IT'S a true giant of the golden age of steam travel, a renowned name which would be right at home in the birthplace of the railways.

So when enthusiasts launched a campaign to bring the famous locomotive Blue Peter to Darlington, they were justifiably hopeful of a wave of support.

But that hope has so far turned to despair - with a sole donation of £10 made towards the £11,500 appeal since its launch last month.

It has left borough council bosses pondering whether to shell out thousands of pounds to bring the locomotive from its base on the North York Moors to Darlington Railway Museum.

They have been given an estimate by a local haulage company of £7,900 to transport Blue Peter from Grosmont and provide space in the North Road museum.

But campaigners are now weighing up the pros and cons of making the loco a centrepiece attraction.

Tourism manager Gwenda Lyn Jones said: "We have had one donation of £10 from a member of the public and that's about it.

"The locomotive would come to Darlington for two years, on loan from the North-Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group, but the council must now debate if sufficient interest from visitors would cover the expense.

Mrs Jones is hopeful of persuading the council to pay up, but added: "It is money that we don't have at the moment.

"My angle is going to be that it is worth bringing Blue Peter in because of the benefits for Darlington and the railway museum."

Anyone wanting to pledge support for the project is asked to contact John Wilkes at the museum on (01325) 460532.