THIS week, 15 years ago, a councillor called for new legislation to fight Britain's growing knife culture after a shocking investigation showed how easy it was for youngsters to get their hands on weapons.

The North Yorkshire County Council investigation was prompted by an incident in a school in the county where a flick-knife concealed in a lighter was confiscated from a 15-year-old boy.

The trading standards inquiry saw an array of knives, axes and other edged weapons collected both by using the internet – with no age checks – and using a 14-year-old to make test purchases.

The finds included multi-edged 17in Rambo-style hunting knives, razor-sharp double-bladed throwing axes and a triple-bladed Ninja-style Cyclon spinning weapon.

The county’s executive member with responsibility for trading standards, Councillor Carl Les, said the results of the investigation had been horrifying.

"It scares me to look at the weapons that were collected and is particularly poignant the day after a child was killed with a knife at a Lincolnshire school."

He added: "I cannot think of any legitimate or justifiable use for any of the lethal weapons that were being offered for sale."

Meanwhile, firefighters from Peterlee fire station launched a pin-up calendar to raise money for causes in the East Durham area.

The firefighters created their own charity entitled Firemen Full Stop and collected almost £17,000 for the Hartlepool Hospice and the Fire Brigade's Benevolent Fund.

Among the models photographed was former Peterlee firefighter, now television and stage personality Jonny Regan, who was Mr November.

Also that week, villagers prepared to burn a giant sea monster in celebration of bonfire night.

The bonfire at Skinningrove beach, near Saltburn, was a large lobster which appeared to be emerging from the sea.

Thousands of people were expected to arrive at the village to watch the lobster burn.

The Skinningrove Bonfire Committee has an unrivalled reputation across the North-East after showcasing some of the most imaginative bonfires and displays in the region.

Previous bonfires were made on the themes of Dracula, the circus and the ancient legend of the Merman of Skinningrove.