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News Stories From Issue 90 - 12th May 2007
Click here: Spennynews90 to open a PDF copy of this issue in a new window


Proposals for the new Spennymoor Community Fire Station were met with opposition at a recent meeting of the Tudhoe Residents’ Association. Allan Wood from Darlington and Durham Fire and Rescue Service presented plans for the new Station, which will be located off York Hill Road near The Coppice estate. The facility will house two appliances and be manned 24 hours a day with three fulltime fire crews. At a lively meeting, local residents expressed various concerns including increased traffic along York Hill Road, noise from fire appliances and damage to the surrounding landscape. Mr Wood estimated that there would only be 3 ‘blue light’ call-outs per day and that the appliances and staff would be using Green Lane Industrial Estate access roads wherever possible. A condition of the planning approval is that improvements are made to a stretch of York Hill Road from the entrance to The Coppice to the A167. Councillors Agnes Armstrong and Barbara Graham stated that they had put their “necks on the line” to oppose the location of the Station during a planning meeting, but the application still went through. The current Station on St. Andrew’s Road was built in 1970 and is unable to house a full-time crew or provide any community safety facilities. At present, there are 18 retained officers which will reduce to 11 through natural wastage. 28 full time staff will be transferred from Durham. Mr Wood told the meeting that once the preferred developer was chosen, further public consultation would be undertaken early in 2008. It is expected that the planning would be finalised by July 2008, with completion of the Fire Station by November 2009. The next meeting of Tudhoe Residents’ Association will take place on Monday 4th June at 6.30pm in Tudhoe Community Centre. The Housing Director and Housing Portfolio Manager from Sedgefield Borough Council are to attend to address issues that have been raised concerning York Hill Estate.
 View this article on its own (ID:1720)


Last Thursday’s Local Government elections proved a disaster for local Government leaders, but the Borough and Town Councils remain firmly in Labour hands after the count. Cllr Bob Fleming, the Leader of the Borough Council, Kester Noble, his Deputy, two Cabinet Members and Spennymoor’s Town Mayor all lost their seats.
 View this article on its own (ID:1721)


The next meeting of SpennyKnit will take place in The Clay Cafe, 56 High St., Spennymoor, on Monday 14th May from 10-12 noon. Knitters and crocheters of all abilities are most welcome to come along and join in. For more information contact Andrea on 07792036933 or visit http://spennyknit.
 View this article on its own (ID:1722)


A local training organisation is holding an Open Afternoon shortly. Sedgefield Borough Training invites residents to celebrate Adult Learners’ Week at Merrington Lane, opposite Thorns, on Friday 25th May from 2.00pm to 4.00pm and to see the recently upgraded facilities and have a chat to some of the staff. The Council has recently invested £20,000 to provide a high quality training environment dedicated to the needs of unemployed adults. Activities include supported job search, Skills for Life, work experience placements and confidence building. The Centre also provides off-thejob training facilities for modern apprentices in Business Administration, Bricklaying and Joinery. “The Open Afternoon is completely informal, so there’s no need to book, but if you would like further information about the day or about the free Essential Skills training course offered at the Centre, please contact me on 01388 816166, Extension 7788”, says Heather Carter from Sedgefield Borough Training.
 View this article on its own (ID:1723)


Spennymoor Rotary Club recently held a formal dinner in the Town Hall to celebrate it's 41st President’s year in the chair. In attendance were the Mayor of Sedgefield Borough, Lucy Hovvels and her husband Michael. President Ian McLaren would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported and benefited from the Rotary Club in his year in the chair.
 View this article on its own (ID:1724)


Nicola's Hall of Dance presents 'Thank You for the Music' at Spennymoor Town Hall on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th May, 2007. The show starts at 7pm each night and tickets are available from Nicola on 0777 913 8606.
 View this article on its own (ID:1725)


Spennynews is looking for a diligent and reliable distributor to deliver the paper in the Byers Green area Tel (01388) 775896 for further details.
 View this article on its own (ID:1726)


A man with a history of driving vehicles whilst disqualified, was found behind the wheel of a car in early April, having decided to drive when he missed the bus to Newton Aycliffe. The Court heard that, by missing the bus, the defendant would have been late for an appointment with the Probation Service. 28 year-old David Bolton, of Craddock Street in Spennymoor, was stopped by Police Officers on the A167 road at Rushyford, and readily admitted that he was a banned driver and that he had no Insurance. Mr. Peter Smith, for the Crown Prosecution Service, told the South Durham Magistrates' Court that Bolton had three previous convictions for 'driving whilst disqualified', once in 2004 and twice in 2003, as well as previous convictions for other matters. Mitigating, Mr. Michael Clarke told the Court that Bolton was currently the subject of a 12 month Community Order imposed in September of last year for offences of Drugs possession and that the Order included a Drug Rehabilitation requirement. At this point, the sitting Magistrates informed Mr. Clarke that they had it in mind to imprison Bolton without delay, however Mr. Clarke requested that he address them further prior to them reaching a decision. Mr. Clarke went on to say that the Probation Service were currently addressing Bolton's drugs problem and that he was on a Methadone Programme at the present time. He told the Court that the offences were committed on the spur of the moment, for the Defendant had driven from Spennymoor and was heading for Newton Aycliffe to fulfil an appointment with the Probation Service. Had he not decided to drive his girlfriend's car on the spur of the moment, he would have missed the appointment and thereby been in breach of the Community Order. A representative from the Probation Service told the Court that Bolton was a 'model offender' who had completed everything and done everything asked of him. She said that the defendant was 'engaging extremely well' with the Probation Service in connection with the Community Order. After some deliberation, the sitting Magistrates ordered the Probation Service to prepare a full Pre-Sentence Report on Bolton. The Defendant will return to Court for sentence on the 29th of this month.
 View this article on its own (ID:1727)


young boxer who dreams of representing Great Britain in the 2012 London Olympics is making sure that he has a career to fall back on if his sporting ambitions are delivered a knockout blow. David Birchall, 18, of Tudhoe Moor, Spennymoor, is studying Sports Science at Bishop Auckland College, thanks to the support of an Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) North-East. The EMA gives David £30 a week to help him to continue his full-time education and, hopefully, gain the qualifications he needs to pursue both his chosen career and his sporting ambitions. In addition to helping him devote his College hours to gaining a Level 3 BTEC in Sport Science, the EMA also allows David to focus his spare time on boxing training. A former pupil of Tudhoe Grange Comprehensive School, David left school with GCSEs below the Level 2 minimum of five grades A to C favoured by most employers. He said: “I realised that I would be lucky to get a decent job with the GCSE grades I achieved and wanted to go back to college to gain better results. Without the assistance of the EMA I probably would have had to take a low-paid job and try to study part-time. Now, thanks to the EMA, I have a better chance of getting a job in the sports industry and I have been able to concentrate on my training too. I have been fighting since I was 15. I really enjoy it and it keeps me fit. It would be fantastic to box in the Olympics but I realise I have to have something else behind me in case it doesn’t happen.” The young boxer fights and trains under the guidance of boxer Francis Jones at the Neil Fannon Gym in Hartlepool. Joanna Tait, Principal of Bishop Auckland College said: “David is a valuable member of the College’s voluntary Peer Support Group that gives support to fellow students in difficulties. We are all very proud of the way he has applied himself. He has a very clear vision of what he wants to achieve and is to be admired for coming back into full-time education to improve his qualifications. We wish him every success in his ambition.” Chris Roberts, regional director, LSC North-East, said: “The Education Maintenance Allowance is specifically aimed at students such as David who might struggle to continue their education when their school days come to an end. There is a lot of financial pressure on young people to get a job and the EMA can really make the difference between being able to invest in one’s future by gaining better qualifications and being constantly held back as a result of poor results.”
 View this article on its own (ID:1728)


Magistrates heard recently that both the immigration authorities and the Special Branch were now involved in a case where a Polish man stands accused of 'peoplesmuggling' in Spennymoor . Pawet Wojtysiak, a 35 yearold Pole, appeared before the South Durham Magistrates sitting at Newton Aycliffe by way of a videolink, having been previously remanded in custody on a charge of 'bringing three illegal immigrants into the country'. The sitting Magistrates were told that the Crown Prosecution Service had not yet served certain necessary papers on the Defence and, as a result, the case was adjourned until the 18th of May when Wojtysiak will make another appearance by way of videolink.
 View this article on its own (ID:1729)


A 24-year-old man has been charged with grievous bodily harm after an attack in Spennymoor Police said that a 47-year-old man was found lying unconscious in a street in Low Spennymoor on the evening of Saturday 5th May. The victim underwent emergency surgery for severe head injuries at Newcastle General Hospital, where he remains in a serious but stable condition. A police spokesman said thattwo other suspects had been arrested and were being questioned by officers. They are appealing for information about the attack, which happened in the Upper Church Street area, and witnesses or those with information on the attack are asked to ring 0845 60 60 365.
 View this article on its own (ID:1730)


As Spring sets in, the days are getting longer and Sunset approaches the magical 9.00pm barrier this weekend. The cockerels are getting up earlier too with sunrise this weekend timed at 5.08am! Readers planning a weekend out will have to ‘pack a mac’ for light showers are predicated with temperatures averaging 14-15o C. South West and Westerly Winds could reach 9 m.p.h
 View this article on its own (ID:1731)


Whitworth Church is holding a Spring Fayre in the Spennymoor Town Hall on Saturday, 19th May, at 10.00am. There will be many attractive stalls including cakes, plants and a grand prize draw.
 View this article on its own (ID:1732)


The Volunteer Centre at CAVOS, are looking for nominations for ‘Volunteer of the Year’ which will be presented at their Volunteer Thank You and Awards Evening, on Thursday, 7th June 2007, at Spennymoor Town Hall. The purpose of the awards is to give special recognition to all deserving volunteers. Tickets for the evening, which includes live music and a pie & pea supper, are free for anyone who volunteers or works with volunteers in Sedgefield Borough. For more information, tickets or nomination forms, contact Sharon Vasey or Vicky Walker at the Volunteer Centre on 01388 811115.
 View this article on its own (ID:1733)


A former Mayor of Spennymoor travelled down to London this week for a date with the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. John Culine, who proudly boasts that he was born in Jubilee Park, Spennymoor, looked totally immaculate as he stepped up to receive his M.B.E. from the Prince of Wales at an investiture at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday morning. John, who has just been returned to the Town Council unopposed, still lives in the caravan where he and his wife Davina have brought up five daughters. John is a Spennymoor man through and through but more than anything is a showman deep at heart. Until he retired he ran Culine’s Fun Fairs and now is regional Secretary for the Showmen’s Guild. In 2004/5 he was Spennymoor’s Mayor and during his year of office raised more than £20,00 for the North of England Children’s Cancer Unit at the R.V.I. at Newcastle. John and Davina live in their caravan on the edge of Tudhoe Industrial Estate in Spennymoor, and neither would change their abode for the fanciest of brick palaces. John is proud of the fact that he is descended from a long line of travelling entertainers dating back to Henry XIII’s time. John revels in his family history and will recount a family tale at the drop of a hoop-la-ring. In the 19th Century his family consisted of circus owners and showman and one is reputed to have thrown knives at Buffalo Bill! John’s family are still involved in the fairground Industry and with the Bank Holiday in full swing, it solved quite a dilemma for the Culine Family. “You are only allowed three guests” explained John. With four of his daughters heavily involved in the family businesses, it all sorted itself out nicely with Daughter Victoria and her husband Benny Sedgewick accompanying John and Davina to London for John’s big day. Come the big moment, John was surprised at the Prince of Wales was so well informed. “He asked me to tell him about my family and their audiences,” says John. “When I told him that some of his family had been amongst the audiences watching my family he threw back his head and laughed.” After the investiture, John was given a tour of the Palace of Westminster by local M.P. Helen Goodman. At night however, the lure of the entertainment industry attracted the Culine party to the Jack the Ripper Tour in Whitchapel in London’s East End. John’s M.B.E. is now back in Spennymoor in its satin lined box proudly displayed on the sideboard of the family caravan. The Showmen’s Guild, however, as proud of their member as the people of Spennymoor, have brought John a miniature version which he can wear on his lapel. “I’ll wear it at every opportunity I get,” he said. “Love my Showman’s Guild and I love the Community of Spennymoor and I hope this is an honour for them both” he said.
 View this article on its own (ID:1734)


Joan Woods, Spennymoor’s Mayor Elect, narrowly retained her Spennymoor Town Council seat but had to endure a re-count, with, of all people, her husband Brian! Brian, a gentleman to the last, offered to stand down in favour of his wife, but was told that it wasn’t allowed. In the event, the recounted vote placed Joan 4 votes ahead, 471 to 467 and Brian was happy to conceed. Councillor Woods is now expected to be appointed Town Mayor at the Council’s Annual Meeting on Monday, 21st May, 2007 at 6.45pm.
 View this article on its own (ID:1735)


Magistrates sitting at Newton Aycliffe recently adjourned the case against a Kirk Merrington man who is alleged to have produced Cannabis, a drug in the Class 'C' category. Appearing before the South Durham Magistrates was 31 year-old Karl David Patrick Shepherd, of Shamrock House in Kirk Merrington. He is also charged with an offence of 'dishonestly using a quantity of electricity', allegedly four days before Christmas, 2006. The offence relating to the production of Cannabis is alleged to have taken place in Spennymoor between the 15th of July, 2003 and the 22nd of December last year. Shepherd was set to return to the Newton Aycliffe Court this week.
 View this article on its own (ID:1736)


Spennymoor Town Mayor, Councillor Sylvia Plews, and local artist Eric Thompson had the difficult task of judging an art competition which had drawn many high quality entries from local schools. The competition was organised as part of the 125th Anniversary of the Tudhoe Colliery Mining Disaster by Spennymoor Town Council and The Heritage Banner Association. After a great deal of thought, the judges finally managed to choose the winners from the large entry, and they were as follows. Group 1: 1st. Abbey; 2nd. Megan (both from Tudhoe Colliery Primary School). Group 2: 1st. Paige Hobson; 2nd. Michael Robinson (both from King Street Primary School). In the group for entries from pupils of special schools the individual winner was Emma Mooney (The Oaks Secondary School) and there was also a prize in the group entry section for Year 11 from The Oaks. Their entry caught the attention of the judges, and artist Eric Thompson said, “This entry has so many links to the mining theme, and that's what makes it so beautiful.” “The work is presented in the form of a lodge banner and a lot of hard work has gone into producing it”. Town Mayor, Sylvia Plews, added, “The idea of adding the names of all who died in the tragedy is a very good one, and, apart from the thought that has gone into producing the work, there is also a lot of skill”. The work was produced by Gemma Griffiths, Dale Potts, David Angel, Laura Dixon, John Carter, Terry Lee Gustard, Arron Gasgarth, Stephan Hutchinson, Claire Dixon, Daniel Scott, Daniel Lockhurst, Zoe Ball, Stephanie Milburn and Thomas Robinson, with the assistance of Teachers Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Dodd. In the final section, three prizes went to students of Spennymoor School's Sixth Form: 1st. Zoe Oliver; 2nd. Lee Fitzgerald and 3rd. Richard Peareth. Eric Thompson liked the bold use of colour, as well as the fact that, although the entries were on canvas, they were in relief. Town Mayor, Sylvia Plews, thanked all those who entered the competition and said, “All of the entries have been of a very high standard.” “The town has always been home to some of the region’s most talented artists, and some of these young people could well carry that tradition on”.
 View this article on its own (ID:1737)


Magistrates recently agreed to an adjournment in the case of a Middlestone Moor woman after they were informed of her ill-health. 28 year-old Sarah Rowley, of Durham Road in Middlestone Moor, faces a charge of 'assault by beating' upon another female, alleged to have been committed in Kirk Merrington in the latter part of March this year. The sitting Magistrates granted the requested adjournment in the matter and the case was scheduled to return to the South Durham Magistrates' Court at Newton Aycliffe on the 9th of May.
 View this article on its own (ID:1738)


When a 45 year-old man made a Court appearance at Newton Aycliffe recently, the sitting Magistrates placed a number of conditions on his bail when they adjourned the case. Raymond Inwood, of Ullswater Close in Spennymoor, who was represented in Court by Ms. Lyanne Steinberg, faces a charge of 'assault by beating'. The charge relates to an alleged incident in Spennymoor 'on or about' the 1st of April this year. Ms. Steinberg requested an adjournment in the case in order to allow her to make an application for Legal Aid on behalf of Inwood and to study the evidence and take his full instructions. In agreeing to adjourn the matter until the 10th of May, the South Durham Magistrates imposed two conditions on Inwood's bail, those being not to interfere in any way with prosecution witness and to leave the address in Ullswater Close in Spennymoor when requested to do so by the injured party in the case.
 View this article on its own (ID:1739)


Tudhoe Methodist Church will be holding its Spring Fayre on Saturday May 19th in Tudhoe Community Centre between 10.00am and 12 noon. Admission is £1.00 and includes refreshments. Proceeds will go towards the building and refurbishment fund.
 View this article on its own (ID:1740)


The winner of Spennynews’ St Georges Day Competition is Mr William Conlon of Wood Vue, Spennymoor. The lucky winner’s all correct entry was first to be chosen, and he wins a selection of Beers, courtesy of your local ASDA Superstore.
 View this article on its own (ID:1741)


Spennynews has been able to open a new Town Centre office, thanks to the generosity of a local businessman. When the popular community newspaper appealed some time ago for suitable premises, Tony Langdale, the proprietor of BLP Property Services in High Street, was quick to offer us a room. Tony is also the popular landlord of The Ship Inn in Middlestone Village. The office officially opened on Tuesday, 8th May, and will be staffed by Spennynews volunteers from Monday to Friday on a 10.00am – 3.00pm basis, for the time being at least. Readers who would like to place a classified ad. or leave articles for inclusion in future issues, can now call in at 43 High Street, Spennymoor. Readers can also call in to arrange for one of our volunteers to cover an event in the town. Entry to the Spennynews office is through the front door, and BLP is situated right across the road from the Town Hall.
 View this article on its own (ID:1742)


A Spennymoor man pleaded ‘Guilty’ to a charge of threatening behaviour when he appeared in front of Magistrates recently and it proved to be a somewhat costly admission of guilt. Warren George Moore, aged 26, of Craddock Street, Spennymoor, entered his 'Guilty' plea to the charge of 'using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour' on the first occasion it had been put to him at the South Durham Magistrates' Court in Newton Aycliffe. The offence, the Magistrates heard, was committed in Spennymoor in mid-March this year. After hearing the evidence, the sitting Magistrates fined Moore £100 and also ordered him to pay Court costs of £43.
 View this article on its own (ID:1743)


The pets Chairity PDSA has taken to the small screen with an advert aimed at fundraising. The ad, set to the song “True Colours” by Eva Cassidy can be viewed on the Charities web-site www. .uk
 View this article on its own (ID:1744)


A local G.P. has retired after serving the Spennymoor community for over 35 years. Dr. Andrew Sanderson has been a G.P. at Aden House, St Andrew’s Road, Spennymoor. and, over the years, has been instrumental in training a lot of young doctors who have come to work at the practice, a few of whom chose to stay on. On Friday 27th of April 2007, Dr, Sanderson and his wife Joan, were Guests of Honour at Whitworth Hall, with 100 guests, being staff from both the present and the past. The Partners presented the popular G.P. with a portrait of Newcastle United’s St. James Park, to mark his keen support for the Club, and the staff presented him with a garden bench.
 View this article on its own (ID:1745)


“We all have our ideas of what life was like in our grandparent’s time. Some of us, of course, may even remember something of it,” says Don Rippon from the Tudhoe and Spennymoor Local History Society. “But few will have any insight into the life of our great grandparents,” he points out. Margaret Hedley's talk to Tudhoe and Spennymoor Local History Society on May 21st, entitled "Great Grandma - a woman in the pit village" will promise to give members that insight. “Nearly everyone in this district has direct or family links with the coal mining industry so this talk will prove fascinating for both young and old,” says Don. The meeting will take place in St David's Church Hall at 7.30 and everyone is welcome to attend.
 View this article on its own (ID:1746)


Firemen rushed to a disused Industrial Unit backing onto Tudhoe Moor Estate but had to cut through chains to gain access to the building which was well alight.
 View this article on its own (ID:1747)


An eleven-year old Westerton girl has fulfilled the dream of a lifetime, appearing in the West End of London, in a top musical. 11 year-old Olivia Griffiths, lives in Westerton Village with her parents, brother Max, 12, and dog Toto. The talented youngster attends Kirk Merrington Primary School and has been a pupil at the Joanne Banks Dance School since she was 5. Olivia has performed locally in Pantomimes at Darlington Civic Theatre and in several of Joanne’s productions. Olivia’s dream trip to London started back in July, 2005, when she and her family queued amongst some 1500 other hopeful youngsters at Sunderland Empire Theatre for open auditions in their forthcoming show of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Olivia was finally cast in the show which ran for 4 months. It was during that show that she was seen by the casting team from London who run all the West End shows and they invited the youngster to audition in London for the role of Jane Banks in Mary Poppins. “This was especially fantastic for Olivia as it has always been one of her favourite stories and we had just been to London to see the show!” said proud dad Paul, himself a talented musician with the award-winning group “Vertigo”. “There were over a thousand hopefuls auditioning for 2 parts over a 2 month period, but Olivia kept getting recalled every time,” he said. “We made six long, nervous trips to London for her auditions at the Palladium and Prince Edward Theatres and finally, there were only six children left” “After a six-hour audition, we were sent home to be informed by e mail of how she had done.” “When we got home at midnight, the email was waiting for us to say she had the role and, amazingly,the boy who was to play her little brother in the show was Tom Hunter from School Aycliffe with whom she had become great friends during Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” said the delighted father. Olivia began the role last August and lives a lot of the time in London in a beautiful big house with her own chaperone and some of the other children with whom she shares the role. Olivia`s School has been very supportive and work closely with her private tutor in London to ensure her schoolwork doesn’t suffer and all her friends from Spennymoor and the surrounding area have been very supportive. Lots of them have been down to see the show - some of them several times! And if starring in the West End wasn’t enough, Olivia recently heard that she has won a performing arts scholarship to Durham High School For Girls and is looking forward to starting in September. In addition, the Mary Poppins Company have just offered the unpretentious youngster another six -month contract which she has accepted. Mary Poppins is currently showing at the Prince Edward Theatre in London and Olivia will be performing on selected dates until November. If anyone is interested in going to the show, her father, Paul Griffiths, can help arrange tickets for travel, accommodation and the show. He can be contacted by email on griff10@tiscali
 View this article on its own (ID:1748)


What a memory our readers have! When we asked what they called the “Honest Lawyer” near Sunderland Bridge, before it was renamed, our readers wrote in, emailed and rang us in their hundreds. The Lawyer was previously, of course, the Bridge. Before that it was the Crest Motel and before that it was the Bridge Hotel - its original name. One reader rang in to say that he had his wedding reception in the Bridge. Another remembered the day the hotel got flooded when the nearby river burst its banks. For another, both the Bridge and the Crest Motel were familiar sights, as every morning he passed it on the bus taking him to work in Durham. Another rang in recalling the time when they added on the rooms at the side and back, transforming the old Bridge Inn into a motel. Readers will recall, of course, that we asked the question to settle a readers argument. All the information has now been passed on. Try to baffle our readers with a question by sending it to S p e n n y n e w s@ or enter via our web site.
 View this article on its own (ID:1749)


Spennymoor’s retiring Town Mayor, Cllr Sylvia Plews, lost her Town Council seat in last week’s local election and the Deputy Mayor and Mayor-Elect, Cllr Joan Wood held on to her seat only after a recount, ironically, with her husband Brian. At the Borough Council level, there were surprises as Kester Noble, the Deputy Leader of the Council, lost his seat along with past Mayor, Marie Predki. Up at Green Lane there will to be major changes to the Borough Cabinet with the Leaders of the Council, Newton Aycliffe’s Bob Fleming losing his seat along with Cabinet members Malcolm Iveson and Ron Patchett.
 View this article on its own (ID:1750)


Tudhoe's captain Simon Davies produced one of his finest innings recently, when Tudhoe met Langley Park away. Tudhoe made it two wins out of two, but only just. Langley Park knocked up a respectable score of 203 for 7, giving something for the home 1st Xl to chase. Tudhoe’s openers hit 65 off the first 10 overs, scoring runs at a steady pace. The team then started to lose wickets and by the time Steven Maddison was harshly given out lbw, Tudhoe were 164 for 7. Tudhoe veteran Kevin, then came to the crease and with the Captain eased Tudhoe to a 3 wicket victory with 8 overs remaining. It was Kevin who hit the winning runs with a straight six off Huscroft, to finish 23 no off 22 balls. The team Captain finished unbeaten on 124 hitting 7 sixes & 12 fours off just 110 balls. Tudhoe’s 2nd team also made it 2 out of 2.playing Langley Parks 2nd XI at home. Batting first, the home side made 168 all out, against a side that conceded 360 to Crook the previous week Michael Briton made 69 before a strange dismissal, and James Fawcett continued his early form with 38. Tudhoe then wrapped the Langley innings up in just 18 overs, bowling them out for just 76. to give Tudhoe an easy win. The Under 13s also made it 2 out of 2 with an amazing win over Crook Town. Crook batted first and got 264 for 10 Tudhoe then came into bat getting 236 for 2 (220) with Matty Wilson getting 7 not out and Daniel Thexton taking both wickets. This weekend the 1st team and 2nd’s meet Evenwood away and at home respectively.
 View this article on its own (ID:1751)


By Anne Robinson. Spennynews recently extended it’s coverage to the small village of Hett on the northern-most edge of our circulation area. The small village, situated about one mile from Croxdale, dates back to around the 11th century and its name is derived from the old-English word for hat, and comes from the fact that the village is situated in a small, oval hat-shaped valley. Hett and the nearby villages all once belonged to the Monastery founded at Kirk Merrington, now St. John's Church. The Monastery was under the ownership of the Prince Bishops of Durham, who owned the rights to all the lands in an area stretching from Whitworth to Sunderland Bridge, at a time when, what would later become Spennymoor, was simply scrub and gorse. Today, Hett is pretty village, perhaps best known for its public house, The Hett Arms, the only pub in the North- East that sells game. The village has a large green, with the traditional duck pond often found in villages of its era, and most of the houses are built around it. In the past, villagers would keep ducks as a source of food, and often a special bird would be fattened up for Christmas. Christmas in the local Church was a special time, with Midnight Mass attended by all the villagers and the Lords of the Manor. They sat in their own pew, away from the 'common' villagers and would traditionally hand out small gifts to the poor of the parish. Alas the local Church no longer exists having been converted into a private house many years ago.
 View this article on its own (ID:1752)


A sixteen year old boy was rushed to hospital on Monday evening following a fight between two rival gangs of teenagers which involved makeshift weapons, including a table leg and fencing. The disturbance, which involved two small groups of males aged between 16 and 19, resulted in three arrests. It started in Victoria Street and then continued up to Ivy Close. The youngster, who was suffering from head injuries, has since been released from hospital. The three arrested youths have now been released on police bail pending further inquiries. “A number of improvised weapons including a table leg have been recovered from in and around the scene of the incident, said a police spokesman. Police are asking for witnesses to the incident or readers with more information to contact them on 0845 60 60 365
 View this article on its own (ID:1753)


Spennymoor Town’s playing staff and supporters celebrated in style when the club held it’s presentation night at the Leisure Centre Tony Johnson and Lorraine Crosby provided the entertainment along with the top Northern comedian Micky Gunn. A Pie, Peas and Chips supper went down well with those who attended. Presentations were made by former player Albert Hickman. The Players Player of the Year went to Ben Escritt, the Chairman's Player of the Year to Jason Ainsley, the Secretary's Player of the Year was Adam Johnston , the Committee's Player of the Year was Mark Foster and the Golden Boot Winner was Adam Johnston.
 View this article on its own (ID:1754)


By Alan Marron. Trinity Methodist Church celebrated the 25th Anniversary of its refurbishment with a Flower Festival from Friday 4th – Sunday 6th May. In its original form, the Church was a Victorian place of worship, with a big gallery to hold all the faithful who came to worship and, some would say, with an even bigger heating bill when winter struck. It was totally remodelled between 1975 and 1982. Members of the congregation now hold their Services in what was the former gallery and the refurbishment created ample rooms for meetings below. The Anniversary evening began with a short Service led by Rev. John H. Bower, who, incidentally, will be leaving Spennymoor on his retirement in August this year. Christine Jones, wife of Church Organist, Martyn, presented Margaret Bower, the Minister's wife, with a beautiful floral arrangement. The eldest member of the congregation, Dennis Jones, 92, a resident of Lothian House, was happy to attend. After the Service guests were free to wander through the church, where they marvelled at the 23 beautiful floral displays on show, and afterwards enjoyed a buffet in the schoolroom, where even the tables were decorated with colourful arrangements. Rev Bower said in his programme note: “Trinity Methodist Church gives thanks to God for all that has happened in its past life, as well as for the present, and looks forward to the future with renewed hope and optimism”.
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Youngsters from North Park School, in Spennymoor visited ASDA’s store in the town last week to take part in three challenges to increase their awareness in a healthy diet. The year six pupils also got the opportunity to taste many of the stores healthy products designed for the school lunchbox. A spokesman for the store said that the fruit went down well with the youngsters. “The broccoli quiche, however, didn’t! The visit was the first of many focusing on the environment, packaging and a healthy body. The next school to meets ASDA’s challenge will be Tudhoe Colliery later in the year.
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Spennymoor Town’s band of loyal supporters celebrated their sides promotion to Division One of the Arngrove Northern League by taking to the pitch themselves at the Brwery Field. An open invitation to fans via the club’s fans forum resulted in twoi side taking top the pitch on Wednesday evening. It was a case of the youngsters versus the “Over 35’s” and in the end, the youngsters didn’t have it all their own way. By the final whistle, the youngsters had the game sewn up 5-3 but it was throughly enjoyed by all those who took part - and the Brewery Field bar was open after the game to lubricate a few stiff joints.
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In a poignant and moving Service on Friday evening, 27th April, Spennymoor’s Town Mayor, Councillor Sylvia Plews, led a large contingent of civic dignitaries and members of the public in a short Service of Remembrance in honour of the 37 men and boys who died tragically in the Tudhoe Colliery Mining Disaster of 18th April, 1882. There was a large presence of mining banners in the Town Hall , 20 in all, as Lodges from all over the area joined to pay their respects and honour the memory of those who lost their lives. Rev. John Bower of Trinity Methodist Church and Rev. Lynda Gough of St Paul's Church officiated at the Service, which Marion Jackson opened with a welcome to all who had attended, on behalf of the Heritage Banner Association. The Service commemorated, not only the distaster, but served as a reminder of how dangerous an occupation coal mining was, to today’s generation. Jim Smith, Head Teacher of Tudhoe Colliery Primary School, read a poem in honour of the miners, and pupils from the School afterwards read out the names of all those who lost their lives. Spennymoor Town Band provided accompaniment for the hymns, and the Service ended with the unveiling of three commemorative plaques by the Mayor. The plaques will be displayed in places of honour in Tudhoe Colliery Primary School, Tudhoe Community Centre and in the Town Hall. Earlier in the week, Spennymoor’s Mayor Sylvia Plews had placed a wreath on the Memorial to the miners, which stands in the central walkway of Tudhoe Cemetery in a civic ceremony.
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Tudhoe Grange School Bands’ new CD, a double album featuring music by the current bands as well as some previously-released tracks, has gone on sale. The appropriately titled 'It Don't Mean A Thing If You Ain't Had That Swing' is available now from the School, priced £8. Readers can contact the sShool on (01388) 816050.
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Spennymoor cemented their grip on the Division Two Championship in the Arngrove Northern League with a decisive and emphatic victory in their last game of the season against Thornaby at the Brewery Field on Saturday. By the final whistle, Spennymoor were the easy winners by two goals to one with Jason Ainsley and David Manson the scorers for the ‘Moors. When the new season starts in the autumn, Spennymoor will be playing in the First Division of the Northern League and are looking forward to local derby’s against local sides Shildon and Bishop Auckland
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A direct appeal to readers to help curb the number of deliberate fires started in the Easter holidays has been a huge success with a 50 per cent drop in reported arson attacks. During last year’s Easter holidays, there were 47 arson-related incidents in the Borough Council area, so to help combat the problem, Sedgefield Community Safety Partnership asked readers to take precautions and let it know about any potential fire hazards and rubbish so that workers could remove the temptation. Partnership Chair, Glyn Hall, said: “We asked households to only put their wheelie bin out on the day it is due to be collected and to bring it back onto their premises by nightfall.” “We also urged people to report any illegal dumping of rubbish in back lanes or yards of empty houses and any vehicles that may have looked abandoned to Sedgefield Borough Council.” Other measures to combat deliberate fires carried out by the partnership with Durham Police, the fire service and the council’s neighbourhood wardens included youth groups visiting the fire station, fire crews out talking to youths when not on calls and a leaflet drop in known hotspots. Mr Hall added: “We’re delighted the campaign was such a success with 23 fires reported and we hope that people will remember the messages and continue to help the authorities prevent deliberate fires being started”
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By Alan Marron. Tudhoe Grange School Band celebrated its 25th Anniversary in swinging style when they shared the stage recently with The Reg Vardy Band. Spennymoor Leisure Centre was the venue for the Concert on Saturday 28th April, which was attended by Spennymoor's Deputy Mayor, Councillor Joan Wood. The Band was formed by Adrian Biddulph, following his appointment as Head of Music at the School in 1981. He arrived to find that the supply of musical instruments amounted to a handful of descant recorders, which, he says, he quickly got rid of! At that time, the School had just four students playing musical instruments, but he persuaded more to join and formed the first band in 1982 with nine instrumentalists, playing on borrowed instruments. Today’s Concert Band boasts over 100 members taken from a total School role of 850 and the pupils play a wide range of professional instruments purchased in 1996 thanks to a grant of £49,000 through the Northern Arts Council from the National Lottery. Prior to the award the Band had been as it still remains, self-financing, with parents raising funds on an annual basis to enable the Band to progress and all those associated are grateful for their continued support. After such a humble beginning, the Band says it is rightly proud of its achievements over the last twenty-five years. Four former members are now Music Teachers themselves, whilst others have become professional musicians, and one rose to become a member of the prestigious Band of the Royal Marines. Friendship has always been one of the Band’s keynotes, and one of its greatest strengths, and former members return occasionally to either attend or play at concerts. Former Trumpet player, Cheryl Sowerby is now a graphic designer, and designed the logo that the band displays wherever they travel – and that means its travelled a long way!. Clarinet player Paul Marshall, another former Band member, designed, and maintains their website: Ten years ago, the Band split to become two bands, with the formation of The Tudhoe Grange School Big Band, which plays music in the style of the classic bands of 50 or more years ago. Thanks to the support of Sedgefield Borough Council, the Band has been able to stage a number of concerts with top bands at local venues. Their Concert with The Reg Vardy Band – formerly the Ever Ready Band and regarded as one of the finest in the country – has become an annual event. The Bands have also played with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, as part of the Borough's 'Festival of Life' and were specially commissioned to compose and perform 'Swing In The Millenium' as part of the Council's Millenium celebrations. As a result, the Bands were featured on national TV.when they were approached by the BBC to take part in their 'Children In Need' telethons, raising £2,000 for the appeal from sales of their CD's. They hope to be participating again this year, and have their sights set on beating their last total.
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Scott Carpenter from Tudhoe and Sedgefield Water Polo Club and Great Britain's leading player was rewarded for his dedication and talent by being named Sedgefield Borough's Sports Personality of the Year. Scott, 18, who has been playing since he was 7 years old, continues to astound people in the sport at home WATER POLO STAR HONOURED and abroad with his wonderful skills, speed and tenacity. Water Polo players in general don't really fully mature till their mid to late twenties. Scott, who trains at the Olympic high performance centre in Manchester, hopes to be the first player ever from GB to play in the top professional leagues of Italy and Spain and lead GB's Olympic challenge.
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The news of yet another 100% pass rate by members of the Kyokushin Karate Club in Spennymoor, has left Chief Instructor Adam Walker elated. Nine students from his Club all passed their latest grading with flying colours. The grading, which takes place four times per year, involved a very strict programme where everyone was put through their paces for several hours by means of full contact fighting, self defence moves, stamina tests and showing an ability to perform katas (patterns). Kyokushin karate expert Martin Marlborough (5th dan), travelled from Perth in Scotland to grade the students and commented that there was a high standard demonstrated. The level of skill shown and the amount of effort displayed in the fighting techniques particularly impressed him. Classes in the Club start from 5 years and incorporate many different kinds of training which include the use of weapons, and self-defence to name but a few. The Club is located in Low Grange Road, Spennymoor and operates a pay-as-youtrain method. It also benefits through sponsorship from Mayfair Cars, Workwear Express, The Green Tree Pub, Taylors Newsagents and M.W Anderson haulage and livery. The Club is unique as the style of karate taught there is considered to be a true Martial Art and not simply a combat sport. It is the only one of its kind in this region and boasts several British and English Champions within various categories. For information on classes or for anyone interested in sponsoring one of the best Martial Arts Clubs in the North of England, details can be obtained by calling Adam Walker on 07713 411198 or 01388 810337.
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