9 November 2016
Attended the Showman’s guild lunch at Ramside Hall, Durham, we were entertained by the guild for showmen in the Northern area hosted by President John Laytham. I was on the table with other dignitaries, I was able to network with people from the haulage business extoling the virtues of Stockton and was able to make a few contacts.
Attended straight afterwards Durham University Business School, for the So Much More event. This event was designed to bring together political, business, cultural and community leaders to celebrate joint achievements of Durham University. We had a talk from Professor Stuart Corbridge, Durham Chief Executive Terry Collins, James Ramesbotham and Barbara Gubbins. The talk included how much money they earn for the economy, how many people they employ, how many students and the fact that they are ranked the 4th best college in the UK behind, Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews. This was a fascinating insight as to how the university integrate with society, their aims and ambitions and how much they add to the area.
10 November 2016
Attended the celebration of the anniversary of 800 years of Mayoralty in Newcastle, we attended the Mansion house for afternoon tea and a raffle in aid of the Mayors charity. As you can guess still no win! It was a nice afternoon and I thank the Mayor for her hospitality.
11 November 2016
Attended the remembrance service held at Grangefield School, Stockton, I would like to thank Jo Taylor and the Principle Nikki Gibb for inviting me once again to this school. I got a nice warm reception and we began the service in the main hall. The children commenced the service with songs, and then children took it in turns giving readings from the First World War, every one of which was poignant to the occasion. We sang some songs with the laying of wreaths within the hall.
I was highly delighted when I received this invitation because it shows that with events like this being held in a school that WE WILL NEVER FORGET and the mistakes and the tragedy of not only the First World War, can serve as a warning of what war means to everyone, not just those who have fought or lost their lives but the impact the lives of others. Thank you for a very positive experience.
I attended the Garden of Remembrance at the Parish Church Stockton, again I was delighted by the amount of people who had attended and the young children that were present from the various school from our area. It was a cold day but everyone present were focused on the ceremony rather than about being cold, again the children played their part with orating some poetry and readings about World War 1. The designated area was full of crosses previously laid by the children in commemoration of each soldier who had lost their life from the Stockton areas. Another event that I was proud to be part of, and hope to be involved with for many years to come. Thank you to everyone involved in organising the event and to the children who braved the cold.
Attended the Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation 20th Anniversary Dinner held at the Riverside, hosted by the chairman Ray Mallon. It paid tribute to the foresight of club owner Steve Gibson OBE to set up a foundation, with its ambition to raise the aspirations of the entire area. It is because of the dedication of its board of trustees and enthusiasm and passion of its staff, with the backing of the generous support of a network of public and corporate supporters, also with the backing of the club that has made this foundation such a success today. A great evening with some special awards being given out, and I got to meet a Boro great as far as I’m concerned, Alan Peacock (what a gentleman). I also met a few business men and was able to show Stockton is on the up and up.
12 November 2016
Attended Teesside Park to open the relocated River Island premise. Although it has only moved about 100 yards from its original site it is a much bigger ground area allowing the company to expand and reach their true potential. I met the manager Trish Biswas who along with her staff were totally excited by this new challenge, I have to admit the store is very bright and gives a light and spacious feel. I opened the shop and returned later that day in a personal capacity because the Mayoress wanted to go shopping, the store was absolutely packed out with shoppers which if that is an indication of what is to come they are defiantly on a winner, oh yes it did cost me money! (please see attached picture of myself, Mayoress and excited staff on the opening. )
Attended the Sage Gateshead, to watch the Cleveland Philharmonic Choir perform Verdi requiem, I have to admit this is the first time I have attended any type of opera so was filled with some trepidation. I don’t know what I was really expecting but I was won over what a great experience. The choir and orchestra (The Mowbray Orchestra ) were led by director of the Cleveland Philharmonic Choir by John Forsyth FRSA,MBE. They were accompanied by Linda Richardson,
(soprano), Amanda Floyd (mezzo-soprano), David Butt Philip (tenor), and Philip Smith (baritone), what voices no wonder they were given several encores, which were thoroughly deserved. I really enjoyed the night and experience.
13 November 2016
Attended Stockton Parish Church for the Remembrance Day parade, we held a service in the church itself then outside at the cenotaph where the service resumed. Leading the service was Reverend David Brooke with readings from the Mayors Chaplin Clay Roundtree, CEO Neil Schneider and I. Wreaths were laid by dignitaries and other members of Armed Forces as well as Police and Fire service, and retired servicemen’s associations then anyone who wanted to commemorate this occasion. We then presided over the march past which was done with utmost professionalism , a poignant day for me as I reflected on the service of my late father and mother along with the death of my grandfather in the battle of the Somme on 1st August 1916, LEST WE FORGET!