An SOS was issued to bring the legendary Flying Scotsman back to the mainline, in January 2009.

The Steam Our Scotsman appeal aimed to raise £250,000 to complete the restoration of one of the world's most iconic locomotives.

Read more: Legs Cross: Theories of how a local landmark got its odd name

Engine number 4472 was saved from being sold abroad in 2004 when the National Railway Museum (NRM) in York launched a nationwide appeal and secured it for almost £2.6m.

Between then and 2009, the engine underwent a large amount of work in order to be fully functional and get back on the rails.

Curator of rail vehicles Jim Rees said: "Too often financial constraints led to the use of short-term fixes, with locomotives being repaired with no more foresight than the next seven or ten years of certification – the very opposite of our own aims and ambitions for Flying Scotsman."

When the museum acquired the engine it was carrying a boiler from an A4 that had been fitted in the 1970s, as was commonly done in British Rail days. It also came with an A3 boiler that it had carried before then from 1964.

Mr Rees explained: "The restoration has cost a great deal more than anticipated due to the poor condition of the boiler and the rising cost of copper – hence the need for a public appeal."

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A digger was left embedded in the side of a shop and a truck was driven into a pub by ram-raiders who made dramatic attempts to steal money from cashpoints, in January 2009.

The bids were unsuccessful on both occasions, but they left a trail of destruction in their wake.

The first raid was at the newly-opened Co-op in Tow Law, County Durham, when thieves crashed a stolen construction vehicle through the exterior wall.

Minutes later, and just a few miles away, at Tindale Crossing, a family pub in Bishop Auckland, a blue 4x4 was reversed at speed through the doors.

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Motorsport events throughout the country were under threat in January 2009 after a landmark High Court ruling went against Croft Circuit, near Darlington.

Track bosses launched a racetrack review after the circuit – the only national championship venue in the region – was hit with a huge fine for noise pollution.

Croft Promosport was ordered to pay damages and legal costs totalling nearly £860,000, in a decision that left it and other circuits open to further claims.