LOOKING back to the week of October 23 to October 29, five years ago...

A community turned out in force to honour a former pitman who performed “innumerable acts of gallantry” during the First World War, in October 2018.

William McNally, of Murton, near Seaham, was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for his heroic deeds in northern Italy in October 1918.

Read more: ECHO MEMORIES: The changing face of Northallerton and its market cross - in pictures

Between October 27 and 29, the brave young sergeant seized German machine gun posts single-handedly, rushed enemy positions and exhibited leadership “beyond all praise”.

On Saturday, October 27, 2018, a century later, a commemorative paving stone was unveiled on Murton village green, with villagers, veterans, servicemen and women, local dignitaries and members of Sgt McNally’s family coming together to pay tribute.

A police and crime commissioner accused of humiliating and constantly criticising her staff was urged to address “an endemic issue around the perception of bullying” in her office, in October 2018.

While North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Julia Mulligan said the outcome of the complaints was “disappointing”, former members of her staff welcomed the recommendation by the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, on October 25, 2018.

Following the report’s publication, two of the complainants said that providing evidence “had been very stressful for all of us” and had “required us to reopen old wounds and in some cases revisit the sleepless nights, anxiety and depression – experiences we would sooner forget”.

Enjoy ad-light, uninterrupted content with a Premium Plus subscription to The Northern Echo now for only £6 for 6 months. Click here

The ex-staff members said: “If Julia takes on board the recommendations of the Police and Crime Panel and genuinely applies herself to training and mentoring and becomes a better leader as a result – then our struggle will not have been in vain.

“Our desire is that Julia – who has national responsibilities for police ethics – now effects real change within her working practice, so that no other member of staff has to suffer.

"If not, it is our hope that her party carefully considers whether she is really the person they want to represent them in future elections."

Mrs Mulligan said she had been shocked by the approach taken towards assessing the complaints and dismayed by the lack of attention paid to the evidence she provided.

An ambitious plan to attract 200,000 more visitors to Darlington every year by creating one of the country’s foremost railway heritage attractions is on course to be achieved, in October 2018.

As part of a drive to harness the power of the town’s heritage, it had been agreed that the flagship event of the 2025 Stockton & Darlington Railway bi-centenary celebrations will be based in and around the town’s North Road.

Read next:

It was hoped numerous schemes being launched will help Darlington become “a must-see destination” for visitors from around the world.

Among planned projects was a study to consider improving historic Pease’s House, home to railway pioneer Edward Pease, and where he and George Stephenson met for the first time.

Darlington Borough Council hailed the plans as a “game-changer” for the town, and Cllr Nick Wallis, cabinet member for leisure, said: “It’s been a question of looking at just how ambitious we can be. We now have a huge amount to do in not a lot of time, but all the pieces are in place with all the partners to realise the dream.”