TEN years ago this week, a book dealer was questioned by police in connection with the theft of the first collected works of Shakespeare, worth £15m.

The 1623 copy of the Shakespeare first folio, described as the most important printed work in the English language, was stolen from Durham University shortly before Christmas 1998.

Six other historic items, including a 14th Century handwritten English translation of the New Testament, were also taken from display cabinets in the university library.

Durham Police arrested a 51-year-old man, named locally as Raymond Scott, during a raid on a house in Wigeon Close, Washington, Wearside.

The swoop followed a two-week worldwide inquiry triggered when a man, who claimed to be an international businessman, presented the folio to the Folger Shakespeare Library, in the US capital, Washington.

The man said he had bought it in Cuba and wanted to know if it was genuine. Checks revealed it was the book that had been stolen.

The Shakespeare first folio is the earliest compilation of the Bard's plays.

In other news, a primary school was forced to close after an outbreak of swine flu.

The closure came after 68 pupils and five teachers phoned in absent from suspected cases.

Education officials gave permission to close High Coniscliffe Primary School, near Darlington, urging parents not to panic.

A Darlington Borough Council spokesman said: "We have a number of confirmed and suspected cases of swine flu at schools in the borough.

"High Coniscliffe School is closing for the rest of this week and will therefore reopen after the summer holidays.”

The 150th Great Yorkshire Show, which was visited by the Queen, was hailed a success, despite problems with the weather and restrictions caused by bluetongue disease.

Nigel Pulling, the chief executive of Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), said an estimated 125,000 people visited.

"It was very much a case of Yorkshire grit and putting on a fantastic show in what were quite difficult circumstances," he said.

"When you have been around 150 years, you can cope with just about anything, and we have had a fantastic show under the circumstances. We will be back next year, bigger and better than ever. "

Meanwhile, the rain didn’t stop the Yorkshire Gliding Club from holding a regional contest which offered winners the right to compete at national level.

The competition was held at Sutton Bank, North Yorkshire, and attracted 25 entrants from across the UK.

Kelly Teagle, 29, from Thirsk, was the only woman taking part in the competition.

She said: "I always wanted to learn to fly. My granddad was in the RAF, so that's where the desire came from.”