Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, Aug 15, 2013)

The Northumberland Gazette delves into the archives to remind readers of stories from the past.

10 YEARS AGO - Thursday, August 14, 2003

Sir Bobby Robson delighted the crowds in Alnwick when he officially opened the district’s brand new £7million sports centre. The Newcastle United manager was greeted to a standing ovation as he unveiled a plaque marking the opening of Willowburn Sports Centre. Designed by William Saunders Partnership, the centre boasts one of the best 25m swimming pools across the UK, a learner pool, a large multi-purpose sports hall, a gym and a health suite. Sir Bobby, during a light-hearted speech, said: “I want to congratulate all those who helped provide this excellent facility. “As you all know, sport is important to me and I urge all district residents to make the most of the facilities.”

25 YEARS AGO - Thursday, August 18, 1988

Alnwick’s pubs are set to be open all hours, but only if the demand is there. New licensing laws to be brought in on August 22 will mean drinking can take place between 11am-11pm and has prompted a muted welcome. Most licensees have pleged they will give it a try, although brewers and publicians remain sceptical about the need for all-day drinking. Tetleys warn that many pubs will see little difference. Spokesperson Colin Waite said: “Not every pub will be open full hours. At the end of the day, the customer will decide.” Another sceptic, Alistair Wathey, assistant manager at the White Swan Hotel, said: “I’m sure it will be popular in big cities, but I’m not sure about small villages.”

50 YEARS AGO - Friday, August 16, 1963

The water shortage which hit villages on the north Northumberland coast last week seems to be over. The shortage was caused by increased demands of the influx of campers and visitors to the area. Firemen had to be called out to lay hoses to act as temporary water mains. Work is proceeding on a new main which, it is hoped, will be finished by October. Mr Keith Clements, of the Mizen Head Hotel, Bamburgh, which was without water for 36 hours last week said that everything was getting back to normal and the supply was good: “The water situation was much worse last year, when we had no water for five days in succession. We had little difficulty last week, even at its worst.”