Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, January 22, 2015)

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

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Alan Beith MP has welcomed a review of out-of-hours cover in Northumberland after slamming the present service as inferior and inadequate in a debate in Parliament.Mr Beith raised the issue on Tuesday and told members, including a health minister, that his consituents saw the new system as a cut-back in care. Earlier, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust and Northumberland Care Trust announced they are to review GP cover at evenings and weekends and look into 24-hour care in hospitals and patients’ own homes. It follows growing criticism of the system, which was introduced in September, following the death of pensioner Matilda Balmbra, who was turned away from Alnwick Infirmary. Mr Beith said: “I welcome this review and hope it will lead to greater use of our much-loved and respected hospitals.”

Friday, January 20, 1989

An Amble councillor and former town mayor has described a prize-winning poem based on the town by a local schoolboy as ‘sickening’. Coun Eric Alcock launched his attack at the town-council meeting, stating: “It is most sickening since it appeared during the season of peace on earth and goodwill to all men and I do feel it should be replied to.” The poem, by 16-year-old Roy Pittendrigh, who lives at Holywell Crescent, Amble, beat 90 other writers in the annnual schools’ competition and gave his view of the town. According to Roy, a pupil at Coquet High School, the district council has, despite its claims, failed in its attempts to improve Amble for its residents and his scathing views were not well-received by Coun Alcock. “What is he doing about it? People he is calling vandals are the people of his age group.”

Friday, January 22, 1965

Four applications for permission to install fruit machines (commonly referred to as one-armed bandits) caused a split at Tuesday’s monthly meeting of Rothbury Rural Council. After an hour-long discussion, opinion was equally divided – 11 members voting in favour of having the machines, 11 against. After more discussion, it was agreed to debate the question again at the next council meeting.Mrs EM Benfield (Harbottle) was against the introduction of fruit machines and moved that the application be turned down. She pointed out that a previous application had been turned down because it was felt it encouraged young people to gamble. Coun JC Blythe (Whittingham), who supported the applications, said: “Much as I hate the sight of them, we are the only council going to object to them in Northumberland.”