THIS week, 15 years ago, a historic presidential visit brought the region to a standstill.

As part of a trip to the UK, US President George Bush touched down in Sedgefield with Prime Minister Tony Blair in a visit that gave Mr Blair an opportunity to show the president his roots.

At about 11.30am Air Force One, carrying the President and the First Lady, landed at Teesside Airport.

They transferred to the Presidential helicopter, Marine One, which took them to Trimdon where Mr Blair and his wife, Cherie, showed the President around his Myrobella home.

Although the public were kept well back, Mr Blair's neighbours were waved forward by the President who happily posed for pictures taken by a bemused bodyguard.

Jemma Grieves, the 26-year-old daughter of Mr Blair’s next-door neighbour, said: "Mr Bush was really nice, I said to Cherie my legs were shaking, which was blatantly obvious, so Mr Bush put his arms around me and tightened his squeeze to warm me up.”

Afterwards, the group were transferred to Sedgefield by motorcade where a congregation of about 80 dined on fish and chips in Mr Blair’s “local”, the Dun Cow Pub.

The President also visited Sedgefield Community College to speak to pupils, even joining in with a PE lesson, before returning via Marine One to Teesside Airport where the President's Boeing 747 waited to return them to the United States.