TODAY'S collection of pictures is from the Barnard Castle files in The Northern Echo's photo-archive. You think of Barney as a picturesque Teesdale town but the pictures show another side of it: it was a town of huge mills and great violence – well, there was a military barracks at its heart. If any of the pictures bring back memories, or you have any information about the barracks or any of the mills, we'd love to hear from you. Please email

MEMORIES 462 concentrated on the history of one of County Durham's most remarkable, and irreplaceable, buildings: Redhills, the "pitman's parliament", which is in the shadow of the railway viaduct in Durham City.

This week, as you may have seen, the National Lottery Heritage Fund granted £400,000 to the Durham Miners' Association to carry out emergency repairs on the building with a view to giving it a further £3.8m to carry out a transformative restoration which will turn it into a cultural and educational centre of the coalfield. Without this money, consultants working on the project say Redhills would be in "severe jeopardy".

Since it was built in 1915, it hasn't been the most open of buildings, particularly since the majority of the pits closed in the 1960s. However, that is changing, and guided tours are being held on the first Sunday of every month from April until September. These tours, of course, will include the "pitman's parliament" itself, which is a stunning arena. The first tour is on Sunday, April 5, but places are limited. Book via the website A standard ticket is £6