Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Week Commencing 2 October 2017

Monday 2 October 2017

Attended the Durham University Welcome Induction at the Arc, Dovecot Street, Stockton

Attended the Durham University welcome introduction of incoming students of the John Snow College Campus at the ARC in Stockton.

It was a privilege to be invited and to see so many new undergraduates and graduates taking up their studies in this wonderful setting in Teesside. We were greeted by Professor Carolyn Summerbell, Principal of John Snow College, who introduced us to the Vice Principal, Janet Dixon-Dawson and other members of the college staff.

After the ceremony we were introduced to some of the students taking up their higher education studies and were impressed by their eagerness and excitement for knowledge and studying in the Stockton area.

We wished them well in their future commitments.


Attended a charity event in aid of the Bangladesh Floods, at Jolsha, 7 Harland Place, in Norton, Stockton on Tees

It was with pleasure that we attended Jolsha Bangladesh Floods Fund Raising Event at the Jolsha, 7 Harland Place in Norton.


Opening Jolsha – With Shamim Ahmed and family

The evenings event was laid on for enjoyment and in aid of Bangladesh floods appeal. As you may be aware, millions have been affected by the devastating floods in South Asia and it is thought that Bangladesh has been the most severely hit, with more than a third of the country being submerged.

All workers are struggling to cope with a shortage of crucial food and medical supplies needed to protect against the risk of disease, therefore all proceeds from the evenings event will go direct to Plan International to help with such supplies.

One of the joys of being a Mayor of this Borough is seeing so much of the voluntary and charity work that is carried out by people in our community. It is the dedication of those people, like Ahmed and his team at Jolsha, that make a difference to people’s lives and show the world that Stockton cares.

The food for the evening was prepared by a celebrity chef, Atik Rahman, and the entertainment was provided by some fabulous live music by ‘Mosaic’.

Mosaic are an experienced acoustic duo that performs a wide range of contemporary covers to suit all tastes, with an individual acoustic twist. They can be contacted for wedding, social evenings, fund raising events and celebrations such as weddings, birthdays, engagements garden parties as well as a lot more on Tel 07950221536. Or, they were terrific.

We wish all the staff at Jolsha the best for the future and in their excellent charity appeal for the welfare of Bangladesh citizens.


Live entertainment – Mosaic


Tuesday 3 October 2017

Attended the opening of GUIDON Group at Gloucester House in Stockton


With Kathryn Barnes and Tony McNally

At the request of Jennifer Donaldson Business and Enterprise Officer, it was a pleasure to open Guidon Group a new venture of 2 accountants coming together forming a business in Gloucester House.

We proposed a toast to Guidon to celebrate the launch of their new business venture, and thanked everyone, especially Gloucester House residents, Guidon Group clients and potential clients, coming to the open day marking the launch of the new accounting solutions business The Guidon Group.

Guidon Group was formed when Kathryn Barnes, a bookkeeper and Tony McNally, an accountant, saw a gap in the market and decided to pool their skills and expertise to provide a wider range of services to help local businesses grow by providing advice, guidance and compliance with their finances.

Guidon chose Stockton as their base because it is a thriving hub of activity for businesses with lots of exciting new plans and improvements taking place. They also chose Gloucester House because not only is it a building of significant architectural interest but is an amazing development now housing some fantastic local businesses.


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Partners – Kathryn and Tony     Guidon - Staff Members

We wished Guidon, Kathryn and Tony, well in their new venture and for their future developments and businesses.


Thursday 5 October 2017

Attended the Mayor of Seaham’s Charity Night at Martina’s, North Railway Street, Seaham


Mayor of Seaham – Sonia Forster having a joke with David Ball

On behalf of the Mayor of Seaham Sonia Forster, we were invited to her charity night in aid of the Mayors Charity Fund at Martino’s, North Railway Street in Seaham. The evening featured entertainment by David Ball, a Michael Buble’ tribute singer and included an Italian style refreshments.



Sonia having fun sharing a joke with the Mayoress of Hetton

The evening fare was excellent whilst the singer played many a Buble’ tune with clarity and with superb vocals, I almost thought he was the man himself. Raffle prizes were prolific and was certain to create a good reward for the Mayors charity fund.

 At the end of the evening we thanked Sonia for a great event and wished her well in her charity appeal.


Friday 6 October 2017

Attended the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham Lieutenancy Dinner, at Ramside Hall, Carville, Durham

An annual gathering of the Lord Lieutenant Sue Snowdon and the deputies who carry out their duties throughout the Durham area. The evening was held at Ramside Hall a fitting venue for the event with many V.I.P.’s and civic guests from the county in attendance

The Lord Lieutenant Sue Snowdon gave a very positive and encouraging speech on the growth and achievements of the towns in the County of Durham and what they have accomplished during the year, leaving everybody with a positive attitude for the future.

The evening was complete with a superb dinner and excellent entertainment throughout. We thanked Sue Snowdon for the wonderful evening and the encouraging thoughts about our local areas.


Saturday 7 October 2017

Attended the Re-opening of Toby Carvery at Wolviston, Billingham


With chef and management team at the opening of the Toby Carvery in Wolviston

At the request of Nicola Mitchel we were warmly welcomed at the reopening of the Toby Carvery in Wolviston near Stockton.

It was a pleasure to open this venue as it gave us the insight into the new lavish interior with its excellent décor and cosy styled seating arrangements.

Visitors to the carvery said that the improvements to the place had made a great deal of difference to the establishment, catering for all people young and old and were delighted with the service they received during their stay, and the food was excellent.

We sampled some of the food on offer and can say that the beef was of excellent quality, for me it was just right.

We thanked Nicola and the head chef for taking care of us and wished them the best for the future, the carvery and the people who work there. Nicola remarked that we would be welcomed any time we were passing. 


With Serving staff


Sunday 8 October 2017

Mayoress hosted the At Home event at Preston Hall, in Yarm Road Preston, Stockton

After many months of preparation by our Democratic Service team, Laraine was delighted to invite over 90 people to her Mayoress at Home Event  in Preston Hall, Stockton.

The guests ranged from Mayors, Mayoresses, Consorts, & Chairmen from Colburn, Durham, Hartlepool, Hetton, Gateshead, North Yorkshire, Redcar & Cleveland, Rydale, Seaham, Selby, and Shildon, Parish Councillors from Eaglescliffe and Ingleby Barwick, Honarary Aldermen, Stockton Borough Councillors, Charity groups from Cleveland Alzheimers Residential Centre, Meningitis Now, Motor Neurones Disease Association, family and friends including a number from the Golden Zumba group. We also had the pleasure of the company of the High Sheriff of County Durham Caroline Peacock and her husband Jonathan Peacock.

Not having done anything like this before, Laraine was a little nervous with such a large audience. She welcomed everyone to the Mayoress at Home event at the unique and wonderful Preston Park Museum and Grounds, but maybe it was me who was nervous for her as she performed her duties with grace and style, a natural.


With the Mayoress at her event - Preston Hall

In her welcoming address Laraine, for  those that had not been to Preston Hall before, gave an account of the Hall’s history. Preston Hall was built in 1825 by David Burton Fowler, and was once owned by Sir Robert Ropner, who was Mayor of Stockton in 1893 and served as High Sheriff of Durham in 1896. He was knighted for the services for shipping in 1902, and represented the constituency of Stockton on Tees as MP in the House of Commons. In 2012 the museum re-opened after a large scale renovation and reinforced its reputation as one of Stockton’s major cultural attractions.

During the afternoon there were tours of the hall, and guides were able to give more information about the Hall’s history and the fabulous collections in the houses.


With the Stockton Synthonia Male Voice Choir

We were entertained by two choirs during the afternoon, those being Page 2 Stage and Stockton Synthonia Male Voice Choir who performed before and after the tours of the Hall. At the end of the day there was also a delicious afternoon tea to enjoy by all.

One of the surprise guests of the afternoon was an appearance by Lady Ropner deftly played by one of the Museums volunteers, just to give a little authenticity to the event.


With the Zumba ladies of Greys Road Hall, Stockton



With other Mayors and Mayoresses from the North East

undefined Mayoress with Page 2 Stage Choir

Laraine continued to press home her conviction in helping the following nominated charities.

Our first charity is Cleveland Alzheimer’s Residential Care which runs three centres  - Kirkdale Care Home, Allison House and an Outreach Day Centre.

Our second charity is Meningitis Now, the only charity that is dedicated to fighting Meningitis in the UK.

Our third charity is Motor neurones Disease Association; it kills six people per day in the UK. But we want to help the charity raise awareness of MND and to help those living with the disease to receive the right care at the right place at the right time.

As part of the event there were raffles and tombola, the proceeds of which will go towards our three main charities. It was a fantastic day and the many that came praised the professional way the event was conducted and the afternoon tea and entertainment was first class and enjoyed by all. The High Sheriff of County Durham, Caroline Peacock, was suitably impressed by the excellent high standard portrayed.

Laraine in her parting speech thanked everyone who came to this excellent event and who contributed to the charity appeal. Also she thanked those from Democratic Services, the Management Team and the Catering ladies of Preston Hall for their hard work, dedication and the wonderful way it was organised, to create a fantastic afternoon.   A very pleasurable experience.