A motorist had to be cut free from his car by firefighters after it crashed into a tree on the A167 at Beaumont Hill, Darlington, at 4.30pm yesterday. The man was taken by ambulance to Darlington Memorial Hospital suffering head and chest injuries.

FIRE PROBE: Police are investigating a fire which started in a three-storey house in Corporation Road, Darlington, at abut 2am yesterday. It is believed squatters may have been in the building before the fire started.

TOP GRADE: Two pupils at Hurworth Comprehensive School achieved the top grade in standard assessment test examinations. James Chapman gained the exceptional grade in science, while Paul Severs achieved his in mathematics. Overall, 81 per cent of pupils received level five or above in science and 77 per cent or more in maths, a 30 per cent improvement on last year.

SUMMER FAIR: Howden-le-Wear Methodist Church is holding a summer fair tomorrow, at 2.30pm, in the community centre.

BARBECUE CASH: A barbecue at Sedgefield's Ceddesfeld Hall in aid of the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust raised £800. The event was organised by villagers Geoff Hughes and Peter Jones, who are planning a cycle ride in Mexico in aid of the trust.

DANCE CANCELLED: A dance at Middleton-in-Teesdale Working Men's Club tomorrow has been cancelled.

CHURCH ANNIVERSARY: Cotherstone Methodist Chapel, near Barnard Castle, is holding anniversary services on Sunday at 10.30am and 6.30pm.

FANS MEETING: Shildon branch of the Sunderland Supporters' Club is holding a pre-season meeting at Shildon Working Men's Club on Thursday, at 7.45pm.

SUMMER SCHOOL: A one-week drama school is being held at Darlington's Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College from Monday to Friday, July 22 to 26, for youngsters aged 13 to 16. The school runs from 9.30am to 4pm each day and costs £43. For details telephone (01325) 461315.

ROAD RESTRICTIONS: Traffic lights will be operating in Palm Bridge Road, Middleton St George, near Darlington, from next Monday, for four weeks to allow construction work.

FOOTPATH SCHEME: Gladstone Street, Darlington will have road restrictions for two weeks from Monday, while Darlington Borough Council carries out footpath alterations.

ARTHRITIS GROUP: The Darlington branch of Arthritis Care meets at Darlington Memorial Hospital's social club, in Hollyhurst Road on Wednesday, at 7.30pm. Guests are Weardale Sound.

MUSIC CONCERT: The Carol Andrew Singers, from Darlington, will perform at St Mary's Church, Thornton Watlass, near Bedale, tomorrow at 7.30pm. For tickets call (01677) 426211.