Bishop Auckland College Performing Arts

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Last month I attended the Bishop Auckland College Performing Arts department’s ‘One Night Only’ end of year variety showcase.

As a local resident you often don’t appreciate what is right on your own doorstep, I know I didn’t, but Bishop Auckland College is the gateway to so many choices, options and most of all opportunities.

And with it, they are having such a positive impact on so many students within their college, as both their Performing Arts students demonstrated on this night, as equally as much, as the Art and Photography students have proved during their Art Exhibition within the town centre.

The ‘One Night Only’ showcase was organised and arranged by the Performing Arts department and their students, and collectively they only decided to present and perform their show 2 weeks prior to their show night.

All 11 performing students can be immensely proud of their performances on the evening.

The students performed an array of scenes, each one performed with passion, character and confidence, covering scenes from well-known shows ‘Cats’ and the ‘Lion King’ alongside pitch perfect vocals to a wide range of songs, including ‘Les Miserables’.

The audience who were filled with many family and friends as well as local residents, couldn’t help but be impressed with the students teamwork and individual abilities, especially once we had heard they had pulled together the full show in just a couple of weeks.

Bishop Auckland can be extremely proud of their next generation, as the talented students put on a fantastic showcase of choreographed dancing, singing and acting, expressing pure emotion with every piece that they performed.

The action packed showcase was well worth more than its token entry fee of £1.00 per person.

In summary for me, I attended the variety performance as I felt as a local resident that it was important to go, important to go and support the local students who learn their crafts within our own community.

What I wasn’t expecting was to be wowed with the standard of the performances, as I sat, watched, and was mesmerised by.

Well done to all Bishop Auckland College Performing Arts students and tutors, for putting on a hugely impressive show.

Bishop Auckland College is literally just up the road from where I live, no more than a 5 minute walk, but it offers so much more than just further education, apprenticeships, and a wide range of full and part time courses.

The college also caters for college students, staff and the general public with facilities that include a children’s nursery and hair and beauty salons.

To learn more about Bishop Auckland College and the courses they can provide please visit their website:

https://bacillus.ac.uk/

Their next Open Evening will take place on Tuesday 17th October 2017.

For more information or to read more of my articles please visit:

https://m.facebook.com/andrewcorryblog/

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Nothing ever just happens.

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For me personally, it’s something I have been reflecting on in the last few weeks, both about myself and of our town.

To think back, remember, realise and if I could rewind myself back to the very start.

Just over a year ago not only did I decide half heartedly may I add, to start writing entries to my own Kynren journey, but I amongst probably many of my friends and family wouldn’t have expected that I could sustain writing over a period of time, never mind that it would light a fire inside myself and create a passion.

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Nor did I ever think it would lead me to becoming a National Awards Finalist either.

Things don’t just happen, not on there own, not without personal sacrifice, hard work, determination and most of all patience.

You have to remember why you start something, ultimately it’s because you wanted to better yourself, to challenge yourself, to not limit your own capabilities.

Looking back I realise I’m in the position I’m in because of the choices I’ve made, the decisions that I’ve had to make and having the self belief to continue and remain patient, whilst the easiest thing in the world would be to stop.

I’m passionate and proud, stubborn at times too, I want the best future I can for myself and the people around me, including the community I live in.

I want to help and support, become one of the foundations to help this town stabilise itself and grow, to offer more opportunities to the next generation(s) to come.

There’s opportunity in this town, a buzz again, a community spirit, people are talking globally about Bishop Auckland and whilst our town centre isn’t quite there yet, there is certainly more to come.

There are many good people working hard in this town, residents, businesses, volunteers too, trying to make the place we call home a better place to live.

Opinions and perceptions are valid and everyone has a given right to voice them, but let’s turn them into giving Bishop Auckland it’s voice again, let’s create a positive vibe within our town, let’s all come together and help to promote positive change, let’s look towards our future rather than comparing it to our past.

What I most like, probably love about Bishop Auckland is its passion.

The passion amongst it’s people, I’ve never experienced it anything quite like it is here, the people are proud and it shows.

Yes for me I’m excited about how our developing town is changing, to how Kynren has changed us too, to how the art galleries and museums will encourage more visitors to our town with it.

To the Welcome Building, I’m already looking forward to experiencing the view from the watch tower platform for the very first time.

I’m excited about the potential, I’m excited about new investors who have and are setting up new businesses in our town.

And for me as a resident, what can I do?

I can always do more…

I can promote.

I can encourage.

I can support.

I can look to reach out to the bigger brands, investors, developers and businesses via social media platforms and encourage them to take a look at Bishop Auckland as their next location.

All things I’ve already been doing.

In order to have the town we want, we have to collectively support the one we have, in order to help it grow.

Bishop Auckland is more than just charity and betting shops and takeaways too.

Although each in their own right is a business, each having an impact on our community and we need them, we need them to encourage more businesses into our town.

Progress is happening within the town, perhaps not as quickly as some may like but it is happening, and it will continue to happen too.

The market is back, and it’s gradually growing.

Collectively now is the time to continue to promote what we have, to encourage those interested parties to join us, and help us to develop our hometown.

And that’s exactly what I will continue to do, I will continue to write free blogging articles on behalf of businesses, charities and the community, to help and promote them and raise their exposure, which in turn will hopefully continue to attract new customers and visitors into our town, as much as I hope new investors will too.

For more information or to read more of my blog articles please visit:

https://m.Facebook.com/andrewcorryblog/

‘On The Map’ by Gillian Arnold

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You may have heard about the ‘On The Map’ project in the last few weeks, that is being delivered by local designers Gillian Arnold, based at 2B, Fore Bondgate, in Bishop Auckland.

But what is it all about?

‘On The Map’ is a community project bringing together collective works from a diverse range of people from Bishop Auckland.

Building a large collaborative map, this will be printed, and delivered to every Bishop Auckland household, with the original on display in a pop-up gallery shop in town.

The map’s project core objective is to highlight the beauty of the town including Bishop Auckland’s rich historical past, it’s very exciting present and even looking forward to a bright future.

Gillian really wanted to find a way to make sure as many residents in Bishop Auckland as possible have access to the map and this project.

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On The Map is focused around the Bishop Auckland area, with hand drawn locations and landmarks that represent the area and the town.

The scale of the map however, is huge.

The overall banner will be hung on fabric stretching around 3 metres x 3 metres.

Gillian Arnold are looking for people to draw their favourite shop, landmark, or house.

By picking up a pen, pencil, crayon, charcoal, paintbrush or anything else, and hand draw for their chance to see their work become part of this large 3 metre square map in a new pop-up gallery shop in the town, and printed and distributed to every house in Bishop Auckland.

Gillian has been leading workshops involving people from all parts of the community and many schools, creating individual drawings of buildings, cultural landmarks, people, items and objects to bring Bishop Auckland to life in a new and artistic way.

The greatest part about the map, is the people who are making it, this is a map for the community and town that has been made by hundreds of people living with its borders.

Nearly all the individual drawings have been based on Gillian’s own photography, after spending several days photographing every building and cultural landmark in the town.

 

 

Taking all the hand drawn elements and comprising them into a map to represent the entire town is a huge task.

Gillian and her team have been working around the clock scanning, scaling, sizing and loving the hundreds of drawings that have been made so far.

They have also had no shortage of people willing to donate their time to help them along, which has been fantastic to see.

The map will be published in The Bishop Press on their 15th of July edition with an editorial on the project and will be hanging in the Gillian Arnold Boutique throughout the summer when Kynren is on.

Prints will be available of the map after the project is completed and all profits from the sale of art prints will be given to newly setup Pineapple Castle C.I.C. by Gillian Arnold to help fund future community orientated projects and disadvantaged people in Bishop Auckland.

Gillian Arnold are asking people to send scans of their work by no later than Saturday 8th July to them as either a message on Facebook, or emailed to: onthemap@gillianarnold.com or bring the picture to the Gillian Arnold shop at 2B Fore Bondgate.

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Gillian said about the map:

“At first the map was largely about tackling aspects of negativity in the public’ opinion about all of the changes that have happened in Bishop Auckland.

Now that the project is underway, after working with so many amazing people and seeing how many people have reached out to be involved, I can see this map is more about reinforcing the positivity, because there really is so much of it out there”.

For more information for the ‘On The Map’ project please click on their Facebook link, or alternatively for more information on Gillian Arnold, please click on the link for their website.

https://www.facebook.com/onthemap.bishop/

http://www.gillianarnold.com

For more information or to read more of my blog articles please visit:

https://m.facebook.com/andrewcorryblog/

 

Bishop Auckland College Art Exhibition

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Last month, Bishop Auckland College Art students took centre stage in Bishop Auckland, by opening a pop-up art and photography exhibition in the old McIntyre’s building.

Over 40 students have exhibited work, that is accessible for the public to walk in and view free of charge.

The students have excelled themselves with the guidance and support from lecturers Julie Scorer, Art and Design, and John Alderson, Photography.

For me, as a local resident of Bishop Auckland it’s a fabulous idea, to use such an iconic venue, which is light and airy, with fantastic acoustics to showcase the work of local students.

If you’ve had the opportunity to visit the exhibition in the last few weeks, you’ll quite agree we have some fantastic, and talented creative students coming to the fore within our town and community.

With over 100 exhibition pieces from photography, abstract art, objects, clothing and fabric there is  a vast array of creative talent within the room to come in and see.

Whether it’s photography.

Or drawings and artwork.

Come in and be inspired.

Today, the students came together with Gillian Arnold to give up their free time to collaborate with their ‘On The Map’ project.

Gillian gave a talk about the inspiration behind the project and set the students off drawing some local landmarks, shops and businesses within the location of Bishop Auckland.

With some fantastic artwork, produced over a couple of hours to be included in the project.

Bishop Auckland College Art Exhibition runs until Monday 17th July, open from 11am-3pm.

Why not come along and show your support to our local students and our local community.

To learn more about Bishop Auckland College and the courses they can provide please visit their website:

https://bacoll.ac.uk/

Or alternatively, they have an open evening on Tuesday 11th July.

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For more information or to read more of my articles please visit:

https://m.facebook.com/andrewcorryblog/

 

 

 

 

 

Business Networking

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Networking is vital for any business, meeting new people, striking up conversations, looking for opportunities and building new relationships.

Last month I attended the DL Business Expo held at the Northern Echo Arena in Darlington organised for it’s 7th yearly event by the Darlington Business Club.

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From being self employed in my past, this event was always in my calendar, the main reason I attended this time around was to catch up with some familiar faces, talk about the benefits of blogging for businesses, and to speak to any recruitment companies in the room.

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The Northern Echo arena is a great venue for an event of this scale, good road links, plenty of parking, and plenty of space for each exhibitor.

Darlington Business Club have used this venue for last 4 or 5 years having previously used Darlington College in the past.

Through the double doors you’d find a friendly registration team waiting to check you in, providing you with all the information you need.

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The DL Business Expo organise a range of guest speakers for seminars on the day, featuring professionals talking about a wide range of topics from marketing, including tips on how to get your business noticed, workplace wellbeing, and emotional intelligence for business were some of the seminars this time around.

And in previous years there has been many different guest speakers to reassure or inspire you too.

The event itself was held on the second floor, where around 60 businesses attended to exhibit within two large rooms.

And each of the seminars held on the third floor.

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From my experiences being self employed I always found this event beneficial to attend, you always learnt something or met someone new who could be beneficial going forward for your business.

But one thing I have always thought, and on this day was no different.

Why couldn’t Bishop Auckland organise an event like this, to showcase what Bishop Auckland businesses have to offer their community and surrounding areas?

That answer is no reason.

It’s a question and answer I’d like to put right.

From my time volunteering with the Bishop Auckland Town Team, I personally wanted to give back to my town, and try and help it grow, to try and help it to attract new visitors.

My main focus was to work within the business community, but from a personal point of view I just didn’t know how I could play a part to influence that.

Now, through my writing, I am doing just that, working alongside local businesses and charities within the whole perimeter of Bishop Auckland, to provide free blog articles to promote what Bishop Auckland has to offer it’s residents, and what it can offer those outside of the area too.

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Currently Bishop Auckland is light on the ground with business networking.

The BNI group offer subscribed breakfast networking in neighbouring areas such as The Manor House Hotel in West Auckland and Redworth Hall Hotel.

And just recently Business Durham had arranged a breakfast networking event held at Bishop Auckland Football Ground for Bishop Auckland and Shildon only, businesses to attend.

Their next event is on Thursday 6th July to be held at The Park Head Hotel, further details can be found here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bishop-auckland-and-shildon-business-network-6th-july-2017-tickets-34855448585?aff=erelexpmlt

But in regards to an actual exhibition bringing together the businesses of Bishop Auckland under one roof, that at present is clearly lacking, whilst other town’s are excelling.

I’d like to see an event that is open to all, an event whereby it’s not just business to business, it’s all businesses, all charities, all training providers showcasing themselves to all.

An exhibition organised not for profit, to support all the businesses of our town, to engage with employers, recruiters and training and apprenticeship schemes.

The ability to identify with the person rather than a business card or an advert in a paper.

I want the town to continue to grow together and strengthen close bonds and roots.

Too many events have an angle to try and offer something different.

Why try and be different?

When each of us are unique.

For me, I see this as a long term goal, but one I’m keen to work towards, because Bishop Auckland is a great place to live, we have some fantastic businesses and some amazing people who continue effortlessly to make a difference within our community, and that deserves to be showcased in itself.

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For more information or to read more of my articles please visit:

https://m.facebook.com/andrewcorryblog/

 

 

Park Head Hotel

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Welcome to the Park Head Hotel, where a warm and friendly welcome awaits you.

That’s certainly what I experienced a couple of weeks ago.

The Park Head Hotel is situated at New Coundon, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, a great location which offers good access to roads onto the A688 and A689 onwards onto the A1.

As you can see the hotel is situated surrounded by beautiful scenery, and is only a 5 minute car journey away from the popular attractions Kynren and Auckland Castle located in Bishop Auckland.

And once you arrive, you will be made to feel very welcome and right at home.

The hotel is a family run business, and they share in great family values, putting their guests right at ease from the very first moment.

The hotel comprises of 32 spacious en-suite rooms, accommodating flat screen televisions with a range of Freeview channels, free Wi-Fi available in all areas for guests, along with free secure parking for all, and a 24 hour front desk.

As a local resident of Bishop Auckland, you can sometimes forget how big the Park Head Hotel actually is, I know I did, and the valuable service it provides for their guests and our community.

Alongside overnight stays, the Park Head Hotel can cater for all your needs and every occasion.

From functions and events, or weddings to seminars, they will have a package to suit all.

One thing that has always stood out for me in regards to the Park Head Hotel is their food, and I’m yet to be disappointed by any dish chosen from their extensive menu so far.

Alongside a pub classic lunch menu available from Friday to Saturday 12pm until 5pm the hotel also caters for Afternoon Tea Parties that are available from Friday to Saturday 12pm until 4pm.

Evening bar meals are available from their new restaurant opened last year in April named the Bishop’s Grill, open from Monday to Sunday from 5pm until 10pm.

Sunday’s brings the traditional Sunday lunch or in the Park Head Hotel’s case, ‘The Carvery’, a delicious, traditional four roast carvery with homemade Yorkshire puddings, goose fat roasties and a great choice of vegetables for £9.75 per adult and under 10’s for £6.45 each, which includes a free dessert.

Something that shouldn’t be missed, although booking is advisable in order not to miss out.

The Park Head Hotel are a local business that look to use local fresh produce with a range of locally sourced meat, game and fish within their menu, and cheeses, chutneys and artisan breads to offer an alternative to their wide range of sweet treats.

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Lastly, in all the years I’ve lived in Bishop Auckland, I was totally unaware that the Park Head Hotel has a large beer garden, and children’s play area located within it’s grounds, that attracts the sun no end on a warm day.

A great place in which to enjoy drinks with family and friends, whilst the children can have as much fun and enjoyment as the adults do.

For more information or to book a room please visit the Park Head Hotel’s Website and Facebook page:

http://www.parkheadhotel.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/parkheadhotel/

For more information or to read more of my articles please visit: 

https://m.facebook.com/andrewcorryblog/

Miss England 2017

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Alongside each of these blogs I want to write about a variety of different topics, talking about my passions and interests, to supporting and helping to promote my hometown of Bishop Auckland and the businesses there.

But I also want to recognise local people with it too.

So let me introduce you all to Francesca, who lives and runs her own business in Darlington.

For me, she’s a good friend too, forever supportive, loyal and caring, and I’m lucky to know her.

So how did Miss England come about?

Francesca was spotted on a recent holiday and was asked to apply, and since then, she has gone on to become a quarter-finalist within this year’s competition.

Miss England is a fantastic opportunity to become that all important role model to today’s younger generation and society, and isn’t just associated as a stereotypical beauty pageant any longer, as it promotes strength of character, independence and inner beauty.

And Francesca is no different as she sees this as a fantastic opportunity to make that all important difference to use the competition as a platform to address key matters close to her heart, such as poverty.

Through her successful business QSR Cleaning Specialists in Darlington which she formed in 2015, she has actively recognised this and employs local people above minimum wage.

In regards to Miss England, Francesca has said she had no idea how she got here but knows she has a lot to give, “the competition isn’t just about a pretty face, it’s about substance, and I know with my experiences and confidence I have the ability to make a difference.”

She followed up by saying “I have never done anything like this before, but I’m proud of getting this far.”

Before QSR Cleaning Specialists, Francesca gained a degree from her studies for a law at Liverpool University.

All the while giving back to society by volunteering at the Citizens Advice Bureau helping less fortunate and homeless people gain the help and information they duly needed.

She also spent a period of time working in Spain for the European Commission.

She aims to record and submit a video surrounding personal growth and business strategy, and how this can be used to strengthen society and local communities.

As her friend I’m immensely proud of her, as we all are, here she is representing the local area, putting in her case Darlington, but once again the North East back on the map.

And it’s time to rally around and help a local enterprising woman get into the final stages of the competition that will be judged in June.

To hear more about Francesca’s bid to qualify for the Miss England final, she will be appearing on Bishop FM tomorrow morning from 11.00am to talk live about the competition and what she hopes to achieve.

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To hear Francesca’s on air interview with Bishop FM yesterday please click on the attached link.

Voting closes on Wednesday 17th May, and Francesca needs your support, to vote please text MISS SEMI04 to 63333, costs 50 pence per text, each text registers one vote.

For more information or to follow Francesca’s progress please visit: http://www.missengland.info/regionals/semi-heat-5

https://m.facebook.com/andrewcorryblog/