Category: Local

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 […]

UPDATED

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 […]

Opinion

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 […]

Theatre

Alphabetti Theatre is back!

Daisy Windsor

North East theatre fans have a real treat in store as the theatres are starting to open up. And Alphabetti is no exception. Shows start from today. All tickets are ‘pay what you feel’ but you must book, and tickets will go fast. Pod by Arabella Arnott Performances start with Pod by Arabella Arnott, directed […]

Hartlepool: nuclear waste and a council civil war 

Julia Mazza

August is the silly month, with the press scrabbling for copy to fill column inches left empty by the political recess. It is the perfect season for Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, sultan of spin, to create a “secret radioactive waste dump” conspiracy theory. In eleven August days, he accused Hartlepool Labour Group, smeared a local charity, ousted […]

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 […]

ReviewTheatre

“Imagine good things so the bad things don’t win” at Northern Stage

Julie Ward

Review of ‘Free School Meals’ at Northern Stage Newcastle-based ‘Unfolding Theatre’ is one of the region’s most precious cultural assets, making eclectic big-hearted performance work rooted in community participation and co-production. Their latest offering ‘Free School Meals’ is set in a restaurant called ‘The Future’ where children are in charge and grown-ups are the apprentices. […]

Sharon Hodgson Visits ‘Wear Here 4 Summer’ Bus

North East Bylines

Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on School Food, recently visited the ‘Wear Here 4 Summer’ programme at Rickleton Cricket Club. The ‘Wear Here 4 Summer’ programme, which is funded by the Department for Education’s Holiday Activity and Food Programme, has been supporting children […]

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 […]

UPDATED

Opening tomorrow: Free School Meals: theatre inspired by Marcus Rashford

North East Bylines

Inspired by Marcus Rashford’s campaign to end child food poverty, Unfolding Theatre’s Free School Meals puts kids in charge in a new show about power, inequality and hope for change. Rehearsals are now well underway and the show opens tomorrow. It runs from 25 – 28 August. Inadequate food parcels During the pandemic, kids were given food […]

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 […]

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: the Tees Valley responds to the Afghanistan Crisis

Scott Hunter

Middlesbrough mayor, Andy Preston, has been making the headlines, with an unambiguous statement of support for refugees from Afghanistan. Many here will welcome those humanitarian sentiments, published in the Gazette on 19 August. The Gazette article, however, moves swiftly on to discussion of the pantomime of incompetence in Westminster over the issue, and so does […]

Theatre

Exciting reopening at Queen’s Hall, Hexham

North East Bylines

Queen’s Hall Arts Centre in Hexham has announced it will reopen this month with an exciting programme featuring live music, some of the biggest names on the UK comedy circuit, theatre and family shows. Queen’s Hall Artistic Director Katy Taylor said: “The staff team, trustees and volunteers are pleased to be able to welcome back […]

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 […]

Teesside enjoys its Palmyra moment, as Redcar Blast Furnace is torn down

Scott Hunter

The destruction of Redcar Blast Furnace has begun in earnest, with the Teesside Heritage Taskforce on hand to record the action on film for posterity. Soon the people of Teesside will be able to survey the roofs of the never-ending warehouses of the freeport, monuments to low pay and tax evasion, as if that is […]

Hebburn residents invited to engage on the proposed new Tri-Station

North East Bylines

The people of Hebburn will have the opportunity to find out more information about our plans for a new Tri-Station being proposed at Campbell Park Road in Hebburn during a series of public engagement events.   The new state-of-the-art multi-functional facility known as Hebburn Tri-Station will house three emergency services: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service […]

BREAKING

Hartlepool Deputy Mayor resigns in nuclear waste war fall-out

Julia Mazza

Mike Young, the Conservative Deputy Mayor and Deputy Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council has resigned his posts.  He remains a Conservative Party councillor. His resignation comes hot on the heels of a war of words with Ben Houchen, the mayor of Tees Valley. Houchen had first accused the council’s minority Labour Group of holding “secret” […]

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 […]

Will the real Ben Houchen please stand up?

Scott Hunter

Who advises Ben Houchen?  You might have supposed that it was the officers of the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA). Until last week, that is. When he announced that he would seek to ensure that a referendum would be required before Teesside Airport could be sold, he crossed a line, and cemented what many had […]

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 […]

Congratulations to GCSE students in Newcastle Central from Chi, MP

North East Bylines

Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, gave her congratulations to GCSE students getting their results today, after 18 months of disrupted learning and revised assessments. Chi said: “I want to congratulate every student receiving their results today. The last couple of years have been very difficult, and you should each be really proud of your […]

Hartlepool’s storm in a nuclear teacup

Julia Mazza

A war of words has broken out in Hartlepool about early discussions on a possible offshore radioactive waste storage facility. Material in the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF)  would be stored one kilometre below the surface in concrete containers. The opening salvo came from a press release by Conservative Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen: “I have […]

Newcastle students should be proud of their achievements

Stephen Lambert

This summer once again saw a rise in the number of Newcastle students achieving good AS/A-level results, BTEC First and national awards and GCSE results. Given the many months lost in face-to-face learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic city students should be proud of their achievements. Access courses for Newcastle students Furthermore, hundreds more adults […]

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 […]