Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, Jan 16, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, January 15, 1989

A radical shake-up has been proposed for the road network in Alnwick. Yesterday morning, consultants ARUP unveiled the findings of their long-awaited traffic management survey at a meeting hosted by Northumberland County Council in the district council chamber on Clayport Street. Absent from the survey are any substantial alterations to traffic management in the town centre. District councillor and Alnwick’s deputy Mayor, Gordon Castle, said at first glance the proposals seem to be a mixed bag. “These proposals are so radical that I think we are going to have to look at them very closely,” he said. “There are some very good things in it and other areas where I can foresee there will be some considerable difficulties.”

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, January 12, 1989

The Royal Family should boycott the funeral of Japanese Emperor Hirohito. So say local members of the Far Eastern Prisoners of War Association (FEPOW), which represents men who survived the atrocities committed by the Japanese in the Second World War. Northumberland FEPOW chairman Bill Brown, commenting on the decision to send Prince Philip as the Queen’s representative at the funeral, said: “The Royal Family can do what they like, but we are not awfully happy about it.” Mr Brown, whose branch has around 50 members in the count, added: “We shall treat the event with dignity and not lower ourselves to mention the emperor.” He also said the FEPOW members in Northumberland were a ‘very happy band’, who would not be shedding any tears over the emperor’s death.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, January 17, 1964

A bone of contention between parents of more than 50 north Northumbrian schoolchildren and the county education authorities will be discussed tonight by representatives of three coastal parish councils and one rural council at an informal meeting at Seahouses. The meeting, planned to take place in the home of former teacher, Mrs Isobel Tully, chairman of North Sunderland Parish Council, will examine the question of the need for a special bus for children from the villages of Bamburgh, Seahouses and Beadnell, who make a daily round trip on public service vehicles of from 34 to 44 miles to attend schools at Alnwick. This means they are away from home for about ten hours every school day. “Our object will be to try to persuade the county director of education to provide a special bus,” said Mrs Tully.