Centenary of the Battle of the Somme: 1st July 2016

The 1st July marks the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive,The battle was fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of upper reaches of the River Somme in France. It was the largest battle of the First World War on the Western Front; more than one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history.

The Durham Light Infantry had two battalions in action on the first day of the Somme, the 18th (31st Division) opposite Serre and the 15th (21st Division) north of Fricourt. The 15th battalion, aided by its Division artillery’s used of a rolling barrage, captured the German front line trenches and pressed on, until by the afternoon the battalion advanced an additional 600 yards to the edge of Shelter Wood, beating off a counterattack until relieved that night. Casualties amounted to 440 officers and other ranks.

The planned advance of D company of the 18th battalion that morning was overlooked by German forces in the ruins of Serre and together with the other assaulting troops of the first wave suffered grievous losses and gained no ground. The retaliatory German shelling virtually destroyed the front line and communication trenches and the remaining companies of the 18th and other battalions were ordered to prepare a defence in case of counterattack.

They remained in these shattered trenches, attempting to repair them and rescuing the wounded from no-mans land, under at times intense bombardment, until relieved during the night of 4 July. When reassembled the battalion had 14 officers and 357 men, having lost 58% of its strength killed and wounded.

An exhibition commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and the DLI’s role in it is running at Durham University’s Palace Green Library: Somme 1916: from Durham to the Western Front, open now until 2 October 2016 https://www.dur.ac.uk/palace.green/somme/

More information about the DLI’s role at the Somme can be found on the Durham Record Office’s website: http://www.durhamrecordoffice.org.uk/…/BattleoftheSomme.aspx

Council Agenda Uploaded for 21st June 2016

The next meeting of Council will be held on Tuesday 21st June 2016 at Craghead Village Hall, Middles Road, Craghead.  There is a full Agenda, which will include: Civic Hall Refurbishment, Christmas Lights.

The supporting papers contain full budgetary information for the current year up to May 31st

Agenda 21st June 2016

Combined Papers June 2016 [51MB]

Picture: Stanley Show, shamelessly plagiarised from Robert Drake’s Facebook page

Notice of Public Right to Inspect accounting records

The Town Council has completed it’s Annual Return, which will be reviewed by a publicly appointed external auditor (the external audit has not been completed, therefore the accounts published below may change). The Council is required to make the accounting records available to the public for inspection for a 30 day period.

This year, the period will run from 13th June 2016 to 22nd July 2016.

Records will be available for inspection (subject to reasonable notice) between 9.00 am and 4.00 pm between these dates.

Electors of the parish also have the right to question the auditor about the accounts and object to them.  Full details of the rights of the public are contained in the formal notice for the Exercise of Public Rights.

The Council is also required to publish the following:



For further information, please contact the Town Council.


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

Next Week’s Council Meetings 7th/ 8th June 2016

There will be four Council Meetings next week, to be held on Tuesday 7th & Wednesday 8th June 2016. 

The Meetings are:

Tuesday 7th June:

Extraordinary Meeting: To consider a funding application from North Road Gym (6 pm).

Extraordinary Meeting Agenda 7th June 2016

Comms & Events: Items to be considered: A number of Civic Hall issues; online ticketing, Theatre Curtain, concessionary rates; planting of coal tubs; event planning updates. (6.30 pm).

Comms and Events Agenda 07-06-16

Wednesday 8th June:

Extraordinary Meeting: To finalise the lease on the PACT House building (6 pm).

Extraordinary Meeting Agenda 8th June 2016

Crime & Community Safety: Items to be considered: Community Mini Bus, Winter Maintenance, Blooming Good Fun (6.30 pm).

Crime Agenda 08.06.16