A VILLAGE bonfire and fireworks display was marred after groups of youths descended on the event intent on causing trouble.

Police say a message was posted on the social media site Facebook stating anyone wanting to fight should head along to the bonfire and fireworks display at Gainford, County Durham, on Saturday night.

Sergeant Simon Rogers, of Barnard Castle police, said as a result, youths from outside the village had made their way to the event.

“In among the melees that broke out, a window was put out in the Spar Shop in the village,” he added.

Sgt Rogers said there were other small disturbances during the evening and one youth was arrested for being drunk.

“We did not know about the Facebook message beforehand and we are not sure whether it was posted by someone local to Gainford or from someone outside the area who knew about the bonfire and fireworks display.”

Sgt Rogers said the youths – thought to be from Cockfield, Bishop Auckland and other surrounding villages – dispersed in taxis and cars.

Police are to attend the next meeting of Gainford and Langton Parish Council on December 3 to discuss what happened at the bonfire and fireworks display.

In the meantime, officers are appealing for witnesses who saw those causing damage to the Spar Shop to come forward.

The window was smashed at about 9.30pm on Saturday night.

Anyone with information should contact Barnard Castle police on 101.