Monday, 21 December 2015

Carols Around the Christmas Tree

The village's third carol singing extravaganza of the festive season takes place on Wednesday 23rd December at 7pm.

Everyone is very welcome to join the gathering around the Christmas tree, followed by drinks in the Cross Keys. If the weather is bad, please head straight to the pub at 7pm for indoor carolling!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Esh Christmas Tree

A huge thank you to everyone in the village who worked so hard (in some rather foul weather) to get the tree up and lit so beautifully last week. Special thanks go to David Oliver of Oliver's Tree Services and David Young, whose expertise means that the tree not only looks good, but is safe too!

The children at St Michael and All Angels RC Primary school have been busy making stars to decorate the tree and it's fence, and on Monday 7th December, 4pm, we'll be joined by the children from both village schools to sing carols around the tree.

Everyone is very welcome to join us, and warm your voices up for the village carol service on Tuesday 15th December at 7pm!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Local Christmas trees

With just twelve days to go before the beginning of Advent, Esh is getting ready for the annual
installation of the village Christmas tree.

This year, our tree is being supplied by Leo Moralee of Blackburn Farm, Langley Park. Leo has a great selection of beautiful trees of all shapes and sizes suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. 

He is very happy to supply trees to Esh residents: for more information, contact him on 07803 587368. 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Village Carol Service - Tuesday 15th December

This year's village carol service will be held on Tuesday 15th December at 7pm in St Michael's and All Angels Church.

For those interested in joining the choir, rehearsals will take place on the three preceding Sunday afternoons (29th November, 6th and 13th December) at 2.30pm in the church. Attendance at all three rehearsals is not compulsory, and everyone is very welcome to join in.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Esh Village Residents' Association October Meeting

The next residents' association meeting will take place this Thursday, 8th October, at 7.30pm in The Cross Keys.

Items on the agenda include: starting to forge our Christmas plans (already?!); planting the village tubs with winter bedding, and an update on the progress we've making with the Police on speeding in Esh.

Everyone is very welcome to join us - whether you've attended a meeting before or not - a cosy pub and a catch up with friends is an excellent tonic as autumn sets in!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

New Opportunities to Have Your Say in Local Health Care Provision

Below are two local events organised by Durham Community Action which may be of interest to Esh residents.  

NHS North Durham Autumn Patient Congress
Tuesday 22nd September 2015 at Durham Town Hall, 30-31 Market Place, Durham 

  • Speakers from People's Parliament, Family Action and Durham County Carers Support
  • Updates on diabetes and elderly/ frail care
  • Share your experiences of local health care and how the Clinical Commissioning Group can improve their services
  • Speech to Text service and BSL interpreters are booked for this event
  • Limited Crèche service available

Drop In and Focus Group on Out of Hours/ Urgent Care services
Thursday 24th September at Lumley Community Centre
12.30 - 2.30pm

To attend both or either of event events, please email Anne-Marie Parkin at or telephone 01388 742052. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Important Meeting at St Michael's Church, Tuesday 29th September, 7.00pm

St. Michael and All Angels' Church, in the parish of Esh with Hamsteels.  

A public meeting will be held at 7 pm on Tuesday 29th November in the hall of Esh Church of England School to discuss a matter of serious concern and the future viabilty of the church.

All within the parish are warmly invited to attend. 

Monday, 10 August 2015

Dorothy's Well Project Charity Garden Event - Thank you!

A huge thank you to everyone to came to support the fundraising event held at Rutter's Garth in aid of Dorothy's Well Project last weekend.

Teas were poured, cream was whipped and scones were served aplenty; brains were quizzed and games were fought, all with the aim of bringing fresh water to some of the remotest parts of Tanzania. In total, £1036 was raised - more than double the target. An amazing achievement.

Keep checking the Dorothy's Well website for details of the next bore hole, due to appear shortly...!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Open Garden and Cream Teas in aid of Dorothy's Well Project

On Saturday 8th August, 2-4pm, an open garden and cream tea afternoon is taking place at Rutter's Garth, Front Street, Esh, DH7 9QS, in aid of local charity Dorothy's Well Project.

Everyone is warmly invited to come along and enjoy the garden, which will include a cake stall, plant sales, quizzes, games, a raffle and a tombola and woodcraft displays.

Dorothy's Well Project provides clean water to villages and schools in rural Tanzania in an effort to help reduce waterborne diseases and to improve quality of life.

To date, eight wells have been installed,
complete with fresh drinking water and toilet facilities, and a further three are in the pipeline for installation next February. All money raised at the open garden event will go towards the £75,000 target needed to build the new wells. For more information about the charity, please visit

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Esh Residents' Monthly Meeting

Our next EVRA meeting will take place tomorrow night, Thursday 9th July, at 7.30pm in The Cross Keys.

We are delighted to be joined by Andy Coulthard from the Mid-Durham Area Action Partnership and our country councillors, Joe and Barbara Armstrong, who will be leading a discussion on the work done by the AAP in the area and their aims and plans for the coming year.

Andy and his team have been instrumental in working with EVRA to ask for better service provision to the village: emptying street drains, cutting grass verges (yes, there's still more we can do on this one!), cracking down on litter and dog fouling, and seeking ways to tackle speeding and inconsiderate parking in the village. Everyone is very welcome to join us tomorrow night - the more the merrier!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Esh Summer Event

This Saturday, 11th July, Esh will be holding its annual summer village event on the Village Green.

From 2pm, there'll be traditional games - quoits, rounders, egg and spoon and three-legged races, to name a few! - and free teas, coffees and juices on tap to quench thirsty competitors (and bystanders) between races and games.

Please feel free to bring along a picnic - the weather forecast looks pretty promising, so blankets and hampers at the ready!

If you have any questions about the event, please email the Esh Residents' Association at

Friday, 5 June 2015

Celebrating Carers Week, 8th - 14th June 2015

Do you, or somebody you know, care for a friend or relative? As part of the UK's national Carers Week, the North Durham Community Engagement Project is organising a Carers Drop In morning on Wednesday 10th June, 10am-12pm. There will be lots of activities to join in with and information stands and displays.

For more information, please click on the yellow poster to the right.

Rural Crime Network Survey

Please find below message and invite on behalf of Ron Hogg, Durham Police & Crime Commissioner.

Message from Ron Hogg, Durham Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Community,

As our police force area is predominantly rural, I am writing to share a survey with you from the National Rural Crime Network, which is an opportunity for residents and local businesses across County Durham and Darlington to give their views on policing and rural crime concerns.

It is really important that our communities have their say, as the outcomes will help address local issues and shape how police and partners tackle issues in the future.

It only takes a few minutes to complete and I hope you will also share this link with your friends and colleagues (including on social media, if you use it):

The survey closes on Wednesday 24th June.

Many thanks,

Saturday, 30 May 2015

New Poppies to Commemorate the World Wars

When the wooden owl from the grassy triangle was stolen in June 2014, the villagers clubbed together to raise £300.00 to commission new sculpture work as a replacement. Last August, a new owl was bolted and cemented into place on the triangle, and yesterday, a new poppy sculpture was erected outside St Michael and All Angels parish church to commemorate the anniversaries of the two world wars. In St Michael's churchyard is the Commonwealth War Grave of 552228 Trooper William Francis Leopold Scott, who died in 1940 whilst serving with the Royal Armoured Corps, and both churches in the village, St Michael and All Angels and St Michael's Roman Catholic Church, contain memorials to the Esh villagers who gave their lives between 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. To find out more about war memorials in the area, and those in Esh village,  visit the North East War Memorials Project website

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Kathryn Tickell and The Side Perform at Ushaw College

Recipient of The Queen's Medal for Music and BBC Radio 2's Folk Musician of the Year 2012, Kathryn Tickell and her folk-classical ensemble The Side are performing at Ushaw College on Saturday 23rd May, 7.30pm.

Joining Kathryn and her Northumbrian Pipes are Louisa Tuck (cello), Ruth Wall (harp), and Amy Thatcher (accordion and clog dancing). The group have recently performed at the Berliner Philharmonika and the Luxembourg Philharmonie and are touring across the UK this summer.

Tickets cost £12.00 and are available from the Gala Theatre in Durham, or by emailing

Esh Gospel Choir and Happy Voices Charity Concert

The Esh Gospel Choir and Happy Voices, a choir from Neudorf-Platendorf in Lower Saxony, Germany, are joining forces this Bank Holiday Monday, 25th May, to perform a concert at All Saints Church in Lanchester.

The concert begins at 7.30pm and promises to be a evening of soul, rhythm and harmony, with all proceeds going toward the Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

Everyone is welcome: tickets will be available on the door.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Esh Village Residents' Association Meeting, Thursday 21st May

EVRA's next monthly meeting will be held on Thursday 21st May, 7.30pm, in The Cross Keys.

Items on the agenda include: the organisation of our summer event in June on the village green; installation of the wooden poppies by the entrance to St Michael's church to commemorate the World Wars, and the village's participation in the national Heritage Weekend scheme, as well plenty of opportunities to get outside, re-planting the flower tubs for the summer months.

Everyone living in the village is warmly invited to join the meeting: you don't have to sign up to anything, and there are no obligations to participate in any of the litter picks... The meetings are a great opportunity just to get together, meet new people and catch up with friends, and come up with ways to make Esh an even better place to live... oh, and perhaps to enjoy a pint or two!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Langley Park Community Fitness Suite

A brand new community fitness suite has opened up within Langley Park Primary School! Supported by Durham County Council Culture and Sport and run by a team of volunteers, the suite is open to adults and accompanied young people aged between 11 and 16.

Costs are £2.00 per session (£1.00 for those under 16) and joining is easy: simply complete a short health questionnaire and induction to show you how to operate the equipment and you're ready to run, walk, cycle, or pump iron!

Opening Times:
Monday - Friday 9.00 - 11.15; 17.00 - 21.00

For more information, please telephone Langley Park Community Fitness Suite on 0191 373 1398.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

'Darkness Into Light': Choral Music Concert at Ushaw

On Saturday, 25th April, 7.30pm, Ushaw College's beautiful chapel plays host to Renaissance, a vocal ensemble specialising in renaissance polyphony and contemporary music.

The group originally formed in 2011 in Durham and are now performing at venues across the UK as well as enjoying critical acclaim on BBC's Radio 3.

Tickets are available on the door or from the Gala Theatre (Durham) and are priced at £10.00. For more information, please contact 

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Magna Carta Study Day at Durham Cathedral

Esh residents may be interested in a forthcoming public study day to be held on Saturday 18th April, 2015 at Durham Cathedral, entitled:

Magna Carta: Who Made It? Who Used It? Why?

The day begins at 9.45am with a reading (in Latin with English translation!) of the Magna Carta, performed in the North Transept of the cathedral - probably the first time this has been done since the thirteenth century.

From 11.15am - 3.00pm, three specialists from the Department of History, Durham University, will lead panels on various aspects of the Magna Carta, from its historical context to its importance to both the Crown and the Church. For more details, click on the poster on the left.

Entry is free, although donations to the cathedral are much appreciated. Feel free to bring a packed lunch or to eat in the Undercroft Cafe at the cathedral. To reserve a place at the study day, please contact Durham Cathedral:

Monday, 30 March 2015

Concerts and Vestments at Ushaw

Ushaw College is hosting two concerts over the next few days, both in the beautiful space of St Cuthbert's Chapel.

The first, a performance of Couperin' s Trois Leçons De Ténèbres, takes place on Wednesday, 1st April, 2015, at 7.30pm. Admission £10.00.

The second is a performance of Haydn's Seven Last Words of Christ for String Quartet, due to take place on Saturday 4th April, 2015, at 3.00pm. Admission £6.00.

Photograph courtesy of Ushaw College
The college is also planning to display one of its oldest vestments during the month of April, known as the Westminster Chasuble. Worn most recently by Cardinal Nichols at the Requiem Mass on 23rd March 2015 as part of the ceremonies marking the reburial of King Richard III in Leicester, the vestment is believed to date from second half of the 15th century and was worn by the Benedictine monks of Westminster Abbey. Made from velvet cloths of tissue, sewn together with silver-gilt brocading thread, the chasuble depicts the Crucified Christ, along with images of St Nicholas, St Catherine, and St Pancras. For more information about the concerts and the display of the vestment, please email tickets@

Monday, 23 March 2015

Your Invitation to the NHS North Durham CCG Spring Patient Congress 2015

The North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group, responsible for organising and providing health care services in our area, are holding their Spring Patient Congress on Saturday 18th April 2015, from 9.30am - 1.00pm, at Park View School, Church Chare, Chester-le-Street.

If you would like to know more about the Clinical Commissioning Group or would like to get involved in discussions about its challenges, successes and commissioning priorities, the event is an ideal way to get more involved. There will be Question Time forums, information stalls, and children and young person's activities run throughout the morning: for more information and details of how to book a place, please click on the thumbnail poster to the left, or telephone 01388 742040.

Have Your Say in North Durham's Health Care Provision

The Esh Village Residents' Association is a member of the North Durham Community Action Group, a group set up to provide a channel for the public's voice on their experiences of local health care provision in the area.

The Community Action Group collect the public's feedback on all aspects of health care in North Durham through a series of focus groups, telephone surveys, and public forums, and ensures that these views are relayed to the North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group. Voicing your views and experiences really does make a difference.

The next focus group, convened to discuss Urgent and Emergency Care, takes place on Thursday 2nd April 2015, from 10-12pm, at the North Road Methodist Church Hall in Durham. The group want to hear your thoughts on the ambulance service, hospital admissions, dialling 111, and out of hours GP practice access. For more details, click on the thumbnail poster on the left or telephone the Community Engagement Team on 01388 742040.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Esh's Solar Eclipse

Eclipse over Esh
Just after 9.30am this morning, the first total solar eclipse since August 1999 occurred across the more northerly reaches of Europe and the Arctic. It's longest duration of 'totality' was approximately 2 minutes and 46 seconds, witnessed off the norther coast of the Faroe Islands.

Over the North East, the eclipse was visible as a partial solar eclipse: the moon casting the lighter, outer part of its shadow, the penumbra, on Earth. We had a particularly spectacular glimpse in the village as the cloud cleared, something one Esh photographer managed to catch on camera...

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Hooky and Proggy: A Clippy Mat Demonstration at The Cross Keys

If you've ever wondered what a proddy, cleekie, clootie, stobby, poked, tab, broddy, bodged or peg rug is, then now is time to find out! All of these terms refer to 'clippy mats': rag rugs made on a frame using strips of colourful cloth.

On Tuesday 24th March 2015, there will be a demonstration of clippy mat-making in The Cross Keys Pub, from 1-3pm. Everyone is welcome: entrance costs £4.00. Do come along if you can - the more the merrier!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Esh Easter Coffee Morning

The next village coffee morning takes place on Saturday 28th March, 10.30am-12.00pm, at Hankey Hall, Hall Road.

Kay and Claire will be hosting an Easter extravaganza:  on offer will be home made cakes, fruit pies, meat pies, lemon and orange marmalades, strawberry conserves, fresh flowers and more! There is also a treasure chest of gold to be won by guessing where the pirates have hidden their bounty and Phoenix cards will be selling a range of their greetings stationery. All are welcome - as are family and friends!
Adults £2.00, children 25p entry. 
All proceeds towards the St Michael and All Angels church appeal. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Jazz and Brass Concerts at Ushaw College

The next two concerts in Ushaw College's exciting programme of public events take place this week.

On Friday, 6th March, 7.30pm, the Virtuoso Jazz Trio (George Macdonald (Clarinet) James Birkett (Guitar) Tony Abel (Bass)) take to the stage to perform a repertoire of rhythm and swing inspired by the Great American Songbook in a concert that will appeal to all ages. Admission £6.00; a licensed cafe-bar will be open to concert-goers.

The following evening, Saturday 7th March, 7.30pm, Ushaw College's Exhibition Hall plays host to the Ferryhill Town Band, an award-winning local group seen every year at the Durham Miners' Gala and the Remembrance Day Parade. A retiring collection will be taken.

For more information, please contact Tickets for both events will be available on the door.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Village Coffee Morning, Saturday 7th March

A Coffee Morning will be held on Saturday 7th March 2015 at the home of Joan West (8, Green Court, Esh). The morning will be co-hosted by Eileen, Brenda and Gillian and will include cakes, a raffle and a tombola all in aid of St Michael and All Angels Church in the village. Please come and join us - everyone is welcome! 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Have a say in local healthcare provision

The North Durham Community Engagement Project has been set up by Durham Community Action and North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group to improve patient, public and carer engagement in the North Durham area.  The project aims to complement existing networks such as Healthwatch and Patient Reference groups.

The project has a free membership scheme and is inviting local people and voluntary organisations to join.  The scheme has two types of membership:

1. Inform: members receive regular information about health services, issues and decisions in their geographical area.
2. Involve: members also have the opportunity to shape and influence what services are needed and brought into their area for the public, patients and carers by attending focus groups, meetings etc.

Individuals, groups or organisations can also join the free membership scheme and have a say on health services available or not available in their area. It is envisaged that this project will help people to understand their rights and to have a voice in the provision of local healthcare.

By becoming a member of NHS North Durham CCG you will:
• Receive regular updates about the work of North Durham CCG
• Receive invitations to events
• Have opportunities to give your views about areas of healthcare that interest you
• Be able to participate as much or as little as you like by choosing your level of membership

If you are interesting in joining or would like more information on the project or the membership options please contact Anne-Marie Parkin, Community Engagement Project Officer/Administrator at , telephone 01388 724040 or go to the website. The Project will be coming to EVRA's March meeting to meet Esh residents (date to follow shortly!). 

EVRA AGM: 12th February 2015

A quick reminder that the Esh Village Residents' Association will be holding its Annual General Meeting tomorrow night, 12th February 2015, at 7.30pm in The Cross Keys.

Everyone is welcome: items on the agenda include traffic and speeding (with input from our local police officers), the development of the new village playground, and planned events and new clubs for 2015. Our invited speakers are Father John Marsland and Peter Seed from Ushaw College, who will be introducing the new plans for Ushaw as it opens its doors to the public. To see the full agenda, please click on the image to the left. See you there!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Walk 4 Life in County Durham

If 2015 saw you making new resolutions to get fitter and outdoors a bit more, then County Durham's Walk 4 Life programme might be right up your street. Their programme of short walks (30-60 minutes) take place every week in local communities across the county, with starting points in Durham city centre, the Durham Dales, Sedgefield, and right here on our doorstep in Langley Park
All walks are led by trained walk leaders and follow safe and accessible routes, allowing walkers to make the most of their surrounding area. Participation is free of charge, and everyone is welcome. 

To find out more, click on the map on the left, and visit the Walk 4 Life Country Durham website:

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Burns Night in Esh

Robert Burns (1759-1796)
Everyone is welcome to join the village celebrations for Burns Night on Friday 30th January 2015, from 7pm onwards at the Esh Church of England School.

As well as the address to the haggis ('Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!'), there will be entertainment by 'Just Us' and a buffet supper with wine and soft drinks.

All monies raised will go towards the St Michael and All Angels Church Heating Fund.

Tickets: Adult £5.00, Child £1.00

Raffle prizes on a Scottish theme would be greatly appreciated! Heather honey, tablet, oats or a single malt are just a few ideas....

For more information, to buy tickets, or to drop off raffle prizes, please see Gillian (14, Green Court), Evelyn (7, Front Street), or Kay (Esh Hall).

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Monthly Live Music at The Cross Keys

The Cross Keys pub, our village local, is fast gaining a reputation for great live music.

Each 3rd Wednesday of the month sees a talented group of fiddlers, accordionists, hurdy gurdy players and guitarists get together to perform finger-snapping, toe-tapping folk music whilst local punters enjoy the real ales from local breweries such as Black Sheep, Wylam and Allendale. The perfect antidote to these chilly winter evenings...

See you there!

Public Events at Ushaw College

Esh is lucky enough to have Ushaw College right on its doorstep. 

Founded over two hundred years ago as a college to house and train Catholic priests, much of Ushaw was designed by the famous Gothic Revival architect Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852) and the buildings and gardens are still home to some of the finest Victorian architecture in the North East.

Since closing as a seminary, the College has opened its chapels and performance spaces up to the public and has designed an exciting and varied events programme for 2015 to which everyone is welcome. Folk, classical and jazz concerts, and talks, exhibitions and services will be taking place throughout the year: for more information, please follow this link to Ushaw's Event's page.

Car parking is free and easily accessible and the College is only 5 minutes drive from the village!