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  1. A Northumberland school has been evacuated and forced to close following a gas leak. Astley Community High School on Elsdon Avenue, Seaton Delaval, posted on social media to confirm the school closed at 1pm on Friday as a result of the leak. Parents have been advised to collect their children and to avoid the school site. All pupils are confirmed to be safe. A statement posted on the school's Facebook page reads: “Please collect your child from the front of school (Astley or Whytrig as appropriate) at 1pm. “Do NOT come on to the school site. “If you would like us to retain your child at school safely please phone Seaton Sluice Middle School on 0191 237 0629.
  2. Five parks in Northumberland are to be upgraded thanks to an investment of £287,000. Northumberland County Council's cabinet approved to spend £204,000, with the remaining £83,000 funded by contributions from the likes of town and parish councils. As part of its medium-term financial plan, the local authority has already set aside capital funding of £150,000 per year from 2018-19 to 2020-21 to invest in parks and green spaces. So far, money has been spent at Jennings Field in Bedlington , Astley Park in Seaton Delaval, and Eastwood Park in Prudhoe. Following the sign-off on Tuesday, Blyth's Ridley Park and Mermaid play area, Alexandra Park in Cramlington , Gallagher Park in Bedlington, and Rothbury's Riverside play area are all set to benefit. At Ridley Park, £45,000 will be spent in total with £25,000 being used to refurbish the hugely-popular water play area.
  3. A man has been hit with more than £800 in fines and court costs after he was found running an illegal waste removal operation. Michael Lascelles was advertising his work on Facebook and claimed he was a "fully licensed waste carrier". His advert read: "A man with a van, who removes all types of waste." He said he could take away rubble, soil, cardboard and plastic, and could deal with house and garage clearances as well as garden tidy-up jobs. The advert further added: "We are a fast and reliable service and fully-licensed waste carriers. No job is too big or small." However, he did not have the permit to carry out the work and was found to have lied about where he was taking waste, it was said at Newcastle Magistrates' court.
  4. An estranged husband who blew more than FOUR times the drink-drive limit has been warned he could face a spell behind bars. Dad Glen Stewart was pulled over by a police officer on Astley Road, Seaton Delaval, at 11.30am on November 11. The Skoda Octavia driver was judged to have "glazed" eyes, "slurred" speech and the stench of alcohol on his breath. The 50-year-old failed a roadside test and was immediately arrested. Stewart was found to have 143 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal drink-drive limit is 35 micrograms. Now, Stewart has been warned he could be imprisoned after pleading guilty to drink-driving at Bedlington Magistrates' Court on December 6.
  5. Christmas might be a flash in pan frenzy of family, food, presents for the majority of us, but for some businesses it’s an all-year round concern. Coreena Ford spoke to three North East businesses whose bottom line is dominated by December 25. While the majority of the UK rushes around shops for last minute gifts for this Christmas, spare a thought for Sarah Greenwell, who is already working on plans for Christmas 2019. Sarah is the founder and director of Big Little Toys, a company which many parents will now as the creator of the Elf For Christmas toy – the mischievous elf which appears in households on December 1st to chaos general mayhem in the build up to the big day. The entrepreneur launched the business three years ago from her Durham home, designing her elf and accompanying good-behaviour kit which includes report cards, Nice List certificates and reward charts. Since then, the range has been expanded to include products like advent letters and personalised letters, and the elf’s popularity has become a global phenomenon, attracting sales as far afield as Europe, Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong, UAE and New Zealand. Thousands were sold this year – with 35,000 already on the books by May, the same month that Big Little Toys won the Best Creative Company trophy at the North East Business Awards.
  6. Police were left shocked after receiving a rather 'fishy' call out in Seaton Sluice.
  7. There was plenty of Christmas joy as the lights in Seaton Valley were switched on.
  8. Four Seghill neighbours are celebrating a lottery win.
  9. This weekend is set to see lots of families out and about looking for real Christmas trees. While December 1 tends to be the date that many families like to start decking the hall and - forget that sprig of holly - go all-out with a sparkling and glitter-strewn frenzy of decorations, it's different for the real tree lovers. Those are the ones that tend to wait, knowing that holding off a few more days can make a difference to how long their tree will last over the festive season. For them the decision 'fake or fir?' has been settled by knowing that a real tree uses about 10 times fewer materials than the artificial variety and five times less energy. And they can smell wonderful so it's no wonder they want that aroma to last as long as possible. With the optimum buy-time approaching, venues across the North East are preparing for big business in the countdown is on to Christmas Day. Aside from the pleasure of decorating a tree, half the fun is going out and choosing it in the first place.
  10. The firm driving forward the Bigg Market regeneration is poised to take forward a second landmark scheme in the North East. North Shields based Historic Property Restoration (HPR) Limited has been working on the £3.2m revamp of Newcastle’s historic Bigg Market since May, as part of moves to bring it back to its glory days. Now the firm has been appointed as principal contractor for the construction phase of a National Lottery-funded project at Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland. The firm was appointed to the National Trust property following a Europe-wide procurement process. Formerly the direct labour arm of English Heritage, the company now employs 65 people and has been involved in a number of high profile projects including work at Alnwick Castle, Fountains Abbey and Gateshead Old Town Hall. Seaton Delaval Hall’s project manager Helen Nisbet said: “We’re delighted to have confirmed HPR Ltd for this work.
  11. A Seaton Delaval pub has been regionally rewarded for being dog-friendly.
  12. There's nothing that says Christmas quite like the scent you smell walking into a room where there's a real Christmas tree. Not only does a real Christmas tree smell divine, it looks great, and choosing the perfect one should be as much a part of the festive tradition as pulling crackers and singing carols. Here's your chance to win a real Christmas tree, that you can pick yourself, courtesy of Edelweiss Christmas Tree Company. We've teamed up with the North East's premier Christmas tree retailer to offer five lucky readers a real Christmas tree up to the value of £70. All you have to do to enter the competition is comment on our Facebook post which year Edelweiss Christmas Tree Company was established by 4pm on Friday, November 30. A winner will then be selected at random after the competition closes. Terms and conditions apply.
  13. Bot

    Classic fairytale in panto

    A classic children’s fairytale will be played out on stage as panto comes to Seaton Delaval this month.
  14. The autumn production from Seaton Delaval’s Valley Players will soon take place.
  15. Bot

    Tree-mendous asset to the community

    Two Seaton Delaval schools have taken part in an international tree-planting project spearheaded by the Queen.
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