THE story of Charles Dickens’ visit to a County Durham town was projected on to the wall of its most famous landmark as part of a spectacular sound and light show.

The son et lumiere event, at Barnard Castle, on Saturday night (December 1) was part of a series of events organised by the Dickens in Teesdale group to celebrate the author’s 200th birthday.

More than 500 people braved the cold to see the story beamed on to the walls of the town’s medieval castle and to listen to a narration by TV presenter John Grundy.

The acclaimed Turrets drama group also performed and spectators were treated to a firework finale. Dickens visited Barnard Castle in February 1838 to research the notorious Yorkshire schools for his novel Nicholas Nickleby.

Mr Grundy said: “It is the first time I have written as well as performed a voice over and it has been a great experience.

“I have a long connection, not just with Barnard Castle, but with Teesdale as a whole. I have visited here for work and for pleasure on many occasions.”

The sound and light show was the culmination of a day of festivities in the town. Other highlights included a farmers’ market, street entertainment, seasonal window displays, Santa’s grotto and the Christmas lights switch-on.