Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, August 21, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, August 19, 2004

Holidaymakers at Wooler had to evacuate their caravans in the middle of the night after a river burst its banks in torrential downpours. The Wooler Water at Riverside Caravan Park rapidly rose six to ten feet in the early hours of Friday morning, following last week’s continuous heavy rain. Three static vans 45 feet from the river were engulfed by rushing waters a foot-and-a-half deep, right up to the raised doorstep level. A trio of occupants in the two occupied homes fled with one six-year-old boy having to be carried to dry land by a firefighter. The two vans escaped the raging water, but storage sheds attached to them were hit and the owners were later forced to throw out electrical goods worth £1,500 each. This was the second time the park had been hit by floods, but the first at the height of summer.

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, August 17, 1989

A callous hoax involving a Belford ambulance crew could have resulted in a weekend tragedy. The crew and a doctor were called out to Seahouses in the early hours of Sunday morning to a suspected heart attack, but on arrival, they discovered it was a deliberate hoax. They then set out to return to base and received a genuine 999 message, which ironically involved another journey back to Seahouses. North Northumberland Ambulance Service press officer Ronnie Black said in this instance the genuine call did not involve someone who was dying, and the crew were able to respond. But, he stressed had the genuine call come through some 15 minutes earlier then an ambulance from Alnwick may have had to have been called out to cover for the Belford crew, who were at the hoax.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, August 21, 1964

A village storekeeper has decided to try to do something about the rising number of drowning fatalities which occur at the seaside village of Cresswell – which is unsafe for bathing because of dangerous currents. Parish councillor and ex-lifeboatman, Mr James Brown, is to put forward a plan for saving lives at the next meeting of Cresswell Parish Council. He has been spurred into action by the fact that five people – four of them children – have been drowned at Cresswell within six weeks. Mr Brown, married and with five children, intends to campaign for an end to the removal by the NCB and commercial firms of hundreds of tons of sand from the beach at Druridge Bay, because he thinks the excavations encourage dangerous currents.