Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, November 27, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, November 25, 2004

Mounting anger over a fox-hunting ban reached high levels at the weekend when pro-hunters hung an effigy of Tony Blair from a historic scaffold. The life-size dummy, dressed in a blue shirt and grey trousers and wearing a rubber mask of the Prime Minister, was hung from Winter’s Gibbet near Elsdon. The effigy, accompanied by the slogan, Fight prejudice, fight the ban, was placed there just days after MPs forced through a ban on hunting with hounds using the Parliament Act after the House of Lords rejected a compromise by a majority of 39. The Hunting Act is set to come into force as early as February 2005. Michael Hedley, of the Border Hunt, has not seen the effigy but feels it is representative of the general attitude towards Mr Blair over the issue.

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, November 23, 1989

A quick-witted Alnwick resident saved a man’s life by utilising his Scout and Territorial Army skills. Sid Porteous, of Howling Lane, leapt into action when Aidan Straughan collapsed with a bronchial attack and stopped breathing after attending the Remembrance Day parade in Alnwick. Mr Porteous, a Sergeant Major with the Sixth Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and a Group Scout Leader, remembered his life-saving training and gave Mr Straughan the kiss of life. After being rushed to Alnwick Infirmary by ambulance, Mr Straughan was kept under observation and released last Tuesday. Mr Porteous said: “I was at home having tea when I remembered I’d left my cigarettes in the sergeants’ mess. As I was walking back, I met Aidan and we stopped for a chat. As we talked, he suddenly collapsed.”

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, November 27, 1964

A population increase of more than 500 for tiny Lesbury is envisaged in a report from Northumberland’s planners which was accepted without comment on Monday by Alnwick Rural Council. Already zoned for housing development, Lesbury is handily situated near main bus and rail routes which makes it easy for potential travellers to reach the North East’s new towns. Apart from that, there is a need for houses in the area. The proposed development sees the building of 178 houses – including 20 council houses, roads, sewers and a new school. Development areas will be on the east, west and south-western ends of the village. It is thought about 11 acres could be reserved on the east side for houses requiring, on the average, a site of about an acre-and-a-half.