Day 501, Friday, 16 July, 2021 – Where Has the Time Gone? Look through my Journal entries for the last couple of months and what do you see? My usual ramblings and meanderings? I’ve been a bit more testy than usual, perhaps? Probably. But really, not much different, eh? The mixture as before? TV, writing […]
Esken, the company behind struģgling Stobart Aviation Ltd, has returned its quarter-share in Teesside International Airport for a “nominal” sum. The aviation sector has been blindsided by Covid-19. However, Stobart Aviation Ltd posted losses of £53 million in the year to 29th February 2020 – before the first lockdown. Should the airport be sold before 25 […]
Thousands of EU flags are expected to pop up outside public buildings around the UK very soon. This is because the Westminster government is keen to receive eligible post Covid funding from the European Union. The Independent reports that: “Guidance issued to local authorities by the communities ministry this summer says the blue and yellow […]
On Friday 23 July, twenty-three Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) new recruits passed out in the sunshine on the parade ground of Service Headquarters at Barmston Mere Training Centre in Washington. Intensive training Over the past 13-weeks the new recruits, aged between 19 and 40 years old, have been experiencing an intensive […]
Darlington-based structural engineering firm Cleveland Bridge has collapsed into administration, it has been announced. Its entire workforce of 230 is now under threat of redundancy. The firm, in existence for 144 years, has been owned by the Saudi al-Rushaid group since 2000. The crisis has occurred despite the firm having a full order book. So, […]
ORCA is one of the UK’s leading whale and dolphin conservation charities dedicated to the long-term protection of whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) and their habitats in UK and European waters. Founded in 2001, ORCA work to monitor vulnerable cetacean populations and help to protect threatened marine habitats. Working with governments, research […]
On 23 March 2020, the Prime Minister delivered a very simple instruction to the British public: “you must stay at home.” Since this dependence day, and the introduction into popular discourse of the word ‘lockdown’, people have adapted to a host of alien measures and customs. Social distancing, mandated isolation, face cloths, PPE, and those […]
Beautiful photographs I suggest that the photo is absolutely beautiful. The pandemic has had few positive aspects, but one of them certainly is the appreciation for those wonderful workers who built this country up and keep it running each and every day. And this photograph shows the rightful pride key workers should have in what […]
Cummings followed the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) with two easy, false arguments: the money spent on more politicians could be spent on doctors; and the Assembly would raise Council Tax. In hindsight it could be Brexit: The Prequel.
A broad, cross-sector coalition of North East organisations has come together today (21 July 2021) to urge the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reverse the planned £20 a week cut to Universal Credit which will hit hundreds of thousands of low-income households across the region this autumn. Writing jointly to the Chancellor as organisations “committed […]
The last time that we explored the education committee meeting led by Sir Kevan Collins, we explored the importance of parental involvement within education, the future of Ofsted and more about the education recovery package. This are a few of the highlights from the next twenty minutes. Further funding? Sir Kevan was asked if there […]
The Ladyboys of Bangkok graced Middlesbrough Theatre on 12 July for an exciting night of music and glamour during their Flight of Fantasy 2021 tour. Due to social distancing, the show was split into multiple performances over a few nights. Audiences remained socially distanced and were required to wear masks. It was a different experience […]
I tested positive on Tuesday 13 July following a PCR test the previous day. However, I feel like I have dodged a bullet as so far, my symptoms have been relatively mild. I did a lateral flow test on Sunday 11 July just prior to the big England v Italy match and that was negative but I […]
In 2012 I was asked to direct a revival on my first play ever to get a professional outing (on tour in 1975, no less!), a version of The Mysteries, as a community production for the Customs House in South Shields. It featured amateur actors and choir with a professional production team and we performed […]
Regional child poverty campaigners have renewed calls for an end to the government’s ‘two-child limit’, after figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions today (15 July 2021) show that almost 14,000 families – including at least 42,000 children – across the North East are now affected by the policy. The two-child limit The two-child limit […]
A vote in the House of Commons yesterday reaffirmed the government’s commitment to reducing the UK’s overseas aid budget. This, it maintains is necessary on account of the unprecedented conditions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. Figures published today by the BBC show that, while overseas aid amounted to £14.5bn in 2019, it is projected to […]
I would like to hypothesis that the greatest success of this ten-year government is to keep the underclass in their place. That is as far away as possible from the elite. And poor, uneducated and hungry. We are run by the elite for the elite. Any other thoughts are pure fantasy. I think that it would […]
We used to think that poverty was something that mainly visited the unemployed, the homeless, those who were far from the labour market through a combination of bad luck and poor life chances. However the shocking phenomena of in-work poverty has been growing year on year even before the pandemic laid waste to the economic […]
Day 369, Saturday, 6 March, 2021 : A most unwelcome anniversary of shielding One year to the day since my self-isolation/shielding/incarceration/call it what you will began. Could anyone in early March 2020 have imagined that we would be in a third lockdown a whole twelve months later? Could anyone have conceived what lockdown would mean for […]
A £1.7M city programme of children’ summer activities will provide free healthy food and things to do during August. There are activities for children and young people from July 30 2021. Best Summer Ever 2021 The government funded programme (Holiday Activity Fund) known as the Best Summer Ever 2021 is being spearheaded by Newcastle Council […]
Local theatre director and writer reflects on the process of becoming a writer.
In the last two decades of diplomacy, perhaps the most successful move to thaw frozen relations has been a Friendship Tour to the secretive state by Middlesbrough Women’s Football Club.
Delapenha turned down a transfer offer from Manchester City to stay with his wife-to-be, local schoolteacher Joan Crawford. The decision endeared him to the fans. He was always popular, but there was a racist undercurrent, and with any minor mistake the racial epithets would fly. Remarkably it didn’t put Lindy off his game.
History is like the tide coming in; sometimes you see it, sometimes it floods you without warning. The 21st Century started like the tide you can see; a cleaning torrent of optimism that swept doubt aside, giving us what now seems like blissful prosperity, culture and awareness. We even had decent football with Sir Bobby […]
One shrewd editorial policy at the outset set the tone which was that, while those involved in setting up the project shared an interest in politics, Bylines was interested in everything. No boundaries were set on the scope of its content. As a result, Bylines publishes a range of material much more diverse than any regional newspaper: poetry, international affairs, profiles of local sporting legends, it’s all in there.
Over the summer, I was looking for something productive and academically engaging to do in the run up to my dissertation year. With all of my assignments handed in and my marks handed back, I needed something to do over the summer that would help me get out of burnout and focus on something other […]
I have a friend who declares she is apolitical. She is intelligent, well-read, always learning something, active in community groups and environmental campaigns. Decisions are made that she does not agree with, yet she still declares she is not political? This outward projection of neutrality doesn’t make sense, or does it? Neutrality serves only to […]
Boris Shaftoe’s all at sea Silver shekels promised me; Red wall bribed for all to see Now watch Boris shaft ’em! — CHORUS: Boris Shaftoe’s far from fair, Lies behind his yellow hair, Corona-land for ever mair, Bloody Boris Shaftoe! — Boris Shaftoe’s conscience’s slim, Shame about the rest of him; Population kept in trim, […]
There’s a financial weather warning in place across the North East. Every day a blizzard of banknotes swirls around the region, smothering the press with good news: Towns Deal millions here, Freeport billions there. And with it a warm front of jobs, jobs, jobs. As we gaze on in wonderment are we seeing a U-turn […]
This week the Guardian reported that the North East of England is now the nation’s Covid-19 hotspot. Most cases are among the largely unvaccinated under-25s, according to local health leaders. Something weird Professor Christina Pagel, member on Independent Sage (@chrischirp) tweeted “Something weird is happing in the North East”. She discussed the worrying trend that […]