Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, November 13, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, November 11, 2004

Parking in Alnwick town centre is set to be improved with 53 new spaces. Alnwick District Council has drawn up proposals for a £171,000 reorganisation of the car parks at Greenwell Road, following a review of parking provision. The authority’s operations executive committee voted unanimously at a meeting on Tuesday to approve the scheme. The council will spend £30,000 creating 31 new spaces at the car park behind Alnwick Playhouse by removing the seven coach-parking spaces. This would take the total from 36 to 67 and would retain four spaces for motorhomes between April and September. The council is also looking to spend £132,000 merging the car parks behind Iceland and Woolworths, creating an additional 22 and giving a total of 90. Currently, one is long-stay with 14 spaces and the other is short-stay with 54.

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, November 9, 1989

Two local schools in need of repair are to have their cases pressed by local MPs. Netherton Northside and Whittingham First Schools are two of five Northumberland schools which are in such a bad state that they have had to be permanently propped in order to ensure the safety of the occupants. They join a list of 60 rotting school buildings throughout the county, many of which have had to be repeatedly repaired over the past ten years. Now, the county MPs have agreed to help a county council campaign, asking for millions of pounds-worth of Government cash to be ploughed into repairing the weakening structures. Experts estimate up to £15million is needed to replace the timber frame constructions which have a remaining lifespan of less than 15 years.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, November 13, 1964

The only art gallery between Newcastle and Edinburgh was opened at Alnwick last Thursday by the Duke of Northumberland. Patrons of the arts from all over the county assembled in the Bondgate Gallery to view an exhibition of oils and watercolours by well-known North Country artists. The Duke said the gallery was the produce of a number of enterprising Alnwick people who were interested in art. “We hear a lot about culture and what the Government ought to do and what local councils ought to do, but I am not at all sure that the best social services have not been pioneered by voluntary workers in a particular field,” he said. He went on to say that he did not know of any other small town which had the benefit of interesing and good exhibitions.