A STEAM locomotive that made headlines around the world was set to feature in the country’s most popular motoring programme, 15 years ago.

Tornado, the first steam engine to be built in England in nearly 50 years, featured in an episode of BBC’s Top Gear.

Read more: Putting a bottle to a stopper from the days of Darlington's brewery

The locomotive, which was built from scratch by a small band of volunteers in Darlington in a project lasting 19 years, was seen taking part in one of the races between the three presenters.

The locomotive, with Jeremy Clarkson on the footplate, raced James May in a Jaguar XK120 car and Richard Hammond in a Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle from London to Edinburgh.

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the organisation behind Tornado, was presented with the Sir Henry Royce Foundation Memorial Award, by a transport guild in London, which honours achievement and excellence.

For more news and nostalgia, subscribe to The Northern Echo for just £3 for three months

Favourite views of Durham were captured in artwork created by a group of proggy-mat makers, in May 2009.

The Durham Clayport Matters Group was inspired by the Rose Window at Durham Cathedral to create something that highlights features of the county.

Using different materials and techniques, group members depicted the bells of St Nicholas Church in Durham City, shipbuilding, the cathedral, mining and Fenwick Lawson’s sculpture The Journey.

“We asked people what they admire about Durham and what they remember about Durham, ‘’ said group chairwoman Elsie Shaw.

The wall hanging was started in September 2008 and was part of a £9,662 project funded by Lottery Awards for All that saw group members working with different groups, showing them mat-making techniques.

A baby bald eagle was welcomed as a new addition to a wild bird centre.

Read next:

Nanook, who was five weeks old in May 2009, was brought into the Thirsk Birds of Prey centre at Sion Hill Hall, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, to increase its collection and to eventually provide breeding opportunities.

Falconers at the centre expected Nanook to be able to take his place in the centre’s flying team in less than three months, after his feathers have fully grown.

Falconer Colin Badgery said: “We’re feeding him on squirrel, rabbit, hare, venison and pheasant - the best we can put in his beak to help his bones grow strong and his feathers to come through.”