Seven-day catch-up: March 26-31

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WELCOME to our regular Sunday morning round-up of the stories that have been making the news in South Tyneside this week...

The week began with a great feelgood story, as we revealed that Whitburn couple Railston and Violet Watkins had scooped £1.2m on the National Lottery.

The retired plumber, 68, and his 65-year-old wife, who is a line dancing instructor, vowed not to let the money change them.

Read what they plan to do with their windfall here.

You may recognise Kevin and Amy McLernon from your TV screen, as the South Tyneside uncle and niece were the winner and runner-up of ITV1’s recent weight-loss programme The Biggest Loser.

On Monday they revealed they revealed to the Gazette their secret weapon in their bid to shed the pounds - and you can find out what it was by following this link.

On Tuesday, a horrified family told how a runaway car ended up in their garden after an absent-minded driver forgot to put on the handbrake.

Paul and Tracey Fellows say they don’t feel safe in their own home, and can’t let their children play out.

The incident was captured on CCTV - and you can watch it here.

On Wednesday, we brought you saw the sad story of beekeeper Brian Dawson, 69, who lost his lifetime’s work in a fire at his Whitburn allotment.

Two hives containing more than 120,000 honey bees were destroyed by the blaze, sparked by a faulty piece of heating equipment.

Watch our video interview with the devastated beekeeper here.

On Thursday, we reported on the peril at the petrol pumps after talks between the Government and tanker drivers broke down, increasing fears of a strike.

Read here how the story which has dominated the news agenda began.

On Friday, the focus switched from petrol to pasties, as South Shields butcher Dicksons joined forced with the Gazette to oppose the Government’s controversial ‘pasty tax’.

Chancellor George Osborne wants to add VAT to some hot food, including pies, pasties and sausage rolls, which their makers claim could hit profits and ultimately cost jobs.

Read here how South Shields MP David Miliband is backing Dicksons’ fight and join the fight by clicking here to print out your own petition. join the fight by clicking here to print out your own petition.

Have you seen the great line-up of columnists we’ve got writing for us these days? Catch up with some of them by following these links.

Read about Jamie Diffley’s Growing Pains as the father of two young boys here.

Try Keith Newbery and his outspoken views on political matters here

And catch up with Kelly’s Eye, where Terry Kelly offers his wry observations on life, here.

Go For It! With award-winning young entrepreneur Grant Ridley.

Last but not least, have you noticed the new Sunday Plus section of our website? It will bring you lots of internet-only content every Sabbath. It’s in the Lifestyle section of the site, or you can click here to take a look at it. We hope you find something you like. See you next Sunday.