ON LOCATION: A film crew from BBC4 was at the Bowes Museum this week shooting footage of the famous Silver Swan for a planned programme on automata. Filming is continuing at locations across Europe, with a planned broadcast date of early spring 2013.

TOTAL RISING: Fundraisers have passed the £70,000 mark in their bid to raise £350,000 to provide fixtures, fittings and special equipment at the new-look Witham Hall, in Barnard Castle. The landmark hall is currently undergoing a £3m refurbishment.