Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, Oct 31, 2013)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, October 30, 2003

Claims that an Alnwick business has shelved plans to use a former pub as a swingers club have met with scepticism. Archer and Rostron Ltd, registered to Bondgate Without, caused outrage in Stanley, Co Durham, with its plans to open a swingers club advertised as The Love Shack in the town. Reports elsewhere this week have suggested Robin Rostron, former owner of Christine’s House of Flowers on Bondgate Within, and partner Viv Archer, of Rock, have promised not to use the former Kings Head Hotel as a base for wife-swapping, but merely as a hotel. However, Derwentside District Council yesterday told the Gazette that it remains to be convinced. Planning officer Simon Le Jeune said: “That is what he (Mr Rostron) is saying at the moment.”

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, October 27, 1988

District councillors in Alnwick are to make urgent top-level protests about suspected cutbacks at Alnmouth Station. The bombshell was announced at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Health Committee by former council chairman Hugh Philipson. He stated that there were plans for the station, in the near future, to withdraw staffing after 2.30pm. This was less than 18 months since the opening of a new building at the station, which had been partly financed by the rate-payers. He added that just last week there was no one available to help a disabled person when they arrived at the station. “The whole thing is mad,” he said. Coun Bob Huggins backed him up, saying that one of the porters at the station had recently retired and he believed there were no plans to replace him.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, November 1, 1963

Viscount Lambton, MP for Berwick, has taken up the fight to try to save the 12-mile stretch of goods line from Scots Gap to Rothbury which is due to close in 10 days’ time – November 11. News of this last-ditch effort was given at Tuesday’s monthly meeting of Rothbury Rural Council. Coun JB Taylor, who has campaigned strongly for the line to be kept open, said he had asked Lord Lambton to take up the matter and he had agreed. Coun Taylor’s action was unanimously endorsed by the council. Members had before them a report of a conference last month between representatives of the council and the Goods Department of British Railways, Newcastle, which said that the council’s delegates had drawn attention to the extent of freight transported to and from Rothbury.