LISTENERS to a trial local radio station proved their generosity at the weekend during a charity auction.

Durham Local Radio (DLR) is entering the last week of a near month-long run which is part of its bid to win a broadcasting licence for the city and surrounding area.

Backed by The Northern Echo, the station is broadcasting from a mobile studio in the car park at the Arnison Centre, on the outskirts of Durham.

DLR devoted four hours of Saturday's schedules to an on-air auction of goods and services donated by local businesses, individuals and sports clubs.

The auction was hosted by veteran broadcaster and Echo photographer Brian Clough, working with programme manager Hugh Evans.

It was given a VIP launch by North-East actor Tim Healy, of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

He took time out from organising a celebrity golf tournament at the Ramside Hall Hotel, at nearby Carrville, staged yesterday, to wish the DLR team well.

Signed shirts donated by Newcastle United and Sunderland, and a signed Middlesbrough match ball, were among the most popular items auctioned, which also included a dolls house, a rocking horse, a London leisure pass and an array of restaurant, hotel and health club offers.

Following a frantic four hours, in which listeners made telephone bids for the lots, the final total pledged reached £1,447.

St Cuthbert's Hospice in Durham is the beneficiary, with money raised going towards its development fund.

DLR will stay on air until Sunday, on 107 MHz FM.