THE country's largest event celebrating fatherhood, held over the weekend at Beamish Museum, has been hailed a success.

And the organisers are hoping to stage another next year after attracting more than 4,000 people from all over the country to the award-winning museum in County Durham.

Celebration 2005: Fatherhood Past and Present was staged by Children North-East Fathers Plus on Saturday and yesterday to highlight the important role fathers play in childcare.

As well as activities including a football competition and face painting, a new exhibition, The Museum of Fatherhood, which could become permanent if funding is obtained, was opened.

It featured images of fatherhood from the past as well as artwork that looked at the role of fathers today.

Roger Olley, assistant director for Fatherwork at Children North-East, said: "It has been such a happy, fun event. People have had a great time. People have come from Bradford, Leeds and London, not just the North-East."