Page 1

Autumn 2018


County News

Take a walk in County Durham this autumn Look forward to Durham Book Festival 2018 Our thriving culture - benefits for everyone Save time do it online


to the new look Durham County News After what has been a fabulous summer, the nights will soon be drawing in but there is still plenty to do across County Durham during the coming months. Durham Book Festival returns next month with dozens of best-selling authors lined up to talk about their work and there’s the chance to make the most of our amazing clear skies during the 2018 North Pennines Stargazing Festival.

Councillor Simon Henig, Leader of the Council

If you’re stuck for something to do during the half term and at Halloween we’ve got lots of suggestions along with a feature on the best places to take an autumn walk in County Durham. This issue also includes the news that Lumiere will return in 2019 and 2021. The UK’s largest light festival is our showcase event and you can find out more about why it’s so important to our culture and economy on pages 14 to 15. I hope you enjoy reading the magazine and remember that you can find more stories and videos online at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn

Simon Henig


Pages 16-17 Back to school

Pages 4-7 News Pages 8-9 Durham Book Festival

Page 12 Adult health

Pages 20-21 Out and about: Autumn walks

Page 13 Local heroes

Pages 18-19 Green living

Pages 10-11 Save time do it online

Pages 14-15 Celebrating Durham

When you have finished with this magazine, please recycle it.

To contact the editorial team, call 03000 268 059 or email durhamcountynews@durham.gov.uk


Pages 24-25 Holiday fun

Pages 26-31 What’s on this autumn

great prizes in our competitions... Enter online at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn. Or write the answer, along with your name, address, telephone number and email on a piece of paper. Pop your entries into one envelope (don’t forget the stamp) and post to Durham County News, Durham County Council, County Hall DH1 5UF, or drop them into reception at any of our access points. Entries close on Sunday 30 September 2018 (unless otherwise stated).

Look out for extra content… You can now view extra content wherever you see this icon by going to www.durham.gov.uk/dcn Durham County News is written and designed by Durham County Council, printed by Acorn Web Offset Ltd and distributed by Smart Distribution Services Ltd and Royal Mail. It costs 16p a copy.


Dark skies and starlight Look to the skies this autumn and explore the wonders of our universe. The 2018 North Pennines Stargazing Festival celebrates some of the darkest skies in England, situated right here in County Durham. There are more Dark Sky Discovery Sites in the North Pennines AONB and UNESCO Global Geopark than anywhere else in the UK and the festival’s programme makes the most of the great places to enjoy the night sky right across the area. The headline event will be an evening with Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE. The Sky at Night presenter will look at the world of space exploration and give her perspective on women in science and engineering during a visit to The Witham, in Barnard Castle, on Saturday 20 October.

And there’s plenty more including... Friday 19 to Sunday 21 October Star Camp

Doe Park Caravan Site, Teesdale Join experienced astronomer Richard Darn for the first ever two-night star camp under the North Pennines sky. Pitch fees + £8.50 per person per night ‘astronomy charge’.

Saturday 20 October, 1.30pm-3pm Silk Painting a Constellation

Photo: Cain Scrimgeour

The Witham, Barnard Castle Learn how to paint on silk and create your own constellation! Aimed at 4-11 year olds but all welcome. Children £6 (accompanying adults free).

Sunday 21 October, 10am-12noon, 12.30pm-2.30pm and 3pm-5pm Solar System Walk and Diorama Workshop

Bowlees Visitor Centre, Upper Teesdale Discover the planets on a guided walk to Gibson’s Cave then make a spacethemed diorama. Suitable for ages 5+. Children £5 (accompanying adults free).

Monday 22 October 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm Pop-up Planetarium @ Stanhope

St Thomas’ Church Hall, Stanhope An immersive 45-minute show in the planetarium, suitable for all ages. Adults £5, concessions £2, families £10.

Friday 26 October, 6.30pm-9.30pm Skywatch @ Killhope Killhope Museum, Upper Weardale Enjoy some of the darkest skies in the North Pennines with experienced astronomers from the Sunderland Astronomical Society. Adults £4, concessions/children £2.

Sunday 28 October, 3pm-5pm Skywatch Down Under

Durham Dales Centre, Stanhope Using a live feed from a remote observatory in the Australian Outback, observe and photograph a number of objects which are only visible at the other end of the Earth. £10. Booking is required for all events.

Discover the entire programme at www.NorthPenninesStarFest.org.uk



Contact us:

Visit our website to use online services 24 hours a day 7 days a week www.durham.gov.uk/ doitonline If you need to phone us, call

Customer Services

03000 26 0000 8.30am-5pm (Monday-Thursday) 8.30am-4.30pm (Friday) Out of hours emergency service available. For social care and independent living enquiries or adult and children’s welfare issues: Social Care Direct/Children’s First Contact Service

Drop-in for potential foster carers Could you be the reason a child in care can look forward to a brighter future? The number of children coming into the care system in the north east has risen by 50 per cent since 2010. We’re working hard to recruit foster carers across County Durham and this month, we’re offering people from all backgrounds the chance to find out more at two drop-in events. Existing foster carers will be on hand

to talk about their experiences along with members of our fostering team during the sessions which take place from 10am to 1.30pm on Saturday 22 September at County Hall, Durham and from 11am to 1pm on Thursday 27 September at Durham Town Hall. We’re particularly looking for foster carers to provide a home to siblings, teenagers and children with additional needs. www.durham.gov.uk/fostering or call 03000 269 400.

03000 26 79 79 @DurhamCouncil /durhamcouncil linkedin.com/company/ durham-county-council /DurhamCouncil /durham_county_council Please ask us if you would like this document summarised in another language or format. Braille


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Message wall Our message wall artwork celebrates all that is great about our county – and it was created with your help. The wall features images of Durham landmarks made up of your messages about what you love about our area. The wall has already been on display at a number of venues around the county and is set to continue its journey over the coming months – watch out for details of its next location. Key to symbols:

N North Durham

S South Durham

E East Durham

C Central Durham

W West Durham

News Cash boost for special educational needs Children with special educational needs in County Durham will have better access to the facilities they need to thrive thanks to a funding boost. We have received £1.3 million from a national fund which aims to help transform the lives of thousands of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The money will be used to help schools extend their SEND provision through capital projects such as building new classrooms and purchasing new equipment.

Volunteers help keep County Durham’s beaches clean Hard working volunteers have cleared more than 500 bags of rubbish from County Durham’s beaches so far this year. Plastic bottles, balloons, food wrappers and shopping trolleys are among the items removed during the regular litter picks, organised by the Heritage Coast team.

Dementia friendly Ensuring Durham is a ‘Dementia Friendly’ city is the focus of a new steering group. The group includes representatives from the council, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Durham Constabulary, Durham Cathedral, Durham Bid, local churches, carers and people living with dementia. To find out more or to get involved, contact Mark Henderson on 0191 375 5594 or markh@ddfire.gov.uk

Flood risk Is your home at risk of flooding? You can now check online and minimise the risk by visiting https://floodsdestroy.campaign.gov.uk/

Heritage Coast is a partnership of local authorities, agencies and community bodies with an interest in protecting the coastline in Durham, Sunderland and Hartlepool.

Electoral register Households in County Durham are being asked to check if the voter information for their home is correct. As part of our annual canvass, we’re reminding people of the importance of confirming the details currently held on the electoral register. You need to respond even if there have been no changes. Visit www.householdresponse.com 03000 261 212, electoralservices@durham.gov.uk

Are you among the 40 per cent of smokers who want to kick the habit? Stoptober, which takes place next month, offers the perfect opportunity to maximise your chances of giving up for good by seeking support from a specialist stop smoking service. Smokefree Life County Durham can help you to choose the best way for you to stop smoking and give you the ongoing support you will need. www.smokefreelifecountydurham.co.uk, call 0800 772 0565 or 0191 369 2016 or text QUIT to 66777.



fight fraud together Award for community gardeners

Blue badge l council tax l tenancy l direct payments l insurance

Green-fingered villagers have been honoured for their efforts to breathe new life into neglected areas of their community. The Burnopfield Gardening Group, which carries out planting schemes and other voluntary work in the village, has received a Clean and Tidy Derwent Valley Award. This is the first year that the honour has been presented by Derwent Valley Partnership.

Help us stop it… Report it! Email: corporatefraudteam@durham.gov.uk Visit: www.durham.gov.uk Text: 07797 870 192, start your message with the word ‘fraud’ Call: 03000 266 745

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Pride of Teesdale Awards Teesdale’s unsung heroes will be celebrated later this year at a special ceremony.


Deerness Bridge reopens

The Pride of Teesdale Awards honour those residents of the dale who do extraordinary deeds, from going the extra mile to help others to overcoming hardships and challenges. The awards, which are organised by the Teesdale Mercury and sponsored by the council, are set to take place at The Witham, in Barnard Castle, at the beginning of November.

Funding Air cadets and a popular sports club are among those to receive funding from Great Aycliffe and Middridge Area Action Partnership this summer. The 1407 Newton Aycliffe Squadron Air Cadets were awarded £1,880 to deliver summer adventure training. Newton Aycliffe Sports Club, meanwhile, secured £7,950 for a new mower which will be used by volunteers from the town’s rugby, cricket and football clubs.

An important road and pedestrian link has now reopened following major repair works. Deerness Bridge, on the outskirts of Durham, was closed in 2016 following an inspection which revealed structural weaknesses. The deck of the river crossing has now been replaced and the bridge has fully reopened. Meanwhile, the first phase of works to restore the Grade 1 listed Old Elvet Bridge in the city are also complete. The work has included waterproofing the bridge deck, replacing worn and broken paving and creating loading bays on approaches. Plans to repair the bridge’s masonry arches are now being drawn up ahead of the submission of an application for funding to Historic England. And the historic Wynch Bridge in Teesdale has also reopened following emergency repair work. The Grade II listed structure was built in 1820 as a replacement for what was believed to be the earliest suspension bridge in Europe.

Project aims to reduce A&E pressures A new programme aimed at reducing pressure on accident and emergency departments in County Durham is now underway.

Positive Lives

Positive Lives is a joint initiative between the council, Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group and North Durham CCG, which hopes to reduce the number of patients who regularly attend accident and emergency services. The pilot scheme focuses on those individuals who often present at A&E with a need which cannot be treated medically, such as anxiety, unemployment and homelessness and aims to change the way they are supported.

A free, confidenti al support servi ce, tailored to your individual need s to improve your wellbeing, support you to make change and help you to achie ve your goals .

44546 AHS

Positive Lives

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D ur h a m B ook Fe s t i val There is nothing quite like losing yourself in a good book. It is the ultimate form of escapism, transporting us to different times and places where anything is possible. Books can increase our understanding of the world, offering different perspectives and new insights. Whether you are reading for pleasure, knowledge or both, Durham Book Festival is the event for you. Produced by New Writing North on behalf of us, it is a celebration of writers, artists and thinkers, bringing together rising stars and celebrated stalwarts of the literary world. New talent is also nurtured, with workshops taking place at schools across the county. Last year, more than 39,000 people engaged in 150 events, including author talks, workshops and theatrical productions. And this year’s programme looks just as enticing, with a star line-up promising to entertain bookworms of all tastes and ages from Saturday 6 October to Sunday 14 October. Find out what inspired the writers of gripping novels, poignant poems, entertaining children’s stories and intriguing biographies at one of the festival’s many writer talks. If non-fiction is more to your taste, the programme is packed full of academics, journalists, comedians and political satirists who have written about everything from history, nature, music and politics, to science, life and death. Durham Book Festival has all the makings of an international best seller, and here are some of the highlights. Tickets to author talks and a free book We have a pair of tickets to give away to author talks by Sarah Waters, crime writer Peter James and Labour politician Alan Johnson. The three winners will also receive a copy of a book by each author. For the chance to win, answer this question: How many copies of The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters have been distributed across County Durham? See page 2 for details of how to enter.


The Big Read Every year, Durham Book Festival champions one book as its Big Read. In 2018, the honour has been bestowed upon Sarah Waters’ enthralling gothic ghost story The Little Stranger. It’s hardly surprising, as the Booker-nominated novel has a plot full of twists and turns. In the run up to the festival, 3,000 copies have been distributed to schools, libraries, prisons and university staff and students across County Durham. The idea is to turn the county into a giant book club, encouraging conversations about the novel. On Thursday 27 September, at 2.30pm, Chester-le-Street Library will host a drop-in book club for readers to discuss the novel. And, if you want to hear more from the author herself, the Gala Theatre in Durham will host an Evening with Sarah Waters on Saturday 13 October, from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Tickets cost £10 or £8 for concessions.

The Little Read Young readers will delight in this year’s Little Read - Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones and Sara Ogilvie. This imaginative picture book follows a little girl who loves to invent things. When Izzy finds a crow with a broken wing, she is determined to help her new friend fly again. Five hundred copies have been sent out, including a copy to every primary school in the county. Izzy Gizmo inspired workshops will also be held in community centres, and a one-off musical production will be staged at the Gala Theatre on Saturday 13 October, from 11am to noon. Tickets cost £7 or £5 for concessions.

6-14 October 2018

New commissions

Cathy Newman

Every year, Durham Book Festival commissions writers to produce prose and poetry on thoughtprovoking topics, often with a North-East theme. Race, cultural identity and anxiety are among the subjects tackled in 2018.

This year is the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, a historic piece of legislation which gave some British women the vote for the first time. Many festival writers have marked the milestone, delving into the history of suffrage and the issues which affect women today. In Bloody Brilliant Women: The Unsung Heroines who Made 20th Century Britain, journalist and Channel 4 newsreader Cathy Newman explores the motivations of the women who played a crucial role in transforming British women’s lives from the mid-nineteenth century. Join Cathy at Durham Town Hall on Sunday 14 October, from 2pm to 3pm. Tickets cost £10 or £8 for concessions.

In Black and British: Growing up in the North-East, British-Nigerian historian and broadcaster David Olusoga shares his experience of growing up in Gateshead, and of his journey to reconnect with the region as an adult. David will speak about the book at Durham Town Hall on Sunday 14 October, from 3.30pm to 4.30pm. Tickets cost £10 or £8 for concessions. In The World Above, Lucie Brownlee looks at how mining shaped the lives of the women and girls who lived in the world above the pit. To uncover these rarely shared stories, Lucie interviewed colliery women in Easington, many of whom were activists during the miners’ strikes. She will discuss her research at the Miners’ Hall in Redhills on Sunday 7 October, from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. Tickets cost £8 or £6 for concessions.

To view the full programme or to book tickets, visit www.durhambookfestival.com or call 03000 266 600.


Do it online

Save time do it online How do you contact us – by phone, face-to-face or online? Debbie Hibbitts, Waste Monitoring Officer, showing one of the new waste e-permits on her phone.

Having an online customer account is easy and gives you access to a range of services at a time and location convenient to you. Here we give you a flavour of what’s on offer and how it can benefit you.

Making it e-asier to use your local tip It’s now easier than ever to get rid of your rubbish and unwanted items at your local household waste recycling centre thanks to the introduction of a new electronic permit system. If you use a van, pick up or trailer you need a permit. Until recently this was either posted to you, or you could pick it up from one of our customer access points. The new electronic permit can be with you almost instantly by email. All you need to do is download the permit to your phone and show the code at the site before you unload. To get a permit electronically, set up or log in to your do it online account. Each household can get up to 12 permits per year. Find out more about waste permits and see how they work at www.durham.gov.uk/householdpermit

Why have an online account? ✓✓ It’s faster and more secure as you don’t have to give your personal details every time you contact us. ✓✓ You can use it at a time convenient to you. ✓✓ You can check the progress of your requests. ✓✓ It keeps you up to date with information relevant to you e.g. if we are unable to collect your bin.

Low-cost laptops Registered charities in County Durham are being offered low-cost laptops and PCs as part of a council-run recycling scheme. The Digital Durham Reboot initiative sees IT equipment owned by us refurbished and made available to registered charities in the area.

Register for your online account at:

As well as helping charities operate more efficiently, the scheme aims to support them in their work to help people get online and improve their skills.


For more information www.digitaldurham.org


What else can you do online?

Here’s just a few of the services we offer.

Register to vote

Pay for things Whether it’s your council tax or business rates, a blue badge or a council invoice, you can make a payment securely online 24/7. www.durham.gov.uk/estore

Book a theatre, cinema or event ticket

As well as giving you the option to vote in local and general elections, being on the electoral register can help your credit rating. www.durham.gov.uk/elections

As the dark nights draw in, browse what’s on offer at Gala or Empire theatres and book and pay for your tickets in advance. www.galadurham.co.uk or www.empireconsett.co.uk

Apply for a school place

Get unwanted large items and white goods collected

It’s September and applications for next year’s school places open on the 12th. Apply for your child’s place at primary or secondary school at: www.durham.gov.uk/ schooladmissions

Book a leisure centre class or activity If you have a Thrive card you can sign up to a membership or book an activity online. www.durham.gov.uk/sport

If you’re having a clear out and need large furniture or electrical goods picked up - book and pay for a bulky waste collection. www.durham.gov.uk/doitonline

Report a problem Whether it’s a pothole, your bin hasn’t been emptied, there’s a street light out, or you want to report flytipping or another incident you can do this 24/7 at www.durham.gov.uk/doitonline

View and comment on planning applications From house extensions to major developments - you can give your feedback on applications at www.durham.gov.uk/planning


Adult health

Staying independent

Roundthe-clock reassurance

Care Connect, our community alarm and telecare service, provides a home monitoring service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. As well as providing reassurance and assistance to older vulnerable residents, it offers peace of mind for their family and friends. A simple alarm system installed in the home can be used to call for assistance even in an emergency. care.connect@durham.gov.uk 03000 262 195

There’s no place like home – so it’s only natural that as we grow older most of us want to remain in our own home for as long as possible. And for those needing a little extra support to stay independent, there are plenty of sources of advice and assistance in County Durham.

Whether it’s adapting your home in order to make it easier to get Navigating around or finding out about you to better local groups and clubs to health avoid feeling isolated, Not sure who to ask for advice help is at hand.

about your health and wellbeing? NHS health commissioners in Durham have introduced a new initiative to ensure people get the right support when they’re not well. Under the scheme, GP receptionists have been trained to direct patients to the most appropriate healthcare professional or service, whether that’s a GP, practice nurse or even a community pharmacist. Ask about Care Navigation at your GP practice.

Our Locate website contains information on a variety of care and support products and services that can help you remain independent. It also provides contact details for hundreds of groups and organisations around the county if you’re looking to make new friends or learn a new skill. Go to www.durhamlocate.org.uk If you don’t have access to the internet, you can take advantage of free online access at our libraries or use Locate at one of the elephant kiosks situated in many GP surgeries.

Equipment loan service

Buying advice

Our community equipment service is operated by Medequip which provides aids and equipment for loan including items such as bath lifts and shower chairs.

The Independent Living House in Spennymoor enables people to try out a variety of items that can make everyday life that little bit easier – from bathing aids to stair lifts. Staff from our equipment advice service are on-hand to provide the necessary information and advice to help people make an informed choice when buying or hiring items. The service does not sell equipment but can play a vital role in helping you get the best value for money. Appointments must be booked in advance. equipmentadvice@durham.gov.uk 03000 265 667

If you would like to have an assessment to find out if you are eligible for an equipment loan, please contact Social Care Direct on 03000 26 79 79. Medequip also collects equipment that is no longer required which means someone else in the community can benefit from using it. If you have equipment that you no longer need, call 01325 524 531 to arrange a suitable collection free of charge.


Locate help, support - and new friends

As the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War approaches, communities across County Durham are remembering the fallen.

Lo c al heroes

Village to honour VC hero A County Durham war hero is to be honoured in his home village. William McNally was awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V for a series of acts of bravery during the First World War. Now his actions are to be marked with the unveiling of a memorial stone in Murton.

But it was for his actions towards the end of the conflict that he was awarded the VC. The citation referred to his ‘numerous acts of gallantry’ and the example they set to his men.

McNally enlisted in the Yorkshire Regiment – now better known as the Green Howards – at the beginning of the war. In July 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, he earned the first of three gallantry awards when he dragged a seriously wounded officer to safety. Just 16 months later he was awarded a bar to his Military Medal when he three-times rescued men wounded or buried by enemy shellfire in Passchendaele, near Ypres.

The VC stone will be unveiled during a ceremony starting at 11am on Saturday 27 October. His story will also be told in an exhibition at the Glebe Centre, which will be open on Sunday 28 October, 10am-4pm and Monday 29 October, 9am-5pm.

Memorial stone to Durham Pals unveiled in France A memorial stone dedicated to the Durham Pals has been unveiled at a ceremony in France. The stone has been installed next to existing memorials to the Bradford Pals and Leeds Pals in the small hamlet of Bus-Les-Artois where the 18 DLI – known as the Durham Pals – were stationed in the lead up to the Battle of the Somme. The DLI Pals were made up of men from all professions and many were childhood friends who had grown up together in towns and villages across the county. At 7.30am on 1 July 1916, 60,000 British soldiers climbed out of their trenches and began to move across No Man’s Land. Within one hour, over half were dead or wounded – the greatest loss of life in a single day for Britain. The Pals, as part of the 31st Division, were part of the attack at Serre, at the northern end of the Somme battlefield. By 5 July, the battalion that had gone into the trenches on 30 June almost 800 strong had suffered around 500 casualties, including 70 dead.

The Durham Hymns The anniversary of the end of the First World War is to be marked in Durham with a moving musical performance. The Durham Hymns, which first premiered during BRASS Festival 2016, not only commemorates the sacrifice of those who died, but also the courage and resilience of those left behind. It features lyrics by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and will be performed by the Reg Vardy Brass Band, the Centenary Community Choir and choral ensemble Voices of Hope at the Gala Theatre on Sunday 11 November. www.galadurham.co.uk 03000 266 600

Look out for a special edition of the Northern Echo on Remembrance Sunday supporting Help for Heroes. The paper, which we are sponsoring, will feature historic front pages from the Echo archives and will tell the story of how the First World War came to an end.


Cele brating D ur h a m

Lumiere set to light up Durham again The UK’s biggest and brightest festival is set to return to Durham City next year as Lumiere celebrates its 10th anniversary. The 2019 event, which will run from 14 to 17 November, will feature a selection of some favourites from the past decade of the spectacular biennial light festival as well as some new artworks. Lumiere, which has also been re-commissioned to return in 2021, has become synonymous with Durham – transforming landmark buildings with mesmerising installations and bringing tens of thousands of visitors from around the country and beyond. The festival was established in the city in 2009 and the 2019 programme is set to wow crowds and ensure the county continues to be showcased on a global scale.


There will also be community activities and legacy artworks between festivals. Lumiere is produced by Artichoke, commissioned by Durham County Council and supported by Arts Council England and a raft of other partners and businesses. Helen Marriage, CEO and artistic director of Artichoke, said: “The festival’s continued success shows what is possible when the local authority, local business and local people come together behind a project, allowing us as producers to push the boundaries and do really exciting things.”

...I’m so excited to be programming the 10th anniversary Lumiere festival. It will be a moment to Helen Marriage reflect and look back, as well as forward.

Durham celebrates record tourism growth

A rich and diverse culture

A record 240,000 people visited Lumiere in 2017 bringing more than £7.5 million to the county’s economy and helping exceed our long-term tourism targets. Newly published research measuring the volume and value of tourism to Durham has revealed that tourism is now worth £867 million to the county’s economy. Commissioned by Visit County Durham, the STEAM economic impact study assesses information from visitor attractions, events, transport and expenditure. The report, which shows that growth has already exceeded targets for 2020, reveals that Durham welcomed 19.71 million tourism visits in 2017 and that those visitors spent five per cent more in the county than during the previous year. The number of jobs supported by the visitor economy also increased with the sector now supporting 11,682 full time equivalent jobs, again an increase of five per cent. The figures also show a seven per cent increase in the number of visitors staying overnight in the county. Ivor Stolliday, Chair of Visit County Durham said: “The successful results are a reflection of the collective way that the sector works locally to raise the profile of the county as a visitor destination and we are delighted to see that partnership led marketing campaigns are attracting more visitors, resulting in this record growth. “Visitor spend is increasing at a faster rate to visitor growth indicating people are spending more on things to see and do during their stay. Visit County Durham will continue to work closely alongside tourism businesses and other organisations to improve the quality and attractiveness of our fabulous county as a visitor destination.”

Lumiere may be the jewel in the county’s cultural crown, but Durham is also lucky enough to benefit from a packed calendar of events and festivals, a wealth of visitor attractions and a rich history and heritage. From coast to dale and city to vale, our cultural offer spreads across the county – enriching the lives of residents, providing employment, attracting visitors from around the globe and bringing millions of pounds into our economy. But it’s the diversity of what we have to offer that has made culture so important to our area. In a single day you can explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durham Castle and Cathedral, learn to surf at Seaham Marina, experience life as a Victorian miner at Killhope and watch 2,000 years of history, myth and legend unfold at Kynren. The list continues with attractions including Locomotion at Shildon, Bowes and Beamish museums to name but a few, along with events such as Durham Book Festival, the Miners’ Gala and Durham Brass Festival. And our cultural offer is evolving too with new events and experiences continually emerging. For example, thousands of people turned out to see the Man Engine – the largest mechanical puppet constructed in Britain – when it made its way through the streets of Willington earlier this year during a visit organised by Northern Heartlands.

...people are spending more on things to see and do...


Back to school As the summer holidays come to an end, the prospect of no longer having to keep youngsters entertained all week is a welcome one for many parents and carers. But before letting out that big sigh of relief, there are a few important things to consider.

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Fighting flu Colds are often spread when children get together, and before you know it the whole family has runny noses. However, there is also a risk of children contracting flu, which can cause severe symptoms including fever, chills, headaches, aching joints, muscles and extreme tiredness. Healthy adults should recover within a week, but flu can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia. Ensuring your child has the nasal flu vaccine will help to protect them. The Childhood Immunisation Team provides free nasal flu vaccines to children in reception class up to Year 5, who live or attend school in County Durham. Immunisation cannot cause flu, and is carried out in schools and community clinics. www.hdft.nhs.uk/nasalflu-consent 03000 030 013 Other vulnerable groups eligible for free flu vaccinations include people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems.


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or @Dur

...teaching children the essential digital skills...

Creating the coders of the future

Cutting edge technology to promote safe driving Virtual reality is at the centre of a pioneering scheme to reduce the number of car crashes involving young drivers. Fully immersive films are allowing children to experience a collision from a passenger’s perspective and address factors which can cause collisions, including distraction, speeding, inexperience, non-use of seatbelts and peer pressure. Spennymoor AAP, Bishop Auckland AAP and local councillors are supporting Durham Constabulary in piloting the project in schools in the area.

After-school and lunchtime clubs teaching children the essential digital skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow are going from strength to strength. Derwent Valley AAP has helped fund coding clubs at primary and secondary schools across the area, with youngsters from Year 2 upwards attending the sessions. Often deemed as the ‘literacy of the 21st century,’ coding is used to show a computer exactly what to do, whether this is playing games, online shopping or homework. The clubs are linked to Code Club UK and supported by parent volunteers.


Green living

Leaf composting Autumn will soon be upon us and now is the perfect time to start composting.

If you’re wondering what to do with fallen leaves, why not turn them into a leaf compost? This is a fantastic product, which can be used as mulch, soil improver, lawn dressing or in place of peat for potting container plants. You can collect leaves from your garden or street but not woodlands. Leave them under hedges for creatures such as hedgehogs, which may be hibernating there. You can use all fallen leaves, even the ones with black spots, but avoid evergreen leaves as they take a long time to rot down. A good tip with fallen leaves is to use a lawnmower to collect up leaves as this shreds them and helps to speed up the composting process.

To make leaf compost put your damp leaves into a black bin bag, make a few holes in it, and leave it in a secluded spot to rot down for over 12-24 months, the longer it is left the better.

with Getcomposting.com to offer home compost bins at special offer prices from only £17.98. There is also a buy one get one half price offer, meaning you can buy a second bin from only £8.99.

Community groups, allotments and schools can get involved in making leaf compost, which can be used in school gardens, community flowerbeds, gardens or allotments.

To find out more or to order a bin, contact 0844 571 4444 or visit www.getcomposting.com

We are looking for leaf compost volunteers to help co-ordinate leaf collection events in their local area. If you are interested in volunteering or to request a leaf compost information pack, email wasteaware@durham.gov.uk To encourage everyone to get composting, we have teamed up

Blooming marvellous Green fingered hopefuls have everything crossed for success with Durham City reaching the finals of Britain in Bloom. The colourful poppies which we installed at the Leazes Bowl junction are just one of the displays that have helped the city shine in its entry in the Small City category of the Royal Horticultural Society competition. Durham is also competing in the same category at the RHS Northumbria in Bloom contest. Why not pick up a map from Durham Town Hall or a customer access point and follow the Durham in Bloom Floral Trail around the city? Northumbria in Bloom winners will be revealed in Gateshead on Wednesday 26 September, while Britain in Bloom winners will be announced at a ceremony in Belfast on Friday 19 October.


Celebrating our hedgerows Hedgerows are an important habitat, providing vital resources for mammals, birds and insects. We are committed to protecting these wildlife corridors and this includes celebrating the ancient craft of hedge-laying. The Durham Hedge-laying Competition returns to Woodlands Hall Farm in Knitsley, near Consett, on Friday 12 October, from 9am to 3pm. Organised by Durham Hedgerow Partnership with support from Trees Please, the competition is free to enter and sees competitors hone their cutting, staking and binding skills to lay seven metres of hedgerow. Competitors and spectators are welcome. To find out more, contact 03000 267 143 or landscape@durham.gov.uk

Food for thought

Household waste recycling centre winter opening times

Durham is one of just a handful of UK cities to have won a prestigious Sustainable Food Cities award. The award recognises the work of Food Durham, a partnership of organisations including the council, which are committed to promoting healthy, sustainable and local food, as well as tackling issues such as food poverty, health and the loss of family farms and independent retailers. It also runs the Durham Food Hub, which supports small and medium food and drink enterprises to grow and sell their produce within the retail and hospitality sectors, and the Growing Durham project, which helps people grow their own food in community gardens and other settings. The award was presented to Dr Liz Charles, Food Durham manager, and Keith Gill, Durham Food Hub manager, at a ceremony in Cardiff City Hall.

Between Monday 1 October and Sunday 31 March, our household waste recycling centres will switch to their winter opening hours. 9am to 3.30pm everyday: Annfield Plain; Heighington Lane, Newton Aycliffe; Middleton-in-Teesdale; Potterhouse Lane, Pity Me; Romanway, Bishop Auckland; Seaham; Tudhoe. 10am-4pm Monday to Thursday and 9am-3.30pm Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays: Coxhoe; Horden; Thornley. 9am-3.30pm on Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays only: Hett Hills, Chester-le-Street. Stainton Grove in Barnard Castle remains closed as it undergoes refurbishment. For more information visit www.durham.gov.uk/hwrc or call 03000 261 000

Garden waste collections take a winter break Collections for this season’s garden waste will end in November and the scheme will restart in 2019. To find out your last collection date, check your waste and recycling calendar or visit www.durham.gov.uk/gardenwaste 19

Out and about

Autumn walks Autumn is a wonderful time to explore County Durham on foot. As the leaves begin to turn, the countryside radiates a golden glow, with an abundance of rich reds and deep oranges enhancing the already stunning scenery, while the cooler temperatures offer pleasant conditions for walking. Our county is full of fantastic trails and footpaths catering for everyone from serious hikers to those wishing to work off their apple crumble on a riverside ramble. From the big skies and striking scenery of the North Pennines to the dramatic views and geological gems of the Heritage Coast; from making new friends to improving your fitness; there really is something for everyone in County Durham.

Coastal walks The seaside is not just for summer; autumn is a fantastic time to explore the Durham Heritage Coast. Let the sea air blow away the cobwebs and enjoy the fine views to be found on our windswept coastline. The Durham Coastal Footpath is an 11-mile route stretching from Seaham to Crimdon. Discover spectacular Magnesian limestone grasslands, magical coastal denes and an abundance of wildlife, while learning about the rich heritage that shaped the coast. The footpath is marked by waymarkers and finger posts featuring a variety of information and artwork. If you want to explore further inland or warm up over a cup of tea in a café, the coastal path links up to seaside settlements with their own unique stories to tell. Among the circular routes to enjoy is a 4.5 mile walk from St Andrew’s Church in Dalton-le-Dale towards Dawdon with the option of visiting Nose’s Point, a stunning nature reserve and site of special scientific interest.


Countryside walks County Durham boasts diverse landscapes featuring vast moorland, wildlife-packed woodlands, rolling fields, rivers, waterfalls and more. Walking is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the wonders on your doorstep. Need some help finding your way? Our countryside walks leaflets feature a walking route set out on a map with details of interesting places to stop off when you’re in need of a rest. The choice includes: Our St John’s Chapel – farming, mining and Methodism walk offers the chance to discover how the countryside has been shaped by our social, industrial and agricultural heritage with a series of circular walks linking the villages of St John’s Chapel, Daddry Shield and Ireshopeburn in Upper Weardale. Each loop is about three miles long or walkers can take on the seven-mile outer loop. Organised as part of the Mineral Valleys Project, the walk begins in St John’s Chapel and takes you past tiny farms once occupied by miners to produce extra food for their families. Other highlights include High House Chapel, a Methodist church visited by founder John Wesley no fewer than 13 times, and New House Complex, which was built in about 1700 by Walter Blackett, the Moor Master who administered lead mining in the dale. There are also hay meadows, an old schoolhouse and a wealth of wildlife waiting to be discovered on this wonderful walk. Where better to experience the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ than a native woodland. Bog Pit Wood is a broadleaved woodland planted on a former mining site near Catchgate in 2012. The Woodland Trust has created a gentle 3.5-mile walk around the site, which follows four different carriage ways before crossing the summit of Pontop Pike. You will also visit Deep Dene Local Nature Reserve, with its Scots pine plantation and ponds. Download our Robin’s Den Wood guide for details.

Railway paths County Durham has a proud railway heritage and the many former railway lines that cross the county are fantastic for walkers, runners, wheelchair users and cyclists. These flat routes pass through picturesque and varied countryside, meaning you can surround yourself in all that autumn has to offer. Here’s just one of the many available: Why not try the Brandon to Bishop Auckland Railway Path? The track was closed to passenger traffic in 1964 and is now popular with walkers and wildlife, including kingfishers, kestrels, owls and foxes. Broompark is an ideal starting point, with a large picnic area and plentiful parking.

Guided walks

Health walks If you want to take the first steps towards a more active lifestyle but are not sure how, look no further than your feet. Walking is a great way to improve your fitness, while enjoying the therapeutic benefits of fresh air and nature. The Walk Durham programme offers a series of free, weekly walks starting in locations across the county. Each walk is led by a trained walk leader, follows a risk assessed route and lasts between 30 to 90 minutes. www.durham.gov.uk/walkingandrunning

Those who wish to learn more about the nature, local history and geology of our countryside may wish to join one of the regular guided walks on offer. Walks range from one to 13 miles and there are even walks for those interested in art and photography. They are also a great way to make new friends. Most outings cost ÂŁ4, with no booking required. www.durham.gov.uk/countryside


Trouble managing your money? Our Customer Services team offers personal budgeting advice and support to help you take control of your finances. They can help you plan your budget, as well as offer advice on reducing your bills by comparing the best deals for utility bills, internet, TV and mobile phones. Visit a Customer Access Point near you and ask for an appointment or call 03000 26 0000.

Be the reason they smile Come along to one of our drop in information events to find out more about fostering

Saturday 22 September, Thursday 27 September, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UQ, any time between 10.00am and 1.30pm

Durham Town Hall, DH1 3NJ, any time between 11.00am and 1.00pm

Foster with us You will need to bring details of your income and bills to your appointment.

03000 269 400


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Sarah Boulter Miranda The Mirror Pip Chamberlin Corporal Crosby

Paul Dunn Dame Dolly Doodle

The Gala Theatre’s spectacular family pantomime

a favourites Written and directed by Gal l Hartley Neil Armstrong and Pau

Jacob Anderton Will The Woodsman

Musical Director Mark Thompson Choreographer Amanda Woods Costume Designer Emily Baxendale With Gala Theatre Stage School and full supporting company

Lauren Waine Snow White

Neil Armstrong Rupert Von Rottenchops

Paul Hartley Chester The Jester

22 November 2018 - 5 January 2019

Tickets: £6 - £17 (Family ticket £50 - £58) Box Office: 03000 266 600 Book online: www.galadurham.co.uk


Holiday fun

Trick or Treat? Are you brave enough to try the events and activities in our guide to frightening Halloween fun?

AT THE LIBRARY: Orville the Owl is scared of the dark…and the light. Join him on a magical journey featuring poetry, music and puppets at libraries throughout the county this October.

Saturday 20 to Sunday 28 October, 10am-4pm The Gallery of Monsters Park Trail

Hardwick Park How many monster portraits will you discover in the woodland gallery? £1 per trail sheet. 03000 262 899

Saturday 20, 10am-12noon Shildon

Monday 22, 2pm-4pm Monday 22, 10.30am-12.30pm Consett

Tuesday 23, 10am-12noon Stanley

Tuesday 23, 2pm-4pm Crook

Wednesday 24, 10am-12noon Spennymoor

Wednesday 24, 2pm-4pm Seaham

Thursday 25, 10am-12noon Peterlee

Thursday 25, 2pm–4pm Durham Clayport

Friday 26, 2pm-4pm Chester-le-Street

Friday 26, 10am-12noon Barnard Castle

Saturday 27, 10am-12noon

The production is suitable for children under 6. Contact your local library to find out more www.durham.gov.uk/libraries


The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle Make a witch’s broom, create a potion and take part in a magician trail. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission applies. Free to pass holders. 01833 690 606 www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

Thursday 25 October, 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm Nicki Noo Noo’s Pumpkin Party

Newton Aycliffe

Bishop Auckland Town Hall

Thursday 25 October, 11am-4pm Spooky Family Fun Day

Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 October, 10am-11.30am and 1pm-2.30pm Wizard School

Hardwick Park Learn to make an elder wand, join a potions class and enjoy spooky games and activities. Ages 6+ £6 per child. Advance booking essential. 03000 262 899

Tuesday 23 and Thursday 25 October, 11am-3pm Halloween Art and Craft workshops Wharton Park Education Room £3 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 03000 262 655

Wednesday 24 October, 11am-3pm Frightful Family Crafts

Hardwick Park Celebrate Halloween with some arty fun in the education room. £3 per child. 03000 262 899

Wednesday 24 October, 10am-3pm Autumn Spook Camp (6-11 years)

Wharton Park A spook-tacular activity day. Wear outdoor clothing and bring a packed lunch. £12.50 per child. Limited spaces. 03000 262 845 outdoorlearning@durham.gov.uk

Hardwick Park Music, games, dancing and Halloween crafts. £6 per child. Advance booking essential. 03000 262 899

Thursday 25 October, 11.30am-12.30pm, 1pm-2pm and 2.30pm-3.30pm Pumpkin in the Park

Blackhill and Consett Park Free family pumpkin-carving sessions plus pumpkin-themed tips to reduce food waste and promote composting. Booking essential. 03000 266 104 wasteaware@durham.gov.uk

Friday 26 October, 10am-11.30am and 1pm-2.30pm Woodland Trick or Treat

Hardwick Park Find the woodland witch, solve her riddles and complete challenges in a fun Halloween quest. Ages 4+ £4 per child. Advance booking essential. 03000 262 899

Friday 26 and Saturday 27 October, times to be confirmed Fright Night

Wharton Park Halloween circus performance, fancy dress is encouraged. Wear outdoor clothing. Bring a torch. £10 per person or £36 family ticket (2 adults and 2 children). Children with a ticket for this event can enjoy a free Halloween art and craft session. Gala Box office 03000 266 600

Half term holiday fun Kids can get crafty, explore the great outdoors or get active at just some of the exciting events taking place around the county this half term.

Saturday 27 October, 10.30am-2.30pm Monster Saturday

Bishop Auckland town centre Dress up in your scariest clothes and enjoy some live spooky street entertainment. Free. 01388 609 852 facebook.com/batownteam

Saturday 27 October, 6.30pm-9pm Halloween Family Fun Night

Scarth Hall, Staindrop Halloween games, face-painting, prizes, bar, disco, tuck shop and more. £2/£8 family ticket. 07950 625 387 www.scarthhall.co.uk

Sunday 28 October, 10am-11.30am Magnificent Broom Ramble

Bright Woods Forest School CIC, Barnard Castle Halloween ramble inspired by Julia Donaldson’s Room on the Broom, finishing with a campfire. £7.50 per child. 07399 575 253 www.facebook.com/brightwoodsforestschool

Saturday 13 to Sunday 28 October, 10am-4pm Welly Walk

Wednesday 24 October, 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm In the Dark Wild Wednesday – part of Dark Skies

Monday 22 October, 10am-12noon and 1pm-3pm Wild about the Park

Thursday 25 October, 2pm-3.30pm School holiday bounce and football

Hardwick Park Test out the crunchy, splashy and squelchy route around the park – and don’t forget your wellies. 50p per trail. 03000 262 899

Blackhill and Consett Park Family activities exploring autumn in the beautiful setting of the park and indoors in the Lodge.

Monday 22 October Kids go free at Killhope

Wednesday 31 October, 2.15pm Connections with the supernatural

The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle Short gallery talk exploring John and Joséphine Bowes’ curiosity for the supernatural. Included in admission pass to the museum. 01833 690 606 www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

Info public firmation on rework event can www.d be found at s urham firewor .gov.uk/ ks

Spectrum Leisure Centre Bouncy castle for up to 5 years and football for 6-9 years. £3 per child. 01388 747 000 www.spectrumleisurecentre.com

Free museum admission for children as well as sand art and Killhope Rocks workshops. £3 per child. www.killhope.org.uk

Sunday 28 October, 1pm-4.30pm Family Bushcrafts

Sunday 28 October, 12noon-3pm Halloween Special

Killhope Disco with fancy dress, competitions and scavenger hunt. Museum entry fee applies 01388 537 505 www.killhope.org.uk

Bowlees Visitor Centre, Upper Teesdale Pre-booking essential. Craft activities and mini-beast walks aimed at children aged 4-13. Child £3 (accompanying adults free). 01388 528 801 www.northpennines.org.uk

Tuesday 23 to Thursday 25 October, 10am-4pm Celebrate Science

Palace Green, Durham Amazing experiments, hands-on activities and inventions. Everyone welcome. Free. www.dur.ac.uk/celebrate.science/

Hamsterley Forest Build a shelter, light a fire, cook a meal. Age 5+ £40 per family (2-4 people) £10 per additional person. Max two children per adult. 01388 529 154 www.natureholiday.co.uk

Two sessions at TopGear Karting For the chance to win an early bird 40-lap session for two people at TopGear Karting, Durham, simply tell us how long is the track at TopGear Karting? Early bird reduced price sessions are available from Monday to Friday throughout the school holidays between 12noon and 5pm. www.durhamkarting.co.uk See page 2 for details of how to enter.


September to November

What’s on

September to November

Until mid-October Natural Creation Low Force This temporary artwork brings to life a 320 million year-old story of magma and rocks in the beautiful landscape of Teesdale. The North Pennines AONB Partnership commissioned artist Rob Mulholland to create the piece featuring highly polished metal figures and shapes in which visitors can see themselves and the landscape reflected together. The artwork celebrates the geology of the North Pennines AONB and UNESCO Global Geopark – the result of millions of years of changing climates and environments.

Tuesday 2 to Saturday 6 October TWO Gala Theatre This in-house production shows a microcosm of working class life through the lives of the regulars of a northern pub. The performances sees two actors take on 14 roles between them; from a small boy to a frightened girlfriend and a barroom Romeo. Through these characters we witness failed aspirations, unfulfilled lives and enormous spirit. www.galadurham.co.uk 03000 266 600

Photo: Lee Dobson

Sunday 21 October Lost Voice Guy: Homecoming Empire Theatre, Consett


He won Britain’s Got Talent, spent the summer performing at the Edinburgh Fringe and is set to appear at the Royal Variety Performance but Lee Ridley is still to realise his ultimate dream. Lee, who performs as Lost Voice Guy, says his greatest ambition is to perform to a sell-out audience in his home town of Consett. We’re pretty confident he’ll be playing to a packed house when he appears in two shows at the town’s Empire Theatre. www.empireconsett.co.uk


What ’s on


EMPIRE THEATRE, CONSETT Saturday 20 October, 7.30pm Sweet Caroline Wednesday 10 October Heartspur

The story of Harry Hotspur and the battle of Shrewsbury, set in gangland Newcastle in 1963. £10, £8 concessions.

Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 September The Laundrette Sessions

The annual music festival presented in partnership with Gala Theatre and Old Cinema Launderette. Featuring Rick Wakeman, Martin Simpson and Nancy Kerr. From £13.

Neil Diamond tribute act. £21.50.

Friday 26 October, 7.30pm Some Guys Have All The Luck

Celebration of Rod Stewart. £21.50.

Wednesday 17 October Tabby McTat

A heart-warming tale of friendship and loyalty for children and families. £12.

Friday 23 November Share the Darkness

A mixture of traditional and contemporary Irish songs. £10, £8 concessions.

Saturday 1 to Monday 3 December Sleeping Beauty

Saturday 3 November, 7.30pm Russian National Ballet: Swan Lake

£21 full, £19.50 concession, £16.50 under 16s.

Help Prince Valentine defeat the evil fairy Malevola and wake Sleeping Beauty with true love kisses. £9/£7 and £30 family ticket (2 adults + 2 children only) Group discounts available on request.

Thursday 8 November Ventoux

www.bishopaucklandtownhall.org.uk 03000 269 524

www.galadurham.co.uk 03000 266 600

The story of Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani’s drug-fuelled race on the fearsome Mont Ventoux in the 2000 Tour de France. £15, £13 concessions.

Thursday 22 November, 7.30pm Blake: The Anniversary Tour Brit-Award-winning vocal trio Blake. £22.50. www.empireconsett.co.uk 03000 262 400

THE WITHAM, BARNARD CASTLE Saturday 15 September, 7.30pm Eddie and the Hot Rods Farewell Tour

A high energy stage show from the band famed for their hit ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’. £15-£18.

Thursday 4 October, 7.30pm Bella Hardy ‘Hey Sammy’ acoustic tour

With only two fiddles and a harmonium, Bella strips back instrumentation from her latest record. £17-£18.

Family pass for Holmside Park Friday 9 to Saturday 10 November, 7.30pm Castle Players: Flare Path

A story of love and duty, courage and fear. Set in 1942, interweaving the experiences and decisions of three couples against a backdrop of wartime uncertainty. £8-£10. www.thewitham.org.uk 01833 631107

50 acres of indoor and outdoor activities including a giant inflatable obstacle course, archery, roller skating, soft play and more. For the chance to win a family pass for a session at Holmside Park, simply tell us where is Holmside Park? www.holmsidepark.co.uk facebook.com/holmsidepark/ See page 2 for details of how to enter.


September to November



DURHAM COUNTY RECORD OFFICE Saturday 15 September, 10am Heritage Open Day

Conservation demonstrations and children’s activities. Free. Booking is essential.

Thursday 13 to Sunday 16 September, 10am-5pm Agricultural show

Recreation of a typical country show from the early 1900s.

Thursday 20 September, 10am-12noon and 6pm-8pm Branching Out: What else is in the archives? Talk focusing on the letters of lead miner Joseph Graham. £10.

Saturday 22 to Sunday 23 September, 10am-5pm Hands-on heritage skills

Try your hand at traditional crafts.

Stunning images by the king of catwalk photography alongside 40 of the garments themselves. Included in admission. www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk 01833 690 606

A family pass for The Bowes Museum

Thursday 20 September, 12.30pm-1.15pm A Northern Eye: 19th Century Quaker photographs

For a chance to win a family pass, simply tell us what nationality was fashion designer Coco Chanel?

Fascinating insight into Victorian photography. Free. Booking is essential.

Monday 1, 8 and 15 October, 6pm-8pm Friday 5, 12 and 19 October, 10am-12noon Family history for beginners

Until Sunday 6 January, daily from 10am-5pm (inc Bank Holidays) Catwalking: Fashion through the lens of Chris Moore

See page 2 for details of how to enter.

Saturday 29 to Saturday 30 September, 10am-5pm Harvest festival and harvest home

Harvest displays and choir performances.

Learn the basics of family history, including civil registration, the census and parish registers. £30.

REGULAR EVENTS Third Monday of the month, 7.15pm Sedgefield Family History Group Methodist Church Hall, Sedgefield £2 for non-members. www.sedgefieldfamilyhistory.com

Every Monday, 1pm-3pm Sing for Life Community Choir Sunday 30 September, 10am-5pm Classic car day Incredible cars dating from 1920s onwards.

Tuesday 16 October, 6pm-8pm Thursday 18 October, 10am-12noon Branching Out: Parish records

Find out about poor relief records, churchwardens, accounts and other records. £10. https://recordofficeshop.durham.gov.uk 03000 267 619


Saturday 17 November to Monday 24 December, 10am-4pm Christmas at Beamish Experience the magic of a traditional Christmas.

Usual admission prices for all events. www.beamish.org.uk 0191 370 4000

Spennymoor Leisure Centre Friendly choir led by a professional musician. £4 per session. 01325 311 770 Facebook: Sing for Life Spennymoor. Term time only

Us Girls Every Monday 7pm-8.30pm

Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre

Every Wednesday 5pm-6pm

Ferryhill Sport and Education Centre

Every Wednesday 7pm-8pm

Spennymoor Leisure Centre Sport and physical activities for women aged 11-17. 50p per session. www.streetgames.org/our-work/us-girls

What ’s on

Every Wednesday, 1pm-3pm Art Club

Neville Parade Methodist Church, Newton Aycliffe Everyone welcome. £2.

Thursday during term time, 1pm-2.30pm Toddler session

Spectrum Leisure Centre, Hunwick Lane, Willington Singing, soft play and a bouncy castle. £3 over 12 months, £1.50 under 12 months. 01388 747 000 www.spectrumleisurecentre.com

Saturday 15 September, 9am-3pm Pittington autumn show

Full Moon Market Friday 14 September, Friday 19 October and Friday 16 November

Village Hall, High Pittington Entries of vegetables, baking, crafts and photos 9am-11am. Show opens at 1pm with Pittington Brass Band. Presentations at 3pm. 07925 067 001 www.pittingtonvillagehall.org.uk

Bishop Auckland Market Place

Friday 28 September and Friday 23 November Durham Market Place


Street food and live music. Free entry. www.durhammarkets.co.uk/events www.facebook.com/BishopMarket

Every Thursday, 7pm-9pm Weardale Community Choir

St Thomas’ Church Hall, Stanhope No previous experience needed. Facebook: weardale community choir

Every Saturday, 10am-11am and 11am-12noon Family roller skating

Sunday 16 September, 11am-4pm Craft InDurham

Every Saturday, 9am-4pm Outdoor market

Sunday 16 September, 2.30pm-4.45pm Mighty Wurlitzer stars of the future concert

Spectrum Leisure Centre £3. 01388 747 000 www.spectrumleisurecentre.com

Durham Market Place Wide range of independent traders. www.durhammarkets.co.uk


Durham Market Place Discover unique and beautiful crafts, art, homewares and clothing. www.durhammarkets.co.uk

New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Wear, Crook Musical showcase. £8, under 18s free. 01388 762 467 www.netoa.org.uk

Sunday 16 September, 2.30pm Monday 17 to Saturday 22 September, 7.30pm People by Alan Bennett Third Thursday of each month, 9am-4pm Farmers’ and producers’ market

Durham Market Place Locally reared meats, locally grown vegetables, crafts, gifts, artwork and more. www.durhammarkets.co.uk/events

Every Friday from 21 September for 12 weeks, 10.30am-8.10pm A CHOIR! A VOICE! Community Choir

Shakespeare Hall, North Road, Durham Ages 18-100. Free one-hour taster sessions. 12-week term £84-£102. 0191 447 8130

Every Friday, 10.30am Singing the Faith Community Choir

Bishop Auckland Baptist Church £1. Arrive at side entrance. 01388 604 151

The City Theatre, Back Silver St, Durham Alan Bennett at his sharp and witty best. £6.50-7.50. 03000 266 600 www.galadurham.co.uk

Friday 14 September, 7pm-9.30pm Murder mystery in the woods Bright Woods Forest School CIC, Barnard Castle Interactive whodunit. Adults only. £15. 07399 575 253 Facebook: /brightwoodsforestschool

Saturday 15 September, 1.30pm-4.30pm Seasonal wild food - edible mushrooms, fruits, nuts and roots

Hamsterley Forest Find out how to forage for wild food safely and sustainably. Age 13+ £15. 01388 529 154 www.natureholiday.co.uk

Tuesday 18 September, 7.30pm-9pm Ferryhill, Sedgefield and District Flower Club Parish Hall, Sedgefield Arthur McDonald demonstrates Throw Nowt Out. All welcome. £5 non-members, members free. 07533 752 870

Saturday 22 to Sunday 23 September, 10am-5pm Autumn steam gala Locomotion, Shildon Celebration of steam power featuring guest steam locomotives. Free admission. Small charge for steam train rides. 01904 685 780 www.locomotion.org.uk


September to November

OCTOBER Thursday 4 October, 2pm-4pm Durham Flower Club

Sherburn Village Community Hall Bring a small arrangement on the theme of Autumn Glory. No competition. Visitors £4, 2 visitors for 1 with this listing. 0191 383 0577

Friday 5 October, 7.30pm-9.15pm The War of the Worlds

Saturday 22 September, 9.45pm-2am Midnight Walk St Leonard’s Playing Field, Durham Sponsored 5k or 10k in aid of St Cuthbert’s Hospice. Adult £15, child £12, including t-shirt. 0191 386 1170 ext 5 www.stcuthbertshospice.com/129/2/ Midnight-Walk

Tuesday 25 September to Saturday 20 October, 11am-4pm Trees And Denes East Durham Artists’ Network, Art Block, Church Street Seaham Works by Edan Artists illustrating local denes. Free.

Hamsterley Village Hall Vivid and dynamic retelling of a sci-fi classic relocated to our region. Suitable for 12+. Adult £8, student £5, family £24. 01388 488 323

Saturday 6 October, 7pm Handel’s Messiah

Bishop Auckland Town Hall Bishop Auckland Choral Society presents The Messiah by G.F. Handel. £8, concessions £6. Tickets 01388 834 359 or 01325 360 514 or the Town Hall.

Sunday 7 October, 2.30pm-4.45pm Mighty Wurlitzer concert

New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Wear, Crook Join international organist Chris Powell for an afternoon of musical magic. £8 inc refreshments, under 18s free. 01388 762 467 www.netoa.org.uk

Saturday 13 to Sunday 14 October, 10am-5pm Lanchester art exhibition

The Community Centre, Newbiggin Lane, Lanchester Exhibition of work by Lanchester Art Group with paintings for sale. 50p.

Sunday 14 October, 10am-3pm A fungus foray

Wynch Bridge End Cottage, nr Bowlees, Teesdale Join mycologist Gordon Beakes for a closer look at fascinating fungi. Bring a packed lunch. £5. Booking essential. 01833 622 374 goo.gl/KfiWi1

Sunday 14 October, 1.30pm-3.30pm Wild food in autumn

Harehope Quarry, Frosterley Introduction to autumn wild food. Find out what’s edible, what’s not and what to do with it. Age 13+ £15 per person. 01388 529154 www.natureholiday.co.uk

Tuesday 16 October, 7.30pm-9pm Ferryhill, Sedgefield and District Flower Club

Parish Hall, Sedgefield Don Billington demonstrates Something Special. All welcome. £5 non-members, members free. 07533 752 870

Thursday 18 October, 7pm-9.45pm Mighty Wurlitzer Allstars Annual Awards

New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Wear, Crook An evening of music and entertainment. £8 inc hot supper or £3 inc hot drink, under 18s free. 01388 601 596 www.netoa.org.uk

Saturday 29 September, 10am-2pm Bishop Celebrating Together

Bishop Auckland Market Place Variety of local performers, entertainment and stalls. Free. 01388 609 852 facebook.com/batownteam

Saturday 13 October, 8pm-10pm Gavin Webster: World Tour

Scarth Hall, Staindrop Cult Geordie comedian Gavin Webster accompanied by his guitar, ukulele and book of poetry. 01833 650 930 www.funnywaytobe.com

Saturday 29 to Sunday 30 September, 10am-6pm North East Art Weekend Brancepeth Castle, Brancepeth, Durham Exhibition and sale of art and photography by North Eastern artists. Adult £2, child £1. 0191 340 2357 www.northeastartweekend.org


Saturday 13 October, 10.30am-12noon Into the woods - family walk Bright Woods Forest School CIC, Barnard Castle Take a stroll through Flatts Woods and finish at Deepdale Woods, toasting marshmallows around a campfire. Free, booking essential. 07399 575 253 Facebook: brightwoodsforestschool

Mighty Wurlitzer tickets For a chance to win a pair of tickets for the Mighty Wurlitzer concert with hot supper on Thursday 18 October, simply tell us: where would you have traditionally heard a Mighty Wurlitzer during the 1920s/30s? See page 2 for details of how to enter.

Friday 19 October, 7.30pm Macmillan fundraising concert

Sherburn Village Club Rob Slater’s 60 piece Choir that Rocks, plus Pittington Brass Band. £6. 0191 597 9233

Saturday 20 October, 10.30am-3pm Durham rug makers textile crafts fayre

Saturday 3 November, 7.30pm Blind Life in Durham Fun-draising charity night

Tudhoe Victory club, Spennymoor An evening of 60s and 70s music in aid of people with sight loss. £7.50 including pie and peas. 01388 763 501 blindlifeindurham@gmail.com

Bowburn Community Centre, Durham Craft stalls and demonstrations. Exhibition of Proggy and Hooky mats. Free. www.e-voice.org.uk/durhamrugmakers

Sunday 11 November, 7pm-8.30pm Dark Skies star gazing Harehope Quarry, Frosterley Discover the beauty of the Dark Skies of the North Pennines. £5. Not suitable for young children. 01388 529 154 www.natureholiday.co.uk

Sunday 11 November, 10.45am-7.05pm Battle’s over: Armistice centenary

Barnard Castle Series of events marking the centenary of the Armistice and the end of the First World War. Free. 01833 690 970 www.barnardcastletowncouncil.gov.uk

Friday 26 October, 7pm-11pm Emma Fisk’s Hot Club du Nord gypsy jazz quartet

Scarth Hall, Staindrop The music of Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt brought to life by a north east band. £12 inc food. 07950 625 387 www.scarthhall.co.uk

Scarth Hall, Staindrop Adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s much loved classic, featuring handmade puppets and an original score. £3/£5/£12. For ages 4+ . 07950 625 387 www.scarthhall.co.uk

Sherburn Village Community Hall Christine Ogle demonstrates ideas for Christmas. Visitors £8, members £5. 0191 383 0577

Parish Hall, Sedgefield Susan Maddox demonstrates Christmas my way. All welcome. £8 non-members, members £5.50. 07533 752 870

Saturday 24 November, 9am-12.30pm Christmas Fair Chester-le-Street Methodist Church Stalls and Santa’s grotto. Small fee for adults. Children free. 0191 388 1313

Friday 23 to Saturday 24 November, 10am-5pm Brancepeth Castle Christmas craft fair

Brancepeth Castle, Brancepeth, Durham Craft stalls, Christmas and homemade cakes. Adult £3, seniors £2, under 14s free. 0191 378 9670 www.brancepethcastle.org.uk/craft-fairs.html

Spectrum Leisure Centre £5-£6. 01388 747 000 www.spectrumleisurecentre.com

Thursday 1 November, 2pm-4pm Durham Flower Club

Tuesday 20 November, 7.30pm-9pm Ferryhill, Sedgefield and District Flower Club

Saturday 17 November, 7pm-9pm The Wind in the Willows: Box Tale Soup theatre company

Saturday 27 October, 7pm-11.30pm Elvis tribute act


Ushaw College, Durham Christmas gifts, tasty treats and a visit from Santa. Entry by donation. 0191 386 1170 ext 5 www.stcuthbertshospice.com/196/3/ Christmas-Fair

Spectrum Leisure Centre Christmas market including visit from Santa. Free. 01388 747 000 www.spectrumleisurecentre.com

Chester-le-Street Methodist Church Northern Voices sing a varied programme of choral music. £7. 0191 388 1313

East Durham Artists’ Network, Art Block, Church Street Seaham Exhibition by local artists marking the centenary of the First World War. Free.

Saturday 17 November, 11am-2pm St Cuthbert’s Christmas fair

Sunday 18 November, 11am-4pm Christmas market

Saturday 20 October, 7.30pm Northern Voices in concert

Tuesday 23 October to Saturday 17 November, 11am-4pm Armistice centenary

What ’s on

The Wind in the Willows tickets For a chance to win a family ticket for The Wind in the Willows at Scarth Hall, tell us who wrote the classic children’s novel The Wind in the Willows? See page 2 for details of how to enter.

Saturday 24 November, 10am-1pm Pittington Christmas market

Village Hall, High Pittington Craft stalls, Santa’s grotto, refreshments and raffle. Free entry, Santa’s grotto £2. 07925 067 001 www.pittingtonvillagehall.org.uk


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