Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, October 2, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, September 30, 2004

A major £1million improvement of Alnmouth Station has been overshadowed by fears that train services using it could be reduced. A rail users’ group suspects that two GNER trains and a Virgin Trains cross-country service could be cut by the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) in December 2005. It comes as Network Rail unveiled the first phase of development at the station, which includes 24 extra car-parking spaces with rebuilt and resurfaced platforms. Coun John Taylor, vice-chairman for the Rail Passengers Committee, said: “We are working very hard to protect the services on the East Coast mainline. There’s been an increase in the use of Alnmouth Station over the last 10 years of 15 per cent each year. A lot of people work in Newcastle and still live in this part of the world.”

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, September 28, 1989

A Hauxley teenager has become one of eight people in the whole of Northumbria to pass out following a successful ambulance cadetship.

Louise Conway, 18, of Hauxley Farm, High Hauxley, joined the ambulance service as a cadet in October 1987. She beat off 300 other people to claim one of the eight places in Northumbria. The course started with a four-week induction programme in Whitley Bay before the cadets started work at stations nearer their homes. “I started off at Broomhill, but was soon transferred to Alnwick,” said Louise, who added following this came secondments to the other emergency services. “We have worked in most hospital departments or in other services such as the police and fire service, as well as spending time in nurseries and residential rest homes,” she added.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, October 2, 1964

Rothbury Racecourse has been granted a National Hunt fixture on April 10 next year. But it will probably be the last race meeting to be held over the popular north country course, members of Rothbury Rural Council were told at their monthly meeting on Tuesday night. Major ASC Browne, of Rothbury Racecourse Committee, said the National Hunt stewards had granted the fixture, “but have more or less stipulated that this will be the last meeting.” He said the stewards had imposed no conditions and the racecourse committee could apply for further fixtures. “But other chances of getting one, I fear, are remote.” Earlier this year, the National Hunt stewards decided to end racing at the 200-year-old Rothbury course when the Horserace Betting Levy Board announced it was withdrawing its financial support.