Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, September 11, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, September 9, 2004

Amble Development Trust has vowed to continue to fight to create a second Fourways building in the face of opposition. An Alnwick District Council refusal to grant full planning permission for the Dilston Terrace scheme, dubbed the new Pompidou Centre, is being viewed as just a setback. David Milburn, executive director of the Trust, has pledged to push forward with a planning appeal and is refusing to admit defeat. “We will battle on,” he said. “What this means is that they are simply delaying the process as we will appeal to the planning inspectorate. But it is just a delay as we are absolutely determined to succeed on this application. We have been advised that if we are successful then not only could costs be awarded but a surcharge, which would be levied on local council taxpayers, is probable.”

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, September 7, 1989

Britain’s most wanted man, alleged murderer Brian Newcombe, wined and dined in Alnwick last week. Newcombe, 51, who has been charged with two murders, stayed at a well-known Alnwick hotel with two other men, claiming to be oil-rig workers and they left without paying their bills. We are respecting the wishes of the hotel owner to remain anonymous, but he revealed that since the incident, detectives have questioned him and taken fingerprints at his premises. “Newcombe checked in at about 6.30pm and 6.45pm last Monday night,” said the hotelier. “Because I was on my own and busy, I showed him and the other two to their rooms. I told them to sign in later when there was more time, but this never got done.” The three men then went into the hotel bar and restaurant from 7pm to 9.30pm.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, September 11, 1964

A story of drama on the high seas, following an explosion aboard the 31,000-ton oil tanker Esso Norway in the Arabian Sea a fortnight ago, was unfolded in London last Thursday by newly-arrived northern survivors who were flown back via Egypt. Among them was William Sisterson, son of a Wooperton, near Wooler, shepherd, who told a Northumberland Gazette representative that as soon as the order came to abandon ship, he got into a motor lifeboat. They were in the water for some time helping another lifeboat without an engine and were then picked up by the Norwegian ship Bershund. Mr Sisterson told how up to the time of the explosion he had been taking part in efforts to put a canvas sheet under the holed part of the ship to stop flooding.