Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, Jan 9, 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 8, 2004

Plans for a £3.8million visitor centre at Seahouses have been dealt a major blow with the village’s parish council voting to recommend its refusal. At a meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council on Monday night, attended by a large band of objectors, members voted six to three to urge that Berwick Borough Council should not ultimately approve the plans. In a named vote, only Couns Ian Clayton, Bob Shepherd and Keith Parr gave their backing to North Sunderland and Seahouses Development Trust’s application. Coun David Shiel abstained and the remaining members, including trustee Coun Bill Weeks and former member Coun David Donaldson, voted against plans for the North Northumberland Coast Centre, envisaged to generate £1.3million each year.

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, January 5, 1989

Northumberland radio amateurs have provided a crucial communications link at the scene of Britain’s worst-ever plane crash at Lockerbie.

Members of the Northumberland Radio Amateur Emergency Network, or Raynet, travelled to the disaster scene with their radio equipment to act as a communication relay for emergency services. Chairman and controller of the group is Edward Shield, of Wellwood Street, Amble, an amateur radio enthusiast for 30 years and a founder member of the five-year-old local Raynet team. He travelled with the four-strong Northumberland team on Saturday following a call for volunteers from the Strathclyde zonal controller, returning to the scene on two subsequent occasions to help with operations.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, January 10, 1964

A letter received by members of the Rothbury NFU, in reply to appeals against the Ministry’s revision of areas eligible for hill cow subsidy, caused considerable comment at the branch’s monthly meeting last month. It was pointed out that an assurance had been given by the Minister that the subsidy would be paid for 1963 and 1964 even though the land had been deemed ineligible. This assurance did not, however, appear to be borne out by the letter under discussion, which states that ‘representations will be dealt with as quickly as possible’, but points out that ‘if the decision conveyed in the Ministry’s letter is upheld, the land will be deemed ineligible from the date of the letter’. Mr JG Young, of Netherton Burnfoot, wanted to know if this was an attempt on the part of the Ministry to bring pressure on farmers not to appeal.