Ferryhill into the Millennium
October 2001 – Another Hero and his Owner. A Ferryhill pooch named Patch. And its owner, Geoffrey Gregg, aged 54, averted a potential rail disaster when the dog discovered a gaping hole underneath the East Coast main line. When Geoffrey was returning home, he crossed the public crossing on the line between Ferryhill Junction, and Tursdale Junction, when his dog, Patch, pulled his owner over to his left, and in front of him he noticed the ground under the high speed track was caved in, and the sleepers were partly suspended over what appeared to be a very deep hole. Being a former signalman, he realised the danger, and ran down the side of the line to find a side track phone. However, it was vandalised, and found another. He phoned Railtrack to stop all the trains that were to come through the area. At that point he noticed a Virgin 125 Express hurtling towards him on the opposite side. Attracting the driver’s attention, the huge location slowly came to a halt. The driver upon seeing the hole, got onto the phone in his cab. He was told to proceed past the danger zone at walking past, whilst the passengers looked on, little realising the danger that could have happened. Railtrack diverted all trains onto slow lanes until engineers filled in the hole in two hours later. Overnight, a 20-mile-an-hour limit was imposed on the track, and after inspections, was lifted the following morning. Geoffrey Gregg and his dog, Patch, was honoured by the Leader of Durham County Council, in a letter and DCC tie.
November 2001. Geoffrey Gregg and his dog, Patch was honoured by the town Council, the Mayor Councillor Kath Conroy. Geoffrey was presented with a framed certificate, and a whisky tumbler , engraved with the town’s coat of arms in recognition of his heroic deed.
December 2001. Town Councillors decided to lay down some of the town’s dangerous gravestones in a local cemetery after learning that some of them could be lethal to anybody if they fell over.
January 2002 – Two heroes. Two local young men, Tom Hancock, and Gavin Short, 16, saved a mother , her two children, two other children, and an adult, from a downstairs window of a smoke gutted home on New Years Eve, in Stephenson Street, Ferryhill. Going from one party to another, the two lads heard shouts coming from the street, where they went to investigate. They then saw a women shouting from a upstairs window pleading for help, saying that her home was on fire. The two men told her to get everyone downstairs if possible. A neighbour across the road, Mr John Bell, heard the shouting and came to help in the rescue, by bringing a chair and smashing the downstairs window. Before the police and fire service arrived, the two men slipped away into the night, in order to avoid any publicity. However, the weekly news leaflet, the Chapter, managed to discover the identities of the young men. The Police and the Fire Service were thankful that they were no casualties, and praised the two young men.
February 2002. The Dean Bank Institute, opposite Dean Bank Primary School, was demolished.
June 2002. The town celebrated the Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee with much celebration.
July 2002. Another web site was introduced on the Internet, about Ferryhill and its History. Its author is Dave O’Hara, and the site can be accessed at: www.napier.demon.co.uk/ferryhill, called “Ferryhill - A Virtual Tour”
July 2002 – The Plaxis Clothing Manufacturing factory was demolished, and near the site began the construction of the Sure Start Building.
February 2003. Ferryhill Comprehensive School became the first Business and Enterprise College in the entire North East of England
March 2003. The footpath which runs adjacent to Manor Farm and Manor Court is to be upgraded, town councilors have decided.
October 2004 to June 2005 – A new road was being created for the new Chilton Bypass, which starts after West Close Farm at the Southern End of Ferryhill and ends at the roundabout of Rushyford.
January to May 2005. The street lighting on the main road through Dean Bank were upgraded.
June 2005. The Chilton Bypass was completed and traffic began to use the new road system on 20 June 2005. The road system can be viewed via this document: NEW CHILTON BYPASS.doc (please note map is not to scale)
Late 2005. Restoration of the ‘Old Mill’ began – see here.
Dean Bank Primary School, during the renovation for the inclusion of a nursery
Personal Photography, 2006
September 2006 - Completion of the work on Dean Bank Primary School, which is included in the building a nursery. Dean Road Nursery is subject to closure.
January 2007 - The regeneration of Dean Bank began, with first, better upgrading of the public footpaths. Also in the same month, Phil Nixon, aged 50 (a distant relative of myself), won second place in the final of the Lakeside World Darts Championship, with a total score of 7-6, to Martin Adams. Wilkipedia.org has more details on the final championship Phil Nixon became a house husband when he was made redundant, and at the start of the championship, he began to concentrate on his darts to a greater degree.
March to April 2007 - Sedgefield Borough Council, in partnership with Endeavor Training and Capture Films, trained four young people in Newton Aycliffe in the art of film making. Over the course of 8 to 10 weeks, they created a 30 minute film of the notorious Brass Children Murders of 1683, called "The Devil Within: The Andrew Mills Story". It was showing in various places throughout the week commencing Monday 23 April 2007. Click here for more information.
August 2007 - It was recorded in "The Northern Echo, dated the 7th of this month, that Stuart Trotter, who was born and raised in Ferryhill, but now lives in the Midlands, became the next children's illustrator for the next Rupert the Bear annuals.
See also Ferryhill Ancient History