Bishop Auckland Food Festival
An incredible Year of Culture Area Action Partnerships
10 years of supporting local communities Norman Cornish Centenary celebrations
to the spring edition of Durham County News 2019 is already shaping up to be a busy year for us with a packed calendar of events and activities to mark Durham’s Year of Culture. There’s a rundown of the programme on the opposite page as well as a feature on one of the highlights, Bishop Auckland Food Festival, on pages 16 and 17.
Councillor Simon Henig, Leader of the Council
More about events to honour what would have been the 100th birthday of County Durham’s very own Norman Cornish are on pages 8 and 9 and there are lots of ideas for exploring our parks on pages 22 and 23. This edition also includes some inspirational real life stories, details of our Powered by People initiative and a celebration of the work of our Area Action Partnerships over the past decade. I hope you enjoy reading Durham County News and are able to join us at some of our upcoming events.
Inside... Pages 4-7 News
Page 11 Business
Pages 16-17 Bishop Auckland Food Festival
Pages 20-21 Green living
Pages 12-13 Area Action Partnerships Pages 18-19 Fostering and Adoption
Pages 14-15 Pages 8-9 Norman Cornish Centenary
Health and Wellbeing
Pages 22-23 Out and about Pages 24-30 What’s on this spring
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 customer access points. Entries close on Sunday 14 April (unless otherwise stated).
Page 10 Budget Front cover: Bishop Auckland Food Festival
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#durham19 – an incredible year of culture
From the mouthwatering delights of the region’s biggest food festival to the return of the always incredible Lumiere – and plenty more in between – 2019 promises a packed programme of unforgettable events, openings, festivals and anniversaries. And in recognition of the amazing array of activities on offer over the coming months, we’ve joined forces with Visit County Durham in designating 2019 a Year of Culture in County Durham. #durham19 will see international cricket come to our county with Cricket World Cup matches taking place in Chester-le-Street and a whole host of new events such as Seaham Food Festival and cycling event Vélo of the North. The full programme includes: Apollo Pavilion 22 to 23 March
2019 marks 50 years since the creation of this iconic example of 1960s public art. A year of celebrations begins with a stunning art installation from Artichoke, the creators of Lumiere.
Bishop Auckland Food Festival 13 to 14 April
The region’s biggest food festival returns with top chefs, fabulous traders and tasty demonstrations.
Durham Adventure Festival 26 to 28 April A celebration of adventure and wilderness through film screenings, talks and more.
Tour Series 18 May
Professional cyclists take on Durham City’s cobbles in a thrilling test of their skill and speed.
Durham Pride 26 May
Free event with a parade fairground, stalls and more. Celebrating LGBT+ and diversity in County Durham.
Seaham Food Festival 8 to 9 June
The county’s first seaside food festival will bring a host of culinary delights to Durham’s Heritage Coast.
Durham Regatta 8 to 9 June
A spectacular weekend of racing and riverside entertainment.
ICC Cricket World Cup 28 June: Sri Lanka vs South Africa 1 July: Sri Lanka vs West Indies 3 July: England vs New Zealand The Riverside ground hosts three Cricket World Cup matches.
Kynren – An Epic Tale of England 29 June to 14 September
Time travel through 2,000 years of history at this spectacular outdoor live action show.
Durham Brass Festival 13 to 21 July
A county-wide celebration of brass music, with brilliant bands and musicians.
135th Durham Miners’ Gala 13 July
Join the traditional mining heritage celebrations at the annual Durham City event.
Durham City Run 25 July
An evening of 5k and 10k racing through the city and along the beautiful River Wear.
Vélo North 1 September
Brand new 100-mile and 50-mile mass participation closed road races around the North Pennines.
Heritage Open Days 13 to 22 September
Visit venues across the county in a free celebration of heritage, community and history.
Durham Book Festival 5 to 13 October
A host of household names take over the city with book-based discussions and events.
Lumiere 14 to 17 November
The UK’s largest light festival returns as Durham’s streets are transformed into a nocturnal art trail.
See the full programme of events at www.thisisdurham.com/19
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
50 years of iconic landmark An East Durham landmark named after the first moon landing celebrates half a century this year.
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
The Apollo Pavilion at Peterlee was unveiled in 1969 – with the name a tribute to that year’s Apollo landing which saw Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men on the moon. In honour of the anniversary, we’re arranging a year of celebrations, beginning with a light installation coordinated by Lumiere Festival
organiser Artichoke. This will be on show at the Sunny Blunts estate site over the nights of Friday 22 and Saturday 23 March. In July, a 50th birthday party will also be held at the pavilion, which was designed by artist Victor Pasmore. The celebrations are all part of our #durham19 Year of Culture.
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A mission to provide 24-hour public access to lifesaving equipment is proving a huge success. The project, funded by Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership, was set up to provide community venues in Newton Aycliffe with defibrillators for use by the public in emergency situations. Free training in the use of the equipment and administering CPR is also being made available. Only 18 months ago there were no 24-hour defibrillator units in Newton Aycliffe, now there are several units located throughout the community thanks to the scheme. This includes two new units at The Navy Club and Neville Community Association. To date, 300 people have undertaken training on the use of the new equipment. Key to symbols:
S South Durham
E East Durham
C Central Durham
N North Durham
W West Durham
Green light for new Durham History Centre Plans to create a new history centre bringing together archive and heritage services for County Durham have been given the go-ahead. Durham History Centre will see the Grade II listed Mount Oswald Manor restored, refurbished and extended to provide a multi-use archive venue where visitors will be able to explore nationally and internationally significant collections.
Historic town hall opens to public One of Durham City’s most historic buildings is now open to the public.
In addition to the county’s archives, which are currently accessed more than one million times a year, the centre will house historic registration records, environment and archaeology records, local studies collections as well as the Durham Light Infantry Collection. Services will build on their existing outreach programmes to continue to provide access to the collections across the county.
Durham Town Hall offers visitors an insight into local history from the powerful Prince Bishops of the 11th Century to the trade guilds and freemen of the 17th Century.
Mount Oswald Manor House will also become the new home for the Durham Register Office, offering significantly enhanced facilities for weddings and civil ceremonies in an historic setting. This will include the relocation to the new site of the existing Durham Register Office from Aykley Heads House along with registration records and ceremonial functions from Bishop Auckland Register Office. Members of the public will continue to be able to register births and deaths in Bishop Auckland.
Art project is lead-ing the way with glass and light
Consultation events will take place over the summer before the beginning of the planning process.
As well as new audio guides and interactive information points, two specially made short films bring the building’s history to life. The town hall is open every Saturday from 10am to 3pm and admission is free. For more information call 03000 267 955 or email DurhamTownHall@durham.gov.uk
A community art project is set to celebrate the region’s industrial heritage with an artwork combining glass, lead and light. We’ve joined forces with MBC Arts Wellbeing CIC to bring together expert glass makers and artists to create a replica lead mining tub featuring 500 handmade glass panels, made by members of the public during a series of free workshops. The piece will be installed at Killhope Lead Mining Museum in Upper Weardale later this year.
Devotion of Swan Lady remembered A Chester-le-Street woman who dedicated her life to caring for the swans at her local park has been remembered close to her favourite spot. For over 25 years, Linda Charlton tended to injured swans at the town’s Riverside Park, even wading through the pond waters to take wounded birds back to her home and nurse them back to health before releasing them. Her kindness was recognised last year when Linda was featured on the RSPCA’s 2018 honours list for her
outstanding contribution and her tireless service to wildlife. Sadly, Linda passed away in 2018 but visitors to Riverside Park can now sit and watch the birds she so selflessly nurtured on a specially designed bench, featuring two swan silhouettes.
Have your say on
licensing Are you safe from scams? Did you know that between £5 billion and £10 billion is lost to scams every year. Friends Against Scams aims to protect and prevent residents from becoming victims by helping communities take a stand against scams, which, in addition to financial loss, can often lead to loneliness, shame and social isolation. The national scheme, which we are supporting, aims to highlight the scale of the problem, change the perception of why people fall victim to scams and make scams a local, regional and national topic. With increased knowledge and awareness, people can make scams part of everyday conversation with their family, friends and neighbours, enabling them to protect themselves and others. To learn more visit www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk
We are reviewing our current licensing policy and would welcome your views. Our current Statement of Licensing Policy, which was published in 2014, expires this year and a new policy needs to be in place before the end of October. The policy will aim to promote the following objectives: • prevention of crime and disorder • public safety • prevention of public nuisance • protection of children from harm A consultation on an updated version of the policy runs until Friday 3 May. Have your say at www.durham.gov.uk/consultation
Big Lottery boost for community scheme
A partnership project in the east of the county has secured more than £300,000 in funding so it can continue to support the community for three more years. East Durham Area Action Partnership, Groundwork, Horden and Peterlee Rugby Club and Horden Youth and Community Centre, have received £374,878 from the National Lottery for their joint project, the Eden Hill People Centre. Located in Peterlee, the project aims to enhance the services available for young people in the area and strengthen community resilience. This includes delivering school holiday programmes, a drop-in service, youth programmes, community events, and work within local schools.
Photo: Visit County Durham
The group meets at Horden and Peterlee Rugby Club on Thursday mornings.
brand and support local food and drink producers.
Visit County Durham has developed a series of ‘Tasty Tours’ videos to highlight the distinctiveness of the county’s food and drink.
Taste Durham showcases and celebrates the county’s food and drink and encourages people who live here, and those who are visiting, to sample the best local produce.
The videos, showcasing some of our specialities including gin, cheese, sweet treats and vegan options, have been created to bring the county’s food and drink offer to life, raise the profile of the Taste Durham food
To watch the Tasty Tours videos, visit www.thisisdurham.com/ food-and-drink
Modern Day Slavery We’ve pledged our commitment to tackling modern day slavery and human trafficking by adopting a new charter. Modern slavery is a serious crime which can involve servitude and forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking. A person is trafficked if they are brought to, or moved around, a country by others who threaten, frighten, hurt and force them to do work or other things they don’t want to do. Victims of modern slavery can be men, women or children of all ages, with often the most vulnerable groups being targeted. If you witness or suspect modern slavery or human trafficking is taking place, you should report your concerns to the police on 101.
2 0 1 9 Ye a r of Culture
Norman Cornish This year marks what would have been artist Norman Cornish’s 100th birthday. In recognition of one of County Durham’s most famous sons, venues around the county will be celebrating his legacy with events and activities for all ages. Norman Cornish MBE was perhaps the most famous artist to emerge from the north east of England in the 20th Century, becoming one of the most famous British artists of his time. His work is held in public and private collections throughout the UK and abroad. His life is a story of humble beginnings. Born in November 1919 in Spennymoor, he left school at 14 and started work at Dean and Chapter Colliery, Ferryhill, like many boys of his age at the time.
For the people of County Durham, he is a figure to whom we still feel a close connection. He not only came from our area but chose to depict, explore and display our streets and people in his work. Through his artwork and his legacy, he not only offers some incredible paintings, but instils a sense of pride, potential and poignancy in his home county.
But the dark scenes of the coal face didn’t dull his imagination. Instead, they fuelled his passion for sketching and painting and in 1966 he left mining to become a professional artist. Cornish’s muse was the life he knew so well in the local coal towns and villages and his work acts as a window into the extraordinary times of the men and women whose days, while often full of hardship, were also full of fun and community spirit. He established himself as a leading figure of the British art world and became one of the most sought-after painters of his generation.
More to come… There are plenty more events and activities to look forward to over the coming months, including: Gala Gallery, Durham An exhibition of Cornish’s portraiture work. Late June to early September
Centenary celebrations Cornish’s hometown of Spennymoor will provide the focus for the start of the celebrations next month with the launch of a permanent Norman Cornish Trail. Stopping at 10 points around the town, the trail promises to take people back to a time when coal was the lifeblood of industry and at the heart of the majority of County Durham communities. Using a free trail guide or an easily downloadable smartphone app, walkers will be taken on a tour of key locations where they will find information panels featuring artworks and an explanation of why Cornish was drawn to them. The images reflect the cultural landscape during the artist’s working lifetime, providing a rich social and historical record of bygone times. The trail starts at the newly refurbished John Kitson Archway in the town hall. Due to be officially unveiled next month, the stunning new exhibit features a selection of the artist’s work displayed on backlit glass panels. The trail will take about an hour to complete although visitors may also wish to visit the Bob Abley Gallery upstairs in the town hall where they can discover more about Cornish’s 1963 mural of Durham Miners’ Gala. Measuring some nine metres long, the painting was commissioned by us and can still be seen in County Hall. The Story of the Durham Miners’ Gala Mural features a range of preparatory paintings, drawings, sketches and a narrative, plotting the artist’s journey from commission through to completion. Saturday 6 April to Sunday 23 February 2020 www.spennymoor-tc.go.uk Further afield, Norman Cornish: A Slice of Life at Bishop Auckland’s Mining Art Gallery, is a temporary exhibition co-curated by members of the local community with some artworks also chosen by Cornish’s children. Saturday 6 April to Sunday 13 October For more information visit www.aucklandproject.org
Palace Green Library, Durham University Sketchbooks showing the artist’s early ideas and, in some instances, showing the development of a sketch through to the finished piece. November to February 2020 The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle Norman Cornish – The Definitive Collection will be a major retrospective forming perhaps the most comprehensive collection of Cornish’s artwork. November to February 2020 Greenfield Gallery, Newton Aycliffe Man of Destiny will tell the story of success over adversity and the challenges faced by Cornish during his journey to professional status. October to December Beamish The artist’s former home is being re-created as part of the Remaking Beamish Project 1950s’ town. Northumbria University Exhibition of Cornish’s works alongside many of the artworld’s old and great masters.
Budget We continue to work hard to protect frontline services in County Durham but, as austerity continues, the financial pressures we are facing are making this more and more difficult. We have now agreed our budget for the next 12 months and Medium Term Financial Plan to 2022/23. As a result of the Government’s ongoing austerity programme, we need to make savings of £39.5 million from our revenue budget over the next four years. This includes a savings requirement of £15.8 million in 2019/20. We will be using reserves to meet £5.5 million of this target but will still need to find savings of £10.3 million. We are forecasting the total savings we will have made from 2011 to 2023 to be £263 million.
Further funding reductions and increased demand for services such as adult and children’s social care mean our financial position is set to remain challenging for some time. And this is being made worse by uncertainty about future funding allocations.
In the coming financial year we will face a £14.2 million reduction in Revenue Support Grant, which is the core funding we receive from central Government. This is a 34 per cent decrease from 2018/19 and this could be further reduced in the future. The Government is currently looking at how it allocates funding to local authorities through the Fair Funding Review. The review could see our funding moved to more prosperous areas of the country if a proposed new formula fails to properly take account of need. In addition, the council could face a potential loss of £19 million if a proposed new methodology for calculating public health grant is introduced from 2020. Ours would be the biggest reduction in the country. These potential reductions are at a time when many of our services are already facing increased pressures. We are struggling to cover the costs of services such as children’s social care and special educational needs support, with additional demands in these areas forecast to be more than £12 million in 2019/20.
savings from 2010/11 to 2022/23
savings for 2019/20 10
As part of the budget, we have agreed a council tax rise of 2.99 per cent, with an additional 2 per cent increase to help cover the costs of providing adult social care services. This equates to a £1.45 per week rise for Band D properties and a 97p per week increase for the majority of council tax payers, who live in Band A properties. We will continue to provide support to those struggling to pay their council tax through our Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme, which helps those who would have previously received financial help under the council tax benefit system. We continue to be one of only a small number of councils that have maintained the benefits of this scheme despite Government funding being cut in this area.
reduction in government funding this year
A rallying call has been issued to businesses in County Durham – encouraging them to work together in promoting our area as a great place to live, work, visit and invest.
Gav Bell, team member at Hitachi, Newton Aycliffe, believes multinationals are choosing Durham because they value our loyal and skilled workers.
We already knew it but now our research and conversations have proved it – it’s the people that make Durham special.
about all that is great in the county; it belongs to those who already know about us and it’s inspiring others to come here.
Successful businesses and organisations in our county, including our colleges and Durham University, have told us loud and clear that Durham is a fantastic place to invest, study, live and do business. They told us that across the county, they find a really supportive and collaborative community of people who are loyal, energetic and resilient. They have intelligence and ideas, humour and humility; exactly the qualities and
character that make businesses great. To sum it up – in Durham, we’re Powered by People. And, at businesses’ request, we’ve developed the idea of Powered by People into an initiative that brings the business people and communities of Durham together to support our local economy and growth across the county. Powered by People is about all of us; giving business people and our communities the means to show others why we’re proud to be here. Whether you run a coffee shop, make local cheeses or work for a large multinational company, it’s about you, your stories and your successes. Over the coming months, we’ll be highlighting your success stories so everyone can hear about the momentum and positivity in the county. Powered by People is something for everyone in Durham to get behind; it can help us all spread the message
Our county is bucking the trend – we have attracted 40 new multi-national investors over the last three years, there is £3.4 billion work of investment planned and we have one of the largest growing visitor economies in the UK. And through Powered by People we can do even more. It’s a powerful message when the communities and businesses of County Durham work together to showcase what makes the county such a great place to invest, live and work. Be Part of It, visit www.durhampoweredbypeople.co.uk where you will find a series of short videos showcasing the county and details of how you can get involved or email PoweredByPeople@durham.gov.uk
Powered by People has helped Allison Raper, of Teesdale Cheesemakers, Barnard Castle, showcase her products and build the profile of her business.
Looking to start your career in County Durham? Apprenticeships offer a great opportunity for people of all ages to earn money while gaining a recognised qualification, practical experience and the skills you need for employment. We offer apprenticeships in a wide range of subjects including catering, accounting, construction and business administration to name a few. Although apprenticeships are available throughout the year, a recruitment drive takes place in May for a September start. To find out more visit www.durham.gov.uk/Apprenticeships
Area Action Par tnerships
Celebrating 10 years of
Area Action Partnerships Next month our Area Action Partnerships (AAP) celebrate 10 years of supporting communities across the county. Here we take a look at just a handful of the many projects to have benefitted from their work. AAPs were set up in 2009 following the creation of the new unitary council as a way of ensuring our work meets the needs and priorities of local people. Over the past decade, residents, councillors, community representatives and partner organisations have worked tirelessly to develop and deliver a range of projects through our 14 AAPs across the county – all with the aim of providing social, economic and environmental benefits to communities.
By listening to residents’ views, AAPs have been able to prioritise areas of work that are important to communities, such as: • Employment, enterprise and training • Children, young people and families • Local environment • Health and wellbeing • Older people • Transport, traffic and roads • Community safety • Communication, IT and technology • Culture, tourism and heritage • Supporting local groups
Over of funding received
An additional attracted to the county 12
6,000 community projects delivered
The Area Action Partnerships’ 5,000th grant was awarded to King’s Church Durham – Achor Community.
Investing in communities Each AAP receives an annual Area Budget to spend on local projects in their area. In addition, AAPs also support councillors to invest Neighbourhood Budgets to support projects in their own communities. In total, the AAPs have received more than £42 million over the past decade. This money has been used to attract just over an additional £55.5 million in to County Durham, so for every £1 invested by the AAP, an additional £1.32 has been brought in from other sources. The funds have been used to deliver more than 6,000 community projects benefitting residents of all ages, the unemployed, local businesses and the more vulnerable residents within their communities.
Celebrating success AAPs often work together, combining resources to support bigger projects for the benefit of residents in a number of areas. These have included: Mini Police This innovative programme was delivered in partnership with Durham Constabulary and Durham Agency Against Crime and was designed to build relationships between children and the police as well as teaching young people about the work of the police. Primary school children were recruited as ‘mini police’, complete with uniforms, and took part in events, including attending Lumiere, community speedwatch activities and a visit to police headquarters. Funded and supported by - Durham, Derwent Valley, 3 Towns, 4 Together, Bishop Auckland and Shildon, Chester-le-Street, East Durham Rural Corridor, Great Aycliffe and Middridge and Weardale AAPs. Wheels to Work Supports people to find or remain in employment or training when public transport is not an option, by providing scooters on short-term loan. Funded by – Chester le Street, 3 Towns, Bishop Auckland and Shildon, Stanley, East Durham Rural Corridor, Spennymoor, Great Aycliffe and Middridge and Mid Durham and Durham AAPs.
Beat the Scammers Trains older residents on how to handle telephone cold callers, with call blocker devices supplied and fitted to eligible residents’ phones free of charge as well as being offered to other residents for a small charge. The project has now reached 5,100 older people across the county and 540 call blockers have been installed. Funded by – Derwent Valley, East Durham Rural Corridor, Stanley, Teesdale, Spennymoor and Mid Durham AAPs in partnership with Age UK County Durham, housing associations, Durham Constabulary and our consumer protection team. Lumiere The UK’s largest light festival returns this year, but did you know that our AAPs play a key role in bringing it to Durham? Previous festivals have received support from AAPs around the county. Supported by – Chester le Street, Derwent Valley, East Durham, Stanley and Durham AAPs.
A voice for the community Our AAPs also ensure that residents are able to have their say on the issues that matter most to them. They are often a key part of our consultation process and, as a result, have welcomed visitors from a wide variety of international and UK organisations looking to learn from the way they work.
Want to find out more? Each AAP produces an annual report detailing its priorities, the projects it has supported and the difference these projects have made. Read these reports, find out more about the work of your local AAP and discover how to get involved by visiting www.durham.gov.uk/AAPs
A big thank you to everyone who has supported our AAPs. We look forward to continuing to work with you in making a difference to communities across County Durham.
Health and We l l b e i n g
New service joins the dots for cancer patients Have you or someone you care for been affected by cancer? We’ve set up a new partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to ensure individuals get the practical and personal support they need after a diagnosis. Macmillan Joining the Dots County Durham is a free service for people aged 18 and over who have been diagnosed with cancer. Joining the Dots facilitators work with individuals to identify and prioritise their concerns and agree a plan of action to ensure they can live as well and as independently as possible. Support is tailored to individual needs and advice is available on issues such as work, home life, emotional wellbeing and finance. The team can also provide support for friends, carers and relatives of those with a cancer diagnosis. Anyone can contact the service direct. There is no need to be referred by a doctor or nurse. Contact the team on freephone 0800 876 6887 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also text 07766 558 688 (normal network charges apply) or visit www.joiningthedots.info
Quit16 – reduce your cancer risk A new campaign is encouraging people to give up smoking by highlighting the number of cancers caused by the habit. ‘Quit 16’ aims to raise awareness of the 16 types of cancer linked to smoking and also highlight how quitting can significantly reduce the risks. It features cancer survivor Tony Osborne, who now speaks through a breathing stoma as a result of throat cancer, making a personal appeal to others. For more information about Quit16 visit www.Quit16.co.uk If you would like local support to quit, contact Smoke Free Life County Durham on 0800 772 0565, text QUIT to 66777 or email email@example.com
The place to find out about adult care and support in County Durham
Shared Lives Losing her parents left Debbie feeling vulnerable and scared. Coping with such a loss would be difficult for anyone, but for Debbie, who has a learning disability, it was particularly hard.
Colin and June, who welcomed Debbie into their home and family in 2016. “When Debbie first came to live with us, she was in a difficult place,” June said. “She was vulnerable, scared and nervous with poor self-esteem.”
The 38-year-old was unable to live on her own and desperately needed support to deal with the changes in her life. After careful consideration and discussion, it was felt that a Shared Lives Placement would best meet her needs. Shared Lives ‘Providers’ open their home and family life to an adult or young person who needs care or support to help them live well. By placing individuals in family homes, the scheme is able to provide people with a safe environment, protect their rights and independence and give them the opportunity to develop life skills.
Nearly three years later, Debbie is now much more confident and happy. She loves family days out with Colin and June but also enjoys staying at home and pottering in the garden. She likes taking time to listen to music, follow her interest in art and spend time with friends at her day care centre which she attends three days a week.
Placements can be on a short-term, long-term or emergency basis. There are currently 53 Shared Lives Providers in the county, including
As well as the day-to-day care and support Colin and June provide, Debbie receives regular visits and advice from professionals to help with any personal issues. For June, providing a home for Debbie has proven to be extremely rewarding but she is also grateful for the “immeasurable support and guidance” she has received from the Shared Lives Scheme. Could you provide a safe and caring home for an adult or younger person with a learning disability? Shared Lives offers a rewarding career which enhances lives.
“My life has changed a lot,” she said. “I feel very settled and happy now. We have lots of laughs here and I like having people around to chat with. We are always busy and I love my life. I want to live here forever.”
For more information, call Alison Urwin for an informal chat on 03000 265 222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
B i s ho p Auckland Fo o d Festival
Bishop Auckland Food Festival Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April Bishop Auckland Food Festival returns next month with all the essential ingredients for a fabulous weekend of family fun. This year, the festival has attracted dozens of additional traders from across County Durham and beyond. The market place and surrounding streets will be bustling with more than 150 stalls, selling traditional treats, exciting street food and a variety of ales and cocktails. Add cookery demonstrations, live music and Gingo into the mix and the result is a festival recipe everyone will want to try. Here we offer just a sampler of what is to come, with plenty more treats to be announced.
Celeb chef line-up We’re catering for all tastes and ages with this year’s line-up of celebrity chefs and food personalities. Topping the bill is BBC MasterChef co-host Gregg Wallace, who will create delicious dishes packed full of flavour in the Bishop Auckland Town Hall Cookery Theatre on Sunday. The nation’s most famous greengrocer will share his top cookery tips, plus some exciting behind the scenes gossip from the popular BBC One show.
Best known as Coronation Street’s Fiz, actress Jennie McAlpine is also in the food business as the co-owner of Annies Restaurant in Manchester with her husband, Chris. Jennie has appeared on ITV’s Lorraine demonstrating her favourite northern recipes, and will entertain food-lovers at the festival on Sunday. BBC MasterChef champion 2018 Kenny Tutt, will make his North East debut at the event, recreating the amazing dishes he made in the series’ final on both days of the festival. He will also share some of his exciting foodie plans for the future. If one MasterChef winner is not enough, television presenter Angellica Bell will be cooking up a storm on Saturday. Angellica, who won Celebrity MasterChef in 2017, is passionate about passing on cookery skills through the generations. Join the mum-of-two as she prepares a variety of meals the whole family will enjoy. Little cooks and the young at heart are sure to be inspired by the culinary creations of writer and television presenter Stefan Gates on Saturday and Sunday. Food and science will come together when the CBBC Gastronauts host carries out exciting experiments that are sure to impress audience members of all ages. Great British Bake Off 2018 semi-finalist and Durham University graduate Briony May completes this year’s line-up. Briony, who won over the nation with her warmth, humour and amazing baking skills on the Channel 4 show, is set to inspire festival-goers on Saturday.
Live music Performances by upcoming musicians will provide the perfect soundtrack to the sights, tastes and aromas of the festival. Relax and soak up the atmosphere while devouring the delicacies on offer.
Top tipple masterclasses
Gin School is back with a twist in 2019, and we’re not just taking about a slice of lime. Get your eyes down and glasses at the ready as we take you on a ‘ginspirational’ journey based on the quintessential British pastime of bingo.
As excitement builds for the festival, we will be inspiring the next generation of chefs, and scientists, with our innovative outreach programme.
Gingo promises top prizes, refreshing beverages and a lot of fun and laughter. Games take place at 12noon and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday, and tickets cost £12. For those who prefer their drinks a little heartier, our Beers and Bites workshops are new for 2019. These interactive sessions demonstrate how to pair the best brews with tempting bites from local producers. From golden ales to bolder, bigger flavours, discover which North East craft beers pack a punch with your palate. Workshops take place at 1.30pm on Saturday and Sunday, and tickets cost £12. More workshops and hands-on activities for foodies of all ages are available so visit our website to see the full menu and book tickets.
As well as appearing at the festival, television presenter and foodie Stefan Gates will take hundreds of County Durham schoolchildren on a culinary quest that explores the science behind the digestive system. As the author of Fartology: The Extraordinary Science Behind the Humble Fart, Stefan is sure to be a big hit with his young audiences, who can expect plenty of fascinating facts and eye-catching experiments. Last year, our outreach chefs visited local schools but by holding the sessions in Bishop Auckland Town Hall we can engage with even more children.
Get involved If you would like to volunteer at the festival visit www.durham.gov.uk/ volunteering
tickets to see Gregg Wallace For a chance to win two tickets to see Gregg Wallace at 2pm on Sunday 14 April, tell us: In what year did Gregg start co-hosting BBC MasterChef? Closing date Sunday 7 April. See page 2 for details of how to enter.
Visit www.bishopaucklandfoodfestival.co.uk for a full timetable of demonstrations and classes and to buy tickets. 17
Fostering and Adoption
Making a difference through fostering and adoption Did you know that in County Durham a new child comes into care almost every day looking for a loving home? We desperately need more people to help provide a brighter future for the 819 Looked After Children we currently care for. You can do this in a number of ways, including becoming a foster carer, providing supported lodgings or adopting a child. Here, one couple who have opened their doors to more than 40 youngsters through fostering and adoption, tell us their story. Twenty years ago, Graham and Melanie decided they wanted to give a brighter future to a baby with special needs. They have now adopted three children and fostered many more. Melanie said: “We had two birth children and we felt like we wanted to adopt a child with special needs. It’s sad but these children are often the ones who wait a long time to get adopted and we wanted to give a loving home to one of them.”
If you’ve got a heart then you can be a foster carer. 18
The couple saw an advert in their local paper advertising one of our information events and they haven’t looked back since. Melanie said: “I gave up work to look after our adopted son, so when he went to school I was wondering what career I could go into. We were still in touch regularly with the lady who had fostered him originally and she encouraged me to think about fostering, so that’s what I did.” The couple were quickly approved as foster carers and Graham said: “Within three weeks of approval we had a little girl with additional health needs placed with us… we’ve never really had an empty house since.” Working with our fostering team, the pair have now offered a safe and loving home to nearly 40 children, some on an emergency basis, some on short-term placements and others on long-term arrangements.
... they all had one thing in common – the need for a bit of normality. They have also adopted two further children. Graham said: “Some of the children have had physical and medical needs, most of them had emotional needs, but they all had one thing in common – the need for a bit of normality. We took one set of kids to an ice cream van once. When they got handed their ice creams they just looked at us, they didn’t know what they were, or that you had to lick them – four-year-olds who’d never seen ice cream - it makes you realise that we take ‘normal life’ for granted.” Melanie added: “We just wanted to give these children the chance to experience a warm and loving home, to get some of the things in life that we all take for granted: a family dinner round the table, a comfortable bed to sleep in, the knowledge that they are safe at home – these aren’t big things to us, but they make a huge difference to these children.”
Fostering... Can you offer a child a loving home? We particularly need foster carers for teenagers and brothers and sisters.
Find out more about fostering
And the couple didn’t stop there. After having two brothers placed with them on a short-term fostering arrangement, they decided that they wanted to give the boys the opportunity to stay together and provide them with a forever-family through long-term fostering. Over the years they have also provided care to several children who have later been adopted by other parents and they still keep in touch with some of the children who have lived with them. They have also worked with families helping with the rehabilitation of children returning home. Melanie said: “We have a busy household and the kids always keep us on our toes, but it’s what we love doing. Fostering and adopting can be challenging at times but it is hugely rewarding and I would recommend it to anyone who feels like they might want to make a difference to a child’s life – if you have a heart then you can be a foster carer – it’s all you need.”
... I would recommend it to anyone who feels like they might want to make a difference to a child’s life.
Visit one of our drop-in sessions: Thursday 21 March Tuesday 9 April Thursday 18 April
11am-1pm 4.30pm-6.30pm 11am-1pm
Durham Town Hall County Hall Durham Durham Town Hall
Adoption... There are children of all ages and backgrounds who need permanent families – from babies and toddlers to older children and young people. Some may have special needs such as learning difficulties or disabilities while others are looking for a family where they can live with their brothers and sisters.
Find out more about adoption
Visit one of our drop-in sessions: Thursday 11 April Thursday 13 June
4.30pm- 6.30pm 4.30pm-6.30pm
County Hall Durham County Hall Durham
Supported Lodgings... Could you offer a safe, supportive and friendly home environment for a young vulnerable person aged between 16 and 25 years old? This can be from just a few days, up to two years and could include a young person who: • • • • •
cannot live with their family has been fostered or in care has learning disabilities or mental health problems needs a home and support is an unaccompanied asylum seeker.
Get in touch to find out more, call 03000 269 400 or visit www.durham.gov.uk/inourcare
Plastic Matters Did you know, that you can’t put all plastic products in your blue-lidded recycling bin? Here’s a quick guide to which plastics you can and can’t put in.
Yes, please: ✓✓ All plastic bottles such as pop, milk, washing up liquid, shampoo, laundry liquid, car screen wash and bleach bottles ✓✓ Plastic pots such as yoghurt and cream ✓✓ Plastic tubs such as margarine and ice cream ✓✓ Plastic trays such as fruit and meat Wash and squash and put clean, dry items loose into your bin. Do not bag them up.
Please do not bag your recycling in your recycling bin This is because black bin bags, carrier bags and bags for life cannot be recycled and also because we need to see the contents of your bin – if you bag it up we can’t tell whether it contains recycling or non-recyclable rubbish. Look out for our ‘no bags’ sticker which will be added to all recycling bins soon as a handy reminder.
No, thanks: Please do not put any of these plastic items in your recycling bin: ✗✗ Black bags / sacks / liners ✗✗ Carrier bags or bags for life ✗✗ Plastic bags / wrapping / cling film ✗✗ Black plastic ✗✗ Crisp packets / sweet and biscuit wrappers ✗✗ Polythene plastic wrap such as bread bags, fruit and vegetable bags, toilet-roll wrap, multi-pack shrink-wrap ✗✗ Bubble wrap or polystyrene ✗✗ Cellophane such as confectionary box overwrap and CD overwrap ✗✗ Containers from microwave ready meals
What do I do with the plastic that can’t go in my recycling bin? Some plastics can’t be recycled, so if you can’t find a use for it, please put it in your rubbish bin. From there it will be sent to an energy from waste plant, not to landfill. Some supermarkets have collection points for carrier bags and some plastic film. Foodbanks often welcome donations of carrier bags / bags for life to help distribute food. You can take your bubble wrap to your local charity shop – they may want it for wrapping any breakable goods. Reuse bags for life and then get a new one free of charge. Other recyclable plastic items that are not collected at the kerbside such as children’s toys, plastic plant pots, plastic garden furniture and guttering, can be taken to a household waste recycling centre.
✗✗ Hard plastics such as children’s toys ✗✗ Plastic lids / bottle sprays / pumps
For more information visit Facebook Recycle for County Durham or www.durham.gov.uk/recycling
Become a Litter Hero with the Big Spring Clean People across County Durham are being urged to become Litter Heroes by joining the Big Spring Clean. The annual litter-picking campaign, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, asks local people to show their pride for their area by running volunteer events to remove waste from neighbourhoods and green spaces. The campaign, launched at Locomotion, in Shildon, runs until 9 April. Last year 3,041 volunteers collected 3,021 bags of rubbish across the county. To organise a litter pick email email@example.com or call 03000 26 0000. For information about how to help keep our streets clean, visit www.durham.gov.uk/bigspringclean
In Bloom We’re supporting groups in Durham City, Chester-le Street and a host of other village and town entries into this year’s Northumbria in Bloom competition. Initial judging will take place in April and then again in July with results being announced in September. Durham City, Sedgefield and Tanfield will also be competing in the national Britain in Bloom competition. Durham was named Best Small City in 2018 and this year we have been invited to join the prestigious Champion of Champions category. We will find out in October if we have been successful. Find out more at: www.durham.gov.uk/inbloom
Easter and May Bank Holiday bin collections Household bins will be emptied as normal during the Easter and May Bank Holidays. This includes: ✓✓ Weeks starting 15 April and 22 April, including Good Friday 19 April ✓✓ Week starting Monday 6 May ✓✓ Week starting Monday 27 May Place your rubbish, recycling or garden waste bins out for collection by 7am on your usual collection day. To check your collection day, use the ‘My Durham’ section of www.durham.gov.uk To report a missed bin collection online, visit www.durham.gov.uk/recycling or call 03000 26 0000 during office hours.
Still time to sign up for garden waste There’s still time to sign up for our garden waste collection service. Once you have signed up we will send you a collection calendar and a sticker for the bin, which shows us you have paid. It costs £35 for eligible properties and 17 collections are available between April and November. More information is available at: www.durham.gov.uk/gardenwaste
O ut a nd about
Springtime in our parks From taking a relaxing walk to getting active or looking for a way to keep the kids entertained, there’s plenty to do in our parks this spring. Take a look at what’s on offer.
Colourful community gardens Wharton Park’s Community Garden offers visitors a constantly changing display of colour all year round, from bright winter berries and autumn leaves boasting rich, golden hues through to a riot of floral colour in spring and summer. New volunteers to the group are always welcome and gardening is a great way of promoting wellbeing. Email friendsofwhartonpark@ outlook.com or the chair of the group can be contacted on 0191 384 7968.
Play areas As well as fantastic play areas full of traditional play equipment, our parks also offer some less-traditional play options. Children can go for a spin round Wharton Park’s miniature racing car track, practise their golf skills on its putting green or get wet and wild in the fountains and jets of Riverside Park’s splash pad. Older children and adults can also enjoy a range of sports and fitness facilities, including football pitches, tennis courts and outdoor gyms.
Blackhill and Consett Park also boasts a community garden where individuals and groups can learn the basics of growing vegetables and other practical gardening skills. Contact the park on 03000 262 480 to find out how to get involved.
Organised Parkruns take place in Riverside Park, Hardwick Park and Blackhill and Consett Park every Saturday at 9am. These free 5K runs are open to everyone and are safe and easy to take part in – giving runners the chance to enjoy our beautiful parks while getting active. To register for or find out more about these and other Parkruns around the county, visit www.parkrun.org.uk
Enjoy the arts Our parks host an array of sculptures and artworks, offering the perfect opportunity for people to practise their sketching or photography skills. Look out for The Gruffalo hiding amongst the trees at Hardwick Park, enjoy the iconic Ps in a Pod in their permanent home or follow the Steel Trail around Blackhill and Consett Park.
Grab a cuppa Many of our parks have their own cafés, offering a range of hot and cold drinks, cakes and snacks. They’re the perfect place to refuel, relax or catch up with friends.
Events and activities There’s always something going on in our parks, from outdoor theatre and seasonal crafts to regular social events. Here’s a selection of what’s coming up.
HARDWICK PARK, SEDGEFIELD Wednesday 10 April, 11am-3pm Bees in your bonnet
Use a range of materials to decorate a special bonnet before finding out about spring flowers, pollination and British bees. £3 per child. No need to book.
WHARTON PARK, DURHAM
Wednesday 17 April, 11am-3pm Woodland Easter crafts
Saturday 6 to Monday 22 April Bounding bunnies Easter trail
Make a hessian celebration flag, weave an Easter egg using natural materials, and take part in spring planting activities. £3 per child. No need to book.
The Easter Bunny’s friends are lost in the park. Can you help find them? £1 per trail sheet. No need to book. Collect from the café during opening hours.
Saturday 20 April, various timeslots Easter Bunny in the park
Tuesday 9 and Tuesday 16 April, 10am-11.30am or 1pm-2.30pm We’re going on an egg hunt
Try Easter craft activities and an egg hunt, enjoy family entertainment in the yurt and meet the bunny himself for a chocolate treat. £8.50 per child. Booking essential.
Listen to a story, take part in a fun egg hunt and try some themed crafts. £4 per child. Booking essential.
www.durham.gov.uk/hardwickpark 03000 262 899
Thursday 11 and 18 April, 10am-11.30am or 1pm-2.30pm Bunny School
Have you got what it takes to become an Easter Bunny? It’s time to enrol in Bunny School. Decorate eggs, take part in challenges and meet and pet real bunnies. £8.50 per child. Booking essential. www.durham.gov.uk/whartonpark 03000 262 655
BLACKHILL AND CONSETT PARK Friday 12 April, 10.30am Performance of Chicken Licken: A TaleJam
A musical storytelling experience for all the family. Explore an old fable in a new way with fun, fake news and feathers. £2.
Friday 31 May, 1pm-3pm Bugs and bees
Fun family activity session organised by Durham Wildlife Trust. Blackhill and Consett Park also offers a full programme of weekly activities including local and family history sessions, a singing group and creative art activities. www.durham.gov.uk/BandCPark 03000 262 480
From April, facilities at our parks open for longer to allow people to make the most of the warmer weather and lighter nights. To find out more about opening times and facilities at all of our parks, including Annfield Plain Park, Bishop Auckland Town Recreation Ground, Coxhoe Park, Sherburn Park, Spennymoor Jubilee Park and View Lane Park, Stanley, visit www.durham.gov.uk/parks
What’s on March to May
March to May
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 2019 is set to be one of the biggest years in Durham County Cricket Club’s history, as The Riverside, Chester-le-Street plays host to three ICC Cricket World Cup matches, including England’s final group game against New Zealand. Friday 28 June 10.30am Sri Lanka vs South Africa Monday 1 July 10.30am Sri Lanka vs West Indies Wednesday 3 July 10.30am England vs New Zealand Fans wishing to attend the Cricket World Cup matches can join the waiting list for the second phase of tickets from www.cricketworldcup.com. The Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour will also be visiting iconic attractions across the county from 6-8 April for those wishing to get involved in the sporting action. Visit www.thisisdurham.com/19 to find out more.
Teechers A Gala Theatre production Monday 6 May to Saturday 11 May Three school leavers, Salty, Hobby and Gail, decide to perform an end of term tribute about their time in secondary school. Telling the hilarious story of an idealistic new teacher in his perilous first days at a local comprehensive school, their play is based on their own drama teacher who ignites their passion for the stage with his idealism. This fast-moving and entertaining comedy is hugely evocative for anyone who has endured life at a modern secondary school. Teechers brings to life the school bully, feared by teachers and pupils alike; Barry, the kid who never brings his PE kit; and the headmistress, whose main priority is the annual Gilbert and Sullivan production. The teachers are as ambivalent and mixed-up as the kids, and everyone’s counting down the days until they can get out. Tickets from £10. www.galadurham.co.uk 03000 266 600
An unmissable year of festivals, events, openings and anniversaries 24
BISHOP AUCKLAND TOWN HALL
W h a t ’s o n
GALA THEATRE, DURHAM Sunday 14 and Monday 15 April, 2pm and 4pm Chicken Licken: A TaleJam
Friday 22 March, 7.30pm Swede Dreamz ABBA
Meet the birds and join the band. We’ll tell the tale with a musical jam! A musical storytelling experience for all the family. £7, £6 concessions.
Featuring pop songs, magic and puppets. £9, £7 concessions, £30 family ticket.
Saturday 30 March, 7.30pm The Elvis Years
The UK’s number one Elvis musical. £21, £20 concessions.
The leading UK-based ABBA tribute show. £19.
Wednesday 10 April, 2pm Talegate Theatre present pantomime: The Little Mermaid
EMPIRE THEATRE, CONSETT
Friday 19 and Saturday 20 April, 7.30pm An Evening with Eric & Ern A brilliant homage crammed full of Morecambe and Wise’s most loved routines, songs and sketches and of course a musical guest. £20.50
Friday 5 April, 7.30pm Memory Lane
A journey through some of the greatest songs of the 50s, 60s and 70s. £15, £14 concessions.
Friday 26 April, 7.30pm Hilarity Bites presents: Paul Pirie, Stephen Bailey and MC Lee Kyle
Monday 13 May, 7.30pm English Touring Opera, Macbeth
A full-scale opera about giant personalities clashing over love and power in times of war. Tickets from £15.
Featuring all the hits such as Mrs Robinson, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Homeward Bound and many more. £22, £21 concessions.
www.bishopaucklandtownhall.org.uk 03000 269 524
www.galadurham.co.uk 03000 266 600
www.empireconsett.co.uk 03000 262 400
A side-splitting session from our regular comedy club. £8 in advance / £10 on the door.
Library spring activities Children can enjoy a range of Easter-themed crafts and activities at libraries across County Durham during the school holidays. Sessions are just £1 per person but must be booked in advance.
Thursday 25 April, 7.30pm The Simon & Garfunkel Story
World Book Night Tuesday 23 April is World Book Night, a national celebration of reading and books. This year, our library staff will be out and about in venues around the county, so if you see them feel free to say hello and let them inspire you to get reading. If you’re not already a library member they’ll be happy to sign you up. Our libraries offer a huge range of books in standard format, large print and digital download and they can all be borrowed for free.
Contact your local library to find out what’s going on in your area and to book your place.
Libraries also offer a range of regular activities where you can meet new people, learn new skills or discover a new hobby, including reading groups, computer sessions and creative workshops.
Find out more at www.durham.gov.uk/libraries
March to May
THE BOWES MUSEUM, BARNARD CASTLE
THE WITHAM, BARNARD CASTLE Saturday 30 March, 7.30pm Jean Genie
A tribute to David Bowie, complete with dazzling, flamboyant costumes and stunning effects. £20, £18 in advance.
Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 April Great North Steam Fair
Thursday 4 April, 7.30pm Black is the Colour of My Voice
Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April Horses at Work
Inspired by the life of Nina Simone, reflecting on her journey from young prodigy to renowned jazz vocalist, at the forefront of the civil rights movement. £10, £8 16 years and under.
Saturday 13 April, 7.30pm The Jerseys Oh What A Nite
A sensational show celebrating the music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. £20, £17 for 16 years and under. www.thewitham.org.uk 01833 631 107
See an array of steam and motor transport, from locomotives to cars and motorbikes, in action across Beamish Museum.
Enjoy an equine extravaganza. Following the centenary of the end of the First World War in 2018, learn about the fascinating story of homecoming and the return of peacetime.
Sunday 5 and Monday 6 May May Day celebrations
Did you know that May Day was one of the biggest annual celebrations in Edwardian times? The May King and Queen will be crowned, plus there will be music, maypole dancing and crafts. Usual admission prices for all events. www.beamish.org.uk 0191 370 4000
A sumptuous afternoon tea for four at Hotel Indigo Durham Afternoon tea, lunch and dinner are served at the prestigious Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill in the old Durham Council Senate Chamber, located at Hotel Indigo Durham. Special occasion dining is also catered for up to 60 people in the Grade II listed Victorian Council Rooms. For a chance to win afternoon tea for four simply tell us: in what year was the first Durham Miners’ Gala held? See page 2 for details of how to enter.
Hotel Indigo Durham, Old Shire Hall, Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HL. Telephone 0191 329 3535 www.durham.hotelindigo.com
Saturday 20 April, 11am-4pm Easter Eggstravaganza
A fun filled day finding Easter eggs and making lots of egg-citing Easter crafts. Admission charges apply.
Sunday 5 May, 10am Morris Minor event
The North East Morris Minor Owners Club hosts ‘Classic Cars on the Terrace’. A fabulous chance to see vintage cars in a beautiful setting. www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk 01833 690 606
A family ticket to Beamish Museum For a chance to win a family ticket, simply tell us, what sort of animal is a Clydesdale? See page 2 for details of how to enter.
DURHAM COUNTY RECORD OFFICE Branching Out talks
PEN MUSEUMS O G FOR SPRIN
W h a t ’s o n Binchester Roman Fort
Talks by an archivist, aimed at those already familiar with the family history basics. Followed by browsing time and chance to explore the Record Office resources. Booking is essential. £10.
Dating back to 75AD, Binchester, originally known as Vinovia, was once one of the largest Roman military installations in the north of England. As well as the impressive bathhouse, which is situated next to what would have been the commanding officer’s residence, Binchester features one of the best preserved examples of an underfloor heating system in the whole of Britain.
Thursday 21 March, 10am-12noon and Monday 25 March, 6pm-8pm Branching Out: The Victorian Workhouse Thursday 25 April, 10am-12noon and 6pm-8pm Branching Out: The Durham Light Infantry Archive
Family History for Beginners Runs over three sessions: Thursday 2, 9 and 16 May, 10am-12noon / Tuesday 7, 14 and 21 May, 6pm-8pm Learn the basics of family history, including civil registration, the census and parish registers. Booking is essential. £30.
How to read old handwriting for local and family history
Killhope is a multi-award winning 19th century mining museum in the centre of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), where you can experience the life and work of the lead mining families of the North Pennines. Killhope offers an amazing day out for the whole family, whether you’re looking for fun or to immerse yourself in history. Explore the woodland and visit the revamped Killhope shop and refurbished café to complete a grand day out.
Visitors can also view the remains of the regimental bath building where the Roman masonry still stands to a height of more than two metres above the original floor level.
Killhope opens daily from Monday 1 April until Sunday 3 November, 10.30am to 5pm. Adults £9, concessions £6, under 4s £1, family (2 adults and 2 children) £25. www.killhope.org.uk
Binchester opens daily from Monday 1 April until Thursday 31 October, 10am-4.30pm Adults £5, concessions £4, children £3, aged 4 and under free. www.durham.gov.uk/Binchester
Runs over four sessions: Friday 3,
10, 17 and 24 May 10am-12noon / Thursday 2, 9, 16 and 23 May, 6pm-8pm
Learn how to understand handwriting styles from the 16th to 19th centuries. Sessions are interactive and give you chance to try out your developing skills with friendly support from our archivist. Each session looks at a different century or style. £12 per session or £40 for all four. Booking is essential. https://recordofficeshop.durham.gov.uk 03000 267 619
Every Wednesday and Thursday during term time Bright Seedlings
Bright Woods Forest School, CIC, Startforth For children aged 1-5 years. Outdoor learning, fostering the spirit of independence and adventure. Experience the natural world through play, developing confidence and self-esteem. Sessions take place in an enclosed, beautiful setting with a river, meadow and woodland area. £35 for a six week term. 07399 575 253 www.facebook.com/brightwoodsforestschool
First Thursday of every month (exc January and August), 7pm Cestrian Flower Club
Park View Community Association Flower arranging demonstrations in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Refreshments available. Non-members welcome. £5. 0191 388 0957 www.cestrianflowerclub.co.uk
Saturday fortnightly starting 23 March, 7.30pm-10pm Sequence and line dancing
Horden Centennial Centre, Seventh Street, Horden, SR8 4LX Bingo, bar and raffle. £2. Contact Ken Todd: 0191 587 524
Ma rch to May
Until 20 April, Wednesday to Saturday Spring Open Exhibition No.42 Market Place, Bishop Auckland, DL14 7PB An exhibition featuring the work of talented artists from across the region, exploring a variety of themes and mixed media. www.aucklandproject.org
Until Saturday 1 June 2019 Feasting and Fasting: The Great Kitchen Every Saturday at 11am and Thursday at 12.30pm Past and Future tours Tours start at Auckland Tower, Market Place, Bishop Auckland, DL14 7NP Take a 45-minute guided tour of Bishop Auckland’s historic Market Place and learn about the buildings, the people and the stories within it. www.aucklandproject.org
Durham Cathedral Discover the food cooked for Benedictine monks and lavish banquets over the centuries in one of only two surviving medieval monastic kitchens in the UK. £2.50-£7.50, under 5s free, family ticket available. 0191 338 7178 www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/open-treasure
Sunday 24 March, 6.30pm-8pm Dark skies star gazing
Harehope Quarry, Frosterley Discover the beauty of the North Pennines Dark Skies. Beginning indoors using amazing software to view the night sky in real time. Then, weather permitting, go out and view some of the wonders of the universe. £5. Booking essential. Not suitable for young children. 01388 529 154, www.natureholiday.co.uk
Tuesday 26 March, 10am-12noon Home Education: Owl Pellet Detectives
Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve Barn owls are a favourite nocturnal predator on the reserve. Time for young detectives to investigate what our barn owls have been feeding on. £4. 0191 584 3112. For more information and to book your place visit www.durhamwt.com/events
Saturday 30 March, 10am-2pm Spring craft and produce market
Saturdays – various dates, 10.30am-12noon Durham City Woodchips
Various venues An outdoor group for under 6s and their families. Fun activities such as campfire cooking, games, den-building, ponddipping, nature walks, crafts and stories. £2.50. Durham City Woodchips on Facebook. firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 23 March, 12noon-5pm Holi Festival
Durham University Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill, Durham, DH1 3TH Welcome spring with a special Holi Festival with colourful powder throws and free craft activities. £4, under 2s free. 0191 334 5691 www.dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum/whatson
Last Saturday of the month, 7.30pm-11pm Monthly dance
Scarth Hall, Staindrop Showcasing local food producers and crafters. Refreshments available. Free entry. www.scarthhall.co.uk email@example.com
Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 March, 11am-3pm Archaeology Open Day
Wynch Bridge End Cottage, Upper Teesdale Find out how people have used the landscape of Upper Teesdale over the last 10,000 years and view a display of recent finds by Altogether Archaeology. Talk at 1.30pm. 20-minute walk from Bowlees Visitor Centre. Free. 01833 622 374 @MUR.NNR
The Village Hall, Drover Road, Castleside Please bring own refreshments. £5.
MARCH Until 30 March, Tuesday to Saturday, 11am-3pm Exhibition: Photography and Print
Art Block, 74 Church Street, Seaham, SR7 7HF An exhibition of photography and printing skills. Free entry. 0191 649 9431 Facebook: East Durham Artists Network Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 23 March, 10am-6pm St Cuthbert Festival
Durham Cathedral Events and activities celebrating the north’s greatest saint. Suitable for all ages, including free tours, local producers’ market, pilgrimage walk from Chester-leStreet, story-telling for children and a special Evensong service. 0191 338 7178 www.durhamcathedral.co.uk
From Tuesday 2 to Saturday 6 April 7pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinées at 2pm Evita
Gala Theatre, Durham Durham Musical Theatre Company perform the mega-hit Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical. From £18. Tickets from www.galadurham.co.uk or 03000 266 600
W h a t ’s o n
Friday 12 April, 10.30am-12.30pm Crazy crafts
Foundations Building, 51-55 Church Street, Shildon, DL4 1DT Get creative and make something amazing to take home. Suitable for all ages but under 8s to be accompanied by an adult. Free. Book online at www.greenfield-arts.co.uk 01325 379 048
New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Wear Featuring the Peak District Star Christian Cartwright. £8 including refreshments. 01388 762 467, www.netoa.org.uk
Saturday 6 April, 7.30pm Durham Singers: Spem in Alium
Durham Cathedral The Durham Singers perform Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis, Herbert Howells’s Requiem and other choral music by Tallis and Vaughan Williams. £15, £10 students and under 25s, free for under 13s. 07790 148 062, www.durham-singers.org
Sunday 7 to Saturday 13 April, 7.30pm, Sunday 2.30pm only The Importance of Being Ernest The City Theatre, Back Silver Street, Durham, DH1 3RA Oscar Wilde’s classic play of wit and manners. £7.50, £6.50 concessions, Sunday and Monday £6.50. Tickets from 03000 266 600, www.galadurham.co.uk
Wednesday 17 April, 1pm-3.30pm Table top sale Friday 12 April, 7.30pm An Audience with Cannon & Ball
Funny Way to Be Comedy, The Witham Cannon & Ball present an evening of their own unique brand of humour unforgettable sketches, songs, storytelling and an audience Q & A session. £18, £16 concessions. 01833 650 930 www.funnywaytobe.com
Saturday 13 April, 10am Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
Pioneering Care Centre, Carers Ways, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 4SF Enjoy an egg-tastic breakfast and hop to the challenge of an egg hunt, plus Easter crafts. £6 per child, under 2s free. Booking essential. 01325 321 234, www.pcp.uk.net
Saturday 13 April, 7.30pm Weardale Community Choir Spring Concert Wednesday 10 April 10.30am and 1.30pm Wild Wednesday: Nature on Tour
Bowlees Visitor Centre Two sessions of hands-on fun for young explorers. Wild Wednesdays run every school holiday Wednesday. £3. Booking is essential. 01833 622 145 www.northpennines.org.uk/events-calendar
Friday 12 April, 10am-12noon Autism friendly: Swell Shells
Durham University Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill, Durham, DH1 3TH Quiet time activities for children with autism, learning or sensory impairments. Make a painted shell decoration. £1.50 per adult, 75p per child (includes museum admission). 0191 334 5694 www.dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum/whatson
Sunday 14 April, 2.30pm Mighty Wurlitzer Spring Concert
The Parish Church of St Mary and St Stephen, Wolsingham, DL13 3AN Including music from well-known shows. Refreshments included. £7.50, under 16s free, tickets available on the door. 07811 221 151 Facebook page: weardalecommunitychoir
Saturday 13 April, 9.30am-2.30pm Easter event
Crook Football Club, DL15 9PW Craft stalls, face painting, Easter egg hunt and more. Free entry. email@example.com
Brandon Community Hall, DH7 8SH Raising money for County Durham community clothing bank. Free to buyers, £5 per table for sellers. Contact Dawn on 07707 031 625 CDcommunityclothingbank@gmail.com
Sunday 21 and Monday 22 April, 10am-3.30pm Easter at the Hall
Crook Hall and Gardens Storytelling, arts & crafts and a treasure hunt around the gardens as well as a visit from the Easter bunnies. Adults £8, concessions £7.50, child £5. 0191 384 8028 www.crookhallgardens.co.uk
A family pass to Crook Hall and Gardens For a chance to win a family annual pass to Crook Hall and Gardens, simply tell us, what date does their Spring garden tour take place on? See page 2 for details of how to enter.
Saturday 13 to Monday 22 April, 10am-4pm 10-day mega charity book sale
Pemberton Rooms, Palace Green, Durham 12,000 new and used books for sale in aid of Durham Palestine Educational Trust. Admission free. www.dur.ac.uk/durham.palestine/
March to May Sunday 21 and Monday 22 April, 10am-4pm Annual Easter Chick Hunt
Durham University Botanic Garden Adults £4, concessions £3, children 5-16 years £1.50, infants free. 0191 334 2887 www.dur.ac.uk/botanic.garden/whatson
Sunday 21 April, 1pm-4.30pm Family bushcrafts
Hamsterley Forest Build a shelter, light a fire, cook a meal and make something to take away. Booking essential. Maximum of two children per adult. Children should be 5 years or over. £40 per family (2 to 4 people), £10 per additional person. 01388 529 154 www.natureholiday.co.uk
Friday 26 April, 8pm Amateur boxing evening
Newton Aycliffe WMC Boxing competitors from all over the region boxing to England and Olympic rules. £10 or £13 on the door. Facebook: Aycliffe Amateur Boxing Club 01325 313 855
Saturday 27 April, 10am-2pm Petting zoo event
Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre Petting zoos, a bouncy castle, tombola and balloon art. £1 entry.
Saturday 27 April and Saturday 4 May, 5am-9am Black Grouse lek
Langdon Beck Hotel, DL12 0XP Observe the weird and wonderful courtship displays of the black grouse. Includes a tour of the ‘lek’ area and full English breakfast. £25. Booking essential. 01833 622 374, @MUT.NNR
Wednesday 1 May, 1pm Zoe Gilby & Andy Champion - Voice & Double Bass
The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee With a repertoire ranging from Joni Mitchell to Thelonius Monk and Pink Floyd, these two high-flying north east musicians bring their innovative and expressive voice/ double bass duo to Jazz at The Lubetkin. £5. 0191 587 2534, www.lubetkinjazz.com
Zoe Gilby & Andy Champion tickets Wednesday 24 April, 7.30pm Alistair McGowan: Introductions to Classical Piano Funny Way To Be Comedy, The Witham A brand new show with a lot of beautiful music (with the odd mistake), some interesting stories and a sprinkling of his trademark impressions. £18, £16 concessions. 01833 659 930 www.funnywaytobe.com
Alistair McGowan tickets For a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Alistair McGowan, simply tell us, in which town is The Witham theatre? See page 2 for details of how to enter.
Friday 26 April, 10.30am-4pm St Cuthbert’s Hospice Ladies Lunch
Ramside Hall Hotel Sparkling reception, three course lunch with special guest speaker, exclusive raffle, entertainment and unique shopping experience, in aid of St Cuthbert’s Hospice. £37. 0191 386 1170 ext. 5 www.stcuthbertshospice.com
Saturday 27 April, 7.30pm Travelling by Tuba - the Farewell Tour Hamsterley Village Hall Musical extravaganza for all the family. Watch out for the opera Carmen in four and a half minutes and an exploding tuba. £8, £5 child, £24 family. 01388 488 323 www.highlightsnorth.co.uk
Saturday 27 April, 11am-2pm Wildcraft Adventure
Bright Woods Forest School, CIC, Startforth In video games like Minecraft, players have to survive in a hostile environment, build their own home, hunt for food, search for resources and fend off wandering monsters. Sure, your child can survive in the ‘wilderness’ on the computer screen, but can they do it out in the real woods? Ages 6-12. £15. 07399 575 253 www.facebook.com/brightwoodsforestschool
Wildcraft Adventure tickets For a chance to win two child tickets for a Wildcraft Adventure, simply tell us, which video game inspired the event? See page 2 for details of how to enter.
For a chance to win a pair of tickets for Zoe Gilby & Andy Champion, simply tell us, what style of music do the duo play? See page 2 for details of how to enter.
Wednesday 1 May, 11am-12noon Spring garden tour
Crook Hall and Gardens Join the hall’s head gardener for a tour of the gardens at spring time. £8 adults, £7.50 concessions. 0191 384 8028 www.crookhallgardens.co.uk
Friday 3 May, 7pm Faure’s Requiem and Cantique Bishop Auckland Town Hall By Bishop Auckland Choral Society. £7, £5 concession. 01388 834 359 www.bachoral.org.uk
Friday 10 May, 7pm Murder Mystery in the Woods
Bright Woods Forest School, CIC, Startforth This adults only event will be an opportunity to see the woods from a different perspective as you try to solve an interactive Whodunnit. £15. 07399 575 253 www.facebook.com/brightwoodsforestschool
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