Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, Dec 12, 2013)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, December 11, 2003

A Felton farmer is to shoot any dogs on his land after a savage attack killed four of his sheep worth £500. William Ryle is to take the action after the incident last Thursday on his sheep in a field at South Acton Farm. Two sheep were killed in the attack while another pair had to be shot over the weekend as a result of their injuries. At present, another six sheep, valued at £500, are being treated for their injuries and may still have to be killed. Mr Ryle, 47, said: “I am absolutely gutted at what happened. It’s like a war zone down there with wool and blood all over the field. There’s £500 of sheep there and they’re not insured, but it’s their sheer suffering that’s horrendous. Sheep are stupid animals and because they have no means or way to defend themselves they run until they drop and that’s when the dogs attack them.”

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, December 8, 1988

Plans for a new Alnwick tourism initiative were boosted at a special meeting last week. The meeting in the town’s White Swan Hotel was called to sound out support for a possible Alnwick Weekend over the 1989 May Bank Holiday. The idea for the weekend was put forward by the Alnwick Music Festival Committee and would involve a wide range of events at attracting tourists to Alnwick.District tourism officer Marion Gates said that if the mood of the meeting was anything to go by, the weekend would definitely go ahead next year. “Twenty-four people turned up and we had apologies from eight others, so the response was very encouraging,” she said. Among those attending were representatives from various tourist organisations, the town council, Alnwick Castle and Alnwick Fair and Music Festival committees.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, December 13, 1963

Up and up soars Northumberland’s education bill.From more than £10million for the current year, the estimates for 1964-5 show total net requirements amounting to £11,796,390 – an increase of £1,767,570. Says county treasurer, Mr KW Arnold: “The 1963-64 estimates were reduced at the request of the finance committee by sums totalling and, allowing for this, the net increase over the estimates for the current year is approximately £1,317,000.” The largest item in the new estimates is for secondary schools for which £4,706,720 is being budgeted. Next in line comes primary schools which take £3,711,800, while £1,456,970 is being spent on further education. The school meal service absorbs £860,460 and the training of teachers takes £713,380.