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News Stories From Issue 91 - 26th May 2007
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Over 70 people look like being made redundant as Remploy, the UK.’s largest empoyer of the disabled, announces closures of over half their factories. Staff at the Spennymoor factory were told the news of the closure in their work’s canteen over lunch on Tuesday. The closure plans however are being opposed by Trade Union Unite,which is calling on the company to meet with the trade union consortium to discuss rescue plans to save as many sites as possible. Unite National Officer, Rachael Maskell, said "The disabled workers employed by Remploy will find it almost impossible to get other jobs if their factory is closed."
 View this article on its own (ID:1765)


Councillor Joan Wood is Spennymoor’s new Mayor, being appointed to the position at the Council’s Annual Meeting, held in the Town Hall last Monday evening. Councillor Fred Walker told his fellow Councillors that he had great pleasure in proposing Councillor Joan Wood as the new Town Mayor. “I had the privilege of being Deputy Mayor when her mother, Hannah Ferguson, was Spennymoor Town Mayor in 1988-89,” he said. “I also worked alongside her father, George Ferguson, when he was Chairman of Sedgefield District Council.” Councillor Wood's brother, Russell, was also a former Spennymoor Town Mayor, serving from 2001 to 2002. Councillor Walker went on to say, “The excellent way in which Joan has carried out the duties of Deputy Mayor during the last year, combined with her family background, will ensure that she makes an excellent Mayor in the finest traditions of the position”. Councillor Wood was then formerly invested with the mayoral chain of office. She then addressed her colleagues, and members of the public in the crowded gallery, saying, “To serve the people of Spennymoor as their Town Mayor is, indeed, a great privelege.” “It is also a very great honour to wear this chain of office, and I will wear it with the greatest of pride and follow the Mayors who went before in upholding the office with dignity and diligence”. Councillor Ian Harrington was chosen to serve as Deputy Mayor. Like Mayor Wood, he is no stranger to public service, having been a member of Spennymoor Town Council since 1991. He represented Spennymoor Ward for two terms, then, after an absence of four years, found that boundary changes had placed his home in Low Spennymoor and Tudhoe Grange Ward, where he was again elected to the Town Council in 2003 and again in the recent election. As a member of Spennymoor Town Council, Councillor Harrington has taken an active part in the life of the Council, being Chair and Vice Chair of the Planning & Highways Committee, and the Finance & General Purposes Committees. He has also chaired the Sedgefield District Local Councils’ Committee and represented that body on the Durham Association of Town and Parish Councils. He currenlty represents the town on the Largest Local Councils Committee of the National Association of Local Councils. In his acceptance speech, Councillor Harrington pledged to support the Town Mayor in any way he could during the next year.
 View this article on its own (ID:1766)


A question that has had people scratching their heads in bewilderment for centuries has finally been answered – by children in a Spennymoor Nursery School. The question is, of course, 'Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” The children at Ox Close Nursery School arrived at their answer very logically, in a manner that would probably leave the world's great scientific brains awestruck. Quite simply, they had three eggs, two of which have hatched, producing beautiful little chickens, according to mother nature's plan. Were the children excited by their newly-arrived brood? “Not half as excited as their parents and grandparents,” says Headteacher Jayne Smith. “Every visitor to the School wants to 'see the chickens'. Of course, you can hardly blame them – the youngest members of our School, like all our little ones, are lovely”.
 View this article on its own (ID:1767)


A cat going by name of Tally went missing in the Tudhoe area, on Wednesday, 2nd May. She wasn’t wearing a collar but is chipped. Tally is a much loved family pet and her kitten is fretting for her. There’s a reward on offer to anyone who spots her and the family can be contacted on 01388 815079 or 0776 549 8768.
 View this article on its own (ID:1768)


There will be Sequence and Ballroom Dance on the 25th of May at Spennymoor Town Hall . The fantastic organist Graeme Scarlett will be on hand to entertain with music and dancing starts from 8.00pm until 11.00pm. Tickets cost £4 each and are available on the door.
 View this article on its own (ID:1769)


Brancepeth Archives and History Group are eager to preserve and record the history of their village, and are appealing for anyone with information about Brancepeth , whether in the form of documents, photographs or even personal memories, to get in touch with them. They will be holding an Open Day on Saturday, 2nd June, in the Village Hall, from 10.00am – 4.00pm. Any items taken along on that day will be scanned into their computer, and returned immediately and there will also be facilities for recording verbal memories. Refreshments will also be available during the day. If readers have items that cannot be scanned, they ask that people inform them, so they can build up a record of what information exists, and where it is kept safe. Those unable to attend the Open Day, but have information of any kind on the village , can contact the Group through Peter Cargill (0191) 3780509; Jim Merrington (0191) 3780952 or Vivienne Lowe (0191) 3780974.
 View this article on its own (ID:1770)


In a reversal of roles, Councillor Jim Graham, the former Deputy Leader of Spennymoor Town Council, has been elected as the new Leader of the Council, with Councillor John M. Marr, Leader for the last three years, being elected as Cllr Graham’s Deputy Leader. The elections took place at the Annual Meeting of the Town Council this week in the Town Hall. A crowded meeting heard that the new Mayor, Cllr Joan Wood, had chosen to support The Great North Air Ambulance as her chosen charity, and the fund-raising will officially open when she is 'At Home' to Councillors and town residents at the Town Hall on Saturday, 9th June.
 View this article on its own (ID:1771)


"Are you motivated to make healthier choices?” ask the organisers of a new course to be held in the area shortly. “Do you want to change your lifestyle?” “If the answer is yes we have the Courses for you,” they say. “Come along to our new free Healthy Lifestyle Course starting soon in St. Pauls Church Hall Spennymoor every Tuesday, 9.30am to 11.00am, starting on Tuesday, 5th June 2007. The Healthy Lifestyle ANSWER TO AN AGE OLD QUERY A question that has had people scratching their heads in bewilderment for centuries has finally been answered – by children in a Spennymoor Nursery School. The question is, of course, 'Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” The children at Ox Close Nursery School arrived at their answer very logically, in a manner that would probably leave the world's great scientific brains awestruck. Quite simply, they had three eggs, two of which have hatched, producing beautiful little chickens, according to mother nature's plan. Were the children excited by their newly-arrived brood? “Not half as excited as their parents and grandparents,” says Headteacher Jayne Smith. “Every visitor to the School wants to 'see the chickens'. Of course, you can hardly blame them – the youngest members of our School, like all our little ones, are lovely”. Ain’t they tweet! The chicks are admired by youngsters at Ox Close Nursery School. Course is being run by the Pioneering Care Partnership who are based at Newton Aycliffe, is free and will run for up to 8 weeks. It includes several practical cooking sessions and also various other topics such as First Aid and Holistic Therapies Tasters. Readers attending will also have the opportunity to try out different kinds of exercise. “Healthy Lifestyle Courses are a fun way to meet new people, learn new skills and become healthier. These courses are free, why not start your new lifestyle now?,” say the organisers. “Places are strictly limited, so book your place.” “To find out more information, please call the team on 01325 329933”, they say.
 View this article on its own (ID:1772)


Local photographer, Alan Hardy, holds the honour of being the first visitor to Spennynews’ recentlyopened Spennymoor Office, situated right across the road from the Town Hall. Our new Spennymoor headquarters are in an office in the premises of BLP Property Services Limited, thanks to the kindness and generosity of local businessman, Tony Langdale. Alan called to let us know that he will be exhibiting his landscape photography in the Main Reception Hall of County Hall in Durham for one week, commencing on Monday 18th June. So, if readers are in Durham around that time, why not pop along to County Hall, which is across the road from the University Hospital and take a look at the area as Alan sees it through the lens of his camera. Readers are invited to call at our Office to leave stories, ask for coverage of local events, or place classified adverts at our standard rate of 35p per word. The office, it seems, is also turning into ‘Gossip Corner’, with readers keen to call in for a chat with whichever of our volunteers are staffing the office. Each and everyone of our readers ise invited to call in and meet the team.
 View this article on its own (ID:1773)


The two talented Tudhoe Grange School Bands are holding a Reunion Concert at the School on Saturday, 23rd June, 2007, and have issued a warm welcome to former members who would like to join them for the day. Former member s of either the Concert Band or Big Band, who would like to help celebrate this very special year, the 25th Anniversary of the Bands’ formation, should contact Musical Director Adrian Biddulph in advance . Contact can be made through the Band’s website, or by clicking on the link at
 View this article on its own (ID:1774)


The Sure Start Children's Centre at Tudhoe Moor Nursery will be hosting a free Open Day on Saturday 16th June from 10.30am to 2.30pm, and, say the organisers, “Everybody is welcome”. On offer are refreshments, a Children's Entertainer, Face Painting and, amongst other attractions, Health Information for Men to complement Men’s Health Week which is being held between 11th and 17th June. Accordingly, Dads, Grandads and Male Carers are invited to pop over and join in the fun.
 View this article on its own (ID:1775)


The area’s Sure Start Centres are going to be the first in the Country to hold “I CAN talk early”, a scheme to improve speech, language and communication skills. The scheme aims to ensure that all early years’ youngsters learn in communication-friendly environments.
 View this article on its own (ID:1776)


A disqualified driver from Spennymoor had his case adjourned recently when he appeared before the South Durham Magistrates sitting at Newton Aycliffe. 32 year-old Paul Longthorne, of Craddock Street in Spennymoor, faces three motoring charges, these being ‘driving whilst disqualified’, ‘having no Insurance’ and ‘failing to supply a specimen of blood’. It is alleged that these offences were committed in Newton Aycliffe’s Burn Lane on the 26th and 27th of April this year. The sitting Magistrates agreed to adjourn the matter until the 30th of May.
 View this article on its own (ID:1777)


A retired State Registered Nurse and Community Midwife from Spennymoor has been elected the new Leader of Sedgefield Borough Council. Agnes Armstrong is a Borough Council stalwart and Ward Member for Tudhoe and replaces Bob Fleming at the helm of the local authority which has its headquarters in Spennymoor. She will have, as her deputy, Cllr. Vince Crosby of the Greenfield & Middridge Ward. It is a case of history in the making, as Cllr Armstrong becomes the first female Leader in the history of Sedgefield Borough and the former Sedgefield District Council and she becomes only the third Leader of the Borough Council. Indeed, it is a female ‘double,’ for another woman, Cllr. Sarah Iveson, was selected as Mayor for the next year, replacing Cllr Lucy Hovvels. Cllr. Iveson was Mayor of Great Aycliffe Town Council for the period 1997-98. As well as being a Borough Councillor, 63-year-old Mrs Iveson has been a Councillor for the last 12 years with Great Aycliffe Town Council and Durham County Council. Her husband, Malcolm, was a previous Leader of Great Aycliffe Town Council and was a Cabinet Member for the Borough Council. Speaking after her appointment, Cllr. Iveson, said: “It is a great honour and tremendous privilege to represent Sedgefield Borough as Mayor – a position I will endeavour to carry out with dignity.” Cllr. John Robinson of Sedgefield, who is also a Town, Borough and County Councillor, was elected to the position of Deputy Mayor. Cllr. Iveson’s chosen charity for the forthcoming 12 months is the Children’s Diabetes Trust Fund. During her year in office, Cllr. Hovvels, the retiring Borough Mayor, raised £12,788 to be shared equally between her two chosen charities – the Learning Library and Little Hands Kenya.
 View this article on its own (ID:1778)


Green-fingered youngsters are being challenged to take part in sunflower and pumpkin growing contests this summer. Durham County Council is running the two competitions as a fun introduction to gardening and plant biology and to help raise awareness of home composting. The council’s waste management unit is offering free seeds to schools and children who want to try to grow the tallest sunflower or heaviest pumpkin. The aim is for children to grow a seedling at school or at home, replant it in the garden and look after it over the summer and autumn. The growers of the heaviest pumpkin and tallest sunflower will win £100 for their school to spend on outdoor teaching resources, a home compost bin and £50 to spend on outdoor play equipment for themselves. To enter call Suzanne Williamson at Durham County Council on 0191 383 5553.
 View this article on its own (ID:1779)


A Spennymoor man who suffers from diabetes admitted in Court that he had had a drink problem for five or six years and that he was thirsty all the time due to his condition. Raymond Inwood, 45, of Ullswater Close in Spennymoor, appeared before the South Durham Magistrates sitting at Newton Aycliffe recently where he admitted a charge of ‘assault by beating’, the offence being committed on or about the 1st of April this year in Spennymoor. Mr. Paul Hunter, appearing on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, told the Court that the Police were called to Inwood’s home because he was ‘smashing the house up’. When they arrived, Inwood’s wife, the injured party in the case, stated that he had been smashing some items and had left. Later, the Police received another call to say that Inwood had returned. The injured party then told Police that she and Inwood had been out drinking and that, on the way home, there had been an argument and that he had punched her. When they arrived home, Inwood punched and kicked at her in the kitchen. In interview after his arrest, Inwood made no reply to any of the questions put to him by the interviewing Police Officers. Mr. Hunter went on to tell the Court that no photographs were taken of the injured party’s injuries and that later, the injured party made a retraction statement to the Police. In conclusion, Mr. Hunter stated that Inwood’s last conviction was last year when he was handed a Conditional Discharge for an offence of ‘affray’ following an incident in Bishop Auckland Police Station and that, in consequence, Inwood’s admission of guilt to the current charge meant that he was in breach of that Conditional Discharge. Inwood, who was not represented in Court, admitted being in breach of the Conditional Discharge and told the sitting Magistrates that he was unable to recall the attack on the injured party. Inwood added that, as well as suffering from diabetes, he also had a “borderline personality disorder” and, although currently employed by Ness Furniture, he had many financial problems. The sitting Magistrates agreed that a full Pre-Sentence Report should be prepared by the Probation Service with a steering of a high-level Community Penalty. Inwood was handed conditional bail until he appears on the 7th of June to be sentenced, the conditions being not to interfere with witnesses and to leave the property in Ullswater Close when requested by the injured party.
 View this article on its own (ID:1780)


After completing another successful production, The Tearaways Youth Theatre Group, which attracts a lot of its members from the Spennymoor area, are about to go into rehearsals for their next production, “The Disney Show.” The production will coincide with the Group’s 10th Anniversary in October of this year and they are presently looking for young people aged 10 to 16 years of age, who are interested in singing, dancing and drama, to join them in this production. According to the organisers of the drama group, the production will be the Group’s biggest staged to date. For more information on the Group, which has its base over in Shildon, and how to join it, give them a ring on (01388 ) 774838
 View this article on its own (ID:1781)


Children at Ox Close Nursery School have been hitting the trail, to raise funds for new facilities being planned for their School garden. To help raise funds, the youngsters happily emptied their piggy banks and made a Penny Trail by laying lines of coins all round the paths in the garden. Miss Jayne Smith, Headteacher at the Nursery, said, “The support for this fund-raising event has been phenomenal.” “We raised just over £100 last year and I'm sure we have passed that figure this year.” “ I would like to thank all of the children and their families for their generous support,” she said. The children’s Penny Trail went twice round the pathways, and the children even added embellishments of their own, including ladders and a variety of shapes with their pennies, as well as lines. The school has placed a huge emphasis on developing the garden, which is also used by neighbouring Ox Close Primary School's Reception Class during the break between the Nursery's morning and afternoon sessions. Over the last three years, over £37,000 has been spent developing the garden, creating an exciting sand play area, an amphitheatre for performing outdoors, a Pirate Ship for climbing and language development, and a special quiet corner for telling stories. Fund-raising events like the Penny Trail and other sponsored events have helped raise the funds to create the facilities. Staff are currently in the process of making plans to extend the garden further, this time including an area for music making and art work. Plans are hopefully to also create an extension to the wildlife area and a quiet sensory walk. All of the money raised by the School will go towards the creation of the project.
 View this article on its own (ID:1782)


No. 4 Stockley Grove, Brancepeth will be open to the public on Sunday 27th May between 2.00pm and 5.00pm by kind permission of Mr. and Mrs. Bainbridge. The garden will be open to the public as part of St. Cuthbert’s Hospice Open Gardens 200 The garden comprises of an acre with trees, shrubs and herbaceous borders with two ponds with waterfalls and a stream linking the two as well as a wild life pond. Teas are available and admission is by donation. Stockley Grove is on the left opposite the right hand turn to Oakenshaw. For further details please telephone the Fund-raising Office 0191 386 1170.
 View this article on its own (ID:1783)


Casual users of Spennymoor Library may not realise that the facility has quite a healthy retail aspect with a of items on sale, including an interesting selection of Celtic silver Mackintosh Jewellery and a selection of fashion jewellery starting at £5.00. Other items on sale include books of local interest, census vouchers, stationery items for children, wall charts, at only £1.00 each, greetings cards, foreign language CD Roms. Mackintosh pens, and most appropriately, Celtic bookmarks, reading glasses, magnifiers and booklights. Enquire at the Library reception desk.
 View this article on its own (ID:1784)


Patients at Spennymoor Health Centre will soon find themselves on the up and up, thanks to the town’s outgoing Mayor. When Councillor Sylvia Plews was appointed Mayor of Spennymoor in May of last year, she chose The Health Centre Equipment Fund as the good cause that would benefit from fund-raising during her term of office. At the Annual General Meeting of Spennymoor Town Council on Monday 21st May, there were smiles all round as she presented a cheque for £11,225.00 to Doctor Staines, the sum raised from special functions held during the last twelve months. Thanking the Mayor, Doctor Staines said, “Standing here is becoming a habit, but a very good one.” “The benefits of what has been raised are for both doctor and patient alike”. He went on to explain that the money would provide hydraulically adjustable examination couches, saying, “Currently, the examination couches are at a height which are convenient for the doctors, but for older people it becomes something of a 'step-ladder job' to get onto them.” “The new couches will go down to about a foot from the floor and can then be raised to a height where it is comfortable for the doctors to carry out their examination”. Before presenting her cheque, Mayor Plews offered her thanks to all who had supported her and her fundraising throughout the course of the year, saying, “There were many, including Borough and Town Councillors, who went the extra mile in supporting me and my fund-raising”. She went on to thank Council staff before concluding, “It would be remiss of me not to thank my husband and consort, Eddie, who has been by my side and a tower of strength to me throughout my Mayoral year”. Leader of the Council, Councillor John M Marr, congratulated the retiring Mayor and her husband, Eddie, on their year. He said, “I'm sure you will all agree that their commitment to the cause of their chosen charity has paid marvellous dividends”.
 View this article on its own (ID:1785)


Durham County Council is organising a ‘compost awareness-raising’ initiative among schoolsin the area, in which the Authority is offering up to three free compost bins. To qualify, teachers must be able to attend a short session where they will be provided with activity packs containing games and information about composting in school time and at home. Schools can get full details from Suzanne Williamson at Durham County Council on 0191 383 5553.
 View this article on its own (ID:1786)


Former Tudhoe Grange Schoolgirl Jordan Marr has been accepted into the Northern Racing College at Doncaster on a three year course and will be continuing her education after an initial twelve week course with Godolphin in Newmarket and over in Dubai. Jordan spent time last year at Howard Johnson’s stables at Billy Row, gaining experience in race horses. All Jordan’s hard work, which included losing weight and travelling to Billy Row after the family moved to Blackpool, has paid off . “Jordan is now on her way to doing what she has wanted to do since she first sat on a horse at an early age”, said her proud Dad, Alan.
 View this article on its own (ID:1787)


Esh Winning showed why they are the team to beat, as they won their top of the table clash with Tudhoe at the weekend. Winning the toss and batting, Tudhoe were soon in trouble, as opening bowler Eddie Watson, ripped through the top order, leaving the home side 43 for 5 at one stage. Only Adrian Stocker, showed resistance with a dogged 25 n.o. from 87 balls, as the home side were all out for 99 in just 33.5 overs. Eddie finished with 5wickets for 22 in 12 overs, assisted by Mark Davison with 3 wickets for 15 runs. When Esh came out to bat, captain David Watson, then crashed 23 out of the first 29 runs, to set the visitors on the way to victory. Professional Farooq Iqbal, 40 n.o. then guided Esh to an easy win with more than 15 overs to spare. Sachin Rana & Chris Glasper both took 2 wickets apiece, as Tudhoe fell to 5th in the league table. See Tudhoe’s web site at
 View this article on its own (ID:1788)


Magistrates sitting at Newton Aycliffe last week committed a man to be dealt with at the Crown Court on charges of ‘assault’ and ‘assault occasioning actual bodily harm’, alleged to have occurred in Spennymoor in the latter part of March this year. Gary Storey, 41, whose current address was given in Court as Mellanby Crescent in Newton Aycliffe, was granted conditional bail until he appears before the Durham Crown Court on the 12th of July.
 View this article on its own (ID:1789)


Despite the rain, a charity football match played at Spennymoor’s Boundary Park turned out to be freeflowing and exciting in which the Staff of Spennymoor School taught their students a lesson in how to score goals in a 4-1 win. Early signs suggested that the youth and energy of the Sixth Form side would win the game as Daniel Keenan opened the scoring. However, Jon Dixon replied with a firm header and, after a surging run, Allan Barratt slotted home to put the staff ahead. The second half saw the Staff build on their lead, with Shaun Longthorne adding a third and Andrew Lowe killing the game off with a well-taken penalty. The game was marked by a sporting atmosphere and good humour and it provided everyone with an opportunity to enjoy football and one another’s company whilst raising money for charity. Commenting on this, Head of P.E., Russ Braithwaite, said: “It was a wonderful occasion and the game was played in an excellent manner.” “ It’s fantastic that so many ex-students joined the staff side and helped us to victory!” “A massive ‘thank you’ from both teams goes to ex-student Andrew Spenceley who organised the whole event from the venue to the match officials, as well as coaching the the Sixth Form side.” “Thanks also go to all the supporters who braved the weather to support the teams and the two charities.” Christine Saxon from the N.S.P.C.C. and Dr Lamb from Bishop Auckland Hospital’s Paediatric Diabetes Unit presented the trophies and monies raised amounted to over £500 which will be used locally. Speaking of the event, Sheila McEwan, Head of Spennymoor Sixth Form, said “I am so thrilled. The evening was a brilliant success and is due to the fact that Andrew put so much effort and detailed planning into the organisation. It was wonderful to see so many staff, students, friends and families from the town coming together to support such good causes.’ This is the second year that Andrew has organised this special event. For the record, members of the teams were: Staff Team: Mr R Braithwaite, Mr A Barratt Mr D Cooper (captain), Mr G Hopper, Mr J Warburton , Mr A Lowe, Mr G Hudson, Mr K Potts, Mr K Simpson , Mr R Spink, Jon Dixon, Steven Fothergill, Lewis Dodds, Ryan Murray, Liam Lowe, Sheldon Metcalfe, Shaun Longthorne, Michael Birch and Joel Spragg . Their Managers were Mr. T Coltman and Mr. A Beckett, The Sixth Form team was :Mark Youll, Shaun Elliot, Paul Moses, Daniel Keenan, Liam Willis, Robert Wilson, Kyle Lawson, Liam McRoy (captain), Tom Fothergill, Carl Tyers Scott Dufferwiel, Jamie Wright, Nicholas Radcliffe, Michael Fearman, Craig Dufferwiel, Craig Moses and Kirk Green. The Manager was Andrew Spenceley. The Refreree was Mr Milner, his assistants were Mr. B. Parry and Mr. P. Simpson and the 4th official was Mr. R Tiffin.
 View this article on its own (ID:1790)


Tudhoe Residents’ Association have invited Senior Officers from Sedgefield Borough Council, including Officers from the Housing Department, to attend their next meeting on 4th June, 2007. The Association is hoping that the Officers will address a number of issues that have been raised by local residents in recent meetings, concerning the care and maintenance of the estates within and around the York Hill area. “This is a great opportunity for you and your neighbours to talk directly to the Senior Officers and Representatives for your area, to highlight the concerns and issues you have regarding the facilities, maintenance, anti-social behaviour, and services affecting the area in which you live,” say the organisers. “The Residents’ Association is committed to making a positive difference to the area that we live in, but we need your voice to tell us what the issues are that you want to be addressed and supported”. The meeting is to be held on Monday 4th June at 6.30pm in Tudhoe Community Centre. Residents who are unable to attend and wish to pass their comments or questions through the Committee should contact Nicola Ashley, the Association’s Chair, at 56 Meadow Green, Tel: 01388 420035 or Sandra Stephenson, the Secretary, at 22 St David’s Close, Tel: 01388 813031.
 View this article on its own (ID:1791)


Magistrates sitting at Newton Aycliffe last week issued a Warrant for the arrest of a Spennymoor man who failed to appear before them when bailed to do so. 20 year-old Christopher Andrew Simpson, of Wood Vue in Spennymoor, was scheduled to appear before the South Durham Magistrates in order to face charges of ‘racially aggravated use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour’ and ‘assault by beating’. Both alleged offences are said to have been committed in Spennymoor, in March and April of this year respectively. Simpson’s Solicitor, Mr. Michael Clarke, who was present in Court, told the sitting Magistrates that he was unable to offer any explanation for the Defendant’s non-appearance and, as a result, Mr. Derek Walton, for the Crown Prosecution Service, successfully applied to the Magistrates for an arrest warrant.
 View this article on its own (ID:1792)


A rousing six hundred dinner guests plus spectators enjoyed yet another night of high standard International Boxing recently. The top County Durham outfit Spennymoor Boxing Academy staged their Annual Dinner promotion at the Leisure Centre against a strong Portaloise select from Southern Ireland. A nine-bout team match, followed by three supports, capped a brilliant evening with some excellent technical Boxing from both sides. Local hero and North East legend Glen McCroy was guest of honour and the excellent M.C. Phil Walker made sure fans were highly entertained. Golden Belt Semi finalist Chad Ellis was first on and he dropped a tight majority to Micheal Weving. Chad forced the fight throughout but the judges opted for the southpaw skills of the Irish Youngster. Three times National Golden Belt winner Ben Jackson was next up and outpointed Irish schools Champion Michael O’Reilly in another tight majority. Superior boxing by Jackson swayed it in his favour against a tricky visitor. Spennymoor’s Kelvin Storey then dropped a unanimous points verdict to the aggressive James McDonagh to put the visitors 2-1 up with one more Junior bout to go. This didn’t seem to concern the relaxed and experienced Reece Ellis who put on a display of classy boxing to unanimously outpoint Stephen McDonagh. The tall rangey Ellis was voted Best Spennymoor Boxer of the Evening. On to the Seniors and some cracking bouts with the hosts unbeaten Welterweight Keith Jones bludgeoning his way to a twenty second stoppage against Brendan Hawkers who to be fair was totally outclassed. In another welter bout Ireland’s Ross Hickey brought the scores back to 3- 3 with a unanimous points verdict over George Gallone. The Irish then stormed into the lead. William McLaughlin then stopped Spennymoor’s Alex Oliver in the second round with the match poised at 4- 3. The atmosphere lifted in anticipation of the “big” two bouts of the night at open class. First up was last year’s Semi- Finalist in the ABA’S Bantam Weight Stuey Hall against rated Irishman, T.J Doheny. The first round was tight but then the stylish Doheny seemed to go through the gears from his southpaw stance to produce some classy boxing en-route to an emphatic unanimous points verdict. Doheny indeed looked a class act. Not to be outdone “The top of the Bill” bout brought together host’s vastly experienced and last years Semi Finalist ABA’S at light heavy Stuey Mcrone against internationally experienced Ed Healy who both put on a top class display of technical boxing. The much taller Mcrone boxed well behind his jab against the smaller muscular Healy and started to dictate matters. Healy kept coming but couldn’t land the cleaner punches, and Stuey forced a standing count in the last round to earn a good scalp. The team match finished 5- 4 to the Portaloise select. Three all auction supports produced three wins for Spennymoor. The best bout of the night was a cracker between Gary Dodds and Michael Hegart of Bishop Auckland, Dodds putting Hogarth down with a lovely timed body shot in the last round on his way to unanimous decision to reverse as earlier loss. The two other supports saw Mickey Thompson out point R. Stubbs (Karmand) on an all action majority and Bob Adijafe clearly outpoint J. Whiley (Redcar ABC ) up at heavyweight. Best Spennymoor Boxer on the night was Reece Ellis. The Best Bout of the Night was the fight between Gary Dodds and Michael Hogarth. Tommy Stuart took the Golden Belt in his match aginst Ben Jackson.
 View this article on its own (ID:1793)


Spennymoor police are asking residents to get in touch if they’ve lost a strimmer! Earlier this month officers recovered two yellow and black petrol driven strimmers from the Rock Road area of Spennymoor. They think the machines are worth £100 each and could have gone missing either at the end of April or the beginning of May. Readers missing the equipment should ring P.C. Steve Constantine at Spennymoor Police Station on 0845 - 60 - 60 - 365. Two men have been arrested and released on police bail in connection with the matter.
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Our thanks to a lady in Kent who forwarded this interesting photograph to “Picture Spennymoor” for their archive. The picture was taken by Osguthorpe of Spennymoor. so its obviously local, But, Who is the man? - and what is the handsome trophy and does it still exist? A close examination of the trophies cap seems to reveal that its a possibly a footballer, complete with cap and long shorts! From the style of dress we have got to be looking at, believe it or not, a young man in his early twenties around 1910. What we do know is that it isn’t the Thomas Lipton Trophy - the first World Cup, because we looked that one up! All ideas to Spennynews, via the library, our website,, or by email to spennynews Readers interested in old photographs of Spennymoor and District should have a look at on the internet which has a fascinating gallery of images and records.
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A recent article on the former name of the Honest Lawyer at Sunderland Bridge prompted our Anne Robinson to research the former Golden Fleece in Spennymoor. The pub was in existance in 1879 and appears in Kellys register for that year. It was still in business in 1936 for records show that Thomas Mulloy had it then. The Fleece was apparently run at one time by Mary Fothergill and her husband Harold. Mary eventually took over the pub as Landlady in her own right, no mean fete for a mother of five! In fact her three sons were roped in to work down the cellar , cleaning the pumps by hand. After a spell running clubs around the North-East, she returned to a fish and chip shop next to another pub, the Vulcan Inn., which we believe was in Coulson Street. How many readers recall the two pubs, and what are they called today, if they still exist. Our Anne has apparently tracked Mary Fothergill down and says she has a wealth of memories and is happy to sit and reminisce the old days. Her memories go back to the days of the night men, who would come round and empty the middens - earth toilets that were cleaned out by men accessing it from a small door at the back, under the seat. Insomniacs taking a moment to relieve themselves in the night would often be frightened to death as a sudeden blast of night air preceeded the sudden appearance of a shovel expertly removing the soiled ashes. If you can remeber the Fleece or the Vulcan Inn, drop us a line to Spennynews at the Library, email us at or contact us via our web site at In the meantime, as the saying goes, ... more next week.
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Young children and their parents have a unique opportunity of enjoying 45 minutes of singing., playing instruments, dancing, learning new rhymes and sharing stories when KindersMusic, Our Time for Story Time comes to Spennymoor. The event will be hosted by Spennymoor Library on Tuesday 5th June at 1.30pm and admission is free. Readers wishing more details on the free event should contact Spennymoor Library or ring Nikki Pearson on 01429 881952.
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A combination of a warm Spring and green-fingered enthusiasm by four gardeners has produced an unprecedented number of plants which the group hope to sell for charity. Audrey, Doreen, Enid, Joyce and Zena say that all the plants they have lovingly raised from cuttings and seeds are now beginning to flower and are just ready to be planted out into local gardens. The group are putting their plants up for sale by setting up a stall on the corner of Cleves Court Estate, over in in Ferryhill, at 10.00am on Saturday, 26th May and all readers are invited along. “We really must have green fingers ’ cause at the moment, we have loads and loads of beautiful plants which we hope to sell for charity,” say the gardeners. The sale runs until the plants sell out - and that won’t be long!
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Whitworth Church will be holding an Open Day on Sunday and Monday afternoon between 1.00pm and 5.00pm. Amongst the attractions will be stalls offering bric-a-brac and gifts.
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“The results are finally in, and it’s great news, says the Woodland Trust, who organised this year’s recycling campaign of used Christmas Cards. “This year, thanks to the public’s fantastic support, the Woodland Trust has collected a staggering 91 million Christmas cards to be recycled. That’s almost 2,000 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill,” they announce. The Woodland Trust’s scheme, which runs every January in WH Smith, Tesco and TK Maxx Stores, aims to limit the number of cards going to landfill (which generates greenhouse gases) as well as to raise money to plant more trees right here in the UK. This year’s scheme will enable the Trust to plant more than 22,000 trees! And every single one is urgently needed – the UK is bottom of the European league when it comes to tree cover. Janette Wickens of the Woodland Trust said, “Thanks must go to everyone who recycled their cards this year – it’s a huge achievement. The campaign has grown massively in the last five years and that’s down to public support, and the media too by really embracing it. In 2002, we collected 28 millions cards, this year it’s 91 million! That’s why it’s taken until May to bring you news of the total – it’s taken us so long to count them all!” The scheme, backed by Recycle Now, was launched by actress Jane Horrocks and supported by celebrities Debra Stephenson, Dale Winton, Matthew Pinsent, Sian Lloyd and Charlie Dimmock to name a few. Thanks to the scheme, trees are being planted throughout the UK . To find your nearest Woodland Trust wood, all of which are open free to the public, visit www.woodlandtrust. And it’s a great time to go – more than 100 of the Trust’s 1200 woods are alive with carpets of shimmering bluebells.
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1498: Christopher Columbus set out on his third trip to America with six ships. 1521: The Edict of Worms outlawed Martin Luther, a German religious reformer, and his followers. 1678: Lady Godiva rode naked through Coventry as a protest over taxes imposed by her husband. 1742: The first indoor swimming pool was opened in London’s Goodman’s Fields. 1830: A Mr. D. Hyde patented the Fountain Pen. 1867: The foundations of London ’s Royal Albert Hall were laid by Queen Victoria . 1874: Levi Strauss marketed blue jeans with copper rivets priced at $13.50 per dozen. 1882: The St. Gothard Railway Tunnel linking Switzerland with Italy opened. 1887: 200 people died after a gas lamp caused a fire at L’Opera de Paris. 1902: Australia made their lowest total ever against England , 36, in a cricket Test Match at Birmingham’s Edgbaston. 1917: The first-ever jazz record was released – “The Dark Town Strutters Ball”.
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Spennymoor Borough Councillor, Ben Ord, has been elected Leader of the Lib- Dem Group at Spennymoor Borough Council. Councillor Ord respresents the Spennymoor Ward.
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1630: Charles II – who reigned between 1660 and 1685. 1738: George III - who reigned from 1760 to 1820. 1759: William Pitt the Younger – Prime Minister between 1783 – 1801 and 1804 – 1806. 1780: Elizabeth Fry – Quaker Minister, prison reformer and nurse. 1809: Franz Josef Haydn – the Austrian composer. 1837: “Wild Bill” Hickok (James Butler) – cowboy and scout. Joseph Grimaldi – London-born clown. 1859: Arthur Conan Doyle – later to become “Sir”, the man who created the fictional Baker Street detective, Sherlock Holmes 1904: George Formby – born George Hoy Booth in Wigan. 1908: James Stewart – actor. 1918: Denis Compton – Arsenal and England footballer and Middlesex and England cricketer.
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The British Judo Association (The BJA) is the governing body for the sport of Judo in the UK, with, by fa,r the largest membership and is the only authorised body to send judo players to the World C h a m p i o n s h i p s , Commonwealth Games, European Championships and the Olympic Games. For the last 6 months the Northern Area (BJA) Senior Mens team have been preparing for the upcoming National Team Championship to be held at the K2 Arena in London on June 16th. The Northern Area team consists of 7 men selected from the Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Tees areas. On a 4/6 week basis, the Northern Area Squad have been meeting on a Thursday evening to participate in a mass area session. The team is selected from UK competition success and participation in the above area sessions. At 7.30pm on Thursday 31st May the final session is being held at Crowtree Leisure Centre in Sunderland announces John Tierney, the Northern Area Mens’ Coach.
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The son of a former World Cup referee died as a result of a tragic accident, an inquest has heard. Matthew Courtney, the son of Spennymoor’s George Courtney, fell 80 ft from the top floor of the Tate Modern down in London. The inquest heard that Matthew had sat on a bannister on the upper floor to use his mobile phone at around 8.30pm on Friday February 9th. P.C. Matthew Wilkinson told the Southward Coroner’s Court that he thought the 27 year old had fallen between the bannister and the wall. Matthew Courtney worked for a City Law firm in the capital.
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The Town Council is hoping to refurbish a well-known short cut from the High Street to the Supermarket, and Car Park at the back of the Town Hall. A spokesperson for the Local Authority says that the Council had invested money in the Town Hall over recent years to bring it up to current Standards. Money has been spent refurbishing the ground floor office accommodation to comply with Disability Discrimination Act Standards, and the Town Hall Bar and Memorial Room has also been refurbished. Additional public meeting rooms have been created and three toilets installed for people with disabilities. Lately, as readers will have noticed the scaffolding has gone up round the Town Hall Clock with essential work being carried out on the Tower. The Town Council is now turning its attention to the outside of the building and, in particular, the John Kitson Arch which allows pedestrian access between the Town Centre, and the High Street, and Aldi, Gatenby’s, John Willetts and the Leisure Centre , Sadly, the Arch, named after a former long-serving Town and Borough Councillor who passed away some time ago, is looking rather tired, despite the brightly painted murals on the wall. In an attempt to regenerate the popular link, the Town Council are in the process of submitting a grant application to the Borough Council to attempt to secure a “Local Improvement” Grant to regenerate the Arch, and bring it into more effective public use. Pauline Wilson, Spennymoor’s Town Clerk said, “To enable the grant application to be considered, we need to be able to demonstrate public support for the project”. The plans and a model of the proposals will be going on open view inside the arch on the afternoons of Friday 25th May , Friday 1st June and Friday 8th June and there will be an opportunity to discuss the proposals with the Town Hall staff.” “Readers are invited to pop along and have a look at the proposals.” “The Plans, which the Council believes will bring the archway up to the same standard as the rest of the regenerated Town Hall and Town Centre, will also be on display in the Town Hall Reception, accessed via the arch at other times of the week”. “The proposals include improved security and lighting, electronic access doors to the Town Hall Reception area , improved access for people with disabilities and display windows for use by community groups. “The aim is to create a secure, well lit “Mall” to link the rear of the Town Hall with the High Street,” says Mrs Wilson.
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Stray-aid is an organisation whose primary aim is to stop healthy stray dogs and cats from being put down. With the help and support of larger animal charities and some local councils, the charity are able to offer dogs for re-homing for a minimum donation of £35. All the dogs are fully vaccinated, neutered, microchipped and treated for fleas and roundworms. Dep;ending which way you look at it, either sadly, or happily, the charity’s kennels are full of stray dogs that would otherwise might have been destroyed. To keep viable volunteers have just hosted a fund raising day, raising £400. If readers are able to help please contact John at or ring 0191 3784877.
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Readers are being invited to take a walk in the woods, over at Whitworth this Saturday afternoon. The woodlands around Whitworth are classed as ‘Ancient’ and the walk will give those taking part an opportunity to learn more about the woods. Sedgefield Borough Council’s Tree Preservation Officer, Roger Lowe, will be leading the three mile walk on Saturday afternoon, with walkers gathering at 1.00pm in the car park in front of Shafto’s Restaurant at Whitworth Hall. The walk coincided with the Tree Council’s national “Walk in the Woods”. More details from Mr. Lowe on 01388 816166.
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A Spennymoor schoolboy has been successful in the annual Primary Schools’ Cross Country Festival, staged at Meadowfield, near Durham. Ryan Whitehead, a pupil at Middlestone Moor Primary School, won the Year 6 race in competition with between 300 and 400 other runners. Ryan, was 10 at the time of his win, but has now gone on to add to that success with another win more recently. The annually staged athletic event is the largest gathering of primary school children in the United Kingdom. It attracts more than 3,500 entrants from almost 100 schools in the Local Education Authority area all of whom compete in a series of eight cross country races In winning, Ryan emulates the success of Kirk Merrington schoolboy, Reece Woolley, who won the event in 2005.
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Amanda Foster from Spennymoor will represent her country on May 26th in the European Kyokushin Karate Championships in Greece. She is the only female Kyokushin fighter to be selected to represent the UK in this very prestigious event. Despite only being ranked at green belt at the moment, she will be going up against some of the most experienced and best fighters Europe has to offer. Amanda, who is 26 and trains regularly at the Chikara Dojo in Spennymoor, has been working hard for the competition and is hopeful of success. Unlike most fighting competitions the Kyokushin full-contact knockdown pyramid system which Amanda will be taking part in starts with a lot of fighters fighting in pairs, the winner of which goes on to fight other winners until only two are left in the final. This form of competition can be particularly brutal as no protective clothing is allowed and often a competitor may have to defeat many opponents in order to win. Kyokushin karate is respected throughout the world, not only as an excellent fighting system but also as one of the few true remaining Martial Arts, teaching discipline and selfrespect as routine to all ages and abilities. For more information about this form of karate, anyone interested can contact the Club or contact Adam Walker on 07713-411198 or 01388- 810337. Members of the Club would like to thank their sponsors Workwear Express, Mark Anderson Haulage and Livery, Taylors Newsforce, Mayfair Cars and The Green Tree Pub, Tudhoe for their continued support.
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New College, Durham, which many people in the Spennymoor area have attended because of its proximity to the town, has made a great impact, not only as a place to learn but also for its brand new building, which came a close second in the prestigious Local Authority Building Control awards recently. At the Northern Region Awards for LABC, the College was runner–up in the Best Public Community Project Section and was also a finalist in the Best Commercial Project Section. Stuart Bell, Building Control Manger from the City of Durham, who put forward the building for the awards, was delighted that the City of Durham Building was given the credit it deserves. “It is a fabulous achievement to come second in what was a very competitive section. There were some very good projects in the section but we knew when we put it forward, New College would be in with a good chance.” “Five years ago, New College, Durham was faced with the same accommodation problems that many other colleges face: an estate nearing the end of its useful life, maintenance costs rising and the design making it difficult to deliver the curriculum in innovate ways.” The Awards Night was held on Friday 18th May, at the De Vere Slaley Hall Hotel.
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