TWO former vice-chancellors of Durham University are to receive honorary degrees when its new £10m research facility opens at Stockton next week. Emeritus professors Sir Frederick Holliday and Evelyn Ebsworth will receive the honours when the Wolfson Research Institute opens next Monday. Acclaimed neurologist Lord Walton of Detchant and former General Medical Council president Sir Donald Irvine will also be presented with honorary degrees.

NEW POST: North-East Euro MP Dr Barbara O'Toole has been elected to serve on the executive committee of the Labour Party Group in the European Parliament. She said she was delighted to receive the backing of colleagues and would be in a strong position to influence Labour Party policy relating to parliamentary business affecting the UK and the North-East.

DAY TRIP: A Hartlepool women's group has been given a £1,560 National Lottery cash award to help them celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee by visiting Alnwick Castle and water gardens, Northumberland. Members of the Hartburn Townswomen's Guild will also use the cash for a dinner at a country house hotel.

THEATRE FIGHT: A protest group opposed to the planned closure of a Teesside theatre has organised a public meeting. The Save Our Theatre group will hold the meeting at Billingham Forum next Monday. Members want anyone with thoughts on Stockton Borough Council's plans to abolish the theatre to air their views. The meeting starts at 7pm.

HOUSE FIRE: Firefighters were called to a flat in Netley Grove, Middlesbrough, on Saturday night after a blaze broke out in a hallway. Fire officers from Middlesbrough and Grangetown stations tackled the fire, which caused 20 per cent damage to the hallway and slight smoke damage to the rest of the flat. No one was injured.

TABLE TOURNAMENT: The Asda store at Thornaby gave customers the chance to show off their skills at table-top football at the weekend. The overall winner will now go through to regional semi-finals, to be held at another Asda store in the region, leading to the Grand Final in Manchester later this year.

BIRD SHOW: Ormesby Hall, Middlesbrough, will host live displays of falcons, eagles, owls and other birds of prey on Sunday, June 16, from 2pm to 4pm.