SEVEN bags of sugar, two Mickey Mouse gas masks and a "gezunder'' are among a hoard of Second World War items set to bring history alive at a North-East museum.

More than 100 items of wartime memor- abilia have been added to the Durham Light Infantry Museum and Durham Art Gallery collection, following a public appeal.

Wraparound pinafores, tins of dried egg, handbags, gloves, ration books, collar studs, hairclips and a chamber pot or "gezunder" were given by homes in Darlington, Sunderland, Otterburn in Northumberland, and Stockton.

Many came with tales of being kept "just in case." The collection will be used by schools, reminiscence groups, and on event days when visitors will be able to handle the objects.

Sarah Gouldsbrough, schools development officer, at the museum, said: "We wanted to develop the collection in anticipation of the many interesting events and exhibitions we will be holding to celebrate the 60th anniversary of VE Day next year.''

She said: "We knew we could count on the support of people all over the North-East and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped us.''

The seven bags of sugar were donated by a Darlington woman who found them in an elderly relative's cupboard.

Published: 16/10/2004