Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, August 14, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, August 12, 2004

Teenage ambassadors are again welcoming visitors to Alnwick this summer. Jane Taylor, Rachael Fairbairn and Ian Perks will don blue and yellow uniforms to meet and greet tourists on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until September 5. The trio, all pupils at the Duchess’s High School, will be on duty between 11am and 3pm offering help with directions and giving out information on transport, local services and attractions. They will also hand out maps, guides and information sheets from beside the Hotspur Tower, on the cobbles and outside Woolworths. The scheme, which was introduced last year and proved successful, is now being extended with heritage ambassadors also hitting the streets. Local historian Adrian Ions and town cryer John Stevens will dress up in period costuume and talk to tourists about the history of the town.

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, August 10, 1989

RAF Boulmer’s magnificent man in his flying machine is set to reach for the sky at a vintage aeroplane rally. The station’s Commanding Officer, Group Captain Simon Bostock, will be at the controls of his own Hornet Moth aircraft when it takes part in the largest-ever post-war De Havilland Moth rally on Saturday, August 19. The event, sponsored by Famous Grouse Scotch Whisky, involves more than 60 Gipsy, Hornet and Tiger Moth planes in an aerial extravaganza. They will compete for the prestigious rally trophy, the grand prix for bi-plane moth pilots, over a course which takes in the Bedfordshire, Nottinghamshire and Cambridgeshire countryside, ending up at Woburn Abbey. Group Capt Bostock will not only compete this time – he won the only previous rally in 1979 – but he will also be the event’s flight director.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, August 14, 1964

Six hundred feet up in the Cheviot Hills at Elsdon, an observatory is being built near the village school, which promises to have as good ancillary equipment as any amateur observatory in the countryside. The observatory will house a powerful 10-inch F6 reductor telescope which will carry 4.5/8-inch Maksutov camera and 6-inch RFT (rich field wide-angle telescope), which will be used to study star fields. Mr JN McKie, the Elsdon schoolmaster who is supplying the equipment, said this week that although the telescope could be used for star-gazing and by the children, the observatory was there for serious work in which photography will play a large part. The observatory building is being erected by friends of the school and interested people and the project has, in fact, aroused wide interest far beyond Elsdon.