Gone Tomorrow Teesside latest musical talent

  • 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.

Gone Tomorrow Band

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 introshow@cvfm.org.uk.


Boro breakdown Podcast Interview


Would you like to introduce yourself?

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.


Interview by Chloe Tempestoso

Why I’m proud to be from Teesside


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?

Article by Chloe Tempestoso

The Northern Creator


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.


Interview by Chloe Tempestoso



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.

Twitter @estonartscentre
Facebook @estonartscentre
Instagram @estonartscentre

Fingers, Thumbs And The Spaces Inbetween is at Eston Arts Centre, Middlesbrough from Thursday 8th-Saturday 31st October

Article by Chloe Tempestoso

Does Middlesbrough really deserve its bad reputation?


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.

Article by Chloe Tempestoso

Turtle Dust The Teesside Artist


What’s the story behind your article and you becoming an artist ?

Just to confirm I’m not an actual turtle, or made of dust but I do have aspirations to become an amphibious superhero but I’m not keen on getting wet and lycra, take it or leave it! With me?

I don’t like to call myself an artist in its strictest form. I’m a designer, I design things for instant gratification with my tongue pressed firmly in my cheek! I suppose you could call me the visual bootlegger, I bring lots of parts together to make something alternative to the original in a similar way hip-hop did for music.

Tell us a bit about your artwork ?

Its mostly digital although I have introduced lots of mixed media versions with collaborations including illuminating, mechanical and spray can art. I use tons of layers, cut-outs all patiently repainted digitally like a controlled collage. I use lots of graphic design positioning, bordering on advertising techniques with psychological tricks and colour treats.

How has Covid affected you as an artists and business ?

I’ve tried to use it as a positive experience to fuel new ideas, designs, skills and target new audiences, outlets and make connections with new collaborators in a similar half-built, semi-inflated boat. Like a 21st century Noah in Joseph’s technicolour, nylon based anorak – we are trying to ride the storm and when we land its going to be an explosion even dulux won’t be able to colour match.

Whats the reaction being like from people to your artwork?

At a recent exhibition I had at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle I was described by one regional critic / eye-baller as ‘the confuser’, he said he didn’t want to like my work but was ‘unexpectedly drawn to its immediacy, humor and detail’! So i’m the Eastenders of art then, pointless, accessible but you can’t help having a look. The urban Beale

Tell us little bit about your Teesside themed artwork ?

Its a modern take on a vintage theme, the seaside postcard that never happened, letting the world know we can accept the absurdity of the time and place we live in and no matter where the wizard may take us we’ll still build a pigeon chest blue bridge with a magical levitating tarmaced gondola that delivers you to the promised land.

How has Covid affected your business and how have you planned to bounce back from it?

On a positive level lockdown increased print sales and my international sales grew as more people began to take the time to search for fresh eye space and new views,outfits and company for their 4 walls. I work a lot with venues, events, clubs, hotels and interesting eateries so that side of my ‘artistry’ has taken a well distanced back seat. I currently have a storage space filled with 100 unused space hoppers (amongst other stunt based furniture and goodies) and if there was ever away to bounce back from this I got enough hot air for all of us!

For more info about Turtle dust head to his website https://turtledust.bigcartel.com/

Interview by Chloe Tempestoso

They Saw It Coming: Teesplan 60 years on


The story of the 1960s idea that predicted the future – and the explosive scandal that ended it

For a hundred years, our region was the steel capital of the world. Steel forged in Tees furnaces found its way into the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and weaved across the Victoria Falls. When Churchill’s war cabinet met in their underground bunker, or when the ball hit the net at Wembley, it all happened under structures of Teesside steel. Our region has a proud industrial heritage – before steel, it was shipbuilding at Smith’s Dock, and after, it was chemicals at the Imperial Chemical Industries site. With high wages and good union jobs, in the 1960s it was classified as one of the best places to live in the UK.

But from the 70s onwards, we were ravaged by deindustrialisation. Between 1970 and 1985, a quarter of all jobs disappeared – and in the 90s, automation shrank the chemical industry too. Smith’s Dock launched its final ship in 1986; ICI left Teesside in 2007. The final nail came when the Tories’ apathy over Chinese steel dumping shut down the SSI steelworks in 2015. Three thousand people in my hometown of Redcar lost jobs, and almost two thousand children here now rely on foodbanks each year. Today, Teesside has amongst the highest poverty rates in the UK. Life expectancy is the lowest in Britain and going backwards. Youth unemployment is double the national average, and we have the highest suicide rate in the country. Shuttered shop-fronts line the high streets, at the highest rate anywhere in Britain. Not to mention the Boro were relegated.

This is our piece of the story that played out across the old industrial North. In our thriving golden age, when we were forging structures across the world, nobody could have imagined the decline that was to come.

Except, in the 1960s, one man did.

Frank Medhurst was a former WWII RAF pilot, who used his ex-service grant to study architecture and planning. It had been an exciting moment to become a planner – a field of post-war hope, bold dreams of building a better Britain. In 1965, he was headhunted to lead the Teesside Survey and Plan; it was to be Britain’s first sub-regional planning study.

What followed was something radical, not just on Teesside but anywhere. Frank’s team changed the idea of planning. They got out from behind their desks and drawing-boards, and into front rooms around the area. They held 110,000 interviews with members of the public. For the first time in their lives, the people of Teesside were being asked what they wanted their future to look like.

The team drew up a forty-year plan, anticipating the changes that were to come and the actions that would need to be taken. They predicted that the two massive industries that kept Teesside afloat – steel and chemicals – were heading for decline. They expected that a wave of mechanisation and changing markets that would cut jobs, and that Teesside would need a broader, more diverse economy to cope.

The first 25 years of their plan would have updated Teesside to Britain’s average. The team highlighted poor housing, schools, employment, infrastructure, and an “appalling” environment. They drew up a pollution report, uncovering a major environmental crisis for standards of living. They exposed extraordinary levels of grit and dust in the smoggy air; while the average amount for rural Britain was 1.5 tonnes per square mile, here it was 235.

After a programme of social and economic renewal, the next 15 years would have developed an innovative modern region. Instead of a string of post-industrial towns, Teesside would become one long, linear city, fifteen miles by four miles, spanning the river Tees. The river would be its backbone, and a fast, modern public transport system would zip along it. Frank recommended that the transit system be ‘enjoyable and free’, facilitating a phasing-out of cars. 

Middlesbrough, with its links to the A66 and the A19, would be the economic centre of the region. Stockton would be a pedestrianised historic quarter. Redcar would be a leisure hub. Each would have access to open country; the drama of the North Sea coast to the east, the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales to the west, and the vast, wild purple of the North York Moors to the south.

Every centre would be designed with people in mind. There would be open community spaces for socializing, and urban spaces for strolling through and admiring. Routes would be accessible for disabled people, as well as encouraging cycling. The residential area would be at the southern end of the city, away from the heavy industry and smog; it would benefit from landscaping, high tree cover and a favourable wind direction. Land dominated by car parks and low-rise buildings would be returned to community food production and leisure – with allotments, parks and woodland.

It sounds like a utopian 1960s comic book or episode of Tomorrow’s World, but in reality it was a meticulously budgeted and mapped-out plan. It was flexible and innovative – with multiple possible futures programmed onto computer tapes, so that if there was a change in government policy or the regional economy ten years down the line, the local authority need only punch it into the plan to find a range of alternatives that still met the broad targets.

This technological element was far advanced for the time. The scene is comical now. Only one computer in the country was available for programming, the size of a laboratory, in Birmingham. The team had a dishevelled mathematician called Ernie Stringer, who travelled there for midnight every night – the only slot they could book. He would return the next morning with pages of data and in a state of complete exhaustion.

The whole of Frank’s team were similarly dedicated to the vision he was building; by January 1967, nineteen months after they first set up office, the final draft was complete. But the team planning forty years ahead for Teesside couldn’t foresee what the immediate future would bring.

In early 1967, Frank brought the draft report before a panel of senior figures in Government. The meeting was short: they fired him on the spot. These were the days before employment tribunals for wrongful dismissal; they gave no reason, and didn’t have to. He would later tell that if he had refused to go quietly, they had threatened that he would ‘never again obtain professional work in this country’. A statement was issued to the press that he had left amicably.

So ended the first and last effort in British regional planning for half a century. The name behind the move wouldn’t be revealed until several years later: John Poulson.

Poulson was a Trump-like figure, whose father set him up in the architectural business with extraordinary wealth and little knowledge. Between the 60s and 70s he amassed a web of corrupt transactions, involving dozens of councillors and MPs across the country. Teesside alone had 32 elected officials on Poulson’s payroll, in Redcar, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Eston. He spent years bribing council officials for building work. He promised quick and dirty developments – sketch plans within a fortnight, job done within the year. In Stockton, he oversaw work on the Castlegate Shopping Centre, which the town is still trying to demolish today. It was built backwards, blocking the view of the river.

On 22 June 1973, Poulson was arrested and charged with corruption. Many of his contacts were jailed or implicated too. Tory deputy leader and Home Secretary Reginald Maudling, tipped as a future Prime Minister, was forced to resign. Labour’s Dan Smith, a Newcastle councillor, was jailed. Teesside Mayor and leader of Middlesbrough Conservatives, J.A. Brown, was tied to the scandal – having simultaneously been a Poulson advisor for the best part of a decade.

Frank would never see his vision for Teesside fully come to life. In 2018, he passed away, aged 98. A diversified economy remains far off; in our postponed mayoral election, the incumbent Conservative candidate’s central pledge is to ‘bring steelmaking back to Teesside’, five years after his party let it go. So, too, is the pipe dream of fast, free public transit infrastructure. We’ve only just started to move on from the late, leaking Pacer trains – a 1980s bus body bolted to a freight wagon. Dozens of our bus routes have disappeared, replaced by ‘on demand’ services, with Arriva’s cuts isolating whole villages.

It’s not too late for Frank’s values and work to live on, though. We can have greater devolution, new community spaces, and modern infrastructure. We can tackle inequality, and bring good green jobs. The pandemic has demonstrated how rapid economic change is possible, and how essential our lowest-paid workers really are. As we look to the post-pandemic future, we can link up our isolated villages and towns with a plan for the 21st century. But just like Teesplan, it probably won’t come from politicians; it’ll have to come from us. And, unlike Frank, they’ll never see it coming.

Article By Luke Myer

Project Kev Forth a Teesside Photographer


Would you like to introduce yourself?

Hi Kev Forth, just the wrong side of 50. married for 29 years with one daughter Evie who is 11. II run a Childrens bedding and bean bag company in Middlesbrough and am a part time photographer.

Tell us a bit about how you got into Photography?

I started taking photos around 15 years ago on a point and shoot camera, this slowed down when we got a dog (she hates the camera) and then slowed down a little more when my daughter was born. Around 4 years ago I went on holiday to the amazing Shetland Isles and decided I wanted to get a decent camera to record the holiday. When I came back I teamed up with one of my mates and we went out on day trips with our cameras. I then started popping a few on Facebook and found that I was getting some good reactions.

Tell us a bit about the type of Photography you do , type of photos you take ?

On the whole I would say I am a landscape photographer and why would you not be when we live in such a beautiful area, If I get the chance I do like to take wildlife as well but at the moment do not have the time and patience required for this type of photography.

What’s the reaction been from people to your pictures of Saltburn and Redcar around Teesside ?

On the whole the reactions are amazing and some times quite humbling. The fact that someone takes the time to comment and share a post is fantastic and I have now started selling some prints, coasters and tea towels and have just signed off two calendars for 2021 being a Redcar one and a Saltburn one. Again I find it unbelievable that someone pays £100 for one of my photos (these are massive and mounted on aluminium) similarly I am chuffed when someone buys a £3.00 coaster.

What’s your favourite spot in Teesside to take of photos of ?

Without a doubt my favourite spot is South Gare, you rarely get two hours the same when you get down there and you really feel close to nature and the elements. I think it is also very representative of our area you have the remnants of British Steel all of the industry over the water at North Gare and you have beautiful wind swept beaches on the Redcar side.

What’s your advice to anyone who is looking into having a career in Photography?

I do hope to take my photography to the next level and to turn it more into a business, however I realise that this is very difficult and that many people have tried and failed. I would recommend anyone wanting to either get into photography or wanting to turn their photography into a business to practice and to try and find an area/subject that is not flooded.

You can follow Kev Forths Photography



Interview by Chloe Tempestoso

Project Abby and Owen


Project Middlesbrough sat down and chatted with local Teesside artists duo Abby and Owen to talk about their new partnership.

Abbey, what’s your favourite landmark in Middlesbrough?
My favourite landmark is the iconic Transporter Bridge. It’s such a striking and dynamic structure. We currently sell prints of an original illustration of the Transporter Bridge on our website. The commission was an exciting challenge… it’s one of my favourite projects to date!

What does Middlesbrough mean to you?
I went to college to study graphic design at Green Lane, the Middlesbrough campus of the Northern School of Art. This is also where I met my partner, Owen. We found we shared a love of illustration and collaborated together brilliantly. From student nights out at venues like the MedicinWe went to college to study graphic design at Green Lane, the Middlesbrough campus of the Northern School of Art. This is also where I met my business partner and partner partner, Owen! We found we shared a love of illustration and collaborated together brilliantly. From student nights out at venues like the Medicine Bar to visits to MIMA art gallery, I have a bunch of fond memories of Middlesbrough.

What’s the story behind Abby+Owen?
A year and a half after graduating from the Northern School of Art’s university campus, Owen and I entered a competition together to produce twelve large railway posters for permanent display… and won! These are on display at Hartlepool Railway station and the designs are sold on merchandise such as prints, pillows, tote bags and tea towels.

The railway posters were the perfect springboard for me to take the leap to become a self-employed designer and illustrator, leaving my job as an in-house designer for a local apprenticeship provider. Businesses across Teesside began commissioning me to create detailed scenic illustrations of Teesside landmarks and I found myself becoming increasingly renowned across the North East for my distinct style, which is reminiscent of vintage travel posters, but with a modern twist. I’m passionate about showing Teesside in a positive light through colourful, contemporary design. In October 2019, Owen stepped down from his directorship role ready for a new challenge, and we knew right away it was the right time to forge an official partnership. In May 2020, ‘Abby+Owen’ was born.

How is your Teesside-themed artwork received by people in Middlesbrough and Teesside?
Our work often resonates with people who live in Teesside, and therefore have fond memories of some of the landmarks we’ve illustrated. We’ve received so many lovely emails with people explaining how much our illustrations mean to them because of the memories the location holds. It’s one of my favourite things about this job.

Many businesses commission us to create artwork that will represent their Teesside heritage… for instance, one of our clients, North Star Housing Association, commissioned several illustrations of local landmarks for use as wall art in their Headquarters. Vintage Chartered Financial Planners also commissioned an illustration of Roseberry Topping, as they felt the image perfectly encapsulated their Teesside Heritage and brand personality.

What would your advice be to anyone in Teesside who wants a career in art?
If you’re at the start of your journey and looking to study art or design, I can’t make a stronger recommendation than The Northern School of Art. Both Middlesbrough’s Green Lane Campus and Hartlepool’s University level campus are fabulous institutions. My own experience was that the tutors were supportive and knowledgeable, and the facilities were excellent and easily accessible.
That said, there’s nothing to say you have to study art and design to practice the arts at a professional level. My advice would be if you want to be an artist… make art! It might sound overly simple, but you are what you repeatedly do, and if you can turn creating art into a habit, you’re already halfway there!

For more information on Abby+Owen’s Artwork, please visit:

Interview by Chloe Tempestoso

Project The Sweet Apron

Food and Drink

Would you like to introduce yourself?

Hi, I am Arwa a mum to 2 year old Isaac. I am an accountant, currently on a career break and a professional personal trainer with a passion for fitness. However, my love lies in making (and eating ) desserts.

What’s the story behind The Sweet Apron ?

Setting up The Sweet Apron has been a dream of mine since my childhood but it is something I never thought I would have the opportunity to do. Lockdown has brought me that opportunity and for that I am grateful. My mother’s amazing bakes have been the biggest source of my inspiration growing up. I used to love reading the Be-Ro recipe book and food technology was my favourite subject. Seeing the smiles on my friends and families faces when enjoying my bakes is priceless. It is important to me that my business makes a positive impact, and therefore 10% of profits are donated to charity. July and August’s chosen charity is Impact Lebanon, I am hoping to have my customers help me choose the charities.

My favourite item in the kitchen is my Apron which I got from a trip to Rome, once I put my apron on I am in my happy place and ready to make something yummy. Homemade with love is the slogan because that’s what exactly what our products are.

Can you tell us abit about your products ?

My products are currently inspired by my family favourites however we will be introducing new products soon!
Baklava is a luxurious, sweet dessert made with layers of flaky pastry with nuts in the middle soaked in a honey syrup. We currently offer traditional pistachio and almond baklava. Our new baklava flavours are Nutella and Oreo and Lotus Biscoff flavours. Vegan baklava is also available.

Basbousa is my personal favourite, it is a semolina cake drizzled with a honey syrup with almonds snuggled on top.
Baklava nests are bite-sized treats perfect for anytime of day, we currently offer Nutella with pistachio, Nutella with hazelnuts, white chocolate and raspberries and Nutella cheesecake.
Chocolate Chip cookies, the perfect chocolate chip cookie is also new to our menu and will be available from the 25th August to celebrate my birthday.

Why do you think independent businesses so important for a place like Teesside?

Small local businesses are vital to support the local economy, particularly in Teesside where there are high levels of unemployment, if we support each other we will see a difference in our community.

What’s the reaction been from pepper who bought your products?

The reaction has been amazing I am so grateful to be able to share my passion with my lovely customers and am loving the positive feedback I have hbeen receiving!

Where can people find you online to purchase your products?

Orders are welcomed through direct message on Instagram or by message on Facebook @thesweetapronUK. Perfect for special occasions, family gatherings or simply treating yourself because you deserve it.

Interview by Chloe Tempestoso

Eat out to help out scheme in Middlesbrough


The Governments Eat out to help out scheme is running through the whole month of August across the UK. The scheme offers customers 50 per cent off there meal and non alcoholic drink for the value of up to £10 per person from Monday to Wednesday until the 31 August.

Here at Project Middlesbrough we thought we would put a little guide together of the independents businesses in Middlesbrough which are taking part in the scheme over the next month.

Restaurants in Middlesbrough

The Copperstone, 4-12, Stonehouse Streethttp://www.thecopperstone.co.uk/

The Prickly Pear Bistro, The TAD Centre, North Ormesbyhttps://www.thepricklypearbistro.co.uk/

Akbar’s Restaurant, 192-194, Linthorpe Roadhttps://www.akbars.co.uk/

Uno Ristorante, 212-214 Linthorpe Roadhttps://www.unoristorante.co.uk/

Fellinis, 325 Linthorpe Roadhttps://www.fellinismiddlesbrough.co.uk/

Cafe Etch, 5 Gilkes Streethttps://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Coffee-Shop/Cafe-Etch-Middlesbrough-2374501312830709/

Eliano’s Brasserie, 20-22 Fairbridge Streethttp://www.elianosbrasseriemiddlesbrough.co.uk/

W2 World Buffet, 2 Captain Cook Squarehttps://w2-worldbuffet.co.uk/

Oodles, 136 Linthorpe Roadhttps://oodleschinese.com/

The Tipsy Cow, 29-41, Bedford Streethttps://www.facebook.com/TheTC19/

Ta Moko, 176 Linthorpe Road

Olivello, 477 Linthorpe Roadhttps://www.olivello.co.uk/

The Coffee Shed, 25 High Street, Normanbyhttp://www.thecoffeeshed.com/

The Apple Tree, Martonhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Pub/The-Apple-Tree-101398103259525/

Baker Street Kitchen, Albert Roadhttps://www.bakerstreetkitchen.com/

Uno Ristorante, 212-214 Linthorpe Roadhttps://www.unoristorante.co.uk/

Esquires Coffee House, 29 Linthorpe Road

Minfika, 38 Lambton Street, Normanbyhttps://en-gb.facebook.com/minfikanormanby/

Brewhouse, Captain Cook Squarehttps://www.facebook.com/brewhousemiddlesbrough/

Fire and Dice Games, 39-41, Borough Roadhttps://www.facebook.com/FireandDiceGaming/

Sticky Fingers Cafe & Rock Bar, 152-154, Linthorpe Roadhttps://stickyfingersrockbar.co.uk/

Uno Momento, 156-158, Linthorpe Roadhttps://www.unomomentorestaurant.co.uk/

For more information about the scheme you can head to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-a-discount-with-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme

Article by Chloe Tempestoso

Project Stephen Docherty Artist

Teesside Art

Project Middlesbrough sat down and chatted to local artist and musician Stephen Docherty to talk all things to do with his artwork and Middlesbrough.

Would you like to introduce yourself ?

My name is Stephen Docherty. Born and grazed in Middlesbrough. 35 year old and fast getting older.

Whats the story behind your artwork and being artist?

There is of course a story behind me but not yet leading to being an artist (except in my own head and heart) thus I can’t advise anyone else’s aspirations of a career in art but let me tell you where I’m heading and how I plan to get there… My artwork is non specific, i make everything ranging from music, videos, drawings/paintings, photo shopped images etc. I write short stories and I love photography too. In the past few years this has been the focus of my life (beyond my family) and I can no longer turn off the tap from where my ideas pour. I take inspiration from everything life offers and I live for the love of creating. A great boxer has to be a boxer 24 hours a day and I believe the same is true for an artist. That said, my primary focus has always been as a musician and song writer and I have just finished crafting my first album with our incredibly talented singer/song writer Mary Elizabeth Webb. Our band is ‘User Dreams’ but everything I (we) do falls under this too. I see us more as a creative company than a band as such. Much like how John Lydon and Keith Levene spoke of Public Image Limited (see their interview with Tom Snyder -1980.

We want to make music for movies/TV and video games etc. The majority of my influences (musically) for this album have derived from video games and cinema (soundtracks and scores) and our album ‘Fusion’ is a mixture of sounds and colours that showcase these influences. 

Whats peoples reaction been to your work?

I would say its hard to measure since all I have currently are the followers and likes on Instagram but those that have heard the album are excited about its potential reach. However I will not stop promoting my ideas, my music and my art. I have absolute belief in my ability to succeed and though thus far I’ve found a series of locked doors I’ve heard the “key” is persistence.

What does Teesside mean to you?

-Middlesbrough / Teesside is a place I love and always will. It’s all I’ve ever known. I’ve never traveled (barring a few holidays) I didn’t go away to university or anything so it’s been my surroundings since 1984 (and now this big brother of mine is watching me). I will continue in my endeavors to leave a mark and help further propel the towns reputation as a place that gives birth to talent.

Where can people find you online to follow your artwork ?

You can follow my instgram page at userdreams.art to follow my work.

Interview by Chloe Tempestoso

Project Anjalee Burrows

Teesside Art

Would you like to introduce yourself?

Hello! I’m Anjalee Burrows, also known as ‘Anjalee Bee’. I’m a freelance illustrator, based in Middlesbrough, currently specialising in children’s books, stationery and clothing designs.

What’s the story behind your artwork and you becoming an artist?

Illustration has always been a part of my identity, and I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve always had people encouraging me to explore creativity. Growing up, my mother would take me to draw dancers at the Billingham International Folklore Festival. As a teen I’d stay up most nights, illustrating portraits for my classmates and friends. I studied Graphic Design at the Northern School of Art, back in 2010, where I was taught to use software such as Adobe Photoshop, as well as how to approach real-life briefs. From there, I have worked hard to develop a distinct portfolio and illustrative style. In 2019 my first picture book, ‘The Hospital Hoppities’ was published.

Tell us a bit about your artwork?

What’s been people’s reaction to your artwork? My drawings capture the world around me, through an optimistic lens, often focusing on the little things that make our world so wonderful. I’m mostly known for my vibrant colour palettes, character design, and visual storytelling. ‘The Hospital Hoppities’, in particular, has received a lot of fantastic feedback as it fosters positive representation of children with chronic illnesses, by placing them in a helping role rather than a dependent one. My illustrations depict various pieces of medical equipment, such as central lines, drip stands, heart monitors, etc to normalise them and help children, for whom these things are part of daily life, feel ‘seen’ within children’s literature.

What would your advice to anyone in Middlesbrough/Teesside want a career in art?

The best advice I have been given is – don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. If you know the kind of artist you want to be, and the type of clients/projects you want to be working with, produce some examples and add them to your portfolio. A fellow illustrator I know, created mock-covers for Roald Dahl’s books, which lead to him being hired to illustrate a series of young fiction books. I’m not normally one for “inspirational quotes” but the phrase “you can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do” definitely rings true. If you want clients to see what you have to offer – show them!

What does Teesside mean to you?

I lived in Portsmouth for six years, and it has honestly made me appreciate just how special Teesside is. People always assume, to make it as a creative you need to move to London or the South but that’s simply not true. Having experience of both places, I can say that Teesside artists are making a national impact, and there seems to be a better chance of making it here than if you were to move further afield. Teesside has such a rich creative scene. From Orange Pip Market to art fairs, craft classes, pop up shops, and Facebook groups such as NE:UK Creatives, there are so many opportunities to connect with other creatives and showcase your work. Then of course you have The Northern School of Art which has propelled a lot of artists into great careers. It makes me proud to see local artists doing so well for themselves and it spurs me on to work even harder.

Where can people find you online?

Find me at @anjaleebee on Instagram and Facebook. I’ll be launching an online shop very soon!

Interview by Chloe Tempestoso

Project Mimazina


In these challenging times, it’s very important to stay together and connect with one another. The Middlesbrough Institute of Modern art in association with the Foundation Press are eager to announce the Mimazina online publication. At its core, this is a digital community journal where people from Tess Valley can share their stories.

What is Mimazina?

Mimazina is a weekly journal, one that appears every week since its first issue was released in April. The idea to gather memories, stories and creative content from this time of change is unprecedented, and it really goes to show the unique opportunities but also the demanding situations people are dealing with at this time.

What is a Zine?

The word zine has come to represent a range of small-batch, DIY, “magazine-like” publications in terms of form and content. A Zine is a self-published, non-commercial print-work that is typically produced in small, limited batches.  Zines are created and bound in many DIY ways, but traditionally editions are easily reproduced—often by crafting an original “master flat,” and then photocopying, folding, and/or stapling the pages into simple pamphlets.

Understanding more about the Mimazina concept

Since its inception the Mimazina magazine released 12 issues, and there’s a new one being released every Tuesday. The unique approach here is that the publication itself is localised, it shows the unique perspective that people from Tess Valley have around this time and how they are dealing with the covid virus that has changed our lives. Sharing voices can bring in change, and that’s exactly what makes this so special to begin with. It’s a very different, unique thing that you just can’t find anywhere else nowadays. The true power and belief brought by the publication is here to empower people and let them know that the community stands together and works hard to bring in a sense of change throughout the entire industry.

What can you find on Mimazina

The design is unique and it features a vast range of artwork pieces and ideas that you will be fascinated with right away. On top of that, you will also enjoy great content like Tessside stories from years long gone or things like being able to share pictures with art pieces you own and like. This section is named Our Homes Are A Museum and it really is a spectacular insight into the world of art.

There’s another section named Things to Do where you can find ideas for artmaking. If you want to be creative and artsy at home, this section will keep you busy for quite some time. The Mimazina magazine also has a section where you can share your creative works by submitting them when they are ready.

Within Mimazina you will also notice that there are numerous interesting Folk stories. Everything here is designed to showcase current but also old school ideas related to the community and how it has changed in the past few decades to begin with. There’s even a Growing Up section where you get to find how to reuse items, how to repurpose them and try out all kinds of ideas.

In fact, the magazine itself goes even further by adding a Recipe Book section. If you’re looking to cook something new and different, then every week the Mimazina magazine can help you do that. They share some interesting and really impressive recipes that you can also customise a bit to your own taste.

Lastly, the Mimazina has letters from the audience and some replies, content from the archive where you get to see old school stuff but also recommendations and ideas and even a comic strip. If you live in the Tess Valley, you need to give the Mimazina publication a try, it’s free and it helps you connect with the local community and interact with it during these challenging times!

You can find out more about Mimazina and get involved visiting Mima.art or @mimauseful on social media.

This article has been supported by Mima.

Article by Chloe Tempestoso