FIVE years ago a gun-wielding masked man tried to rob a lone cashier in a North-East corner shop.

Seema Dhutti, 25, bravely fended the would-be robber off at the Darlington store she part-owned, and refused to hand over any cash.

She was back at work just hours after the horrifying incident at Seema News and Off-Licence, on the corner of North Road and Cumberland Street, and spoke to The Northern Echo about her ordeal.

Despite being visibly shaken, Mrs Dhutti said at the time: “I was sitting behind the counter and one man was outside and I don’t know if he was waiting for something, but he looked through the door and saw I was alone.

“He came in and he showed me the gun and he said ‘f****** give me the money’.

“I said ‘I have no money’ and he said to open the till, but I told him again that I had no money.

“I was so scared and shaken. I started to think if I pressed the panic alarm, that it might scare him off and I told him that the police were going to be here very soon.”

The attempted robbery, which took place at about 7.30pm, was caught on the store’s CCTV cameras and in shocking footage, the masked man waves the gun inches from Mrs Dhutti’s face.

A man, believed to be from Darlington, was arrested in connection with the incident.

Also that week, triplets who became local celebrities after surviving a premature birth at a Northallerton hospital celebrated their 65th birthday.

The Wensleydale Triplets, as they were named by local press including The Northern Echo, were two months early and weighed only two pounds each when they were born on June 19, 1951 – a time without incubators to keep them alive.

Cecil, Tom and Christine Sayer, born to farmers Richard and Nancy Sayer, lived at Low Farm, Garriston, near Leyburn, and celebrated their milestone birthday surrounded by family at Tennants, Leyburn.

Christine, now Mrs Wheatley, said her mother was told she was expecting “at least two babies” but doctors were not able to confirm how many without appropriate X-ray facilities.

Meanwhile, as sporting records go, Margaret Fenwick’s amazing winning streak must rank among one of the best – after competing in what was her 40th consecutive tennis club final.

The player had been involved with Northallerton Tennis Club for most of her life and had then scored her 40th place in a row in the club’s ladies finals.

The championship took place on July 2016 when she played in the singles and doubles finals through strength sapping hot weather.

Her opponent in the ladies singles was Lyn Thompson, and after a close-fought match, Margaret won.

The longstanding club member joined Northallerton Tennis Club, on Farndale Avenue, when she was just 12, as a junior player. Her sister used to play tennis there with a friend and Margaret, now 58, sat and watched the players for three years until she was old enough to join.