Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, September 18, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, September 16, 2004

Alnwick district councillors have expressed concerns about the accountability and accessibility of councillors to their electorate if local government is reorganised. If people vote for a North East regional assembly on November 4, Northumberland’s district and county council structure will be replaced be either one or two unitary authorities. There would be 67 members in a countywide authority – the same number who currently serve on the county council – who would each serve 4,500 people. If the county was split in two – the only other option – the new Rural Northumberland authority, serving Alnwick, Berwick, Castle Morpeth and Tynedale, would have 76 members, one for every 2.200 residents. The other council would serve Blyth Valley and Wansbeck.

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, September 14, 1989

Up to 10 local pubs could be axed as part of a major shake-up by brewers Joshua Tetley. We can exclusively reveal that nine of the pubs concerned are: The Plough, Fleece, George, Queen’s Head (all Alnwick), Star Inn (at Harbottle), Three Wheat Heads (at Thropton), Jolly Fisherman (Craster), Wellwood Arms (Amble) and the Red Lion (Wooler). They are part of 40 pubs sold off by the brewery with, it appears, very little protection for the current tenant landlords. Under the plans, the landlords have just a further 11 days to raise the finance if they wish to buy their pubs, a very short space of time considering the costs involved. The National Licensed Victuallers’ Association has vowed to help protect the interests of the landlords, although it fears hostelries could be lost.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, September 18, 1964

Following the long-awaited announcement by the Prime Minister on Tuesday that the nation will go to the polls on Thursday, October 15, the political parties in the Berwick and Morpeth divisions have wasted no time in starting their campaigns. The three parties contesting the Berwick division have all fixed their adoption meetings. In the Berwick division, Viscount Lambton, who has occupied the seat for the past 13 years, is again the choice of the Conservatives. He will be formally adopted at a meeting in the Town Hall, Alnwick, on Friday, September 25. The same night, Mr Nicholas Madison, the prospective Liberal candidate, will be adopted at a meeting in the Tweed View Hotel, Berwick. The third candidate, Mr Chris Jelley (Labour), will be adopted by the party on Sunday in the White Swan Hotel, Alnwick.