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Consett’s Independent Magazine

ISSUE 06/ January 2013

Good eating A review of one of Consett’s best restaurants

once in a blue moon An account of Consett’s famous Battle of the Blue Heaps

running on fumes UK residents are facing tough times this Winter Check us out online at

animal activists

The campaign for tougher laws on animal abuse gains steam

best bar none

The Company Row clean up at the Best Bar None award ceremony Consett Magazine


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11 14

Contents 04





Good Eating

A word from the editor.

Get rid of that Christmas weight in the new year.

A review of one of Consett’s best restaurant bars.


Gaming for Glory


Once in a Blue Moon

Some up and coming releases to look forward to in 2013.

An account of Consett’s famous Battle of the Blue Heaps.


Running on Fumes


Animal Activists




UK residents are facing tough times this Winter.

The campaign for tougher laws on animal abuse gains steam.

Useful contacts for useful services.

Best Bar None The Company Row clean up at the Best Bar None Awards ceremony.

Got a story?

Send it in to

Check us out online at

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Happy New Year from...

THE EDITOR Hello and welcome to the January issue of Consett Magazine...

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Hello everyone and a happy New Year! After a whirlwind 2012 it’s great to get started with the New Year by bringing you our 6th issue of the magazine. After half a year, Consett Magazine is going strong and we thank you for your continued support over the past 6 months. We have been overwhelmed with response from people bringing us their views and issues which affect everyone in the local area. This month is no different as we take a look at some of the issues and topics which have presented themselves over the past few weeks. January is a time for a fresh start; leaving behind the old and getting on track with bigger and better things. Have you set yourself a New Year’s resolution yet? Perhaps it’s time to get fit and healthy in 2013. In this edition we run down what you can do if you want to get fit this year with our helpful guide.

We take a look at what 2013 has to offer for gaming fans with previews of some of the biggest titles being released this year. We look at the bedlam known as the January sales, how they came about and how you can save money by finding the best bargains in the New Year. We also have a look at how people across the country are making a stand to reform animal cruelty laws. Highlighted elsewhere is the worsening fuel poverty crisis happening across the UK this winter. We at Consett Magazine hope you had the happiest of New Years and wish everyone all the best in 2013.



CALL 01207 438292

THE TEAM Editor-in-chief



Ivan J. Laidler

Chris Brown

Firefly New Media

Lee Costello

Brian Harrison

Editing Team Barry Kirkham Chris Brown Questions and feedback: 26 Middle Street, Phone: Consett, (01207) 438292 Co. Durham, UK DH8 5QJ Email:

Marco Elsy


Michelle Rose

Firefly New Media


01207 438292

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Disclaimer: Consett Magazine and make sure to only use reliable sources and we try to verify all content as much as possible. We cannot accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions. All details are believed to be correct at the time of printing. We recommend that readers check information with any venue about times and dates of events in advance. Readers are welcome to send photographs, letters and other content to Consett Magazine and Firefly New Media UK but we cannot guarantee they will be featured in the publication. Firefly New Media UK reserves the right to neither use submitted material in print and online publications nor return it. The views and opinions expressed in advertisements and content do not reflect that of Consett Magazine and Firefly New Media UK. No part of this publication/website may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without prior written permission from Firefly New Media UK. Permission is only deemed valid if approval is in writing. To reduce environmental impact, once finished please recycle this magazine or pass it on to friends and family. Firefly New Media UK - All Rights Reserved


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Working Off That Christmas Turkey

by Chris Brown

The tradition of the New Year's resolution is a popular way to set a goal to achieve over the next twelve months to improve your life. One of the most popular resolutions in the New Year is to get fit and healthy. With the ongoing obesity epidemic in the UK, getting fit and healthy is a big priority. With more and more gyms appearing across the country, there’s never been a better time to start getting fit. It’s important that you find a form of exercise that you enjoy. Many people swear by jogging as a means to get fit but some may find the act of running monotonous and boring. It’s worth trying out a number of different sports until you find something that suits you. From five-a-side football to cycling, there is a sport for everyone to enjoy. Going to the gym is a popular way to get fit due to the specialist equipment and focused atmosphere which lends

itself to training hard and staying motivated. Exercise is only one half of the battle when trying to get fit. Your diet plays a major role in how much you shape up or slim down with different circumstances require a different approach. If you want to build muscle and gain size, a high protein diet containing white fish and chicken is always a good start. Slimming down involves managing your calories and being

careful about what you eat. After the indulgence of Christmas and New Year there isn’t a better time to eat healthily and get active. Find something you enjoy doing and get out there and do it. Don’t let this year’s resolution fall by the wayside like so many others do each year. What are you planning to do for your New Year’s resolution? Why not tell us over at .

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The Miners Arms - Great Food for the Whole Family Consett is lucky enough to be surrounded by a wonderful mix of villages; many of which boast unique shops and delightful eateries.

One such village is Medomsley; just a few miles from Consett town centre and home to The Miners Arms pub, which is fast becoming the place to eat for miles around. Since coming under the management of husband and wife team Johan and Polly in 2010, the pub and its restaurant have gone from strength to strength. It is now so popular that Christmas Day dining was sold out by September and Sunday Lunches are often a sell out too! Polly is originally from Blackhill and met and married Johan (originally from Belgium) when they both worked in hospitality in Cyprus. They moved to Egypt, again working in hospitality before returning to England to bring up

Medomsley, Co. Durham

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What do you normally do on cold Monday winter nights? Huddle in front of the fire, eating Sunday’s leftovers and moaning about the post-Christmas telly?

Come along to The Miners Arms Carvery instead?

With a roaring log fire on the go, and a selection of succulent meats and hearty, warming food on offer it’s the perfect way to spend your Monday evening.


ost MM ondays

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MinersArmsMed 6

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their son, Michael. The couple’s motto is: “We don’t do fast food, we do good food fast” and it has served them well. With a weekly specials board which changes to accommodate Chinese, Russian and Scottish dishes and of course a hearty Belgian Stew. There is always something new for regulars to sample. The massive 22inch pizza is a firm favourite with groups of friends and hits a hungry spot after the quiz. Serving Sunday Lunch until 7pm has been really popular given that many people now work and would usually miss the opportunity to dine out. So, despite the cold winter, the future looks bright for this welltravelled couple and their pub full of happy customers.

Launches its Winter Carvery

The Carvery at The Miners:

Making the

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Gaming in 2013 – What to Expect 2013 is looking to be a great year for gamers as a huge number of titles which were expected to be released in time for Christmas have decided to launch this year instead. With some amazing games due for release there is something for everyone coming out this year. British developers Codemasters have been having success with their racing titles in recent years and 2013 doesn’t look any different. The first quarter of the year will see the release of the Grid 2 to Xbox, Playstation and PC giving a new generation of arcade racers a new challenge to sink their teeth into. If the recent F1 games are anything to go by, Grid 2 will be a great game for anyone’s collection. Spring of 2013 sees the release of a new game in Nintendo’s ever popular Animal Crossing series

on the DS. Animal Crossing: New Leaf has already been released in Japan to critical acclaim and will soon be making its debut in the US and Europe. This life simulator sees you living in a community of anthropomorphic characters in a rural village setting. After receiving a score of 39 out of 40 from Japanese reviewers Famitsu we recommend you pick this up and see what Animal Crossing is all about.

by Chris Brown

before with new HD textures bringing the world we knew from Playstation 2 into a new era. This title should not be missed and is scheduled for release in the second quarter of the year. What games are you looking forward to this year? Why not tell us over at and join in the discussion.

The big title which has been building up hype since the winter of 2012 is the release of Grand Theft Auto V on Playstation and Xbox. Returning to the sunny shores of San Andreas after the previous jaunt around Liberty City in GTA4, this new game looks to take the series in a different direction. This next adventure into the GTA universe looks faster, slicker and sweeter than ever

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Consett’s Era of Unrest There had been open conflict between the English and Irish Immigrants in Consett from the early 1840s. The most famous date of March 1858 will forever go down in the annals of Consett history as the date of the infamous Battle of the Blue Heaps. We were all brought up with the story and it is a major part of our heritage. But did you know that the actual fight was no more than a stand off, as the battle itself never actually took place? The week prior had seen several beatings on both sides of the conflict and the destruction of the Commercial Public House at Blackhill. It all came to a head with over 2000 Catholic Irishmen marching on the Blue Heaps from Blackhill on Wednesday 21 March 1858. They were met by many hundreds of Englishmen who had gathered at the top of the heaps in readiness. The conflict was finally dispersed when a contingent of 200 militia were rushed from

Newcastle, knowing that the small police force would have no chance of settling the unrest. However, a decade earlier there was another battle which did take place. On a cold Sunday night in November 1847, when a number of Catholic Irish were returning home to Blackhill after being at the catholic chapel at Crookhall, they were set upon by a large group of Englishmen who pelted them with rocks. On returning home they recruited their countrymen and set back out for Crookhall. The two sides met half way. At one point upwards of 4000 men were involved in the terrific battle! The battle and ensuing chaos lasted through three days. Reports of the time describe heavy personal injuries on all sides as well as buildings being damaged! On the Wednesday after the chaos had been quelled the ring leaders were rounded up from their sleep and


d  63 Middle Street, Consett, DH8 5QG

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  

arrested by Superintendent Hall and several policemen. In total 195 men were arrested and took to trial. Numerous firearms and weapons were confiscated, especially from the Irish who it seems had been stockpiling for some time! In a newspaper report from the Gateshead Observer a statement read: “The accounts from Conside district are distressing. The working people there congregated are in a state of barbarism”. The Battle of the Blue Heaps did, in the end, mark a major turning point in the relationships between the Irish immigrants and the English steelworkers, who would eventually create this great and diverse community of Consett. For more info on local history you can contact us at or drop in to The Lodge, Blackhill Park on Wednesdays between 10am and 4pm.


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Fuel For Thought The price of living in the UK is forever on the increase. The rise in fuel and energy bills has not made it easier for people struggling financially across the country. In the past weeks, costs have increased as energy prices have added an astonishing 7% to our yearly fuel bills. The rise in costs, coupled with the lack of work for a number of people, means that a further 300,000 households across the country have fallen into fuel poverty.

There are four different factors which experts believe can cause fuel poverty in the UK. Low income, high fuel prices, poor energy efficiency and under occupancy of large homes are all seen to have an effect on the levels of fuel poverty. The government is looking to help reduce the amount of wasted energy in homes across the UK. This is believed to be the best way to tackle fuel poverty and increase energy efficiency in homes, creating a greener United Kingdom.

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Do you think fuel poverty in the UK is spiralling out of control? What should be done to tackle this crisis across the country? Have your say over at

YouGov in 2011 stated 6.3 million households in the UK were living in fuel poverty. With this number increasing it is clear something needs to be done about the rising fuel costs in the UK.

The term “fuel poverty� can be defined as needing to spend over 10% of your household income on heating a house to an adequate level of warmth. This figure is a shocking revelation to many people in the UK. Energy bills are increasing with a sharp rise in 2006 and 2008 leading to a large increase in fuel poverty. Coming into 2013 energy prices are on the up once again. Reports from


by Chris Brown

FUEL FACT Within England, fuel poverty is most prevalent in the West Midlands and here in the North East.

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Alfie’s Law – Animal Abuse Activists Animal abuse is a serious breach of the law but in comparison to other abusive crimes it entails much more lenient sentencing. At the current moment in time the maximum penalty for animal cruelty is a possible £20,000 fine and up to 6 months in prison but many people believe this isn’t enough to be a real deterrent. The Alfie’s Law group are looking to make a change to the British judicial system to make punishments for animal abuse crimes fairer and more appropriate.

with around 25,000 signatures currently listed on their petition. This is but a fraction of their needed total to get their message heard in London by people who can make a difference. The group need 100,000 signatures to get to Parliament and need all the help they can from like minded people who support their cause.

by Ivan Laidler

If you’d like to know more about the Alfie’s Law campaign the go over to their website at:

or alternatively visit their Facebook/Twitter at:

The Alfie’s Law group are currently petitioning to get their case into Parliament to help bring justice to the people who have maimed, injured and killed animals. To help raise awareness the group are holding dog walks to support the cause. On the weekend of the 19th of January the group will be walking through Leeds, Hampshire, Surrey and also Durham City to spread the message and get people to sign their online petition for a review of the current laws.

Did you know? There has been a 22% rise in cases of animal cruelty surrounding dogs from last year. As of 2011, about 1 in 2 households in the UK own a pet with around 22 million pets in total (excluding fish).

The current laws are seen as unfair and unjust by a number of people

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Best Bar None Award Winners 2012

by Ivan Laidler

The Consett branch of Wetherspoons “The Company Row” has became the proud recipients of not just one, but two Best Bar None Awards at the 2012 ceremony. This prestigious award is given to the best venues, with judging being based on a number of different criteria. After years of trying to get onto the podium, The Company Row have finally done it and done it in style. Winning awards in the Best Venue and Best Pub categories, Shelley, The Company Row’s manager of 5 years, believes the venue has finally been given the recognition that it deserves. They take a zero tolerance approach to keeping The

The Wetherspoons team proudly accepting their awards.

Company Row running smoothly and believe this is how they can run an establishment which caters for the wide range of people in the Consett area. Having never failed an I.D check by the police, creating an environment which is safe for families is one of the biggest priorities for the dedicated staff who make sure The Company Row is a place for everyone in the local community.

and are also sponsoring a local youth football team. Due to The Company Row being managed in an independent manner, it allows them to have freedom in what offers they can promote. With food being a priority and hot drinks available all day it is clear to see that The Company Row caters for the whole family and not just the drinkers.

Along with providing great value food and drink, The Company Row also get involved in a number of local community projects. The also hosted family fun days to support the charity Clic (Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood)

We would like to wish The Company Row the greatest congratulations for receiving their 2 Best Bar None awards and hope that 2013 holds more of the same for The Company Row.

THE GOLD BAR The Gold Bar is back in the Derwent Centre, Consett. We buy gold and silver in any condition, whether it be broken or unwanted.

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Come to 26 Middle Street in Consett to discuss how we can help your business in 2013. We specialise in advertising, websites, SEO, graphics, logos, videos, and much more... 16 Consett Magazine All enquiries please call: 01207 438292

Consett Magazine - Issue Six - January 2013  

Consett Magazine - The Local Magazine for Consett, Co.Durham. Best Bar None, The Company Row, Derwentside, New Year

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