Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Week Commencing 11 September 2017

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Attended the Gateshead Mayoress at Home event at Saltwell Towers, Saltwell Park, Gateshead


Miss Shona Dillon Mayoress of Gateshead welcoming everyone to the event 

On Behalf of the Mayor and Mayoress of Gateshead, Councillor Pauline Dillon and Miss Shona Dillon, we were invited to the Mayoress at Home, The Mad Hatters Tea Party, held at Saltwell Towers in Saltwell Park, Gateshead.

With other civic guests throughout the region we enjoyed a great day out in support of Pauline and Shona’s charities, an event based on Alice in Wonderland -  Mad Hatters Tea Party, a novel theme which most people turned up in topical costumes.


With the queen and knave of hearts, trying to find our way out of the Maze

The Mayor and Mayoress of Gateshead are committed to supporting the work of their charities such as;

Young Women’s Outreach Project and the North East Young Lads & Dad’s Project, both of which are based in Gladstone Terrace, Gateshead. Working with young men and women in Gateshead aged between 11 to 24 years, they provide support and guidance through crisis in their lives, developing positive relationships, and skills such as parenting, health/wellbeing, employment and education along with coping mechanisms and strategies.

Teenage Cancer Trust – Every day seven young people between the ages of 13 to 24 are diagnosed with cancer. This is the only UK’s charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for young people within the North East & Cumbria regions.

The Freeman Hospital Transplant Unit – Where they have a longstanding tradition of acting proactively to meet the ever changing health needs of people of the North East and beyond. The highly specialist field of transplantation is no exception in this regard.


Saltwell Towers 

The theme of the afternoon was the Mad Hatters Tea Party and many of the guests dressed for the occasion in various guises of Alice in Wonderland. After afternoon tea we were invited to explore the Saltwell Park and the Maze and fortunately nobody got lost!  An enjoyable afternoon whilst raising money for the Mayoress’s charities. The Mayoress thanked everyone who turned up for the occasion in support of the charities.

For those who don’t know about Saltwell Park, it is well worth a visit.  

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Hosted the International Citizenship Ceremony, at the Town Hall, Stockton

The ceremony was conducted with the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Maura Regan in attendance.

This month there were 20 guests out of which 16 delegates took part in the ceremony and swore the oath of allegiance to our Queen and country and became British Citizens.

The 16 delegates came from 8 different countries such as:






South Africa

United States of America 

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Attended the International Study Centre Induction, at the Town Hall, High Street, Stockton


Welcoming Durham University International Study Group Students in the Town Hall 

Durham University International Study Centres first student have arrived in Stockton-on-Tees to start their studies.

We welcomed the first arrivals of students, which we had been looking forward to meeting them on this day. Stockton Borough Council has been working with Durham University and partners to organise a range of welcome tours and activities. From shops, eateries and events in Stockton town centre to thrill seeking adventures at the Air Trail Tees Barrage, plus Yarm’s historic High Street and Preston Park Museum and Grounds, the students were given the opportunity to visit the landmarks and find out more about the Borough’s amenities, heritage and culture.

We believe the Borough is a great place to study and live and the tours have given the students a flavour of where they can shop, eat and have fun whilst studying. There has been a great response from the business sector, who were delighted to welcome them during the tours.

From our perspective, in our welcoming speech, we hoped that they enjoyed their visit to the Town Hall as part of their induction week and enjoy their time here in Stockton during their study duration. 


Wednesday 13 September 2017.

Attended the Civic Dinner for Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies , at Preston Hall, Eaglescliffe.


Dinner in honour of representatives from both the Fujifilm Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation.


We were pleased to attended and host the Civic dinner for Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies at Preston Hall in Eaglescliffe. The dinner was held in honour of representatives from Fujifilm Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation who were visiting the Borough from Japan.

We welcomed our guests to the historic Preston Hall, one of Stockton’s oldest and most celebrated buildings, enjoyed by over 160,000 visitors each year. The house was built in 1825 and it has been a museum since 1953 – but its history goes go back many hundreds of years.

To give a flavour of past heritage we gave an escorted tour and took a walk down the Victorian Street and emerged into the world of 1895, showing many artifacts which tell the story of our Borough.


Saying our farewells to Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies management and wished them well for the future.

Fujifilm  Diosynth Biotechnologies which is one of the Boroughs major employees, is holding its main board meeting in the area as it continues to invest in its Billingham site as well as Wilton.

During the dinner Paul Found, the Chief Operating Officer of Billingham – Fujifilm, Diosynth biotechnologies thanked us for the opportunity to welcome Fujifilm and Mitsubishi representatives to the table and to the continued success of the business arrangements between Fujifilm and Stockton which promises an exciting future.

After the evening dinner we wished our visitors well of their visit to Stockton and thanked them all for joining us on the evening.



Thursday 14 September 2017

Attended the Mayor of South Tyneside Charity Cruise on the Tyne at South Shields Ferry Landing


Mayor Councillor Olive Punchion welcoming guests to the River Cruise

We attended the River Tyne Cruise, invited by Olive Punchion the Mayor of South Tyneside to raise as much money as possible for her charities, CLIC Sargent Children Cancer and The British Heart Foundation.

The cruise up the Tyne showed it at its best after dark, were everything was lit up along the riverside with all its bridges and activities on its embankments right up to Newcastle centre, including the Sage at Gateshead and the famous Tyne Bridge. During the cruise a Northern Band played throughout with some excellent versions from the Lindisfarne and Dire Straits era.

It was a bit of a nostalgic trip for me, as we past what was Wallsend Slipway in the days when I was Project Engineer with Howard Doris, in the development of the old Slipway into an Offshore Construction Yard. It was good to see that the development had paid off as the owners were constructing Jackets for the offshore fields.


Mayors of Seaham, Hetton and Hartlepool enjoying the cruise


Small fishing craft along the Tyne


Offshore Construction Yard which was once Wallsend Slipway, ship repair dock


Building Jackets for the offshore fields


And the band played Fog on the Tyne



Bridges at Gateshead illuminated with all its splendour

We thanked Olive for this pleasurable journey as it was well supported with enjoyable company, good music and excellent fare, but most of all in dedication to the support of her charities. 

Friday 15 September 2017

Attended the 2nd International Study Centre Induction, at the Town Hall, High Street Stockton


2nd contingent of Durham University International Study Centre Students at the Town Hall 

We welcomed the 2nd contingent of Durham University International Study Centre Students to the Town Hall in Stockton.

It was a pleasure to meet and greet these students from many parts of the world, they were very friendly, polite and were looking forward to student life, living in the Stockton area and looking forward to seeing more of the surrounding locality.

Professor Antony Long Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost, Durham University, said the opening of the Durham University International Study Centre is a key moment in their development. They are proud of what the ICS will offer, proud of their investment in Stockton on Tees and are pleased to welcome the first cohort of students.

The International Study Centre, which is based at the University’s Queens Campus, will prepare the non-EU students for entry onto Durham University undergraduate programmes. Again we hoped that they enjoyed their visit to the Town Hall and the High Street, wishing them well on their journey through university life and hope they embrace Stockton’s emerging cultural and social activities during their time here. 

Saturday 16 September 2017

Attended the Mayor of Shildon’s Charity Event at Locomotion, National Railway Museum, Shildon


Learning more about Shildon Railway Museum and the great train the Flying Scotsman 

It was a pleasure to be invited by the Mayor of Shildon Councillor Shirley Quinn to the annual Autumn Steam Gala at the Locomotion, National Railway Museum in Shildon. This to celebrate the arrival of one of the world’s most famous steam engines the Flying Scotsman locomotion.


The great train itself – Flying Scotsman


Full steam ahead – The Furness 20 Railway


Class 4-6-0 engine                                      


Sans Pareil, 1829


The driver                                                  


Wheels as big as yerself


Mayor of Barnard Castle with grandson enjoying the pull of the Flying Scotsman 

Saturday 16 September 2017

Attended the Mayor of Seaham’s Charity Evening, at St John’s Church, Blandford Place, Seaham


St John’s Church – Seaham

It was a pleasure to be invited to attend the Seaham’s Charity Evening at St John’s Church in Seaham provided by the Mayor and Consort, Councillor Sonia and Bob Forster, in aid of the Mayors Charity Fund. The event was supported by many other civics from the region who dug deep and made fine contributions to the ongoing raffles.

The evening’s entertainment was provided by R & R Entertainment a contemporary group who provided different brands of music for all occasions. Their soft velvet tones whilst playing and singing in the church amplified superb sounds during the renditions of Beatles, folk and blues numbers. 


R & R Entertainment. They can be reached on 07951662086


Sonia welcoming guests to the event              


St John’s stained glass windows


Civics enjoying the entertainment


We thanked Sonia and Bob for the excellent venue and praised R & R for their brilliant performance during the evening, hoping all went well with their charity appeal.  

Sunday 17 September 2017

Attended the Stockton United Reform Church’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations at Yarm Road, Stockton


Stockton United Reformed Church, Yarm Lane Stockton. 

It was with great pleasure to be invited to the Stockton Reformed Church in Yarm Lane Stockton to celebrate its 150th anniversary, commemorating the founding of the church in 1867.

The church was opened in 1867, and served its community of Stockton in three centuries: the 19th, 20th and 21st century. As you may know, there is a whole host of activities taking place to bring the community together including a choir and a Ladies Fellowship.

The churches current home, St Andrews and St George, has been a prominent feature in the town and it is great to see the fabulous building still being used by the community today. The order of service was as follows:

We stood for the entry of the Bible, then the Reverend Kenneth Harris gave a welcoming speech. The choir of St Andrews and St George sang the Anthem ‘O come, ye servant of the Lord. There was a call to worship after which we sang the hymn ‘God who spoke in the beginning’ by Fred Kaan’. The Congregational reading was delivered: Venite from psalms 95 and 96, followed by Prayers of Adoration and Confession. We then sang ‘Let us build a house where love can dwell’ by Marty Haugen.

There were highlights of 150 years of worship, followed by an Organ Recital by Mr Fergus McLellan, then the Hymn: ‘Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father’. By T.O.Chisholm.

Bible readings were delivered: Psalm 121 and Mathew 4: 1 – 11. This was followed by a solo from the Salvation Army Band. The Address was given by the Reverend Dr. David Pickering on Worship, witness and wilderness. The Hymn was then sung ‘Will you come and follow me’, by John Bell. 

Prayers for past years, for the present time and for guidance in the future were said, followed by the congregation responding to ‘Lord in your mercy’ by saying ‘hear our prayer’. The final Hymn was sung ‘To God be the glory, great things he has done’. The final blessing was delivered by the Reverend  Kenneth Harris. 

Presentations were made to Reverend Kenneth Harris and Dr. David Pickering by Mr Derek Berry, the Church Manager. 

Laraine and I were both delighted to be at the celebrations and thanked the congregation for the invitation and wished them well for the future with continued success. By the way they make a quality cup of tea in the church hall for those who may wish to join in the services.