LOOKING back to the week of October 23 to October 29, fifteen years ago...

A woman who devoted her spare time to motor racing was crowned British Autograss Series champion, in October 2008.

Fearless Clare Horner, 27, would get behind the wheel of her £20,000 Special between her duties as a regional manager for the CA roofing group, in Evenwood, County Durham.

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She clinched the title after four rounds on quarter-mile tracks, reaching speeds of 90mph in her custom-built car, which could accelerate from 0 to 60mph in three seconds.

Ms Horner said: "I'm really thrilled to have won the title because there were many other expert female drivers competing for it. I just love driving as fast as I can, and have done so since I took up the sport ten years ago."

She won the title of Fastest Lady on the Grass for the fourth year running, and also lifted the Midlands open championship, but the British title is regarded as the most important.

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Her father, Frank Horner, who lives in Evenwood, was a well-known stock car racer in his younger days, and now travels with his daughter to race meetings across the country, from Kent to Edinburgh and Northern Ireland.

Now she wants to follow in his footsteps by trying stock car racing.

"Stock car racing is a male-dominated sport with no separate class for women, " she said. "It will be tough, but I am looking forward to it."

A town's first war memorial was completed after years of fundraising, in October 2008.

Tonnes of Cumbrian slate were lowered into position outside St Clare's Church, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, marking the completion of Newton Aycliffe Rotary Club's war memorial appeal.

The town was founded in 1947 under the New Towns Act of 1946 and it is the oldest new town in the north of England.

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Because there was no war memorial, people would gather at a flagpole for Remembrance Day.

Syd Howarth, the Rotary Club's appeal co-ordinator, said the memorial provided a more fitting tribute and had, in a sense, completed the town.

"It has all come together ready for Remembrance Sunday," he said.