STUDENTS had a ball with their latest design brief after capturing the rural splendour of Darlington.

Darlington College students were asked to help the town’s mayor by coming up with the designs for his annual charity ball.

Councillor Gerald Lee, the town's mayor and a keen environmentalist, gave the students the brief ‘rural borough of Darlington’ and the first year Level 3 Btec art and design students came up with more than 40 ideas for posters.

Students used photography from villages in the borough, including Heighington and Hurworth, from which they produced artwork inspired by the celebrated American collage artist Derek Gores.

This was then manipulated electronically to create the final posters.

Cllr Lee said: “The effort and imagination, the sweat and toil, that have gone into the designs has been absolutely magnificent and made it very difficult to pick a winner.

“The students have picked out the very essence of our countryside beautifully and the combination of the colours has captured the warm feeling of a summer’s afternoon walking through the borough of Darlington.”

Three designs were selected with Amber Young, 17, of Carlton, near Richmond, coming third; Ashleigh McGargle, 18, of Darlington, second; and James Allinson, 17, of East Witton, taking the honours.

The Mayor’s Ball will take place at the Dolphin Centre, Darlington, on October 17, to raise funds for his chosen charities.

All the student work will be exhibited at the ball and is available to purchase for a contribution to the Mayor’s chosen charities.