IT looks as if we are now emerging out the other side of the election, although how long it will be before we are plunged back in is anyone's guess.

Only yesterday someone stopped me in the street and asked when they'd be getting their local history back now all the election nonsense was over. The answer was in this morning's paper.

I've also been stopped a couple of times by people lamenting the lack of updates on this magnificent Memories blog. So, inbetween keeping an eye on the Clegg-Cameron love-in in Downing Street, I've started to go through my emails and here are some snippets: ===========================

DES Graves has been in touch following the publication of two 1933 pictures of the village of Escomb in the Memories column of April 7.

Des has put together the village's local history website at One picture shows the Primitive Methodist Chapel.

Methodist meetings were originally held in an orchard in Escomb at the back of the Old Hall with the preacher standing on the stone steps leading to a barn. The first chapel was built in 1838, the second in 1860 but the Primitive chapel - Methodists enjoyed a good schism, splitting into Wesleyan, Primitive and New Connexion and probably more - was later still.

"It was taken over by the Salvation Army sometime after the First World War," says Des. "During the 1926 strike it had a great following, having farthing breakfasts and at night pies and peas.

"After the Second World War it was closed. A farmer from Hamsterly bought it, demolished it and used the bricks and timbers to build a cow byre."

The same picture, attached to this blog, shows the Royal Oak inn which was one of three in the village: the Bay Horse and the Angel Inn being the other two.

"The photo to the rear of Saxon Church is most interesting," says Des, moving on. "I have a photo of Fred Hall given to me by his family sitting in front of the hen house in the picture circa 1920-30. Fred was a local poet and a regular contributor to the Echo."

=============================== THE Echo carried a correction the other day because we had used a picture which purported to be actor William Hartnell, the first Dr Who. It was, in fact, actor Richard Hurndall who stood in for the late Hartnell in a 1983 BBC production entitled Five Doctors which celebrated the 20th anniversary of Who.

This means that Hurndall can lay claim to being "the Darlo Doctor" because he was born in the town in 1910 and went to Claremont Preparatory School, Scarborough College and then the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

He was one of the first hosts on pirate Radio Luxembourg in 1958, and his TV career included The Avengers, The Persuaders, and Bergerac. He was a gay antique dealer in Steptoe and Son, but it was his role in the sci-fi series Blake's 7 that marked him out as suitable to play the Doctor in the 20th anniversary special.

Hurndall died in London in 1984, but what a claim to fame!

============================ DOUGLAS Petty has been in touch following the articles about Riseburn (pronounced "Rice-burn") and Eden Pit, two lost County Durham industrial settlements near Middridge.

"I was born in Shildon in 1923 and lived in the property then called Eden Grange which until my father's retirement in 1960 was the home of the sewage works manager," says Douglas. "The sewage works area extended from the house to the beck which ran just short of Walkers Lane. Into it the cleaned water from the works was discharged.

"My father was JT Petty. He had served in the army in the First World War and had been demobbed as a lieutenant in the Northumberland Fusiliers in 1919.

"As far as I remember, the last house in Riceburn was demolished in about 1930 or 1931. We could see those properties from the living room window of Eden Grange."