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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

West Fest Success

West Fest 2015

On the 5th July 2015 saw the return of the village fair, in its new incarnation, the "West Fest."  The Village green was open for business at 11 am, and for the top half of the green we had stalls from local business From Cheese makers to Doggy Treats, sweats and cakes from the West Auckland Vineyard Church, Ice cream Vans, Raffles, and others. Also featured was a vintage fairground area which was a delight to all the youngsters, A god show was completed earlier on around monteith close. At 13:00 the parade started and finished at the Football monument. Later that day there was Horse rides available on the green. The venue then switched to the West Auckland Football club where a number of acts could be seen followed by fireworks to close the day


Live Event 

Main Stage
8.45 - 10.15 Coco and the Butterfields    
7.30 - 8.30 The Sherlocks
6.40 - 7.15 Serinette
5.35 - 6.25 The shooting of…
4.50-5.20 Lost state of dance
4.00-4.35 Abel Raise the cain
3.15-3.45 The Marrs

Acoustic Stage
8.45-9.30 Bad Cardigan
6.45-7.30 Los Capitanes
5.45-6.30 The gentleman busker
5.00 - 5.30 Back into the wild

More Photos Comming to the West Auckland Web FaceBook Account

Friday, 17 July 2015

Just Over 1 week for the First WEST FEST.

On the 25th July West Auckland host the first West Fest Family Fun day.  With a number of attractions, surrounding the village green, Katrine walk and in the grounds of the west auckland football club.

The Grand Gala includes the Parade which this year is themed on Colour, Think of brighter, bolder, the braver the better, The route of the Parade is Montieth Close to the Football Monument, Parade starts at 13:00 hrs. It will get judged at the start at 12:15.

Other village green attraction are table tennis, Vintage fairground rides, vintage Market, Compaion Dog show, Graffiti art .

Companion Dog Show Competition  at 10 am on Katrine walk opposite Oakley Cross school, categories include most handsome dog, prettiest bitch, best 6 legs, best rescue, waggiest tail, cutest puppy, Best Trick and Best in show. cost to enter £1 judging at 11 am

West Fest Live: Features a number of live bands and acts in the two stages in the grounds of west Auckland football club

Ticket prices and more info can be obtained at

Monday, 13 July 2015

Slimming Group Starting on July 18th

A NEW group to help people watch their weight will be launching next week.

Slimming World group leader, Rochelle Holmes, is starting the first Saturday group on July 18 which she says is designed to help people who are too busy to attend a weekday group.
“I know how hard it is to make groups during the week if people are working full time so because Slimming World wants to reach out to as many people as possible, I thought a Saturday morning groups were a good idea,” Miss Holmes said.

“I absolutely love doing the groups, I love seeing people achieving the weight losses they want week after week and realising they don't have to go hungry to lose weight!”
The group will be held in Memorial Hall, in West Auckland every Saturday at 9.30am.
Miss Holmes already hosts two sessions at the Wear Valley Christian Centre, in Bishop Auckland, on Tuesday with about 70 active members.
For more information on any of the sessions call Ms Holmes on 07883812469 or search for 'Rochelles Slimming World Group' on Facebook. 

West Auckland Paedophile Gets 10 Years

A REMORSELESS child abuser was blasted as "vile and devious" as he started a ten-year prison sentence still protesting his innocence.

Paedophile pensioner Kenneth Place sat stoney-faced in court while a statement from his victim was read, telling how he had ruined her life.
The 75-year-old showed no emotion either when a judge condemned his attacks – and those on another girl for which he was convicted in the 1970s.
Place – who is known as Geoff and still denies molesting either child – was also cleared 20 years ago of raping three youngsters in the late-1960s.
His accusers were all in court to see the retired engineer finally locked up for what one of them described later as "a lifetime's profession".
At Teessdide Crown Court in 1976, he was given a community order and told to pay £100 compensation to a five-year-old girl he had sexually assaulted.
During his latest trial, he claimed that he had been tricked into signing a confession without reading what was written on the police document.
Recorder Amanda Rippon, said both cases were shockingly similar, and told Place, from West Auckland  County Durham, there was "compelling evidence".
The judge added: "The landscape is so different now. If today you had been charged with these offences, the maximum would have been life, not five years."
After he was found guilty last month, Miss Recorder Rippon told him: "It is not the 1970s when the sentencing regime was extraordinary, frankly. "It is impossible to comprehend that. When someone abuses a child in the way you did, they go to prison for a substantial period."

Place was convicted of three charges of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child within 90 minutes of the jury retiring to deliberate.

Miss Recorder Rippon praised his victim's bravery, and told married Place: "I have read her personal statement with care and it makes tragic reading. "The impact on her has been utterly devastating. She has continually had to feel tortured by what occurred, with events coming back to her regularly.
"You are 75 years of age, but there is little mitigation in that. You chose your victim young and the impact has meant it took her decades to speak out. "There is no remorse. I accept a prison sentence at your age and with your problems will be more onerous. You caused severe psychological harm."
Christopher Baker, mitigating, said: "He maintains his innocence . . . I ask Your Honour to take into account his physically frailty in sentencing." The court heard that Place – who has spinal arthritis and walks with a stick – attempted a joint suicide with his wife Sylvia with an overdose last week.
He even protested his innocence in a letter to the Northern Echo.
The court heard that Place treated his victim with sweets as he drove her to a lay-by on a country road near Teesside Airport to molest her in the 1970s.
Prosecutor Shaun Doods said during a three-day trial that Place would usually put a blanket over the girl's lap and abuse her as he drove.
Place, of Haweswater Grove, West Auckland, was also put on the sex offenders' register for life, and banned from having contact with under-16s.

Hit and Run Driver Appeal

A TEENAGER who was the victim of a hit and run is appealing for the driver responsible to come forward.

Laura McGuiness was driving along the A688 between South Church roundabout and Coundon, near Bishop Auckland, when a red Seat car she was overtaking veered into her lane, hitting her side on.
“It was awful. The driver has just come out into the overtaking lane, forced me across the other side of the road where I nearly went head-on with oncoming traffic and then hit a lamppost - but he did not break or stop,” she said.

“I smashed my window and you can see the shape of the lamppost in the bonnet.”
The 18-year-old, of  West Auckland said a number of people stopped to help after she got out of her car fearing it may be on fire, following the collision on Saturday (July 11) at about 11.30am.
Paramedics took her to Bishop Auckland General Hospital before she was transferred to Darlington Memorial Hospital where she was found to have suffered whiplash and swelling to the back of her neck.
“I look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame,” she added. “I’ve got cuts and bruises so I’ve come off quite well but the way I have hit the lamppost, they said they could not believe I had walked away from it.”
Now she wants to find the driver responsible and is appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
“Somebody must know someone in the street who must have seen the car or must know who it is.
“I’m angry and I would just love to know why he did not stop – for all he knew I could have been dead in that car and he did not stop.”
“He must have seen me because I have damage to my car and red paint on the door so he must have damaged his too.”
Miss McGuinness’ mum, Julie Hill, said she was horrified when she heard what had happened.
“This is somebody’s son or daughter or relative and they must know that they have done this and they need to come forward.”
A police spokesman said enquiries are still ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to call Durham Police on 101

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Cinema Deal Struck

A DEAL that will bring a long-awaited cinema complex to the outskirts of Bishop Auckland has finally been struck.

Durham County Council’s planning committee gave the go-ahead for the six-screen cinema, shops, restaurants and other leisure facilities at Bishop Auckland Retail Park, in St Helen Auckland, last year.

There have been a number of delays but developer Land Planning Partnership (LPP) has now signed up a cinema operator, a heavy goods retailer and two family friendly restaurant chains to move in.
John Goode, of LPP, said the cinema operator and national restaurants do not wish to be identified yet but work is expected to start this year, once detailed plans are agreed.

It is estimated the scheme will create about 300 jobs.
The news comes as two other developments for the area also came forward.
Premier Inn has unveiled that it wants to extend its hotel on West Auckland Road, Tindale Crescent.
The company, owned by Whitbread, has applied to the county council for consent to build a 21 bedroom, three storey extension with landscaping and car park alterations.
And work to demolish eyesore buildings on the former Cemex concrete batching plant, on St Helen Way, is due to start on Monday.

Outline planning permission has already been granted for housing on the site and the landowner has indicated that once the site is cleared a developer wants to acquire the land and build 104 two, three and four bedroom homes.

Durham County Councillor for West Auckland, Rob Yorke, said: “These developments are all really good news for the area.
“People have been pushing for a cinema for 30 years and it is my job to work closely with the developer to see it come to fruition.

“There is still a bit of work to do but we’ve been reassured things are moving forward.”
Concerns had been raised that the St Helen Auckland cinema scheme would be threatened by a multiplex cinema and hotel being built in Darlington but Cllr Yorke said a feasibility study which showed Bishop Auckland has a catchment of 175,000 demonstrated strong local demand.
He added: “News that Whitbread wants to extend the Premier Inn is really positive and shows what a popular place this is to come.

“And people, particularly those living in new houses in St Helen’s, are desperate to see the old Cemex buildings come down, they have become a real eyesore.”

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

West Auckland Predator Behind Bars

A PREDATOR at the centre of a North-East paedophile ring is behind bars tonight for what a court heard were "grotesque and horrific" crimes. To his friends and acquaintances, Allan Brown was a happily married pious choirmaster who helped run a youth club in his spare time. But in reality Brown had a sinister secret double life at the centre of a sickening paedophile ring involving men and women. Teesside Crown Court heard how young victims were showered with treats of toys, sweets and crisps. Others were given alcohol to drink and glue to sniff by their sick abusers.

 Yesterday, Brown was jailed for five years after one of his victims had the courage to break his silence. The 72-year-old was arrested after one victim came forward following the notorious cases of Jimmy Saville and other celebrities for molesting children. Two other boys were traced by police and told how they were abused by Brown and his "boyfriend" - referred to in court only as KE - on an allotment site. Prosecutor Christine Egerton told the court that the other man ran the County Durham youth club where Brown helped out, and has since died. Last night the victim who broke his decades-long silence two years ago to reveal to detectives what had happened, said: "I'm so pleased I found the courage to speak out. "Allan Brown must have known that when these high-profile cases became public knowledge, that it would not be long before a knock came to his door." Brown, of Sycamore Grove, West Auckland County Durham, admitted a series of charges of indecent assault and conspiracy to commit indecent assault at earlier hearings.

 Yesterday, he arrived at court on two walking sticks and carrying a bagful of medication, as his lawyer said: "He knows he is going to custody. There is no doubt." Robert Mochrie, mitigating, described the crimes as "horrific" and said: "This was a grotesque breach of trust by Mr Brown and the others referred to." Miss Egerton said one of the three victims was taken by Brown to a woman's house in Shildon where she told him what was happening to him was "normal". The pervert stood and watched as she abused the boy and forced him to touch her sexually - then cruelly refused him a lift home and gave him a bus fare.

 The youngsters - all described as vulnerable - were treated to days out in Brown's car, and would be molested by him, KE and a third man who was not identified. On occasions, two of them were taken to public toilets in Bishop Auckland where sickening assaults were carried out by the three men, said Miss Egerton. Mr Mochrie said Brown's admissions had saved his victims the ordeal of having to give evidence in court, and said: "It would no doubt have been extremely distressing." He added: "He brings to court with him today his wife, who is in equally poor health, and she is struggling to make any sense of all of this. "We now know that in his earlier years, he was seemingly a bisexual man with an interest in both males and females, and his wife was completely in the dark. "He is a different man now from the man he was. I accept on his behalf, and so that the victims know, he accepts that will he little comfort to them. "It was a period in his life - a perverse period, admittedly - that he went through, and it is with deep regret that these victims have had to live with that. He apologises." Recorder Martin Bethel, QC, also ordered that Brown should sign of the sex offenders' register for life, as he told him: "You have ruined their lives." The judge added: "There was planning, you acted together with others, you used drugs, you targeted vulnerable boys, and there was a significant disparity in age."