Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, July 17, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, July 15, 2004

The family of a six-year-old boy who was struck by the food bug E.coli are still no nearer to finding out how he became infected. Drew Gray suffered massive kidney failure after he was hit by the food poisoning and spent 20 nights in hospital. This week, test results showed no trace of the bug on food the family had consumed. “If we don’t find out soon, we never will, but it’s just so frightening not knowing,” said Drew’s mum, Kirsty Straker. “But as long as Drew is here, then we’re lucky.” Drew, a pupil at Alnwick South First School, took ill on June 14. Kirsty took him to the doctors where he was diagnosed as having mild food poisoning and sent home with antibiotics. His condition deteriorated, however, and he went to Alnwick Infirmary, from where he was rushed to the RVI in Newcastle.

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, July 13, 1989

A new map of Northumbria in the Ordnance Survey’s popular touring map and guide series will help make ‘this secret place we all love’ well-known both nationally and internationally. That was the forecast of Mrs Jennifer Robson, president of the Northumbria Tourist Board when she spoke at the launch of the new map in Alnwick Castle on Monday. She said the board had crusaded for years to ensure that when tourists came into the area they knew where to go. Their relationship with the Department of Transport to obtain signposts to guide tourists to their destinations had not always been happy, but the Ordnance Survey department had certainly done the right thing by them. “This is an addition we need and it is long overdue,” said Mrs Robson.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, July 17, 1964

A small backlog of mail, mostly birthday cards and trade circulars, was the aftermath of yesterday’s one-day official strike by the Alnwick postal district’s mailmen. The shutdown was 100 per cent efficient. All 74 postmen obeyed the injunction of the executive of the Union of Post Office Workers. More than 12,000 postmen throughout Britain were involved and a fortnight’s overtime ban will follow. There may be worse to come for unless there is some sign of a settlement by next Wednesday, telephonists and other post-office grades may be called out. Mail through the Alnwick Head Office, which normally handles 100,000 letters a week, started piling up at the beginning of the week. By Wednesday, 1,000 pieces, mostly birthday cards and circulars, were awaiting delivery.