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


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.
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
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Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?