DEAR READER, please be gentle with us. For this week's archive selection, we looked in The Northern Echo's photo archive for pictures from the villages of Hunwick and Newfield, which are north of Bishop Auckland but south of Willington, and which eye each other across the River Wear.

But it is hard not to think that successive generations of librarians have regarded the Newfield packet as a dumping ground for anything that has the word "new" and "field" in the caption. There are several Newfields knocking about – but are all the pictures from the Newfield which is north of Bishop Auckland?

Only you can tell.

For example, today's magnificent cover photograph, taken in Newfield in September 1961. Is it our Newfield? Who are the children? Where was it taken? And what is that cast iron chute cover on the left (there is a similar one just out of shot on the right)?

Part of our difficulty is that Newfield was a category D village, condemned to starve to death without investment in the 1950s and 1960s. Therefore, much of it was cleared without leaving much of a record.

Our other difficulty is that things change so much while remaining the same. For instance, the Two Bay Horses pub in Hunwick looks splendid in our 1962 picture with loads of fancy woodwork. It still looks splendid today as a private residence without nearly all of its fancy woodwork – you'd drive past it if you didn't know it had once been a pub.

So in this spread of pictures, there are bound to be plenty of mistakes. If you have any information, memories or thoughts to impart on any of them, please email But just go gently with us.