Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, Feb 27, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, February 26, 2004

County-council bosses have lifted the lid on their finances to reveal that £7.5million is spent on perks, training, travel and allowances. The Gazette waited three weeks for the controversial figures to be disclosed after asking Northumberland County Council a series of questions about the spending of taxpayers’ money. But this week, the authority issued the information requested, showing training and travel accounts running into millions. The figures, which cover expenditure on officers, staff and councillors, reveal that: £3.1m is paid out in travel expenses; £2.6m is allocated to seminars, training and conferences; £887,000 is spent on lease cars; £880,000 is set aside for councillors’ allowances; £28,000 is spent on hospitality and entertainment; £460,000 is allocated to a council chauffeur service.

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, February 23, 1989

One dog has already been shot as local farmers and police step up their campaign to stamp out sheep worrying in the district. Alnwick’s Chief Inspector Frank Baron this week gave a stern warning to dog owners to keep their pets under strict control at all times when out near agricultural land – or else. The Chief Inspector said even if a dog was shot by a farmer, the owner could still be heavily fined and ordered to pay restitution – which could run into several thousand pounds. “Last week a farmer shot a dog which he found worrying his sheep in the Rothbury area,” said the Chief Inspector, who added that three sheep had been injured in the incident. And as the lambing season starts to get into full swing, he said local farmers were already expressing grave concerns about sheep worrying.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, February 28, 1964

Monday, the traditional family wash day for countless British housewives, meets with a particularly unenthusiastic reception from some Howick women, because of the village’s water supply. ‘Prehistoric’ was the description applied to the supply at last Thursday night’s meeting of Longhoughton Parish Council. “It’s brown when it comes out of the taps,” alleged Coun G Turnbull. It was stated that in Widow’s Row, where householders have to step outside for their supply, it can take up to half-an-hour to fill a pailful. Said Coun Miss Mary White: “The village is one of the few remaining places left in the county which is still on a private supply and I believe it is not high on the list of water priorities with the Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company.”