FIVE-years-ago this week, the Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, was appointed as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Mr Welby, 56, who guest-edited The Northern Echo during his time in Durham, said he never expected to be chosen for the post and it was a massive privilege.

He told a press conference at Lambeth Palace: "One of the hardest things will be to leave Durham. I work with a group of wonderful senior colleagues and remarkable clergy and lay people.”

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The married father-of-five, who had only been installed as Bishop of Durham a year previously, formally became the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury in a service at Canterbury Cathedral the following March.

Also that week, a father of three revealed how his life was saved when he suffered a heart attack at the gym.

Eric Atkinson, 70, collapsed while running on a treadmill at Billingham Forum earlier that year.

Staff gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and used the forum's defibrillator to keep him alive until paramedics arrived.

Mr Atkinson, grandfather of four, said: "I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for the staff at Billingham Forum and that defibrillator."

Following this, then shadow health secretary Andy Burnham called for a national plan to reduce sudden deaths from cardiac arrest.

He said: "In my opinion I would say that all gyms should have defibrillators by law."

Anne Restall, one of the Billingham Forum staff who helped save Mr Atkinson's life, said: "The defibrillator is so easy to use. It even tells you what to do. All I did was press a button."

Richmond Station celebrated its fifth anniversary that week in a three-day celebration of music, arts and crafts, a buffet, films, a quiz and miniature steam train rides.

The station welcomed about 350,000 visitors a year since its opening and quickly became one of the county's foremost arts and heritage centres.

Manager Laura Hannaway said: "The building has evolved and its undisputed success is largely due to local support, be it through financial contributions, volunteering, or by using the building."

Meanwhile, a pair of ferrets were preparing for their big day as their wedding ceremony was planned to take place at Beamish Museum over Christmas.

Lady Truffle and Crusher Hoblet had been inseparable since they had been introduced three years before.

Karen Webb, of the North Pennine Ferret Welfare charity, said: "The two have been totally inseparable since. If we take one out, the other will not eat or drink.

“While the wedding is a bit of fun, we are trying to get a serious message across - that ferrets are not nasty animals.”

The wedding was streamed live to 200 people in the US and Australia, and welcomed more than 40 human and 75 ferret guests.

A reception was held afterwards in Pets at Home, in Washington, Wearside.