Category: Co. Durham

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

North East HistoryPART 4

Ventilation 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 […]

Gove’s comments on northerners: the Westminster attitude towards our region

Lauren White

Michael Gove is remembered by different people for different things. Some recall his infamous line, “people have had enough of experts”. Some recall Gove’s removal of American literature from the English GCSE curriculum, meaning age-old traditions of reading anti-prejudice novels such as To Kill A Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men were slashed. What a […]

North East MPs sign Dawn Butler’s motion

North East Bylines

Dawn Butler, MP has tabled an Early Day Motion on the subject of the erosion of ministerial code. The text of the motion is below. “That this House believes that trust in the ministerial code has been eroded by the actions of the Prime Minister; further believes that the Prime Minister should no longer be […]

National Insurance increases: ‘levelling up’ for the North East?

Yvonne Wancke

This week the government voted to increase National Insurance contributions in order to fund social care. National Insurance contributions are set to rise by 1.25 percentage points. Whilst initially this may not seem a lot, it is worth noting that for anyone earning between £10,000 and £50,000 a year, it actually means an increase of […]

North East HistoryPART 3

A breakthrough: lighting in North East mines 1800-1850

Audrey Marshall

Throughout the history of coal mining, various methods of lighting had been tried out, some of them safe, others highly dangerous, none of them really effective. During the 18th century, for instance, parts of Merton Colliery were ‘illuminated’ by the faint but secure light of fish skins, while in Hebburn Colliery, before the invention of […]

Kizomba dance fusion at Saltwell Park

Yvonne Wancke

Local dance teacher, Lauren Rafferty, and her group of dancers recently recorded a video at Saltwell Park. Their dance is a fusion of modern ‘Western’, with Kizomba. Kizomba is an African dance, originating from Angola and is normally danced with a partner. Lauren explains: “Unfortunately due to the pandemic, when we started rehearsals we were […]

North East HistoryPART 2

Accidents in the North East coalmines, 1800-1850

Audrey Marshall

Many accidents were caused by falls of stone or of coal, men falling down shafts, the use of gunpowder for blasting, and breakages of the winding ropes which were used both for raising coal to the surface and for raising and lowering the miners to and from the mine. Accidents were numerous, so numerous in […]

North East HistoryPART 1

Dangerous jobs in the North East coal 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 […]

Hundreds flock to wool fair in Weardale

Julie Ward

Hundreds of people flocked to a former limestone quarry in Frosterley, Weardale, on 13 August to learn more about traditional woollen arts and crafts. The ‘Summer Wool Event’ was organised by North Pennines Wool, a network of small-holders and craft workers established in 2009 to help promote the local woollen industry and the North Pennines […]

Women’s detention centre: monthly protests

North East Bylines

A coalition of local people and campaign groups from across the country will protest against the proposed detention centre in Consett, County Durham, on Saturday 21 August. This will be the third demonstration organised at the site and the first of regular demonstrations happening on the third Saturday of every month.  Inhumane practice of indefinite […]

Trade Unions: Thatcherism to New Labour

Stephen Lambert

With the election of a Conservative government in May 1979  a new style of PM – Margaret Thatcher was committed to restructuring the UK economy by creating more flexible and efficient labour markets. Thatcher was pledged to reform Britain’s trade unions and curb their power. Throughout the eighties conflict between organised labour and the Conservative […]

Over 160,000 North East children to be hit by £20 Universal Credit cut

North East Bylines

Regional child poverty campaigners have renewed calls for the government to reverse an impending £20 a week cut to Universal Credit after figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions today(17 August 2021) confirm for the first time the number of children and young people across the North East who will be directly affected […]

North East business and the EU deal

Joyce Quin

The government continues to be in denial about the difficulties businesses across the UK have experienced in exporting to the EU since January of this year, when the terms of the Prime Minister’s deal with the EU came into effect. That these difficulties have particularly affected firms in the North East was shown in a […]

No ‘levelling up’ for the North East: another broken promise

Yvonne Wancke

The North East is set to lose millions of pounds this year because of Brexit. This is despite the Prime Minister’s repeated promises of ‘levelling up’. A number of traditional Labour voting areas in the North East switched their votes to support Boris Johnson in the 2019 election, in part because of a desire to […]

Opinion

Jolly boating weather and educational opportunities

Robina Jacobson

Ah, Henley again, and jolly boating weather. On Thames or on Tyne, we can at least ‘swing, swing together’ for the river waters find their own level and are widely accessible. If the same could be said of playing fields, grand school facilities and small class sizes we might all fare better. North East exam […]

Durham Miners’ Gala: Little Big Meetings and the truth about Thatcher

Julie Ward
Durham miners banner

Boris Johnson’s crass comments praising Margaret Thatcher for closing the pits in the 1980s and wrongly attributing her with green credentials have been roundly condemned by leading figures connected to the Durham Miners’ Gala. It is the second year running that Gala organisers have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the iconic ‘Big Meeting’ due […]

BREAKING

Over a third of Durham children live in poverty

Yvonne Wancke

A new report from Magic Breakfast, children’s food charity, has shown that 36% of children in County Durham are living in poverty. These worrying figures also show that 14% were at risk of hunger in 2020. Magic Breakfast Magic Breakfast supports 37 schools in the region, and helps to feed over 5,000 children with healthy […]

Inflation: the real cost of rising prices

Peter Benson

I renewed my household insurance on 31 July and it was a shock. The renewal price had jumped from £253.40 to £294.24, an increase of 16%.  My  attempt at negotiation failed: ”Mr Benson this is the final price after all the discounts”. Rising prices I have had so many prices rises in recent months. The car insurance […]

It will not be long now…

Harry Gallagher

It will not be long now until dandelions have strangled the black ground beneath them and no traces remain save for the props and the poison filling up the cavernous belly of the carcass slain by a fortyfaced dragon bent on revenge. It will not be long now until nobody is left who remembers the […]

Fishy tales: a whale of a time with ORCA on the DFDS ferry

Dr Jayne Hamilton

A previous article in North East Bylines showed us the fantastic work of ORCA [Organisation Cetacea] supported by DFDS on their ferry route from Newcastle to Ijmuiden. The wildlife programme run by Organization Cetacea [ORCA] on DFDS’ King Seaways ferry, certainly made many a business trip memorable for me. There is enough to do for […]

Covid, mass trauma and regional unity

Connor Lamb

I remember that in the process of writing my diary entries, I had to recall memories recessed in the back of my mind for over a year. We often don’t think of traumatic memories as ‘trauma’. I briefly addressed the concept of mass trauma at the very end of the diary, so now it’s time […]

Flags for cash? Another U-turn from the government

Yvonne Wancke

Thousands of EU flags, notices and plaques 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 […]

Congratulations to new Fire Service recruits

North East Bylines

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 […]

PART 1UPDATED

Consett Corona Photo Project: interview with George Ledger Part 1

Dylan Neri

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 […]

BREAKING

North East coalition urges Chancellor to reverse £20 UC cut

North East Bylines

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 […]