Category: Teesside

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Tees Valley: Houchen helps those that help themselves

Scott Hunter

The shortage of HGV drivers continues to dominate the headlines, with Boris Johnson telling the world that the whole point of Brexit was to do away with the low-wage/high-immigration economy that we are living with and instead to train British workers to do higher skilled jobs, thus creating a high-wage/low-immigration economy. Time to look at […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Opinion

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Opinion

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 […]

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 […]

…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 […]

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 […]