Online Archive  
Issue 7 - July 1972
Through The Looking Glass
Its a Knock-Out

A total of 31 policemen in the Northumberland Constabulary have now been trained in the use of CS riot gas.

Initially, some 14 were trained to use this evil substance but last year a fresh batch of 17 had to put on their gas masks prior to spraying imaginary rioters and demonstrators in the North-East.

The Tide Turns?
As a follow up to the article in Muther Grumble 4 on the pollution of the Durham coast, it is interesting to note that the new county boundaries have been changed so that the whole six mile stretch from Seaham to Horden can remain under Durham County Authority. Do they really intend to do more than they've done so far?

Something Stirs
The Youth Centre Petition, with all 5,000 names, and accompanied by ideas from the young people themselves about what kind of centre they want, was high on the agenda at the last Planning Committee meeting of the Durham City Council.

There was a fair amount of discussion among the Committee and two encouraging decisions resulted. The first was to send our ideas to the architect who is at present examining the possibilities for the Milburngate site. The second was to form a Sub-Committee which is to meet some of the young people after the summer and discuss the architects proposals with them.

Things are not exactly forging ahead, but at least there are signs of life!

Come Together
Durham Gay Liberation Front is not dead, only sleeping. At present, there is no demand for a GLF here: it seems that the gay population is in the enviable position of not needing liberation! The few people who still come to our meetings also attend Newcastle GLF - which is flourishing - so it was my original intention to disband the group. However, I have been persuaded to change my mind, and we are just suspending meetings until a demand for them occurs.

We have just succeeded in placing an advertisement in the Northern Echo, and are planning a publicity drive in the Durham student population next year: if we obtain sufficient interest the group meetings will be restarted, and if not then we will be sadly forced into liquidation.


You Scratch my Back I'll ...
Friday night after the Family and Audience concert an interesting and amusing incident occurred. First a small van drew up outside the Mayfair containing one, presumably Securicor, official. While he was parked at the kerb a police car drew up behind and proceeded to reverse into the back of the van. Both parties immediately leapt from their vehicles, exchanged a few words, smiled, nodded and decided that no harm had been done.

The police officer then strutted proudly away from his sparkling vehicle and entered the Mayfair foyer. The security officer climbed into his van, promptly reversed into the police car and sped away. At this point I am afraid that I am unable to continue with the story as both me and a friend collapsed onto the pavement in hysterics.


Durham Folk Festival
The first Durham Folk Festival promises to be very well worth paying a visit. It will be held on Saturday, August 12th, and will feature such artists as Bob Davenport and the Rakes, Vin Garbut, the Northern Front, Fred Jordan and others. Tickets, price 75p, are available from RK Turner, 5 Bell Vue Tce, Gilesgate Moor, Durham (tel 4500). The Festival has been organised by Durham City Folk Club.


What's my Name
You may have noticed a gigantic new factory being built south of Redcar on the coast. In fact, if you've been that way you couldn't have missed it, because it completely dominates the landscape. This is the new potash plant of Cleveland Potash Ltd, who will soon start producing the first potash ever to be mined in Britain in commercial quantities.

Even though there is a glut of potash on the world market at the moment, the company received £6m in subsidies for development. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that Cleveland Potash started operations in September 1967 as ICI Minerals Ltd but, seven months later, changed its name in a fit of modesty.

Moreover, two other companies have outline permission to start mining in the area. These are Whitby Potash Ltd and Yorkshire Potash Ltd - perhaps better known by the name of their parent companies - Shell and Rio Tinto Zinc.

It is probably unimportant to these companies that the potash is in a designated National Park. It is obviously unimportant to the Government who earlier this year set aside £50m to give to mining companies for exploration - much of which will take place in National Parks.

Out Demons Out
The three tenants of 36 Cavendish Place, Jesmond, who went to the rent tribunal to fight Newcastle City Council's 'house improvement' scheme won their case (see MG 6).

They were given six months surety of tenure which means the landlord cannot evict them for the purpose of doing the extensive repairs, foisted upon him by the Council.

It should be made clear, however, that relations between the tenants and the landlord are good. One tenant even told the tribunal that he regarded the Council's multi-occupation ruling as an 'intrusion' on the good relations between the owner and themselves.