PUPILS have helped revive an old Methodist custom at a museum's colliery village.

Youngsters from Red Rose Primary School, at Chester-le-Street, County Durham, took part in the annual Sunday school anniversary in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, at Beamish Museum.

The anniversary was one of the biggest and most lavish occasions in the Methodist calendar, when children would parade through the streets carrying the Sunday school banner and singing hymns.

Afterwards, a service would be held in the chapel when boys and girls recited religious poetry, read extracts from the Bible and played out temperance sketches.

Youngsters dressed in costume from the turn of the century and carried out a re-enactment of the traditional celebrations which were followed by hymn singing, led by West Pelton Methodist Choir.

The chapel opened in the museum in 1990, having been taken down brick by brick from its original site in Beamish Village and reassembled in the attraction's Colliery Village.

The Pit Hill Chapel was built in 1856 and extended in 1904 with funds given by mine owner Lord James Joicey.

It was donated to Beamish Museum in 1985 after it closed because of mining subsidence and a drop in the number of people attending.