HUMMERSKNOTT School’s cross-country team has had its most successful year. Earlier this month, the seven-strong team competed in the English Schools Cup final, in Bolton. On a very demanding course and with four of the team a year younger than most of their opponents, the team finished 20th. PE teacher Alasdair Tatham said: “Competing in the national final was a fantastic experience for all and gave the year nines a great incentive to keep training to try and qualify for next year's final and hopefully improve on this achievement.”

NEW CITIZENS: Darlington Borough Council will hold a citizenship ceremony, for people who have achieved British nationality, on Monday, January 14, at 2pm, in the council chamber at the town hall. An estimated 20 citizens will take the allegiance to queen and country. The ceremony will be attended by Darlington mayor Paul Baldwin and high sheriff of County Durham, Harry Vane.

CHANGE KIT: Darlington’s Spraire Lasses under 13s team will be playing in new colours from now on, having secured a sponsorship deal with logistics company EDG Group Ltd, which has provided the club with new kit. The team has had a frustrating season, with many matches cancelled due to poor weather. Coach Jen Newby said: “The enthusiasm of the girls and the support of the parents is unbelievable, we are looking forward to playing some excellent football. Spirits are high in the team and any improvement in the weather will see the girls show their skill and determination over the coming months.”

HIPPY CHRISTMAS: A 1960s-themed Christmas event will be held at the headquarters of Age UK, Bradbury House, in Darlington, on Wednesday (December 19), from 10.30am to 3pm. The event will include live music, party games, a fancy dress parade and refreshments. All are welcome.

ARTY YEAR: Year nine students at Hurworth School have produced a calendar showing some of their art work. Copies can be purchased from the school, on 01325-720424.

LIVE MUSIC: The Sans Pareil Singers will play a Christmas concert at All Saints Church, Hurworth, on Wednesday (December 19), at 7.30pm. Admission costs £5, including refreshments.

SENIORS’ PARTY: Longfield Academy is holding a Christmas party for senior citizens on Tuesday (December 18). Local old folks have been invited to enjoy a freshly-prepared lunch and entertainment by staff and pupils. Students have donated items of food to make up ‘party bags’ to hand out to guests.