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

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 Street

The Prickly Pear Bistro, The TAD Centre, North Ormesby

Akbar’s Restaurant, 192-194, Linthorpe Road

Uno Ristorante, 212-214 Linthorpe Road

Fellinis, 325 Linthorpe Road

Cafe Etch, 5 Gilkes Street

Eliano’s Brasserie, 20-22 Fairbridge Street

W2 World Buffet, 2 Captain Cook Square

Oodles, 136 Linthorpe Road

The Tipsy Cow, 29-41, Bedford Street

Ta Moko, 176 Linthorpe Road

Olivello, 477 Linthorpe Road

The Coffee Shed, 25 High Street, Normanby

The Apple Tree, Marton

Baker Street Kitchen, Albert Road

Uno Ristorante, 212-214 Linthorpe Road

Esquires Coffee House, 29 Linthorpe Road

Minfika, 38 Lambton Street, Normanby

Brewhouse, Captain Cook Square

Fire and Dice Games, 39-41, Borough Road

Sticky Fingers Cafe & Rock Bar, 152-154, Linthorpe Road

Uno Momento, 156-158, Linthorpe Road

For more information about the scheme you can head to

Article 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 or @mimauseful on social media.

This article has been supported by Mima.

Article by Chloe Tempestoso

Project Bohw Pottery


Project Middlesbrough sat down and chatted with the owner of the Independent Teesside Business Bohw Pottery company to find the story behind their business.

What does Teesside mean to you?

Teesside is the where I have lived for the past 25 years so it really is my home. I was brought up not too far away, at Staithes, so can count myself as ‘local’. It is an area of great contrast and I love the surrounding rural and coastal areas of tremendous natural beauty but also appreciative the rich heritage of the built environment. Though, sadly, too many but a45rchitectural gems have been lost there are still many remaining splendid buildings, museums, parks and open spaces to remind us of an era of thriving commerce and associated wealth. Of course you can’t live in the past and can only deal with what you have access to in the present and I am aware that forward looking plans for the redevelopment of Stockton town centre have been initiated and I do hope this project will go ahead, in particular I look forward to the reopening of the Globe Theatre. This is an asset we desperately need in my opinion as it will have the potential to bring major acts and shows to Teesside and I would like to see similar cultural and recreational planning and development for Middlesbrough to add to existing facilities like the refurbished Town Hall and Mima.

Why do you think independent businesses are so important for an area like Teesside?
 I firmly endorse the sentiment that independent businesses provide interest, variety and authenticity, they foster a community spirit and directly contribute to the unique qualities of a community.

What people’s reactions been to your business since you started?

 Overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. The craft of pottery is a fascination for many people and I suppose interest is boosted by programmes such as The Great Pottery Throwdown.

Traditional crafts should be preserved and there does appear to be a resurgence of enthusiasm in creative activities. I particularly like The Repair Shop which puts traditional craft skills into context whilst simultaneously challenging the vagaries of the throwaway society. Instagram and Facebook have been crucial in providing a platform for my own work. I never cease to be amazed that moments after posting I can get a response from the other side of the world.

What’s the story behind your business?

I began learning ceramics at college whilst training to be an art teacher and after many years working in creative arts in schools and colleges I retired 4 years ago to set up my own pottery workshop at home in Linthorpe. I had always made my own work in ceramics throughout my teaching career so in a way I was not starting from scratch. The Bohw project is essentially an interest activity and I don’t look to make a profit from my sales but am happy to cover running costs.

Why do you believe that Teesside gets such a bad reputation in the media?

 Teesside is in many ways an easy target for those who look for an opportunity to disparage and denigrate people and places. A long slow industrial decline has inevitably led to high levels of unemployment and deprivation in many sections of the local and regional area. This is of course true for many other parts of the UK but for some reason it often appears that Teesside has a special place when it comes to the media seeking cheap and easy features on social dysfunction. Yes, there are obvious problems and issues with crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour and these do need to be addressed by those in power. To counter this negativity there are many positive aspects to local and regional life and being involved in artistic and creative activities I would hope that these can be given all due recognition for the ways in which the arts can be employed as a major force in social development and change. Of crucial importance in this respect is Tees Valley Arts, a charity that offers so many different and varied opportunities for creative and artistic development.

Where can people find your business online?
 Bohw Pottery on Facebook.
bohwpottery on Instagram

How did you come up with the name The Bohw Pottery ?

 Bohw (rhymes with low ) is made up and has no real relevance to anything. I wanted a short name and one that was not being used elsewhere or by any other business.

 I doubt I am best placed to offer advice on planning a business as I don’t really have that kind of background but I believe the world owes no one a living and success is best achieved by determination and hard slog. However common sense tells me this:
· Market Research is vital. Following your dream is seductive but be realistic about the demand for the service that you plan to provide.
·  Do your sums. Work out how much you need to make to survive. This is an essential reality check and it’s easy to underestimate your needs and far too easy to overestimate your returns.
· There’re loads of professional advice and support available to the budding entrepreneur so search it out and take advantage of what’s on offer.

What type of products and services do you offer your customers?

All of my work is made on the potter’s wheel and much of it has been focussed on flowerpots, planters and vases along with some domestic wares, such as bowls and jugs. Candlestick holders have also been a popular item. I have recently started using stoneware clay which is higher fired than the earthenware I was previously working with and this permits more subtle finishes and glaze effects. I am currently working on a commission for floral display bowls to be used at weddings as well as a set of vases that will be used in illustrations for a forthcoming book. Alongside these projects I am developing a unique range of Bohw mugs which I hope to have available later this year.

I recently made a batch of planters which were sold in aid of a charity- The Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary- raising £110 and I hope to be doing more charity sales in the near future.
A selection of my work is available at The Elm Gallery, Topcliffe near Thirsk. I also supply the following local businesses:  A Still Life Workshops, The Wilde, Ginger & Flynn, Suzie Valentine.
I am often asked for tuition but am not in a position to provide this service, neither do I accept single item commissions.

You can find Bowh Pottery on Facebook-

Interview by Chloe Tempestoso

Project Petite Prosecco Company


Project Middlesbrough sat down and chatted with the owner of the Independent Teesside Business Petite Procescco company to find the story behind their business.

What does Teesside mean to you?

The Teesside Area Is where I grew up, having lived here throughout my childhood and adult life I’ve watched the progression of the area develop immensely through industry and local businesses… it’s fast become a thriving and go-to area, and with all my immediate family based here it definitely has a place in my heart.

Why do you think independent businesses are so important for an area like Teesside?

Independent businesses are the heart of Teesside what keep it on the map, they are so important for boosting the area and its economy. They play a vital part within the community and show much support for each other.

What peoples reactions been to your business since you started?

The response to our little mobile bar has just been absolutely fantastic..we were so excited to bring a business like this to Teesside and provide this unique and quirky Service.It’s been overwhelming the support we’ve had from family and friends and other local independent businesses..and we are bowled over at how much attention our petite vintage van has attracted, with Plenty of Enquirers and Bookings ahead of the summer it’s a really exciting time for us and our little bar.

Whats the story behind your business ?

Prosecco has always been a huge passion of mine and for anyone who knows me well will tell you as much.. everyone always dreams of being there own boss and having the perfect job.So..Fed up with the daily grind of the 9-5 and always longing to find that dream job…a different path to take…. the opportunity suddenly appeared!I couldn’t believe it.. the timing was perfect and i just knew I had found my calling and further more that dream job I had always longed for.Things escalated quickly and before I knew it I was quiting my job working in a local boutique hotel and plans were fast being put into action.It’s a lot of hard work getting started with lots of licences and legal hoops to juggle but it all came together with The Help of my Amazing Family and I’m so lucky I now get to be my own boss doing what I absolutely love.

Why do you believe that Teesside gets such a bad reputation in the media? 

The media on a whole have always thrived on negatives.. and I just think Teesside gets a bad deal…it tends to top the poles on the worst of lists with its statistics but in general the people and businesses are fantastic

Where can people find your business online ?

You can find us on all the usual social media sites



Our website-

How did you come up with the name The Petite Procescco company ?

The name was already established when I purchased the Business and I think it’s such a perfect and fitting name…it’s fun Classy and It does exactly what it says on the tin!So of course it went without saying the Petite Prosecco Company was going to stay.

Whats your advice to anyone wanting to set up their own business in the Tees Valley?

Go for it…it’s the best feeling to go out and achieve your dreams …It’s a lot of hard work reaching your goal and very scary, but if your prepared to work hard for what you want and believe it’s so rewarding!

What type of products and services do you offer your customers?

Obviously being a mobile prosecco bar it’s pretty self explanatory what we have to offer…. but we do also serve up alongside our finest fresh crisp Chilled prosecco, a range of Italian beers on tap..we have a selection of artisan gins and a variety of prosecco cocktails and soft drinks on request.We provide a unique, classy and professional service and we are available for hire whatever your occasion, from Birthday parties, family BBQs.,corporate events,baby showers, hen parties.. house warming..the list is endless.Particularly popular for being so unique in size you get to have your own private bar in the comfort of your own home! how’s that for a wow factor, we also come highly commended within the Wedding industry adding that special touch for your reception drinks..making us a perfect addition on your big day.

Interview by Chloe Tempestoso

Coronavirus: How to keep your kids happy and learning during school closures


Sunita Ghosh Dastidar is a former secondary science teacher and masters student in Science Communication at Imperial College London. @sunitadastidar

See more of her content at

Schools across the UK are closed for an indefinite period of time. How can you keep your kids entertained during lockdown?

Millions of children are off school due to coronavirus. Exams have been cancelled, and after school clubs are closed. These school closures are concerning many parents, who are trying to find ways to transition their children into life in lockdown. They won’t have much contact with their friends, and are likely to have to spend hours with their parents or guardians.

Create a routine for your child

As a former teacher, my advice is to keep to a routine. At school, children are used to
following a schedule, so making a framework for the day will help create normality and
structure. Let your child have a say in how their day will look. Together, map out how their
week will look. Ask them when they usually have snacks and lunch at school. It is important
to break the day into small frequent breaks. Breaks are important for productivity. I would
suggest small 15 – 30 minute breaks, depending on your child’s age. This gives them a
chance to reset and helps with their learning and focus.

Limit screen time

During these breaks, it can be tempting to rely on tablets, phones and TV to entertain your
children. It is important to avoid an overreliance on screen time as it has a negative impact
on mental health, and can disrupt sleep patterns. But, if they are used wisely, screens can
be a useful parenting tool. To prevent your child from over-indulging on screens, have
scheduled time in your timetable for screen time, and make it clear to your child for how
long. Still, there are days when it is easier to let your child watch their favourite TV show –
get through the day and go back to your routine the next day.

Keeping active

“Aim for an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day
across the week,” say official NHS guidelines. It suggests that parents or guardians should
reduce the time their children spend not moving. Dancing to music can be an easy way for
children to keep active. Joe Wicks, the online fitness influencer, runs free online PE lessons
to help children keep fit during lockdown. Every weekday, at 9am, Joe holds 30 minute live
classes on his YouTube channel called ‘PE with Joe’. Exercise can have benefits for both
physical and mental health.

Continue learning

Some schools have begun preparing materials for children to continue their learning at
home, while many education charities, such as The National Literacy Trust, are also offering
free resources on their websites. Many teachers stress that parents and guardians should
continue to practice essential English and maths skills such as times tables.
The BBC have recently announced that, starting 20th April, BBC Bitesize Daily will deliver a
tailored day of curriculum relevant learning for children of all age groups. Tony Hall, Director
General of the BBC, says that the BBC is “are looking forward to ensuring every child can
continue to learn, and have fun, through our high-quality teaching and accessible education

Here are three ways to learn and have fun:


Comedian and children’s author David Walliams is releasing
free audio book extracts on his website daily at 11am, from
his ‘World’s Worst Children’ book series.


Shelley Allen, Head of STEM at Burgess Hill Girls Junior School in Sussex, has created a series
of videos showing fun science experiments that can be conducted at home during
lockdown. The experiments require few materials that can be found in most households.
They include making a homemade lava lamp, a skittles rainbow and a coca cola volcano
eruption. The videos and written instructions can be found on the school website at

Arts and Crafts

Fenwood House Day Nursery in Swinton shared a craft idea to keep children busy during at
home. Everyday ingredients such as plain flour, salt and water can be used to make a timestamped stone. This can then be personalised with decoration.

  1. Mix the ingredients to create a stiff dough.
  2. Roll out onto a hard surface. Sprinkle with flour to
    avoid sticking.
  3. Press handprints into the dough.
  4. Bake in an oven on lowest temperature for 3-4
  5. Personalise with paints, then varnish to seal in any

Article by Sunita Ghosh Dastidar

Middlesbrough Five golden signing of 2004


I can remember Middlesbrough season 2004/05 season all though I was only 9 years old at time I always see that season along withe 05/06 season has Middlesbrough glory years winning the league cup in 2004 to reaching the UFEA cup final in 2006 finishing 7th place in 2007, watching players like Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Bolo Zenden from my whole time of supporting the Boro these two seasons I remember most,

In the summer of 2004 Boro manager Steve McClaren’s bought some of the best players Boro have ever seen and in his quest of these signing he only spent four million pounds and the season of 2004/2005 became one of Boros best, finishing in the top half of the table and bagging a place in the UFEA cup.

The summer signing started back in July 2004 first signing for Boro manager Steve McClaren’s was the Spanish footballer Gaizka Mendieta who was on loan at the Boro in the 2003/04 season been one of the Carling cup winners , also featured in the UFEA cup final squad in 2006 ,back in 2001 UEFA Best Midfielder of the Year, most Boro fans would of been pleased such a place singing for us he went to make another 31 appearances for Middlesbrough remained with the club until 2008.

Another signing from the July 2004 for Boro busy manger was dutch international Boudewijn Zenden the player who had previously played some big European big shots  PSV, Barcelona and Chelsea he went onto make over 30 appearances for the club with five goals. Dutch man was a free transfer from Primier league club Chelsea,

On July 2nd 2004 Middlesbrough Middlesbrough where in for another shock signing bringing another big singing to the Riverside , it was Leeds Mark Viduka for a fee of four million pounds , with Boro current strike force Szilard Nemeth, Joseph-Desire Job, Massimo Maccarone failed to hit double figures on the score sheet Viduka landed at the Riverside in the hope he grab some goals for Boro, he went onto play in UFEA cup final in 2006 enjoyed two seasons at the club scored over 26 goals for the club.

Few days later on the 6th July 2004 the Boro manager was again busy in the transfer window they went onto signed Michael Reiziger, on a free transfer from Spanish club Barcelona. Reiziger who won two league titles at Ajax. Two league titles at Barcelona. The Champions League. A UEFA Cup. Two UEFA Super Cups had certainly had a very successfully career. he went to play for the club over 20 times.

9th July 2004 many Boro fans would argue this to be the best signing of the transfer of the summer Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who signed from big shots Chelsea on a free transfer bringing with him Premier League Golden Boots bagged him self a place in top 10 scorers in the Primer league that year with Middlesbrough. He went on to play for Middlesbrough until the summer of 2006 playing for the club over 50 times along more than 25 times , to me he is my favorite Boro of all time.

VE Day in Middlesbrough

Stanley Hollis and his family in Middlesbrough Stanley was the only winner of VC on D-day in 1944.
Middlesbrough ARP Wardens
The Front of Evening Gazette on VE Day
Linthorpe Road on VE Day 1945
Albert Park VE Day
Harry Carter Middlesbrough born solider who served in the Green Howard’s during WW2
The Northern Echo on VE Day
Street Party on Princes Road Middlesbrough VE Day
Street party in Middledbrough on VE Day

Why I’m not ashamed of my Teesside Accent.


I’m a Middlesbrough born and bred girl,24 lived here all my life I’ve always been very proud of my accent, I’ve often found when leaving Teesside and travelling to other parts of the country folk will misunderstand the meanings of my words, people wondering why we say certain words and meaning behind the saying, for an area like Teesside to have its very own saying and slang, I think within itself is beyond interesting to explore the language where did these saying come from. When you leave the Boro nobody understands what these sayings mean, I can count the amount times when I have gone travelling I discussed the Teesside accent and explained what the words mean, the Teesside accent has been seen in a negative light in the media and the rest of the UK, many people who are from Teesside often change the way they speak, when they move away or travel it’s like people are somehow ashamed about the way they speak, the accent their hometown has given them. I say it’s time for this to change I want everyone from Teesside to be proud of their accent, I feel the negative image of the accent will never change if people from Teesside continue to be ashamed of the way they speak, try and sound like something they’re not. I am myself guilty of doing this when I moved away at 18 to London, to try and fit into London life, I would find myself running from my true northern roots. 

Teesside Words and Sayings-If your not a Teessider ever wondered what some of the words mean here’s a brief guide to the words and meaning behind them.

Coz – Because

Canna – Can I

Claggy – Sticky

Cadge – Borrow

Chuffed – Well pleased

Dunno – Dont Know

Down Town – Visiting Middlesbrough centre

Gunna- Going to

Goosed – Shattered, really tired

Heavin – Really busy

Hacky – Dirty

Howay/ Awayy / Owayy– Come on

Laffin – Nice one, thats good

Lemon top – Ice cream with a tangy lemon top from Redcar .

Mam – Mum, Mom, Mother

Mint – Very good

Nor-  No

Nowt – Nothing

Necta– Amazing

Naff- Nothing

Our Lad/Our Lass – Other half, partner

Our ‘ouse – My house

Parmo / Parmesan – A breaded cutlet dish originating in Middlesbrough

Proper/ Proppa – Very much

Pilla – Pillow

On my radio show this week the Project Middlesbrough hour – I was joined by local and proud Boro Lass /Teesside born Lucy Franklin 24, we both believe that nobody from Boro should be ashamed of their accent, Lucy believes we need more people in the media, TV, Radio with a Teesside accent, Lucy also believes the only way for our accent to be accepted is for people to take pride in it, and not be ashamed to speak in a Boro voice. We both ourselves have experienced negative comments when leaving the area, people saying they couldn’t understand us or just look of judgement. I’m sure everyone in the Boro when they left the area has had some bad experiences or comments being made about the way we speak. Myself only last year visiting a friend in Norwich, asking for a table in a restaurant being told by the waitress couldn’t understand me, asked what country I came from, my reply this one, something I will never forget. 

The Future of Teesside Accent–  To all Teessiders yes we talk very fast, maybe at times people from other parts of the UK may not be able to understand us, We should be proud of our accent push to get more people from our area, into the media, politics getting our Teesside voice heard by the rest of the UK, it’s the only way I believe the negative image attached to our accent will change. Be proud of your accent and fight for our voice to be heard. I will never be ashamed of the way I sound. No more of you don’t sound very educated or intelligent speaking all that, we must be the force of change to make the change happen. You can be anything you want with your Teesside accent I mean Brian Clough and Steph McGovern. So far I’m managed to get myself a good job working for the NHS, my radio show, a blog so never let anyone tell you being from Teesside and sound the way we do you cant achieve your dreams.

Article By Chloe Tempestoso

Felinis Restaurant


If you are looking to enjoy the aesthetic beauty of Middlesbrough that comes with great Italian dining then you must visit Fellini’s Restaurant in Middlesbrough. The restaurant has been favorite amongst people of Teesside for the past 20 years. The idea of the restaurant began over 20 years ago and was opened by the Piretti family. The restaurant has been ran by Sarah and Eammon Barody since 2004,I sat down last month with one of the owners Sarah Barody to find out the story behind one of Middlesbrough best loved restaurants.

Sarah and Eammon Barody have been running the restaurant for last 15 years, When I spoke to Sarah who told me as a restaurant the one thing they focus on is been a family friendly restaurant, been welcoming environment for all different ages ,core of the restaurant values is to be  family orientated restaurant, these values have helped the restaurant become one of the most successfully restaurants in Middlesbrough.

Sarah and her husband have continued to help the restaurant grow in the last 15 years by featuring number of offers to people who dine at the restaurant if you are visiting as family children can eat for free which clearly highlights the values of the restaurant been family orientated , monthly music nights which includes live music three course meal for just £20, steak night Wednesday, also every Thursday the restaurant offers all Students, NHS Workers and Armed forces and Police workers 20 per cent off The restaurant also offers the Teesside dish the chicken Parmo for any Parmo lovers out there. The restaurant also takes pride is catering to anyone needs when comes to its food even if you want to order something that is no longer on the menu, owner Sarah told me they would be more than to cater for us.

She also told me most of the staff working at the restaurant have been there since it opened, also have regulars who come and visit the restaurant and enjoy its family friendly environment. Sarah and her Husband also live in the Middlesbrough area, she highlighted that all the ingredients the restaurant uses in there food is locally bought within the Teesside area and they use other local businesses in the area so the money been spent us benefiting the local economy. The restaurant also keeps high standard of hygiene level been awarded five star hygiene award. First Restaurant In Middlesbrough to gain and retain every year five star hygiene 2007-2019. 12th Consecutive Year. The restaurant has also been Recognized by Raymond Blanc for the sourcing of sustainable fish and support of British inshore fisheries. The restaurant has also had consistent place in the top 10 places to eat in Middlesbrough .

The restaurant is located on Linthorpe road in Middlesbrough,which is open to customers Monday to Saturday offering lunch time service,also Dinner service from 5pm, from my visit to the restaurant last month speaking to one of the owners Sarah about the story behind restaurant. I very happy to see a local person who is passionate about Middlesbrough, wanting to help the local economy, take pride in such family friendly ran restaurant, offering the people of Middlesbrough wide range of food choices ,its for sure worth visiting this little Middlesbrough hidden gem.

Article By Chloe Tempestoso

For more information about Felinis visit there website-

Is Middlesbrough the worst place to be a girl in the UK?


Back in 2016 Middlesbrough was named the worst town to be a girl in the Uk, no surprise another horrid headline about my hometown in the newspapers, another damning statistic about Middlesbrough, its the last thing we need for our area negative media,the report was covered in national newspapers ,my first thought when I seen why us again.

I remember scrolling through my social media and seeing it Middlesbrough the worst place to be a girl, a government study finds,my heart straight away sank,it seemed to be different and much worse than been named the worst town in the UK back in 2007 by channel four show Location Location ,as that really was just stupid TV ,trying to get higher viewing figures. The report was ran by The state of girls rights in the UK,the aim of the research is to try and improve the lives of girls around the world. You cant blame the charity for wanting to carry such research after all they trying to improve the lives of girls overall.

What did this mean for me and the other girls and women living in Middlesbrough, is this overall going to damage us and makes all think we cant have a good life here, have a good career and make something of ourselves been the best people we can be, even questioning could we children if girls raise them here if were seen as worst place to live if your a young girl. Or is it positive thing could girls in our area sees us as the worst place to be a girl make the girls of Middlesbrough ,fight to show the rest of the country and prove the report wrong ,that you can have a good life here make something of your life,the answer isn’t to pack a bag move away to better yourself as a girl.

I dont think anyone in town is going to be overjoyed to hear we were voted the worst place to be a girl back in 2016, When researching this subject I found the outcome on us been voted worst place, was on things such as child results,life expectancy in our area. I am not naive to thinking in our area we do social issues with child poverty and education results and people in our area are fighting hard to try and solve this problems, I do not believe that research and statistics and tables can make us the worst place to a girl in the UK.

As a young girl and now as a 25 year old women, I lived in Middlesbrough all my life, my own experiences I would in no way say this is the worst place to a girl, I admit everyone has different childhoods, I would say Middlesbrough has made me the women I am today, I educated here left school and college with good qualifications,I am have established myself a good career working for the NHS, I have a car and travelled to over 27 countries,without Midddlesbrough I wouldn’t have this blog and this week I was offered my own radio show, I only come from normal working class family in Acklam. Guess what I am trying to say if Middlesbrough was the worst place for us girls I dont think I would achieved any of my goals and dreams, I for sure dont need to move to London to have a good career and good quality of life.

Article By Chloe Tempestoso

Project Julie Foster Walker Artist


I spoke to locally born Artist Julie Foster Walker this week,Artist is very proud of her Teesside roots ,I spoke to her about her Middlesbrough Art work,what Teesside meant to her ,her message to younger people in our area wanting to start a career in Art,Julie Foster Walker story-

What does Teesside mean to you?
Although I’ve lived on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire for many years, Teesside will always be home to me and I love coming home and being with family and old friends.  The people of Teesside are down to earth, friendly with a strong sense of community spirit and I’m really very proud of my Middlesbrough roots.

Julie Walker Middlesbrough Art Work

What made you get into art?

I’ve always enjoyed art and music and although we didn’t have a lot of money when we were growing up, we always had an old piano in the house which I loved. As an adult I dabbled a bit with drawing at home and when my children were older and I had more free time, I went along to a local art group. My first painting was of boats at Paddy’s Hole, Redcar painted in oils with a palette knife and this has continued to be the main medium for my painting. I received positive comments from other artists and encouraged to enter exhibitions winning awards, and selling my work. What made you paint Middlesbrough?

The wonderful Transporter Bridge and Newport Bridge are world class engineering sights.  Also old buildings along with the areas beautiful countryside and coastlines makes for endless subject matter for my paintings.  I often use an old photograph as a reference point and from that I use my imagination to create a scene to evoke a memory. The Bridges are very popular subjects and in 2015 I donated a painting of the Transporter to the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, grateful that I could give something back to my home town.

Why do you think Middlesbrough is seen in a bad way by people from the outside and in the media?
It’s perceived in a negative way because the media mainly shows deprived areas and industry, but behind industry are industrious people, friendly people with a strong sense of community spirit. There are lots of green areas and nature reserves in Teesside – Teesmouth, South & North Gares, Headland in Hartlepool, and some of the highest cliffs in England are in Saltburn. There’s also a modern university, museums, and Mima, one of the world leading galleries for modern and contemporary art. Add to this the affordable housing and you then see why most people say they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Why do you think its important for more younger people in the area to get into art.
 There are many artists and groups in the area plus you have the fabulous MIMA with lots of learning activities and exhibitions.
Being creative and expressing yourself, be it through painting or music etc enables you to develop a sense of self expression and how you feel. There are so many advantages to exploring art, one being looking and focusing on the world around you, this single one thing is fantastic.

You have likely to have seen I have been posting many of Julie Foster Middlesbrough Art on the Project Middlesbrough social Media pages, I like many people who love our area ,think its so refreshing to see a locally born artist focus there art work on their hometown. Highlight some of Middlesbrough best parts through the power art, Julie is for sure a credit to Teesside art scene, is great example for younger Artists in the Teesside thinking of starting a career in art.

If you are wanting to view some of Julie Foster Walker Art work,please take a look at her Facebook page which features much of Middlesbrough Painting plus much more to see.

Article By Chloe Tempestoso