IT was lighting up time as The Bowes Museum, in Barnard Castle, gets into the festive swing of things.

Durham High Sheriff Harry Vane, who is also president of the museum's friends group, switched on the Christmas tree lights before describing some of the more interesting aspects of his job as lord lieutenant.

The event also included carol singing from local choir No Added Sugar, led by Jane Ford, who is also the voice coach for the Military Wives choir.

Barnard Castle Town Crier Ian Kirkbride was also present in period costume while the Northumbrian Pipers added their own brand of festive music to the occasion.

Heather Scott, chairman of the friends, thanked Mr Vane for his support as well as those who had helped to organise the evening.