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Police appeal after 79-year-old woman punched in the back in street

Police are appealing for witnesses after an elderly woman was assaulted in a North Tyneside street.

The 79-year-old woman was walking along Whitley Road in Whitley Bay last Thursday afternoon when a man approached her from behind and punched her in the back.

The man then pushed passed her and made off. Police say the woman was distressed and bruised by the incident.

The offender is described as a white man aged 40s to 50s, medium build with short brown hair wearing a navy jumper and light coloured trousers.

A man and a woman were walking towards the elderly woman at the time of the incident and police are appealing for these two people to come forward as it is believed they may have witnessed the incident.

Neighbourhood Inspector Neil Armsworth said:

"These sorts of incidents are unusual in this area and we want to find the person responsible for this attack on an elderly lady. We're appealing for witnesses to come forward and speak to officers about this incident. We'd like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and especially these two people who the victim recalls seeing at the time of the assault."

Spanish City restoration approved

Impression of how the Spanish City Dome is expected to look

Work to restore the Spanish City Dome in Whitley Bay is set to begin in the Summer. North Tyneside Council Cabinet has officially accepted a Heritage Lottery Fund grant for £3.47 million and given final approval for the scheme.

It's estimated the restoration will cost £10 million. The Council has invested more than £4 million and the Coastal Communities Fund has given a grant of over £2.5 million.

The project is part of a wider plan to restore Whitley Bay seafront, including St Mary's Lighthouse and improvements to the Northern Promenade.

“I’m thrilled that the long-awaited restoration of the Spanish City Dome can begin. So much hard work went into the HLF bid and it was the icing on the cake when we found out it had been successful. The dome has such a rich and important history but has been empty for far too long.

This work will return the building back to its original 1910 splendour and bring back to life an iconic listed building for the benefit of residents and visitors while also boosting the local economy by creating new employment opportunities, new businesses and amenities.

– Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside

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Whitley Bay seal pup pops up to say 'hello'

Grey Seal in Whitley Bay Credit: Paul Kingston, North News and Pictures

A Whitley Bay seal pup popped up and posed for the camera on the beach near St Mary's Lighthouse.

Grey seal pups, who have to fend for themselves after leaving their mothers at just one month old, are often seen resting on the rocks after feeding in the North Sea.

This seal pup, who definitely can't be described as 'camera shy' gave passers-by a surprise wave.

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St Mary's lighthouse lit yellow for daffodil appeal

St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay has been illuminated yellow as part of Marie Curie's Great Daffodil Appeal.

Credit: Marie Curie

The lighthouse was lit up last night to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the campaign. It encourages people to donate and wear one of the charity's daffodil pins during March.

Marie Curie to provides hands-on care and emotional support to people with a terminal illness and their families. The appeal has raised £80.4m since it first took place in 1986.

North Tyneside Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn and Marie Curie campaigners Credit: Marie Curie

Charlotte Campbell, Community Fundraiser for Marie Curie in the North East, said:

The Great Daffodil Appeal makes it possible for Marie Curie Nurses to provide free hands-on care for people with a terminal illness. Every March millions of people across the UK show their support for our work by simply giving a donation to wear a daffodil pin."

– Charlotte Campbell

Whitley Bay Fundraising Group member Debra Mitchell went to see St Mary’s Lighthouse last night, a year since her sister Janet passed away in the Marie Curie Hospice in Newcastle.

Thursday is a poignant day for myself & my family.

It'll be a year to the day that Janet died in the hospice. Instead of it being a sad day I now have something to look forward to.”

– Debra Mitchell

More details revealed on Whitley Bay hotel site

The site earmarked for a Premier Inn on the seafront at Whitley Bay. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

More details have been revealed about plans to redevelop the seafront at Whitley Bay.

Plans have been submitted to North Tyneside Council for a 68-room Premier Inn hotel and a Beefeater restaurant on a derelict carpark near the Spanish City site.

The development could create more than sixty jobs, but a number of locals have called for a more imaginative use of the space.

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