Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Week Commencing 9 October 2017

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Attended the Alright Teesside event at the ARC, in Dovecote Street Stockton on Tees


With Jill Conway and Dan Shaw at the Mind event at the ARC

It was a pleasure to attend the Alright Mind Event at the ARC in Stockton, to welcome everyone who attended and thank them for turning up to this most important venue. It was nice to see so many people interested in raising awareness to mental health and also great to see how so much support there is from across Teesside to make the event happen.


Mental Health Service Team


As part of Stockton Council, we are committed to supporting mental health and see the value in collaboration across Tees Valley. I just hope the event has helped broaden the understanding of the type of issues faced by people with mental health problems and will enable everyone to share that understanding and to respond positively when they meet people who are struggling.

The Aright Team wanted to show the region the wealth of support on offer within our communities and how they can be so much more fun than just ‘Alright’. Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind Anti-Stigma group showed a short film on Mental Health issues which gave a greater understanding of what people are faced with today.

Throughout the day the event hosted a range of fun activities including organisational stalls, wellbeing workshops and live entertainment by the new upcoming band ‘Twister’. The organisational stalls in the ARC Foyer’s included: Pioneering Care Partnership, Dietwise, Saltburn Wellbeing Centre, Catalyst, Voices for choices, A Way Out, Arch North East, Creative Support, Alzheimer’s Society, The Road Ahead, Recovery Connections and many others of note.

We were impressed by the set-up of the organisations and the tremendous amount of work that everyone connected with the event had contributed to make it a success and a progressive cause for mental health awareness.

At the end of the evening raffle tickets were drawn in support of local charities and we then congratulated the organisers for putting on this this very important informative event. 


‘Twister’ an upcoming band


Wednesday 11 October 2017

Hosted the Monthly Citizenship at the Town Hall in Stockton


The ceremony was conducted at the Town Hall, Stockton

This month there were 14 guests out of which 6 took part in the ceremony and swore the oath of allegiance to our queen and Country and became British Citizens.

The 6 delegates came from 4 different countries such as;




South Korea.


Thursday 12 October 2017

Attended Private Earnest Taylor Commemorate Service at St Peter’s Church in Yarm Road, Stockton 


St Peters Church in Yarm Road, Stockton


At the request of very good friends of ours we attended the Remembrance Service in Memory of Earnest Taylor killed in action at Passchendaele on 12.10.1917, which took place at St Peters Church in Yarm Road, Stockton on Tees.

Earnest is commemorated on a plaque in St Peter’s Church and this day was exactly 100 years since Earnest was killed.

On the 31 July 2017 marked the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Passchendaele, one of the bloodiest chapters of the First Word War. By the end of it there were more than 495.000 casualties, 90.000 bodies were never identified and 42.000 were never recovered.

One casualty was Private Earnest Taylor from Stockton, who was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. Having enlisted in 1914, Earnest saw three years active service before his death on 12th October 2017, his body was never recovered. Earnest is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium. The order of service was as follows;

Introduction and opening prayers by the Rev Suva Catford, followed by the Bible reading Mica 3 v 1 – 5 by Albert Roxborough. Ken Oliver gave Eulogy and the Poem – ‘In Flanders Fields’

Betsy and Dylan, great great grandchildren laid wreaths at the base of the commemorative plaque, after which there was a minute’s silence. This was followed by Remembrance – ‘They shall not grow old’ and the Lord’s Prayer. The Dismissal was completed with final prayers. 


Family members at the service in St Peters Church



With Betsy, Dylan and Malcolm -  noting Earnest’s name on the commemorative plaque in St Peters Church

Earnest is also mentioned in the September/October edition of ‘Over the Top’ and also in a booklet entitled ‘Lest We Forget’ compiled by Albert Roxborough.


Thursday 12 October 2017

Attended the Bob Dylan Experience – Bringing it all back home to Stockton at the ARC Theatre, Dovecote Street, Stockton


Bob Dylan Exhibition on the ARC’S second floor


Attended the opening of the Bob Dylan exhibition at the ARC – ‘Bringing it all back Home’ a Bob Dylan experience opening launch, celebration of his music and art in Stockton.

To say the least we were ecstatic, spending an evening at our Arts centre in Stockton, the home of some of Bob Dylan’s, inspiration to celebrate the opening of a very special exhibition and event, for me, one of our greatest folk heroes,

Stockton Borough Council working in partnership with Arc felt privileged to be housing a unique event that celebrates the many talents of Bob Dylan. ‘Bring it all Back Home’ to Stockton celebrates the iconic genius of Nobel Peace Prize winner Bob Dylan as an artist, musician and song writer.

Robert Allen Zimmerman, known professionally as Bob Dylan was born in Duluth Minnesota US has been influential in popular music and culture for over five decades. Most of his celebrated work dates from the 1960’s when he became a ‘voice of the generation with songs like ‘Blowing in the Wind’ and ‘The Times They Are a Changing’ which became anthems for the civil rights movement and anti-war movement.

His recording career, spanning more than 50 years, has explored the traditions in American song from folk, blues, country, gospel and rock and roll including English, Irish and Scottish folk music. As a musician, Dylan has sold more than 100 million records, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.

In 2016 Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for having created new political expressions within the great American song tradition.


Some of Dylan’s albums on display


For my speech I gave a monologue/montage of Dylan songs: The other day I had a weird sensation, thought I was in’ Bob Dylan’s Dream’. I was ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ feeling ‘Only a pawn in the Game’, since I had ‘One too many Mornings’ after the night before, giving ‘Restless Farewells’. I was wearing ‘Boots of Spanish Leather’ at the time waiting for ‘When the Ship comes In’. But we all know we have ‘God on our Side’ so I ‘Didn’t think twice, it was alright’. I started ‘Blowing in the Wind, whistling Zimmerman tunes, ‘Cos the Times they are a Changing’. 


Mike Peters sharing his treasured memories.

The inspiration for the event came from a conversation Mike Peters a Stockton born Dylan enthusiast and art collector had in a pub; which grew into a three day Bob Dylan Experience. I am led to believe that Mike has been listening to his music ever since before he can remember. His collection of prints started with Train Track which was a present from his wife Mary on their 10th wedding anniversary, and has grown gradually over the last 10 years. The artwork showed ‘Another Side of Bob Dylan’



The Chief Exec is a Dylan Fan as well. With Mike and his wife Mary



In deep discussion about Dylan’s work.

I thanked all the people and organisations who worked together to make the event possible, including ARC, Stockton Borough Council Events Team, Artistic Solutions, Mike McGrother, and all the musicians who were busy preparing for the many performances not to be missed later on during the three day event. To me it was a dream of a lifetime.


Friday 13 October 2017

Attended the funeral of Bob Harbron at St Joseph’s Church in Norton


St Joseph’s Church – Norton

I attended the funeral of Mr Robert Harbron at St Joseph’s Church in Norton. Mr Robert Harbron known simply as Bob, was a local historian, but he was not just a local historian, he was also Norton and Stockton’s most passionate and knowledgeable supporter of their heritage. Bob was a founder and contributor to the Norton Heritage organisation, and over the years has provided Stockton Library Service with a complete set of their books with countless updates.

He will be greatly missed by everyone.


Friday 13th October 2017

Attended the Celebrating Excellence Awards Ceremony at Durham University. Queens Campus in Holiday Buildings, Stockton on Tees



With student and her mum – Awarded the Mayor of Stockton Community Placement Prize

It was with great pleasure that we attend the Awards Ceremony at Queens Campus University Boulevard in Stockton. At the ‘Celebrating Excellence’ Evening Ceremony, in the Holiday Building, several prizes were made to students of the Durham University’s Phase 1 Medical year, for outstanding work and contribution to the Medicine Programme.

It was a great honour for me to award one of the prizes, that being the Mayor of Stockton Community Placement Prize, which is awarded to the Student in Stage 2 of the programme who is judged to have written the best report of their Community Placement, a unique feature of the Phase 1 Medicine programme at Durham.

Students undertake their Community Placements with a range of charitable and third sector organisations in Teesside and we are assured that they do a wonderful job.


 Professor Simon Forrest presenting awards to students


Professor Daniel Mclaughlin praising students for the excellent work achieved.


It is without doubt the achievements of the students are a tribute to the internal, external and professional support staff for them to attain the high standards of excellence during their studies. We wish them all well for the future.


Saturday 14 October 2017

Attended the Bob Dylan Experience at the ARC Theatre, Dovcote Street Stockton


Bob Dylan 60's image backdrop of the ARC stage



Sharing Dylan’s work with the audience



Protest songs



Mike McGrother with  Invictus Choir singing Blowing in the Wind.

As a big fan of Bob Dylan, I attended the Bob Dylan Experience – ‘Still Blowing in the Wind’; an evening of Bob Dylan and Protest Songs in a personal capacity.

This was a special homage to Dylan, Stockton’s musical spokesman Mike McGrother joined members of the Wildcats of Kilkenny and Matt Wilde who interpreted some of the Dylan’s greatest tracks and other iconic 1960’s protest songs. It was a fabulous evening paying tribute to the master of folk/blues/rock etc., hoping a similar venue could be created in the future for those that are fans of Bob Dylan.

I must pay tribute to all the organisers and musicians, who must have spent many an hour assembling and organising this event, for we were greatly impressed like many who attended the venue, for a most enjoyable and exhilarating performance, one which will last with us for a very long time.