Shoppers are being invited to share their antiques and family heirlooms to help charity volunteers mark 30 years of fundraising.

As well as taking away bagfuls of gifts, homewares and food from the 30thDurham Shopping Extravaganza, visitors are being asked to come with items for antiques experts to evaluate.

Julian Thomson, chairman and managing director, and director Fred Wyrley-Birch, of Anderson & Garland, are due to carry out free evaluations over the two-day event on October 10 and 11.

Their particular areas of expertise include silver, jewellery, clocks, watches, collectables and militaria, although they are able to assess all antiques.

DSE co-chair Nicky Swan said: “We’re very grateful to Julian and Fred for giving up their time to support the Durham Shopping Extravaganza by offering our shoppers free valuations of their antiques. This is a new attraction this year so we hope lots of people will bring along items of a manageable size for them to look at.

“With this year’s event being our 30thand final DSE we’re all thinking of times passed so it seems appropriate that visitors can share items from their own family histories. I’m really looking forward to seeing what shoppers bring along.”

Last year’s Durham Shopping Extravaganza was a record-breaker leading to donations to charity of £28,000. The volunteer committee is hoping to smash the amount to take the final raised over 30 years to £500,000.

Ninety-nine local and regional charities have benefited so far, and this year’s principal recipients are PHAB, Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services (UTASS), the North East Autism Society and Grace House in Sunderland.

Explaining why this year is the last, Nicky added: “The DSE has got too big to continue as it is and with GDPR, cost increases, venue restrictions and fewer volunteers we’d like to go out with a bang and celebrate the great event and the work of 99 amazing local charities we have donated to so far.”

Sponsored by Lycetts, Fred Henderson MG, BHP Law, Brewin Dolphin and Parklane Plowden Chambers, the 2018 Durham Shopping Extravaganza is at Ramside Hall Hotel, near Durham, on Wednesday, October 10 from noon-8.30pm (with a free drink after 5pm) and Thursday, October 11 from 10am-4pm.

For more information visit www.durhamshoppingextravaganza.co.ukor DurhamShoppingExtravaganza on Facebook.