STARS of hit TV series Downton Abbey will be able to catch up on all the North Yorkshire news – with the help of a local council.

When the production team for the period drama wanted a 1922 edition of the Yorkshire Gazette - a forerunner of The Press’s sister title, the Gazette & Herald - as a prop for the show, they turned to Malton Library for help.

Although the library’s original copies of the 91-year-old newspaper were too fragile to use, North Yorkshire County Council’s archives team at the County Records Office in Northallerton stepped in to make a high-fidelity copy through a digital scanner.

“North Yorkshire’s libraries and the records office are a treasure trove of historic and important documents, and it was very gratifying that we were able to help the producers of a hugely-popular programme with some authentic material,” said Coun Chris Metcalfe, the council’s executive member for library and information services.

The April 1922 copy of the Yorkshire Gazette, which will be used in an episode to be filmed later this year, was chosen by Malton Library’s service development officer, Julie Atkinson, who said: “It was important to find a copy which was in clear enough condition for Downton Abbey’s graphics team to work from”.

Downton Abbey is set in a fictional North Yorkshire stately home, and makes frequent references to York, Malton, Thirsk and Ripon.