Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, April 9, 2015)

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

Thursday, April 7, 2005

A piece of land that was at the centre of a long and controversial battle has been earmarked for a new shopping development. Proposals to build a Homebase DIY store and two smaller shops at land near Alnwick’s Willowburn Leisure Centre have been submitted to Alnwick District Council by Northumberland Estates and developer Pettifer Estates. If the scheme is approved, it could bring a resolution to a site that has a long and infamous planning history stretching back more than a decade. In 1993, the district council granted planning permission to Northumberland Estates for a supermarket to be built on the site. Initially, the proposal was popular because it was was hoped that it would create competition for what was then a Safeway store in the town centre. A protest kicked off two years later when it was revealed Safeway had bought the land.

Friday, April 6, 1990

Strychnine poison is believed to be responsible for the deaths of six cats in the Newborough Street area of Amble and locals are worried that a child could be the next victim. All the cats died within the space of four days last week and tests are being carried out to try to establish which poison caused their deaths. Chief Inspector Frank Baron, of Alnwick Police, said that they received reports of three cats being killed and door-to-door inquiries had been carried out in the Newborough Street area. He said that the Amble officers would be continuing with investigations into the incidents, but he added that the police were acting on the assumption that the cats were poisoned with strychnine. “We are asking the public for information in order to identify how the animals have come to eat strychnine or what appears to be strychnine,” he said.

Friday, April 9, 1965

Warkworth Newtown caravan site was the subject of a third planning inquiry at Alnwick on Wednesday, when 29 caravan owners, practically all from Tyneside, objected to Northumberland County Council’s proposal to seek confirmation of a closing order which would clear the site by October of this year. The county council claimed that many of the 250 caravans on the site were conspicuous and unsightly and distracted from the beauty of the area. An alternative, adjacent caravan site had been approved and would accommodate about 200 vans. The objectors, mainly from Helsay Lane and other sites known as The Tens, said they owned the land on which their caravans stood and had no wish to move. Mr R Adcock, for the county council, said that some of the vans had been on the 14-acre Newtown site since 1930.