Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, June 5, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, June 3, 2004

Parents campaigning to save the county’s middle schools have vowed to fight on following last week’s setback. Action groups say they will maintain pressure on Northumberland County Council despite its executive voting in favour of adopting a primary and secondary schools set-up. Sue Burston, chairman at Glendale Middle School, said: “We are not finished, this is just the start. The campaign is stronger for last Thursday.” Bev Brown, chairman of the Save Amble Middle School Group, said: “We will keep fighting and try our best to make them change their minds.” Campaigners are expected to attend when the executive’s recommendation goes to the full council next Wednesday, but a mass protest, as seen last Thursday, is not planned.

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, June 1, 1989

Swarland residents reacted angrily last week when three magnificent trees on The Avenue were felled by builders. The 100-year-old trees – a chestnut in full candle, a larch and an elm – were all the subject of a tree preservation order covering that part of The Avenue, one of the most attractive features of the village. They were cut down by Morpeth-based Kenley Developments,which is building homes on an adjacent site. Before felling commenced, the building company had contacted Northumberland County Council to ask permission to go ahead with the work on the grounds that two of the trees were dangerous or diseased and the low-hanging branches of the third would pose a serious threat to a house under construction. Principal landscape architect Geoff Creighton confirmed that his department had given the go-ahead.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, June 5, 1964

Rothbury’s new Church of England Secondary School opened on Monday, so beginning a new and long-awaited phase in the development of education in Coquetdale. Ranging in age from 12 to 15, the 95 pupils assembled in the main hall for a short opening service and to be welcomed by the headmaster, Mr Eric Howarth and the staff. Later, separated into year groups, they were shown round the new school by their teachers. Accommodation is for 200 pupils and numbers are expected to reach full strength in about four years. During the afternoon, pupils assembled to hear a talk by the headmaster and behaviour, examinations, school uniform and plans for the future were discussed. Mr Howarth said later that he was pleased at the response to his suggestion for uniform clothing.