Tommy Armstrong Heritage Plaque to be unveiled on 11th June 2016

Stanley Town Council and the Tommy Armstrong Society are proud to announce that this Saturday will see the unveiling of the first ‘heritage’ plaque in Stanley under an initiative agreed last year to promote and celebrate the history of the Parish.

It is fitting that the first plaque will be to mark the place of rest of Tommy Armstrong, the famous poet and songwriter who lived in several locations in the parish and whose work celebrated and recorded the people, places and struggles of the area.

The unveiling of the plaque, which will be sited at Tanfield Church, will take place at 1.30pm on Saturday 11th June. Following the unveiling by the Chairman of the Council there will be a blessing held at Tommy Armstrong’s graveside and performances of two of Tommy Armstrong’s songs.

 

Picture: The Tommy Armstrong heritage plaque being put in place ready for the unveiling

Community Football Centre Opening Saturday 21st May

After the completion of a £50,000 renovation project, Stanley Community Football Centre will officially open this Saturday, the 21st May.

To mark the ribbon-cutting on the area’s newest sporting facility, the centre will host a family open day, featuring a Penalty Shoot Out competition, Football Tennis, a bouncy castle, inflatables, a tombola, a climbing wall, caricature pictures, plus refreshments.

The open day will be run by Stanley Events, who worked in partnership with the Foundation of Light, Durham County Council, Stanley Town Council, the Football Foundation and the Stanley Area Action Partnership to turn the site of the former North Durham Academy into a state-of-the-art community hub.

A spokesman said: “It has taken a tremendous amount of work by a dedicated team of volunteers, working with the County Council and partners to help bring a derelict site that was destined for demolition back into use for the local community.”

Mark Pae, of The Foundation of Light added: “This partnership has helped the Foundation establish a base for helping teenagers and young adults in the region through the Kicks social inclusion programme and Back on Track programme (which helps young people not in employment, education or training).

“The Foundation’s partnership with Stanley Events has proved successful and we are delighted with the development of the facility. Plans to enhance the facility further mean that it can become a place where people can realise their potential.”

The facility has over 600 regular users every week, who access a range of sport and fitness facilities. It is also the home of Beamish Community Football Club and Stanley Youth Club, who use the site’s extensive facilities, including its floodlit 3G astroturf pitches.

Its pitches are all available for hire, alongside a fully-furnished community room that is ideal venue for conferences, training, meetings, and birthday parties, including use of the kitchen area, changing and outdoor sports areas.

This Saturday’s open day starts at 10am, and runs until around 3pm, featuring fun for all the family.

The official ribbon-cutting will be at 12 noon.

Stanley Family Cycle – Now Free to enter – Sunday May 1st

With the Stanley Family Cycle day just a couple of weeks away, the introduction to cycling around the area has been given a boost.
The organisers and the Town Council have got together and made the event available to all by making the day a free event.
Council Chairman Joan Nicholson is looking forward to the day and hopes the people of the parish will get behind the project. “This ride is very much geared to the people in the Town and surrounding area.  The Council is putting on small events across the year that are looking to bring back even more of the community feel. This is just part of what we are doing for the Town and we hope people of all ages will get behind this and other events throughout the year.”
Centred on the town’s Oakey Park, the focus of the day will see a fabulous ride of around 6 miles showing off some great landscape and countryside on the way to Beamish. To make sure it isn’t too had on the legs, we will have a half way rest up where we can hone the bike skills with the Council’s Cycle Proficiency team.
Colin Wilkes, part of the organising team: “This is an ideal way to introduce the cycle ways around the Stanley area to a wider audience.  People still need to ‘sign up’ so we know how many to expect – although there will be a limited amount of on the day spaces available.  This is all due to the extra funding that we can offer a great day without charge.”
Along with the ride, there will be other stalls including bike protection marking by the local police, and also some advice on healthy lifestyle.
The event, on Sunday 1st May, will be an opportunity to see some of the best of the countryside around the Stanley area and will also publicise the planned opening of a new link route from the C2C route into Stanley town centre.
For more information, please see the facebook page: Stanley Family Cycle

Getting ahead for the Stanley Family Ride.

With less than a month to go things are taking shape for the Stanley Family Ride on 1st May 2016.

The event, the first time in Stanley will see cyclists old and young getting on their bikes to use part of the refurbished Sustrans route that skirts the north of the town.

Council Chairman Joan Nicholson is looking forward to the day and hopes the people of the parish will get behind the project. “This ride is very much geared to the people in the Town and surrounding area.  The Council is putting on small events across the year that are looking to bring back even more of the community feel. This is just part of what we are doing for the Town and we hope people of all ages will get behind this and other events throughout the year.”

Starting from the town’s Oakey Park, the routes of 6 and 20 miles will see ‘there and back’ rides to Beamish and Cox Green. Whichever route you take some delightful sights await.

At first there are some great views from the iron bridges that take the route to the Iron Cows just underneath the road that brings us to the turn point of the six-mile route – best for beginners and children.

A marshalled crossing to the rest area where the youngsters will get some valuable tips on cycling from our qualified and experienced cycle marshals before a rest and off back on the steady incline back to the park where the T-shirt and goodie bag awaits.

Gina Clarke, Network Manager from Sustrans welcomes the idea of even more people using the pathways: “These scenic traffic free paths provide a safe, enjoyable route for cyclists and our team work hard to maintain this section of the National Cycle Network from Consett to Washington. We are looking forward to the event bringing new people to the C2C, giving the next generation of cyclists the opportunity to experience the route for themselves.”

The event, on Sunday 1st May, will be an opportunity to see some of the best of the countryside around the Stanley area and will also publicise the planned opening of a new link route from the C2C route into Stanley town centre.

 

Event: Stanley family Cycle                       Date: Sunday May 1

Start: Long ride 9.30am – Short 9.45 approx.

Costs: £15 adults £7 under 14 – groups discounts are available for 10 plus riders.

For more information, please see the facebook page: Stanley Family Cycle

 

Picture: Cllr Ron Harrison & Community Development Officer Brian Hall promoting the Stanley Family Ride at last week’s South Moor Play in the park day

Play in the Park – 1st April, South Moor

Play in the Park – This Friday, South Moor Memorial Park 10 – 3

The Town Council has organised some FREE half term activities for families in the Park this Friday. There will be loads of free activities including skittles, ball games, messy and creative play, outdoors skills and even a fairy trail. There will also be some kids rides, a bouncy castle and an ice cream van. (not free)The forecast for Friday says no rain, (sadly no sun either probably!) so come along and join in.

Announcing Blooming Good Fun 2016

The Town Council are launching this year’s ‘Blooming Good Fun’ competition.

It is to encourage gardeners from right across the Parish to make a special effort to brighten up their surroundings – and everybody else’s by bringing colour and floral displays to Stanley.

Entry is FREE and there are CASH PRIZES to be one.  There are awards for the best garden, tubs, window boxes, back yard, open space or communal space and trade premises so it’s open to everybody.

To get an entry form, see our Blooming Good Fun page

Stanley Fringe – Remembrance for the Burns Pit Disaster 16th February 2016

What is Stanley Fringe? It’s difficult to neatly categorise it. They have published no list of objectives.  They have no charitable aims.  The group is a loose collective of artists in the broadest sense from this area. It isn’t a historical society, but one of the only clear goals of the group is to remember the anniversary of the Burns pit disaster. It isn’t a political group but their work reflects the politics of the early Labour movement, Their event on 16th February is called ‘Remembrance, Rebellion and Revolt’. Without having yet attended the event I get the feeling that the Stanley Fringe will be settling scores on behalf of the men who died in 1909.  Their first event last summer was branded as an ‘alternative afternoon of music and poetry’ but the music and poetry presented was steeped in the traditions of the north east. There is a certain nostalgia for old Stanley about the group but it isn’t sentimentality. Rather, their work speaks about the continued warmth and optimism of the people of this town despite all the injustices that they have endured. Pit disasters, wars, the end of the coal industry and the pedestrianisation of the Front Street. The Stanley Fringe and Stanley Town Council will be leading the remembrance for the men of the West Stanley Disaster at the memorial by North Durham Academy at 3.45 on 16th February, the 107th Anniversary of the event.

At 7pm come along to the Beamish Mary, join the group for a pint, song and poetry and settle some scores with the pit owners who sent those men down unsafe pits.

Visit the Stanley Fringe group on Facebook for more information or to get involved

Alun Armstrong switches on Christmas Lights

Local hero, actor Alun Armstrong, who hails from Annfield Plain, battled extreme Canadian weather to make his way back to Stanley to turn on the Christmas Lights. Mr Armstrong had been filming in Canada but due to heavy snowfall his return to the UK was delayed by days as flight after flight was cancelled. He  even boarded a flight only to be turned back after an hour in the air. Many people would have cancelled, but Alun jumped on a train as soon as he arrived in London and just made it in time to be here for the switch on . We’re very grateful that Alun went to all this effort to support his home town.

For this year’s event, we had a ‘mini lumiere’, featuring the light clock that has been seen at the Gala in Durham, light installations in the planters and on street furniture and a mirror ball installation that when coupled with the music from the funfair made the front street feel like a huge outdoor disco. There was also an installation in the bus station for the night. We were also lucky enough to have carols on Front Street performed by our own Craghead Colliery Band.  There is nothing more festive than a brass band  on a cold night and Craghead did the town proud as always.

Hundreds of local residents came to enjoy the event, which brought a real buzz to the Front Street. There is a gallery of images HERE

Thanks to Lewis Christie for images. Check his page out here

Christmas Lights Switch On – 6th December

Next Sunday will see the festive season get started in Stanley! The Town Council has organised a fun family day for everybody.

The Christmas Fayre returns to Civic Hall starting at 10am, with lots of stalls selling gifts for all the family. Bring the kids to Santa’s Grotto and stop for Coffee and cake, or maybe a festive mulled wine!

There will be free hot dogs at the Civic Hall from 6, followed by the main event of the day, the switching on of the Front Street lights by local celebrity Alun Armstrong. There will be rides for the kids in Front Street and to top the day off, there will be a free mini-concert by ‘One and Only Direction’, the next best thing to One Direction themselves, at the Civic Hall.

xmas fayre poster