NEWCOMERS to the Durham dales find themselves at the centre of the thirteenth North Pennines Storytelling Festival, starting this week.

Organisers chose the theme Old Settlers, New Settlers for the three-day event which opens on Friday.

Storytellers are in schools, tourist attractions, libraries, community halls and even on a vintage Bedford bus telling centuries old legends and modern day folk tales.

The festival starts in three centres on Friday, starting in Middleton School where Malcolm Green leads stories based on research done by pupils.

From 7.30pm students at Wolsingham School open up their local archive with Pascal Konyn telling the tales.

On Saturday the bus leaves Stanhope for Killhope carrying on-board storyteller Pat Renton at 10.30am, with the return trip at 12.30pm.

There are four separate events at 7.30pm on Saturday, including Stories That Slip Between the Worlds in Rookhope Village Hall.

Sunday features Go With the Flow at Bowlees Visitor Centre, and a Great Escapade at Harperley V-isitor of War Camp, both from 2.30pm. Roll a Penny provide music for the final event in Alston Town Hall at 7.30pm. To see the full programme visit www.