THE North-East and Hartlepool has been given a big thumbs up from a visitor from Texas! 

Paul Hendricks, from San Angelo – a town similar in size to Hartlepool – in the vast US state, spent time in the town to attend a business seminar. 

And the physical therapist, who has two clinics in the US, admits to falling in love with the North East during his visit. 

Paul and his wife Nikki spent Christmas in the UK before heading back home for New Year and attended a two-day coaching event hosted by Paul Gough, who as well as running the Physio Rooms, with four clinics across the region, also heads up a media business which specialises in coaching physios and PTs across the globe. 

Around 30, also from across the UK and Denmark, attended the Mastermind event at the town’s Tranquility House, home of Orangebox Training Solutions.  

And Mr Hendricks said: “I love Hartlepool – what a cute little town. The Marina is a real asset, with all the restaurants and bars and it’s so diverse. I’m a big fan! The views across the Marina from the building with the spectacular sunset was something else, it really was. 

“Coming over from the States and seeing the town and other places in England is a great experience. The weather has been fantastic, bright and sunny, and if I can stand outside have a beer on a night in a short-sleeved T-shirt in mid-December then it can’t be that bad right? Nikki spent some time walking around the coast line and Marina while I was at the event and she absolutely loved her time. 

“I’ve been to Hartlepool before and it’s great to be back. We came over three years ago, visited Paul and his partner Natalie and then headed to Edinburgh – a lovely drive through the North-East and up the coastline and seeing all the sights like Bamburgh Castle, the golf courses and Holy Island. 

“I know a lot about Hartlepool because of my friendship with Paul and it really is a nice town to come to and see again. It’s very different to the US, with a different atmosphere and outlook completely. It has a rich history and the monkey hanging legend really is something else!” 

Mr Gough, who splits his time between homes in Hartlepool and Florida, said: “It was a real nice surprise to see Paul – it’s not often someone from Texas will drop by in Hartlepool. He really was bowled over and to be able to showcase the town and what it is all about to visitors from across the pond cannot be underestimated. He was impressed with every aspect – especially the weather. 

“I’ve been to his town in Texas so it’s only right he returned the favour…for our next event at Orangebox in the summer, maybe we can get more of our American friends over to see what our beautiful region is all about!”