The QT

Friday 19 July 2024
19/07/2024

Author name: Peter Barron

Lyndon Longhorne’s iron will

With typical understatement, Lyndon Longhorne calls with what he describes as ‘a little bit of news’. “Just to let you know, I’ve called it a day,” he says. “I’m retiring from swimming…but there’s a challenge on the horizon.” For someone who’s just taken the agonising decision to call time on the dream he’s had since …

A life well lived: Les Coates 1946-2024

As a boy of seven, Les Coates watched — mesmerised — as neighbours crowded round a small black-and-white television set to watch the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. On June 2, 1953, in the village of Croft-on-Tees, near Darlington, it was the moment that sparked Les’s imagination and went on to define his life. “From …

The triumph of their lives

No matter how England’s male footballers fare as the Euros get underway in Germany this week, it surely can’t compare with the special achievements of an amateur women’s team from the grass roots of County Durham. What the Chester-le-Street Amazons have done goes way beyond football. Theirs is a victory for the human spirit. Not …

Appealing to our better nature

Half a century has passed since the last shift clocked off at Elemore Colliery and emerged from the darkness into an uncertain future. Today, the landscape is very different. The grey spoil heaps have been replaced by vibrant, green countryside, with woods alive with birdsong — and the future is about to get even brighter. …

It’s been a hard day’s Knight

It hasn’t been easy but Stephen Lock is living his dream — a dream that took flight as a boy when he couldn’t wait for the shop to open so he could buy his favourite comics. Beano, Whizzer and Chips, Tiger, and Scorcher were the first to capture his young imagination, along with Monster Fun, …

Remembering the remarkable Mary Butterwick

When Mary Butterwick was born, the drunk midwife, who delivered her, took one look and declared: “This one’s no good.” Blue and seemingly lifeless, with an umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck, a life that was destined to be remarkable, might have ended at its beginning. Thankfully, Mary’s dad, James, heard his wife’s cries, …

Doctor’s mission driven by father’s death

The son of a distinguished medical officer in the Polish resistance during the Second World War, Dr Andrzej Hubert Szemis was a brilliant, active, and intensely proud man. Having been the director of a hospital in Poland, the eminent psychiatrist came to England at the end of the Cold War in 1984, settling in Leicester …

When the going gets tough

When Stephen Berry arrived for work at Redcar Racecourse at 5.30am on Monday, he had no reason to think the day’s meeting wouldn’t be going ahead as planned. After weeks of hard graft by Redcar’s track manager and his team of seven full-time ground staff, the 2024 season was finally poised to get underway at …

A diamond in the ruff

High on a hillside, in beautiful Bannau Brycheiniog — until recently known as the Brecon Beacons —  one man and his dog are justifiably feeling on top of the world. Border collie, Gem, has just passed the biggest test of her young life and her handler, Tim Cain MBE, is beaming with pride in the …

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