DURHAM County News
The magazine for people in County Durham
Majorâ€™s space capsule heading for Locomotion
Make the most of Lumiere! Win! Fabulous prizes to pack your December with festive fun Pull out guide to Christmas services
to the winter edition of Durham County News I have very much enjoyed my first few months as Chairman, in particular meeting all of the different groups of people the chairman’s role brings me into contact with. I am delighted to have chosen the Great North East Air Ambulance as my charity this year and would like to thank all of you who have donated and helped raise funds for this very worthy cause.
Cllr Bill Kellett, Chairman of the council
It’s been a year tinged with sadness and at our Christmas lights switch on here at County Hall this year, we will remember Bradley Lowery who tragically lost his long battle with illness in July. We will welcome his three cousins and ask them to light up the Christmas tree in his honour. Over the festive period I would ask you to think about others, elderly neighbours in particular, who may need a helping hand and to also extend your kindness to animals, remembering to choose festive presents wisely – pets are for life and not just for Christmas. Wishing you all a merry Christmas and best wishes for 2018.
Cllr Bill Kellett Pages 20-21 New you, new start
Pages 4-8 News
Christmas pull out
Page 23-25 Countdown to Christmas
Pages 26-31 What’s on
great prizes in our competitions...
Budget consultation 2018/19
Are you ready for winter?
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 Friday 1 December 2017 (unless otherwise stated).
Front cover: Major Tim Peake standing in front of the Soyuz spacecraft.
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16 - 19 NOVEMBER
Make the most of your Lumiere experience Tens of thousands of people will be heading to Lumiere – the UK’s largest light festival – this month so make sure you plan your visit beforehand.
Horizontal Interference by Katarzyna Malejka & Joachim Slugocki
If you’re driving – head to one of our Park and Ride sites, sponsored by Motorpoint for the Festival’s duration. It’s a tried and tested way to make the most of your visit and this year there are over 3,000 parking spaces available across six sites. Our regular bus service will drop you in the heart of the city. All for just £2 per person return and concessionary pass holders and children under 16 can travel free. Follow #LumiereDurham on Twitter on the day you’re coming and we’ll keep you up to date with Lumiere event and traffic and travel news, including which Park and Ride sites have spaces available. If you’re using public transport, the festival begins at Durham Railway Station with Northern Lights installation by Emma Boyes, supported by Virgin Trains.
Durham Railway Station is just a short walk from the city centre and there will be plenty of additional bus services available. Park and Ride, public transport and road closure details are available at www.durham.gov.uk/lumiere
Tickets Tickets for the central peninsula area for the 4.30-7.30pm peak-time period each night have all gone. However there are plenty of
attractions to visit outside this area. You also don’t need a ticket after 7.30pm but you may still have to queue.
Festival programmes and official Lumiere merchandise Lumiere programmes with maps and a special BID InDurham Loyalty Card are on sale at the Gala Theatre and selected retailers together with the first Lumiere merchandise range. More festival information is available at: www.lumiere-festival.com
There’s just one more thing to say – have a fabulous time! Extra content is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn
News To Shildon and beyond… It’s the capsule that brought astronaut Tim Peake down from space, and it’s landing in Shildon later this month. Major Tim spent six months on the International Space Station last year and the capsule which brought him home to earth, complete with char marks from its entry into the earth’s atmosphere, is heading to County Durham. Tim was the first person to fly to space under the UK banner since Helen Sharman in 1991 and was the first UK astronaut to make a spacewalk. Thanks to a partnership between The Science Museum and Samsung, the historic capsule lands later this month along with a space-age virtual reality experience.
Ground Control to Major Tim. The historic Soyuz capsule heads to Shildon along with a spaceage virtual reality experience.
Don’t miss… Catch the Soyuz capsule at Locomotion: The National Railway Museum, Shildon between Wednesday 22 November and Monday 15 January. Entry, between 10am and 4pm, is free.
While he was in space, pupils at Witton Gilbert Primary School were lucky enough to receive a parcel of seeds from him as part of a Royal Horticultural Society Rocket Science experiment. The seeds were held in microgravity for six months with the astronaut himself in charge of them before making their way to be planted by pupils at the Durham school.
Visitor campaign showcases Durham’s great outdoors A new national marketing campaign promoting Durham’s great outdoors started this Autumn. Aimed at inspiring visitors and day-trippers to discover for themselves the county’s stunning scenery and natural attractions. Visit County Durham’s campaign highlights the exciting outdoor experiences visitors can have on a break in Durham. Countryfile presenter Anita Rani has been in the county to film a video, and the well-known blogger and travel writer Paul Steele, known as the Bald Hiker has a dedicated section on our tourism website. Find out more at: www.thisisdurham.com/outdoors
Stargazing at Killhope Museum, part of the North Pennines Stargazing Festival this October.
An illuminating partnership A prestigious medieval university town sitting along the banks of the river and under the watchful gaze of the castle. These words could be used to describe both Durham City and the county’s partner town of Tübingen in southern Germany. Besides the striking resemblance there are many connections which have linked the two places since twinning in 1969. There have been music and drama exchanges, school links and a longstanding programme which brings poets and writers from each area together to share their work. Now our German partners intend to pay homage to us by planning their very own light installation. During Lumiere, German light artists will be working with UK specialists to plan a nod to the festival to be displayed during its Night of Culture celebrations in May. Thanks to a grant from the European Commission, five county council apprentices will also undertake two weeks’ work experience in Germany later this month. The apprentices will be learning about the organisation of one of Europe’s largest festivals of chocolate. Find out more about our German partner city at www.tuebingen.de/en/
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03000 26 0000
8.30am-5pm (Monday-Thursday) 8.30am-4.30pm (Friday) Out of hours emergency service available.
If you have a specific query, use one of our dedicated numbers: Social Care Direct/Children’s First Contact Service
03000 26 79 79
Celebrating the Commonwealth Heads of the Commonwealth’s 52 member countries are set to come together in London next April for a biennial summit and the county’s schools are being invited to get involved.
Families Information Service
03000 26 99 95 @DurhamCouncil
Our international officers are currently working with the Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham to plan a celebration in Durham Cathedral. Children will be invited to workshops to learn about the member countries and will then take part in a procession up to the Cathedral showcasing music from across the Commonwealth.
52 schools will be chosen to take part.
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Key to symbols:
N North Durham
S South Durham
E East Durham
Green fingers project Weekly gardening tutorials in Newton Aycliffe are proving popular. Held at the Pioneering Care Centre, which has had a recent garden refurbishment to make it more accessible, the ‘Growing Our Community’ project has been funded by the Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership. A key goal of the project is to address loneliness by bringing people together and one of the gardening volunteers, Jude Musgrave, pictured, came to the project having just lost her husband. She said: “I was having a difficult time when I first came here. “I’m nearly back to the person I used to be and that’s because I get an awful lot out of this. I get to meet people of all ages and abilities and we gel very well. The best thing about volunteering is being able to help other people, as I know first-hand how these activities help improve people’s health, both physically and mentally.”
Applying for a school place Will your child be 5 on or between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019? If so, you should complete an application to tell us which school you would like your child to attend. Apply online or download a form at www.durham.gov.uk/schooladmissions where you can also access a guide containing essential information to help with your application. Contact us on 03000 265 896 for a paper application form. Applications close on Friday 15 January 2018.
Go Science Girls A new project in Consett aims to get more girls into science.
Wild about Derwent Valley Schoolchildren have gone wild for a new project which gets them hands on with wildlife. Seven schools in the Derwent Valley have successfully completed the John Muir Award, an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. Family events including pond dipping and bug hunting have taken place across the summer at Pontburn Wood, the Grove Ponds, Watling Woods and Allensford Country Park. Funding from the Derwent Valley Area Action Partnership made it possible. 6
Fifteen 13 and 14-year olds at Consett Academy will participate in the programme which will take place over 30 weeks. It’s hoped the mentoring programme will increase the take-up of girls turning to science subjects and is being funded by the Derwent Valley Area Action Partnership. The pupils will be matched with an adult female volunteer mentor from a science industry or higher education. RTC North (Regional Technology Centre) is supporting the project.
Helping your business grow
Stay safe during the long winter nights As the nights draw in, crime rates can go up so here are our top five tips for staying safe this winter.
Check all doors and windows are locked and always make it look like someone’s home. Put a lamp on a timer or play a radio when your house isn’t occupied.
Don’t leave car keys or valuables on show. Especially near windows or letterboxes where burglars can reach through.
Never leave your car unattended while you defrost it. Don’t be tempted to turn on the demister and go back into the house.
Be mindful of where you go on dark nights. Avoid dark shortcuts and always park in well-lit places.
Only ever get in a licensed taxi. Be sure to check the vehicle plate and driver ID badge before entering.
Help is available for small businesses looking to expand thanks to a new initiative. The Start, Sustain and Grow project is offering support for one-to-one coaching, training and advice to assist small enterprises. The support provided will be bespoke and will be delivered by qualified and experienced business advisers. The project is being supported by the Derwent Valley Area Action Partnership. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 03000 260 725.
Peterlee temporary library A temporary library will be available at Peterlee’s leisure centre while a new, state-of-the-art facility is being built. The current library in Burnhope Way will close on Friday 15 December 2017, after which the leisure centre will provide access to six computers, a book loan service and space for groups to hold activities.
Artist’s impression of how the new library which opens in autumn 2018 will look.
Water sports centre wins prestigious award Our new water sports centre, at Seaham Harbour Marina, picked up the Chair’s Award at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) North East Awards for Planning Excellence. The centre, which has only been operating since July, provides a changing facility, showers and kayak store and offers a programme of courses in kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and other activities. News
News Universal Credit roll out starts
Locating care and support just got easier
Universal Credit, the Government’s new single payment, replaces many of the current welfare payments and is being phased in by Job Centre area.
Locate www.durhamlocate.org.uk is our website containing a wide range of care and support products and services.
Peterlee and Seaham were the first areas and from December 2017 it will roll out in Bishop Auckland, Consett, Crook and Stanley. The benefit is for most working age people, both in and out of work, who do not have enough money to live on. It does not apply to pensioners or households with three or more children. For more information visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit or www.durham.gov.uk/ universalcredit
The website’s search function has recently been improved to help you find what you need faster than ever. So if you want to find local groups and activities or just browse for products and services to support you at home then Locate is the place to go.
Visit the ‘My needs’ section
If you haven’t the internet at home you can use computers for free in your local library or access Locate at many GP surgeries.
Need help paying your council tax? Visit www.durham.gov.uk/counciltaxreduction
Carers Rights Day is Friday 24 November
Could you lend a hand? Alzheimer’s Society have volunteering opportunities for those who are genuinely interested in supporting people affected by dementia. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Chris Colley – Volunteering Officer on 0191 389 0400 or email: Christine.email@example.com
If you are a carer, find out how you can get the necessary help and support available to you. Anyone who looks after someone with care and support needs without being paid is a carer. Visit www.durhamcarers.info or call Durham County Carers Support: 0300 005 1213
Stay safe and independent this winter Care Connect 24/7 support ‘Right up your street’ www.durham.gov.uk/careconnect 03000 262 195
Help us plan our future
Have your say on our budget proposals for 2018/19 There’s loads of ways to get involved. Go online or come along to a local event OR pick up a budget leaflet and survey at one of our customer access points or libraries. Closing date Friday 1 December 2017. We’re currently in the process of inviting everyone in the county to have their say on our latest spending plans. As government funding reductions continue, we need to make a further £37 million in savings over the next four years in addition to the £209 million we have realised since 2011.
Achieving this target will be extremely challenging. Since 2011 our emphasis has been on maximising savings from management and support functions. However, it is becoming increasingly hard to continue to make savings in these areas. Nevertheless, we have come up with proposals for the next financial year, which would enable us to achieve £15.3 million of savings during 2018/19.
But it is vital that we receive your views on our plans and that’s why we’re holding a consultation. Council officers and members will be out and about at AAP board meetings and community events up until 1 December 2017, so there is still plenty of time to get involved. Remember – this is your chance to have your say on how council money will be spent during 2018/19.
For more details, visit
03000 263 593 durham.gov.uk/budget #Budget
e along to a local event. stomer access points or libraries.
Budget consultation 2018/19
#HelpDurhamShine! Stunning landscapes, an abundance of culture, a thriving business sector and warm and welcoming people make Durham a place to be proud of. But what do you love most about our glorious county? We’re asking you to support our Celebrating Durham campaign by tweeting @DurhamCouncil with a message highlighting what you love about our county. Remember to use the hashtag #HelpDurhamShine and you could win a £400 visitor pass, courtesy of Visit County Durham. And in the unlikely event that you need some inspiration, here’s just a selection of the many fabulous things that light up days and nights in Durham. durham.gov.uk/placeoflight
Extra content is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn
proud to be
Captivating culture Durham is the home of the bright, bold and bedazzling Lumiere! The UK’s largest light festival has been enthralling visitors since 2009, bringing tens of thousands of visitors to Durham City. And the show-stopping events don’t stop there – there’s also a whistle stop tour of 2,000 years of history, myth and legend, courtesy of Kynren as well as Durham Brass Festival, Bishop Auckland Food Festival and Durham Miners’ Gala. If sport’s your thing – then look no further than Durham. Whether you want to test your stamina or simply watch from the side-lines, there’s no end of choice here. Pull on your running shoes for Durham City Run, take a seat for international cricket at the Emirates Riverside Ground, or cheer on cyclists tackling the city’s cobbles during the Tour Series.
Rich heritage Fancy something a little more sedate, our county boasts a fascinating array of museums, galleries and collections – each telling the different stories that come together to create our rich and awe-inspiring history. Live the life of a Victorian lead miner, deep in the heart of Weardale, at Killhope Museum; see for yourself the world famous Zurbaran paintings at Auckland Castle; discover Durham’s The great outdoors own DLI Collection at Sevenhills, in Spennymoor; browse the collection at the Bowes Museum or enjoy a And then there’s our spellbinding landscapes, grand day out at Beamish. parks and open spaces. Where to begin…. There’s also the UNESCO World Heritage With dramatic views across the North Sea, Durham Site, taking in the city’s castle and Heritage Coast is one of the finest coastlines in England – cathedral as well as it’s also of great natural, historical and geological interest. Barnard and Raby Heading inland, the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural castles. Beauty and UNESCO Global Geopark is an unspoilt landscape with tumbling waterfalls, sweeping moorlands and dramatic dales. It also has some of the darkest skies in England, making it the perfect spot for stargazing. And that’s not all, 12 of our parks and open spaces boast Green Flag status and our communities are regular winners in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Northumbria in Bloom competition.
Tweet us Now it’s your turn – remember to tweet @DurhamCouncil using hashtag #HelpDurhamShine telling us what you love about our county. Celebrating Durham
Are you ready for winter? With winter on the way, it’s time to start preparing for the bad weather and consider how it may affect your journey and your health.
Salt bin refills
Pot holes can occur at any time throughout the year, but they tend to be more of a problem during the winter. We do inspect and maintain highways but if you need to report a pothole, visit www.durham.gov.uk/potholes or call 03000 26 0000
We provide more than 2,500 salt bins. Find your nearest salt bin at www.durham.gov.uk/saltbins
Protecting your property
Winter service information Keep up to date with weather and gritting information on social media. Facebook/durhamcouncil Twitter @DurhamCouncil #twittergritterNE
Snow/ice on roads We presalt around 1,060 miles of roads to prevent ice and frost forming. If heavy snow falls, we clear the main routes first to keep public transport running for as long as possible. Watch live tracking of our gritters in action, together with planned gritting and confirmation of routes that have already been gritted at: www.durham.gov.uk/winterinfo
If a salt bin needs refilling, let us know by completing the online form at www.durham.gov.uk/saltbins or call 03000 26 0000 and quote the number on the top or side of the bin.
Severe weather warnings Keep up to date with Met Office weather warnings at www.durham.gov.uk/ weatherwarnings
Did you know?
1,060 miles The length of roads we pre-salt in normal winter weather conditions (priority 1 routes)
The amount of salt we have in stock for this winter
Are you ready for winter?
hours The time it takes to salt all priority 1 routes
If your property is at immediate risk of flooding and you need sandbags, visit www.durham.gov.uk/sandbags or call 03000 26 0000 Snow clearance
Don’t be afraid to clear paths outside your property after heavy snowfall. It’s easiest to move the snow before it freezes hard and in doing so you can prevent slips and falls. Spread salt or sand once you have cleared the snow to help prevent ice and improve grip. Further advice can be found at: www.durham.gov.uk/snowclearance
2,500 salt bins
Our winter maintenance budget for this year
37gritters; 33trailer gritters and 6 snow blowers
Protect against flu Don’t put off getting the flu vaccination. If you’re eligible get it now from your GP or local pharmacy offering the service. It’s free because you need it. Recommended for: ✔✔ Pregnant women ✔✔ Anyone over 65 ✔✔ For your children if they’re aged two to four. This is not an injection, just a quick nasal spray ✔✔ If you’re the main carer of an older or disabled person ✔✔ If you live in a long-stay residential home ✔✔ If you have a long-term health condition like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart, kidney or liver disease or have suffered a stroke
Keep warm to keep well It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes pneumonia and depression.
Flu and first signs If you start to feel unwell, at the first sign of a winter illness, even if it is just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist before it gets more serious.
Heat your home to at least 18C (65F). If you can, you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer.
Be a good neighbour Keep an eye on elderly relatives and neighbours. Make sure they’re warm enough and have plenty of food and medication to see them through the winter period. Visit nhs.uk/staywell for more information.
Money to burn?
Pick up a prescription Pick up your prescription before the Christmas holidays start. Many GPs and pharmacies close over the holidays.
Are you ready for winter?
Green living ‘Tis the season to be jolly-good at recycling with our twelve day guide Christmas begins with thinking of others (and the environment!) Gift ideas with minimal packaging include e-vouchers, tickets or experience days.
Buy real trees instead of plastic and help the environment.
Remember your reusable shopping bags and avoid buying disposable tablecloths, plates, cups and cutlery.
A quarter of each of the 10 million turkeys bought will go to waste. For tips to safely use leftovers, visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
Remember to recycle glass bottles and jars.
Recycle cards: in your recycling bin, at a supermarket or up-cycle into gift tags for next year.
Send e-cards to save paper.
Mince pies: recycling just six foil tins saves enough energy to watch a festive TV programme.
Take your real tree to a household waste recycling centre or arrange a free collection by 7 January 2018 at www.durham.gov.uk/recycling
Consider using rechargeable batteries in toys.
Place extra recycling in clear plastic bags (not black bags) and leave next to your recycling bin. Flatten and keep cardboard dry.
Small electrical items like broken Christmas lights are accepted at household waste recycling centres.
Happy New Year! Time for a clear out? Large cardboard boxes, toy packaging or old toys can be
taken to a household waste recycling centre or alternatively arrange a bulky waste collection from your home. Book and pay online at www.durham.gov.uk/bulkywaste or call us on: 03000 26 0000.
Blooming great County Durham has done ‘blooming’ great in a regional gardening competition winning a series of awards including best overall entry. Durham City and Chester-le-Street won their categories in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Northumbria in Bloom competition, while the former was also judged to be the best overall entry. There was also success in Stanley gaining silver in the town council category. A number of other awards were also won by town and parish council and community groups from across the county. Communities also scored top marks in both the Chester’s Best and Beautiful Durham horticultural competitions. Find out more: www.durham.gov.uk/inbloom
Environment Awards 2017 Results are announced in November. A list of winners will be published online at: www.countydurhampartnership.co.uk/envawards
Garden waste collections resume next April. You can sign up from early December, visit www.durham.gov.uk/gardenwaste for more information.
Don’t miss! our four-page pull out for more information on Christmas services.
ge pa l ur cia Fo spe
Your pull-out guide to Christmas!
Christmas lights switch-on ✶ Friday 24 November, 4pm
✶ Friday 1 December, 6.30pm
✶ Sunday 26 November
✶ Friday 1 December, 3.30pm
Spennymoor Town Centre www.spennymoor-tc.gov.uk Durham City Market Place www.durhambid.co.uk
✶ Thursday 30 November, 4pm
Chester-le-Street Market Place
✶ Friday 1 December, 4.30pm Shildon Town Square www.shildon.gov.uk
✶ Friday 1 December, from 5pm
Scar Top, Barnard Castle www.barnardcastletowncouncil.gov.uk
✶ Friday 1 December, from 4.30pm Bishop Auckland Market Place www.bishopauckland-tc.gov.uk
Terrace Green, Seaham www.seaham.gov.uk
Village Centre, Ushaw Moor www.brandonandbyshottles.parish. durham.gov.uk
✶ Saturday 2 December
Stanley Town Centre www.stanley-tc.gov.uk
✶ Sunday 3 December, 5pm
Langley Moor www.friendsoflangleymoor.co.uk
✶ Friday 8 December, from 6pm
Trimdon Village Green www.trimdonfoundry-pc.gov.uk
Check locally for more details of events and other Christmas light switch-ons in the county. For more festive fun – see page 26-29.
What to do with your own real tree once Christmas is over Recycle it – get it collected free of charge by booking online at www.durham.gov.uk/ recycling or call 03000 26 0000 between 18 December and 7 January. Alternatively, take it to a household waste recycling centre www.durham.gov.uk/hwrc
Your pull-out guide to Christmas!
Shop local Our towns are great places to shop locally, especially at Christmas, when there are festive markets, fairs and other seasonal activities planned. For small and independent retailers it’s a great opportunity to sell their products as many people are looking for locallysourced, unique or hand-made gifts. And once you’re finished your shop sit down for a bite to eat or drink at one of the many quality cafés, restaurants and inns.
Getting festive for Christmas… Here’s a few Christmas festivals to look out for. You’ll find more festive fairs and activities in our what’s on pages. Durham Christmas Festival Friday 1 December to Sunday 3 December 10am-6pm on Friday, 9am-6pm on Saturday, 10am-4.30pm on Sunday A huge, heated craft and gift marquee on Palace Green will feature over 180 stalls across three days. Tickets £3 on Friday, £4 on Saturday and Sunday. Accompanied children U16 free. In the Cloisters of Durham Cathedral, discover a Local Food Producers Market featuring more than 30 traders. It’s open Friday 1 December from 10am-6pm, Saturday 2 December from 9am-5pm and Sunday 3 December from noon-4.30pm. No tickets required. Durham Market Hall will also be open each day of the Christmas Festival, and there will be Festive Markets in the Market Place and Millennium Place. www.durhamchristmasfestival.com
Barnard Castle Christmas Festival Wednesday 13 to Sunday 17 December The town’s cultural attractions and businesses have come together to create a five-day seasonal extravaganza. Events staged by The Bowes Museum, The Witham, and Teesdale Community Resources Hub are complemented by late night shopping at friendly independent retailers; traditional inns with open fires, and inviting cafés and restaurants. www.barnardcastlechristmasfestival.co.uk
Auckland Castle Christmas Festival Friday 17 November 1pm-7pm, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November, 10am-4pm Set against the backdrop of Auckland Castle, more than 40 local food producers and hand made goods will be available. Free admission to the market. See advert on page 22 for more information. www.aucklandcastle.org
Your pull-out guide to Christmas!
Regular weekly markets Find out about farmers markets at www.neefm.org.uk and markets in Durham and Bishop Auckland at www.durhammarkets.co.uk
Free parking To help support local businesses, all Durham County Council car parks across the county and onstreet parking in Durham City will be free after 3pm during December. And it’s Small Business Saturday on Saturday 2 December with free parking at these car parks from 10am. So you can use those extra pennies for gifts or to treat yourself!
Spend wisely this Christmas From savvy Christmas shopping tips to avoiding Christmas cons we’ve got some great ways to save yourself worry, heartache and crippling debts. You might even manage to save some money to cover the cost of next Christmas.
Sa v v y Christmas shopping tips
3 Write a list and set a budget for your Chris tmas spending. 3 Use your loyalty cards – they are not earn ing interest so use your points to get presen 3 Pay off credit cards and store cards quicklts. y; they’re an expensiv e way to borrow. If yo u can’t pay off the balance in full, talk to a cred it union about a loan to pay them off. Their intere st rates will be cheaper. Check your overdr aft and make sure it’ s authorised. Look for deals and keep receipts in case presents need to be exchange d or refunded.
Avoid Christmas debt If you need to borrow money this Christmas, use a Credit Union. It’s much more affordable than weekly payment stores.
Do the math... A £470 iPad purchased from a weekly payment store will cost you a whopping £1,586 once you’ve completed all your repayments. A £470 iPad purchased with a credit union loan will cost you £513.42 – that’s a £1,072 saving! Prince Bishops Credit Union www.pbcb.org.uk 01207 232351 NE First Credit Union www.nefirstcu.co.uk 03300 553666 Extra content is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn
Beware of Christmas cons From suspicious emails and dodgy websites to dishonest door salesmen and postal scams, beware of fraudsters at Christmas. Festive fakes, such as designer handbags, watches, perfumes and toys are often poor quality and unsafe due to the lack of safety testing. Cheap illegal tobacco and alcohol increases risks to health. For advice or to report fakes, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
Your pull-out guide to Christmas!
Council services over the Christmas period Bin collections
Customer access points
Bins will be emptied as normal up to and including Friday, 22 December. Over Christmas and New Year the following changes will apply:
Will be closed from 4.30pm on 22 December and reopen Tuesday 3 January at 8.30am.
Will be open except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Normal collection day
Revised collection days Christmas
Wednesday 27 Dec 17
As normal (Tuesday, 2 Jan)
Thursday 28 Dec 17
As normal (Weds, 3 Jan)
Friday 29 Dec 17
As normal (Thurs, 4 Jan)
Saturday 30 Dec 17
As normal (Friday, 5 Jan)
Normal collections will resume from Tuesday, 2 January 2018
Libraries Opening times may vary, call into your local library (or check our website) before Christmas for opening times.
Children’s centres Will close or have restricted opening times over the Christmas period. Call into your local centre before Christmas to see when they’ll be open.
You can also find collection details online by entering your house number and postcode into the ‘My Durham’ section at www.durham.gov.uk
Will be closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Bishop Auckland and Durham register offices will be open between times for appointments only. Phone 03000 26 6000.
Bulky waste collections
Day centres for adults
There will be no large waste (bulky) collections between 23 December 2017 and 2 January 2018.
Will be open except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
In an emergency
Open as normal over the holidays except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Find locations and opening hours at www.durham.gov.uk/hwrc
Find our twelve day guide to jolly-good recycling this Christmas on page 14.
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Make a debit/credit card payment 24/7 on 0300 456 2771.
SaveOur time offices may be closed but you can still doaccess it online a range of services and information online
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during the festive period.
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Our out of hours number is 03000 26 0000.
Your pull-out guide to Christmas!
Make ordinary moments with Durham County Council
Make ordinary moments extraordinary… Over 40 children in our county are currently waiting to find a foster carer who can offer them a home for the rest of their childhood. The council’s fostering service recruits a variety of foster carers, but they are especially keen to hear from those who can look after more than one child. We currently have 23 children who want to live with their brothers and sisters until they reach adulthood, and beyond if they choose to.
The council’s fostering service offers a unique package of guidance and support, which includes full training, dedicated social workers to support you as well as access to specialist therapeutic workers for those children who need it. A full financial package and ongoing practical and emotional support It’s a wonderful feeling, is also provided seeing a young person grow throughout your fostering career. and develop in your care.
Ray and Jane Hughes (pictured above) currently foster ‘Emily’ (not her real name) on a long-term arrangement. Ray said: “Emily knows she can stay as long as she wants, she’s a part of our family now really. We try to treat her the same as we treat our own children and grandchildren and there will always be a home for her here even after the fostering arrangements finish when she’s an adult.”
He added: “Emily was very young for her age when she came to us and quite nervous but now she’s much more confident and she gets on really well with our own children and our grandson loves her. It’s a wonderful feeling, seeing a young person grow and develop in your care. “
Ray said: “When I first started training I kept doubting myself, but I realised my skills could offer these young people a brighter future and it’s become one of the most rewarding roles I’ve done – a real passion.” Find out more at www.durham.gov.uk/fostering or call 03000 269 400. Extra content is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn
Financial support for young people leaving care A Council Tax reduction for care leavers has recently been introduced. This change could see some young people paying less, depending on their situation, to help them become financially dependent. If you are aware of any care leavers aged under 25 living in County Durham please refer them to www.durham.gov.uk/careleaverscounciltax Children and young people
New you, new start Looking for work can be difficult especially if you have been out of the jobs market for a while. Weâ€™re at the helm of a wide range of projects that support people into training and employment and there are lots of opportunities available.
Their future is created by what you do today
Learning for older people Our Adults Learning and Skills Service provides adult learning courses in County Durham. Working closely with a range of organisations, we have the right courses in the right areas to support you into work, other learning and volunteering. Please get in touch to talk to us about courses in your area: 03000 266 115. 20
New you, new start
Itâ€™s hard to watch a young person you care about struggle to get a job, or find their way in the world. As a parent or carer, you know their strengths and skills and how much they have to offer.
match their specific needs and interests.
DurhamWorks supports unemployed 16-24 year-olds to develop those existing skills, identify new ones and help young people into a range of training and job opportunities.
If you know someone aged 16-24, not in education, employment or training and who lives in County Durham visit www.durhamworks.info for more information.
They work with a range of partners, whose staff have a wealth of experience improving confidence, independence and readiness for work, and helping those who already have the necessary skills to find the right employer for them.
Sam, pictured above, has just taken a position with design and marketing company Curious 12 thanks to DurhamWorks. He is pictured with senior designer Jamie Campbell.
Together they can offer young people tailored one-to-one support, finding training and employment opportunities to
Extra content is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn
Job success in Aycliffe More than 200 residents living in Newton Aycliffe and the surrounding area have found work thanks to a project. The Employability, Upskilling and Discretionary Funds Project has helped people of varying ages into employment, training or further career advancement. The project is being supported by the Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership and Bishop Auckland College. For further information on the project contact Denise Hopps at Bishop Auckland College on 01388 443078. To qualify for help you have to be not earning and living in the Great Aycliffe and Middridge area.
Time to volunteer? Whether you’ve got extra time over Christmas, or want to do something different in the New Year, volunteering has something for everyone. It isn’t all just about retail either. From gardening to school governors and digital buddies to befriending, each opportunity is totally different.
Employability Mentoring Project The Employability Mentoring Project can help you get back into work or help set up a business. Support is tailored to suit your needs and can help develop the skills needed to stand out in the jobs market. Funded with support from Area Action Partnerships, the project currently covers anyone living in: Bishop Auckland; Crook; Shildon; Teesdale; Tow Law; Weardale; Willington; Lanchester; Castleside; Esh Winning; Ushaw Moor; Langley Moor; Meadowfield and Brandon. To find out how the project can help you call: 03000 262 383.
As well as meeting new people and being a fun way to fill your spare time, volunteering is also great to add to your CV. Brilliant if you’re looking for a job or thinking about a change in career! What are you waiting for? Visit www.durham.gov.uk/ volunteering to find out about our latest opportunities.
New you, new start
A new home for Christmas in County Durham
To Let No bond
No admin fee
Dale & Valley Homes
0800 083 0333
0191 385 1900
Durham City Homes
0800 068 0013
01207 521 100
East Durham Homes
0800 032 0835
0800 587 4538
North Star Housing 03000 11 00 11
Countdown to Christmas Get into the festive spirit and countdown to Santa’s arrival with our advent calendar. Find out about events and enter competitions with some fabulous prizes to pack your December with all kinds of Christmas fun!
Win panto tickets
Prepare to set sail into a world of hilarity and adventure as Gala Theatre favourites Neil Armstrong and Paul Hartley bring you this year’s swashbuckling panto Robinson Crusoe. To win a family ticket for the show*, tell us: who wrote the novel Robinson Crusoe? *Certain shows only
Competition deadline: Friday 1 December 2017 (unless otherwise stated).
Eat, drink and be merry at Zizzi Durham
Get active in the New Year with a Thrive swim membership
To enter, tell us: what is Zizzi’s festive special dessert for 2017?
When it’s time to exercise off all those mince pies, why not sign up for a Thrive swim membership to enjoy unlimited access to any of our six leisure centre pools.
Win a two-course meal with a bottle of wine from Zizzi Durham - because there’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than a feast!
Santa at Hardwick Park
Celebrate the festive season with a visit to Father Christmas at Hardwick Park. Join in the Christmas themed park trail and festive craft activities. Booking required, £8.50, tickets available from Hardwick Park gift shop.
Christmas carols at Laithkirk Wednesday 13 December, 7pm Join the Middleton and Teesdale Silver Band at Mickleton Village Hall for carols and readings.
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Breakfast or afternoon tea with Santa at The Bowes Museum
Santa is taking time out from feeding his reindeer to invite families to join him for breakfast or festive afternoon tea at The Bowes Museum’s enchanting Jubilee Room, where he’ll create magical memories as he chats to you and hands out presents. Breakfast with Santa, Adults £15, Child £10. Price includes gift for children. Afternoon Tea, Adults £20, Child £15. Price includes gift for children. www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk
Durham City light switch-on Sunday 26 November
Kick off your Christmas countdown with Durham City light switch-on in the market place. Wrap up warm, grab a bite to eat and see the city sparkle with festive cheer!
Win a family ticket for the Live Nativity event at Broomhouse Farm
Broomhouse Farm is offering a family ticket to their nativity night on Saturday 2 December. Enjoy dinner, mince pies and mulled wine (for the adults) as you watch the live nativity. To enter, tell us: How much does it cost (per person) to enter the Woodland Trail Adventure? Competition deadline: 24 Nov
Countdown to Christmas
Countdown to Christmas 9
Join the Heritage Coast team for some festive litter picking on Saturday 9 December 10am-noon at Red Acre beach, Seaham. Meet at the top of the steps next to the Seaham Marina sign (opposite Sure Start) SR7 7EU. All helpers will be rewarded with mince pies and mulled wine. Come prepared for the weather. Santa hat optional! 03000 268 131
Win a festive goodie bag of items from Paperchase Durham’s Golden Palace range. To win, tell us: Where is the Paperchase store located in Durham? www.paperchase.co.uk
Christmas evenings at Beamish
Various dates throughout December, 4.30pm-9.30pm Enjoy a festive evening at Beamish Museum to discover how Christmas was celebrated in the past. Visit Santa’s Grotto, meet the reindeer and sip mulled wine as you listen to the bands. Adult £14, Children (2-16 years) £9 (Beamish Unlimited passes not valid for Christmas evenings)
Countdown to Christmas
Walk off the mince pies with a guided walk to discover more of County Durham. The October 2017 – March 2018 guide is available now at www.durham.gov.uk/ countryside. £4 per person (under 16s are free). Carers accompanying a disabled person are free. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.
Paperchase goodie bag
Win 2 tickets to Cinderella at Seaham Town Hall
Join IN YOUR FACE THEATRE SEAHAM and youth section IN YOUR FACE THEATRE YOUTH for Seaham’s annual pantomime Cinderella at Seaham Town Hall (see page 29 for more details)
To win 2 tickets, tell us: What does Cinderella’s fairy godmother turn in to a carriage? https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/iyfts
The Train to Christmas Town
For a truly magical Christmas experience plan a family trip to the North Pole without leaving the county. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies whilst the dancing chefs and conductor entertain all on the journey to see Santa at his home in the North Pole. Ran by Weardale Railways Stanhope, to book, visit www.weardalechristmastrain.com
Festival of Angels in Wolsingham
Saturday 2, 9 and 16 December 10am-3pm or Sunday 3, 10, 17 December, noon-3pm Visit the Festival of Angels at St Mary and St Stephen Church in Wolsingham to sing carols and admire craft angels. Admission is free tea/coffee and cake £2.
Win a table for up to ten for Christmas afternoon tea with live entertainment at Hardwicke Hall Manor Hotel, Blackhall Colliery
Enjoy tea and cake by the fireplace under the twinkle of the Christmas tree at Hardwicke Hall Manor. To win a table for up to ten for afternoon tea at 2pm on 2 December answer this question: At what time is Christmas afternoon tea served? Competition deadline: 24 Nov
Countdown to Christmas
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Add some laughs to your Christmas night out
Saturday 9 December, 7.30pm Funny Way to Be is offering three pairs of tickets to see comedian Ed Gamble, star of Mock the Week at The Witham in Barnard Castle. To enter, tell us: What extinct creature is Ed Gamble’s show named after?
See The Snowman light up Durham Cathedral
Friday 29 December, 12.30pm, 3pm and 7pm See ‘The Snowman’ and ‘The Nutcracker’ on the big screen at Durham Cathedral, with a live orchestra. Hear ‘Walking in the Air’ performed by a Cathedral chorister in sync with the film!
Win tickets to visit Santa and his reindeer Down at the Farm
Join Santa, Mrs Claus and the elves in a magical winter barn. Cuddle the bunnies, decorate the trees and meet Santa’s real reindeer! To win tickets for a family of four to visit Santa tell us: What is the name of Santa’s red-nosed reindeer? (booking required, call 0191 584 1873, www.downatthefarm.co.uk)
Christmas Craft Fair at Brancepeth Castle
Friday 24 and Saturday 25 November, 10am-5pm, Sunday 26 November, noon-5pm £2-£3, accompanied children under 14 free.
(Normal price £12, 01833 650 930 www.funnywaytobe.com)
Win a free private tour of the Castle for up to four guests by telling us: What was the name and date of the famous battle that was plotted in the Baron’s Hall at Brancepeth Castle?
Winter pass to Crook Hall Gardens
Win a winter pass (two adults, two children) to Crook Hall Gardens by telling us: How many scones on average does Crook Hall bake every year? a) 4,000 b) 15,000 c) 30,000 Owner of Crook Hall, Keith Bell, has recently written a book named ‘Blood, Sweat and Scones’ documenting how he transformed his family home into a tourist attraction. * The pass can be used on any date until the end of March 2018, Sunday to Wednesday, 11am-3pm. www.crookhallgardens.co.uk
Win a family ticket to Beamish Museum (valid until March 2018)
To celebrate work, including the reconstruction of a 1950s town, beginning at Beamish you can win a family ticket to the museum. Combat those January blues with a day out! Just tell us what decade will the new town represent? www.beamish.org.uk
Win £200 shopping vouchers for Dalton Park Outlet Shopping & Leisure
If you love to shop and want to enjoy a great day out then head to Dalton Park. There’s over 60 outlet stores where you can save up to 50 per cent off your favourite brands. Stores are open until 7pm Monday to Saturday and there’s always free parking. Once you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped head to Pizza Express, Frankie & Benny’s or Prezzo for after shopping dinner then round your day off with the latest movies at Cineworld. For the chance to win a gift card loaded with £200 to spend at Dalton Park, tell us what time the stores are open until Monday to Saturday?
Countdown to Christmas
Lauren Waine Polly Perkins
Jamie Brown Robinson Crusoe
Paul Dunn Connie Crusoe
Jayne Mackenzie Aqua Marina
The Gala Theatre’s Swashbuckling Family Pantomime
Neil Armstrong Captain Blackheart
Paul Hartley Billy Bob
Did you know
Thursday 23 November until Saturday 6 January The Gala Theatre team is back with this swashbuckling sailor tale. Get ready to set sail into a nautical world of hilarity and adventure as we join Robinson Crusoe on his quest to find adventure, romance and the fabled Pearl of Wisdom. Encounter Captain Blackheart, the maddest and baddest pirate of them all! £6-£17 (family tickets £50-£58)
There is a British Sign Language performance of Robinson Crusoe on Sunday 10 D ecember, 1pm* and an autism fr iendly relaxed performance on Thursday 14 December, 6pm . * Tickets selling
Monday 4 until Saturday 30 December
Friday 8 December, 8pm
Monday 18 December, 7.30pm
Mrs Claus’ Kitchen
The Suggestibles’ Impro Pantso
It’s A Wonderful Life
It’s panto, but not as you know it! Your suggestions inspire the hilarious characters and ingenious songs with unexpected twists and turns. *Not recommended for under 18s. £17.50
With a mischievous gingerbread man on the loose, help Mrs Claus keep Christmas on track in Gala’s brand new festive production for under 5s. Various times. £6.50-£7.50 (family tickets £24-£28)
It wouldn’t be Christmas at Gala without the annual screening of the Frank Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life. Wrap up warm, grab a mulled wine and get into the festive spirit. £10
For the full programme or to book tickets visit www.galadurham.co.uk or call the box office on 03000 266 600 26
November to March
What’s on NOVEMBER Saturday 18 November, noon-2pm St John’s Church Fayre St John’s Church, Meadowfield Crafts, refreshments, tombola and raffle, all proceeds go to the church. Donation to church. From Saturday 18 November, 10am-4pm Christmas at Beamish Beamish Museum, Chester-le-Street Step into a magical Christmas past, visit Father Christmas, meet his reindeer and browse the Beamish bazaar. £11-£19 (free for unlimited pass holders, small charges apply for some activities, separate charges apply for ‘Christmas Evenings at Beamish’). 0191 370 4000 www.beamish.org.uk
Saturday 18 to Sunday 19 November, 10am-3pm Traditional Crafts Weekend Durham University Botanic Garden, Durham City Silversmith Les Howe and his artist and card maker wife Vivienne demonstrate their skills in the garden. Free. www.dur.ac.uk/botanicgarden/whatson/ events Sunday 19 November, 11am-4pm Christmas Market Spectrum Leisure Centre, Willington Festive market with stalls and café. Free (visit Santa for £3). 01388 747 000 www.spectrumleisurecentre.com Tuesday 21 November, 7.30pm Ferryhill, Sedgefield and District Flower Club Parish Hall, Sedgefield Demonstration by Kate Kerr ‘with Christmas in Mind’. £5.50 members, £8 non-members.
Tuesday to Saturday from 21 November, 11am-3pm EDAN Christmas exhibition and sale Art Block, 74 Church Street, Seaham Original art work by local artists of East Durham Artists’ Network. Free. 0191 649 9431, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday 24 and Saturday 25 November, 10am-5pm and Sunday 26 November, noon-5pm Brancepeth Castle Christmas Craft Fair Brancepeth Castle, Durham Over 80 craft stalls, home cooked food and cakes. £2-£3 (children free with a paying adult). www.brancepethcastle.org
Saturday 2 December, 10am-4pm Greenfields Art Winter Market Greenfield School, Newton Aycliffe Artisan foods and Christmas handmade items. Free, www.greenfieldschool.net Saturday 2 December, 10am onwards Stanley Christmas Market A wide range of stalls and entertainment. www.stanley-tc.gov.uk
Saturday 25 November, 10am-1pm Christmas Fair St John’s Church, Shildon Join Santa and his reindeer and elves. Receive a gift and have a professional photo taken with him. £5 in advance (limited tickets on the day), £1 admission to the fair. 01388 417600 Sunday 26 November, 2.30pm (matinee) and Monday 27 November to Saturday 2 December, 7.30pm Ladies Day by Amanda Whittington City Theatre, Back Silver Street, Durham Join Pearl, Jan, Linda and Shell in their quest for love and happiness as they head to York Races. £6.50-£7.50, tickets from Gala Theatre box office, 03000 266 600
Friday 1 December, 10am-5pm Shildon Chamber of Trade Christmas Market A wide range of stalls and entertainment. Friday 1 December, 6pm Meet Santa and Beauty and the Beast characters Bishop Auckland Market Place Free.
Saturday 2 December, 8pm The John Wrightson Band with Bert Draycott Scarth Hall, Staindrop North East songwriter John and his band with support from world champion spoons player Bert. £8, from Staindrop Post Office or Scarthhalltickets@gmail.com Saturday 2, 9 and 16 December, 10am-3pm, Sunday 3, 10 and 17 December, noon-3pm Festival of Angels, Hark the Herald Angels Sing St Mary and St Stephen Church, Wolsingham Free (refreshments £2). Saturday 2 to Saturday 9 December, 10am-4pm Seaham Christmas Market, Byron Place Mulled wine, Christmas carols and unique stalls. Thursday 7 December, 1 February, 1 March, 7.15pm Cestrian Flower Club Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street Flower demonstrations. Visitors £5. 07751 752187
November to March
What’s on Friday 8 December, 7pm An evening with Relentless Spennymoor Town Hall, Spennymoor Three-course dinner and party evening. £24. 0191 460 5367 Saturday 9 December Robbie Williams Tribute Evening Spennymoor Town Hall, Spennymoor Three-course dinner and party evening. £24. 0191 460 5367 Tuesday 12 December, 12.15pm-4pm Age UK Christmas Lunch Spectrum Leisure Centre, Willington Christmas lunch and carols. £12. 01388 747 000 www.spectrumleisurecentre.com
Bishop Auckland Town Hall November
Saturday 25 until Monday 27 November Every Cloud Entertainments presents: Dick Whittington and his Pirate Adventure Various times. £7-£9. 03000 269524 www.bishopaucklandtownhall.org.uk
Thursday 21 December, 6.30pm The Princess and the Goblin Princess Irene is to be the bride of the goblin king’s son; unfortunately he hasn’t actually asked her yet. The Princess and the Goblin is an exciting adventure about the goblin’s attempts to steal her away. Friday 22 December, 7.30pm Hilarity Bites Christmas Comedy Night For the first time ever, we’re hosting a Christmas Comedy Club, and we’ve pulled out all the stops to bring back local favourite Patrick Monahan!
Wednesday 13 December, 7pm Christmas carols and readings Laithkirk Church, Barnard Castle With Middleton and Teesdale Silver Band. Thursday 14 December, 7pm-9.30pm A Christmas Celebration Elvet Methodist Church, Durham A feast of well-loved Christmas carols with mince pies and hot drinks. £10. 0191 386 3144, www.dmtc.co.uk Thursday 14 December, 6pm The Princess and the Goblin St John’s School and Sixth Form College, Bishop Auckland A story about growing up, making friends and the importance of family with song and dance. Suitable for 5+. £4-£7.50. 01388 603246, www.highlightsnorth.co.uk
The Witham, Barnard Castle
Friday 17 November Angelos and Barry: The New Power Generation Comedy duo and award winning podcasters. £15. Saturday 18 November, 10am-4pm Designer Makers Market Unique handcrafted goods. Free
For the full listings please visit www.bishopaucklandtownhall.org.uk or call 03000 269 524
Wednesday 22 November Omid Djalilli: Schmuck for a Night Award winning actor and comedian. £24.
Saturday 16 December, 7.30pm-9.30pm An evening of Christmas Music Elvet Methodist Church, Durham City Join Durham Choral Society and Durham County Youth Choir. £3.50-£7. www.durhamchoralsociety.org.uk Saturday 16 December, 7pm-9.45pm and Sunday 17 December, 2.30pm-5pm Mighty Wurlitzer Traditional Christmas Concert North East Organ Theatre Association, Howden-le-Wear Andrew Nix presents Christmas favourites at the Mighty Wurlitzer. £8 with refreshments. 01388 762 467 www.netoa.org.uk Saturday 16 December, 7pm Concert of Christmas Music by The Argus Singers Chester-le-Street Methodist Church £6, available on the door or 07482 749713. Saturday 25 November, 10am-4pm Handcrafted Fair Handcrafted boutique fair. Free. Tuesday 28 November Daniel Sloss: NOW Internationally acclaimed Scottish comedian. £12. www.funnywaytobe.com Saturday 16 December, 3pm and 7.30pm A Christmas Carol (Supper Club) Presented by the Castle Players £10, £8 students and under 16s.
The Castle Players: A Christmas Carol
Oh yes it is! It’s this year’s selection of
Pantomimes Saturday 11 November until Saturday 2 December
Dick Whittington and his Pirate Adventure Everyman Theatre, Spennymoor Various times. £6. 01388 816430 www.spennymoorsettlement.co.uk Saturday 2 until Sunday 31 December
Cinderella Empire Theatre, Consett Various times. From £14. 01207 218171 www.leisureworks.net Tuesday 12 to Sunday 24 December
Snow White Civic Hall Stanley, Alun Armstrong Theatre £14 adults, £12 concessions, £38 family ticket. 01207 299 110 www.civichallstanley.co.uk Tuesday 19 until Friday 22 December
Cinderella Seaham Town Hall 6.15pm start and 3.15pm matinee on 22 December. £6 pre-paid, £8 on the door. 07508 788 119 www.ticketsource.co.uk/iyfts Thursday 18, Friday 19, Saturday 20 January, 7.30pm and Sunday 21 January 2018, 2pm
Peter Pan Civic Hall, Shildon Traditional family show with music and laughter. £3.50-£5.50. 01388 774 838 Tuesday 23 until Saturday 27 January 2018
Sleeping Beauty Blackhall Community Centre £5, 0191 587 1851, or call into the centre.
Saturday 16 December Non Stop Party Band Spennymoor Town Hall, Spennymoor Three-course dinner and party evening. £24, 0191 460 5367 Saturday 16 December Mickleton Christmas Party Mickleton Village Hall With special guests Urban Voodoo Machine. Tickets £20 in advance, £22.50 on the door. 01833 640854 www.mickletonlive.uk Sunday 24 December, 2pm-6pm Santa’s Last Stop Spectrum Leisure Centre, Willington An afternoon of fun with Santa, party games and bouncy castles. £10 per child (includes visit to Santa and refreshments). £5 per adult (includes food). 01388 747 000 www.spectrumleisurecentre.com
JANUARY Saturday 13 January, 2pm-4pm Dementia-friendly tour; a feast for the senses Oriental Museum, Durham City Visitors with dementia and their carers are invited to a special tour event. Handle objects from the museum. Free. www.dur.ac.uk/orientalmuseum Saturday 27 January, 7.30pm-9.30pm Will Todd: Mass in Blue and Jazz Missa Brevis Durham Cathedral, Durham City The Will Todd Big Band presents an evening of jazz at the cathedral. £5-£18. www.durhamchoralsociety.org.uk Wednesday 31 January, 7.30pm Charles Dowding talk ‘No Dig Gardening’ Bowburn Community Centre The Gardner’s World star gives expert tips on growing. £7 (tickets in advance). www.durhamcommunityaction.org.uk
The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 December, 3pm-8pm Traditional Fair The Museum and grounds come alive after dark with traditional fairground rides and sideshows, mouth-watering street food from charming wooden chalets, family entertainment, carol singers, choirs, Santa’s grotto, and seasonal treats in Café Bowes. £2.50-£5. Free to annual pass holders and Friends members. Wednesday 13 to Friday 22 December, various times. Santa’s Winter Wonderland Visit Santa’s enchanting Winter Wonderland Grotto and elf workshop and immerse yourself in this utterly magical family experience. Book early to avoid disappointment. Various costs.
Friday 15 December to Sunday 17 December, various times. Extended Christmas Market Due to its growing popularity, the Museum’s annual Christmas Market has been extended to take in the Friday evening, with over 100 handpicked stalls providing all your festive requirements, live music, seasonal entertainment, carol singers, bands and family activities. The popular park and ride ‘Santa’ buses make for a stress free feel-good family event. £2.50-£5. Free to annual pass holders and Friends members. www.thebowesmuseum.co.uk
November to March
What’s on FEBRUARY
Saturday 3 February, 2pm-4pm Mickleton Winter Carnival Mickleton Village Hall, Teesdale Fun and games with snacks and a raffle. Free. Tuesday 20 February, 7.30pm-9pm Ferryhill, Sedgefield and District Flower Club Parish Hall, Sedgefield Demonstration by Wendy Smith, ‘Something Old, Something New’. Members free, £5 non-members. 07533 752870 Saturday 24 February, 10.30am-1pm Snowdrop Walk Join the council’s Heritage Coast officer for a gentle walk along the coast to Hawthorne Dene and enjoy the snowdrops. Approximately four miles, dress for the weather. Free. 03000 268 131 www.durhamheritagecoast.org
Crook Hall and Gardens, Durham City Saturday 20 January, 4pm-7pm Flappers 1920s Afternoon Tea Dress to impress! Afternoon tea and jazz. £30.
Sunday 28 January, 11am-2pm Hall Sale Antiques and old gems aplenty. £2.50.
Saturday 24 February, 6pm Lunar New Year Celebration Oriental Museum, Durham City A late night opening to mark Lunar New Year, for one night only see the museum Iit only by lanterns. Small admission fee will apply. www.dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum
MARCH Sunday 11 March, 8pm-10pm Alun Cochrane: Alunish Cochranish Scarth Hall, Staindrop Popular comedian and radio star. £12.50. 01833 650 930, www.funnywaytobe.com
Thursday 1 February, 2pm-4pm Durham Flower Club Sherburn Village Community Hall, Sherburn Village Illustrated talk by David Peacock OBE who transformed a community garden. £5 for visitors. 0191 383 0577
Every Wednesday and Thursday during school term Weardale Art Classes St Thomas Church Hall, Stanhope Wednesday 1.15pm-3.15pm St Andrew’s Methodist/UR Church, Dawson Street, Crook Thursday 6.30pm-8.30pm
Visit this sculptural installation celebrating the spirit of community and diversity, currently at Wharton Park until 7 January. The Ps will then move on to Bishop Auckland Market Place between Sunday 21 January and Sunday 15 April. More information:
www.psinapodsculpture.co.uk Sunday 11 February, 11am-3pm Fairy Tale Fairy tale event for families with young children. Standard admission fees apply.
Monday 13 to Sunday 18 February, noon-3pm Valentines Afternoon Tea £24.50. 0191 384 8028 www.crookhallandgardens.co.uk
Drawing and painting sessions using different mediums. £6.50. 01388 517 308
Every Tuesday, 10.30am-12.30pm Re-jig drop in sewing session Greenfield Arts, Newton Aycliffe Develop different kinds of sewing skills. £5 per session. www.greenfield-arts.co.uk Every Monday, 7pm-8pm and Fridays 10.30am-12.30pm Creative Forum Greenfield Arts, Newton Aycliffe Join a relaxed community of artists and develop your skills. £4 per session, please book. www.greenfield-arts.co.uk Saturday fortnightly 7.30pm-10.30pm Blackhall Sequence Dance Club Horden Centennial Centre, Horden Drinks, snacks, raffle, bingo, sequence and line dancing. £2. 0191 587 0524
Make some waves this winter Try it, love it, thrive.
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Extra content is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn