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FREE - February 2018

COMMUNITY NEWS - LOCAL EVENTS - FEATURES - COMPETITIONS - LOCAL PEOPLE

YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS? WE’LL SHOW YOU IN OUR VALENTINE’S DAY GUIDE

LOCAL DOG LOVERS HELP CHANGE AND ENRICH LIVES PAGE 10

WE RATE DISNEY’S FILMIC LATEST, COCO WORTH A MEXICAN WAVE OR SOMBRE SOMBRERO?

PLACES TO GO, THINGS TO SEE ANOTHER RUNDOWN OF EXCITING LOCAL EVENTS


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Welcome to the February edition of Darlington Monthly! It’s the month of Valentine’s Day, and romance is in the air. However, whether you are coupled-up or unattached, you can settle down to enjoy reading the labour of love that is this issue of Darlington Monthly. If love is on your mind, we have just the article that could help you to act on it. On page 30, we advise how you could lavish attention on your lover. Single? We have tips for making a date go smoothly - or if no one has caught your eye, appreciating your lone status. If you haven’t given your heart to someone, it could still be warmed by our story about Dogs for Good. Flick to page 10 to learn how the charity, which trains dogs to ease the struggles of disabled people and autistic children, aims to raise money in partnership with local dog sitters Barking Mad. Meanwhile, our film review has a very Mexican flavour - but should you go-go to see Disney’s Coco? Turn to page 14 for our say. All of that, and - as usual - we can fill you in on what’s been happening and what’s going to happen locally. We also offer you the chance to win a Sunday lunch for two, thanks to The Croft Hotel. As always, we have a lot of love for our advertisers. Are you interested in joining them in a future issue to promote your company? Please call 07500 828 396 or email sales@ darlingtonmonthly.co.uk to learn more. Here’s to what will hopefully be your most exciting February yet – whether romantically or otherwise!

Available to read online Visit darlingtonmonthly.co.uk /DarlingtonMonthly

Competition Winners

The Croft Hotel Sue Elliot - Lyall

@DarlingtonMonthly

06 10 20 30

Disclaimer... Whilst we take every care to ensure accuracy in this magazine, we regret that we cannot accept responsibility for any incorrect information. All advertisements are accepted in good faith as to their veracity and we are not responsible for views expressed by contributors or other sources. The copying of any material within this publication is strictly forbidden without the publishers or Studio Managers consent. By providing your email address and entering our competitions you agree to receive email communications from the competition sponsor/prize provider.

Vue Cinema Trevor Hood Find us on Facebook: DarlingtonMonthly Visit us online: www.darlingtonmonthly.co.uk

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YESSS Electrical in Darlington has increased their displays of decorative Saxby Lighting & Endon Lighting. We wanted to introduce more working displays in our showroom, so decided to get Saxby & Endon Lighting on-board to create an interesting and innovative display for customers to get inspired by.

Open to the trade and as well as the public, YESSS Electrical in Darlington has experienced staff who have in depth knowledge on all things electrical and particularly the Saxby Lighting & Endon Lighting ranges.

We want to give our clientele the opportunity to look, touch and envisage the fittings within their homes and what styles and shapes work best for them. There is no better way to pick the perfect pieces than seeing them working in person. It allows your imagination to run wild, rather than seeing a flat image online or within a catalogue.

Alongside the display boasting a number of choices, our friendly and approachable staff know the products inside & out, so if there is something specific you’re looking for, just call in and we will be more than happy to help you find a selection of fittings or advise you on what we think would work well within your home or garden.

The display showcases a variety of their ranges, from outdoor pieces to practical and stylish indoor fittings that can be used around your entire house depending on preference.

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To find out more about Saxby Lighting and Endon Lighting products, visit the websites at www. saxybylighting.com and www.endon.co.uk or download the free brochures online, or visit us at www.yesss.co.uk.

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VISIT OUR NEW LIGHTING DISPLAY

S T O C K I S T

S T O C K I S T

YESSS Electrical Darlington, Unit 1 Barrington Way, Yarm Road Interchange, Darlington, Durham DL1 4WF Tel 0844 324 8230 Email darlington@yesss.co.uk www.yesss.co.uk Find us on Facebook: DarlingtonMonthly Visit us online: www.darlingtonmonthly.co.uk

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Some easy-to-overlook gems in County Durham Preston Hall, Eaglescliffe

Prebends Bridge, Durham

Visited Preston Park Museum & Grounds? If so, you’ve likely also been in Preston Hall, as this early nineteenth-century mansion house forms the museum’s main building.Though the museum is largelyVictorian-themed, Preston Hall gives it tenuous roots in the Georgian period, as that building was constructed in 1825 – only five years before George IV’s death.

If you fancy a romantic stroll with your significant other this Valentine’s Day, we couldn’t think of a more appropriate place for it locally than That construction work happened on the initiative of David the city of Durham. Its Burton Fowler – who, in 1820, had purchased the Preston-on- cathedral and castle Tees estate where the building would be sited. From the start, are especially beautiful Preston Hall was just a two-storey, three-bayed rectangular – and you and your partner can enjoy a great view of them building including a service wing. However, the property was from Prebends Bridge, which very much reflects the fashions of substantially extended after the estate fell into the ownership of the eighteenth century during which it was built. the shipping merchant and shipbuilder Robert Ropner in 1882. It’d be understandable if you initially struggled to locate Ropner had, in 1838, been born in what was then the city of Prebends Bridge with certainty, as it is just one of the city’s three Magdeburg in the German state of Prussia. However, he later stone-arch bridges; the others are Framwellgate Bridge and emigrated to England – where, in 1874, he founded the Ropner Elvet Bridge. Prebends Bridge was built in the 1770s to a design Shipping Company in Hartlepool. He also, six years after by George Nicholson. Though there had previously been a obtaining Preston Hall, acquired a Stockton shipyard where he bridge here, the new one was positioned slightly further north, would have a thriving shipbuilding firm responsible for many where the river was broader, to allow better views.You are likely trunk deck ships. to appreciate that as you gaze from this bridge. It wasn’t just ships that he built to impressive effect; he also gave Preston Hall new wing blocks and a large winter garden or conservatory. Robert was the first of the Ropner baronets who lived at Preston Hall until 1937.The building was handed over to Stockton-on-Tees District Council ten years later – and, in 1953, saw its official opening as a public museum.Today, many people can visit the building and enjoy fruits of Fowler and Ropner’s construction endeavours. 6

If you do have difficulty finding the bridge, keep in mind that it is beneath the Watergate at South Bailey’s end. The bridge could readily come into your view after you pass St Cuthbert’s Society, a Durham University college on the city’s peninsula. One particularly notable feature of the bridge is a plaque displaying words written by the Scottish poet Sir Walter Scott in praise of Durham. He writes: “I love thy mixed and massive piles” – who are we not to love them as well?

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Local Dog Lovers Help Change and Enrich Lives Local dog sitters, Barking Mad, Cleveland, Teesside & Darlington are asking fellow dog lovers to join them in helping to change lives. The dog holiday specialists have officially partnered with Dogs for Good, a life transforming charity which creates partnerships between people living with disability and specially trained assistance dogs. Tracy of Hartlepool enthused: “We are so proud to announce that Dogs for Good is Barking Mad’s chosen charity for 2018! Dogs for Good train assistance dogs to support adults and children with a wide range of disabilities and also children with autism, in order to enrich and improve lives. This is particularly relevant to the work which we undertake with our own dog sitting Host Community. We offer the opportunity to care for someone else’s dog whilst its owners are away and through this initiative, we witness the amazing difference that canine companions can make in terms of improving social interaction and fitness every day.” Cathryn Simpson, Corporate Partnerships Manager for Dogs for Good said, ‘We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Barking Mad in 2018, there’s obvious synergy between the two organisations in respect of the dogs but more importantly the ethos of both organisations is closely matched and this is important 10

to ensure a successful partnership. Thank you to everyone for getting involved!” How can you get involved? Barking Mad Cleveland, Teesside & Darlington’s ultimate wish would be to raise enough money to fund the training of a Dogs for Good puppy and would really appreciate your help! Throughout 2018 they plan to hold fundraising events and would love to hear from you if you would like to get involved. Tracy can be contacted on 01429 860846 email tracy.johnston@ barkingmad.uk.com and you can also visit www. barkingmad.uk.com/franchisees/cleveland-teessidedarlington/ to find out more.

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Call today on: 07500 828 396 or email: sales@darlingtonmonthly.co.uk

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Employment Round Up Stepping out a few weeks ago now, in search of festive food, I walked into a supermarket entrance surprised to see a female assistant on her knees, wringing out a cloth, as she picked up the remnants of what appeared to have once been a bottle of white wine. “Be careful, I’m still mopping it up and it’s slippy,” she advised as I took centre right to avoid her endeavours. Loitering by the flower display near the door, deciding whether I wanted the Poinsettia or winter bouquet, I listened with amusement as she engaged in banter with her assistant male colleague. “This is the third time today I’ve had to clean up breakages, you don’t fancy finishing this off do you while I go for my break?” “ No thanks, that’s women’s work” came the reply. Her response? “F**k off!” It was a stark reminder that despite best efforts to educate and emphasize a respect at work culture, we are, it seems still a long way off! Libby Eglin, HR Resolutions E: hrresolutions@btconnect.com M: 07967 200603 W: www.hr-resolutions.co.uk

COMPETITION TIME

We are offering family ticket for any film at Vue Darlington at Feethams (valid for 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children). All you have to do to enter is answer the following question...

Q: Peter Rabbit is written by which author? Answer: Name: Address:

Post Code: Email: Please send all entries to: Competitions Department, Unit 4, Station Road, Chester-le-St, Co. Durham, DH3 3DY *NEW* Or enter free by commenting on this advert on our Facebook Page @DarlingtonMonthly Entrants can view Terms & Conditions at www.darlingtonmonthly.co.uk Vue guest admission policy terms and conditions apply, visit myvue.com/legal for details.

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Murder Mystery Evening at The George Hotel

30th March 2018 | 7.00 - 11.00pm Tickets £30.00 Join us for a three course meal as the drama unfolds and have your go at finding out who dunnit! To book call 01325 374576 or email events@thegeorgehotelpiercebridge.com The George Hotel Piercebridge | Darlington | DL2 3SW

Quakers Zone

Our monthly report on Darlington 1883 from Ray Simpson, Communications and Media Manager

Darlington FC have become one of the growing number of clubs who have appointed a Supporter Liaison officer. Long serving supporter Dave Collinge is taking on a key role at the club, to act as a bridge between the club and its supporters. By engaging more with the fans at Blackwell Meadows and on non-matchdays, acting as a contact point for feedback, the SLO will help drive improvements in the Matchday Experience for supporters and make sure the supporters’ voices are heard clearly by the club. David Johnston, the club Chief Executive Officer said: “This is an important appointment as we aim to facilitate stronger communication between our supporters and the Football Club, with the goal of enhancing the levels of service to all the club’s supporters. Many of you will already know David from the volunteer work he does for the Football Club on matchdays and his recent election to the Supporters’ Group board. With a deep knowledge and passion for the club, alongside strong communication abilities, I’m delighted David has taken up this position.” David Collinge, new SLO said: “During my time volunteering at the club, I have had many chats over the years with fans either at matches (home or away) or on social media who invariably come up with ideas about how we can improve the match-day experience. However, there is a danger that these ideas can get

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lost. My role is to provide a central liaison point to capture these ideas and ensure the best of these ideas are implemented where resources allow. It is all about the fans buying into the direction of the club and feeling part of it, rather than feeling ignored. I’ll work closely with Rob Duncan who runs an excellent fans’ table on match-days and SLOs from similar clubs to ourselves to establish good processes. I’m really looking forward to being a part of this wider UEFA-endorsed movement of SLOs in football and hearing fans’ ideas.” The supporters turned out in force for the home game against Chorley. Blackwell Meadows was covered by three inches of snow, but nearly 100 fans turned out with shovels and wheelbarrows to clear the pitch to the referee’s satisfaction.The fans were rewarded with a 2-2 draw, that put Quakers fourth from bottom of the table.

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2018 Wedding Events Open Evening. 5pm - 8pm. March 1st / May 3rd / September 6th (These will be to show the hotel)

Open Day. 12pm – 4pm. February 18th / October 28th / November 25th (These will be to show the hotel)

Wedding Fayre. 12pm - 4pm. March 25th / May 27th / September 30th (These will include outside suppliers)

Piercebridge, Darlington, County Durham, DL2 3SW

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Wat-er Result! Cleaning services was established in 2013. We specialise in domestic/commercial carpet and fabric and leather upholstery cleaning. We are also certified in the control and eradication of textile insect pests and biohazard/crime scene clean up. We are 1 of only 2 members of The National Carpet Cleaners Association in Darlington (NCCA). The NCCA is the ONLY trade association for carpet and upholstery cleaners. As NCCA members you are assured we have undertaken extensive training and are appropriately insured. We must abide by their strict code of practice which covers things such as consumer protection and fair pricing. We also must carry out all our work to government endorsed standards BSI PAS:86. Our comprehensive cleaning service includes many stages to ensure they are cleaned effectively. Our extensive process starts with a survey of the items to determine fibre type and construction to ensure correct and most effective method, includes stain removal and odour treatments too. We also use speed drying to limit inconvenience to yourself. When employing us you can be assured you will receive the most through comprehensive clean you’ve ever had and it will be carried out by a trained and insured specialist.

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PUZZLE PAGE

Wordsearch

V C H R D O C A M Q Y O C U L X O A E I V O M S Simply complete one of the competitions Q P U H R S M R E D S M below, fill in the entry form and send to the Z I Z D U T E T O I I N postal address provided. O D S A P G A S K B D Z You have the Z H L H M L T Q H J E M chance to win... F_BAR_15916 Darlington Monthly - North Park - 210 x 148mm C (Feb R creative).qxp_Layout D W O M H 1R 16/01/2018 F B V 09:44 S aExcluding Sunday Lunch for Two!* K R P C N X P U A I O R drinks D R O G E W F V E E L D Courtesy of... U H F L O W E R S G H Y C A U N N F R O H I F O H O T E L W L V N C T G I K S S V

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VISIT OUR NEW LIGHTING DISPLAY

*

Name The Ad HOW TO PLAY: Match the five segments of images below with an Advert in this magazine, place either the company name or the page number in the space below each box.

Cards - Chocolate - Cupid - Flowers Heart - Hug - Kiss - Love Movie - Red - Roses

Luxurious Hand-Crafted Kitchens

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Showroom. 10 Northumberland Street, Darlington, DL3 7HJ Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday - 10am til 5.30pm Saturday - 10am til 5.30pm | Thursday & Sunday - Closed

The Winner will be notified by Darlington Monthly within 14 days of the competition closing date.

Are you thinking about care for a loved one this winter?

8 7 1 4 9 Name: 4 5 9 6 7 Address: 2 4 1 3 8 occasions, but can also This time of year is full of joyous Postcode: 8 6 9 7 4 5 T O realisation C K I S T T Oolder C K I S T thatSan be a time for reflection –Sthe 7 4 6 Email: person close to you may be struggling to cope at home. 1 9 Please send all entries to: Competition loneliness ofRoad, feeling theRoad age, of Department, challenges the it’s Whether YESSS Electrical Darlington, Way, Yarm Interchange, Darlington, Durham DL1 4W Unit 4, Station Chester2 8 1 4Unit61 Barrington le-Street, DH3 3DY. Competition End Date: Tel 0844 324 8230 Email darlington@yesss.co.uk www.yesss.co.uk could Park Care Centre North 3or the pressures 4 2of 1winter, 5 20th February

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No matter who you are, where you live, or how old you are, you have a voice, and you have the right for that voice to be heard.

Are you a chatterbox or do you prefer to listen? Are you someone with a passion for getting things done? Are you a people person? Perhaps you’ve worked or volunteered in your local community? Healthwatch Darlington is looking for volunteers who can help us reach into our communities and work places to find out what people think of local health and care services. Can people access the right services at the right time or are they having difficulties? We hold a wealth of information so we can point people in the right direction. Whatever their experience, good or not so good, you can help us help people get the best out of health and care services in Darlington. Gathering the views of our population helps us influence the way local services are provided by ensuring that patients, carers and the public are heard at the heart of local decision making. 16

We’re a small independent charity delivering statutory duties. We are your local consumer champion for health and care services. We inform, observe, information gather and influence, but we can’t do what we do without YOU! We offer a full volunteer training package so if you’d like an informal chat to find out more, give Jemma a call on 01325 380145 email at j.austin@healthwatchdarlington.co.uk or pop into our new town centre offices on the ground floor of Jubilee House, 1 Chancery Lane, Darlington, DL1 5QP. We’d love to hear from you!

Community Groups We are collating a directory of smaller community groups in Darlington to enable us to inform residents of local activities and social groups in their own neighbourhoods. If you are a member of a group or you know of a group that would like to be listed, please email Rachel at r.mccabe@healthwatchdarlington.co. uk with details

Get Involved For more information or to get involved contact us on 01325 380145 info@healthwatchdarlington.co.uk www.healthwatchdarlington.co.uk

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When disaster strikes, we provide peace of mind. Don’t get caught out. Act now. Your home sustaining storm damage can be a great source of stress in both emotional and financial terms, so it couldn’t be more important to find repair and restoration specialists that you can genuinely trust. Call today and quote the Darlington Monthly Magazine and get your FREE Roof MOT and be prepared this winter.

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FILM REVIEW IN ASSOCIATION WITH VUE FEETHAMS

T

here was once a time when it seemed you could discern whether an animated film was an enduring classic or a so-so distraction by seeing if the esteemed studio Pixar had made it. Those days are largely gone now, thanks to competing animation studios upping their game (resulting in such beauties as the Kung Fu Panda and Lego films) and a series of passable sequels by Pixar itself. The studio has, however, returned to form with Coco – even if the experience is somewhat bittersweet… A story of a tussle between family and music In the rather exposition-heavy opening scenes of Coco, we are brought to the colourful culture of Mexico and learn of the distress suffered by the Santa Cecilia woman Imelda Rivera when her husband walks out on her and her daughter, Coco, to become a musician. Imelda places a household ban on music that lasts through several more generations of her family, which becomes betterknown for its prowess in shoemaking. However, there soon looks set to be a rupture in this ancient ban… That’s once the film has brought us up to the present day, when the 12-year-old Miguel Rivera – the great-grandson of the now very elderly Coco, who still lives with him and their family – dares to break from the fold. He is eager to follow in the footsteps of Ernesto de la Cruz, a big music star of Imelda’s day. To that end, he decides to break into Ernesto’s mausoleum to steal his guitar. However, as soon as he starts playing it, he is sent onto a path into a new and fantastical world. That world is… the afterlife. Known in this film as the Land of the Dead, it is where Miguel’s deceased ancestors appear as friendly and eccentriclooking… skeletons. They explain to Miguel that, for having stolen from a dead person, he is suffering

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a curse that can only be lifted if one of his dead relatives uses an Aztec marigold petal to give him their blessing. However, there seems to be only one relative who can do this without insisting that Miguel abandons music… A careful approach to an uncomfortable subject If you’ve been paying close attention so far, then you probably won’t be too surprised to learn that, yes, Miguel has to spend much of the film looking for that musician who his own family treats as an outcast. However, once you’ve digested the complexity of the setup, you can look forward to a tale that faithfully incorporates many elements of Mexican culture while thoughtfully tackling the subject of death in a manner that doesn’t pile on the morbidity. There’s also a heart-warming lesson: embrace your passion, but don’t leave your loving family behind along the way.

Craig Lenaghan Copywriter

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Are you thinking about care for a loved one this winter? This time of year is full of joyous occasions, but can also be a time for reflection – the realisation that an older person close to you may be struggling to cope at home. Whether it’s the challenges of age, the feeling of loneliness or the pressures of winter, North Park Care Centre could be the new beginning that’s needed. Residential Care • Dementia Care • Respite Breaks Whether you need urgent care or just some help and advice, our friendly team at North Park Care Centre are here when you need them.

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Total MD backs Tees Valley Mayor Strategy TOTAL Recycling Services managing director, Alex Foreman, has pledged his support to the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen in his plans to support future growth in the Tees Valley. The Mayor visited the Total Recycling Services site based at Darlington’s Yarm Road Business Park and discussed his long-term plans to attract big name manufacturers to the region. Alex, who has lead his business to a turnover of £15m over 7 years, was delighted to host the Mayor and discuss the future of the region. He said: “The Tees Valley Mayor is thinking about the long game and it needs to be the long game. There’s so much short sightedness in business lately. I think about my kids and the world they’ll be growing up in and working in. I love Teesside and I want them to stay and work in the region. “To make this possible, what I think is key is to bring in the larger manufacturing companies as you encourage the supply chain to move with it. If you were to look at Nissan, there are only so many people working at the plant, however you have a lot more in the companies that supply them. If Nissan were to pull out of the region it would cost thousands of jobs.

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Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, with Total Recycling Services Managing Director, Alex Foreman

region including Hitachi, Akzo Nobel, Cepac and JCB. Commenting on his visit to Total Recycling, Ben Houchen said: “Total Recycling is a company that is going from strength to strength with many impressive achievements under its belt in a relatively short space of time.   “I always relish meeting businesses that are as committed to the Tees Valley and its people as I am. During my productive visit, Alex outlined exciting growth plans that will not only benefit the company but also the wider area.   “Being born and raised on Teesside, I want to ensure a bright future for the region. Alex is right to identify that this includes becoming a world-class region for manufacturing and working to make global businesses call this area their home too.    “I look forward to working alongside Total Recycling in the years to come. I want to ensure every company with its roots here can be as successful as the one Alex has worked so hard to create.” Alex concluded: “I’m incredibly glad I got the opportunity to meet with Ben, I feel both parties have got a lot out of the meeting and I hope to hear more about the projects he is working on to benefit the Tees Valley.

“More businesses in the Tees Valley will be better for businesses in the wider North East. Especially in our sector, at the end of the day, we’re busy when others are busy. If there are more companies out there, we’ll be busier, we’ll get more work, we can take more people on. It’s that knock on effect.”

“I really like him. He’s working on things where the results will come 10 years down the line. He’s working on projects where the results could come in 2025 when he’s probably won’t be there at the time. Somebody else will get the plaudits and the credit.

Total Recycling Services manages waste and provides industrial cleaning for some of the biggest businesses in the

“He has my total backing and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he has in store next year for the region.”

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Returning to The Great Barrier Reef after some Sixty years or so; Sir David Attenborough recalls his exploits, Many Moons ago. He States: Throughout this time we know so little about Our Planet: Earth. Why Twenty Thousand Minky Whales make Annual trips one third its Girth? We do know that through this time WE Have Polluted The Seas; With Ropes, Nets and Debris including Plastic Cups for Coffee and Teas. Perhaps we are the Aliens, who, following 200 Million Years without us; Landed, Pillaged and Destroyed these Lands: Generally causing ‘This Fuss’!! Take note of how the Wild Life lives; in Harmony with Natural Selection; We come along, Manufacture and Discard, calling it: Shopping Affection.

We help business manage time and create work-life-balance whilst increasing profits and business control with our bespoke Online Offices inclusive of a wide range of tools from £2.99 per hour.

Wild life Lives in all weathers, amongst a Clean and Pleasant Countryside; Whilst We create so much unnecessary waste dumped in The Earth: We have No Pride!! Yet that is not enough it seems, for many just: Throw It Away; Disrespectful Visitors to this Great Orb: Well their offspring are going to pay!!

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Literacy and Responsibility is failing, whilst Lawlessness, it seems, ‘May’ Prevail; Despite the Ultimate Sacrifice of ‘Good People’, perhaps, All To No Avail. Yet each and every one of us could make a difference NOW! No one needs a Lesson nor 25 years: We already Know HOW!

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Places To Go...

PITLOCHRY, Perthshire For a winter break in February, before winter turns gradually into spring, consider the Scottish Highlands, and particularly the Perthshire town of Pitlochry which welcomes visitors all year round. There is a direct train from Newcastle every day, the Highland Chieftain to Inverness, which calls at Pitlochry but it leaves mid-afternoon and returns in the morning, which rather eats into your days away. I changed in Edinburgh and travelled with Virgin Trains East Coast and Scotrail for £45 each way First Class, cheaper still in standard. It was icy underfoot when I arrived, so I was pleased to see the McKay’s hotel clearly at the end of the road from the station. Check in was friendly and efficient, and the barman took me over the road to the annexe (in his shirtsleeves no less). I would have stayed in the grander Atholl Palace Hotel but they wanted £516 for two nights as opposed to £92 in McKays. But I went to the AP for a Christmas concert on my night of arrival. On the Monday I had a walk around the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, which was busy, and walked past the fish ladder to the hydro power station and new café and exhibition centre. There was little snow in Pitlochry – in fact I saw more in Stevenage later the same week – so I elected for a train trip to Dalwhinnie which has a remote distillery off the A9 and a brisk walk from the tiny railway station which boasts only a few trains each day, including a Sleeper to/from London.

full refund of the train fare. The tour was good, and so I could catch the train back they allowed me to do the tasting before the tour and absent myself at the end. I bought a bottle of Winter’s Gold single malt, a product of Scotland’s coldest distillery. On the Tuesday I was visiting the Blair Athol distillery in Pitlochry and decided to walk up to the AP for lunch, although the two courses for £17.95 was rather more than I wanted. I therefore enjoyed the signature Cullen Skink with fresh bread and a large glass of wine in the otherwise deserted restaurant, overlooking rural Perthshire. I enjoyed the grounds, the museum, the ambience of the Stag’s Head bar, my lunch and (two nights before) the concert. There was snow on the ground at home tonight. A great opportunity to open up my Dalwhinnnie distillery bottle of Winter’s Gold in a lovely icy blue bottle. The bottle was a pleasure to open and savour the undiluted spirit first, and a bit of fresh snow dropped into the glass revived it into something else. Alex Nelson, Stationmaster pitlochry.org athollpalace.com

The journey from Pitlochry to Dalwhinnie crosses the Drumochter Pass, and because my train was cancelled owing to a signalling problem, I got to travel by taxi along the road in one direction and by rail on the way back. En route, the railway reaches the greatest height of any line in the UK at Drumochter Pass (as the highway authority calls it) and Druimauchdar (in railway parlance) at 452m (1484 ft). Purists will be interested to know that the highest STATION is Corrour on the West Highland Line, but the Pass is higher than Corrour station. I was provided with a taxi, incredibly, from Perth which arrived at Pitlochry nearly an hour later. I was on the point of abandoning my trip, but I knew Dalwhinnie had recently won an award for their distillery tours, and, to celebrate, they were offering a FREE distillery tour which beckoned, and the advantage of the taxi arriving 75 minutes late was that I get a Pitlochry Powerstation (1951)

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Please support your local NHS Charity Exciting plans in development for an extension to the chemotherapy unit in University Hospital of North Durham that will double the size of the existing space and will create a more welcoming and inviting environment for those undergoing treatment, their family and NHS colleagues. @CDDFTCharity

Charity No:1053467

01325 743781 cddft.charity@nhs.net www.justgiving.com/cddft

DONATE / FUNDRAISE / VOLUNTEER

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Celebrate Valen t ines Day with

H O T E L

Spoil your loved one to a romantic 3 course meal An innovative menu showcasing signature modern and traditonal dishes which feature seasonal British produce. Booking is essential. For more information get in touch.

Don’t forget to join us for our famous Sunday Lunch One Course £9.95 Two Course £14.95 Three Course £16.95

Call 01325 720319 or email info@crofthotel.net

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recipe by H O T E L

Colcannon. Ingredients.

Method.

500g/1lb2oz floury potatoes, cooked 250g/9oz cabbage, shredded and lightly steamed 2 tbsp cream (optional) salt and black pepper 1 large or 2 small onions, sliced thinly a little bacon fat, beef dripping or other oil, for frying

Sieve or mash the potatoes and mix with the cabbage and cream. Season well with salt and pepper. Fry the onion in the fat over a moderate heat until it is soft and beginning to brown. Using a spatula, press half the potato and cabbage mixture in an even layer on to the onion and fry for 4-5 minutes until it is well browned and crispy underneath.

Cut the mixture into 4 quarters with the spatula or palette knife and turn them over carefully so that the crispy bit is uppermost. Press the remaining potato and cabbage mixture on to the first layer and after a few more minutes, cut and turn again. When the bottom is again browned, you will have a crispy top too, a crispy bottom, and a crispy layer in the middle.

PCVC wants to come to see YOU Darlington residents are being asked if they would like the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Ron Hogg, to visit their area. Since being elected Ron has tried to spend time in Darlington every week. He has visited many of the communities and attended many events, including opening Hurworth Country Fair, participating in Litter Picks in North Park, hosting McMillan Coffee mornings, visiting Lunch and Coffee Clubs and activity sessions, speaking at school assemblies and much more. He wants to meet even more people and communities. Ron is committed to gaining a real understanding of local concerns. To do this he can try to help create solutions to ensure that our communities remain safe.

Ron wants to come to see YOU. If you organise a community event or if you are involved in an activity group, craft group or youth group, or maybe you have some innovative projects in your area, or your areamay have a great community facility or resource that Ron can visit, please get in touch to arrange for him to visit Ron is also keen to come to out and speak to you if you have concerns about speeding, antisocial behaviour, or other community safety issues in your area. To arrange a visit please contact Sarah Harris, Engaement and Media Officer on 0191 375 3269 or by email on general. enquiries@durham.pcc.pnn.gov.uk

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Housing Disrepair Claims It has been said that one in four households will be rented by 2021 and many of those who rent their home are in the dark about their legal rights. Did you know that if you rent your home from a private or social housing landlord that they are responsible for most of the repairs? A landlord has an obligation in law to make sure that any property they let is fit to be lived in and to repair the property when necessary. Your tenancy agreement should contain a section explaining your landlord’s responsibilities. If they are not written in to your agreement that law states that they are implied in any event. The landlord’s responsibilities are that the property is to be kept in good repair and safe to live in. If you notify your landlord of any issues and they fail to carry out the essential repairs or improvements within a reasonable period of time then that may constitute “disrepair”.

Disrepair can include damage to; the structure and exterior of your home, the walls, roof, foundations, windows, external pipes, external doors, damp and mould. It also includes damage to; toilets, sinks, basins and baths. As well as, the gas and electric supply, water supply and heating. You have legal rights if your landlord fails to keep their obligations and your home falls in to a state of disrepair. You can force your landlord carry out the repairs and may also be entitled to compensation for the stress, inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of your home that you have suffered. Given that it is the place you return to each night and the ever increasing cost of rent in today’s world you should exercise your rights to protect your home. Speak to our Housing Disrepair team today at DMA Law to find out what you can do.

Please support your local NHS Charity MRI scanning plays an essential role in diagnosing symptoms and conditions quickl y and accuratel y. Modern scanners bring many advantages including being quicker and quieter – which all means an improved experience for our patients.

@CDDFTCharity

Charity No:1053467

01325 743781 cddft.charity@nhs.net www.justgiving.com/cddft

DONATE / FUNDRAISE / VOLUNTEER 28

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DMA LAW has been providing mainstream legal services in the North East for over three decades. Whatever your need is right now, we’re here to help.

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@DMAlawNorthEast DMA Law is a trading name of DMA Law Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA 635837

We also have a free legal walk in centre. If you have any legal queries visit DMA Law Link, 40 Skinnergate, Darlington. to us Mon–Fri 10-4, Sat 10-2 No appointment needed. Find us on Facebook: DarlingtonMonthly Visit us online: www.darlingtonmonthly.co.uk

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Valentine’s Day: how you can make a success of it Yes, it’s the month of Valentine’s Day! Okay, so how excited you are probably depends on how much of a romantic you are – or whether or not you are in a happy relationship. However, whether you are single, happily married with kids or something in-between, Valentine’s Day can still be fun. Yes, for everyone! Here are some tips for how you can best prepare for and spend the special day. All the single ladies… and men When you are single but surrounded by coupled-up people, it can be too easy to wallow in self-pity. However, in the wait for your own special someone to turn up, now is a time to express your appreciation for yourself – and you can do that by writing a love letter to yourself. In writing the letter, keep in mind why you are, quite simply, awesome. You could quickly feel much more empowered. Then, regularly re-read the letter to revive the feel-good vibes. You could go even further and get yourself a special present. Maybe that could be a piece of jewellery you have long been eyeing, or a holiday you have previously repeatedly postponed. There are many other ways in which you can look after yourself on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps a particularly hectic work week has left you stressed – in which case, a longer sleep or soothing lavender bath wouldn’t go amiss. A nice glass of wine could also help save you a… whine. Have a significant other? Here’s how to treat them

behind you and set aside special time to spend with your partner. How much time exactly? Two hours would be a good amount, but the nature of the date itself is largely up to you. It could be a luxurious meal at a posh restaurant, a trip to the cinema, or just a casual and quiet stroll in the park.There would also be nothing wrong with getting your other half a gift, whether it is a bunch of flowers, box of chocolates or something less conventional. A thoughtful gift would certainly be worthier of your focus on Valentine’s Day than your phone or laptop, to which you are probably already routinely glued; leave those gadgets alone on the day. Going on a date? Tips for making it extra special Maybe you are actually somewhere between attached and single; for example, because you’ve spotted someone you really like and want to ask them out on a date. When asking them out, give them options; after all, you are probably both already pretty busy. Offer several days on which you could date. You could also suggest a number of vague ideas for what the two of you could do on that date. On the date itself, routinely pay attention to the other person by listening to their words and keeping your conversation with them meaningful. With your love interest, you could also discuss ideas for further dates with them.

If you are a love bird, Valentine’s Day presents an ideal opportunity for you to put the stresses of everyday life

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ACCOUNTANTS

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We now accept all major Debit/Credit Cards! *GUARANTEED SAME DAY CALL OUT* 548094

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What’s on

February

Got an event coming up?

Let us know and we’ll help spread the news. email details of your event to: sales@darlingtonmonthly.co.uk

The Forum Music Centre / Film Club

St Teresa’s Hospice

Contact 01325 363135 for further information. February 1st Lhymes, Sonder Minds, Catalyse, Plastic 2nd Pioneers Of The Synthesiser 3rd Hilarity Bites Comedy Club 4th The Forum Open Day 4th The Jar Family 7th Open Mic Night Hosted by Dave Brittle 9th Skapones + Big Fat Panda 10th Who’s Next 16th RnB Club: Big Wolf Band 17th The Killerz 23rd Channel McGregor 24th The Smokin’ Spitfires

Feb 23. Fire Walk. Take the first step over 20 feet of burning hot embers which reach a temperature of over 650 degrees Celsius. Designed to help conquer fear and inspire, taking part in our Fire Walk will not only empower you but will also make a huge difference to our patients and their families. The evening will start with a lively training exercise to get you in the zone. You will then be led out to the fire lane to take on the challenge. All walkers will be asked to raise a minimum of £100 sponsorship.To secure your limited place, register on the St Teresa’s Hospice website.

Darlington FC Fixtures

North East U10-U12 Festival Feb 10 - 09:30 AM - 01:00 PM. Mowden park vs DMP Festival. The Northern Echo Arena, Neasham Road, Darlington, DL2 1DL.

Home Games at Blackwell Meadows, DL1 5NR 3rd Darlington vs Blyth Spartans 10th Bradford Park Avenue vs Darlington 17th Brackley Town vs Darlington 24th Darlington vs Kidderminster Harriers

The Pennyweight

Barnard Castle

Wriggles & Giggles

3 Feb, 10am - 4pm, Barnard Castle Farmers Market - Enjoy the fresh produce on offer! One of the longest running Farmer’s Markets in the North, come to enjoy the delicious food of our region from the producers and farmers who produce it. Witham, 3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle, DL12 8LY

Sensory Music, Movement & Sign Sessions 0 - 5 years just turn up no need to book. £3.50 wrigglesandgiggles2008@gmail.com. Tuesday’s 9.30 am St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, DL3 7TG - Wednesday’s 1.30 Firthmoor Community Centre Darlington DL1 4SU - Thursday’s 11 am Platform 1 Sadberge Road Middleton St George DL2 1JT

14 Feb - Great Hengineering Project (5-11). A family craftyworkshop where the whole family can get involved in preventing Hen’s eggs from cracking! How will you protect Hen’s egg? Fox thinks Hen’s eggs look delicious and she needs your help to keep them safe. Using the materials on offer can you stop the egg from cracking and keep Hen happy and out fox the Fox. Approx. 5 - 11yrs. Tickets £6pp. Witham, 3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle, DL12 8LY 9 Feb - The Bowes Museum - Bartoleme Esteban Murillo: 400 anniversary. 2018 is the ano murillo- murillos year. join assistant curator Bernadette Petti to celebrate the career and achievements of one of the leading 17 century Spanish masters. booking required on 01833690606 or via the website at www. thebowesmuseum.org.uk

Rockliffe Hall Hotel

Feb 04, Super Bowl Party. Experience one of the world’s most popular sporting events in the comfort of your favourite pub with fellow American football league fans. 11pm at The Pennyweight, 8 Bakehouse Hill, Darlington, DL1 5QA

4th February Dinosaur Hunt & Trail at South Park Sunday - 1 pm Children £3

Hurworth Village Hall New Body Control Pilates Group every Wednesday 9.30 - 10.30 & 10.45 - 11.45. Introductory Offer 6 week course free although a donation for a combat stress organisation (PTSD) will be gratefully accepted. Please contact Helen Dixon on 07407 053162 The last Sunday of every month there will be a Craft Fayre from 10.00am - 4.00pm. 25th February. Please contact Chrissy on 07877 076395 for further information. The ever popular Friday night quiz will be held on 23rd February. All starting at 7.00pm. Entry by donation and will as always include supper. Don’t forget to bring your own drink, a glass and any loose change for the raffle.

10 Feb - Great Gatsby Evening.This party will be the highlight of Tickets for all events and quizzes can be booked now by contacting your social calendar – it is not to be missed! Arrive at Rockliffe in me via email, on my home number - 01325 720694 or mobile 07799 your 20s themed party outfit and be sure to enjoy a glamorous 467817 evening of dancing, drinking and delight! The evening will also feature our Gatsby girls, who will complement this elegant. Tickets £65pp.

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Love is in the air This Valentine’s Day treat your loved one to a scenic flight. It’s the perfect marriage proposal, or unique anniversary gift. Even fly over your wedding venue.

Durham Cathedral

Quote promo code LOVE18 upon purchasing your customised route for a free 20cl bottle of prosecco on arrival.

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York Minster

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The Tyne Bridges

Scenic air tours north east make every experience special, whatever the occasion. Get in touch today. *Gift Vouchers are available, valid for 12 months from date of purchase.

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Darlington Monthly February 18  

It’s the month of Valentine’s Day, and romance is in the air. However, whether you are coupled-up or unattached, you can settle down to enjo...

Darlington Monthly February 18  

It’s the month of Valentine’s Day, and romance is in the air. However, whether you are coupled-up or unattached, you can settle down to enjo...

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