LOOKING back to the week that was November 20 to November 26, five years ago...

HEATING engineer Steve Graham was set to embark on an epic expedition to the coldest place on the planet – just months after conquering Everest – in November 2018.

The self-employed Darlington father-of-two was preparing to take off on a 14-and-a-half hour flight from Heathrow to Chile’s capital, Santiago, on the first leg of his journey, on November 22, 2018.

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From Santiago, he would travel to the southern tip of Chile for a preparation day and then fly to Antarctica on a Russian cargo plane, landing on an Antarctic runway of natural blue ice amid temperatures as low as -30F.

In May 2018, Steve became the only Darlington man to climb Mount Everest, raising more than £15,000 for local and national charities, including St Teresa’s Hospice and Prostate Cancer UK.

He supported those causes again as he climbed another of the world’s most challenging mountains, Mount Vinson, and was being supported by Darlington Building Society, JT Atkinson Building Supplies, Anthony Jones Properties and Videcon. He planned to plant a flag at the top of the mountain, bearing the logos of his charities and the companies supporting him.

Buddy, the labradoodle, was hailed a hero after finding a set of false teeth belonging to a pensioner called Mr Barker, on November 20, 2018.

Robin Barker, 69, lost his dentures when they fell out of his pocket while visiting family in Hurworth-on-Tees, near Darlington.

But in a classic case of lost and hound, they were recovered by two-year-old Buddy while he was out for a morning walk with his owner and villager, Liz Petty.

Liz said: “We were just crossing the road and I saw him pick something up and it started making a funny clicking noise in his mouth.

"I decided to investigate and couldn’t believe it when I ended up with a set of dentures in my hand.”

Liz and husband John were dog-sitting Buddy for their daughter Gemma, who had gone for a short break with her husband Jonathan and their children Alexander, eight, and George, six.

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Liz said: “Buddy’s an inquisitive dog and is always picking things up – but he’s never found anything quite as unusual as this.”

Mr Barker had been staying at Redworth Hall Hotel during a trip to County Durham with his partner, Katherine Dutton, when he realised the top set and palate disappeared.

After searching in vain, he gave up the dentures for good and drove home to Accrington, in Lancashire, but the mystery was solved after a social media appeal was spotted by the family back in Hurworth.

The dentures were posted back to Lancashire – but not before they’d had a good wash.

Superheroes played by schoolchildren featured in a new anti-litter campaign.

Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Captain America were all spotted in Durham City as part of the latest blockbuster to be set in the region, in November 2018.

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The film, shot in Wharton Park, was the centrepiece of a new initiative launched by Durham County Council.

Litter Heroes encouraged residents, workers and visitors to the city and the wider county to put their waste in bins or take it home with them.

The stars of the film, year three, four, five and six pupils from Durham’s Blue Coat Church of England Junior School, told viewers they “don’t have to be a superhero to do the right thing”.