Section: Region

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 […]


Post-pandemic comedy and female empowerment with Sarah Millican

Katie Maughan

Award-winning British comedian Sarah Millican is currently in Middlesbrough for her Bobby Dazzler tour, gracing Middlesbrough Town Hall with plenty of laughter. Sarah made the audience feel welcome on her first night in Middlesbrough, bringing everyone in to share their lockdown experiences and having a laugh alongside herself. For a night of relatable pandemic anecdotes […]

Welcoming the firefighters of tomorrow

North East Bylines

A new generation of firefighters have pulled on their uniform this week after one of the largest recruitment drives in recent years. Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has announced 36 recruits have started their training at their headquarters in Washington. The trainee firefighters began their 12-week training programme on 27 September and […]

It’s colder up north: a winter of discontent beckons

Peter Benson

Every winter we take the cold weather for granted. However, this year it’s going to cost us all so much more in heating bills. On 1 October gas and electricity prices go up by 12%. How many of us can really afford all these prices hikes, along with fuel and food prices rocketing, all largely […]

Simon Clarke says shortages are across Europe and not caused by Brexit

Yvonne Wancke

Today Simon Clarke, Treasury Minister and MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said, on Radio 4 Today that the fuel shortages are not unique to the UK: “The idea that this is just a British problem is fundamentally wrong.“ He claims that it is a problem shared across Europe, specifically mentioning Germany and Poland. […]

A right worrit…nothing like my mam…

Peter Lathan

I think it was on Twitter. I think it was, but I’m not sure. Not that it matters. Not really. Anyway, be that as it may, I read that those people who prefer to watch old TV series or films which they’ve seen before, rather than new, almost certainly suffer from anxiety. What a load […]

Blackadder at the People’s Theatre, Newcastle

North East Bylines

“To you, Baldrick, the Renaissance was just something that happened to other people, wasn’t it?” If there’s one thing we need right now, it’s a good laugh. So the People’s Theatre in Heaton tell us that they are delighted to oblige by bringing you the BBC comedy classic Blackadder II. As Blackadder strives to use […]

A fresh opening for Live Theatre

North East Bylines

Live Theatre, Newcastle reopened on Thursday 2 September and returning audiences are benefiting from a capital investment programme which has delivered significant improvements to the quayside venue’s ventilation and heating system. The works, part of Live Theatre Fit for 50 initiative to decarbonise the theatre, were supported using public funding by Arts Council England and […]

North East Ghost Stories PART 6

The Alnwick vampire

Peter Lathan

In the eleventh century our protagonist was a servant to Lord de Vesci of Alnwick Castle, a couple of hundred years before the Percy family bought it. It still remains in the Percy family and the current owner is Ralph Percy, the 12th Duke of Northumberland. But that’s irrelevant so let’s get back to the […]

Winter is coming

Sally Young

October will be a month of dread for too many people in the United Kingdom. It is when six million of the poorest households will lose £20 a week because of benefit cuts. The Job Retention Scheme, better known as furlough, comes to an end. On top of this, the fixed cap comes off energy […]


Should Middlesbrough be granted city status?

Scott Hunter

Middlesbrough mayor, Andy Preston, has been asking for suggestions why Middlesbrough should be granted city status. The informal opinion poll he commissioned in the town, predictably came back with the result that people are overwhelmingly in favour. After some reflection, I decided to contribute my opinion, but in so doing I think there is a […]

North East HistoryPART 6

The road to safety legislation in North East coal mines 1800-1850

Audrey Marshall

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 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 takes a […]

Waves: exciting new music festival in Sunderland

North East Bylines

Independent today announces Waves, Sunderland’s all new multi-venue music festival. Waves will see artists from across the region perform on Saturday 6 November across five different venues in the city, including The Peacock, Independent, The Ship Isis, The Bunker and Live Lounge. Ben Richardson says: “We’re super excited to finally be launching Sunderland’s very own […]

Industrial action ballot by Stagecoach drivers

North East Bylines

More than 800 drivers and engineers at Stagecoach North East have called ‘time’ on the management’s ‘divide-and-rule’ tactics on pay and will be holding a ballot for industrial action, including the option to strike, Unite the union said today (Wednesday 22 September). The ballot for strike action and industrial action short of strike action opens […]

BBC makes biggest investment in the North East for decades

North East Bylines

The BBC is to make its biggest investment in the North East of England for decades as part of a new partnership with the region. The BBC will spend at least £25m over the next five years right across the North East to fund network TV production, talent development and support for the creative sector. […]

The bigger the lie: Houchen’s alternative facts about the Dorman Long Tower

Scott Hunter

The Dorman Long Tower was demolished on Sunday 19 September. The engineers’ report that occasioned its demise was published on Monday. Some will be unsurprised to learn that Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen’s, description of its contents bears little resemblance to reality. He has taken a few risks in the process. Will they pay off […]

Dance City premiere at Festival of Thrift

North East Bylines

Carlos Ara’s ‘Sea Saw’ has been announced as the first co-commissioned outdoor work for Dance City and the Festival of Thrift. The contemporary dance piece will premiere at the festival which is taking place this weekend on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September 2021, in the village of Kirkleatham, near Redcar. The Festival of Thrift […]

Energy crisis sparks food and beer shortages amid local job losses

Peter Benson

We must not downplay the seriousness of the current energy crisis. Higher gas and electricity prices on top of other price increases are a real problem. There is a potential for blackouts and job losses. Whilst the government says there is no scarcity of energy at the moment, winter is coming. Why is there an […]

Take a hike, BBC2: interview with Angus

Phil Coghill

BBC 2’s brand new series Take a Hike begins this month. The series consist of five episodes Monday to Friday each week, with five new participants every week walking across parts of England. Each hiker hosts their own episode where they choose the location, hoping to show the best walks the UK has to offer. […]

North East HistoryPART 5

Ventilation and profit in North East mines 1800-1850

Audrey Marshall

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 takes a look at the issues of safety and eventual legislation for […]

Secret Kingdom 500, An epic road trip around the north

Johnny Walker

The secret kingdom 500 is no walk in the park, some of the roads are narrow, some are steep and challenging. The route lets you to discover the best that the ancient kingdom of Northumbria has to offer, from magical and mystical castles, stunning beaches, amazing local produce, with fresh from the sea and land specialties, quaint […]

North East Ghost Stories PART 5

Beware of Peg Powler!

Peter Lathan

“Beware o’ Peg Powler! Don’t tha go near to t’river bank!” That’s what generations of Teesdale parents have told their children. But it’s not just children that should take heed. Peg will grab anyone who gets too near the water’s edge and will drag them to their death in the river. Some say Peg would […]

Durham singer-songwriter to host outdoor walk-along performances

North East Bylines

This autumn Durham singer-songwriter Sam Slatcher will be taking fans on special gigs around the landscapes that inspires his music. From nature reserves to ancient ruins, and from hidden architecture to the impressive Durham Cathedral, the folk songwriter will be performing his songs on a series of ‘wandering gigs’ in and around Durham. The idea was inspired […]

Jim Cartwright’s ‘Road’ moves to Blyth in new production at Northern Stage

Yvonne Wancke

On the 35th anniversary of Jim Cartwright’s joyous and anarchic masterpiece, the residents of Road are relocated to the North East in the first show Artistic Director Natalie Ibu will direct for Northern Stage. Natalie said: “I’m excited to be working with a brilliant cast and creative team to explore the intersectionality between race, class […]