A SPECIAL talk will explore an intriguing point of local history and question the very documents used to explore it.

Durham County Record Office will hold one of its regular Third Thursday Talks on Thursday, March 14, 6.30pm to 8pm.

This discussion, led by archivist and local historian David Butler, will be about The Bowes and Sunderland Bridge Turnpike Trust which ran the local toll road from Bowes via Barnard Castle, Staindrop and Bishop Auckland to Sunderland Bridge (now the route of the A67 and A688) between 1748 and 1870.In the mid-nineteenth century the trustees had a unique problem with the recovery of toll arrears. The session will show that you can’t always take original historical documents at face value and reveal a hidden secret.

Dawn Layland, education and outreach archivist at Durham County Record Office, said: “These unusual spotlights on local history really open up fascinating discussions and show how human error haunted our Victorian ancestors too.

“This talk will offer a really good insight into how to interpret archives, and how questionable sources can still tell us something amazingly interesting about the past.”

Cost £5, booking essential at recordofficeshop.durham.gov.uk/pgEventResult