Barry Robson Bows Out with Fans Award

Boro players signing on

Barry Robson took the honours when presented with the Official Supporters Club Player of the Season award at the end of season dinner Wed 25th May. The hard working midfielder also scooped the Fmttm 2012 Poll. He was delighted to be bowing out with the fans on his side.

Former Celtic man Robson spoke briefly about the ups, downs and indifferent times since his move south of the border. But injuries apart he had enjoyed his time hugely and it means the world to him that the supporters had always been so accepting towards him.

Robson joined Jason Steele (young player) and Tony McMahon (John Ovington Community award) in taking the honours. About his move to Vancouver he described it as a huge opportunity for his whole family and not a decision they had taken lightly. The timing he thought could be perfect all round as he believed Tony Mowbray would be looking to rebuild this summer. Barry hoped he could go out on a high by leading Boro into the playoffs, Wembley and beyond. Here’s hoping.

It was a top turn out from the first team squad. Every single member was present with the exception of Matthew Bates and Zemmama. All were extremely smartly turned out in suits. Faris Haroun disguising himself in a large hat. The players signed two items for every supporter present. That’s after we had dined on the food. Which as always was top nosh.

There was also big representation from the back room staff. Manager Tony Mowbray, Mark Proctor, Steve Agnew, Neil Bausor and Anthony Emmerson were all present as well as PR and ticket office staff also. The ticket office seemed to do very well on the raffle. Despite buying a massive spread of tickets Tony Mowbray went home empty handed but lets hope that is not the case tomorrow at Watford. Mowbray talked of the excitement of going into the last game with something to play for.

Sadly we didn’t win that last head to head with Watford and failed to break into the play-off positions. Now we have the long wait through three and a half months of the close season before kick off again  Just how many of those players will be lining up again for Boro on August 18th?


Leon Rosselson songwriting genius finally plays the Boro

He is the same age as Tees landmark, Newport Bridge and yet Leon Rosselson the Godfather of English protest song played his very first Middlesbrough gig on Sunday. The man whose songs have influenced generations of performers, audiences and agitators was invited to The Studio, Little Theatre Club on Sunday and welcomed with open arms for a superb night that was educational as well as entertaining.

Ably supporting were the superb Wilson Family of Billingham whose rich and very Teesside folk harmonies set the night off in fine style. Or maybe I should say fine fettle. Industrial songs about such subjects as Sea Coal from Hartlepool mined the proud industrial history of the area and were accompanied by often humorous anecdotes. In fact at times the Wilson struggled to get started as each of the lads in turn chipped in with his own witticisms. And out of turn as well. The Wilson Family should be returning to The Studio at a later date, I’ll definitely make sure I an there.

Leon Rosselson’s songs are sung in folk clubs up and down the land and resonate well beyond the traditional circuit. Chumbawamba and Brilly Bragg have covered him in more recent times, Billy Bragg even recording a hit with the incredible Diggers anthem but more of that later.

As the Studio is attached to the Middlesbrough (Little) Theatre Leon decided rather than playing a straight gig he would put on a life story show. Although starting out very contemporary with a song about mobile phones and the lack of real communication he soon dropped back to the start of his singer songwriting career in the 1950s. He pulled out a song or two for every decade whilst setting it all in context with some of the big happenings and influences of the times. The seated audience settled in for a wonderfully intimate night in the company of a song writing genius with a fascinating story to tell.

Firstly Leon described how Ewan McColl was at the vanguard of those that changed English folk music forever. At this time folk became a living music, songs were no longer exclusively museum pieces but you were now able to write new folk pieces. That is what Leon Rosselson set out to do ever since with incredible aptitude and a unquenchable appetite.

I loved the anecdotes from being refused a USA Visa when asked if he had a political record and he replied about a dozen. Or being knocked back by at the start of the 60s by Ned Sherin, producerof satirical show That Was The Week That Was despite Leon being seemingly ideal for the show. Ned preferred musicals.

A couple of Leon’s songs did make it onto this highly influential and well-watched show. Another political ditty was played on the fledgling Radio One, and not banned despite protests because the arsonist got his comeuppance in the final verse. Talking of political songs, Leon clutched a copy of an early single on the Topic label and suggested his was probably the only topical record ever released on the label.

There are an unbelievable amount of lyrics in Leon Rosselson’s songs and so cleverly crafted, rhymed and sung. And remembered. Some humour, German humour at that with Wo Sind Die Elefanten? The only German phrase Leon remembered from school, maybe not too useful or appropriate when he sang it in East Berlin at the time the wall was being ripped down.

There were so many more stories and songs told, writing a song about cultural Jewish heritage or a Jewish man visiting Palestine moved to song about by the uprooting of communities and olive trees in the West Bank by illegal Jewish settlers.

The show ended with the rousing Diggers anthem, The World Turned Upside Down. Billy Bragg sang this at Teesside University six months ago and now we were all joining in heartily with the original songwriter in the homely Studio in leafy Linthorpe.

A memorable evening and fantastic value for money from the cheap drink to a gig that lasted with two short breaks and through two acts from quarter to eight to quarter to eleven. The best way I can think of spending a Sunday night in Middlesbrough.

We’ve waited 50 years + to see Leon Rosselson in Middlesbrough and must thank Leigh Sayers for bringing him here for a night that will be remembered for many years into the future.

Do get along and support the Studio – Attila The Stockbroker is playing with Rory Ellis on Friday May 18th.

The Studio, Middlesbrough Little Theatre Club, Toft House, The Avenue, Linthorpe, TS5 6SA Tickets tel 01642 828715;


Exhibitions in Middlesbrough

Saltburn Arts Fair in collaboration with mima is coming 3-5 August 2012.  They are seeking expressions of interest from artists now.
Further information for artists 

#wear mima selection day is 5 May.


John Gerrard
1 March – 1 July 2012, mima, FREE
John Gerrard workThe first UK showing of two recent works by Gerrard consolidates his reputation as one of the most innovative artists working today.




Cyprien Gaillard
1 March – 1 July 2012, mima, FREE
Cyprien Gallard workIn his largest UK exhibition to date, award-winning artist Gaillard presents two major film installations.




To remind: works of memory and monument
24 February – 1 July 2012, mima, FREE
NightWorks from mima’s collection.





Up the Boro
2 March – 8 July 2012, mima, FREE
Work by BakkerIn support of the Middlesbrough ’86 Project




Sean Scully: Change and Horizontals
2 March – 13 July 2012, mima, FREE
Work by ScullyThis exhibition will present drawings and paintings by Irish born internationally-renowned artist Sean Scully.

Download current mima programme



Platform A Gallery
This That and the Other
20th April – 31st May, Platform A Gallery, FREE
Bringing together the work of Deb Covell, Keith Coventry and Barry Flanagan in the second in the series of pairings between Platform A artists and work from the mima collection.
Platform A Gallery
To go to Platform A Gallery go to Platform 1 of Middlesbrough Railway Station and turn left. Keep going and you will see the doors to the gallery on your left. It is open 10am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday.

Python Gallery
2 March – 25 May 2012, Python Gallery, FREE
Note this exhibition has been extended until 25 May.

Heritage Gallery at Cargo Fleet
David Thomas: Alternative Landscape
29 March-17 May, Heritage Gallery at Cargo Fleet, FREE
Alternative Landscape

Dorman Museum
Falklands 30
3 April – 15 July 2012, Dorman Museum, FREE
Falkland photo from Dorman Museum exhibitionIncluded in the exhibition are images from the collection of the Imperial War Museum and the mast head light from the ill-fated RFA Sir Galahad, famous for being the involved in an attack which accounted for nearly a fifth of all British losses during the conflict.
Through dramatic images on display and using objects brought back from the Falklands from Middlesbrough veteran, RM Graham Fletcher, the exhibition gives an intimate portrayal of the personal side of the conflict and is a tribute, 30 years on, to the members of the British Forces who fought in the Falklands War.

The Apollo Male Voice Choir : The Teesside Apollo Male Voice Choir Celebrates its 125th Anniversary in 2012
2 March-20 May 2012, Dorman Museum, FREE
apollo choir badgeIn 2012 the the Teesside Apollo Male Voice Choir, one of the oldest and most internationally known male voice choirs in England, commemorates 125 years since it was founded in 1887 by a group of Welsh steelworkers in Middlesbrough.



Constantine Gallery
Mapping Four Corners
30 April – 06 May 2012, Constantine Gallery, Teesside University
Mapping Four Corners is an exhibition celebrating internationalisation of the University’s curriculum and will feature four collaborative installations which reflect on internationalised curriculum content, learning and teaching, student voices and distances travelled.
The exhibition has been designed by students and staff at Teesside University, led by the School of Arts and Media as part of national Universities Week 2012

Elliotts Coffee House
Anna Atkinson
27 April-16 May 2012, Elliotts Coffee House, upstairs, FREE
Celebration event for charity on 11 May, £5
work by Anna Atkinson artistMiddlesbrough Central Library
Embroiderers Guild (Guisborough Branch) 30th Anniversary exhibition
2 April – 31 May 2012, Middlesbrough Central Library

International Peace Quilt
2 April – 1 June 2012, Middlesbrough Reference Library

Middlesbrough Reference Library


Love Middlesbrough Weekend What’s On


 Albert Parkrun
Every Saturday at 9am join hundreds of friendly runners for 5k. It’s the perfect way to train for the SABIC 5K Riverside Run and ASDA 2K Fun Run on Sunday 13 May.

Record Store Day

Record Store Day 2012

Ack! Ack! Ack! Records open from 9 on Linthorpe Rd across from PsycheThat’s Entertainment in Captain Cook Square features live music from 1pm
Sound It Out Records is open 8-8.

Saturday Art Trolley at mima
Free hands-on creative sessions, suitable for all the family. Work with mima’s Trolley Leader and the mima Art Trolley packed with all sort of materials for making and creating. Drop in to join in! 1-4pm
Art Trolley at mima








Cultured TSide
Teesside University students are hosting a one day arts festival 1-6pm at Redcar ABC, Coatham Memorial Hall, 7 Coatham Road, Redcar, TS10 1RH
or follow on Twitter @CulturedTside #CulturedTSide

Cultural Conversations on Teesside
12-4pm at Darlington Arts Centre alongside A Right Royal Do Art Fair

6th Annual Sponsored Walk for Abbies Love Charity
Sixth annual charity walk from 11am Gribdale Gate Car Park, nr Great Ayton (Between Roseberry Topping and Captain Cooks Monument).

Dalek Mack is back
Dalek Mack will be at the Who-ray! shop Saturday 21st April, from 9am.
daleks at WhoRay shop


Mohawks v Carlisle friendly
Basketball. 3-5pm at Teesside University Olympia Building

MFC v Southampton
Kick-off is 17.20 at the Riverside. Up the Boro!
boro v southampton

Ultimate Eagles – The UK’s No 1 Eagles Tribute
Be whisked away to the warmer climates of Southern California as the ultimate tribute, to one of the worlds most loved bands at Middlesbrough Town Hall at 8pm.

Charity Fashion Show
Charity Fashion Show at the Teesside University Students’ Union Hub in aid of A Way Out and Cash for Kids. 7-10pm, £10 on the door.

Charity Fashion Show

Nouvelle Musique presents The Purnells // The Legion, Middlesbrough

The National Trust Free Weekend
Visit the National Trust for free on 21 & 22 April and explore over 200 of their houses and gardens for free including our very own Ormesby Hall

British Drift Championships 
At Teesside Autodrome on 21 & 22 April.


Rally-O Training Day for dogs
Middlesbrough & District Dog Training Association presents A Rally-O Training Day 9.30am-4.30pm. To book your place or enquire about pet dog training classes contact Jenny on 01642 491794 or Yvette on 01642 290312
Must prebook. Handlers £20, Spectators £10

Bicycle Tour of Cleveland
Start: Middlesbrough Cycle Circuit
Ride level: STRONG
Terrain: Mostly road/cycle paths, any bike type is fine. A varied route with some small climbs.
Distance: 28 miles
Pace: 13 mph
Time: 3 hours

Vintage Bus Day
11am to 5pm
Vintage Bus Day

Up the Boro Lino Printing Workshop at mima
12-2.30pm at mima. FULLY BOOKED
Take inspiration from works on show in Up the Boro. Learn printing techniques from artist Jackie Steven, and try your hand at creating a unique, bold two-colour lino print. No experience necessary. £5 per person. Materials and equipment provided. Bring along any images or objects that you want to share as inspiration for your prints.

The National Trust Free Weekend
Visit the National Trust for free on 21 & 22 April and explore over 200 of their houses and gardens for free including our very own Ormesby Hall

British Drift Championships 
At Teesside Autodrome on 21 & 22 April.

Classic Car Show at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience 
10am-5pm with over 200 classic cars.

Frank Hamilton at Liberties in Town
8pm with support from The Jar Family and Alistair Sheeran


100 Beats of the Clock

The ebb and flow of the tides, the measured beats of a clock, the passage of the Tranny gondola over the Tees, all these working rhythms in a normal day may have in part inspired a fascinating exhibition by photographer Charles Twist that captured public interest at the Heritage Gallery at Cargo Fleet.

Last year was of course centenary year for our most revered landmark, the Transporter Bridge and as part of those celebrations local photographer Charles Twist was awarded a project to produce 100 photographs of the Transporter Bridge. Charles has commemorated the passage of those 100 years with 100 photographs taken from a fixed position at regular intervals through one day from dawn to dusk. To add to the historic value he has used a camera and vintage lens dating from the period when the bridge was erected, which is also exhibited along with 50 of the photos.

The pictures were captured on Ilford Direct Positive Paper, nothing digital about this process. It is the actual paper that is displayed in the frames so every photo is totally unique and fixed to that exact time and date, recorded in each mounted photo. Charles revealed to me that the paper is exceptionally sensitive to changes in light. Hence recording some extrordinary changes within a few minutes between very dark photos and very light as weather shifted by the river.

So, the bridge frames the view in the same way in each photo but that view varies with weather and light and also subtle changes to the tide and shipping on the river. Walking along a line of photos you see how a view can change over a period of minutes and hours. I think it probably tells you to look more closely at even the most familiar of scenes around you. There is always something new to be learned and absorbed.

The accompanying notes to the exhibition talk about there being, “a lot of ideas to intrigue the viewer: the implicit and explicit rhythms which speak of mechanisation and industry; the reference to recent artistic movements (esp. repetitive minimalism); the use of vintage equipment which shifts the viewer’s historical standpoint.”

Presently showing at the Heritage Gallery is another exhibition of landscape captured by camera. David Thomas “Alternative Landscape” is showing until May 17th.

There is ample free parking right next to the imposing Cargo Fleet Offices which were formerly the old steelworks HQ. You might remember the building in more recent times as Langbaurgh Council HQ. Ity is positioned just off the A66 next to South Bank Motorsports and the home of Redcar Bears speedway; 5 minutes drive form Middlesbrough centre. Python Properties have renovated this office block to a very high standard, the gallery being just to the right of the splendid reception.

Photo – Tracy Hyman