CROWDS took advantage of the good bank holiday weather to visit agricultural shows throughout the region.

Jousting knights entertained visitors at the 92nd Wensleydale Show, in North Yorkshire.

Organisers estimated more than 8,000 people attended the event, at Leyburn, on Saturday.

The Knights of Middle England jousting team was the big attraction in the main ring.

Firefighters from Leyburn demonstrated how they rescued trapped motorists from a crashed car.

Music was provided by Richmond Pipes and Drums and Leyburn Band.

Other attractions included classic cars, a display by Bedale Hunt and more than 100 trade stands and stalls.

Gerald Hodgson, show committee spokesman, said: "We are thrilled that we had 181 cattle entries, which is phenomenal for a small show, and 530 sheep entries."

The day finished with the traditional terrier racing and in the evening, hundreds attended a dance in the main marquee, with music provided by Redmire-based Stone Deaf.

Meanwhile, all the fun of the fair came to the Great Aycliffe Show, in County Durham, on Saturday and yesterday.

The event, organised by Great Aycliffe Town Council, attracted hundreds of people to the showfield at Oakleaf Golf Complex, in Newton Aycliffe.

Marquees hosted handicrafts and horticulture exhibitions and competitions. Other highlights included car and motocross stunt displays, and a Punch and Judy show.

There were also golf and football competitions, go-kart rides for youngsters and a display of sports cars.

As well as fun, there was a serious message as crews from Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service showed spectators how they deal with road accidents.

They used specialist equipment to release a casualty from a staged accident, while eight teams from the stations across the county competed during the two days in an inter-service competition to see who could do so in the fastest time.

Farming neighbours Mick and Barbara Coulthard and Bill Wearmouth swept the board in the beef cattle and sheep classes at the Weardale Agriculutural Society show at St John's Chapel at the weekend.

The Coulthards, who farm at Bridge End, Westgate, County Durham, won both beef calves classes and the King's Arms Perpetual Trophy for the best calf in show.

Mr Wearmouth, of Rosehill, Eastgate, won four classes with his Blue-faced Leicesters and the L Coulthard Memorial Trophy.

Although livestock entries were down on previous year, show chairman Ian Scholes said he was delighted at the turn-out at what was essentially a traditional show.

A major success at the show was the photography section, where entries were up to 416 - an increase of nearly 50 on last year.

Children's classes proved particularly popular with new trophies up for grabs