50 years ago this week: Friday, May 12, 1961

FIVE men from as far apart as Tyneside and Derby are this summer continuing a seasonal job started over a century ago by the Farne Islands Local Committee of the National Trust.

For the next four months they will stay on the islands keeping a careful eye on the nests of the thousands of rare birds which regularly visit the Farnes from distant parts of the world during the breeding season.

All the watchers are volunteers. They are Messrs P Springett and Frederick Bodger, both from the Newcastle area, Charles Ian Carr, from Kirk Merrington, County Durham, Thomas George Minnis, from Spennymoor, County Durham, and Sidney Moffatt, from Derby.

Contrary to popular belief they will not be lonely for between 6,000 and 7,000 tourists visit the islands to see the birds every summer.

Three of the watchers will sleep in an old Elizabethan watch tower on Inner Farne and the others will stay in the cottage once occupied by Grace Darling.

Food, fresh water, mail and magazines will be taken out to them once a week from Seahouses.