Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, February 19, 2015)

The cast of Distant Shores, filmed in Northumberland 10 years ago.
The cast of Distant Shores, filmed in Northumberland 10 years ago.

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

10 YEARS AGO: Thursday, February 17, 2005

A second series of the hit TV drama Distant Shores looks set to be confirmed in the next week, ITV has revealed. Set on the imaginary island of Hildasay, off the Northumberland coast, much of the filming for the first series took place in the Craster, Dunstanburgh and Seahouses area. The programme featured Peter Davison as Dr Bill Shore and Samantha Bond as his wife, Lisa. Meetings are currently taking place between the show’s production team, executive producers and ITV’s controller of drama over whether to follow up the highly successful first run, which came to an end last week. And an ITV spokeswoman this week told the Gazette it is ‘looking likely’ that a second series will be made. The first run averaged 5.2million viewers per episode, with the spokeswoman adding: “It has gone really well.”

25 YEARS AGO: Friday, February 16, 1990

Alnwick District Council set its part of the community charge at £100.03 after a lengthy cost-cutting exercise at a special meeting on Tuesday evening. This means that when both the county council and police authority agree on their levels, the final poll-tax figure is almost to be around the £350 mark. Northumberland County Council met on Wednesday when it was anticipated that they would recommend a community-charge figure of around £721 and the police authority are to meet today (Friday) to decide their level, believed to be about £58. These three figures together would give a total poll tax of just over £900, which would be reduced when a level of revenue support grant and re-allocation for the new business rate are deducted, leaving a figure of around £400.

50 YEARS AGO: Friday, February 19, 1965

A marauding fox has wrecked years of research work by killing 13 ducks – including three unique birds – at the World Bird Research Station at Glanton this week. The three rare ducks, called Mosaics, were believed to be the only ones of their kind in the world. Mr Noble Rollin, director of the station, told the Northumberland Gazette yesterday: “It is a terrible business. The Mosaics were priceless because they are virtually irreplaceable.” He said it was the first time that a fox had raided the station since it was opened in 1930. “We thought we were quite safe because there is a ten-foot-high wall running round the station and we are situated in the middle of the village,” he added. “The fox came in the early morning, because the bodies were still warm when I got up. It carried four of them away and left the rest behind.”