Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Week Commencing 28 August 2017

Friday 1 September 2017

Attended the Ceremony to Fly the Red Ensign for the Merchant Navy at the Civic Suite, Civic Centre, Burdon Road, Sunderland


Mayor of Sunderland Doris Macknight presenting the Merchant Navy Red Ensign

Attended the Flag raising ceremony to Fly the Red Ensign for the Merchant Navy at the Sunderland City Council, Civic Centre, Burdon Road, Sunderland.

We met up with the Mayor of Sunderland Doris Macknight and other principal guests, Deputy Lieutenant Colonel Varn Jassal, TD, DL and Captain Steve Healy of Trinity House. Doris thanked us for attending this prestigious event and gave us a brief description of the occasion.

The men, women and ships of the United Kingdom’s Merchant Navy served our country heroically during many conflicts. The fleet has a long and illustrious history that has seen it play a vital role in our country’s commercial interests, proudly flying the Red Ensign across the oceans of the world. In peace-time and throughout dangerous conflicts, the Merchant Navy has worked tirelessly and bravely to help keep our economy buoyant, providing employment on land and sea.

It was time to celebrate the role of a fleet whose men and women braved perilous journeys across the Atlantic and Arctic oceans during the World Wars, and whose ships sail the globe today bearing our colours.

What better way to do it than by flying the flag!


Preparations in readiness to fly the Red Ensign for Merchant Navy Day.


Flags were the principal means of communication at sea for centuries, and to celebrate Merchant Navy Day on this day 1 September 2017 a message was read out from HRH the Earl of Wessex KG, GCVO followed by the raising of the Red Ensign, at 10.00am prompt.

 After the ceremony a welcoming hot brew was in order as it was getting a bit chilly, it was a pleasurable experienced by all who attended and well-deserved thanks was given to the host for a superb day. 


Saturday 2 September 2017

Attended the Peterlee’s Town Council Show 2017, at Helford Road Playing Fields, Peterlee


With Mayor of Peterlee Wendy Jeffrey and other Civics at the opening of the Peterlee Town Council Show.

We were warmly welcomed by the Mayor Wendy Jeffrey to the Peterlee Show which was held at Helford Road, Peterlee. She gave us a tour of the main Stage area and then officially opened the show.

During the day we were entertained from the Main Stage by the Peterlee GT Brass Band, Urban Garage Dance Group, Anita Harris School of Dance and the Greenhaff Dance School with GDS Gems who gave outstanding performances throughout and it was a pleasure to note a thoroughly enjoyable day had by all.  The show also provide a mixed bag of activities, such as Nobles Fun Fair, play area for children, Steve’s Animal Arc, classic cars, trade exhibitors, the Army, food and craft fair, voluntary organisations and many others.

The Horticultural Show was held in the Pavilion and the public could view the fantastic selection of flowers and vegetables that were on display, and an auction for the produce was to be held the next day on the Sunday, with some good bargains to be had. There were 22 different varieties of vegetable classes such as leeks, onions, parsnip, carrots, potatoes, beetroot, tomatoes, runner beans cucumber, cauliflower, cabbage, and rhubarb, and 13 different flower classes such as dahlias, chrysanthemums, gladioli, carnations, pinks and others that were judged with first, second, third and fourth prizes on offer. All classes were free on entry with some generous rewards to be had, depending on quality during judging.


Mayor Wendy Jeffrey opening proceedings with the Peterlee Brass Band



It was good fun to be hurled about and drift out into space


Horticultural Open Show produce on display ready for auctioning



A prize every time at the bran tub, with the Mayoress dipping to charity.


We thanked Wendy the Mayor of Peterlee for a most enjoyable day and contributed to her well-deserved charities.


Attended the Dragon Boat Race Prize Presentation at River Tees Watersport Centre, The Slipway, Stockton on Tees


Limbering up in readiness for the adventure.

Attended the Stockton Dragon Boat Festival at the River Tees Watersports Centre, at the Slipway, North Shore Stockton. We thanked the promotions team for the invitation to another superb Stockton Watersport Event which has been a very exciting and a thrilling occasion.

A few years ago when we lived in Singapore and for 10 years we followed the International Dragon Boat races on the open shore line, experiencing the exertions of rowers driving their boats through crashing waves was a fantastic sight to see. During that period we got to know a little bit of its history. The Dragon Boat Races are traditionally held annually during the Chinese Duanwu festival, with its ancient origin being traced back some 2000 years. They were held to avert misfortune and encourage the rains needed for prosperity. Not that we need any encouragement for rain in our area, but there are many more versions of its roots and folklore origins to explore.


Hard fought races with tight results


SBC Employees crew (Stockton Slayers) looking ready for the challenge


The winner by a short dragons head


The winning crew – Lucite ‘Yu Sho’ from Lucite International


Presentation to Jade Mulhearn, Sports Development Officer, for an excellent performance by our SBC - Stockton Slayers crew, who came second in the final


The final was a tight squeeze to the finish, all boats with excellent times


The winning crew, presentation to the Captain

Traditionally the boats were made in China out of teak and one of the sources of the wood came from Pontianak a place in Indonesia where whilst working there I purchased similar materials for construction purposes in Bontang in the Kalimantan province of Borneo, a very durable hard wood of excellent quality, suitable for the hardships of Dragon Boat Races.

It was pleasing to note that most of the teams competing against one another were raising funds for their nominated charities and we therefore congratulate and thank them all for offering their services to worthwhile causes, it is fantastic what they have done in making lives a lot easier for those in need.

Special thanks go to SBC - Stockton Slayers for taking part in the Dragon Boat Race who raised funds for our three nominated charities Cleveland Alzheimer’s Residential Care Ltd, Motor Neurone Disease Association and Meningitis Now. It was a great event and we were extremely proud to see the team racing for our charities and coming second out of all the teams that entered. It was obvious each member of the Stockton Slayers put a lot of effort into the races, and I hope that they enjoyed it as much as we did. To note, I believe they recorded some of the fastest times of all the boats that entered, so once again thank you all for your support.

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