THIS week, 15 years ago, a dedicated clock-winder retired after working in one of the region's premier historic halls for the previous 55 years.

Philip Mortimer spent the best part of his life ensuring that the hands of some of the grandest clocks kept ticking at Newby Hall, Ripon in North Yorkshire.

The 79-year-old said: "I am sad to leave, but it is the right time to do so and I will take with me some very happy memories.

"I was born on a leap year, so I'm really only 19-and-three-quarters, but I feel ready to retire now and spend some time with my wife, Joan.”

Meanwhile, train passengers travelled on the line from Leeming Bar to Leyburn for the first time since 1954.

For almost 50 years, the stretch of line only served freight trains but after a long battle to reintroduce passenger trains, Wensleydale Railway, the country's newest train operating company, made the line accessible to the public.

Scott Handley, the chief executive of Wensleydale Railway, said: "We have faced months of slow-moving bureaucracy and our last hurdle was the granting of the operating licenses, but with those sorted, we have had since May to get the stations ready and the train running to make today a reality.

"We have been working flat-out over the last few weeks, and, somehow, it has all just come together in the final hour."

Also, that week, a shopworker from Cumbria won the National Lottery becoming a teenage millionaire after winning £1.8m.

Callie Rogers became the second-youngest jackpot winner at 16-years-old, following the win she planned to go abroad for the first time before resuming her education.

She also vowed to splash out on her family, with a new wheelchair for her disabled foster-mother, Sheila Holmes, among the items on her shopping list.

She told reporters at a conference organised by Lottery company Camelot she was dog-sitting for a friend when the draw took place. She said: "Hopefully, I will make us all comfortable. I want to help my family – but I won't change.

"I'm still going to shop in the same shops and do the same things."