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DURHAM Magazine we


Photo By - Dale Hazell - Pont Top Pike

April / May 2018 - Issue 21


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Editorial - April / May 2018


Hello Durham,

We started to publish the Durham Magazine to provide the city with a locally oriented publication to spread all the good new that happens in the area. Anyone can contribute to the magazine online or in print, in fact we encourage it. Durham Magazine is committed to providing an open forum for local writers, artists, video producers, bloggers, and photographers to share their work with the wider Durham community. Inside this edition you’ll see some of the submissions we had from members of the public including ‘Vibrant Soul’ by Rebecca Gibson, an artwork capturing vibrancy, you’ll read all about the history of a nearby theatre by local historian Brian Harrison, Horses at War at Beamish, and an interesting piece on the exhibition ‘Bodies of Evidence’ which details the discovery of Scottish soldier’s remains found in Durham.

The magazine is free and supported entirely by advertising from the businesses inside. If you’d like to advertise in next month’s edition, please give Marco a call on 0191 394 1266 or drop us an email on We’ve got online and offline solutions to grow your business and reach far more customers in Durham and beyond. For example, you can get a complete marketing campaign which includes print advertising in two magazines, four online articles in Newcastle Magazine, Sunderland Magazine, Consett Magazine, and Durham Magazine - all tailored to suit whatever you’re looking to promote. Remember to recycle or pass this magazine onto a friend or family member who’ll enjoy the read.

Warmest regards, Barry Kirkham, Marco Elsy, and the entire Durham Magazine team

Contributors Brian Harrison Dale Hazell Neil Collins David Sunderland Alex Nelson Glenn Maltman Roger Langley Andy Potts Rebecca Gibson

Content and advertising team Barry Kirkham Marco Elsy Firefly New Media UK

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How do I submit news, stories, events, or photographs?

How do I advertise my business in Durham?

Email us at:

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Call us on 0191 394 1266

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

To reduce environmental impact, once finished with please recycle this magazine or pass it on to friends and family. Firefly New Media UK - All Rights Reserved

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Creative businesses are being offered the opportunity to secure workspace within a community of independent artisans in the heart of Durham City.

Now three of the workshops are being offered to let by Durham County Council, which owns the building.

“We’re now looking for similar art and craft companies to take up a handful of vacant spaces within the complex for a budget-friendly price. “This is a great opportunity for home-based businesses looking to expand or for

more established firms to relocate to an area where they will be supported by like-minded artisans.” Rents range from £3,000 to £4,500 per year for a location just a two-minute walk from the city’s Market Place. Successful applications may also be eligible for funding through the council’s Targeted Business Improvement fund. For more information, visit

Rebecca Gibson - Vibrant Soul

Fowler’s Yard has become a hub for arts and crafts enterprises which trade from small units which were formally warehouses and stables behind Silver Street.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “Fowler’s Yard is a collection of unique workshop spaces occupied by a range of artists and creative businesses.

Your Free April / May 2018 Durham Magazine

Creative workspaces in Durham City

6 Your Free April / May 2018 Durham Magazine

Consett Theatres Consett Theatres - By Brian Harrison

The men and women of the area may have been humble working class people but we have also always been a cultured area. Almost as soon as the small Hamlet of Consett began to expand into the town it is today we have had a theatre, or three. The Theatre

Royal was the first situated in Trafalgar street, below the Derwent Iron Company school, later to become the reading rooms and then more recently the Steel Club. It was a grand theatre having the ability to house over 1000 people. It was held in high esteem through-

out the North East and boasted all the biggest travelling acts. Sir Dale, one of the Directors of the Consett Iron Company was a major player in its initial creation, determined that the workers of the town had something special. The next was the Town Hall, later known to all as the original “Flea Pit”. A Ltd Company was formed to create the Town Hall buildings in 1882 selling 5000 x £1 shares. Within a few years the building was built. The next was the New Theatre Consett in 1896 later to become The Royal Picture House then eventually the Globe in about 1918. This was probably our most famous theatre, ran by Lloyd Clarence who's notoriety attracted some of the biggest names in show business at the time, Laurel & Hardy, George Formby and Gracie Fields to name a few.

But as the theatre audiences began to wane and moving pictures took over the last Theatre emerged. Initially known as the Empire Palace it opened its doors to the public in 1913 but initially not being able to compete it started life as a Cinema. The Empire had a rocky start with brief closures throughout the 1940's and 50's as well has having a brief spell doubling up as a bingo hall in the 1960's when it was known as The Empire Marina. However it outlasted all it forebears and is still a beacon of entertainment and culture today. The Theatre Royal closed shortly after WW1 followed closely by The Globe in the 1926. The Town Hall held out a little longer to sometime in the1960's after it burned down.

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Your Free April / May 2018 Durham Magazine

Dressed to impress for recycling success Members of a new charity shop forum dressed from top to toe in donated clothing as part of a drive to encourage clothing reuse.

Durham County Council, alongside staff from 12 charity organisations including Age UK County Durham, Barnado’s, Oxfam and Scope, have joined together to create the ‘County Durham Charity Shop Forum’, which will co-ordinate charitable giving and encourage members of the public to donate unwanted clothes, shoes and textiles.

At the group’s official launch, members of the forum dressed in donated clothing, shoes and textiles to demonstrate the positive effects of reuse. Ruth Smith, Durham County Council’s external project officer for waste and recycling, said: “We wanted to encourage clothes recycling by

showing how all of the items we are wearing are appealing, smart and completely reusable. “On average, 30 per cent of clothing inside people’s wardrobes has never been worn and seven per cent of items placed into County Durham rubbish bins are clothes and textiles which could have been donated for reuse.” The forum will now develop and co-ordinate communications and initiatives, including displaying upcycled artwork from art students at New College Durham in local shop windows.

It is also aiming to raise the profile of the shops’ work with local communities and encourage more people to donate and volunteer. Michael Bartley, retail manager of Age UK County

Durham said: “Age UK is thrilled to be part of the County Durham Charity Shop Forum to help raise awareness about clothes and textiles reuse and recycling. “On average each charity shop reuses 40 tonnes of items in a year. Funds help sustain local charities, as well as proving local people on low incomes with a source of affordable clothing – especially children’s clothing which needs renewing more often due to growth and wear and tear.” All charity shops are dependent on donations and volunteers to run effectively and anybody interested in getting involved should contact or pop into their local charity shop. For further information about the County Durham Charity Shop Forum or wider campaigns email

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Your Free April / May 2018 Durham Magazine

Horses at War at Beamish An amazing 60 horses, from the cavalry to pack ponies, were at Beamish Museum this month to tell the story of First World War horses. Horses at War, from 13th to 15th April, showcased the magnificent animals demonstrating the role of horses and ponies during the First World War, both on the battlefields and on the Home Front.

Nearby, in the band hall, there was an opportunity to find

Chris Thompson, Keeper of Animals and Land Engagement, said: “Horses at War is one of our most popular events. Visitors have the opportunity to discover the role of horses, ponies and mules during the First World War and to see splendid animals and vehicles at work in appropriate period settings.� Visitors were able to travel on a wide variety of horse-drawn vehicles and see horse-drawn military vehicles at work, including horse and human ambulances, mess cart and general service wagons.

Teams of horses were helping with the war effort on the Home Front by ploughing and harrowing the fields around the museum and carting wood, coal and manure. At the pit pony stables, hard-working ponies demonstrated how coal tubs were hauled. One million horses and mules were sent to France in the First World War and it’s estimated that only about 60,000 returned home. Many farmers, job masters and companies had horses, wagons and carts requisitioned to join the war effort. Horses at War, as with all daytime events, is included in admission to Beamish and is free to Unlimited Pass holders. For more information visit

The impressive 16th Lancers Cavalry Unit set up their encampment in The Pit Village and give an impressive displays of horsemanship. Completing the military scene was the 29th Field Kitchen, a horse-drawn field kitchen and farriery demonstration.

out about the work of The Brooke Charity, set up in 1930 by Dorothy Brooke to help ex-war horses, and still today dedicated to the welfare of working horses and donkeys.


Your Free April / May 2018 Durham Magazine

Places to Go: Aberdeen

Aberdeen is 255 miles north of Newcastle by rail, about the same as London, but fares are cheaper because there are plenty of trains competing for your custom. At the age of 56, I am too young for the over-60s Senior Railcard, but I am eligible, even as a resident of England, for the Scotrail Club 50 card which gives a discount on journeys within Scotland. In the spring they offered a special open return fare of £17 in standard class, bookable on the day, so I booked an advance ticket to Edinburgh for a Saturday in mid-March and, once there, bought a return to Dyce, just north of Aberdeen, for £17. I had considered going to Thurso and Wick to get best value for my £17 but there was not a suitable itinerary available for such a long journey, and I discovered a cheap flight with Loganair from Aberdeen on the Monday morning back to Durham Tees Valley in the last week before the end of the operation, so I thought that would be an interesting quick way back home. The train provided a lovely journey up the coast, a couple of hours sightseeing in Edinburgh on the way, more coastal scenery north of Dundee and then a cheap

room in the Station Hotel on arrival in Aberdeen.

A swanky modern hotel it is not, but it is perfectly comfortable and ideally close, as the name implies, to the railway station. Indeed half of it was originally the head office of the railway company based in Aberdeen, which had a grand staircase, and it is now managed by the Newcastle-based Cairn Group. An economy single room was only £75 for TWO nights, with a delicious optional breakfast at £9.50 extra. I arrived to find there was a Jazz festival on so I booked the Blue Lamp venue with two bands playing on Sunday night. Sunday morning after breakfast I went to the Episcopal (Anglican) cathedral of St. Andrew’s in the city centre, to a 1045 service which happened to be on Mothers’ Day and the Mothers’ Union were preparing a special lunch for the congregation, to which I – as a visitor – was warmly invited. Well I don’t need to be asked twice for a free meal and it was full of African specialities made by the ladies of the very international MU branch. In the afternoon, I found the VisitScotland iCentre on Union Street very helpful, and went to the

Maritime Museum. Many of the free museums are open on a Sunday afternoon. It was very good on the history of the harbour, dating back to 1136, and the modern oil and gas industry, including the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster. Then I walked down to the city beach and enjoyed coffee on the front by Codona’s amusements, and back for the jazz. On Monday morning, early bus 727 to the airport to find my flight was first delayed, then cancelled, so using my return half of the £17 train ticket I got back to Edinburgh, only having to buy a single from there to Newcastle. Good news - I was eligible for a €250 (£217!) compensation payment, so the whole trip has paid for itself! To thank you for reading this far, let me confide that TransPennine are running their popular Club 55 promotion (for one or more passengers over 55) from Sunday 22nd April to Saturday 19th May 2018. They are offering OPEN RETURNS valid for the day or up to one month from the outward journey for only £21 standard and £41 in first class, across Northern England.

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Your Free April / May 2018 Durham Magazine


Scottish soldier facial reconstruction. Image credit - Face Lab

tells story of 17th century Scottish soldiers found in Durham The story of the Scottish soldiers, whose remains were discovered in two mass burial sites in Durham city centre in 2013, will be told in a new exhibition opening this summer.

The exhibition, entitled Bodies of Evidence: How Science Unearthed Durham’s Dark Secret, shows how the latest scientific techniques have revealed the soldiers’ story – how they lived, why they died, and what became of those who survived. Their skeletons were discovered during excavations in Durham in November 2013 and, for the first time, visitors to Durham University’s Palace Green Library will come face

to face with a reconstruction of the face of one of these men, who lived and died more than 300 years ago. Julie Biddlecombe-Brown, Curator at Palace Green Library, said: “This is the first opportunity visitors to the museum will have to come face to face with this young man who we now know was aged between 18 and 25 when he died here in Durham.” The exhibition shows how a multi-disciplinary team at Durham University pieced together evidence to establish details about the identities, lives and appearance of the soldiers, who were imprisoned and died in Durham following

the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. Julie added: “These were real men who lost their lives and their place in history and, through this exhibition, we want to tell their story and give them back their voices.” Professor Chris Gerrard, of Durham University’s Department of Archaeology, said: “The remains of up to 28 individuals were excavated in 2013. “It was the start of many months of research which led to us identifying them as Scottish soldiers who were captured by Cromwell’s army after the Battle of Dunbar and imprisoned in Durham Cathedral and Castle. “This put an end to almost 400

15 Your Free April / May 2018 Durham Magazine

Some of remains recovered in Durham (credit North News and Pictures) years of mystery surrounding what became of those soldiers who died here in Durham.” The exhibition explains how archaeologists from Durham University used analysis of the remains alongside study of historical documents from the period to establish details about the soldiers’ lives including where they were born, what their health and diets were like and why they died.

The exhibition includes a 3D depiction of the face of one of the soldiers, created by researchers at Face Lab, part of Liverpool John Moores University, using one of the excavated skulls along with evidence provided by the Durham University archaeology team. Face Lab specialises in the reconstruction of faces for archaeological and forensic purposes. Bodies of Evidence: How Science Unearthed Durham’s Dark Secret will be on show at Durham University’s Palace Green Library from 9 June to 7 October 2018.

A series of talks and events will complement the exhibition, including a touring play called Woven Bones, produced by Cap-a-Pie theatre company in partnership with Durham University. Full details are available at

An admission charge of £7.50, or £6.50 for concessions, applies, which allows two additional visits. Discounted rates are available for groups of nine or more.

Bodies of Evidence: How Science Unearthed Durham’s Dark Secret Palace Green Library, Durham University 9 June – 7 October 2018

The exhibition also examines what life was like for soldiers and civilians during the civil wars in the 1600s. The stories of survivors of the battle are also unearthed, including those who were sent to the USA to work as indentured

servants, many of whom have descendants alive today.

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Durham Magazine - April / May 2018  

Durham Magazine - April / May 2018

Durham Magazine - April / May 2018  

Durham Magazine - April / May 2018