THREE generations of an Aycliffe family have a special reason to celebrate the return of train-building to the North-East.

John Finley, the founder of steel firm Finley Structures, was joined by daughter Julie and seven-year-old granddaughter Grace at yesterday's ceremony to mark construction of the steel frame at Hitachi’s rail vehicle manufacturing plant. The family-run firm beat fierce competition to win the deal to supply the factory with 2,000 tonnes of steel.

Julie, who is joint managing director of the Aycliffe Business Park firm, said: “When the contract went out to tender John was determined that no one was going to beat him to it. Being part of something so important to Aycliffe and the region meant everything to him.

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"Grace has been learning about trains at school, so she is very proud of her granddad.”

To mark the occasion Hitachi presented the Finley’s with a framed podger – a tool used by scaffolders and steelwork.