Wooler, U3A

A view of Wooler
 Picture by Jane Coltman
A view of Wooler Picture by Jane Coltman

Notable Northumbrians was the subject of a talk to Wooler U3A given by Andy Griffin, who is an Alnwick Civic Award winner, historian, author, WEA and university lecturer and inspirational volunteer with Action on Hearing Loss.

It was appropriate that, in Wooler, Andy should begin by mentioning Josephine Butler and her campaign against the Contagious Diseases Act but he concentrated on the Embleton-born newsman WT Stead, known as WT.

After moving to Howdon, as a teenager, WT became a merchant’s clerk. Aged just 22, WT was invited to become the Editor of the Northern Echo where he introduced banner headlines, livelier writing, investigations into issues of the day and more space for sport and the arts.

A fervent pacifist, WT founded the Review of Reviews and, in 1912, he was invited by US President William Taft to attend a Peace Congress and travelled on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. It was generally believed that, had he lived, WT Stead would have received the Nobel Peace Prize.