Steady now

2:48pm Friday 25th July 2014

THERE was a predictably lively debate at a Darlington full council meeting about the public toilets in the Covered Market, closed because of budget cuts.

The race for Richmond hots up

2:47pm Friday 25th July 2014

AS we suggested last week, the race to succeed William Hague in the Richmond constituency is to be keenly contested.

Could Boris go for Richmond?

12:07pm Friday 18th July 2014

WILLIAM Hague’s announcement about his departure from politics on Monday caught most people by surprise – even senior members of the Richmond Conservative Association whom Mr Hague informed by conference call shortly before the official statement was released.

Truly, it was a Tour de Triumph

3:21pm Friday 11th July 2014

BY any yardstick, the weekend’s events in Yorkshire were a Tour de Force, a triumph.

Sweet success for food festival

11:30am Friday 4th July 2014

SPECTATOR had a very enjoyable time at the third Homegrown Food Festival which took place in Northallerton on Sunday, returning home with his belt slightly looser than when he arrived.

Wot no sense of humour

12:04pm Friday 27th June 2014

The Tour de France is causing the creative juices to flow along the route of the famous race.

Open day thanks

2:39pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – On behalf of Hambleton and Richmondshire Alzheimer’s Society day support service, I would like to sincerely thank all those who supported our open day on May 19 during Dementia Awareness Week and also those who came for the official opening by William Hague MP at Bluebell House on May 24.

Church funds

2:38pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – I should like to thank all those who helped at and supported the coffee, cake and music event held at St Agatha’s Church, Easby, on Sunday, June 15. Thanks must go, in particular, to Susanna Pell who came up with the idea in the first place and then provided the music element by playing her viola beautifully for two and a half hours without a break. Despite the drizzle, a steady stream of visitors came and, as suggested on the advertising posters, brought their knitting.

No interest

2:38pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, — So I’m whinging. That is according to Mr Verity (D&S, June 13) simply because I would like to express my opinion and haven’t the slightest interest in bicycles, bicycle racing or even the world famous Tour de France – as for the Tour de Yorkshire, I haven’t yet met anybody else who has.

Bus service

2:38pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – I was surprised to read in the D&S that Leyburn Town Council thinks bus services have improved.

Spraying concerns

2:37pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – After watching an episode of Countryfile, which featured accidents and the lack of health and safety on farms, I felt that I should write to share my experiences of living next to farms and the things which I regularly observe.

Parking charges

2:37pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – I guess I wont be the only one commenting. The High Street parking charges in Northallerton began on June 9. At least three of the meters were not working, there were no parking wardens (during the morning to ask for help) and it has been very poorly advertised, in fact not advertised at all to my knowledge. As I live out of town as I understand it you still have to buy a ticket even if you are only going to be 30 mins or less, so where is the free 30 minutes?

Love in action

2:36pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – Last July a new care home, Hambleton Grange, opened in Thirsk. We hear a great deal about how awful some care homes can be, but little about the ones that deliver excellent care. That is why I want to share my own experience.

Public trust

2:36pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – What trust can the public have about serious unpopular decisions to alter maternity and children’s care at the Northallerton Friarage Hospital against a background of a foundation trust management running into £30m to £50m debt?

Annual visitors

2:36pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – The migration of the weekendus duopedicus is underway. Arriving from the east the brightly coloured Mamil (middle aged men in Lycra) can be seen sweeping through the Tour de Force epicentre of the dales in search of, not necessarily a mate, but more likely a sense of achievement.

Expensive fuel

2:35pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – Why is the price of diesel so expensive in Northallerton compared with other towns? I am sure a lot of local motorists and people visiting the town ask the same question. On a recent trip to Scotland I saw diesel up to 10p per litre (45p per gallon) cheaper than Northallerton.

Barn Rock

2:35pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – I have just read the article on Barn Rock (D&S, June 13) proving a big success. I’m amazed as I and some friends were at the dance and had a different experience to the article.

Story disappoints

2:34pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – I was disappointed with the accuracy of your cover story (D&S, June 6) on speeding motorists in Morton- on-Swale.

Green deserts

2:33pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – I have a lot of empathy with Dr John Davies trying to protect verges and the biodiversity at threat.

Verge response

2:33pm Friday 20th June 2014

Sir, – In response to the letter from Dr John Davies (D&S, June 13), Kirkby-in-Cleveland Parish Council wish to make the following points.

Tour de Fractious

2:32pm Friday 20th June 2014

It is understood bragging rights went to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority after their Tour de France challenge with Richmondshire District Council.

Picnic fun, but will it matter?

2:32pm Friday 20th June 2014

WHAT a great idea it was for Darlington residents to show their annoyance at plans to build houses on Bellburn Field by holding a community picnic.

Contest heats up on Tour route

2:17pm Friday 13th June 2014

The Tour de France route through the Dales is being attempted by thousands of amateur cyclists, including well-known sports stars and television presenters, in the run up to the main event next month.

Bold is back

11:37am Friday 6th June 2014

WE welcome back an old friend this week. A number of readers have drawn our attention to the absence of certain typographical devices from our pages of late – it’s the bold headings at the beginning of the Town and Village paragraphs which made it hard to pick out the separate items.

Town bordering on ridiculous

11:36am Friday 6th June 2014

BIZARRE. There’s no other word which can describe the little row over whether the good people of Yarm would feel better about their lot if signs welcoming people to Yorkshire were erected on the edge of town.

A sign of the times for council

4:10pm Friday 30th May 2014

The B6270 from Grinton towards Richmond has reopened, much to the relief of residents.

Sign of the Times for Wearside

12:25pm Friday 23rd May 2014

POOR old Sunderland. It may not, of course, be considered one of the nation’s great cultural centres, but it received the most savage of sleights in last Thursday’s London Times.

Owner of hall is on top form

11:56am Friday 16th May 2014

AT THE Great North Air Ambulance’s annual ball on Saturday evening, Sir John Hall, owner of Wynyard Hall where the event was held, was on top form.

Cupcakes are out, but gin is in

Darlington and Stockton Times: (5965548)

12:46pm Friday 9th May 2014

IT seemed a slow start on the first day of the food festival, despite the sunny start.

Free parking – just the ticket

2:35pm Friday 25th April 2014

WHAT a pleasant surprise greeted Spectator on a day trip to Hexham on Saturday.

Stokesley’s all set for a siege

1:49pm Friday 11th April 2014

STOKESLEY could be forgiven for feeling under siege at the moment; with plans for 226 homes on wooded farmland off Tanton Road threatening to deprive dog walkers and residents of a popular green space, a supermarket just outside the town threatening its unique High Street full of colourful, independent businesses and plans for 183 homes at White House Farm.

Is it a right to pick daffodils?

2:46pm Friday 4th April 2014

MOTHER’S Day raised something of a moral question for Spectator.

Civic affectation at its worst

11:51am Friday 28th March 2014

JOHN Williams was a respected former Labour leader of Darlington Borough Council. He died earlier this year after losing his battle with cancer.

More changes due at school

3:00pm Friday 21st March 2014

FINALLY, we have some news about what’s happening at Richmond School following the mass resignation of the governors last month.

Full steam ahead

Darlington and Stockton Times: Full steam ahead

3:03pm Friday 14th March 2014

THE good weather of the past week will no doubt have been a blessing for the Wensleydale Railway team working furiously to repair the landslip at Akebar in time for the Easter break.

Planning: it’s a complete mystery

10:18am Friday 7th March 2014

IT’S no wonder people are mystified by the planning process At Tuesday’s night’s Richmondshire District Council planning committee meeting, the vexed issue of whether Catterick’s mooted cinema should have five screens or seven was kicked around for more than an hour.

School situation so unsatisfactory

12:52pm Friday 28th February 2014

THE situation at Richmond School is deeply unsatisfactory for all concerned.

Doubling up

3:03pm Friday 21st February 2014

BUS subsidies are being cut in Stockton borough (as elsewhere) much to the frustration of users in Yarm and Eaglescliffe.

Fall-out can only end in tears

Darlington and Stockton Times: UNHAPPINESS: Ian Robertson

3:03pm Friday 21st February 2014

WHEN Ian Robertson arrived as the new head of Richmond School in 2009 he proudly declared he wanted it to be one of the best schools in the world.

Fame and films

2:44pm Friday 14th February 2014

TO Yarm School, courtesy of headmaster David Dunn, on Tuesday to see the opening night of the school production of Fame: the Musical.

Change is afoot at The Station

2:44pm Friday 14th February 2014

THERE are lots of changes afoot at The Station, Richmond’s unique community arts, food and business centre.

Door left open for Lib-Dems?

1:23pm Friday 7th February 2014

READERS will have to forgive Spectator for returning to a subject which has been touched on here before – last week no less – but which he feels is endlessly fascinating: Thirsk and Malton Conservative Association’s dumping of their MP Anne McIntosh and possibly also her rather healthy 11,281 majority.

Retail rumours

2:19pm Friday 31st January 2014

SPECTATOR hasn’t been able to nail either of these two rumours about trading in Darlington but apparently Argos, which has its branch in problematic Skinnergate, has suggested that lifting parking restrictions in the street might be key to its continued presence.

Grey areas among shades of blue

2:19pm Friday 31st January 2014

THE shenanigans in the Thirsk and Malton Conservative Association, which may result in the de-selection of sitting MP Anne McIntosh, pictured, have demonstrated the Tory Party’s enduring ability to indulge in pretty nasty internecine strife.

Mayor explains chain reaction

3:02pm Friday 24th January 2014

THE eagle-eyed observers of Richmond’s heritage may notice something a bit different about the mayor these days.

Ben’s parents still wait for justice

2:09pm Friday 17th January 2014

WE reported before Christmas the continuing battle by the Hyde family of Northallerton to obtain a satisfactory explanation of why things went so wrong, and, more importantly, who should be accountable, on the day their son, Ben, died with five military policemen colleagues in an Iraqi police station.

Pressure builds over poll selection fight

Darlington and Stockton Times: 2010 COUNT: Jenny Chapman and Edward Legard

2:12pm Friday 10th January 2014

THE flak is flying in advance of the selection battle in the safe Conservative seat of Thirsk and Malton. The sitting MP Anne McIntosh’s future will be decided by a ballot of Conservative association members later this month.

System sorted in time for change

12:00pm Monday 6th January 2014

MANY farmers have had a better Christmas than times past. For once, the main SPS subsidy payments arrived on time at the beginning of the month.

Aslice of TV life for baker Alex

1:03pm Friday 3rd January 2014

THE nation’s enthusiasm for all things to do with baking is undimmed. Following the surprising success of the BBC’s Great British Bake-Off, ITV is launching the second series of its own bread-related reality series next week.

Branching out to town’s past

Darlington and Stockton Times: PLAIN SPEAKING: Rosie Bergs’ picture of a Christmas tree

10:34am Friday 20th December 2013

THERE’S a rather special Christmas tree in Darlington this year. It is not in itself that remarkable but it represents a curious link with the town’s past.








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