50 years ago this week: Friday, October 20, 1961

NINE inches separates Beadnell fishermen from a Northumberland Sea Fisheries Committee grant of £300 and they have three months – until the committee’s meeting in January – to find the lost inches.

The inches were missed out when improvement work was being carried out to the little harbour at Beadnell during the summer.

The committee stipulated that the money would be paid on the condition that the harbour was 23 feet wide.

When the work was finished it was found that at high tide it was 22ft 3ins wide and less than that at ground level.

Now the fishermen are to be asked what steps they can take to comply with the original condition.

Those missing inches took up most of the committee meeting in Newcastle on Tuesday when it was pointed out that the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries had already made their own grant.

The background to the story was sketched in for the benefit of new committee members by vice-chairman Mr J E Cullum, who said that for many years the fishermen had been plagued by a sand bank near the harbour entrance which led to considerable silting of the harbour bed and the necessity for dredging operations.

l A TINY weather-beaten Methodist Church overlooking the seas probably held its last harvest festival service on Sunday.

For Methodism in the little picture postcard village of Boulmer is facing a crisis for the first time in its 120 years’ history there.

Unless a solution is found, the ageing one-strong congregation may soon find itself without a place of its own in which to worship on Sunday afternoons.

“Most of our former congregation have either died or moved away from the district and there are no young people to take their place,” farmer Mr George Richardson, of Peppermoor, told the Northumberland Gazette.