THE past will be brought to life on Saturday when Durham County Council stages its biggest ever local history fair.

Yesterday Belongs To You 5 at County Hall, Aykley Heads in Durham City, is aimed at enthusiasts of local and family history.

The event will feature more than 80 organisations ranging from local history societies to the council's arts, libraries and museums department.

Attractions will include recitations by the Northumbrian Language Society, medieval music performed by Palatine Waits and rides around the city's historic sights in old buses restored by Aycliffe and District Bus Preservation Society, which featured in ITV's popular drama Heartbeat.

There will be an extensive range of displays by libraries, archive services and museums, bookstalls and traders selling historic maps and postcards.

"This is the fifth major local and family history day we have run and each time they get better and better," said the council's director of arts, libraries and museums, Patrick Conway.

He added: "I'm always delighted by the amount of work local societies put into preparing fascinating and informative exhibitions and the enthusiasm and interest the people of the county have in their history.''

Iain Watson, the council's Durham Studies manager, said: "YB2U5 provides something for everyone - from the serious researcher to those who just want to find out a little more about the history of their family, house, town or village.

"It's every local or family historian's dream come true.

"You may not find the answer to every inquiry. But you will find a lot of people with a lot of experience who can guide you in the right direction and pass on tips of the trade as well as information on useful sources and contacts.''

The event eill run from 10.30am to 4pm and adm-ission and parking are free