A country fair that became one of the biggest annual events in the North-East is being revived this year.

When the weather was fine, the Teesdale Fair attracted more than 30,000 spectators from all over Britain to a showfield at Lartington near Barnard Castle, in County Durham.

But it all ended in 1993 when days of heavy rain turned the field into a mudbath.

The disaster led to heavy losses and wiped out the fair's cash reserves.

The event, which started in 1975, was always a one-day event in April, but now it is to be on Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25.

Geoff Clutton, head of a management team that will run the event, said yesterday: "I always enjoyed the event, and so did thousands of others.

"Every year since it ended I've heard sports people saying how much they miss it. Now they are delighted that it is returning.

"It will be better than ever, with all the usual rural pursuits like shooting, fly casting, dogs, hawks and ferrets.

"But we'll have extra attractions like motorcycle stunt riding to please more spectators."

He said many traders and competitors will stay in the area for the weekend, so it will be a boost to the local economy as well as a treat for followers of country sports.

John Mayhew, who owns the land where it will be held, said: "The weather was often a bit risky in April but, despite that, the fair always attracted a huge crowd.

"But we have more chance of getting settled weather in September, and with the event spread over two days I'm sure it will get even more support."

Mr Mayhew's father, Derek, was one of the team which launched the original fair. He now lives on the south coast, but hopes to travel back for the event.

Entries will be taken soon for clay pigeon shooting, terrier racing, lurchers, riding competitions and retrievers. There will also be a food market and dozens of trade stands.