A SEARCH is on for the oldest surviving wedding dress in a County Durham parish.

The dress will form the centrepiece of a Weddings Then and Now exhibition at St Michael’s Church, in Bishop Middleham, near Sedgefield, from 11am until 4pm on Saturday, May 12.

An organising team at the church is now calling on residents living in the Parish of the Upper Skerne, which includes the villages of Sedgefield, Fishburn, the Trimdons and Bishop Middleham, to dig deep into their wardrobes to find the oldest dress for the display.

Team Vicar Michael Thompson said: “We’re looking for dresses from across the decades and there will be a prize for the oldest one we discover. We’d also welcome the loan of a tailor’s dummy or a mannequin to display the dress.”

The appeal has already produced dresses from the late 1940s to the modern day which will sit alongside groom outfits, wedding memorabilia and photographs.

The exhibition will also include wedding texts, poems and written anecdotes about specific weddings and wedding traditions, floral arrangements, stands from local wedding services, activities and crafts as well as refreshments - including wedding cake.

Entry is free but donations are invited for the church boiler fund.

For details and to donate call 01740-654966.

Alternatively email thenandnow@talktalk.net