I’ve lived in the North East for three years after moving here to take the role of CEO at Darlington Building Society. I had only ever visited Newcastle and Hartlepool before moving to Darlington so I’ve had a lot to explore.
The best thing about the North East is the people. Friendly and welcoming with a wry sense of humour. They’re realistic but with a twinkle in their eyes.
My favourite area of the North East has to be Darlington, the home of Darlington Building Society for 161 years. Darlington has so much to offer with its distinct heritage, green spaces, great restaurants and fantastic connectivity. It needs to shout louder about how much you get for an affordable price.
I enjoy every trip to the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough. We had the Building Society’s AGM there in 2015 where former player, Bernie Slaven, talked about his career. Let’s hope the Boro can bounce back to the Premiership next season.
I recently visited The Fork in The Road, a non-profit restaurant in Middlesbrough which helps the long-term unemployed, ex-offenders and recovering addicts into work. Not only was the food great but the values and what the restaurant is supporting are excellent.
The visitor attractions the North East should be proudest of are the South Park in Darlington – where I enjoy a walk or a run – and the Transporter Bridge, which is magnificent.
The best view in from the top of the Beacon in Redcar in the Zealand FM studio. I’ve enjoyed a number of chats there.
I always enjoy attending the Friends of Daisy Chain meetings at the Daisy Chain office and farm, just outside Stockton. It’s good for the soul.