipple. The 47-year-old star will celebrate the festive period with her family, friends, and nearly 300 pints of Folly Ale. The beer is produced at Wharfedale

  • When sleep is a dangerous thing

    This week a York man was cleared of raping a woman because a jury believed he was sleepwalking at the time of the alleged assault. Health Editor Barry Nelson investigates the strange phenomenon of somnambulism. IN the dead of night Ken Parks rose from

  • Souness to ask Shearer the big question again

    FOR the second year in succession, Graeme Souness will spend the second half of the season trying to talk Alan Shearer out of retirement after admitting the Newcastle skipper was "impossible to replace". Shearer, who had initially been due to hang up

  • Coffee store opening

    COFFEE Republic pledged to open its first store in four years yesterday after drawing encouragement from its recently launched deli bar format. Nine of the firm's 46 outlets have so far been converted into delis - offering fresh food as well as coffee

  • Act looks to be the one to follow

    Howard Johnson and Graham Wylie are now firmly entrenched as one of jumping's superpowers and they unleashed another smart prospect at Ayr in the shape of Hard Act To Follow yesterday. The Irish bumper winner looks set for good things after making a highly

  • Date-rape man first in country to be jailed

    A DOORMAN who spiked a young woman's drink with a date-rape drug so she would submit to sex has become the first person in the country to be jailed for such an offence, according to the Home Office. The Northern Echo reported yesterday how Michael Wright

  • 'We can see how the money has helped'

    The southern coast of Sri Lanka was devastated by the Asian tsunami. In the second of a three-part series a year after the tragedy, Lindsay Jennings hears how one North-East couple helped to rebuild a stricken community. TONY and Myrtle Watson never intended

  • Terminal's bid to import liquified gas

    PETROL company ConocoPhillips announced yesterday that it is seeking planning permission to build a gas terminal on the banks of the Tees to import liquified gas. The company wants to build a facility that would allow gas at very low temperatures to be

  • On TV

    Deal Or No Deal (C4) WHO'D have thought this time last year that we'd be marking the TV comeback of Noel Edmonds and the success of a daily game show that's caught the public imagination in much the same way that Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and The

  • Buying a brick can help youth provision

    A TEESDALE youth group has launched a Buy a Brick appeal to help fund its bid for a new youth centre. Teesdale Community Resources (TCR), in Barnard Castle, hopes people will buy bricks for its proposed £1.2m centre at Harmire Road Enterprise Park. The

  • Plea to identify man in freight train tragedy

    POLICE are trying to identify a man who fell to his death underneath the wheels of a freight train at Newcastle Central Station. The man, who had no identification, is thought to be between 25 and 35 and had football tattoos. He was wearing a black pinstripe

  • Hospital 'sorry' for cancer diagnosis

    HOSPITAL staff have made a formal apology to an elderly man and his family after wrongly diagnosing him with cancer. Joe Willcock was distraught when he was told his 84-year old father, also called Joe, was dying from cancer and had only three months

  • Baby Lennox making progress, doctors say

    A BABY recovering from a lifesaving operation is making good progress. Doctors say Lennox Nicholson still has a long way to go before he is out of danger, but say they are happy with his progress. After moving out of the intensive care unit last week,

  • Recycle your tree

    PEOPLE in Darlington are being encouraged to recycle Christmas items and help the environment. The borough council has doubled its workforce and brought in extra wagons to ensure recycling collections continue over the festive period. Plain Christmas

  • Diamond celebration for duo

    SHE loves dancing and he has two left feet, but Joe and Susie Marsland are still happy stepping out together after six decades of marriage. Mr and Mrs Marsland, both 82, from Ox Close Crescent, in Spennymoor, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary

  • Warning - but no fines

    MOTORISTS near the Durham Tees Valley Airport will be warned, but not fined, by a new electronic safety device installed in the area. The speed warning signs have been installed on the A67 in a bid to cut down on accidents. The council has placed two

  • Government lobby under question

    COUNCILLORS have objected to plans for an all-party delegation to protest to the Government about a £3m cut in funding. Redcar and East Cleveland Borough councillors on Wednesday called on Redcar MP Vera Baird and Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland

  • All dressed up for the season

    STUDENTS donned crepe paper creations for a Christmas costume competition in school. Hurworth School Maths and Computer College held the "Creative Christmas Creations" contest yesterday, which saw teams of students dressing up in festive outfits. Designs

  • Taxi drivers prove couple's Christmas angels

    A COUPLE have dubbed town cabbies their "Christmas angels" after they were given a ride to see their family. Marie and Kevin Robinson, from Darlington, were given two train tickets to visit their son and grandchildren over the festive period. They were

  • Santa comes to call

    CHILDREN at Westview Day Nursery in Middleton St George enjoyed a special visit from Santa. Father Christmas handed out presents to all the nursery children, ranging from six months up to ten years old. He also handed out gifts to all the staff and gave

  • Keeping young from smoke

    AN initiative aimed at encouraging parents not to smoke near their children will come to a conclusion with a £100 voucher prize draw. Parents in Scarborough have signed up to a challenge to protect children from the harmful effects of breathing second-hand

  • Information sessions unveiled

    DARLINGTON Borough Council has announced the dates for information sessions offering details on its proposals for the future of education in the town. The events are being held in schools across the borough and are open to anyone wanting to find out more

  • Parents protest as council intervenes to block letter

    COUNCIL bosses have been criticised for preventing a letter from a Darlington secondary school being sent to its feeder primaries. Hurworth School sent parents at its school - and six primary schools - letters setting out its expansion plans for the future

  • Service for the bereaved

    PEOPLE finding the Christmas period difficult because of the loss of a child are invited to a church service tonight. Burnhill Way Methodist Church, in Newton Aycliffe, will host the 7pm service, created to comfort parents who have lost a child. There

  • Steel-theft raiders are spared jail terms

    Two raiders who were caught taking thousands of pounds worth of steel from an offshore engineering firm were spared jail yesterday. Kevin Dunn and Darren Gibson were part of a gang who cut the lock at a storage facility in Amec, Wallsend, North Tyneside

  • Driving on drugs earns ban for a year

    A DRIVER who was unfit to drive after taking drugs has been disqualified from driving for 12 months. Mark Lockerbie, of Westgarth Terrace, Darlington, admitted the charge when he appeared at Darlington Magistrates' Court yesterday. The magistrates heard