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Play facility opens at children's heart unit

Seb Hollingsworth declares the play area open with dad Ivan
Seb Hollingsworth declares the play area open with mum and dad, Nadine and Ivan Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A new £300,000 play area has opened at the Freeman hospital for children who are patients on the heart unit.

The money was raised by the Hollingsworth family through charity events. Their son Sebastian had a life saving operation shortly after birth.

Agricultural show in North Yorks attempts world record

Members of the public are being invited to bring along their old tin cans and balls of string to the Bilsdale Show at Chop Gate, in North Yorkshire, for a world record attempt.

The attempt is to set the world record for the 'Longest Working Tin-can Telephone'.

Guinness have set a minimum qualifying distance, but Simon Hayhurst, who organised the event, is keeping tight-lipped about the exact length. He says: "We want people to come along and have some fun, regardless of a record. There will be prizes for the longest working telephone at the event but the official qualifying distance will only be revealed at the show, it's long, but achievable."

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36 accountants' relay run from the Tees to the Tweed

Rowlands Runners in front of the Angel of the North
Rowlands Runners get ready for the relay

36 staff from Rowlands Accountants are covering the length and breadth of the North East region as they undertake a gruelling relay challenge across the weekend to raise money for three local charities.

The “Round Rowlands Run” will see a relay team, lead by John Grimshaw from Benton, Newcastle, tackle over 220 kilometres in the course of the three days during which they will run to the firm’s six North East offices.

The distance is equivalent to running six marathons.

The staff are raising money for three charities:

25,000 expected to gather on Newcastle's Quayside

The NE1 Zapcat Grand Prix last year
The NE1 Zapcat Grand Prix is the only event for which the Tyne is closed off

Crowds of over 25,000 are expected to gather on Newcastle's Quayside this weekend to watch an adrenaline fuelled two day racing weekend that will unfold between the Tyne and Millennium bridges.

The NE1 Zapcat Grand Prix is the only event for which the Tyne is closed off and the speed restrictions lifted to allow boats to reach speeds in excess of 45 miles per hour and pull 3Gs in the turns.

The race, which is in its 3rd year, tests speed and agility and has earned the title 'the Formula One of the water'.

This year, more than 15 powerboat teams from all over the UK will be competing for the coveted title of NE1 Zapcat Grand Prix winner,

Commenting on this year’s NE1 Zapcat Grand Prix, Stephen Patterson, Director of Communications at NE1 said:

"The event has become a firm fixture in NE1’s annual events programme and we’re expecting record numbers of competitors and spectators. This is the reason we installed the marina two years ago to bring the river back to life and to increase the vibrancy and atmosphere of Newcastle.

With crowds of over 25,000 gathering to watch the explosive action we feel we have gone some way to achieving this aim and we can’t wait to watch the drama unfold this year.”

Tees Barrage opens chambers to the public

Tees Barrage
Credit: Bob Collier/PA

While the Tees Barrage undergoes a £650,000 repair project, the Canal & River Trust is inviting members of the public to explore the modern waterway for themselves.

They are hosting an open day where visitors will see the hydraulic rams up close, walk around the fish pass, get access to the control tower and explore deep into the barrage's chambers.

Steve Garcia, senior project manager for the Canal & River Trust says: "This event sold out in under a day which shows just what interest there is in this amazing structure. Every day lots of people walk, cycle and drive pass the barrage but won't realise all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to keep it in top working order."

For more details on open days, go to the Canal & River Trust website.

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