ORGANISERS of an exhibition charting a decade of a village carnival are hoping it will inspire those thinking of taking part in this year's event.

Hundreds of photographs taken at Middleton-in-Teesdale Carnival between 1979 and 1988 were donated to Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services, which is based in the village.

Officials at the farming charity decided to sort through more than 700 pictures and use the best of them for a two-day display in March.

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All the images were taken by farmer John Wilkinson, of Lonton, between Mickleton and Middleton-in-Teesdale.

He said: “It was just a hobby. Going back more than 30 years, there were not that many people with cameras.

“I did not realise I had taken quite so many pictures. I also took some in black and white as colour was fairly expensive then – it was cheaper to make colour slides.”

Emma Spry, administrative support officer at Utass, said the photographs show a number of activities which no longer form part of the carnival, such as a fancy dress wheelbarrow race.

“The effort everyone goes to for the carnival is tremendous and a lot of people still come out and support it,” she said.

“We hope the exhibition will inspire people and give this year's a bit of a boost.

Mrs Spry added: “When we got the pictures they were in a big box, but they were well catalogued.

“We wanted to do something with them and thought it would be nice to share them with the village.”

Current carnival committee members have been asked if they wish to have some input into the display.

The exhibition, A Decade of Carnivals, Middleton's Magical Memories, will be staged upstairs at the Utass office, in Chapel Row, Middleton-in-Teesdale, on March 15 and 16.

Last year, the village's carnival celebrated the 50th anniversary of its revival in 1963.

This year's festivities will culminate with a parade through the village on Saturday, August 2.