A TEACHER who introduced a romantic English custom to German youngsters is to be honoured.

Joyce Shaw, 57, who teaches music at Greencroft School in Annfield Plain, near Stanley, was one of two teachers from the region to win a place on a pilot teacher exchange scheme to Europe, sponsored by the British Council.

On her visit to a school in Bergdorf, near Hanover, she introduced the pupils to St Valentine's Day.

She said: "I couldn't believe they didn't know what I was talking about, had never heard of St Valentine.

"By the time I left, they were making their own Valentine's cards and sending them to each other."

She also shared some North-East folklore with the German youngsters. "I told them all about the Lambton Worm and they told me a legend about their werewolf."

She made such an impression on her trip that the German Embassy in London invited her to a special event where she met the ambassador and was presented with a certificate commemorating her visit.

Her feet will barely have time to touch the ground before she flies out to the Georgia, USA. Mrs Shaw, a well-known singer, came through breast cancer last year and now performs concerts to fund raise for charities researching the disease.

The night before she flies she will perform at the Empire Theatre in Consett, on Saturday, at 7.30pm.

Tickets, £5, are available on (01207) 509976. Proceeds to arthritis research.