Offers of help and support poured into the French authorities from across the North-East in the wake of the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, in April 2019.

Master masons who helped repair York Minster after its 1984 blaze said it was “quite achievable” to rebuild the Paris landmark, while stained glass expert Sarah Brown, director of York Glaziers Trust, has already written to officials in France to offer her assistance.

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It emerged on April 16, 2019, that Notre Dame’s “most precious” treasures had been saved from the flames, as more than 600 million euros were pledged to help rebuild the Gothic masterpiece.

Meanwhile in Durham, the cathedral dean reassured the community that it has stringent measures in place to protect the building from fire, including compartmentalised roof spaces, introduced after the blaze in York.

A community initiative that salvages food destined for the skip in order to provide hot meals for those in need was looking for a new permanent home as it prepared to leave its base at a fire station, in April 2019.

Food for Thought Darlington was launched at the end of 2017 and offered events and initiatives designed to intercept and redistribute food that would otherwise go to waste.

The organisation had previously held pop-up events in locations across the town including Skerne Park, Red Hall, Albert Hill and the Denes, and offered a food delivery service for people on an evening.

But with their time at their base at Darlington’s fire station almost up, the group was seeking a permanent home to carry on their vital work feeding people in need and offering emergency food across the town.

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They used the kitchens at St James the Great Church Hall in Albert Hill, and Louise Graham, chair of Food for Thought Darlington, hoped they could find a permanent home with enough space for catering facilities and a cafe space to serve the food they have produced.

She said: “We have had a fantastic year, feeding and supporting thousands of people. We’re confident we can keep going, despite not having a permanent home.

“The guys at the fire station have been so supportive of our project over the years.

"We’ve had some lovely offers of help and we’ve looked at a few possibilities – we’d love to hear from anyone who may be able to help.”

Dozens of animal lovers turned out in the Easter weekend sunshine on April 19, 2019, for the Middleham Good Friday Open Day event.

Despite racing fixtures now taking place on Good Friday, 11 stables opened their doors to the public on the traditional day for the open day, rather than Easter Monday as happened the previous year.

ARC Middleham Open Day is a highlight in Racing Welfare’s calendar of events each year, attracting more than 3,000 people to the town on the day.

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The day kicked off with open yards in the morning, where 11 stables welcomed in visitors to meet their equine stars from 9.30am to 1pm.

Those opening up their gates this year included the all-time record-breaking Mark Johnston, and the recently crowned Lycetts Team Champions – and home of the Cheltenham Festival Sun Racing Stayers Hurdle runner up Sam Spinner – Jedd O’Keeffe.

Stef Keniry and Liam Bailey, two of Middleham’s newest trainers, also opened up for the day.