Category: Local

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sharon Hodgson, MP shows support for Second Hand September

North East Bylines

Sharon Hodgson MP is proud to join Oxfam this September in taking a stand against the fast fashion industry.  Second Hand September The #SecondHandSeptember campaign is celebrating looking fashionable in re-used and re-loved clothes. Both Sharon and the team at Oxfam are concerned about the environmental damage that fast fashion (mass produced clothes often at […]

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 […]

Climate Justice Rally in Newcastle this weekend

Julie Ward

After a summer of record temperatures, forest fires and devastating floods across the world, all eyes and ears will be focused on Glasgow as the world’s leaders prepare to meet for COP26 in November. There are huge expectations and high hopes, but also a lot of hype, plenty of political posturing, and far too much […]

Welcome to developers’ world with Houchen and Dorries

Scott Hunter

One day into the job as Culture Secretary and Nadine Dorries has aleady signed the death warrant of the Dorman Long Tower, symbol of Teesside’s industrial past, unique example of brutalist architecture, and source of copious amounts of scrap metal for those authorised to take it away. Only last week, Historic England, assigned it grade […]

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 […]


Has Roy Chubby Brown become a champion of free speech?

Scott Hunter

Things were looking fairly encouraging for entertainer, Roy Chubby Brown, last week. After his show at Sheffield City Hall was cancelled by the City Council over concerns that his humour did not coincide with their values, a petition was set up to protest the ban. By the time it was reported in Gazette, on 7 […]

Climate crisis: time’s running out

Liyanah Riyaz

Since the UN’s 2018 special report on global warming (released when I was 13) gave humanity a climate crisis deadline, lowering emissions has become a priority of many governments around the world. However, 12 years quickly turned into 11 years, which fell into 10 years with the distraction of a deadly pandemic. I am now […]

Hartlepool singer driving 700 miles to play biggest shows of his life

Daisy Windsor

BBC Introducing and Radio X featured artist Michael Gallagher, from Hartlepool, will be embarking upon a 700 mile round trip to play two UK festivals at opposite ends of the country less than 24 hours apart. This is the first festival season Michael is involved with and was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity […]

The Transporter Bridge: past and future

Julia Mazza

The Transporter Bridge, that monument to Middlesbrough’s iron age,  is 110 years old in October and its age is beginning to show. The unique Grade II* listed structure received a Risk of Death notice in 2019 and has been closed ever since. At the time of its construction in 1911 the bridge provided a vital […]

Firefighters attacked on call out in Sunderland

North East Bylines

On Tuesday 7 September night at 20:31, a crew from Marley Park Community Fire Station responded to reports of a wheelie bin fire in the Carley Hill area of Sunderland. Whilst trying to locate the incident on foot, they were pelted with objects believed to be large stones and bits of rubble. Thankfully, they were […]

‘Keep the lifeline’ of £20 UC increase urge Kenton councillors

Stephen Lambert

The UK government should retain the £20 increase to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit, which has been a lifeline to thousands of households across the city for people struggling to afford the essentials. Charities, health care professionals, foodbanks and councillors across the city are backing the Keep the lifeline campaign and are calling on […]

The Wonderful Everyday in short supply: from Ikea to rubbish collections

Peter Benson

More national brands are announcing supply problems caused by the lack of HGV drivers, on top of Tesco and Iceland. Adding to the list in recent days are Ikea, Coca Cola, Costa, Gregg’s, Wetherspoon’s, McDonald’s, KFC and many more. The reality is that virtually every corner of the economy is being impacted. This is from supermarket […]

…and the walls came tumbling down…

Scott Hunter

Have some sympathy for Jacob Young , MP for Redcar. As  the news comes out that permission has been sought to demolish the Dorman Long Tower, he has been made a complete fool of by Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen. Young it is who is so enamoured of the tower that he has a picture […]

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 […]


Hangover for Wetherspoon’s boss as beer runs out!

Peter Benson

It must be the biggest disaster ever for a pub to run out of beer and suffer staff shortages all at the same time. Tim Martin, boss of the pub chain, Wetherspoon’s, cannot be getting much sleep these days as his die-hard love of Brexit costs his business trade. Wetherspoon’s is yet another high-profile business […]


Is Houchen heading for Westminster?

Scott Hunter

The minds of many Twitter followers yesterday were exercised by an article in  Prospect Magazine profiling Ben Houchen, which they were alerted to by the Politico Morning Briefing. Another article, to which that Briefing also provided a link, seems to have attracted much less attention. This is unfortunate, as the two go well together. It […]

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 […]