Dear Consett Residents,

As we usher in 2024, our community’s stories of passion, creativity, and resilience continue to inspire. This January, we’re excited to bring you tales of local heroes whose dedication and talent paint our town with vibrant colours of joy and perseverance.

This month’s “Consett in Focus” highlights three remarkable local stories;

Alan Swinburn, a dedicated dahlia grower in Consett, has spent 40 years perfecting the art of cultivating these showy flowers. Since retiring, he has become even more involved in his passion, earning accolades at various northern flower shows. A member of the Bishop Auckland Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society, Alan’s polytunnels display an array of colorful dahlias, including his own breeds, one of which is named after his granddaughter. His commitment to dahlias is not just a personal achievement but also a contribution to the community’s beauty.

Noreen Appleby brings a unique charm to Blackhill with her handcrafted post box toppers. Since February 2023, she has dedicated countless hours to creating these intricate works of art, designed to withstand all weathers. Noreen’s creations are more than just tributes; they’re symbols of joy and the artistic spirit that thrives in Consett.

Ultra-Marathon Achievements: Ian Lowther, an ultra-marathon runner, pushes the boundaries of endurance. Having completed several races longer than a traditional marathon, including the gruelling 215-mile ‘Race across Scotland’, Ian is a testament to the extraordinary capabilities of the human spirit. His efforts, benefiting Willow Burn Hospice, and his role as an Ambassador for GB Ultra, exemplify true commitment and support within the running community.

We loved to receive a submission from 90 year old, Dorothy Cavanagh’s personal account of life from Spa Gardens to Shotley Bridge is a treasure trove of local history and personal triumphs. Born in 1933, Dorothy’s journey through times of change and challenge paints a vivid picture of our community’s past. Her story reminds us of the enduring spirit of Consett and the richness of its history. All the best in your 90th year Dorothy!

As we step into this new year, let’s take inspiration from these stories of dedication, creativity, and resilience. They remind us of the strength and beauty within our community and the endless potential for joy and achievement in the simplest of pursuits. If you’d like to share your story, promote your event, advertise a business or become a contributor – email us on or call 01207 438 292

Wishing you all a joyful and inspiring start to 2024.
Warm regards, Barry Kirkham, Marco Elsy, and Consett Magazine

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Consett Magazine
The Consett Magazine Editing team lovingly ❤️ publishes local news from a variety of local people and sources. Please see the individual article for post specific source(s). Consett deserves good news. Submit your own story or call 01207 438292 for advertising and marketing campaigns.


  1. Great to see the lady behind the wonderful creative Post Box toppers – thank you for your hard work but also for brightening our lives . 👏👏


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