PHOTOGRAPHS of community life that have been unseen for 50 years are going to be at the centre of an exhibition next weekend.

The pictures, on slides, were taken by the late Butterknowle amateur photographer Bill Dalkin and have recently been donated to the Gaunless Valley History Trust. After many months converting them to digital images, the trust is putting them on display on next Saturday and Sunday in Butterknowle Village Hall.

They include images from Butterknowle’s annual summer carnival in the early 1960s. The carnival always started at the entrance to Softley and South Softley farms and processed along Pinfold Lane to a field at the bottom of the village where sports and entertainments were held. The procession always included marching jazz bands that came from the surrounding towns and villages.

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Other memorable images in the collection come from the harsh winters of the early 1960s when most roads in the valley were impassable.

There are also photographs of Copley carnival in the late 1970s. This procession started above Lord Hyndley Terrace and went through the village before doubling back to the recreation field for the judging and entertainment.

The trust hopes that visitors to the exhibition will be able identify some of the people on the photographs. The exhibition is on August 19 and 20 in Butterknowle Village Hall from 11am to 4pm each day.

Mike Amos, of Echo fame, will perform the opening at 1.30pm on Saturday, prior to a slide show presentation by a member of the trust at 2pm.