Author: David Walsh

North East History

From the Bauhaus to the ‘Bottom House’ at Boosbeck

David Walsh

It was a fascinating cultural mix involved with the work camps: well-meaning aristocrats, trade unions, desperate unemployed miners, European students and now a group of upper-middle-class, left-wing, London musicians thrown into the cultural melting pot.

North East HistoryPART 1

Twelfth Night: when the world was turned upside down in the North East

David Walsh
Lingdale Sword Dancers

The feast is normally celebrated on 6 January (marking the 12th day of Christmas), or on the Sunday following. It was popularly characterized as the weekend when ‘the world was turned upside down’; market towns and cities elected by lot ‘a Lord of Misrule’, masters became servants and servants masters – on a strict leash of course and normally for one day. This wasn’t just something we Brits got up to – it was similar to the continent

North Ormesby by-election: the end of Middlesbrough Labour’s Doggy days?

David Walsh

This weekend’s papers will be full of by-election news. The nationals will dissect the North Shropshire result until the cows in that lush green countryside come home. The Hexham Courant will devote, rightly, a deal of space to a by election there which deprives the Tories of an overall majority on Northumberland Council, whilst, if we […]

Looked After children: poverty and austerity in the North East

David Walsh

We’ve seen one of the timeless rituals of British politics played out yet again this month. The death of a young boy trapped in an effectively dysfunctional family, young Alfie Labinjo-Hughes, sparks a call for heads to roll in the local Solihull Council Children’s Services Department. Meanwhile MPs call for the keys to the cells […]

There’s no place like (a) home with HC-one

David Walsh

Viewers on Monday night may have seen on BBC1’s Panorama, a programme about a company, whose operational HQ is in Darlington, and which runs 39 residential care homes in our region. Stretching in an arc from Morpeth to Middlesbrough and across Tyne and Wear and Co Durham, this firm, HC-one, is a company predominantly concerned […]

Ben Houchen’s Teesport pickle

David Walsh

Oh dear. Why does history carry on repeating itself? It seems this is particularly true when it comes to Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen. Only last week I wrote of him stepping into dangerous waters of which he apparently knows little, with an ambition to become the promoter of a scheme for the Tees Valley […]


“There’s a hell of a lack of trains on the track”: HS2 and the North East

David Walsh

Anyone buying the Journal, Chronicle or the Teesside Gazette today is greeted by a synchronised front page, modelled on the old ‘Trainspotting’ film poster showing Boris Johnson  in the ‘rent boy’ Renton pose, along with other cabinet members being ‘sick boy’ and ‘spud’. The target? The government’s effective abandonment of the northern sections of HS2.  Good artwork […]

Ben Houchen: “Let someone else deal with the waste”

David Walsh

Amongst the great and the good at the Government’s Global Investment Summit 2021 in late October, one of the preparatory sessions to COP26, was a man in a dark flannel suit seemingly looking round for people to impress. Who was this man? The CEO of a vast multinational firm? A President or PM of a […]