Tag Archives: Durham

Whitby councillor claims aliens are influencing President Putin’s actions in the Ukraine conflict


A Labour councillor has claimed Russia’s President Putin is being advised by an alien race.

Simon Parkes told an audience of around 30 people in Wallsend, North Tyneside, that recent hostilities in Eastern Europe are down to extraterrestrial intervention.

Coun Parkes, who has previously claimed he has had ‘hundreds’ of alien encounters in his own life, blamed a group of aliens he calls the Nordics for President Putin’s aggression in the Ukraine.

The North Yorkshire councillor said the Nordics were supporting Putin against percieved American influences in the area.

He said:

“Putin had been part of a group advised by reptiles. Nordics made a counter offer to Putin.

“The technology the Nordics are giving to Putin is on a par with America.

“The Nordics have told Putin he no longer has to toe the American line, hence his resistance.”

The Whitby councillor also told the audience at The…

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North East parks are our ‘Natural Health Service’


It’s called the Natural Health Service – and sums up the therapeutic benefits flowing from green spaces and contact with wildlife.

Nature is good for us. This is something that we intuitively know, and for which there is mounting evidence,” says Northumberland Wildlife Trust chief executive Mike Pratt.

Stroll through a nature reserve, or just watch wildlife from your window – all contribute to our physical, mental and emotional well being.”

For many urban dwellers, it is parks which offer a link to the natural world.

Many people talk about “the other NHS” – the alternative and preventative health benefits that nature provided for free,” says Mike.

After all, we are animals and are intrinsically linked to the ecosystem and life support provided through the surrounding environment.

“So it’s no surprise that we feel better when we interact with wildlife, and enjoy…

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Oi, Milliband – Where’s My Free Owl ?


Seems a Surrealist managed to hack into Labour’s  press team’s Twitter account yesterday, giving the impression that  Ed Miliband had come up with his most revolutionary policy so far.

Everybody should have his own owl,’ said the tweet that quickly took flight on social media.

One tweeter said: ‘We had  hoped our compulsory owl  guarantee would be a head  turning policy, but sadly it’s no longer going to take flight. #tweettwoo’.

Another, Lucy Vine, said: ‘You know… I think a free owl would actually genuinely make me vote Labour.’

More serious-minded observers pointed out that it would be a  policy unlikely to find support at the Treasury, as baby barn owls cost around £80 each.

To provide one for all 63million people in the country would  cost £5billion a year, or around 5 per cent of the entire budget for the NHS.

But if you think…

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County Durham Gets A New Flag

durham flag

County Durham has a new flag,  unveiled (or possibly unfurled) in a ceremony at Durham Cathedral on 21 November 2013.

The design  is based on the St Cuthbert’s cross, with the whole design counter-changed horizontally between the County Durham colours of blue and yellow.

The design was chosen over several others by public vote in a competition. You can view the other designs here –



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Water troughs, East Rainton


A couple of water troughs alongside the Durham Road, between Rainton Bridge and East Rainton,  near Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne & Wear.

More photos and information at the Holy Wells & Water Lore forum –





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Galilee Well, Durham City

Uh-oh… here comes another of those County Durham wells with no apparent history despite, in this case, it being built into the wall of Durham Cathedral itself.


Peering between the bars of the grill, there is some water down there in the stone-lined chamber, along with leaves and the inevitable debris of  modern human life – sweet wrappers, bits of polystyrene, etc. These will all be of great interest to some archaeologist in a few centuries time, but dont really add much to the contemporary asthetic. The water presumably runs in from the pathway during rain, and/or seeps in from the ground.


Full article and follow-up posts –






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Fencehouses 3rd September UFOs

September 3rd used to have a reputation of being a day of weird shit (see Almanac entry), and the North East England village of Fencehouses, near Houghton-le-Spring,  appears to have some affinity with this date and UFOs. If I’d been planning ahead, I might have gone there tonight… or maybe not. I’ve seen the place by daylight – the thought of it after dark does not appeal.

But anyway…


2010 – From the British Earth & Aeriel Mysteries Society website: http://www.beamsinvestigations.org/

“On Friday the 3rd of September 2010, me and my partner were on our way to Houghton from Chester Le Street and coming through Fencehouses, when we saw a red ball in the sky. At first I thought it was Mars but it looked odd and before our eyes, it changed to orange. It gave the appearance of being very far away, but then all of a sudden we drove under it and that was that…”

This is interesting, because On September 3, 1976 an elderly woman and her eighteen year old niece saw a grounded UFO at Fencehouses. It was a  small object, about three-and-a-half feet by five feet, with a smooth glassy surface that the older woman says she touched. On top was a small orange dome, and it was sitting on sledge-like runners of steel or chrome. The witnesses were attracted towards it and appeared to enter a hypnotic state where time stood still. They met two tiny beings with long hair, but no communication ensued. They then lost all sense of time, and the object shot upwards making a humming noise.


This account is interesting if you subscribe to the theory that the UFOnauts of today are the Fairy Folk of yesteryear with an updated image. If that was the case, the Fencehouses entities almost seem to be in the process of metamorphing from one state to the other – tiny beings and the UFO on  sledge-like runners.

And a small orange dome… related in any way to the red / orange ball in the 2010 account ?

Fencehouses is about 7 or 8 miles from where I sit writing this. I once mentioned the close encounter to a woman who came from the village – she was aghast: “What the hell did they want to go there for ?”  – her point of view being that if you had the travel opportunities that a UFO afforded, Fencehouses would be a very long way down the list of desirable locations to visit, and I must agree she had a point. The UFOs evidently like it, though.

I once worked for a couple of months with the infamous Bird Man of Fencehouses. But that’s another tale altogether…


Mr. Frankenstein

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Apollo Pavilion, Peterlee

This is a video of a visit I made on Leap Year Day – 29th February 2012 – to the Apollo Pavilion, a famous/infamous structure – not sure whether or not it qualifies as a sculpture – in Peterlee, County Durham, UK.



Named after the first manned mission to the moon in 1969 – the year the structure was built – the Apollo Pavilion is an iconic example of 1960s public art.

The stucture was designed by the artist Victor Pasmore and marked the culmination of his work as consulting director of urban design with Peterlee development corporation. The Pavilion has undergone major restoration in 2009.

Its had a lot of detractors over the years, but I have to admit I quite like it. It probably helped that  I visited on a sunny day, the shadows cast by the various projecting bits of concrete added an extra depth, as did the sunlight reflecting off of the water of the lake. A visit on an overcast day might be a different proposition altogether.

It has its own website:  http://www.apollopavilion.info

Peterlee is a post-war new town, founded in 1948, and was  named after someone called, yes – Peter Lee (1864–1935), a  celebrated Durham miners’ leader, county councillor and Methodist local preacher.

Music –  Log In B  by  Moondog.

Mr. Frankenstein



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