PUPILS at a rural school are coming under starter's orders for an event which has been held each year for more than a century.

The Barnard Castle School Barney Bash will be staged for the 111th time on Friday, March 15.

The Barney Bash originally began life as a paper chase, but over the years has developed into a cross country run.

The event, which involves pupils from the senior school, also raises money for charity.

This year, the school's charity committee has chosen to support the Safe Water Trust, with money raised being used to buy filters for use in developing countries to ensure drinking water is free from bacteria.

Barnard Castle Rotary Club has agreed to match the amount raised by the school.

Teacher Charles Alderson, who is organising the event, said: “The Barney Bash is a great event in the school calendar.

“It brings the whole school together and creates great camaraderie and humour.

“The greatest achievement of all, apart from personal bests being broken, is that it serves to help so many people through the charities we have supported over the years.”