Chris Foote Wood
Education and early career
Foote Wood went to Bury Grammar School, winning the Senior Mathematics prize. He completed a four-year honours degree course in Civil Engineering at Kings College, Newcastle (then part of the University of Durham) but was not awarded a degree. He worked as a civil engineer for several years before starting Durham Free Press in 1968, pioneering commercial free press newspapers in the North East, but gave it up after three years to work as a freelance journalist and broadcaster. He later set up his own press agency, North Press News & Sport, and ran it for 30 years up to 2004.
Foote Wood has contested a large number of public elections at all levels. He has stood for Parliament eight times as a Liberal, later Liberal Democrat (February 1974 – Newcastle North; October 1974 & 2010 – Middlesbrough; 1979 – Durham City; 1983 & 1987 North West Durham; 2001 & 2005 – Bishop Auckland) and the European Parliament six times (1979 & 1984 for Durham; 1999 No. 1 on the North East list; 2004 No. 2 on the North East list; 2009 No. 2 on the North East list; 2014 No. 4 on the Yorkshire and the Humber list). He also stood as Mayor of Middlesbrough in 2011. Foote Wood was a district councillor in Bishop Auckland for 40 years, from 1967 to 2007 and was Leader of Wear Valley District Council for six years. He was also a member of Durham County Council for 12 years, Vice-Chairman of the North East Regional Assembly and a member of the EU Committee of the Regions, one of the three elected councillors representing the North East on this body and the first Lib Dem to do so.
He was the Liberal Democrat PPC in Richmond for the 2015 General election before stepping aside in March 2015. He contested Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland at the 2017 general election, coming third (and last) with 2.8%. He joined the Labour party in 2018.
Foote Wood's first nationally-published book, Nellie's Book, about the early life of his mother, Nellie Mape, was published by Sutton in 2006. Foote Wood has gone on to write several more books, including When I'm Sixty-Four (1,001 things to do at 60+), and a comprehensive guide to the 56 remaining seaside pleasure piers in Britain, Walking Over the Waves, launched on Brighton Palace Pier in June 2008. He followed this up with a "blog book" of his journey around the coast of Britain, "My Great British Pier Trip", as well as organising the Great British Pier Crawl 2008.
Foote Wood researched, wrote and published a biography of T. Dan Smith, the former Leader of Newcastle City Council in the 1960s who was jailed for corruption in the 1970s along with business associates who included architect John Poulson and former Durham County Council Chairman Alderman Andy Cunningham.
Foote Wood now works as an author, editor and publisher with his latest business, Northern Writers, and is an accomplished "ghost writer".
- Victoria Wood Comedy Genius - Her Life and Work, Published by The Memoir Club, 07552086888, ISBN 978-1-84104-596-2
- Baghdad Trucker: Adventures of a Truck Driver, with Kevin Noble (co-author), Northern Writers (2006), ISBN 978-0-9553869-0-9
- Basil's Boys - Student Memories of Henderson Hall, Northern Writers (2010), ISBN 978-0-9564973-0-7
- Bishop Auckland in old picture postcards, European Library (1985), ISBN 978-90-288-3279-4
- Discover Weardale, Allendale, S. Tynedale : the tourist and holiday guide to the area, Barnard Castle (1981), OCLC 16561236
- Kings of amateur soccer : the official centenary history of Bishop Auckland F.C., North Press (1985), ISBN 978-0-9510624-0-1
- Life of Brian in black & white : fifty years following Newcastle United, with Brian Hall (co-author), Northern Writers (2007), ISBN 978-0-9553869-2-3
- London squares : Green gems, hidden spaces, with Frances Foote Wood (co-author), Northern Writers (2010), ISBN 978-0-9553869-1-6
- My great British pier trip : 66 seaside piers in 21 days, Northern Writers (2008), ISBN 978-0-9553869-4-7
- Nellie's book : the early life of Victoria Wood's mother, with Nellie Wood (co-author), The History Press (2006), ISBN 978-0-7509-4180-8
- Proud to be a Geordie: The Life & Legacy of Jack Fawcett, Dysart Associates (2007)
- T Dan Smith "Voice of the North" Downfall of a Visionary: The Life of the North-East's Most Charismatic Champion, Northern Writers (2010), ISBN 978-0-9553869-9-2
- Tales from the council chamber: Amusing Real-life Anecdotes, with Olive Brown, MBE (co-author), Northern Writers (2009), ISBN 978-0-9553869-6-1
- Tindale Towers: New Art Deco Mansion - How Mike Keen's Dream Home Was Planned, Designed and Built 2005–2007, Northern Writers (2008), ISBN 978-0-9553869-3-0
- The Derwentside Story: Derwentside District Council - 35 Years Serving the People, Northern Writers (2009), ISBN 978-0-9553869-5-4
- Walking Over the Waves: Quintessential British Seaside Piers, Whittles Publishing (2008), ISBN 978-1-904445-67-8
- When I'm Sixty Four: 1001 Things to Do At 60+, Capall Bann Publishing (2007), ISBN 978-1-86163-289-0
- Kelly, Mike (26 January 2018). "Veteran North East Liberal Democrat politician defects to Labour - and launches scathing attack". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
- "Book commemorates council's history." Europe Intelligence Wire 16 March 2009. General OneFile. Retrieved 17 October 2012. GALE|A195743082 (review of The Derwentside Story)
- "Bestseller reveals the hidden history of authority." Europe Intelligence Wire 1 April 2009. General OneFile. Retrieved 17 October 2012. GALE|A196958199 (review of The Derwentside Story)
- "Baghdad Trucker." Evening Telegraph [Derby], 19 May 2007. 18, Newspaper Source Plus, EBSCO. Retrieved 17 October 2012. (review of Baghdad Trucker)
- "Author talks about pier." Evening Post [South Wales], 13 June 2008. 10, Newspaper Source Plus, EBSCO. Retrieved 17 October 2012. (notice of author appearance)
- Chris Foote-Wood official site
- Chris Foote Wood PPC profile at the site of Liberal Democrats
- Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Chris Foote Wood