News and Events

Firstly, my thanks to the Lanchester Partnership, for inviting me to judge the annual Companion Dog Show, on 29th September. It was such an enjoyable afternoon, held in the Community Centre on a beautiful autumn day. What a lovely selection of dogs and my huge appreciation to all those who brought their pets for me to judge, it was a real pleasure and we really do have a lot of gorgeous dogs in the area, all so obviously adored by their owners and quite rightly so. It was a privilege to judge them all.

Funds raised were for the Village Bus, so I do hope the show was successful from this point of view, despite the smaller than usual entry. Thanks to everyone for looking after Ben and I so well and for all the organisation, particularly to Kate Edwards, Jill and Mike Gladstone, Marian Morrison and Annalise, who so kindly stewarded for me. A word too about Mavis Datta, recently moved away from the village, who contacted me initially and also arranged for the lovely gift, knowing of my passion for liquorice allsorts!
In was a close decision for the top spot and eventually I awarded Best In Show to a lovely Cairn Terrier, such a character, really sound and with a gorgeous head and an expression full of character. He also had a beautiful coat and was in glorious condition. Best Pedigree/Crossbreed in the Lanchester Parish and Reserve Best In Show went to a beautiful whippet, his black and white coat gleaming. A rescue dog, he was quietly confident and showed himself so well, having such a bond with his young handler. 
There were all shapes and sizes, plenty of variety in colours and coat and it was lovely to see a few puppies enjoying their outing and some young children  getting involved with their dogs. I had plenty of difficult decisions. How do you choose the most handsome dog or the prettiest bitch, when they are all gorgeous? However, choices had to be made and I thank everyone for the sporting acceptance of my decisions. There were plenty of prizes for the winners and some delicious refreshments on offer and with a great raffle, all in all it was a super event with a lovely atmosphere. 

Fiona Thurm

Monty is the best dog in Lanchester parish!  A happy photo with proud owner Kathryn Winship and judge Fiona Thurm


Sponsored by Cobbydog Pet Products






Once again we are holding an afternoon of fun for dogs, owners and friends in Lanchester Community Centre on Sunday, 25th September. Judging will start at 2p.m. but entries will be taken from 1p.m. There will be pedigree, non-pedigree and novelty classes. New this year will be a Fancy Dress Class, so get your thinking caps on and your swing machines out!

The judge for the pedigree and non-pedigree classes will be Kim Dundry, from Rowlands Gill, who breeds, shows and judges mini long-haired dachshunds and also has German Shepherds. Judge for the novelty classes will be our own Canon Spence.

All proceeds from the show will go towards the Village Bus Fund, so we hope we will get a good turnout, as we did last year, when all the dogs were well-behaved and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. All dogs, owners and friends very welcome.

Schedules will be available from the pet shops and the vets in the village, the Post Office, and the Community Centre. Any enquiries to Mavis Datta on 01207 528814 or 07582194442.


Lanchester Partnership Fun Dog Show. Lanchester Community Centre on Sunday, 25th September, Judging starts at 2p.m. Entries taken from 1p.m. ALL WELCOME.


In aid of the Village Bus




Class 1  Best Pedigree Puppy (6 to 12 months)

Class 2  Best Pedigree Veteran (7 years and over)

Class 3  Best Pedigree  Non-sporting (any age – Toy, Working, Pastoral, Utility)

Class 4  Best Pedigree Sporting(any age – Hound, Terrier, Gundog)

Class 5  Best Non-pedigree Puppy (6 to 12 months

Class 6  Best Non-pedigree Veteran (7 years and over)

Class 7   Best Non-pedigree (any age)

Class 8  Best Condition

Class 9  Best Rescue

Class 10  Waggiest Tail

Class 11  Most Handsome Dog

Class 12  Prettiest Bitch

Class 13  Saddest Expression

Class 14  Fancy Dress

Class 15  Dog the Judge would most like to take home.

JUDGES: The judge for classes1 to 8 is Kim Dundry,  breeder exhibitor and judge of mini Dachshunds; she also has German Shepherds. Classes 9 to 15 will be judged by our own Canon Spence.


Rosettes 1st to 4th place pus Best in Show and Resrve Best in Show and special prizes.


6th May 2016

2015-16 has been another active year, with most projects going well. There has been a lot of work for the Monitoring Development Group, substantial progress on the Community Orchard, two big Village Link bus changes and lively social activities. However there has been a big drop in Youth Club membership and a few projects haven’t really got going.

Development Monitoring Group
As you probably know, recently Lanchester has become surrounded by a ring of 5 or 6 planning application sites, all at different stages.

The first one, by Story Homes, was for 149 houses in fields between Newbiggen Lane and the Valley Way. It caused enormous public opposition, generating over 1500 letters of objection. A new organisation called the Campaign to Protect Rural Lanchester was set up to fight it. We worked with CPRL to oppose the application. Planning permission was refused unanimously by the County Council, but Story Homes appealed. Consequently there has been a Public Inquiry at which we and CPRL have together presented evidence. The Inquiry Inspector’s decision is expected in late July.

A lot of people have put in an enormous amount of time on this, but in particular we all owe Elaine Hogg, our group’s leader, massive thanks.

The next applications are for 14 houses behind the Paddock and 52 on the field off Cadger Bank above Briardene. We are also opposing the Briardene application, because we know that residents are strongly opposed to it. An application for 79 houses beside Pace Egg Bank is imminent, then one for the field above Deneside and then perhaps one beyond Warriors’ Bridge…

Opposing planning applications isn’t the only thing that we do, although this year it has felt a bit like that – we always support appropriate building proposals.

We are also supporting the Parish Council as it develops a Neighbourhood Plan for Lanchester.

And we are watching the early stages of the new County Durham Plan, following the withdrawal of its predecessor at a hearing in the High Court.

Community Orchard
The orchard is thriving – it is well organised and the members have been working steadily. In 2015 it produced loads of fruit, and as I write this rhubarb is being harvested.

We successfully applied for 100 young hedgerow trees which have now been planted.

Village Link Bus
In an attempt to increase passenger numbers we decided that at the end of February we would extend the bus route to cover nearly all of the village and we would change the service frequency from half-hourly to hourly.
Then a bombshell landed! Fred, our wonderful driver/operator told us that for personal reasons, and with great regret, he was going to retire. With help from Durham County Council we arranged for Stanley Taxis to take over the service. Fred operated the new route for a month and then handed over to them and we gave him a big farewell party.

Time will tell whether the new route and new operator will be a success, but early signs are encouraging.

Youth Club
Youth Club attendance has dropped sharply, despite the superb renovation of Croft View Hall and the installation of “new” computers.
If you know any young people who would enjoy the youth club please ask them to just turn up at 7:15pm on any Monday in term time.

Friends of Longovicium
Our lively Friends are as busy as ever, trying to find Roman Roads and investigating the sites. They have received two valuable records – a set of photos of all of the visible fort stonework and a set of aerial photos of the fort and dam areas. Many thanks to the men (who are not members) who very kindly produced these.

The Friends have also written a powerful letter opposing the Cadger Bank planning application to build houses on a field containing remains of the ancient civilian settlement and forming part of its setting.

Lanchester Community Emergency Plan
This plan has now been completed (the first one in the county) and has helpfully been taken over by the Parish Council so as to provide insurance cover for volunteer helpers.

If there is a flood or other community emergency ring the emergency services if appropriate, and then ring:
-  me on 528 114 or 07971 972 683;
-  Eric Hepplewhite on 07969 808 958 or 521 323;
-  Brian Naylor on 520 087 or 07896 897 680; or
-  Sally Laverick on 529 415 or 520 146 or 07539 103 532.

We will then start the operation of the plan.

Litter Pick
We have again held the always well-attended annual village litter-pick. As result of it, and litter picking by Dave the village handyman, and County Council staff clearing the approach roads, the village and approach roads are looking great, and cleaner than I can remember.

Other Activities
And we have been getting on with the rest of our projects.

Social Group
The Paradiso club had a very popular season, showing 9 varied films.

We held a fun dog show in the autumn. Everyone (and nearly every dog) enjoyed it and it brought in over £200, so we will do it again.

And a lunch for the bus raised nearly £300.
Our annual ceilidh was great fun, led by a superb band, Windy Ghyll. It raised £900, which Barclays Bank very generously match funded.

General Position
We have had another sound year financially and all of our projects are solvent. The amounts in the Village Bus and the Youth Club accounts are lower than we would like but there are grant applications in for both. Very big thanks to everyone for their fund-raising and their care with project expenditure!

If it is a year since you last made a donation and you would like to make another, we will be very grateful. We do not ask for it to be large. If you do make one, please use the enclosed form and, ideally, fill in the space on it about gift aid.

Anything that you give us will be very useful in itself, but, even more importantly, it will be evidence to big funding agencies like Barclays that we have support from people in the village who understand the things that we do.

Fund raiser needed
Is there anyone out there who knows (or would like to learn) about how to apply for funding for a small charity like ours? If someone would offer to do this for us it would be very helpful.

After the AGM we invite you all to stay on for a little while, share some wine and a nibble, and discuss whatever topics you wish.

As always, thank you for all that you have done and for your support,

Yours sincerely,

Mike Gladstone