This week, 15 years ago, residents took to the streets to protest against council plans to bulldoze up to 500 homes.

The homes on Stockton's Hardwick Estate would make way for a £160m borough-wide programme to revamp 10,500 homes and knock down 1,000 others.

Residents said they they liked living in the area and were worried that the whole estate could end up being bulldozed.

One of the protestors, John Farnell, said he had invested money into his home.

He said: "I'm just getting my life back on track and the last thing I need is this.

"There's been no consultation and we're not being told what's going on. People are very worried.

"We've noticed that other estates, like Roseworth and Ragworth, have had a fortune spent on them but we've had nothing.

"Yes, there are problems on the Hardwick estate, but we work together as a community to overcome them."

Also, that week, a wartime romance led to 60 years of marriage.

Thomas and Mary Tunstall, of Middleton-One-Row, near Darlington, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary after marrying on October 2, 1943, while Mr Tunstall was on leave from the Army.

The pair met while Mr Tunstall was stationed near Mrs Tunstall's father's farm, near Scorton, North Yorkshire.

Mrs Tunstall said: "We're always together and we appreciate each other's company, "

"He's always been a perfect rock to me. The weather was perfect on our anniversary day, just like it was when we were married."

Meanwhile a bike fanatic and business man delivered a boost to a racing team.

Ex-para Paul Windale sponsored the Adrenalin-Moto Buell team in next year's New Era Sound of Thunder racing series.

The 43-year-old, who owns Darlington's Pizza Perfekt firm, is backing the team owned by his sister, Debbie Purdy, and her husband, Matt.

Mr Purdy said: "This will be extremely helpful to us, particularly as he has come forward so early.

"This allows us to plan for tuning work over the winter without having to worry about the costs involved."

The Adrenalin-Moto Buell is the only bike of its kind to be raced in the UK at present, using a Harley Davidson 1200cc V-twin engine.