A BID to restore a distinctive church tower to its former glory will be given a boost by antiques collectors at the weekend.

The appeal fund to repair St Cuthbert's Church tower, in North Road, Durham, has reached £80,000 towards a target of £250,000.

Church warden Pete Gow said that erosion had left the 138-year-old tower in a "semi-unsafe" condition and it remained closed to the public.

"It was designed in the style of churches seen in Normandy, but the weather has got to it and it's eroding away," said Mr Gow. "It's not about to fall down on top of us, just yet. But if nothing is done, it would be in a dangerous condition in about 30 to 40 years' time."

Among the regular fundraising events being staged to boost the appeal is a monthly antiques fair, staged at St Aidan's Church Parish Hall, in Front Street, Framwellgate Moor, Durham.

The next fair takes place on Saturday, from 10am to 4pm, with an entry fee of 50p. Refreshments are available during the day