TEN years ago, this week it was feared thousands of post offices would face closure.

The government faced calls to suspend the post office closure programme amid fears prompted by the Business and Enterprise Select Committee.

Post office management told MPs it could get by with a network of only 7,500 branches.

In the report, Business and Enterprise Select Committee chairman Peter Luff said there could be a further 4,000 post office closures, mainly if sub-postmasters retired and were not replaced.

He added: "There could be no compulsion (on the post office) to replace sub-postmasters who retire."

At that time, 37 branches had already been axed across the North-East and North Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson visited the North-East, meeting the region's upcoming fighters.

The retired fighter spoke at a sporting dinner at the Lancastrian Suite, in Gateshead.

Junior boxers from the Bilton Hall ABC club, in Jarrow, South Tyneside, received new boxing gloves from the man known as Iron Mike, who remains the youngest man ever to win a world heavyweight title.

Also, that week a North-East knife crime campaigner spoke of her shock after her best friend was stabbed to death – five years to the week after her own son was murdered.

Theresa Cave was told of anti-gun campaigner Pat Regan's death as she was preparing to mark the anniversary of her 17-year-old son's death.

Mrs Cave, of Redcar, who runs the Mothers Against Knives campaign, said: "I don't believe it. We were going to make something of the anniversary – to visit a few schools, go out and get posters up, get some awareness."

And British UFO researchers solved the mystery of a strange object snapped over Spennymoor.

Far from being proof of life on another planet, it seems the UFO seen over the town, may be something much closer to home.

Robert Rosamond, chairman of the British UFO Research Association, has examined the photo and reckons the picture is a blurred snap of a humble old homing pigeon.

He agreed to investigate the photo, taken by Barry Knaggs, from Derbyshire, last week, and said: "He's probably captured what looks suspiciously like a pigeon to me.

"Such limited visual information as exists within the object's captured profile certainly seems to conform to the outline of a pigeon."

Mr Knaggs, who sent the photo to The Northern Echo in the hope that someone may be able to identify it, said: "It looked like the typical fuzzy photo of a flying saucer."