• Sunderland's double deal

    SUNDERLAND have finally completed the transfers of Sully Muntari and Stephane Sessegnon.With the transfer window closing on Monday night, Steve Bruce finalised his double deal with 48 hours to go after protracted negotiations. Muntari has moved on loan

  • Cockfield School; Class of ‘93...

    Following on from last Wednesday’s blog on old photographs, here’s one taken of Cockfield school leavers in 1993. I wonder how many of this lot still live in the village? The Headmaster in those days was Mike Carr, who, if memory serves me right,

  • Potential tough away tie for leaders

    Division Two leaders Newton Aycliffe could have a potential away tie at another promotion challenger in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Trophy. If Aycliffe beat Crook in their outstanding second round tie, then they could be away to Marske United

  • Darlington match off

    Today's Darlington match at home to Kettering Town has been postponed due to a frozen pitch. Despite much of the playing surface at The Northern Echo Arena being in bright sunshine this morning, part of the pitch remains in the shade. That section

  • League cup holders at home again

    Holders South Shields will have another home tie if they overcome neighbours Sunderland RCA in their re=arrangedt ie next week. Gary Steadman's side will be at home to the winners of the Stokesley v Billingham Synthonia tie later next month. The full

  • New Faces

    TEEN drama Skins returned to E4 this week. But for the second time followers would be hard pushed to recognise any of the regular characters. Once again there’s been a clearout of the cast. New term at college means a new bunch of hormonal students

  • Rocky road to romance

    ROMANCE in Soapland is never a smooth ride. It’s as bumpy as driving along a potholed road. At the best of times Fill the Fug in EastEnders (BBC1) isn’t the best boyfriend around. Relationships are more likely to end with an ex shooting him

  • Police probe as man shot

    A MAN has been shot in what police suspect was a targeted attack. At 12.52am today police found the 40-year-old at an address in Newarth Close, Lemington, Newcastle. He is currently receiving treatment for wounds to his leg. His condition

  • Gang show

    Stephen Graham’s role as Al Capone has been well worth waiting for. Steve Pratt reports. SOMEONE very special asked Liverpoolborn actor Stephen Graham to play infamous gangster Al Capone in a lavish new US television series – award-winning director

  • The Saturday interview: Northern spirits

    ITV’s new spooky drama is the story of three different families living in the same house – in the Sixties, Eighties and the present day – all linked by the spirit of a young girl who died in mysterious circumstances. Yorkshire actress Jodie

  • It’s wizard in Oz

    Ken Snowdon has a great time Down Under, even though his boomerang won’t come back. JOLLY tricky things, boomerangs. I’m being shown how to throw one by Paul Kelly, who’s Irish from his father’s side and Aboriginal from mum’s. We have plenty of

  • Bed and Bard

    Stuart Arnold finds that parting is such sweet sorrow on a visit to Shakespeare country. WILLIAM Shakespeare once wrote: “I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it.” It’s impossible not to agree with such sentiment as far as

  • With all bells and whistles

    A luxury villa in Majorca provided a wonderful holiday home for Graham Bright and his family – despite unusual noises in the night. TO observe at close range the grazing habits of the Majorcan goat, it’s essential to find a good vantage point

  • Costume drama

    Whether you’re looking for the outfit for your next fancy dress party or you just want a look behind theatre scenes, York Theatre Royal’s costume sale is sure to oblige, says Steve Pratt. PAULINE Rourke says it before I do and saves my embarrassment

  • The End of Discovery by Russell Stannard (OUP, £14.99)

    FORGET about space being the final frontier… it seems that limitations as to what the brain can comprehend allied to the exorbitant cost of applying new technologies will stop us going where no man has been before. Some will see the hand of God

  • To be... Hamlet

    Actor Giles Roberts says playing the Danish prince was one of his great ambitions. He tells Steve Pratt why. HAMLET is on a bus when we speak on the phone. Actor Giles Roberts is on a break in the theatre tour of the Shakespeare play and gearing

  • The partie’s over

    The chef may have left, but at least some of the happy memories linger on. MR Harry Blackwood, esteemed former editor of the Hartlepool Mail, wrote to Eating Owt in August 2003 about David Coulson, an 18-year-old from Wingate in County Durham who

  • Haunted (Dorling Kindersley, £14.99)

    IF your teenagers are built of stern stuff, then this ghoulish book may well appeal to them. Designed to look like the kind of historical tome you see soon-to-be doomed actors blowing the cobwebs off in horror movies, it runs the whole gamut of

  • Martin Lewis: Protect your cash

    New EU rules mean the way your money is protected in a bank has changed. ARE your savings safe? Well, they’re safer than last year anyway. Then the Government only guaranteed £50,000 per person per institution, now it’s £85,000. Yet don’t think

  • Pioneer of international games

    THE sports desk, it should be said, appears not greatly to have been overworked back in the distant-Echo days of 1872. Barely a dozen lines appeared beneath the heading “Sporting” on Monday, December 2, and those solely to accommodate the meeting

  • Spice up your home

    Darlington mum Nicola Thompson has created Peppercorn House – a business reviving antique furniture. Ruth Addicott talks to her about some of her fascinating new finds. WHETHER it’s an elegant French table or cast-iron bar stool in the shape of a

  • Sentencing

    I WAS shocked to read the report (Echo, Jan 29) of a man found guilty of assault days after being found guilty of discharging a firearm into a school classroom full of children. How on earth was he only given a suspended sentence for such a thing

  • Intolerance

    PETER WINSTANLEY (HAS, Jan 25) is right to say that religious people are no more inclined to violence than nonreligious people. But religion has, and continues, to be used as a justification for violence and brutal atrocities. This is especially

  • Thought police

    I WOULD like to commend Sharon Griffiths for her article “Getting dangerously close to the Thought Police” (Echo, Jan 28), in which she comments on how everyone is spying on their neighbour and nothing is private any more. The mirthless world

  • Parking

    I WAS astonished to read the comment in a letter by Jean Jones that councillors in Darlington can park in town all day for only 50p (HAS, Jan 28). There are hundreds of workers, often low paid, travelling into Darlington every day who have no

  • Miner miracles

    After ‘opening fire’ on colliers with resounding success in the Twenties, Sherburn’s Sally Army is still going strong. THOUGH they were truly extraordinary, though they were utterly to change lives, the events in Sherburn Hill of Saturday, May 20

  • Hospital beds

    REGARDING your article about revised plans for a proposed new hospital at Wynyard published on Thursday, January 27. Using the figures quoted, it appears that previously a case was put forward for a hospital costing £458m, providing 634 beds.

  • Volunteering

    ARE you a keen gardener? Do you like books? Do you like talking to people? Have you got some spare time on your hands? Then you should keep looking in The Northern Echo as opportunities may soon arise where you can volunteer for interesting work

  • Dogs

    ANDY BRAMFITT has a very good point when he suggests dogs should be licensed again (HAS, Jan 24). Such an idea comes at a time when Darlington Borough Council (DBC) could do with some extra income. DBC presumably has to pay for dog waste bins

  • Shooting

    A YOUNG person with a shotgun certificate is not allowed unrestricted access to a gun. No one in this country can buy so much an airgun pellet until the age of 18. A young person who holds a shotgun certificate is not allowed to shoot unsupervised

  • Andy Gray

    SO football pundit Andy Gray, sacked for his sexist remarks from a £1.7 million-a-year job with Sky TV, is in despair because football is his life. No problem. He is welcome to join the rest of us football-lovers at the turnstiles. Susan Willis

  • A short sighted decision

    THE Government ordered a fleet of nine Nimrod MRA4 surveillance aircraft at a cost of £4.1bn. It was supposed to replace the Nimrod MR2. Although the names are similar, the MRA4 variant was essentially a different aircraft. Four are finished

  • Neither yews nor ornament?

    WE have been at war with our forests for at least 5,000 years, and this week’s attempt to privatise them is just the latest skirmish. We’ve burned them for warmth, we have cut them down to build shelters, we have cleared them so that our sheep

  • All eyes on Doncaster for feature of the season

    IT doesn’t seem two minutes ago that Paul Hanagan and Richard Hughes were fighting out the jockey’s championship at Doncaster on the final day of the Flat season. A massive crowd was there to watch Hanagan win that epic battle, and a massive

  • Forests for sale

    IT frightens the life out of me to hear David Cameron putting our forests up for sale. We need a modern day Robin Hood who has the forest at heart. Hamsterley Forest is up for grabs in this scheme. I often complain that our country doesn’t belong

  • Top drawer

    The man who created the Little Mermaid, Aladdin and the Beast has been called one of the greatest Disney animators ever. Glen Keane tells Steve Pratt he embraces computer animation, but remains an artist at heart. NO ONE embodies the meeting of hand-drawn

  • Tight at the top in Bahrain

    by a single shot at the halfway stage of the Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain – and one of them got there with his putter in two pieces. A moment of anger after a succession of misses might have cost 47-year-old Miguel Angel Jimenez dear, but in

  • The Insidere January 29, 2011

    DON’T know what it is with Sheffield Wednesday and former North-East managers, but they have been linked with a second inside six months – and it might not suit every player at Hillsborough. Just months after ex- Hartlepool boss Chris Turner

  • Quakers hoping to lift spirits with return to winning ways

    HAVING put together a decent run of form that included a glut of goals at The Northern Echo Arena, Darlington’s optimism has been tempered with two disappointing draws. Last Saturday’s uninspiring performance at Tamworth followed by the midweek

  • Saturday Spotlight: Johnson puts his reputation on the line

    History will be made in Cardiff in six days’ time, when the Six Nations Championship begins on a Friday for the first time. Assistant Editor Scott Wilson looks at the six competing nations and assesses their chances of starting a World Cup year

  • Cooper looks at steady progress for change in fortunes

    MARK COOPER feels that he is slowly but surely winning the Darlington fans over. Having made a number of long-term signings this month, Quakers’ boss appears to be making steady progress in what he calls his “rebuilding programme” at The Northern

  • Clijsters seeking title in ‘Rod Laver swansong’

    KIM CLIJSTERS is hoping to end Li Na’s history-making run at the Australian Open today in what could be her last match in Melbourne. Clijsters admitted yesterday this is likely to be her final full season on the WTA Tour and, while her plans for

  • Underestimate Serb Djokovic at your peril

    There may be no Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal to block Andy Murray’s path to a grand slam win this time, but that does not mean the task is going to easy. Novak Djokovic has been the most impressive player in this year’s tournament, and his draw

  • Tremlett: We still believe

    ENGLAND paceman Chris Tremlett believes England can still win the one-day international series against Australia, despite facing three more must-win games in order to achieve it. After falling 3-0 behind in the series, England proved they have

  • Mowbray looking for bargain buys

    AS Tony Mowbray edged nearer to making his first signing of the January transfer window, the Middlesbrough manager conceded that he has had to scratch around in the bargain basement. Mowbray is well aware of the club’s financial position, with

  • Pardew hopeful of deal

    ALAN PARDEW is still confident of adding at least one new face to his Newcastle squad before the transfer window shuts on Monday night. The Magpies boss has been working hard in the last few weeks to try and bring people in but he admits any

  • Rugby round-up

    WEST Hartlepool have the chance to go top of North-East One if they can grab victory over Old Brodleians. The team have been playing well of late and their progress was halted after last weekend’s game against Northern was postponed due to weather

  • Falcons at full strength

    AFTER the farcical postponement of their trip across the English Channel last weekend, head coach Alan Tait is ready to name a full strength Newcastle Falcons team as they aim to secure a last four LV= Cup place. After leaving a number of top

  • Neville’s long-term goal for her team

    HER CV might not include the Premier League and Champions League medals her brothers have, but Tracey Neville has achieved just as much in netball, and now her sights are set on turning the North-East’s leading team into champions. Sister of

  • Now for the final

    ANDY MURRAY moved into his second successive Australian Open final yesterday after resorting to plan B to edge out David Ferrer in four gruelling sets. Murray was second best for the first set-and-a-half and the match could have gone in an entirely

  • Runners gather for park test

    MORE than 2,000 athletes will take part in today’s North of England Cross Country Championships at Herrington Country Park, Sunderland. Most of the North-East’s top cross country runners will be involved, though recently-crowned senior men’s

  • Liverpool move for Suarez, but Torres’ future unclear

    LIVERPOOL’S long pursuit of Ajax forward Luis Suarez is finally over after they agreed a deal worth up to £22.8m with the Dutch club. The 24-year-old has yet to pass a medical and agree personal terms but those two issues are unlikely to be

  • Richardson: Attacking options not a problem

    SUNDERLAND’S eagerly-awaited arrival of Stephane Sessegnon should be completed over the weekend and Kieran Richardson insists there are now sufficient attack- minded players to cope if another striker does not arrive before Monday’s night’s

  • Pounding a charitable beat

    A POLICE community support officer is swapping his local beat for the Great Wall of China to raise funds for charity. PCSO Paul Payne is taking up the 50-mile challenge for Kidney Research UK. The 40-yearold, of Yarm, near Stockton,

  • Couple spared jail over cruelty

    A MOTHER and her boyfriend who failed to get urgent medical treatment for their daughter’s painful leg fractures have been criticised by a judge. But the Stockton couple were allowed to go free after a court heard of the effect the child cruelty

  • Record sales

    CHRISTIE’S has announced record sales in the past year after the auction house enjoyed the best 12 months in its 245-year history. Works sold over the course of last year included Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, which sold for an

  • Romag nears a deal with bankers

    SPECIALIST glass maker Romag has confirmed it will report a loss to the City, but the company remains upbeat after slashing its debt and retaining a healthy order book. The company, based near Consett, County Durham, has postponed the announcement

  • Cumbrian Seafoods enjoys frying high

    THE country’s appetite for fish and chips has helped a loss-making North-East business emerge as the largest independent supplier of seafood to the UK’s supermarket chains. Next time you buy cod or prawns from your local Morrisons, Asda or

  • Budgie fancier suspects jealous rival stole his birds

    A TEENAGE bird fancier is devastated after thieves broke into his aviary and stole nearly 100 birds. Chad Kemp woke on Wednesday to find the shed at the back of his home in Emerson Way, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, had been broken into.

  • Market report

    THE London market took little cheer from positive economic growth figures in the US yesterday as slipping metal prices weighed on mining stocks. The US Bureau of Economic Analysis said GDP grew at an annualised rate of 3.2 per cent between October

  • Attacker branded ‘devil’ by victim

    A SERIAL sex attacker was last night starting a 15-year prison sentence after a judge ruled he needed to be detained for the protection of the public. Ian Coull – branded the devil by one of his four victims – was convicted of five rapes and a

  • Driving forward gender question

    ONE of the country’s top female racing drivers has spoken to students about the importance of gender equality. Amanda Whitaker’s visit to Darlington College had been booked for months, but became all the more relevant in the light of the recent

  • Passionate exchange during jobs tribunal

    A CHURCH minister denied gambling with the future of a homeless charity during passionate exchanges at an employment tribunal. On the second day of the tribunal in Newcastle yesterday, representatives of the Salvation Army and the Darlington-based

  • Jury convicts boyfriend over car park death

    A FORMER barman has been found guilty of killing his girlfriend who fell to her death from the roof of a multi-storey car park. Shaun Foley, 45, was acquitted of the murder of Teresa Parkin, 29, on June 10, last year, but found guilty of her manslaughter

  • Children in a flap over dive-bombing crow

    PUPILS are having to take cover from a crow that divebombs them at school. The bird swoops on children as they play at St Mary’s RC Primary School, in Sunderland. Parents and pupils have been tormented by the bird since early last month. The

  • Flat-pack faultline

    PLEASE, no. Education Secretary Michael Gove is considering prefabricated classrooms as a way of saving money and providing a replacement for the Building Schools for the Future programme that he scrapped. Children of the Fifties, Sixties and

  • Flat-pack schools plan

    CHEAPER “flat-pack” schools – with much smaller classrooms – will be offered to headteachers whose rebuilding schemes were axed, it was revealed yesterday. Education Secretary Michael Gove said the designs, to be built off-site, would offer

  • Cable tries to reassure region on European aid

    THE North-East can be “confident” it will still receive crucial European development aid despite a shake-up that will hand decision-making to London, Vince Cable has insisted. The Business Secretary said match-funding would be available even

  • Bomb victim’s partner pays price for legal win

    A JUDGE found in favour of the former girlfriend of a Royal Marine from the North-East who was killed in action in a dispute with his family over a £290,000 will. But Rachel Douglas was awarded less than relatives of Sergeant John “Jacky” Manuel

  • MP vows to fight hospital changes

    AN MP has vowed to fight “tooth and nail” any plan to strip her local hospital of acute services. Jenny Chapman, Labour MP for Darlington, was reacting to rumours that officials were considering the idea of concentrating all of County Durham’

  • Goalie who ‘died’ meets his saviour

    AN amateur footballer jumped off his hospital bed last night to give an emotional hug and thank the man who saved his life after he “died” on the pitch. Previously fit and healthy, 53-year-old goalkeeper Dave Orr met his saviour, Darren Cole,

  • Playing fields litter 'getting out of hand'

    LITTER in playing fields in Thirsk is getting out of control, an official of the trust that looks after them has said. Carrs Field, which is actually two fields, near St James Green in the town, has been a recreational area for many years since

  • 'Headlong rush' to make cuts hits park

    A NATIONAL park authority has revealed plans to shed 30 workers and slash services after losing a third of its funding. Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s (YDNPA) £5.7m annual budget will be reduced by just under £2m over the next four

  • End of fund for jobs sparks angry debate

    A FUND which has helped create dozens of jobs is being scrapped because of ideological differences, councillors have claimed. The accusations came in a bitter meeting of Darlington Borough Council on Thursday evening. Council leader John Williams

  • MP vows to fight hospital changes

    AN MP has vowed to fight “tooth and nail” any plan to strip her local hospital of acute services. Jenny Chapman, Labour MP for Darlington, was reacting to rumours that officials were considering the idea of concentrating all of County Durham’

  • Hundreds join forces to oppose library closures

    ANGRY communities are considering legal challenges and marching on county hall in their bid to save their libraries from closure. The campaign against North Yorkshire County Council’s plans to withdraw funding from 24 of its 42 libraries gathered

  • Teenager suffers head injuries in road accident

    A FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD boy has suffered head injuries in a road traffic accident. The accident happened on Aberdeen Road, Ouston, near Chester-le-Street, County Durham, at just after 7.40pm on Friday evening. A VW Golf was travelling at