Andys Middlesbrough and the Story behind The Fork in the Road. #ProjectOne

  I popped into the charity restaurant The Fork In The Road on 05/11/18 to meet its founder and driver Andy Preston.  Andy’s a local business person who like myself is hugely passionate and proud of  the town we both  called our home:Middlesbrough .

 I wanted to find out the reason why he decided to open the restaurant ,what positive impact the restaurant has had on the town and people of Middlesbrough and where he sees the restaurant going in the future. Also I wanted to know what Middlesbrough means to him, where he sees our town going in the future, what he believes needs to be done to make the town a better place.  This is my interview with Andy Preston – Andy’s Middlesbrough. Project One –  

What does Middlesbrough mean to you- 

To me Middlesbrough means family,friends and history.  It also means building and places I love.  I feel a very strong emotional attachment to Middlesbrough and it’s something I’m proud of.  Sometimes I am critical of  the town and like many people I can have a love hate relationship with Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough is a truly great place and I think it can do so much better – it can really improve.  There’s so much to our town and so much that needs to be done also to make Middlesbrough a better place. 

When I was younger Newcastle was twice the sizeof Middlesbrough and it had three times as many shops, bars and restaurants .The best way to understand what has happened to Middlesbrough over the past 30 to 40 years is to see that Newcastle is still twice the size of Middlesbroughbut now has ten times as many shops, bars and  restaurants as Midddlesbrough.  So Middlesbrough has been hugely overshadowed by the progress of Newcastle and so many other places.  Ss a town need to workout how this has happened – we’ll have to be honest about where we are as a town in 2018 and come up with a genuinely clever strategy to improve and catch up with Newcastle and other places that have progressed so much. And we do need to be positive – It’s really good to be positive – and we need to be honest about what can be done.

Middlesbrough needs a plan for the next five to ten years and that must include measurable targets . In my life I haven’t succeeded at everything I have done , but I have had some real successes.  When I have succeeded its because  I’d  set clear goal  with a timeline in mind .

 Fork in the road- for me starting this restaurant and venture was a way of doing something positive for the town I’m from – bringing a derelict building back to life and helping to change the lives of some people in negative situations. I think the restaurant stands out maybe as a bit of a beacon, maybe to inspire others and touch people lives .Lots of people  have come and eaten here and become impressed with the positive energy behind the placed and that makes me proud.   If you read our reviews on trip adviser so many people from outside the area when visiting Middlesbrough have come and eaten here, people have said they think every city should have one of these . 

What made you setup Fork in the Road- Wanting to make a little difference ,we supported  people with their lives and to grow and achieve more with their life. 

This is Andy Preston interview on what Middlesbrough means to him, and the story behind the restaurant The Fork in the Road. My meeting with Andy and discussing what Middlesbrough means to him and discussing Fork in the Road . I feel the Fork in the Road is one of many positive things currently going on in our town, the opening of the restaurant and concept behind it, will help Middlesbrough grow as a town, Hopefully inspire other local people to open a  business within Middlesbrough . I believe Andy’s passion for Middlesbrough and wanting the town to grow and do well ,and his passion for the restaurant the The Fork in the Road  a non profit restaurant that he has opened to help disadvantaged people to turn their life round through giving them employment,helping them grow . Shows somebody who wants to give something back to the town they are from, and cares a lot about Middlesbrough and people of the town.  I deem that Andy’s work and passion and his loyalty to Middlesbrough makes him one the people that really makes Middlesbrough are great place to live.

Article and photos by Chloe Tempestoso-Camera-Canon 430 IS

#Project Tees Factory

The Tees Shirt Factory (theteesshirtfactory.com) is a t-shirt website that makes garments promoting Middlesbrough and the local area. Founded in 2017 by Sarah Mitchell it was an idea that stemmed from wanting to have a side project at university. 

I asked Sarah about the business.
How did the idea start?
‘I wanted a way to make some extra money at university, and also to practice my design skills. I started making some logo designs for local businesses, then had the idea to make Middlesbrough themed shirts.’

Why did you choose to make locally themed shirts?
‘Middlesbrough sometimes has a negative image in the press and I wanted to promote some town pride and help people show off their home town, and what better way than on a t-shirt!’

Do you only sell locally?
‘The shirts are very popular with expats and have found their way to America, Dubai and even Australia
The Tees Shirt Factory also supplied me with a custom Project Middlesbrough shirt 

Sarah’s Independent Business is clear example of someone who is proud to be from Teesside, By highlighting through her T-shirt designs Tees Valley culture and heritage(Steel Industry, Transporter Bridge,Middlesbrough FC) something everyone in Middlesbrough should celebrate.

Sarah’s website can be found here at www.theteesshirtfactory.com

Article By Chloe Tempestoso

Vine Restaurant

If you are looking to enjoy the aesthetic beauty of Middlesbrough that comes with a fine dining and bar experience then you must visit Vine Restaurant. The idea of the restaurant belongs to Middlesbrough born Matthew Saul. He cordially invites you to step into the heart of Linthorpe and experience the perfect harmony of deliciousness amongst the food and thirst quenching drinks served at Vine Restaurant. 

Get what you always wanted

You can choose to have a moment of solitude by yourself, sitting in an armchair slowly sipping on a your cold fresh drink from the bar, whilst absorbing every entirety of freshness and calm of the historic atmosphere. Vine Restaurant is amongst the most unique and perfectly organized restaurants of  Middlesbrough.

Story of Origin

In the interview Mathew Saul explained the very reason for opening such an aspiring place in the Middlesbrough, he said “Middlesbrough needs diversity and change and for that to happen something out of the box was needed and Vine Restaurant is that something. We are looking forward to engage the public through live music from local artists on weekends and create different events throughout the year to showcase our wine, gin and cocktail menus.” 

He added further, “This place which is now Vine restaurant occupies a special place in my life, as soon as I laid my eyes on this place I fell in love with it. We renovated everything but still wanted to bring out the amazing original features of the building and as you can see the restaurant holds up as a special spot amongst the locals, as well customers from outside Middlesbrough. We are trying to bring a fine dining experience and for that to be achieved we introduce new food items every week to keep the menu fresh and exciting, using the best seasonal produce around keeping temptation there for the public.”

Bar & Food 

There is an impressive 21-foot long steel cocktail bar that is home to new and creatively exciting flavours regarding cocktails and other drinks as well. Vine Restaurant displays a traditional and customary connection with the town of Middlesbrough on its very building, there are special engravings, a special traditional looking design that resonates with the historical aspects of the area. 

Mathew Saul wanted to bring a special side to Restaurant, that’s why the bar has 16 craft ale taps available for all beer lovers! They will enjoy a traditional experience at Vine Restaurant given the tasting of their speciality drinks through the craft taps. Vine Restaurant has the most amazing open kitchen, award winning chefs and attentive staff. They all work seriously hard as a team to bring the best to  their dishes, drinks and experience. Also with having a lobster tank at the heart of the restaurant, produce is super fresh, sraight from the source to your table.

Bringing Diversity

Vine Restaurant is a huge supporter of local food producers and has the idea of customers enjoying natures best at its core. Also with the heartwarming music, including resident saxophonist Yussef Nimmer, who often performs on a weekend the restaurant, offers people a twist to their dining experience and this makes the whole thing look and feel like magic! 
Under the open sky at night, eating and chatting with your loved ones whilst swaying your head back and forth to the gentle music, that is the Vine Restaurant experience at it’s  finest.

Article By Chloe Tempestoso

Community Middlesbrough Stewarts Park Clean Up

I attended a community event last Sunday at Stewarts Park big clean up ,I was invited to the event by organisers Andy Preston and Carolyn Dodds. Over 100 people met on the day of the event and collected over 100kg of rubbish by cleaning the Middlesbrough Park and improving the image of our town.

It was so amazing to see so many people from our local area working together as a group to try and help improve Middlesbrough,show our town in a postive way, the event highlights the importance of community events and the good work they do for Middlesbrough,why we need to have more events like the one on Sunday at Stewarts Park.

I spoke to one of the organisers of the clean up event Carolyn Dodds asked her why she thought such community events were important for Middlebsrough.

Carolyn Dodds-Today in this age of Facebook and other social media sites “words speak far louder than actions” (or so it has been said) I would like to reverse this trend and see more people engaging in activities that give much needed help to our communities. Sunday’s get together at Stewart Park showed that more people at taking an interest and there is a growing number of folk wishing to help.   We need to applaud, encourage, and help these people/groups as much as possible. Many thanks to all who attended, also those that support us but were unable to join us. Facebook can of course be used to good effect by advertising these activities and giving encouragement.  

If you would like to get involved in the litter picking events around green spaces areas in Middesbrough please feel to contact the Project Middlesbrough facebook page for details of any upcoming events. If you care about Middlesbrough and want the image of the town to improve and for it to protrayed in a postive light like me,the clean up event is great way to help the fight for Middlesbrough to improve,show what a great area Middlesbrough is.

Article by Chloe Tempestoso Photos by Ian Morrish

Why we should save Teesside Airport

Teesside Airport is an important economic asset which is available to be bought off, and the mayor Ben Houchen of Tees Valley has offered to the buy the airport into public ownership an estimated budget of 40 million pounds is needed to strike the deal. Given the narrative of the sale, an Airport is an important economic as well as bridging asset which is responsible for joining nations with each other and empowering the locals as well.

Benefits of the Buy

As the mayor illustrates that buying the Airport and giving it into the public ownership will bring huge reforms for the people of Tees Valley and some of these benefits/reforms include;

  1. Changing the name of the Airport from Durham Tees Valley to the Teesside International Airport.
  2. By 2029 the Airport will be bringing 1.4 million active passengers to travel through various destinations even all over Europe, Australia, and the USA as well.
  3. 7600 will be created for the Teesside area and other important factors such as stabilizing the economy of the locals will be another great factor to admire.
  4. Addition of 10 additional routes by 2022 is also an important factor of this bought off, it will give access to the locals to travel to different places for holidays or other important events.
  5. People won’t have to travel all the way across to the Leeds or Newcastle which is on an hour drive from the Teesside.

Public Ownership

It is simple enough to say that we will let the airport close in 2021 with the current state the airport is in, I believe the people of Teesside and Ben Houchen deserves a chance to try and save our airport turn into its former glory . Otherwise, the we will be a largest  urban area in the UK without an Airport; also the public ownership seems to be the only way if the Airport should be saved from being closed off in 2021. 

Buying back the airport will have no impact over the economic growth of the locals if anything it will help the economy to get stronger without putting any extra charge to the people council’s tax bills.

With all the things labeled before you, it is clear that the Airport should go to public ownership if the Tees Valley needs economic stability.

The History of Teesside Airport

The Airport first came into existence in 1942, and it was a WW2 bomber base at Middleton St. George and was home to many Canadian Squadrons and after the war was over it got turned into a civil airport. Mercury Airline Service took the first flight in 1964 to the Manchester. Princess Margarethe of Sweden inaugurated the passenger terminal at the airport in 1966. It was named Durham Tees Valley in 2004 and in 2006 it received the largest number of passengers onboard about 900,000 but as of 2018, it was down to a record low of 140,000. In the history, people were able to fly to various destinations such as Rome, Dublin, and other beach destinations across Europe and also for Florida and Orlando, but as of 2019 only flights for Amsterdam and Aberdeen are flying on and off.

With such a splendid history and all the great destinations people could have traveled to, the Airport should be bought back to the public ownership and so the consistent path to prosperity and economic stability could be completed.

It is obvious that the people of Tees valley deserve a World Class Airport for themselves and also for the sake of economy of the valley as well. That is why the Airport should be bought back to the public ownership and for that to happen people need to raise their voices and demand the very bought off to be given in the public ownership of the Tees Valley that would be a wise step ahead.    

Article by Chloe Tempestoso 

Carolyn Middlesbrough #ProjectFour

I met Carolyn a few weeks ago at the Eve Appeal Charity event we both attended ,we started to dicuss #ProjectMidddlesbrough,she began telling me of what Middlesbrough meant to her ,and her story and life in the town. Here I met someone who was passionate about her town and really cared about the people of Middlesbrough and future ,Cared about local issues and the Middlesbrough Community. Carolyn is one of the people that makes Middlesbrough a great place to be and live. Here is Carolyn Story.

Carolyn with Andy Preston

I was born in 1944 and lived in Newport.  Had a happy childhood during difficult times when we were recovering from WW2.  I attended Archibald School, which I really enjoyed.  Those were the days when children attended school in their catchment area, usually within walking distance. Married in 1966, moving into a newly built house in Newfield Crescent, Acklam, still here today.  

Middlesbrough has been subject to some hard times over the years.  We Yorkshire folk are made of good stock, our ancestors coming from all corners of Britain and elsewhere in search of work.  This combination made Middlesbrough a great contributor to the wealth of this nation, especially with the production of iron and steel.

Carolyn attending the Eve Appeal Charity Event

I am proud of my heritage.  Middlesbrough is a fine place to live close to the beautiful Cleveland coast, the North Yorkshire Moors, and most of all friendly, warm hearted people.

We have been through some difficult times for some years now but feel that things are beginning to change.  People are starting to sit up and take notice of what’s happening in the community.  

A number of charitable organisations and voluntary workers are making a difference to our town.  I feel the vulnerable and lonely people are being listened to now and thanks to volunteers these people have places to go for friendship and food.  We must be grateful to these people for their efforts.  

On the 4th December I attended the press conference where Ben Houchen described his plan, which had been agreed with Peel Airport, to purchase Durham Tees Valley Airport.  Ben’s speech was amazing, he is so inspirational.  Robert Hough Chairman of Peel also made an encouraging speech.  This is just what we need in our area, the airport to be up and running.  There are companies waiting to invest here and we must provide the transport to get them here.  Internal and International flights are required to improve our economy.  To be in the same room with both Ben Houchen and Andy Preston was wonderful.  Both these men are doing their utmost to improve our area.  

Let’s hope we can make a difference for our children, our grandchildren and future generations of smoggies.

Proud to be from the BORO.  

Article by Chloe Tempestoso

Middlesbrough’s First Micro Pub #ProjectDrPhil’s

The finest pub in Middlesbrough, Dr Phil’s is gaining a lot of popularity and there in no questioning that. Due to its simple yet classic environment, this new local pub which opened its doors in 2013 provides a cozy place where the residents of Middlesbrough can sit down and enjoy a Pint of ale.

The first and the finest Micro pub in Middlesbrough is owned by local business men and Middlesbrough born Matthew Saul and Matthew Power. It is the oldest and smallest Micro pub which cannot be overlooked for its scale. The pub is setting up the trend for various local businesses to open up for people to come in and enjoy, set trend for Mirco pub scene in Middleborough.

Thefirst Micro Pub in Middleborough, Dr Phil’s provides a platform where peoplecan enjoy a good drink after a rough day at work. A great way to relax. Theplace adds to the beauty and serenity that lies within the night life ofMiddlesbrough.

The Pub helps the whole community of Middlesbrough to collect. They can meet each other and talk about community matters. The place is simple, yet classic. It is humble and has a gentle touch to it, something like you have never experienced before.

Owner of the Micro pub Mathew Saul says the Micro pub is Linthorpe in a glass. It is one of the oldest pub in town that still lives by the norms and integrity on which it was once established. The place is cozy and comfortable. It will provide you the comfort which will make you hard to leave. A comfortable setting and environment perfect for any occasion. Dr Phil’s is at the very heart of the Linthorpe Community and people of Linthorpe

If you happen to pay Middlesbrough a visit or you are a local resident, you need to pay Dr Phil’s first Micro pub a visit. It will help you connect with the night life of this town. It has a classic feel to it that helps you forget the contemporary world.

The place has been recognized by Cleveland CMARA. It was certified as the Pub for the season for Spring 2014 and 2015, 2018 . The place was acknowledged and is still well-recognized. The award-winning Micro Pub in Linthorpe helps you celebrate all kinds of occasions.

Thislocal pub might be small in scale but it is doing the huge task of providingemployment for a lot of people. Hardworking people from the town are making alivelihood from this local Micro pub. It has the finest touch to it that arecomplimented by warm lights.

Theplace is open all week. Feel free to gather here to and enjoy quality ale.

The owners of this Micro pub in Middlesbrough Matthew Saul and Matthew Power are super friendly and accommodating. Providing you the comfort. Whether you want to stay for a while and contemplate or want to grab a quick drink, there is nothing that will serve the purpose better than this pub.

It is a wonderful, quirky place with variety of drinks available for you to enjoy. A great local business that is setting up a good example for fellow entrepreneurs to establish similar projects. A great little alehouse which has got numerous facilities for you.

Article By Chloe Tempestoso


Middlesbrough has always been a soft target for a lot of people who are ready to defame it at every given cost. Not only media but also the people of other cities or communities largely contribute to degrading this town. Whenever someone talks wrong about a certain town , it basically refers to as a personal attack to the people of that town .However, Middlesbrough has a lot more to it than anybody can imagine. Therefore, we should start looking at the brighter side of the story.

Community Middlesbrough

The people of Middlesbrough consider it their prime duty to maintain their town like no other. A lot of people has slandered Middlesbrough and now the communities of the Middlesbrough are getting into action. Unarguably, communities of Middlesbrough have long been forgotten but now they are soaring.

The Big Clean Up

The biggest step that the community Middlesbrough has taken is the start of the big clean up in the Middlesbrough. The most major clean up started in the Blue Bell Beck and this was led by Carolyn Dodds. There are a lot of groups involved in this big clean up and all of those groups were quite eager to get the job done so that they can move onto another place.

It is observed that this clean up community of Middlesbrough collected up to 16 bags of rubbish from a small part of the Blue Bell Beck. It is quite an honor fto be a Middlesbrough citizen that all the people are taking pride in cleaning up their valuable town. This was just a glimpse of the spirit of the people of Middlesbrough and there is surely more to come in the near future.

Success Comes from Working Together

The people of Middlesbrough has now realized that nothing can change the outlook of their city unless they work side by side with each other. Whether it is collecting rubbish from the streets or collaborating together against the harsh and libeling comments of the people on your town, a community is essential.

A group of people works together towards the betterment of the city and that is what the communities of the Middlesbrough are currently doing. Community spirit is the most important and valuable thing for giving a new meaning to your city or town. This is because success comes from working and keeping together.

Cleaning up your city or an area is not only essential for maintaining your city but also it is valuable for your environmental sustainability. When a lot of people work together, there is a high chance of presenting new and innovative ideas for the betterment of the country. Therefore, it is quite indispensable to work as a team to reach the potential goals at a faster pace.

Future of the Middlesbrough

When all the other people strive hard to degrade your town,combine together as one power and work hard to take your city on the road to success. Therefore, it is very important to unite together. Moreover, these projects like this big clean up are essential for the city and these local projects can give rise to numerous other projects.

Article By Chloe Tempestoso