TEN years ago, this week a blizzard caused chaos in the region when 200 people were rescued from stranded vehicles.

The A66 was blocked by jack-knifed lorries and heavy snow.

Motorists were evacuated to Bowes village hall and The Ancient Unicorn pub in Bowes, while others were taken to The Castle Hotel, Brough.

Among the people rescued were a coach full of pensioners who were stuck on the trans-Pennine route between County Durham and Cumbria.

Simon Wilson, 49, who owns The Castle Hotel, said: "We had a coachload of pensioners brought to the hotel.

"There were 45 of them and their coach had been stranded in the snow. They were travelling back from Blackpool to the North-East.

"The police ferried them in small groups using 4x4s. Some of them were really scared and disorientated when they came in.”

Thirty members of three search and rescue teams were brought in to recover cars along with police. They recovered 130 cars by 7pm.

Many of the stranded lorry drivers decided to remain in their trucks and wait for the A66 to reopen which was closed between Scotch Corner and Brough.

Also, that month a film which was partly shot in Redcar won film of the year – after being nominated for seven Oscars.

Atonement won film of the year in that year's Richard Attenborough film awards.

Shooting of the movies saw Redcar seafront turned into the battle-scarred landscape of Dunkirk during the Second World War.

Meanwhile a new ruling was put in place by the House of Lords to allow victims or rape and sexual abuse to take legal action years after the attack happened.

The Law Lords ruled that a retired teacher attacked by the "Lotto rapist" Iorworth Hoare, could sue for damages, even though her claim was made outside the six-year legal limit.

Mrs A, then 79 was attacked by Hoare in Leeds, in 1988. Hoare was then imprisoned for life, and spent 16 years in prison for the attempted rape of Mrs A and six other women he also attacked.

Mrs A said: "I am delighted and relieved that my appeal to the House of Lords has been successful, and that I have succeeded in changing a law which will provide others in the future with a means of achieving justice."