Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, September 4, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, September 2, 2004

Threats to remove rural telephone kiosks have been condemned by MP Alan Beith and MEP for the North East Fiona Hall. BT has announced it intends to scrap 88 telephone boxes in the Berwick, Alnwick and Castle Morpeth districts, leaving many areas without phone services. Mr Beith said: “Many of these boxes are in areas with no, or very poor, mobile-phone reception and so are a vital service in emergencies for local people as well as walkers and travellers.” Mrs Hall, the Whittingham Liberal Democrat recently elected to the European Parliament, joined Mr Beith in questioning the removal of phone boxes. She said: “During the spring election campaign, I drove thousands of miles around the North East and I was very aware of the lack of mobile-phone coverage in the more remote areas.”

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, August 31, 1989

Alnwick Town embark on the road to Wembley on Saturday...and the entire nation will be following their fortunes. BBC Grandstand cameras will be at St James’ Park to cover the FA Cup Preliminary Round clash with Peterlee Newtown, offering football fans nationwide the chance to see Alnwick in action as part of the popular Road to Wembley feature. Last year, the BBC picked a cup tie and followed the winners through until the final at Wembley, an idea they are repeating this season. This time around, the feature has been modified to spotlight the most northerly and southerly teams in the competition – and Alnwick are the furthest north. A camera crew will be in town throughout Saturday, filming areas of local interest and focusing on the players, management and committee of Alnwick Town FC.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, September 4, 1964

More people were killed on Northumbrian roads in July than in last year’s corresponding period, according to the latest road-casualty bulletin issued by county police headquarters. The July 1964 figures show a total of eight killed compared with three in July 1963, with 62 seriously hurt and 194 slightly injured. In all, there were 190 accidents involving death or personal injury during the month, an increase of 18 on last July. The fatalities included a 53-year-old lorry driver whose vehicle failed to take a bend, slid down an embankment and skidded into a tree a mile south of the Cornhill roundabout during the hours of darkness. In its thought for the month, the report warns: “A stationary vehicle is a real danger on our roads and causes many accidents.”