Month: February 2018

Middleton in Teesdale Prize Show and Sale of Store Cattle – Tuesday 13th February 2018

Harrison & Hetherington Ltd

Middleton in Teesdale Prize Show and Sale of Store Cattle – Tuesday 13th February 2018

On the 13th February, Harrison & Hetherington Ltd, Middleton in Teesdale mart, held their Special February show and sale of store cattle with a catalogue entry of 288.

Despite the very wintery conditions, a packed ringside of buyers ensured bidding when well throughout the sale sending vendors home please.

A thank you must go to all vendors and purchasers who braved the elements in what where very challenging conditions.

The pre sale show was kindly sponsored by Minsups, I’Ansons, Eden Farm Supplies (Brough) Ltd, H & H Insurance Brokers and Phillip Holden (Rural) Ltd.

The Supreme Championship was awarded to a truly outstanding Black British Blue cross Heifer consigned by The White Family from Rigg Farm, Lunedale and was sold for £2,500 to JL White & Son, Goole

The Reserve Supreme Championship again was another outstanding British Blue cross heifer again from JC&J White, Rigg Farm and again selling to JC&L White for £2,000.

Topping the sale at £3,000 was a Limousin cross heifer from JC&J White, Rigg Farm, this time selling to Mr James Nisbet, Mauchline. Mr Nisbet also undertook the task of doing the pre sale judging and he made the following awards:-

Limousin cross Steer

1st BR Lawson & Son, Buddle House – £1240

2nd JC&J White, Rigg Farm – £1140

3rd JE&AJ Mitchell, Parrick House – £1000

British Blue cross Steer

1st JC&J White, Rigg Farm – £1150

2nd JC&J White, Rigg Farm – £1320

3rd JC&J White, Rigg Farm – £1190

Steer, any other Breed

1st I&RA Watson, West Hindon – £865

Champion Steer – JC&J White, Rigg Farm (Limousin)

Reserve Champion Steer – JC&J White, Rigg Farm (British Blue)

Limousin cross Heifer

1st JC&J White, Rigg Farm – £3000

2nd TW Hutchinson, Bail Hill – £1200

3rd JC&J White, Rigg Farm – £1400

British Blue Cross Heifer

1st JC&J White, Rigg Farm – £2500

2nd JC&J White, Rigg Farm – £2000

3rd JC&J White, Rigg Farm – £2900

Heifer, any other Breed

1st JC&J White, Rigg Farm – £2100

2nd AT&A Bainbridge, Ash Dub – £1070

3rd G Scott, Low House – £1010

Champion Heifer JC&J White, Rigg Farm (British Blue)

Reserve Champion Heifer – JC&J White, Rigg Farm (British Blue)

Supreme Champion – JC&J White, Rigg Farm (British Blue)

Reserve Supreme Champion – JC&J White, Rigg Farm (British Blue)

Leading Prices

HeifersLimousin £3000, £1400, £970 Rigg Farm; £1200 Bail Hill; £1200 Lanehead Farm; £1140 (2), £1000 New House; £1090, £1075 Parrick House; £1070 Park House Farm; £1040 (2) Low House; £1020 Strand Foot; £1000 Ash Dub; £1000 Hag Gate Farm; £995 Fair View; £990 Hayberries; £990 Birch Bush; £980 Market Place; £970 Ricknall Grange: British Blue £2900, 32500, £2000, £1500 Rigg Farm; £1120, £1000 West Hindon Farm; £1040, £1030, £1015 Parrick House; £1030, £1020, £970 Lanehead Farm; £990 Intake Farm: Blonde £2100 Rigg Farm; £1070 Ash Dub: Charolais £1010 Low House

Steer – British Blue £1320, £1190, £1160, £1150, £1120, £1060 Rigg Farm; £1150, £1000, £980 Buddle House; £1135, £1025 New House; £1080 Parrick House; £1025 Lanehead Farm: Limousin £1300, £1140, £1065, £1020, £990 Rigg Farm; £1240, £1105, £1010 Buddle House; £1155, £995 Park House Farm; £1125 Ricknall Grange; £1125, £1055, £1030, £1020, £980 New House; £1040 Strand Foot; £1030, £985 Lanehead Farm; £1010 Fair View; £1005, £980 Herdship; £1000 East Friar House; £1000 Parrick House; £990 Market Place; £980 Low House: Blonde £910, £900 Valance Lodge; £870 Friar House Farm: Charolais £865 West Hindon Farm; £870 Buddle House.

Event Remembers Victims of the Holocaust

On January 26th Durham Cathedral hosted a special memorial event in order to honour those killed by Nazis in the Second World War. The Cathedral hosted an exhibition which explored the persecution of the Jewish and Romani Holocaust, and later genocides in Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia and Darfur. As an additional tribute, buildings and businesses around Durham City turned purple as a way to show their respect for the victims of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust Memorial Day gives student representatives from schools across the county the opportunity to learn about the tragedies through a series of workshops and talks. Over 250 pupils attended the event, including Religious Studies students from King James I Academy in Bishop Auckland. Students learned about the horrors that filled the lives of so many people and heard first-hand about the experience of Ruth Barnett, who was born in Germany in1935. Ruth was one of the many children who were brought to the UK on the Kindertransport, the British rescue effort that transported thousands of Jewish refugees to safety. They also had the opportunity to learn about the often unknown stories of the Nazi persecution of Gypsy and Roma communities.

In a thought-provoking workshop, students also helped to create fabric panels, which will be stitched into a quilt for the ‘70273 Project’. Each square contains a red cross to represent the life of a person murdered by the Nazis for having a disability. At the beginning of the war forms were issued to families of people with a range of physical disabilities and conditions such as autism or Down’s syndrome. Families believed this would lead to exemption from war duties or more lenient treatment, however forms were assessed by three doctors, and if two added a red mark, therefore forming a red cross, these people were effectively given a death sentence. Thousands of adults and children were murdered as a result.

Holocaust Memorial Day is designed to coincide with the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, which was the largest Nazi Concentration Camp in Europe. As part of the event, there was also a display from the Durham Light Infantry, which explained their involvement in the eventual liberation of Bergen-Belson death camp; this included testimonies from both the liberators and the prisoners. Members of the public also visited St Nicholas Church in Durham Market Place to light a candle in memory of the victims.

Written by Megann Griffiths, Year 13 student from King James I Academy
Bishop Auckland

Bishop Auckland School Wins County Award for Sports Facilities

Following their win at local level, King James I Academy in Bishop Auckland is celebrating further victory in the Active Durham Sports Awards. At the Durham County Awards ceremony, the Academy won the award for Secondary School Contribution to Sport and Physical Activities.

The annual competition, which is run by County Durham Sport, attracted entries from a host of organisations and clubs across County Durham that deliver sport and physical activity to their local community. Local winners in various categories competed against each other for the County titles at the awards event, which was held at the Gala Theatre in Durham City. The competition is designed to recognise groups and individuals who work hard to promote good health and provide opportunities for their community to take part in sport and physical activity; the awards celebrate their efforts.

King James I Academy was commended for their extensive facilities which includes a floodlit 4G football pitch, Multi-sports indoor gym and Dance Studio, which benefit not only the students attending the Academy, but also the local community of Bishop Auckland and many of the surrounding villages who access the facilities after school hours.

Other winners from Mid-Durham and the Dales area include Hunwick Cricket Club, which took home the award for Sports Club of the Year, and Alan Lawson for Contribution to Physical Activity.

Written by Jamie-Leigh Ladd, Year 12 student from King James I Academy
Bishop Auckland

Tim Peake’s Space Shuttle Experience Goes Mobile

The exhibition of Tim Peake’s return to Earth in the Soyuz TMA-19M descent module after six months on board the International Space Station, has now left our area for York, however around 150 young people at King James I Academy have recently enjoyed a virtual reality experience thanks to a themed touring bus.
The converted double decker bus is designed to inspire young people to explore the idea of a career in science, technology or engineering. Students learned how to programme a space shuttle using iPad technology and experienced the 400km descent back to Earth in a virtual reality experience narrated by the astronaut himself. They had already visited the Tim Peake exhibition at Locomotion in Shildon, along with thousands of families in our local area and beyond.

Written by Jamie-Leigh Ladd, Year 12 student from King James I Academy,
Bishop Auckland

Britain’s finest chefs come to the North East

Two of Britain’s finest chefs are heading for the North East as Dan Doherty and Jack Stein bring their culinary talents to this year’s Bishop Auckland Food Festival, taking place from Saturday 21 to Sunday 22 April.

Dan Doherty is currently chef director at London’s prestigious Duck & Waffle restaurant, located on the 40th floor of Heron Tower – one of the country’s tallest skyscrapers – and will appear in the Cookery Theatre on Sunday, 22 April.

“I’m delighted to be joining the Bishop Auckland Food Festival and look forward to tasting what delights the region has on offer,” said Dan.

Dan was most recently announced as a judge alongside Mary Berry and Chris Bavin on the BBC’s latest cookery programme, Britain’s Best Cook, due to air in April. Dan is known for his innovative, playful and indulgent cooking style, with a number of awards and accolades under his belt as well as two cookery books.

His appearance on Sunday will follow Jack Stein’s demonstrations on Saturday, 21 April, having followed in his famous father Rick’s footsteps to head into the kitchen.

Jack is the chef director for the Stein family’s twelve restaurants and runs a ‘Cook with Jack Stein’ course at Rick Stein’s Cookery School, allowing students to cook alongside him and engage with some of his latest recipes.

He added: “I’m looking forward to meeting fellow cooking enthusiasts who share our passion for food so we can share ideas and flavours.”

The Cookery Theatre offers limited tickets at just £5 each to exclusive cookery demonstrations from the festival’s special guests including This Morning’s Phil Vickery and 2016 Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown.

Each celebrity will host two demonstrations so book now to avoid disappointment.

Visit for the full timetable of demonstrations and classes.

The festival will also see around 130 traders offering a diverse range of sumptuous food and drink, from across County Durham as well as further afield, showcasing their produce across the town’s historic market place.

From traditional foods to new and exciting ‘street foods’, every taste is catered for while some of the finest local ales, liqueurs and spirits will be on offer alongside delicious fizz and cocktails.

Whether you want to sample the street food or take back some tasty treats to enjoy later, the festival promises to be a great day out for all the family.

Hot tubs – an irresistible feature for Lodge & Park Operators in 2018

Research carried out by Outdoor Living has uncovered that park operators who install hot tubs in their accommodation have seen bookings double, customer reviews improve and repeat bookings soar.

The research surveyed 56 leading UK park and luxury lodge operators who have already taken the plunge by adding hot tubs to their accommodation. Outdoor Living who have been supplying hot tubs across Yorkshire for 15 years said the results are overwhelming.

Over 70% of holiday parks stated that bookings had doubled after adding hot tubs to accommodation. Gemma Cooling, Corporate and Development Manager at Laceby Manor Golf Club had this to say: “Our lodges don’t rent without a hot tub, it’s that simple. They provide a little bit of luxury that customers are looking for when booking a lodge break making them a must have feature!”

Additional hot tub benefits

And it’s not just an increase in occupancy. The survey also highlighted the following benefits:

  1. An increase in rental income

Many holiday park owners stated they could increase prices on accommodation that included a hot tub. Martin Newell, Managing Director at Croft Farm Waterpark in Tewkesbury had realised a 15% increase in sales and revenue from bookings with hot tubs.

  1. An increase in positive guest reviews

One holiday park owner stated since adding a hot tub to his holiday park he has seen a higher number of customer reviews averaging a score of 9/10 on Reevoo.

Holiday parks have also seen bookings from larger parties dramatically increase too. Lynne Lakin, Office Manager at Heron Lakes in East Yorkshire told us: “Adding a hot tub to accommodation definitely increase party sizes. Friends will tend to chip in together for a relaxing luxury break. This leads to more bookings in the future from retuning customers.”

With so many options these days for luxury breaks and accommodation, standing out from the crowd is vital. Isn’t it high time you considered adding hot tubs to your lodge or park resort?

Celebration of new appointments at Evensong at Durham Cathedral

A celebratory Evensong on Sunday 11 February at Durham Cathedral saw new appointments within the Diocese of Durham and at Durham Cathedral.

Simon Wood, a serving judge with lifelong links to music and volunteering in the Church of England, has been installed as a Lay Member of Chapter and an honorary Lay Canon of the Cathedral. Two existing members of Chapter; Ivor Stolliday and Cathy Barnes, have been made honorary Lay Canons.  The Chapter is the Cathedral’s governing body, chaired by the Dean of Durham, the Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett.  Its members are a combination of clergy and lay people and represent a breadth of experience.

The Reverend Rick Simpson, formerly of St Brandon’s, Brancepeth, in the Diocese of Durham, has been installed as the Archdeacon of Auckland, a senior leadership position within the Diocese of Durham. This installation follows the retirement of the Venerable Nick Barker in July last year.

In his new role, Rick Simpson is responsible for the Archdeaconry in the southern part of the Diocese. This includes Stockton and Darlington on its southern boundary, Teesdale and Weardale in the North and West, and Bishop Auckland. He will also take the lead on interim ministry in the Diocese, initially assisting the new Priest in Charge at Holy Trinity & St Cuthbert Darlington.

Commenting on his appointment, Rick said: “I am hugely excited to have been appointed Archdeacon of Auckland. Within the Church of England as a whole and also in the Diocese of Durham this is a time of real challenge, but also great opportunity. I look forward very much to joining Bishop Paul and his Leadership Team, and working alongside the members and leaders of our churches, as we try together to ensure that all we do in worship, mission and ministry celebrates and shares the love and blessing of God.”

Simon Wood, who has been installed as a Lay Member of Chapter and honorary Lay Canon during Sunday’s Evensong service, was born in North Shields and spent his formative years as a Chorister at Durham Cathedral. He went on to the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle before studying law at Newcastle University. Entering the legal profession, Simon progressed to the Bar, where over the course of an almost 40 year career he has served as a barrister and judge across the north of England and beyond. Simon was appointed as a full time Circuit Judge in 2008, and devotes the majority of his professional time to the Family Court, ruling on cases involving children in the care system.

Simon has sung in choirs ever since leaving the Chorister School, including in Newcastle Cathedral Choir and, since 1982, as a member of what is now the Chorus of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, based at the Sage Gateshead.

“My time as a chorister at Durham Cathedral was the most important formative experience of my life, leaving an indelible mark on the pattern of my life.” Simon says, “It is therefore both a privilege and a pleasure to be able to make a further contribution to the Cathedral. In my case it will be built particularly on my legal and governance experience. I look forward to joining over 750 volunteers who are so moved by this remarkable place as to want to contribute to its success as a place of prayer and worship, as the spiritual hub of the Diocese of Durham, and as a unique World Heritage site with all its historic associations.”

Ivor Stolliday and Cathy Barnes are both Lay Members of the Chapter of Durham Cathedral, contributing to its governance.  Ivor Stolliday’s other governance roles include Chair of Visit County Durham; Cathy Barnes’ professional background is in education and she has previously been Chair of the National Glass Centre, Sunderland.

 The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham says, “We welcome Simon to the Chapter of Durham Cathedral and are sure his wealth of experience and affinity with Durham and North East England will be of huge benefit to the Cathedral and the wider community.  We congratulate the Reverend Rick Simpson on his appointment as Archdeacon of Auckland.  His local knowledge and understanding of the needs of the Diocese of Durham gained as Vicar of St Brandon’s, Brancepeth, stand him in good stead as he takes on the challenges of his new role.”

The Right Reverend Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham preached at the service and officiated over the installations.  Music was sung by Durham Cathedral Choir and included John Tavener’s Collegium Regale and O Clap your hands by Orlando Gibbons.

All images courtesy of ©Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral Reveals the Name of its New Stained Glass Window

This autumn, a new stained glass window will be installed in Durham Cathedral to honour and celebrate the unique and special link between the Cathedral and its neighbour on the Durham World Heritage Site, Durham University.

‘The Illumination Window’, designed by glass artist, Mel Howse, is being donated by the parents of Sara Pilkington, who died suddenly from a cardiac-related condition in February 2012 during her final year studying Combined Arts (BA Hons) at Durham University where she was a member of Collingwood College.

Sara, who would have celebrated her 27th birthday today, has been the inspiration for the window, which will express and interpret qualities she embodied; spirituality, beauty, colour, learning and light.

Sara’s parents Jonathan and Jools Pilkington, have worked closely with Mel Howse and staff at Durham Cathedral, including the Cathedral’s Conservation Architect Chris Cotton of the firm Purcell, to develop the window design. They said, “Our wish has always been to install within the Cathedral a lasting memorial to our beautiful daughter in a place she loved so much. As human beings, we each take our own journey of learning and we hope that by expressing this acquisition of knowledge and understanding through a beautiful work of art, the Illumination Window will be something in which everyone from children and students to adults can find meaning.”

Chichester-based glass artist Mel Howse has spent the last six months working on a 24 square metre full-size artwork for the new window. The cartoon was recently revealed to the Cathedral team and to Jonathan and Jools Pilkington.  It was a thrilling moment where the detailed design was seen at its full scale for the first time, marking the transition to commencing the glass work.

Mel is a designer and maker, bringing with her 25 years of experience in creating progressive and contemporary architectural glasswork. Notable previous commissions include J Sainsbury’s facade in Milton Keynes, the Huddleston Window at Lancing College, the south elevation of Otford Methodist Church in Kent, and public art for Conran designed Friese Greene House in Hove.  Mel said “A project like this is a rare opportunity; not only is it a privilege to be creating a window that will become part of the fabric of such an iconic and much-loved building, but also it is hugely inspiring to be asked to do so to honour Sara’s memory; a young and vibrant personality.”

The Illumination Window will be installed close to the Feretory in the Cathedral’s North Quire Aisle providing a physical link to Durham University, which was founded by the Cathedral in 1832 and upon whose buildings the window looks.  Nave Canon of the Cathedral and Chair of the Durham World Heritage Site Management Committee, Rosalind Brown, said,  “The engagement with academic study and the commitment to godly learning has always been part of our Christian heritage here in Durham.  As well as overlooking the University, The Illumination Window will also look towards Jarrow which links with one of our greatest ever scholars, The Venerable Bede, whose Shrine is housed in the Cathedral.  We are hugely grateful to Jonathan and Jools for their generous gift and ongoing commitment to this project and look forward to the installation later this year of what will be a very poignant work of art and one which will bring glory to God, who is the source of all illumination, and contribute to the beauty and meaning of our magnificent Cathedral.”


Durham Cathedral to admit boys and girls as day Choristers for the first time since 1906

Durham Cathedral Choir has a long and proud tradition of excellence in music as part of the liturgy and through concerts, recordings, broadcasts and tours. Being a chorister at Durham Cathedral offers a unique opportunity for children in school years 4 to 8 to fully immerse themselves in music making at a professional level within the context of a worshipping Christian community, whilst receiving a full-time all round education at The Chorister School.

At present, all the choristers are full boarders at The Chorister School, set within the beautiful surroundings of The College on the south side of the Cathedral, within the Durham UNESCO World Heritage Site. In September 2018, Durham Cathedral will now also admit girls and boys as day choristers for the first time since 1906 – enabling them to live at home whilst being a member of the Cathedral’s acclaimed Choir.

Ian Wicks, Headmaster of The Chorister School says, “There are many benefits to choristership beyond the purely musical. Choristers work closely as a team alongside professional adult colleagues and many former choristers have gone on to be leaders in their chosen fields, from international cricketers to broadcasters and leaders in business, taking with them many qualities including time management, teamwork and problem solving. Choirs also reinforce social tolerance and inclusion, and the health and cognitive benefits of singing and learning music are well known. This unique musical experience is gained alongside an education of the highest standard at The Chorister School, rated as excellent by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.”

Daniel Cook, Master of the Choristers and Organist of Durham Cathedral says, “Durham Cathedral’s Choristers come from the North East region and from all over the UK. We take pride in being able to offer a unique and unparalleled musical education to children from near and far. Before 1906, local families were able to be part of the Cathedral Choir without boarding, and building on our aspirations to offer choristerships to all, we are now delighted to be able to complement our current team of boarding choristers by opening up this opportunity of day choristerships to families who live close enough, enabling children to sing in the Cathedral Choir whilst continuing to live at home.”

Anyone interested in exploring this new and exciting initiative is encouraged to attend one of our forthcoming Chorister Experience events. Children in school years 2 to 5 will sing alongside the Cathedral Choristers and find out about their life at Durham Cathedral and The Chorister School. The first of these events will be held on Saturday 24February. For more details, please contact Rebecca Dodd by emailing The next Chorister Auditions take place on Saturday 3 March for girls and Saturday 17 March for boys.

Daniel Cook, Master of the Choristers and Organist of Durham Cathedral, is available throughout the year to meet with prospective choristers and their families, to hold informal auditions and to give advice on the possibilities of choristership.

Durham Cathedral Choir can be heard singing every day, except Monday, during school term-time and regularly gives concerts. The Choir’s next solo concert will feature a performance of Bach’s St John Passion on Sunday 25 March at 7pm in Durham Cathedral accompanied by the Avison Ensemble.  Ahead of this, the Cathedral Choristers are taking part in the North East Festival of Youth Choirs, on Saturday 10 February, part of the Durham Vocal Festival. On Saturday 10 March, the Cathedral Choir will join forces with students from Durham University for a concert celebrating the music of Hubert Parry. Details for all these concerts and services at Durham Cathedral can be found on

Archaeology Day returns to County Hall

A popular archaeology day focusing on fascinating discoveries and research in County Durham is returning to County Hall next month.

This year’s Archaeology Day, organised and hosted by Durham County Council, will take place on Saturday, 10 March, and will include a series of talks on topics including the ongoing investigations at Auckland Castle and information around a community excavation at Piercebridge Roman fort.

The day will also discuss research on the remains of the Scottish soldiers found at Palace Green and include a talk on the Roman fleet diploma discovered near Lanchester Roman fort last year.

There will also be a range of displays and bookstalls in the Durham Room.

David Mason, principal archaeologist at Durham County Council, said: “Archaeology Day has always been a popular event because it gives people the chance to find out more about what has been going on in our region in the previous year in archaeology.

“There is so much fascinating history to see and discover here in Durham and we would urge anyone interested in the event to buy tickets as soon as they are on sale as we know they will sell out quickly.”

The day runs from 9.50am to 4.20pm, with tickets priced at £16 per person or £12 for students, including a buffet lunch and refreshments.

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Monday, 19 February and can be bought by visiting and choosing Archaeology Day from the services listed.

Alternatively call 03000 266 000 to book a place and pay over the phone.