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At 8.30am on 13 July, the colliery bands of Durham began their march towards the city's market place. The miners' banners went with them, signposts to the past, a visible display of pride in the region's history. From there followed a slow march towards the County Hotel on Old Elvet. The bands played, the march went on to the racecourse, and the banners were strapped to the surrounding fences.

Body piercing craze 'threatens children'

MINISTERS ARE being urged to introduce guidelines to prevent children having their bodies pierced without their parents' consent.

Local Government Guide: South Tyneside - One of the best, against the odds ...

LAST year a "geography of misery" survey by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation named South Tyneside as the eighth worst place to live in the country, just below in the innerLondon district of Lambeth. Now its council has come top of the Independent on Sunday's local authority league tables, writes Paul Lashmar.

My Favourite Restaurant; Top of the trattorias

MARGARET BARBOUR, chairman of South Shields-based J Barbour & Sons, makers of the eponymous waxed jackets, has to travel to Bologna for a meal at her favourite restaurant, the traditional, family-run Antica Trattoria Da Sandro al Navile.

Comedy: He really is (sigh) a very punny bloke

John Hegley Almeida, N1

Pensioner killed delivering gifts

AN ELDERLY woman was killed as she delivered presents yesterday - one of several Christmas Day tragedies around the country.

Travel Britain: High jinx on the Roman frontier

Good food, parties and flourishing love lives - Hadrian's Wall wasn't such a bad posting for centurions.

Baby less than a foot long wins four-month battle to survive

ZOE McDOUGALL was shorter than a classroom ruler and lighter than a bag of sugarwhen she was born 15 weeks prematurely. Now the child, who weighed 425g (15oz) and was 30cm (11.5in) long, is in line to become one of the smallest surviving babies in the world.

Pounding for Blair on economy

Fury at talk of 'acceptable' job losses in North

Athletics: O'Sullivan wins in a canter

APPROACHING THE finish line in the BUPA Great North Run, Sonia O'Sullivan pulled off her gloves and threw them to the crowd braving the elements on the sea-front at South Shields. It could have been a symbolic gesture.

Hockey: Old Boys take control

OLD CRANLEIGHANS, last year's EH Cup giant-killers - only going out to the eventual winners, Cannock, in the quarter-finals - started tentatively in their first-round game at Hendon, going a goal down in the 25th minute to a well-worked penalty corner.

Travel: Tall story

On board the Swan, Sally Kindberg saw dolphins and whales and tuna, and learned the art of climbing into the top bunk

Union chief calls for MPC shake-up

THE CHANCELLOR of the Exchequer came under fresh pressure yesterday to dismiss "out of touch" economists from the Monetary Policy Committee and replace them with experts from "the real world".

Obituary: Dame Catherine Cookson

IN A refreshingly unbureaucratic way, Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council heads its official stationery with the legend "Catherine Cookson Country". Just as parts of Dorset are known as "Hardy Country", so areas of Tyneside and South Shields, between Gateshead and Newcastle, are established as ``Cookson Country''. Thousands invade the region annually to find the landmarks of Cookson's novels, which reflect the social scene at all levels in Northumberland and Tyneside, from the Industrial Revolution to the present day.

Athletics: McColgan seeks return to winning ways

Athletics

Education: Poor-scoring schools move up the league

More than twice as many schools as last year saw all their pupils achieve the scores expected of an 11-year-old in primary school league tables published today. Judith Judd, Education Editor, asks what the tables tell us about schools' performance.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy