TWO children spent the day as civic dignitaries yesterday, when they became Darlington's junior mayor and mayoress for the day.

Ten-year-olds Stephen Howey and Rebecca Eldrington won their day out in an essay competition.

Their packed schedule of civic engagements involved being chauffeured around with the real mayor, Councillor Dorothy Long, and her escort and husband, Bob.

After visiting Darlington Police Station and Teesside International Airport, they were taken to Walworth Castle Hotel for lunch.

After an interview at Alpha Radio, the pair had official photographs taken at Studio 81 in the town.

Next came a visit to Middlesbrough Football Club's training ground in Hurworth, where they had pictures taken with coach Terry Venables and met striker Brian Deane.

They finished their day with tea in the mayor's parlour.

Rebecca, of Woodland Road, who is a pupil at Holy Family RC School, said: "I've really enjoyed it."

Stephen, from Pendleton Road South, who is a North Road Primary School pupil, said: "I've enjoyed every minute of it."

Councillor Long said: "They were absolutely fabulous, they were lovely company. They were polite at all times, interesting, chatty. They have definitely got what it takes.