LOOKING back to the week that was June 24 to June 30, five years ago...

A WARTIME angel shared her memories of ammunitions manufacturing during the Second World War ahead of Armed Forces Day in June 2019.

Dora Mattrick, 96, was just 20-years-old when she started working at ROF Aycliffe, a royal ordnance factory in County Durham.

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She was an Aycliffe Angel, a group of mostly female workers who made munitions in a huge site of over 1,000 buildings covering 867 acres that occupies Newton Aycliffe industrial estate.

The job was dangerous and many of the workers lost hands and fingers in terrifying explosions.

The Northern Echo ran a campaign more than 20-years-ago to win recognition for the thousands of workers.

Elsewhere, music and laughter filled a park when hundreds of people gathered for the annual Great Get Together to honour the memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.

Families came together in Darlington’s South Park for a celebration of her life and show the strength of unity over the power of division, in June 2019.

The theme of the event, organised by the Jo Cox Foundation, was ‘Let’s Get Back Together’.

More in Common Darlington organised the event in the park and chairman Peter Greenwood echoed the sentiments of the message.

He said: “I think it has been even better this year than last – everyone has come together to mark the occasion.

“Hopefully, it will become a regular feature in the calendar and it will continue to show that people are stronger together.”

The idea behind the 2019 event was the chance for people across the country to reconnect with old friends, neighbours and family members and to meet others in their communities who they may not already know.

Amongst the people marking the occasion was Darlington MP Jenny Chapman who gave an impassioned speech in memory of her friend and former colleague.

“It is a very poignant event for all the people who knew Jo and shared her ideals,” she said.

“This shows that people have more in common than there is dividing us – people have to come together to overcome the division in society.”

A real-life “sheep-pig” was settling into life as one of the flock after being adopted by a group of lambs, in June 2019.

Female piglet Alistair was firmly a part of the flock at the farm at East Durham College’s Houghall campus, on the outskirts of Durham city.

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Nicknamed the sheep-pig of Houghall – a reference to the popular children’s book by Dick King-Smith – Alistair, a 13-week-old saddleback, melted the hearts of students at the college with her antics.

The piglet ended up being part of the gang after she kept on breaking out of the pen she was being kept in so she could be fed by hand and continued living with the lambs for about a month.

Keith Cook, manager at the farm at Houghall, said: “She was the runt of the litter and when the rest of them came to be weaned she wasn’t ready.

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“The mother didn’t have any milk to give her so we took her and brought her down to keep with some orphaned lambs which were getting fed by hand.

“She has her own pen but she kept getting out and going in with the lambs so she lives with them now. She thinks she’s a sheep now.

The sheep are fine with it – they all cuddle up together and play together.”