When somebody doesn’t like a city or town, he or she thinks it their utmost duty to consider that town or city as their punching bag and continue to defame it to its fullest. However, this defaming can be a personal attack for the inhabitants of that certain town. Same is the case with the Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough has always been an easy target for getting slandered and deprecated.
Middlesbrough is also termed as the ‘worst place to live’ and to be more precise, it is termed as the ‘worst place to live if you’re a girl’. However, this town has so much more to it that must be addressed and appreciated. All of the damning and pejorative reports must be stopped and let’s start looking on the brighter prospect, leaving the disapproving tut behind.
The success stories
Everybody looks up to degrading a certain town or city but he or she never bothers to pass on the achievements of that certain area. Not only people but media also plays a major role in presenting an area being nothing less than a pothole. There are many other respectful and deferential accomplishments of Middlesbrough other than media reports of being a town jam-packed with obesity and underage pregnancy.
Teesside is the first place that gave this world a railway. It is the gift of the Middlesbrough Captain Cook that enabled the countries like Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand to be known and respected. Sydney Harbor Bridge, which is known for its beauty and grace, was built by Middlesbrough’s Famous Steel Industry. The football team of the Middlesbrough has won the League Cup. Moreover, this football team waved its flag in the UEFA Cup and lately marked its grounds in the Premiership. Also home to BBC Breakfast Presenter Steph McGovern and Musician Chris Rea. These are some of the main achievements and accomplishments that are currently obscured by the ongoing bleak position of the Middlesbrough.
Some hidden Gems of Teesside
Apart from debasing and demeaning remarks, Teesside is the home of a lot of hidden gems existing in and around the Teesside. These hidden gems and mesmerizing places include:
These are some others must be visited and explored. All these places are enough to encourage the tourists. However, the deleterious misconceptions spread by the reports underpin only the slandering aspect of Middlesbrough.
Nobody ever speaks of Baker and Bedford Streets Development home to some the towns finest Micro Pubs and ind. No stance is given to the glorious University Campus of the Teesside and nobody lingers on the re-invigoration of the Middlehaven or the Transporter Bridge and Newport Bridge. All these aspects are left behind and people only zoom in on the negative and defaming reports published by the media or rumored by numerous people. The only thing that Middlesbrough wants is financial aid and salutation from the government. This town holds so much more to it that remains neglected and only misconceptions are getting fueled by the damning reports. Middlesbrough is in a dire need of investments and everybody owes it to Middlesbrough because of the unnecessary slandering.
You may have made up your mind that Middlesbrough holds so much more than the typical defaming reports shown by the media. Instead of highlighting the problems and spreading misconceptions about it, we need to take a bold step against them and try our best to fix and solve them. Let’s just find positivity in every area and accept its own exclusivity.
Like many other small independent retails, we at Chapter One Loftus are preparing to open our doors again on the 12th April 2021, assuming nothing changes! We are calling this opening mark 3 given that we only opened our doors for the first time, briefly in November 2020. Today is Saturday, Easter Weekend, and it’s a now a fine balancing act and missing ordering new stock ready for reopening or ordering it only be told lock down is extended.
The High Street is a challenging place, but we had hope for our High Street in Loftus on the North Yorkshire Coast, with The Department of Communities and Local Government announcing £5.8m investment as part of its Future High Streets Fund. The concept of a Bookshop in Loftus starting at Christmas in 2019, and by March 2020, I had handed in my notice as a Hospice Chief Executive and I was sat in a training room with the team from Business Made Simple on a business start-up course recommended by Redcar and Cleveland Council. We wanted the Bookshop to be in Loftus, it was our home, our community and we felt that an Independent Bookshop was a good fit with the other independent retailers on the High Street, which includes Wold Pottery, Willow Cake Shop and Mini Bee’s among others. I had also been the ‘Saturday Boy’ at Guisborough Bookshop many, many years ago, so time to follow my dream.
Three days after starting the course I was writing a business plan and all was going great until COVID-19 hit and we moved into Lockdown One. Having already handed in my notice, I joined the amazing team at Whitby Hospital as a volunteer nurse supporting the discharge of patients for a few months, before returning to work as a Nurse for NHS111covering South West London. As lockdown started to ease, I picked up the business plan again, and by chance Carole Louise Hair Salon moved from number 25 High Street to their new home in the Old Post Office in Loftus. Another meeting with the Business Made Simple team pushed me into making the decision to take on number 25. We got the keys in October 2020, and announced our opening day of Friday 6thNovember 2020, this was followed by a Government announcement of Lock Down Two starting on Thursday 5thNovember 2020. Our stock arrived on the Monday, so we opened on the Tuesday, with no internet connection (that wasn’t coming until Thursday) and I was also committed to a nightshift at NHS111 on the Tuesday night, so 48 hours without sleep! We opened our doors on the Tuesday morning, and we where blow away by the support, it was lovely to welcome customers into the shop, even if it was only for two days. The joy soon turned to tears on the Thursday as Lock Down Two started, with very little sleep and the need for an online shop I sat behind the counter and cried, I was a nurse, a 2-day year old bookseller what I was not, was a web designer. I had by chance in Lock Down One managed to somehow get myself into a Zoom meeting with a hundred or so other Booksellers and sat through a crash course in designing online Bookshops, thankfully I could understand my notes, and with some sleep within 24 hours we had an online shop, and I was out doing free home deliveries between Hinderwell and Saltburn. We continued with home delivery through click and collect until reopening in December. It was lovely to welcome customers back into the shop and we opened extra days in the run up to Christmas and were very well supported using the #shoplocal and #indieloftus campaigns which the local business ran with here in Loftus.
After Christmas we move into Lock Down Three, we like I am sure many people feel like it’s gone on forever, but our customers have moved back to online, although disappointingly the government has allowed supermarkets to continue selling books, whilst Booksellers like ourselves have remained closed as we are classed as nonessential retail. Our customers tell us they are excited about us reopening as they are looking forward to coming back in the shop and browse the shelves in the way you just can’t do online. During Lockdown we have increased our stock levels to well over 1000 titles now and have just order extra bookshelves, we have started to return to the shop to a bookshop rather the warehouse for our online sales. We continue to work with the largest UK wholesaler of books to allow us to order titles that we physically can’t hold in stock and normally can get books in stock within 48 hours. We have developed relationships with local independent authors and signed copies seem to be extremely popular with our customers as well the Indie Bookshop titles that many publishers and authors are now producing for independent bookshops like ourselves. We have just finished our first World Book Day, and whilst sadly customers couldn’t come in the shop to exchange the tokens,we have given away over 500 of the World Book Day books. We look forward to reopening our doors on the 12th April 2021 and welcoming our customers back to browse with extended opening hours during that first week.
Opening Hours the week of the 12th April 2020 will be Monday to Saturday 10:00hrs to 18:00hrs. Normal Opening Hours are Wednesday to Friday 10:00hrs to 18:00hrs and Saturday’s 09:00hrs to 16:00hrs. Telephone 01287 640507 email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.chapteroneloftus.co.uk
It cannot be ignored that there is a constant need to highlight the importance of art in our society. In our busy lives, we get so involved in the systematic routine that the development of arts is curtailed. Therefore, Gallery TS1 located in the central Middlesbrough right next to the empire nightclub on Corporation road is doing a great job in the revival of art.
The Art Gallery was initiated by the Middlesbrough council and local Middlesbrough Artists over 10 years ago. It is an important site in the Tees valley due to its immense contribution in getting the younger population know the value of art. Gallery TS1 started functioning in 2007 after which it has spared not a single day in the contribution of art. Gallery TS1 was expanded it to encourage the local community to visit and display their art work. Alan Morley believes the gallery is exactly what the community needs to uplift art and encourage local artists to come forward.
The Gallery provides a great platform for people of all ages to showcase their work. The gallery provides a mix of art, it is not restricted to any particular type of art. It showcases everything starting from metal art, art photography pottery and glass and much more. The work is exuberating. It is catching the attention of people throughout Middlesbrough which proves that they gallery is a successful initiative. Not only does the gallery encourage people to contribute to the art work, it also provides apprenticeships to young artists in the early years of the gallery . It motivates them to join the art community and give their work the appreciation it needs and deserve.
The art gallery is the first major incentive of the Middlesbrough community which is doing a great job in highlighting the local art of the Tees Valley Area. If the local art is not appreciated enough, the younger generation would be unable to identify the true colour and virtue of the community. The gallery shop displays football club, transporter bridge, highlights the street culture in Teesside along with the steel industry. A great way to join the community under a good cause. It helps the people of the Tees Valley area to come closer together to produce and appreciate together.
It is of great importance to shed light upon the fact that there is constant need to market the art gallery. To gain more funds and the interest of people adequate marketing is needed. It would help spread the word and create awareness regarding the significance of art in culture and tradition, as stated by senior artist Alan Morley. Gallery TS1 is aimed to do a lot more than just showcasing art work, it is in fact providing a platform for young artists with fresh ideas to come forward. There is an avid need to encourage the community members to that they unit and promote art together. The gallery will be the source of communication among the artists and the local people.
The gallery is open 6 days a week. It is rapidly gaining popularity and people are showing significant interest in this art movement. The gallery is entertaining people from Canada and Germany along with other corners of the world. The gallery is open 6 days a week. It is rapidly gaining popularity and people are showing significant interest in this art movement. The gallery is entertaining people from Canada and Germany along with other corners of the world.
A major cash boost set to breathe new life into some of the heritage gems on Middlesbrough’s High Street
Middlesbrough Cultural Partnership has secured a grant of almost £120,000 from Historic England to uncover the hidden gems of Middlesbrough’s high street.
The Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough cultural programme will shine a light on the culture, history and stories of the high street, inviting everyone to join in and see their hometown with fresh eyes.
Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough will last for two years and has its base at the Grade II listed Masham Hotel in the centre of Middlesbrough on Linthorpe Road.
Vicky Holbrough, Director of Navigator North, the Middlesbrough-based arts organisation who are leading the project said: “We’ve been inspired by the original Winter Garden which aimed to improve health and wellbeing and bring arts and culture to the people of Middlesbrough between 1907 to 1963.
“The Masham is open to everyone, a place to be creative, meet your neighbours and see Middlesbrough in a brand-new way.”
Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough will create and present community events, art exhibitions, workshops and a range of arts projects all of which are inspired by Middlesbrough’s historically significant buildings, heritage archives and public collections.
It will explore the heritage of Exchange Square and Zetland Road, expand on the recently re-established Tunnel Gallery based in Middlesbrough Railway Station and connect with historically significant works from the Middlesbrough Collection held at MIMA.
A public programme of events starting in summer 2021 will take place in and around the Heritage Action Zone. Local people can get involved with talks, pop-up events, workshops and activities all on the high street.
Vicky Holbrough continued: “Working with artists and communities we will uncover perhaps familiar and little-known heritage stories embedded within the fabric of this part of the town centre, encouraging visitors and residents to explore Middlesbrough’s important cultural past on today’s high street.”
Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough supports Middlesbrough Cultural Partnership’s mission to use art and culture as a driver for regeneration and attract new visitors to a more vibrant town centre.
It also complements the community engagement programme and improvements planned for properties and public spaces in the Historic Quarter as part of Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme.
Kate Wilson, Partnerships Team Leader for Historic England in the North East and Yorkshire said: “Revealing the history of Middlesbrough’s distinctive historic quarter will help achieve the prosperous future we all want.
“When you arrive at the station what better way to begin your experience than to find yourself surrounded by such fine public buildings and spaces?
“We want to celebrate and unlock the potential of this historic North East town by investing in this High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme and help it thrive and make a positive contribution to the future of Middlesbrough.”
Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough will also feature research and archiving activities, opportunities for education and training and a programme film.
Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Culture, Communities and Education, said: “The centre of Middlesbrough is packed with little gems of cultural and historical significance, and it’s vital that we protect and preserve them for future generations.
“This project is a great opportunity for people to share their memories and delve beneath the surface of our town’s amazing history and heritage.”
Artist wants to hear from the public about people, places and tales of Boro for a new project at Albert Park.
Award-winning artist Oliver Bragg is posing some questions to the Middlesbrough public this month, all in aid of a new art project.
Did you grow up hearing stories and urban myths about Middlesbrough and the North East? Are there things from Middlesbrough that you think the world needs to embrace, like phrases and sayings you don’t hear anywhere else? Do you know a local legend, either living or deceased?
Then, Bragg and the team behind Middlesbrough’s public art programme want you to get in touch.
The artist intends to create brass plaques engraved with the stories, myths and anecdotes told to him by residents of Middlesbrough, which will be permanently installed on benches in Albert Park.
“I hope that when the plaques are installed in Albert Park, they will spark conversations between people, new stories will form, and new legends will take shape,” said Bragg
Organisers are asking anyone who has a story to share to get in touch by 1 July through email@example.com.
Cllr Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Education, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this project which will be unique for Albert Park and Middlesbrough.
“Everyone in Middlesbrough will have a story to tell that would potentially fit the bill, and we urge people to volunteer them.
“When complete, this will be a real talking point for people visiting the park and one which they will no doubt continue away from the park with family and friends. We look forward to some great anecdotes being included.”
This is 1 of 13 public art pieces set to be added to the Middlesbrough landscape in the coming months.
“We’ve got a plan for a series public art pieces and installations across the town over the next 12 months’ said James Lowther, founder and Co-Director of Navigator North. They are delivering the public art programme on behalf of Middlesbrough Council.
“We are supporting artists and communities to work together to create outdoor artwork which is by Middlesbrough and for Middlesbrough. Creating unique spaces for us to enjoy together as communities and which will also attract visitors to our town.”
Jackie Young first started Middlesbrough Community Champions volunteer group back in 2018, aiming for cleaner and litter free and greener Middlesbrough to make a difference to the town. I caught up with Jackie last week and chatted about the great work and the story behind Middlesbrough Community Champions.
Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers and what your role is in community champions
My role along with several others is to organise group voluntary events across Middlesbrough and bring people together to create a community
How did you come up with the name community champions ?
Community Everyone, as that’s what we are a Community, a family Champions Anyone who does something for the good of others selfishly is a champion Middlesbrough because that’s where we are based. Maybe we will expand, who knows, BORO CHAMPS is our nickname, quicker to say than Community Champions Middlesbrough.
What’s the story behind the community champions how did the group start ?
We started litter picking in 2018 with other groups and really enjoyed cleaning up and making a difference. We met other people who said they would like to join us, therefore, in 2019 we decided to make it official and created a Facebook Group to see if other like-minded people would like to get involved.
Can you tell us a bit about the community champions do and how you believe it benefits the local community ?
The Community champions are a community in themselves, bringing people together, tackling the litter problems we have in Middlesbrough and bringing life to dreary areas of town, such as the dinosaur park. The group works as a team, supports each other, is a safe place to discuss problems and seek assistance. It certainly gives people a sense of pride and belonging. It’s good for volunteer’s health and well-being and is great exercise. For young people carrying out their Duke of Edinburgh awards there is an opportunity to tick off their voluntary activities to gain Bronze, Silver or Gold awards whilst making friends. Our activities are varied and gives volunteers a choice of activities to attend with different dates and times. There is no pressure to attend. There is a role within the group for all abilities, whether you take care of handing out equipment, making the teas and coffees, doing some admin or getting stuck in cleaning up our estates or even better, just popping along for a chat, what’s not to like.
How can new people get involved in volunteering with the group?
We recommend people follow our events page on Facebook, come along and meet us. They can message or email the admin with any questions, and we will help them, give them the confidence to come along and do something great.
What are the main values and goals of the group, what do you hope to achieve long-term?
Long-term goals are just that, never ending but the main goal I guess is to ensure everyone involved continues with their new friendships and never gets bored, therefore, working with as many groups as possible, local authorities, business and schools is a good step in the right direction.
What are you views as a litter picking group on the issues regarding plastic waste ?
Where do I begin, it’s sadly out of control, the good news is that we as a society know this and we can all play our part on reducing plastic waste. In the meantime, whilst solutions are found and implemented, we need to focus on recycling whatever we can, upcycle other people’s rubbish and bring back deposits on glass bottles and add plastic bottles to that list. I remember as a child returning the glass pop bottle for a few pence to buy a bag of sweets Supermarkets are starting to make small changes; more can be done but as I said we are more aware of this problem, and everyone needs to make changes.
What’s the response being from the local people in Middlesbrough since the group began ?
It’s been fantastic, overwhelming in fact, we couldn’t have asked for better support, we receive messages and emails from people from all over Teesside and as far away as Germany and Australia.
Where can people find you on social media ?
We have a Facebook page where you can see some of our work, although better to join the Facebook group and get involved and follow our activities. We are also tweeting on twitter and sharing our photos on Instagram. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Its a question many Teessiders may wonder where does our traditional Teesside dish come from where did it start what’s the story behind the famous parmo ,Teesside’s favourite takeaway ?
As it’s local history month it only seems right to look at the history and origin of Teesside’s most famous food dish the parmo , find out more about the story of the Parmo.
The Origins of the Parmo
The history of the parmo starts not in Teesside but in Italy with the Parmigiana, a shallow fried filling coated in cheese and tomato, then baked in the oven. Most commonly found in southern Italy, the filling wasn’t always a meat one. the earliest recorded parmigiana was made with sliced aubergine.
Although the parmo’s birthplace has been disputed, its origins are widely attributed to post-Second World War in Middlesbrough it believed by many Teessiders to be invented by Nicos Harris, a chef with the United States Army during the second world war . He was wounded in France, but was brought to the United Kingdom to be treated in a British hospital. Eventually, he moved to Middlesbrough and opened a restaurant, The American Grill, on Linthorpe Road, where he created parmo serving first in Middlesbrough in 1958 making the famous Teesside dish over 63 years old the dish was based on parmigiana recipe form Italy. It is believed that he based his speciality on a dish he’d tasted in his childhood in the US in the 1930s.
Dictionary meaning of the word parmo-. “English, regional (North-East). A dish consisting of a fillet of breaded chicken, pork, or other meat that is fried, topped with béchamel sauce and cheese, and then grilled, typically sold as takeaway food.”, mainly for anyone who not from Teesside or ever came across the dish before.
Made of a breadcrumbed and deep-fried fillet of chicken or, less usually, pork, topped with béchamel sauce (béch, to connoisseurs) and cheese.
In recent years the parmo has spread further than the land of the Teesside to become a symbol of the area Teesside and massive part of Teesside culture , the parmo has featured on TV shows such master chefs and Middlesbroughs Steph Mcgovern has spoken has chatted about the parmo on BBC breakfast , the dish was also voted in Britain’s top 20 best takeaways often today Parmo are first thing people think of when they think of Teesside, the parmo is in the blood of most who live in Teesside.
Philip Meadows is a local Teesside artist based in Middlesbrough who focuses his painting on his childhood memories growing up in Middlesbrough in the 1960s. I caught up with Philip to find out more behind his latest artwork the Eston war mural.
What’s the story behind the mural?
I was asked by the Eston Remembers Committee to produce the mural. They knew of my art work and that I lived in Eston. We went for a general theme rather than purely military as many Eston residents worked in reserved occupations. Mining, steel making and ship building were important jobs. It allowed me to focus on the iron stone mining without which Eston and Middlesbrough wouldn’t exist.
What was like to do a mural piece of artwork?
People are impressed with the size of the mural. In reality is just a big painting. The important thing is the design and the harmony of the colours. If it works in your sketch book it will work on a wall, it’s just bigger. You measure the wall and decide on a scale then scale your drawings to the chosen scale. My scale was 4cm on the design to 1/2 metre on the wall. You can then start anywhere on the painting. The difficulty is making sure all the individual squares gel together.
Can you tell us what the mural is about ?
The mural focuses on the past but the effect it has had around Eston within the community highlights the good influence artwork can have. Historically we need to remember the past then we won’t make the same mistakes again. There is a memorial in Middlesbrough town hall to people who fought in the Spanish civil war against Fascism. Had the government listened to our volunteers in 1936 and taken a different tack with the Nazis the 2nd world war would not have had to be fought.
If you are wanting to pay the mural a visit it can be found in Eston Square when coming from Redcar. You can’t miss it.
Chloe Tempestoso the founder of Project Middlesbrough caught up with Elliot from local Tees band Gone Tomorrow about starting band during lockdown and their plans for 2021.
Would like to introduce yourselves to the Project Middlesbrough readers ?
We are Gone Tomorrow, a young alternative rock band from Stockton-on-Tees with all members aged from 16-19. We play passionate, aggressive music and have just released our debut single, ‘Escapist’
How did the Gone Tomorrow band form ?
We formed at school when our singer/songwriter, Ben Ruddick, showed us some music he had been writing. James Smith (Drummer), Akash Banerjee (Lead Guitar) and Oliver Overend (Bass) joined after Ben invited them to a practice session in December 2019. Elliott Duncan (Rhythm Guitar) then joined in February 2020.
How did you come with the name Gone Tomorrow ?
The name ‘Gone Tomorrow’ came about after some discussions between us all as we were not happy with our former name. A few names were put down on a list until James suggested Gone Tomorrow which was an instant hit with us all and stuck out from the rest.
Can you tell us about your upcoming single ?
Escapist is 3 and a half minutes of snarling alternative rock about longing for escape from the world we live in. Ben tells of dreams beyond a small town accompanied by pulverising drums, heavy bass and a melodic lead line.
What’s the music scene like on Teesside ?
The music scene on Teesside is brilliant, there’s a lot of upcoming bands and solo artists etc from a wide variety of genres. It’s brilliant to see so many people writing and playing music locally.
What’s the inspiration behind your music ?
Our music is sort of a pic n mix of every band members individual tastes. Ben grew up listening to Arctic Monkeys and Catfish and the Bottlemen whilst Oli and Akash would listen to artists like My Chemical Romance and Bring Me The Horizon. It is good for us as a group to have so many different artists we are interested in as we can all appreciate the music we listen to as it expands our knowlage and gives us new ideas all the time. We just want to make music people can really resonate with and find enjoyment in.
Why do you think it’s so important for grass route venues like Base camp and local radio station based in Teesside to support upcoming bands form the area ?
We believe it’s a massive part in helping young and upcoming bands get to where they aspire to be. If there weren’t local radios or grass roots venues it would be incredibly hard to follow your dreams and we believe it’s important that there’s that foot in the door.
What are your plans for 2021 and beyond ?
With 2021 here we are looking to get plenty of gigs under our belt when the time is right and release more music. We want to give something for people to look forward to and really get behind. Gigs is definitely a massive one for us along with connecting with an audience and creating some buzz around our music.
You can listen to Gone Tomorrow latest single Escapist- On all available streaming services Spotify and Apple music.
Social media- Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/gonetomorrowband Insta -https://www.instagram.com/gonetomorrowband/
Interview by Chloe Tempestoso
You can also catch a brand new radio show which supports local upcoming musicians from across the Tees area which Chloe co-presenters called the CVFM Intro show which airs every Sunday 5/6 on CVFM Radio 104.5FM or you can listen at CVFM.ORG , if your local based artist please submit your tracks to email@example.com.
We’re Jonny, Dana and Elliott, otherwise known as The Boro Breakdown Podcast. We’re three big Boro fans that condense all the matchday chatter into a pod.
Can you tell us about how the Boro Breakdown Podcast started?
The Boro Breakdown started around the time Jonny was writing match previews for my website. Because Jonny is dyslexic, it was more comfortable for him to speak rather than type, and so the previews moved from a written format into an audio one. Initially it was just Jonny on his own talking about the set-up, tactics and personnel of the upcoming opponent. After a couple of guest pods, including chats with Graeme Bailey, Yusuf Jama as well as myself and Elliott, Jonny reached out to both of us to get us involved. Jonny knew Elliott from University and knew me from the website he did a bit of writing for, so eventually the new line-up was introduced and it evolved from there. The previews became reviews, incorporated opinion, stats and, as the rapport between the three of us became more natural, the humor started to filter through as well.
How did you come up with the name The Boro Breakdown Podcast ?
The name came to be because Jonny was ‘breaking down’ the team Boro were facing next. It’s rather apt though, because Boro sometimes breakdown on the pitch, and the podcast sometimes breaks down with tech issues – so it’s a perfect title!
Can you tell us what the podcast is about ?
The podcast is about everything Boro, from the game just gone, to the game coming up, and everything in between. Opinion, stats, transfer news, opposition research — that’s what you can expect on the podcast. And a side of banter too!
What’s the reaction been from the listeners?
The reaction has been excellent. Especially since moving to Red Army Radio – who’ve been a massive help in elevating the podcast – the response has been superb, and very humbling. The listens, reviews, shares, comments and general engagement of the podcast is mind blowing to us, and we’re so incredibly appreciative. Special shoutout has to go to Dave Roberts, Marc Yafano, Chris Lofthouse, Phil Bullock, Courtney Hussain and everyone behind the scenes at Red Army for helping allow the podcast to grow.
What’s your favourite thing about being Middlesbrough fans?
I think all three of us just love the identity. Middlesbrough fans are proud people, and that’s no different for us. We love going to the games with our families, going to our burger vans, taking our seats and watching the Boro. That’s even if they lose!
You can listen to the Boro Breakdown podcast every Sunday on most streaming services.
Being a young woman from Middlesbrough, I have finally accepted – at the age of 26 – that there will always be people who speak negatively about our area…whether that’s Teesside’s themselves, people from down south or the national media trying to portray us in a bad light.
Middlesbrough has been reported as the worst place to live in the UK… Our government decided in 2015 not to save our steel works… We have been left behind time after time.
Back in 2015, I remember the steel works closing and thinking that if we were a town in the south east of England then somehow, just somehow, our world-famous steel works would have stayed open and been saved.
My grandparents came here in the 1950s when my grandad ended up working for ICI, a famous Teesside company, and very much part of the area’s history. My other grandad served in the Green Howards in the Second World War. Besides my family’s links to the area, there are many more reasons why I’m so proud to be from here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else on the planet, which I know many people may think is a mad statement, but guess what… it’s the truth.
One of the main reasons I am so proud to be a Teessider is the people who live here… from the people who were born and raised here whose families have been here for 100 years, to the people who are from overseas or other parts of the UK, there’s just something about the people living across the Tees. There is a real sense of pride for the area and belonging, coming together and community feeling. I feel as though being from Teesside makes up most of my identify and the values I hold as a person. I feel a stronger sense of being a Teessider more than being British or of being from Italian descent at times.
I love our accent and our own unique way of speaking. I love that we have our own sayings, which if you said anywhere else in the world no one would have a clue what you meant. There’s something about our accent and our slang which makes me so proud to be from Teesside.
We have the Parmo, our very own dish which was created right here. We have our steel heritage; everyone seems to have some connection to the steel history of Teesside, and we all know our steel helped build some of the most significant bridges in the world. We are proud of our history as Ironopolis or the Infant Hercules. We have pride in our very own football clubs… the list is endless.
We love the amazing places we have across Teesside. Whenever I hear that we were voted the worst place to live in the UK, I always wonder if the people doing these polls even visited the area. Yes, we have our bad parts – all towns and cities do – but to list only a few of my favorite spots: I don’t think I’ve been to a nicer beach in the UK than Saltburn… Roseberry Topping is a stunning natural landmark… walking along the River Tees from the dales through to Yarm, Stockton and the river mouth itself highlights our varied and incredible history… and of course we have our famous blue Transporter Bridge. We have some amazing spots which make up our area and history, create a sense of pride and makes me proud to live here.
I will never stop being proud to be from this area and will keep fighting for Teesside voices to make sure we are seen in a positive light and can celebrate where we live and work. Yes, I know we have our problems but doesn’t everywhere?
Firstly would you like to introduce yourself, tell us a bit about your business ?
Hi! My name is Sarah Goodwin, I’m an artist based in Middlesbrough and I created a small business called The Northern Creator. It specialises in commissioned artwork and design, mainly focusing on prints, wall art and cards; with each piece handmade and unique in design.
What the story behind your business how did it start?
I created The Northern Creator in 2019, after graduating in Fine Art in the summer. Starting my own business had been a dream since a young age, but building up the confidence took a lot longer than expected. I began on Instagram, uploading the work I’d done for close family and friends, and thankfully it has gained momentum from there. Over the last year I began to develop my business and branch out, and although it’s still a work in progress, I’m excited to see where it takes my little business.
What type of products do you offer to your customers?
My business mainly runs from commission based work, ranging from prints, cards and wall art. Some of my favourite pieces are of local landscapes, hand painted onto wooden planks, finished with ink detailing to capture the best the North East has to offer. I also sell my handmade prints on Etsy, and plan to broaden my range as I go. My proudest commission is wall art in Barbs Pizza on Bedford Street, which I completed over lockdown!
How’s Covid affected your business? How are you planning on bouncing back?
Covid offered a new set of challenges, but also gave me the chance to really focus on my work. With a lot more time at home during lockdown, it allowed me to focus a lot more on the direction of my business and the work I wanted to pursue. The main struggle was finding a balance between raising my son and family time, while starting up my business and trying to keep a working drive to create.
Why do you think independent artists and businesses are so important for an area like Teesside?
Independent businesses in Teesside are so important as they reflect the town’s true talent and interpretation from it’s own residents. I think the art movement and business talent in Teesside has been slowly but surely changing the town for the better, and I feel especially through these tough times the passion and pride for the town, and the creative minds in it will bring the town into the next generation.
Where can people find your products?
Commissions are taken through both my Facebook and Instagram pages, with one off pieces normally advertised through these platforms. Handmade prints and crafts are also sold through my Etsy page.
What’s it like being an artist and living in the north east?
The North East has so much to offer in terms of inspiration, and the people of the North East are so eager to share their pride for their communities and towns; with hidden gems and beautiful landscapes perfect inspiration for creative minds in each respect. Being able to visit the variety of places and have that support network of creative people has been essential to my development as an artist. The North East gets a pretty bad rep sometimes, but to be able to stand on Saltburn beach, and in no time be stood on top of the moors is pretty special, and for that inspiration to be so easily accessed is amazing.
Ellie Brennan Brings a Parmo & Chips Rug plus much more the Extension of The Fingers thumbs and the spaces inbetween Exhibition at Eston Arts Centre in Middlesbrough from 8th October till the 31st October.
The Middlesbrough born artist who studied at Manchester Fine Art graduate who also studied at Teessides Northern school of art campus in Middlesbrough, is set to launch her debut show from Eston Arts centre in Middlesbrough.
She utilises a range of techniques, from crochet, to industrial rug tufting, but her overall aim is to create work that is accessible to everyone, and doesn’t shroud itself in complex art theory . Instead, she prefers to work with key memories from childhood growing up in the North East in Middlesbrough , and create pieces that hopefully resonate with a wider audience, and help to make ‘fine art’ more accessible for people living in the North East is hopeful her first show in her hometown connects with people in the area.
The exhibit was crafted during the Covid19 lockdown, as Ellie got a chance to reconnect with her favourite foods as a child including Teessides famous dish the Parmo. Offering the visitors, a blast from the past, as they feel the cultural difference walking into the exhibit.
Why is does Middlesbrough get such a bad reputation from the national media and the rest of the UK in general, been a young 25 year old women living here, I’m Middlesbrough born and bred in Acklam Middlesbrough, since a young age of 9/10 I have always wondered why we are seen as such an awful place to live by people from outside the area and the national media. I wanted to find out why do we as a town get such a bad reputation and ask the question do we deserve our bad reputation?
I guess it first hit me back in 2007 when I was just 12 years old, I was watching the channel four program Location Location, one off episode were they listed the top ten best places to live in the UK and top 10 worst places to live. I decided to watch it as I was curious to watch the show to see if my hometown would be mentioned, the year before we were voted 5th worst place to live. I guess I was kind of hoping we were no longer in the top 10 worst places to live ,I didn’t think one second we would end up been voted as the worst place in the UK from this my first thought rest of the country is going to think my hometown is the worst place to live in the UK,I knew this was far from the truth.
Most of you reading this would of seen the program clip were they listed us as the worst place to live in the UK, the clip they showed was around six minutes long’s always whenever the films crew come to Middlesbrough they always go to the worst areas, Gresham where the houses had been left, to be honest who can blame them we always know there going to film bad parts as its makes the best TV, they went to talk about high crime rate in our town and unemployment in our area, they didn’t highlight one positive thing about our town. As Somebody is proud of our town I refuse to accept as been branded as the worst place to live in the UK.
I openly admit as a town we do have problems, I am not naïve to think Middlebsrough is this perfect place to live, I know some areas need work and need to be improved, its important as a town we deal with the problems with drugs and mental health and poverty we have conversations about these important subjects. I travelled to a lot different parts of the UK, from this there no where I believe Middlesbrough is the worst to live, all town and cities have problems with crime, poverty and drugs. It doesn’t seem anywhere else gets it highlighted as much as Middlesbrough it seems where bad reputation comes from only stories spoken about are always negative, I believe that mindset needs to change and the national and rest of the UK needs to give us a chance this is amazing place to be.
I remember my dad always saying they never come and film Acklam hall or the avenue of Trees, or talk about Stanley Hollis the WW2 D-Day hero only man to win the VC on D-Day been from Middlesbrough, or our amazing steel industry, or the fact this year we hosted the radio one big weekend. I could go on they a list of things which are amazing about Teesside which the media never talk about, you know the amazing stuff our town has to offer the world and our amazing history.
I think I have summed up that Middlesbrough does not deserve its bad reputation from the media and rest of the UK. Anyone who readers my blog knows I am so passionate about this town, I am so proud to be from here, I will fight to give this town the good reputation it deserves, through sharing peoples Teesside stories through my blog going out meeting local people. Its very reason I set up this little blog over a year to show the true Middlesbrough, My Middlesbrough and your Middlesbrough.