Dear my beloved Middlesbrough


This is a letter open letter to my beloved hometown Middlesbrough so here it goes.

Dear Middlesbrough you give me so much in my life in my short 26 years of life so far of living, I didn’t know for a long time how much you made me the person I am today in 2021. In my teen years and early 20s I did nothing but disrespect you, I mean if I’m being honest every opportunity I had I did look back how much I would speak negatively of the place I always called him I would see now its like looking at a different person in the mirror.

I often think and wonder how have I gone being 5 years ago traveling around Europe aged 21 speaking nothing but negatively about my beloved hometown to now 5 years on aged 26 running this blog celebrating positive stories and events happening here.

My started the blog back in late 2018 Project Middlesbrough is about to celebrate its 3rd of running which I cant believe one I first launched.I thought it would last few months I never thought end up with nearly 40,000 visitors to my website nearly 5000 followers on the Facebook page and now even being radio presenter on a local station.

Your most probably wondering what my blog and being on the radio has to do with my hometown shaping me as a person , that’s just it there would be no Project Middlesbrough without Middlesbrough. With no blog there would never have been the opportunity for me to work in radio , write and have published be paid by other online platform’s to write pieces something I would never dreamt a few years ago, being paid to write articles for other people have some of my pieces been read by more than 2000 people. Even more so suffering from dyslexia yes I do struggle time to time with it without my blog I would never had achieved any of these thing , 2 years ago appearing on BBC News and appearing on national radio stations talking about my hometown all these amazing things which have happened to time in the 2 and half are down to my hometown Middlesbrough, non of this would happened if it wasn’t for you.

I grew so much as a person in the last few years through starting my blog , I cant thank nothing more than my hometown without you I would never achieved my dreams , discover my passion working in radio.

Yess I know there are many issues in Middlesbrough , I think many people who read the blog think I am blind to this I know as much as the next person there’s many issues in our town I see everyday. I can see when walking through the town centre there are many businesses closes there’s much work to be done to try and make our town a better place, I know a lot has gone wrong there’s much to be corrected , I feel many towns as there issues where just one of them, with hard work our town will grow and get better progress into a stronger and better place to live.

Project Middlesbrough is here to highlight positive stories happening in our area , so much negative media attention on our town this is a space for positive stories those positive voices derisive a place to be heard.

I have like many people who live here or live nearby have had a love to hate relationship with the area wanting to move away go somewhere with more opportunities ,speaking badly of the area when on my travels ,been ashamed of my Boro accent.

Your not perfect Middlesbrough sometimes I question why I’m still here , but thankyou for helping me to become the person I am today.

Much love


Owner of Project Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough Art Weekender


North East open call to Artists

From 30th September – 3rd October 2021 Middlesbrough Art Weekender (MAW) returns with work by artists around the theme of Infra-structure – visible and invisible, above and below, hard and soft.

Middlesbrough Art Weekender (MAW) and MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, are seeking applications for work by artists based in the North East or who have a connection to the area for an exhibition that forms part of MAW21. The selected artists will display their work in a group show or in appropriate interventions across Middlesbrough. The selection will be made by curators from MAW and MIMA and previously selected artists Penelope Payne and David Reynolds.

What to submit

  • A short description of the work, alongside a brief artist bio and contact details.
  • For 2D and 3D work, up to 5 still images (links or images). For video and sound work, performance, documentation etc please provide links to work online.
  • For large scale works and extensive installations please contact us prior to applying. If you are submitting work for a specific intervention, additional contextual information can 

also be submitted.

  • Applications can be made via video & audio. If you would like to apply with an alternative format then please contact us before doing so. 
  • Access statement if required.

What we offer selected artists

  • Exhibition: A group exhibition that forms part of MAW’s core programme
  • Artist Fee: £500
  • Professional Development: Virtual studio visit with Elinor Morgan, Head of Programme (MIMA), and a group crit with Elinor Morgan, Chris Clarke, Senior Curator (The Glucksman Museum, Ireland) and MAW curatorial team.

Who’s involved in selecting the artists?

Elinor Morgan is Head of Programme at MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. Since 2008 she has curated residencies, exhibitions, public education programmes across the UK and has led and supported public art projects and developed freelance projects. She co-edited ‘The Constituent Museum’ (Valiz, 2018), a reader on how arts institutions might work differently with their publics. Elinor enjoys writing and editing essays, articles and reviews.

Helen Welford is Assistant Curator at MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. She specialises in the management of the Middlesbrough Collection held at MIMA and on the development and production of large-scale exhibitions. Helen’s research interest include feminist practice and representations of queer identities.

Penny Payne is an artist working on the North East coast, through sculpture and installation her practice considers and brings attention to overlooked women’s histories. Penny has shown work at M.A.W in 2018/19 and is currently showing her sculpture ”Unwoven” at Cheeseburn Sculpture Garden. She will also be presenting new work that combines research and traditional practice as part of the exhibition  ‘Sonia Boyce: In The Castle Of My Skin’ at MIMA in 2021.

David Reynolds is an artist and researcher based in Newcastle upon Tyne who’s practice is concerned with world building and queer futures

The Middlesbrough Art Weekender selectors are Liam Slevin, MAW festival Director and co-founder of The Auxiliary, Middlesbrough,  and Kypros Kyprianou, MAW curator, artist, filmmaker and tinkerer.

What happens if you aren’t selected for the North East Open Call?

Whilst we can only fund a small amount of artists with this particular opportunity, we are

always keen to hear from artists for potential future partnerships. Please indicate if you are

also happy for us to keep your contact details on file for future opportunities from both

MIMA and The Auxiliary.

How to apply

All applications to be made via email to with the subject header: NE Open Call 2021

Deadline for applications: June 28th (midnight)

There is no application fee.

Timeline for North East Open Call

  • 17th May: Open for applications
  • 28th June: Open call closes
  • 30th June: Longlisting of applicants
  • 5th July: Shortlisting and artists selection made by MIMA, MAW, Penny Payne and David Reynolds
  • 11th July: All artists notified
  • July/August: Professional Development: Virtual studio visits with Elinor Morgan, Head of Programme, & Helen Welford, Assistant Curator, MIMA
  • 13th September: work at the venue in Middlesbrough (TBC. Please note, all artists are responsible for the shipping/transport of work to and from MAW21).
  • During the festival (date TBC): Group social with Elinor Morgan, Chris Clarke and MAW curatorial team.

NE Volume Murals


NE Volume Music Bar is host to a variety of musical entertainment to suit all tastes in Stockton-On-Tees. Co-Owner Lee approached Abby+Owen to produce an original mural. The entertainment venue on Yarm Lane hosts a variety of talent and the mural features musicians with a link to Teesside, bands include Glass CavesCharlotte GraysonAlistair JamesMaximo ParkYoung Rebel Set and Komparrison

NE Volume Music Bar owner, Lee Allcock, commissioned Abby+Owen (Abby Taylor and Owen Smith) for the original artwork, the creative duo behind the towns social distancing signs.

Abby Taylor said ‘We tore the names of the brands directly from past copies of NE Volume magazine and scanned them in to blow up and add to the mural’ Owen added ‘We’re delighted to have been able to create this piece celebrating the vibrant local music scene”.

Lee Allcock said ‘We are elated to unveil this stunning original artwork by Stockton creatives, Abby+Owen! It’ll be a key feature outside the venue for years to come. We hope you love it just as much as we do.



Submissions invited for a selected prize exhibition to be held at 2B Hill Street Centre, October – November 2021

Dimensional works in any painting or drawing medium, which can include collage. Prints and photography not included .

Any size considered but must be able to be hung using our system (strung,not mirror-plates).

Subject: Works relating to Teesside. These can be landscape and cityscape or people, and can also be works of social/political/ historical interest. Should have been created within the last two years Judges to be appointed.

Cost of submission, £5/per work. Up to 3 works may be submitted. There will be a Judges Choice prize of £250, two further prizes of £50 each and the opportunity to exhibit your work at 2B where it will be available for sale. (Terms and Conditions apply)

The exhibition is open to any amateur or professional artists over 18 years of age, with connections to Teesside. Work will be judged on imaginative content, interest and innovation as much as prior artistic ability or skill.

Work should be delivered in person to 2B, Hill Street Centre, Middlesbrough TS1 1SU during the week from Monday 13th until Saturday 18th September from 9.30am until 4pm, at which time payment will be received.

Please contact Miranda on 07392521801 or email if you would like more information and for details of submission requirements.

The murals transforming Middlesbrough’s Alleyways


For a long time, the residents of Camden Street would only venture into their alleyway to quickly get rid of their bin bags.

Blighted by fly-tipping and overrun with vermin, the back alley was unsafe and a target for anti-social behaviour.

But Kasper Czarnocki and his wife Kinga had seen enough – and decided to take action, contacting Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston on social media to see what they could do.

The family rallied neighbours and volunteers and, with funding and support from Middlesbrough Council’s Amazing Alleys project, they transformed where they live.

Now, the alleyway is a true community space, adorned with original graffiti artwork and decorated with dozens of colourful hanging baskets of flowers.

“This was a place that you would avoid, it was disgusting, we had real issues with fly-tipping and rats,” said Kasper (above, left), 36, who is originally from Poland but has lived in Camden Street for 15 years.

“We’ve never had a space for the kids to play or for us to get outside, and after the year and a half we have had we thought ‘enough is enough’.”

With the help of the council’s Amazing Alley project and mural artist Dan Walls (above, right) of Illumination Wall Arts in Bishop Auckland, the alley’s tired and dirty walls were completely overhauled.

Joined by neighbours, volunteers and Mayor Preston, the alleyway was cleared and cleaned, painted and decorated over a four-day period during the May bank holiday.

“What a fantastic day it was, everyone got together and it has brought us as neighbours much closer together,” continued Kasper, who said his son Kajtek, five, has now made friends with neighbours and can play out for the first time.

“We’re very grateful for the support and help we got from the council, but I have one message – if you want to do something, then do it. Nobody will come and do it for you. We decided to take responsibility and it’s turned out brilliant.”

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Kasper and Kinga and everyone who got involved in the amazing transformation of their alleyway are the best of Middlesbrough.

“They were sick of the mess and anti-social behaviour and took matters into their own hands to do something about it.

“With support and money from Middlesbrough Council and the help of some incredible volunteers, they’ve produced this stunning space with artwork, flowers and seating.

“It’s really brought the community together and provided kids with a safe and clean place to play.

“More communities across the town are pulling together in similar ways to transform their alleys with the backing of the council.

“Sadly, fly tippers and bin rummagers are constantly leaving our alleys in a disgusting state, impacting on the lives of decent people. The only way to stop these criminals is to catch and prosecute them – so we’re investing more money to install even more CCTV cameras across the town to catch them red-handed.”

Neighbour Sheila Singleton has lived in the area for 50 years.

“You used to just run out and throw your rubbish in the bin, it was disgusting,” said Sheila, 73.

“If you just sit out on your doorstep on your own you feel stupid, I’ve felt lonely.

“Now, I’m never away from here – it’s changed my life. I’m sitting outside all the time and I’ve met loads of people.”

Kinga, 43, also mum to daughter Kaya, eight, and a fashion design student at Teesside University, agreed: “It’s so nice to feel part of the community.

“We spend an hour every day watering the flowers but we just love being out here.”

Dan said: “As soon as Kasper got in touch, I knew I wanted to get involved.

“We want to expand this now and help other people transform their community.

Local Author visits Teesside bookshop on Independent bookshop week


Local Author Helen Scarlett visited Chapter One Loftus todayas part of Indie Bookshop week to meet customers and sign copies of her book, The Deception of Harriet Fleet which was published in hardback by Quercus Publishing in April 2021. Helen signed copies of her debut novel which is set locally in Teesside. The Deception of Harriet Fleet is dark and brimming with suspense, an atmospheric Victorian chiller set in brooding County Durham. Set in an age of discovery and progress, the Wainwright family, residents of the gloomy Teesbank Hall (locals will know it as Preston Hall in Egglescliffe) in County Durham the secrets of the past continue to overshadowtheir lives. Harriet would not have taken the job of governess in such a remote place unless she wanted to hide from something or someone. Her charge is Eleanor, the daughter of the house, a fiercely bright eighteen-year-old, tortured by demons and feared by relations and staff alike. But it soon becomes apparent that Harriet is not there to teach Eleanor, but rather to monitor her erratic and dangerous behaviour – to spy on her. Worn down by Eleanor’s unpredictable hostility, Harriet soon finds herself embroiled in Eleanor’s obsession – the Wainwright’s dark, tragic history. As family secrets are unearthed, Harriet’s own begin to haunt her and she becomes convinced that ghosts from the past are determined to reveal her shameful story. For Harriet, like Eleanor, is plagued by deception and untruths.

‘It was great to welcome Helen to the shop as part for Indie Bookshop Week especially given the novel is set locally in Teesside. It was also amazing to have customers in the shop who were able to chat with Helen and have books signed personally for them. As is becoming our new custom, Helen sat in our big green chair and took away some local products including cakes from the Willow Cake Shop in Loftus and Chapter One Loftus Bookshop Blend Coffee by the Roseberry Coffee Company said Paul Jones-King, Helen also confirmed she’s working on her second novel’

Chapter One Loftus

Chapter One Loftus is and Independent Book Shop, based in the Market Place in Loftus, situated between Grimwood Estate Agents and Lloyds Pharmacy, in what was the old Carole Louise Hair Salon.  Paul, Chris and Dexter opened Chapter One Loftus on the 2nd November 2020 just two days before the second lock down and whilst we are based on the High Street in Loftus we have been well supported by customers across East Cleveland and North Yorkshire Coast.  After being open for only two days we moved to an online shop offering free local delivery from our High Street Shop.   We are proud to be one of the new indie retailers in Loftus serving the wider local communities of East Cleveland and the North Yorkshire Coast and Moors, who have supported us with the #choosebookshops #shoplocal and #indieloftus on social media.  Chapter One Loftus was recently included in the top 12 of the UK’s best independent bookshops, chosen by Guardian readers.

Helen Scarlett

Helen has a BA (hons) degree from London University and, after a brief flirtation with the world of finance, has taught secondary English for over twenty years, most recently in a sixth form college. In that time, society has become much more open in talking about mental health issues and this formed the starting point for her novel. She lives and works in the North East of England, a region which holds endless fascination for her and whose influence can be felt throughout her writing.

Her debut novel, The Deception of Harriet Fleet, was published in hardback in Spring 2021.

Independent Bookshop Week is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign and run by the Booksellers Association, and seeks to celebrate independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland. We do this with events, celebrations, reading groups, storytelling, author signings, literary lunches and face painting! Your local bookshop will have their own way of celebrating, and we encourage you to visit to celebrate with them.

Photos by Dexter King-Jones

A guide to Teesside Words and Saying


If you’re not a Teessider and you’ve ever wondered what some of the words mean, here’s a brief guide to the words and meaning behind them:

As – used to emphasise a sentence
Av’it – An instruction to enjoy your self
Battered – Confused, worn out
Beck – Word for stream
Berra – Better
Coz – Because
Canna – Can I
Claggy – Sticky
Cadge – Borrow
Chuffed – Well pleased
Croggy – Lift on someones bike
Dunno – Don’t Know
Down Town – Visiting Middlesbrough Centre
Gadgie – Man, male (possibly older)
Gunna – Going to
Goosed – Shattered, really tired
Heavin – Really busy
Hacky – Dirty
Howay/Awayy/Owayy – Come on
Laffin – Nice one, that’s good
Lemon top – Ice cream with a tangy lemon top from Redcar
Like – Add emphasis to a sentence

Mam – Mum, Mom, Mother
Mint – Very good
Me – End a sentence that starts with ‘I’ (I like that ‘me’. I wouldn’t do that ‘me’)
Nor – No
Nowt – Nothing
Necta – Amazing
Naff – Nothing
Our Lad/Our Lass – Other half, partner
Our ’ouse – My house
Parmo/Parmesan – A breaded chicken escalope dish originating in Middlesbrough
Proper/Proppa – Very much
Pilla – Pillow
Scuzzy – Not very clean
Tarzy – Makeshift temporary rope swing
Tret – The way someone has been treated
Worra – What a (Worra load of rubbish)

Article By Chloe Tempestoso

Where you can watch Wednesdays England game against Denmark in Middlesbrough


It might be coming home 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Don’t fancy staying in to watch England’s big game tonight against the Ukraine which would see England in the semi finals of the Euros.

Head out to one of Boros Independent bars to watch the game and enjoy a beer or two cheer the three lions on.

Here’s a pick of some of the great independents bars in Middlesbrough you can head to and enjoy tonight’s England game.

The Devils Advocate Bar

The Devils Advocate Bar located on Borough rd in Middlesbrough perfect Mirco bar to sit enjoy a beer or two and watch tonight’s England game.

The Twisted Lip

The Twisted lip was one of the first pubs to open on Baker Street in Middlesbrough place to be to watch tonight’s England game.

The Bottled Note

The Bottled Note located on the edge of Borough rd in Middlesbrough perfect place to watch tonight’s game.

Bier and Beer

One of Boro latest bars to open located on Albert North in Middlesbrough Central.

Hit the Bar

Located near Middlesbrough Railway station on Station Rd in Middlesbrough, you can also enjoy a slice of Pizza at Slice Boro located opposite Hit the Bar.

The Infant Hercules

The Infant Hercules one of Boros classic Mirco pubs is located on Grange rd in Middlesbrough opposite the Cleveland centre.

The Chairman

The Chairman is located on Bedford Street Middlesbrough

The Artizan Bar

The Artizan Bar located in the heart of linthrope on Roman rd perfect place to enjoy a cocktail or two and watch tonight’s game.

The Tipsy Cow

Located on Acklam Rd near Acklam Shops in Middlesbrough

Sticky Fingers Bar

Sticky Fingers is located on 152-154 Linthorpe Rd in Middlesbrough

Bedford Street Socials

You can find Bedford street latest bar to open on Bedford Street in Middlesbrough Town centre .


Sherlocks bar located 7 Baker Street in Middlesbrough perfect Mirco bar to sit and enjoy tonight’s England game.

The Style Council

You can find the style council bar on corporation road in Middlesborough located opposite the Cleveland centre

Barbs Pizza

Located on Bedford Street in Middlesbrough you can enjoy the game along with a slice pizza to go with your drink.

England’s next game is on Wednesday against the Denmark kick off 8PM 🦁🦁🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Come on the three lions

It’s coming home

Article by Chloe Tempestoso

We need to stop condemning Middlesbrough


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:

  • Acklam Hall
  • Roseberry Topping
  • Transporter Bridge

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.

Article by Chloe Tempestoso

Chapter One the independent book shop in Loftus


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 or visit

Article by Chloe Tempestoso

GALLERY TS1 a Middlesbrough Gallery


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.

Article by Chloe Tempestoso

Uncovering Middlesbrough’s hidden gems


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.”

New plans to celebrate Middlesbrough’s myths and legends


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

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.”

Community Champions Middlesbrough


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


Interview by Chloe Tempestoso

The Eston war mural


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.

Mural Story

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.

Eston Mural

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.

For more information on Philip Meadows artwork please visit:

Interview by Chloe Tempestoso