A TOWN turned out in force at the weekend to enjoy its annual carnival.

People lined the streets of Shildon on Saturday to watch the procession of floats and neighbours in fancy dress parade through the town to Hackworth Park.

Families then flocked to the park for a programme of activities to suit all ages - from vintage vehicle displays and brass bands to an obstacle course and fairground.

The event was hailed as a triumph by Mayor Stuart Bird who praised the residents who volunteer to organise the event each year, town council staff and new Shildon Centre manager Christine Wood for co-ordinating it.

He said: "It has been a lovely event, very well attended and lots of fun for all ages.

"People made a real effort to dress up and take part and as usual the community and council workforce pulled together to make it happen. They are real unsung heroes."

The parade of floats was organised by Barbara Bowman and her son John.

Ms Wood, who became manager of the Shildon Centre just five weeks ago, said: "When I started I knew I couldn't replace Flo McCall, who retired after 20 years and had always been the main organiser. But the community works really hard to make it a fantastic day and I'm sure everyone would thank them for an excellent event."

Among the stars were carnival queen Stacey Lynch, 13, a Sunnydale School pupil, and carnival princess Beth Olivia Alderson, ten, a pupil of Timothy Hackworth Primary School.

Rebecca Mottram, 14, and Jessica Tweddle, 14, both Sunnydale School pupils, were runners-up in the carnival queen contest.