NOSTALGIA: Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, Thursday, February 18)

Delving into the Gazette archives
Delving into the Gazette archives

Take a look at some stories of yesteryear from the Gazette archives. We reported on the aftermath of a devastating fire in Alnwick town centre; two men were praised for trying to save a man in a burning house; and a maternity hospital at Stannington closed down as another was due to open.

10 YEARS AGO: Thursday, February 23, 2006

An Alnwick IT company whose premises were devastated by the fire that ripped through Bolam’s Mill has risen from the ashes. One of the country’s leading e-government businesses, Tagish, has made a swift recovery after being wiped out by the Bolam’s Mill blaze on Saturday, February 11. It occupied the top floor of the stone structure, which, along with the roof, was completely destroyed in the inferno. A major fear was that the company would be unable to find new business premises within the area to accommodate its 16 staff, but managing director Andrew Fisk said they have managed to secure themselves a new home. On Monday, March 6, the 11-year-old company will move into a permanent home at the newly converted business premises at Hawkhill Farm.

25 YEARS AGO: Friday, February 22, 1991

Firefighters have praised two Hadston men who ran into a burning house to try to save the occupant on Tuesday night. Mr Ronnie Bell and Mr Joseph Smith of Woodside Crescent dashed across the road to Number 62, the home of Mr Fox, when they saw smoke coming out of the terraced bungalow, but were too late to save him. Two fire crews from Amble and Ashington rushed to the scene at around 10.30 on Tuesday night when the fire, believed to have been caused by an electrical fault on the television, was reported. Mr Smith, who lives at Number 35, said that Mr Bell, who lives next door at Number 33, was first on the scene. “He came running back and knocked on my door just as I had got into bed,” said Mr Smith. “I quickly got dressed and we ran over.”

50 YEARS AGO: Friday, February 18, 1966

After almost a quarter-of-a-century as a maternity hospital, the Mona Taylor unit at Stannington is likely to become part of the Thomas Taylor Homes next year, which will mean an increase in the number of beds for the county’s old folk. Patients and staff will be absorbed into a maternity unit planned as part of Ashington Hospital’s £1¼million extension programme, which is expected to be finished next year. Until then, the Mona Taylor will continue to give service. Mr J Brennard, secretary to the Wansbeck Hospital Committee, told the Northumberland Gazette that work was proceeding on the present extension phase of the hospital which includes the new maternity wing with provision for 74 beds. The entire programme also includes a nurses’ home and a midwifery centre.