Section: Region


Haunted by the Border Readers

North East Bylines

Imagine sitting in a comfortable rural venue, lights turned low and a bar…and listening to stories being read to you by a wonderful and talented group of professional actors… That is what’s on offer this week in beautiful Northumberland…Humshaugh and Felton to be precise. Haunted is a delicious collection of ghost story readings for Halloween […]

The view of a Sunderland taxi company from the perspective of a disabled person

Rafal Marzec

I would like to share my observations on the accessibility of transport for disabled people in Sunderland and the approach to the subject by Station Taxis which provide such services. In addition to a few smaller companies, Station Taxis, Sunderland has one of the largest taxi service companies. For many years, many Sunderland residents used […]

A real buzz at the Angels of the North premiere

Louise Brown

North East Bylines had the pleasure of attending the premiere of series three of BBC’s ‘Angels of the North’  in Newcastle last night. This programme follows the lives of the staff at Sammy-Jo Pearson’s salon ‘Longlox’ in Gateshead. The series has now branched out to also follow staff at Pure Ink, a Newcastle tattoo parlour […]

International Dance Theatre in Billingham: The Summer Tour finale  

Robina Jacobson

  Pentland Primary School in Billingham hosted the two final performances of Balbir Singh Dance Company’s enchanting ‘The Two Fridas’ this month. Nearly two hundred of the school’s students aged between seven and eleven had the privilege of seeing a gem of performance art they will always remember.  ‘The Two Fridas’ dance-theatre Billingham International Folklore […]

“Getting the little things right” with Kenton councillors

North East Bylines

Newcastle Council and the social housing provider YHN have joined forces to unveil winter Estate Blitz/clean ups in the city neighbourhoods. The first will take place on Kenton Bar in November, which has been hit hard with fly-tipping and littering, followed by North Kenton in December and Montagu in January 2022. There is to be […]

Congratulations to Wearside firefighter, Annabel Evans

Abbie Rutherford

Wearside firefighter achieves distinction accolade as part of TWFRS apprenticeship programme Firefighter Annabel Evans, aged 27, of Sunderland has gained distinction grades ‘across the board’ after completing the Operational Firefighters Apprenticeship as part of the first-ever group of trainee firefighters to be entered on to the programme within TWFRS. Annabel is originally from Oxford and […]


The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker

Abbie Rutherford

The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker is a brutal yet strangely beautiful and visceral examination of child-on-child murder that simultaneously evokes repulsion and sympathy. It follows Chrissie, an eight-year-old child growing up in a poverty-stricken area with a mother who neglects her, and Julie, a young woman trying to bring up her daughter, […]

Poetry Corner

Corona Moon

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken

The corona moon opens a watchful eye over the flock, huddled in familial groups, dotted across meadows. Blossom snows down from ice-cream cones. Snow-covered flesh snuggles into snow-covered flesh. Lanolin comforted lambs feed from tupped ewes, drained at the close of day – all marked with loyal blue. The straw -haired farmer shepherds them into […]


The Three Bears at Northern Stage: bring your teddies!

Carol Westall

Kitchen Zoo heads back into the deep, dark woods this autumn with The Three Bears, for under fives and their grown ups at Northern Stage. The show runs from 25 October – 13 November 2021. The Three Bears was created by Kitchen Zoo in 2018 in association with Northern Stage. It is directed by Capapie’s […]

The North East on Screen: Get Carter (1971)

Phil Coghill

The North East on Screen is a new series of articles that will look at films and TV programmes made or set in the North East of England. For our first article we will be looking at possibly the most famous, the 1971 crime classic Get Carter. Based on the novel “Jack’s Return Home” by […]

£1 million donation supports North East students to succeed at Durham University

Robin Tudge

A major scholarships programme to help students from low-income backgrounds in North East England to study at Durham University has received a new donation of £1 million. The donation to the Durham Inspired North East Scholarships program, which supports exceptional young people from across the region to fulfil their potential at Durham, comes from Dr […]

Brexit crisis continues with bus driver shortages

Yvonne Wancke

Bus routes and services are experiencing disruption across the country, particularly in the North East. This is a knock on effect from the HGV crisis as bus drivers are being ‘poached’ by haulage bosses for hugely increased wages. The reasons for the bus driver shortages Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon, chairman of the North East […]

Thatcher’s lonely walk: a lesson for Boris Johnson?

Owain Gardner

North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, sums up the North East’s attitude towards Boris Johnson’s so-called “Levelling-Up Agenda” – there is quite literally no definition of what it actually is, despite the Prime Minister having been in Number 10 Downing Street for two years. Something which is born out in the representative poll of 10,000 […]

Angels of the North: interview with Bev and Sammy Jo

Louise Brown

I have just interviewed salon owner Sammy Jo and her ‘mamager’ Bev from the BBC series ‘Angels of the North’. This TV show follows the staff at their Gateshead Salon, Longlox, both at work and in their personal lives. This is a series I had genuinely watched throughout the depths of lockdown earlier in the […]

North East Ghost Stories Part 8

The ghosts of Chillingham Castle

Peter Lathan

Chillingham Castle, near Wooler on the English side of the Scottish Border, can lay claim to being not just one of most haunted stately home in the country but possibly the most haunted.

Black History Month

Representation Matters: a paradigm shift is needed

North East Bylines

Representation Matters is an upcoming event as part of Black History Month. The event is being organised by Loujane Alasi, who is Media Communications Officer for Success4All, an education charity based in Newcastle. Success4All is an education charity based in Newcastle. It prepares children and young people for a brighter future. Their Learning Hubs, Bus, […]


High wage economy: a response to Boris Johnson

James Sheerin

It’s not that a high wage, high productivity economy is a bad idea. It’s what we desperately need to improve the lot of everyone in our broken society. It’s the bare-faced insincerity of Boris Johnson, the man who dreamed up the argument, perhaps even as he spoke to Andrew Marr last Sunday, as a way […]

Michael Gove’s extraordinary tale of Teesside at the Tory Party Conference

Scott Hunter

Are those beer goggles you’re wearing, Mr Gove? Michael Gove visited the site of the South Tees Development Corporation in late September. When he spoke of that experience at the to the party faithful on Monday, many may have been enthralled by what he had to say. Many on Teesside, meanwhile, were left absolutely speechless.  […]

North East People

World’s oldest retired firefighter celebrates 108th birthday in style

North East Bylines

A war veteran from Walker who is believed to be the world’s oldest retired firefighter has celebrated his 108th birthday – with a visit from a fire engine. Evergreen Joe Dixon celebrated his special day style last Friday (1 October) when the crew of firefighters turned up at his Northumberland care home. Tyne and Wear […]


NUFC takeover: statement from Chi Onwurah, Newcastle Central MP

North East Bylines

The Newcastle United takeover has been completed. Below is a statement from Newcastle Central MP, Chi Onwurah. For Newcastle United fans – who make up the majority of my constituents – the last few years have been an agony of frustration, disappointment and deception, further poisoned by the undisguised contempt of the club’s owner and […]

National Poetry Day

Aut-toon Sonnet

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken

He always says ‘Just put a jumper on!’ – The thermostat war begins – Geordie-Mean-Time. Smells of burning pencils, crackles of nylon, Northumberland Street shows the seasonal signs. Skeletal, tinder leaves write windblown lines, In pleated polyester; patent-leather And wool-warm blazers, tape-measure tireless time. Freshers swarm the Bigg Market, denying weather. Glitt’ring schedules sparkle sequences […]

North East blue seats might turn red suggests new poll

Yvonne Wancke

A recent poll by YouGov suggests that if an election were to be held tomorrow, the Conservatives would almost certainly lose some of their recently gained so-called ‘Red Wall’ seats, including Redcar and North West Durham. A number of seats in the region were won by the Tories in 2019 but now, just as the […]

Tees Valley: Houchen helps those that help themselves

Scott Hunter

The shortage of HGV drivers continues to dominate the headlines, with Boris Johnson telling the world that the whole point of Brexit was to do away with the low-wage/high-immigration economy that we are living with and instead to train British workers to do higher skilled jobs, thus creating a high-wage/low-immigration economy. Time to look at […]

Is Ben Houchen getting cold feet about Teesside Airport?

Scott Hunter

Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the airline industry. So, the news that the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) recently provided Teesside Airport with a £10 million bailout came as no surprise. Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen, rightly pointed out at the time that this type of measure had been necessary for regional airports […]

North East HistoryPART 7

The first safety legislation: North East coal mines, 1800-1850

Audrey Marshall

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Without coal, Britain’s Industrial Revolution would have been impossible, The steam engine could not have operated without it; the iron industry demanded it. Coal was in fact at the very heart of the Industrial Revolution. In this North East History series, Audrey Marshall […]

North East Ghost Stories PART 7

Haunted stately homes in the North East

Peter Lathan

The Stately Homes of England,Though rather in the lurch,Provide a lot of chancesFor Psychical Research –There’s the ghost of a crazy younger sonWho murdered, in thirteen fifty-one,An extremely rowdy NunWho resented it,And people who come to callMeet her in the hall.The baby in the guest wing,Who crouches by the grate,Was walled up in the west […]