A HERITAGE event in the West Allen Valleys saw several families return to the area from across the North-East.

The "Welcome home" event, which took place at St Mark's Church in Ninebanks, took place on September 8..

Two marble rolls of honour, which list the names of former pupils at schools in Carrshield and Ninebanks who went on to serve in the great war, were on display at the church, alongside an exhibition of personal artefacts from the war.

The afternoon was opened by Colonel David Bates of Hindley Wrea and Chairman of the Allen Valley Local History Society, who highlighted upcoming events in the area to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.

The event also saw a poetry reading from Nick Short, and music from the Allendale hand bell ringers, led by Helen Beardsley. In addition, a number of artefacts surfaced that helped shed some light on those named on the rolls of honour.

Most prominently was a commemorative gold watch, brought by Shelia Hutchinson of Stagshaw.

The watch, which was purchased with funds raised by the Carrshield district for local men, was originally presented to Albert B. Bell.

The timepiece is only the second such watch known to have survived from Carrshield - the other was presented to Wesley Jackson, and was returned to his descendants following a campaign in the Courant in 2014.

Local historian Roger Morris has been researching the names on the rolls of honour for the last twelve months, and says the event will help record the details more accurately.

Roger said: "Family heirlooms, along with war time photographs of the men in uniform mean there is now a much more complete picture from the First World War of local men.

"Also from first hand family knowledge it has been possible to amend existing details more accurately. Once the research is complete it is intended to produce a booklet for future reference for families and visitors to Ninebanks Church and beyond."

The church also received £200 in donations from the event, which will be used to redecorate the church hall and kitchen for future community events.