The Countess of Wessex pays an official visit to the Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle in County Durham on Wednesday, May 30. Sophie will see the Museum's famous Silver Swan musical automaton in action before viewing the exhibition, Watercolours and Drawings, from the Collection of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, which opens on May 19.
She will then take an escorted tour of the Streatlam Galleries before unveiling a plaque to declare them officially open.
THE Railway Correspondence and Travel Society's North-East branch holds its next meeting next Thursday [may 10] (6.30pm), at Brunswick Methodist Church Hall, Brunswick Place, Newcastle when the speaker will be Arnie Chadwick.
Stefani on way
ECCENTRIC pop star Gwen Stefani (corr) performs in Newcastle for the first time on September 23. The American music and fashion icon plays the Metro Radio Arena as part of her The Sweet Escape tour. Tickets, £32.50 and £28.50, go on sale today. (friday)
Car crime fight
A CRACKDOWN on car crime has seen theft from vehicles cut by a fifth in North Tyneside. From April 2006 until March this year reported thefts fell from 1,039 to 831.
Patrolling officers are always on the lookout, while motorists are being reminded to keep their vehicles secure and several successful operations have also taken place.
CADETS from St John Ambulance have been revising hard for the regional final of the organisation's first annual quiz.
Four cadet teams from the Northumberland area are making the journey to Humberside on Sunday to take on other teams from across the North-East, including Gateshead and the North East Tyne areas. The teams were picked after demonstrating high levels of first aid skills and knowledge at regional quizzes.
A HOUSING association is revamping its website to make it more useful and accessible to customers.
The Gateshead Housing Company launched its website www.gatesheadhousing.co.uk three years ago and it has proved a big hit with residents, but it is set to be transformed later this year in a bid to provide more information about improvements to homes and tackling anti-social behaviour.