2000

All stories

The entrance to MyHotel Chelsea

Culture, afternoon tea and a spot of TLC in the heart of Chelsea

Cheryl Mullin goes on a girls' weekend to London, and discovers the perfect location to explore the capital's delights in peace

Belambra holiday club in Praz sur Arly, France

Travel: Lanzarote - a downhill struggle?

A nervous Jane Haase embarks on her first family ski holiday in the French Alps

Airbnb apartment in Berlin

Travel: Bargain in Berlin

A friendly apartment is the top choice for a weekend break with mates to Berlin, says Sarah Marshall

Cruising on South Walsham Broad

Travel: River cruise has Broads appeal...

Nigel Thompson cruises along the Norfolk Broads and finds big skies, wildlife... and a water-borne bishop

TRAVEL Austria Monastery

Enjoy an oasis of charm and calm in Austria

If you want a relaxing break, book in at a monastery says Ann Stenhouse

The Perry Green room at The Craven Heifer, Addingham

Enjoy a real flavour of fine Yorkshire heritage at The Craven Heifer

The Craven Heifer on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales celebrates the region's famous sons and daughters as well as fine food

The boat ride along the gorgeous coast of Amalfi.

Driven round the bend in Sorrento

Nigel Thompson heads to spectacular Sorrento in Italy to confront one of the world’s most twisting roads... and an awful lot of steps

Peckforton Castle

Royal weekend away in the glorious Cheshire countryside

With its turrets sticking out above the trees, Peckforton Castle looks other-worldly, and as far away from the chaos of the city as its possible to get

The American Bar at The Stafford London by Kempinski

Falling in love over afternoon tea at a top London hotel

Mike Lockley spends an elegant afternoon at The Stafford, quintessential London hotel that borders the capital’s royal landmarks

The sunset from Pinchos restaurant

An undiscovered Caribbean gem you won’t be able to help falling in love with

Aruba remains undiscovered by British tourists. Mary Griffin takes a trip to the Caribbean to see what we’re missing

Rio de Janeiro

World Cup 2014: A football fan's guide to the Brazilian host cities

There's something to suit every possible taste in Brazil, Jack Lang reports, as he offers this guide for fans planning their summer jaunt

A holiday lodge at Sandy Balls

Having a ball exploring the New Forest national park

If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of Sandy Balls. Adrian Caffrey dodges the double entendres while enjoying the outdoor life...

Princes Street Gardens looking up towards Edinburgh Castle

Mixing history with luxury on a city break in the Scottish capital

Julia McWatt pays a visit to Edinburgh, where she falls in love with the historic city - and the luxury apartment she temporarily calls home...

Bournemouth, Dorset

Britain's best beaches: Seven golden shores you can't afford to miss

Winter is here – so start planning a Great British beach break. Here are seven of the very best.

Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Bustling Kathmandu works its magic on adventurous visitors

Most visitors to Nepal pass through Kathmandu on their way to Mount Everest. But stop and spend time in this vibrant city,  urges Fiona Woottom

Experience [REC] at Portaventura

Halloween horror trips that are terrifyingly good...

If your idea of a good time is being scared silly this round up of horrifying Halloween trips is your one-way ticket to terror...

St Anton offers superb ski runs to suit all abilities

Keep the drinks on ice and hit the slopes in glorious St Anton

It may boast some of  the very best après ski around, but Gill Martin still finds time to hit the superb slopes of St Anton

York Minster is just one of many attractions in the historic city

Shopping, history and romance on a long weekend in York

There's plenty to explore in historic York, as Cheryl Mullin discovered in a visit to one of Britain's most romantic hotels...

Royal Princess sailing out of Southampton. The ship is on her maiden season around the Mediterranean

Cruising the high seas in a ship that's fit for a princess

A cruise ship christened by the Duchess of Cambridge must surely be fit for a future queen? Emma Wilson joins the Royal Princess on her maiden season to find out...

White Mountains during the Fall season in Maine

Turning over a new leaf as green turns to gold in New England

Summer may be over,  but autumn is a time to rejoice in Massachusetts says Richard Jones, who joined other 'leaf peepers' to admire the changing vegetation

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Videos & Photos

Durham Cathedral gives up its secrets as Open Treasures attraction takes shape

First look inside Glass House - Newcastle's luxury whiskey, wine and champagne bar

L-R Dr Edyta Roszko and Dr Claire Sutherland at the Vietnam exhibition at Durham University's Palace Green Library

Durham University's Palace Green Library hosts Vietnam: A Nation, not a war exhibition

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2000

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer
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Toon win for the racetrack wizard

THE man who transformed the fortunes of Newcastle Racecourse is now hoping to repeat that success at St James’s Park.

THE man who transformed the fortunes of Newcastle Racecourse is now hoping to repeat that success at St James’s Park.

David Williamson the new operations director at Newcastle United Football Club will take charge of his first game at the ground today when the Toon play Reading.

The club says Mr Williamson’s “focus will be widespread, relating to all business-related matters at the club”.

During his time as executive director at the racecourse Mr Williamson helped boost turnover from £2.5m to £6.5m.

He transformed the fortunes of the Northumberland Plate weekend – which now brings in £30m to the regional economy – and introduced Ladies’ Day which now attracts over 15,000 racegoers.

He said: “I feel very privileged to be working for Newcastle United.

“I’m delighted that my new role allows me to stay in sport and, just as importantly, to stay in the North East.

“People in this area have a great passion for sport, particularly football, and my new role excites me no end.”

Newcastle United chairman Chris Mort, who headhunted Mr Williamson, said: “I am sure David will add considerably to the long-term development of Newcastle United.” Mr Williamson, 47, spent six years at the racecourse joining in April 2002.

Employed by Northern Racing he quickly set about reviving the fortunes of the whole 812-acre estate in which the racecourse sits.

A £3m Football Development Centre with all-weather 5-a-side and 11-a-side pitches, gym, bar and sports injury treatment centre was opened recently.

More than £1m was spent on the Parklands golf course and the development of a junior American Style Mini Golf course which opened in May last year.

Further progress was made in the development of the site for conferences catering for blue-chip names such as Greggs, Lloyds TSB, and Legal and General.

Mr Williamson added: “I am one of life’s lucky people. I’ve worked in the world of racing, golf and now football. The three sports I love.

“In my time at the racecourse business went through the roof. We focused on the Plate and turned it into something that belonged to the whole of the North East. It generates huge revenue for the region. The biggest success was Ladies’ Day.”

Originally from Edinburgh, but having been in the North East for most of the last 20 years, Mr Williamson is the latest addition to the new-look management structure now in place at St James’s Park. Following Mike Ashley’s takeover there have been wholesale changes off the field.

These have included the appointment of Chris Mort as chairman, new manager Kevin Keegan and support staff including Arthur Cox and Chris Houghton. Former Leeds United manager Dennis Wise has been appointed director of football and Tony Jimenez director of recruitment.

Interesting times ahead both on and off field

DAVID Williamson’s brief to tackle all business-related matters at the club will present him with a number of challenges.

Newcastle United’s drop down the Premier League in recent seasons has been matched by a similar slide down the list of the world’s richest football clubs.

Back in the 2002-2003 season when United were competing in the Champions League they crashed into the top 10 football rich list with revenues of £96.7m.

But now they lie 14th with revenues of £87.1m in the 2006/7 season.

While European football will no doubt help boost revenues, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, Chris Mort and Mr Williamson will be looking at generating alternative off-field revenue streams. In the remaining months of Freddie Shepherd’s regime plans were unveiled to increase ground capacity to over 60,000.

Proposals were also unveiled for a 140-bedroom hotel on the site of the former Magpie Supporters Club, at the corner of Barrack Road and Pitt Street, as well as a luxury apartment block – dubbed Number 1 St James’ Park – on the site of the car park, overlooking Leazes Park.

There may also be scope to develop at the Gallowgate end after the plans for a casino on land above St James’s Park Metro were quashed by the Government recently.

While it is not yet clear what direction Mr Williamson will take the club these are interesting times, both and off the pitch, at Newcastle United.

 

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer