Local people and crafts are the stars as mima turns the spotlight on Middlesbrough

THE MIDDLESBROUGH Institute of Modern Art’s new ambitious exhibition, Localism, focuses on telling the story of Teesside’s cultural and creative history.

The project differs from anything mima has ever done before using user-generated narratives and crowd-sourced artwork to create the bulk of the exhibition.

Localism brings together a mix of artwork, artefacts, personal documents, resident artists and archival material in order to illustrate the history, politics, culture and creativity of Middlesbrough and its surrounding areas dating from 1800 to 2015.

It tells the story of the full range of creative activities that have been undertaken since Middlesbrough industrialised in the 19th century, expanding the notion of art to include film, design and engineering.


Linthorpe Pottery: mima visitors can make their very own clay-based products

With four gallery rooms dedicated to the exhibition, visitors can follow Middlesbrough’s two century long timeline to see work from Linthorpe pottery, prints of the Evening Gazette through the years and can even watch Blade Runner, directed by Stockton-raised Ridley Scott.

Director of mima, Alistair Hudson said: “Localism is a story about what happens when the big ideas of art hit a very particular place like this, how a town built on making (things) uses art to grow and define itself.

A showcase of work from Stockton alternative art gallery, Peg Powler

A showcase of work from Stockton alternative art gallery, Peg Powler

“Middlesbrough has a unique and fascinating history of artists and makers and we don’t celebrate this enough.”

The exhibition plays out through four different chapters – ‘Local’, ‘Forum’, ‘Family Tree’ and ‘Workshop’.

‘Local’ and ‘Family Tree’ look at Teesside’s social and cultural context and focus on documenting Teesside’s artistic output.

‘Local’ records Teesside’s cultural and creative history from the 1800s when Middlesbrough started to develop and industrialise and then going almost full circle to the present with the recent announcement of SSI’s closure.

‘Family Tree’, on the other hand, becomes a showcase for Teesside’s creative talent, displaying original architectural plans for the Sydney Harbour Bridge, work from the 131-year-old Cleveland Sketching Club, as well as pieces from mima’s own art collection.

Senior curator Elinor Morgan, said: “mima has a reputation of bringing the best of international art to Middlesbrough, but this narrative tends to neglect local stories and people.

“We must remember that mima has grown from local artist groups and initiatives.”

The exhibition also plays host to two gallery spaces dedicated to starting new conversations and helping the exhibition expand even further.

The public can add to Teesside's history through forum sessions

The public can add to Teesside’s history through forum sessions

“Workshop” is a place for the public to learn about two major creative industries in Teesside – Linthorpe Pottery and Boosbeck Industries – as well as tapestry weaving by 30 year textile veteran, Dot Seddon.

Members of the public can learn how to make furniture, loom weave and create pieces of pottery either to be taken home or to sell in mima’s shop.

‘Forum’ becomes a space for members of the public to share ideas, documents and memories, with a series of talks being held every Tuesday with the intention of developing Localism into a large-scale interactive project.

Senior curator, Miguel Amado, said: “Using these crowd-sourced contributions, we wanted to reaffirm the important role the town plays in the development of art and society’s articulation.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a better response from Middlesbrough’s residents. ”

Localism will remain at mima until February 2016.

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Forget Halloween – Mischief Night is the real horror story

The one night a year where many youths think its acceptable to engage in pranks and minor vandalism is tonight.

Mischief Night is an informal holiday which usually takes place the night before Halloween. Police have warned that there will be extra patrols and dispersal orders across Middlesbrough to prevent trouble.

Depending on where you live, it lands either before Halloween or Bonfire Night.

Youths have already been warned about the consequences of causing criminal damage in the lead up to Mischief Night.

Last year police received an extra 750 calls in the week leading up to October 30.

Superintendent Ian Coates said: “Those who commit acts of crime and criminal damage are not being mischievous, they are being criminals and it won’t be tolerated.

Opinions vary on whether it is a chance for harmless fun or an excuse for anti-social behaviour.

Opinions vary on whether it is a chance for harmless fun or an excuse for anti-social behaviour.

“We’ll be carrying out high visibility patrols, making full use of legislation around dispersal orders and also signposting youths to diversionary activities.

“Let this be a warning to those who think it’s acceptable to commit crime this half term, we won’t tolerate it and you may well face criminal proceedings in a court of law.”

The police, along with Cleveland Fire Brigade have visited the homes of known offenders and their parents.

In the past it used to be pranks such as egging windows and playing knock a door run. Now its getting a lot more serious with arson attacks and serious cases of damaging other peoples property/cars.

Shopkeepers are being urged not to sell eggs, flour and shaving foam as police crack down on Mischief Night disorder.

Last year Cleveland Fire Brigade said it was called to six Mischief Night-related “small fires.”

Also a number of areas, particularly in Middlesbrough, saw groups of up to  30 or 40 teenagers congregating in public areas, which, police said, was intimidating for business owners and the public.

Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer of Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Our message is clear, unofficial bonfires aren’t mischief. They’re arson.

“We will continue to work alongside the police and other partners to ensure people responsible for arson are held to account.”

A controversial ban preventing every child in a Teesside town from leaving their homes is being considered by police in their fight against anti-social behavior.

Police are considering the use of new legislation to impose a curfew on youngsters living in Middlesbrough.

If it goes ahead it means all unsupervised under-15’s would be prevented from being on the town’s streets between 9pm and 6am.

Anyone with information on people responsible for crime tonight or in the past is asked to contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.




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Yarm restaurant offers perfect Muse for Monday night

If you fancy breaking the student stereotype of kebabs and parmos and want to try an upmarket cuisine, why not head down to Muse on Yarm High Street?

Offering a wide range of Mediterranean dishes made with the freshest ingredients, it might not be in your usual student budget, but I promise you it’ll be worth it!

On a Monday evening without a table reservation, I was expecting the High Street to be a ghost town, and well, it was, because everyone seemed to be in Muse. Despite the fact it was a school night the restaurant was jam packed with only one table available for the three of us. Thankfully we were able to squeeze in, and were served straight away, considering how busy it was.

I opted for a lamb and goats cheese burger with a Harrisa Sour cream sauce which was a tantalising pallet cleanser. It also came with homemade skinny fries and a rocket leaf salad with sun dried tomatoes and olives. Is your mouth watering yet?

food review pic

Although busy, the staff were friendly and attentive taking care of our every need. Our waiter even took time out of the dinner service to take a photograph of us all around the dinner table. He did forget the jug of water, but I can let him off as that was free.

From the menu, to the décor, the way everything was presented was a work of art. The crockery all a matching rustic ceramic, with matching dishes for the chips. On the walls hung pictures of The Beatles and Moet champagne bottles.

This was the second time I’ve visited Muse and both times have always been a treat. Definitely a place to go to if you want to splash the boat out for a special occasion, or just because you want to try it. Definitely worth every penny and I highly rate going out and trying it for yourself.

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Top boat club is back on the water with new crew and big ambition

A TEESSIDE University student has been explaining the reasons behind the revamp of a recent award-winning rowing club.


On the River Tees (Credit: Susan McManus)

Susan McManus, 25, secretary of Teesside University Boat Club, took some time out of training to tell TSide about the work that goes into rebuilding a top team.

“There’s only two members still from last year. We’re literally starting from scratch.

“We have new club designs, we’ve set up the new crest, we’ve changed the name from Teesside University Rowing Club to Teesside University Boat Club.

“We’re repainting the boats, we’re cleaning them up again. It’s literally just ‘TLC’ for the whole club, whether its the equipment or just getting people involved again,” she said.


Practice makes perfect (Credit: Susan McManus)

With so few members remaining from last year, the club relied heavily on an injection of new blood joining in September.

“This year we’ve got off to a really good start, we’ve got a really good group of people who’ve started coming down. All freshers, except for a few,” said Susan. “Everyone who has joined so far is a complete novice to rowing. Except for two of the girls, nobody has done this sport before, so if ever there was a time to join, its now,” she added.

The qualified nurse also described just what goes into the training for new members.

“We train on the water twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays down at Tees Barrage. Then we train in the Centuria building twice a week, just in circuits and on the rowing machine.”


In full flow.. (Credit: Susan McManus)

Despite the rebuilding, Susan has high hopes for this year with eyes focused on local competitions in the coming weeks.

“The goal is to just try and get into the competitions this year. We’re going to Durham in the first week of November, to do indoors, and then there’s the races every month at the Tees Barrage. We’re going to get a boat into that, whether its a two, a four or an eight.

“Basically we’re just trying to make ourselves known and get back to where we used to be. Rowing is a big sport for Teesside – not just for the University but for the Middlesbrough area. I mean, there’s a Team GB athlete in Tees Rowing Club so it is a big rowing town, and we’re just trying to get back involved again.

“Hopefully we can get some races this year, I know every club is going to target best club or most improved, but we really hope we can try and get it this year.”

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Van Gaal dismisses “lucky” Boro as ice cool Smoggies outgun United in cup shootout

Middlesbrough have reached the quarter finals of the League Cup after winning on penalties on Wednesday night.

The 10,000 travelling Middlesbrough fans had a lot to cheer about after dumping the four-time League Cup winners out of the competition.

Manchester United only scored one of their penalties, after Michael Carrick, Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney all failed to convert from the spot.

VICTORIOUS:  Boro come out on top against the Red Devils.

VICTORIOUS: Boro come out on top against the Red Devils.

The game had a few controversial incidents, as United had a strong case to have two penalities. But referee, Lee Mason, thought otherwise.

Middlesbrough also had chances to go ahead in the game. Stewart Downing’s effort was tipped over by Romero and Kike had a goal disallowed for being offside.

United did come close at the other end.  Jesse Lingard hit the post right at the end of the game which was United’s best opportunity.

United manager, Luis Van Gaal, described Boro’s win as “lucky”.

The Dutchman said:” It is more like the casino, red or black, we trained yesterday on penalties, but it is like that. I cannot take them.”

Middlesbrough represented the Championship proudly, as they were more than a match for the Premier League giants.

Aitor Karanks spoke of his jubilation after the game, praising his team’s strong performance.

He said:”The main thing is the performance, and the performance today against Manchester United, a big team, it was amazing.”

Karanka will now have to go up against fellow spainiard, Roberto Martinez, as they face Everton at the Riverside in the last eight.

The Quarter-Final ties are to be played in the week commencing 30 November.


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What would you do if your child was choking? Calls for greater first aid awareness after death of toddler

Father aiding choking daughter

The death of a North East toddler, who choked on a grape at a Hartlepool restaurant, has prompted calls for higher levels of first aid training..

I spoke to Steve Harwood, a senior health and safety adviser, about first aid training:

” The first aid at work qualification is a three-day course and the emergency first aid qualification is a one-day course.

” The first aid at work regulations do not require everybody to be first aid trained. However, if it was practical it would be a good idea.

“To be first aid trained requires attending the course and passing the exam at the end of it,” he said.

Choking is a serious incident that requires fast and immediate attention.

Emma and her daughter enjoying their fun in the sun

It can be a major cause of death for infants as most toddlers explore with their mouths.

Local mum Emma McCallay experienced her two-year-old toddler choking on a five pence piece.

“I tried everything to get it out, in the end I picked her up by her ankles and shot her over my back which caused her to throw up and released the coin.

“I was so terrified, I just froze for a moment before reality hit me that my daughter was choking,” she said.

Hot dogs, hard candy; chewing gum are the top three common foods that people choke on, along with coins, buttons and marbles.

Small particles from a game are popular for toddlers to gain interest too as they usually think that they will eat the part because it looks tasty or they are unaware of what it actually is.

Any parents with toddlers need to have eyes like a hawk when their children are playing or eating.


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Singers, dancers, impressionists and even an aspiring gymnast show TV producers that Teesside’s got talent

Has Teesside got talent? You bet we do.

Two producers from Britain’s Got Talent took to Teesside University’s SU on Tuesday to possibly uncover the next big star.

The show has previously gained exposure for acts such as singing sensation Susan Boyle and recent winners, dancing duo Jules O’Dwyer and her pooch, Matisse.

People from all ages and backgrounds turned up to the event to showcase a variety of talents. We saw singers, dancers, impressionists and even an aspiring gymnast.

The first act I spoke to was Dave Connor. The 69-year-old has had a long career in the entertainment industry. Dave reveals that this is not his first time he has auditioned for a talent show.

“This is my third time going for Britain’s Got Talent. The judges really liked my previous auditions but due to issues with my knee, which I had to get operations for, I couldn’t make it to the live auditions.

However, I did make it onto the TV with X-Factor. Louis and the two girls liked my audition but I’m not sure Simon Cowell was as pushed. He said he thought I was a bit weird.” he said.

Bad knees or not, Dave gave us a very lively and energetic performance of Tina Turner’s Proud Mary.

The next person to take the stage was young singer Abigail Westerman.

The 13-year-old, who was accompanied by her mum, gave a beautiful rendition of ‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off’ by Ella Eyre.

“I’ve been singing for around two years. This is my first time auditioning for a talent TV show but I’ve done other local competitions.

I chose an Ella Eyre song today because she’s a big inspiration to me, I think she has a great voice,” said Abigail.

Abigail and her mum, Julie.

Abigail and her mum, Julie.

The last two acts that I spoke to were mother and son, Joshua and Wendy Ashton. Ten-year-old Joshua was there to perform a gymnastics routine and mum. Wendy, was there to sing.

Wendy first dazzled us with her emotional cover of Ed Sheeran’s Photograph and the Joshua kicked, flipped and cartwheeled to Sia’s Chandelier.


Speaking to them afterwards, you could see what a great relationship they had and that they were clearly each other’s biggest supporters.

“I’ve been singing since I was able to talk and singing professionally for 11 years. I perform in a 70’s tribute show and also in a club band so singing is a part-time career for me,” said Wendy.

Joshua tells me that when he grows up he wants to be either a singer or a gymnast. “I’ve been doing gymnastics for a year and a half now. My inspirations would be my mum and Maddie Zieglar.”

Joshua and Wendy with their audition slips

Joshua and Wendy with their audition slips

With the day coming to a close, I got a chance to speak to the show’s producers.

Producer Stuart Young explained what brought them here.

“We’re doing a tour of the North East, visiting different towns and cities around the area. We thought we’d come along to the university for students who may not be able to make it to our auditions normally.

It gives students the opportunity to showcase their talents and it encourages them to take part.”

“After what we seen here today, I believe Teesside definitely has talent,” he added.

Check out TUSU TV’s coverage of the day!




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Chicken power battles loneliness among local `hensioners’


Hen Power Project

Hen Power Project

Residents at Queens Meadow care home have welcomed their new arrivals in the form of six hens.

The new additions have arrived courtesy of the ‘Hen Power’ project which aims to tackle loneliness and depression in the elderly.

Paxo and Queenie, some of the new arrivals, have been going down a storm with the residents who are known as “hensioners” for their recently-found love of the farmyard birds.

Mary Miller, aged 76, holding a hen at Queens Meadow care home.

Mary Miller, aged 76, holding a hen at Queens Meadow care home.

Marry Miller, a 76-year-old resident, said:

“I think it’s a lovely idea. It gives me something to do.

It helps us get some fresh air and they are funny little characters.”

The chickens have settled into their new home as part of an Equal Arts project ‘Hen Power’.

The aim of the project is to bring elderly residents together and combat loneliness.

Queens Meadow has even invited the local community to interact with the hens. This brings the community into the home and provides company for the residents.

Bill Charlton, 85, said:I am really happy to have them here!”

“They are something different. No one has ever seen anything like it!

Bill Charlton feeding the hens at Queens Meadow care home.

Bill Charlton feeding the hens at Queens Meadow care home.

Kyle Royal, a carer in Queens Meadow Care Home, Hartlepool:

“The project is doing so well and you can see a difference in the atmosphere around the home.

I do think it’s working. You can see that residents are going outside more and the benefits are great to see.

I would recommend it in any care home. It’s beneficial for all parties.”

The Hen Power project claims to have benefited residents at homes across the UK.

“Next to blindness, loneliness is the worst thing you can have. It is a big affliction. It can destroy a lot of people. I know because I have been through it. At 87, hens are the biggest thing in our lives, ” said Ossie Cresswell.

The Hen power Project in Queens Meadow care home:

from Tside

The miracle berry that turns the tast of onion into a taste of paradise

Miracle berry or miracle fruit is a rare tropical berry that is known for its ability to transform sour flavors into sweet.

The West African fruit contains glycoprotien and miraculin which alters how your tongue perceives tastes.

Miracle Berry is a plant native to West Africa. The berry has a mildly sweet flavor; however, the fruit is treasured not for its own taste, but for the fruit's unique effect on the taste buds.

Miracle Berry is a plant native to West Africa. The berry has a mildly sweet flavor; however, the fruit is treasured not for its own taste, but for the fruit’s unique effect on the taste buds.

Although miracle fruit is often used to experiment with flavor changes there is also widespread interest in the berry’s potential health benefits.

For instance, some doctors are exploring miracle fruit’s ability to increase appetite with certain patients.

As well as changing your taste buds for up to 15 minutes to 2 hours it is also used to enhance the flavors of food for cancer patients whose chemotherapy treatments have dulled their taste.

Miracle berries are also great for reducing your sugar intake and eating more natural, healthier foods, this can be beneficial to people with diabetes according to research.

Robert Harvey, a biomedical postgraduate student at Teesside University, tried the miracle berry. He said: “You can eat a berry and then bite into a lemon, then it becomes not only sweeter, but it will be the best lemon you’ve tasted in your life.”

“More importantly, this “miracle” can be used to manufacture sweet tasting foods without sugar or sweeteners, which have always been plagued by an after-taste.

The tablets are 100% natural, although there could be small side effects such as heartburn for example, or stomach ache if you eat too much food.

Because the miracle berry doesn’t alter the food itself only the flavour, eating spicy food could potentially be eaten in greater than normal quantities and this could cause heartburn or stomach aches.

Tside students taste tested the berry and found that it didn’t change anything about the foods taste, so it could possibly depend on the person and how different things effect others. It also says online that the tablet itself has no taste, but it does in fact have a slightly odd taste to it.

Although it has been proven on YouTube by plenty of people that you can eat foods such as onions and it apparently makes it taste like an apple, but it doesn’t happen for everyone.

Here is an example of the tablet actually working below:





from Tside

Six in a row for Sunderland in Tyne-Wear derby

Sunderland v Newcastle

Sunderland embarrassed their North East rivals Newcastle United to make it six derby victories in a row.

A penalty shortly before the break was converted by Adam Jonson, before Billy Jones and Steven Fletcher both netted to complete a famous 3-0 victory.

Newcastle began the game in the ascendancy, drawing two smart saves from Costel Pantilimon. But the match momentum turned right before half time.

Sunderland broke forward on the counter attack, with Jermain Defoe threading a through ball to Steven Fletcher, who was felled inside the area by Fabricio Coloccini.

The referee saw fit to send off the Argentinian defender for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity, before Adam Johnson stepped up to convert the spot kick – sparking delirium in the stands.

As a result of the sending off, Newcastle began to struggle in the second half, but they did fashion a chance when Aleksander Mitrovic found space in the area, however, his shot was straight at the advancing Pantilimon.

The Magpies were left to rue the missed opportunity as Sunderland pressed home their numerical advantage.

The second goal for the Wearsiders came from a deep corner, with Billy Jones tapping home from a short distance following an M’Vila volley.

Sunderland completed a terrific afternoon when Steven Fletcher finished off a counter attack to send the Wearside faithful home delighted.

The victory marked Sunderland’s sixth consecutive win over their closest rivals – a new record in this fixture.


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