Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, March 19, 2015)

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

Thursday, March 17, 2004

Fire has destroyed a church at Glanton, leaving the parish facing up to its permanent loss. A blaze tore through St Peter’s Church late on Friday night, reducing the building to a shell and its contents to a charred cinder. The fire is believed to have started accidentally, with unconfirmed reports blaming an electrical fault, and was tackled by four fire crews for more than two hours. The extensive damage to St Peter’s means it is unlikely to be rebuilt. Rev Mike Catling, who leads the Whittingham parish, which incorporates Glanton and also Edlingham and Bolton churches, told the Gazette: “It is a landmark in the village. It has been there 115 years and it will be missed. The loss of any sacred space in a community is mourned even if people do not attend themselves.” The fire was spotted by a man walking his dog at 10pm.

Friday, March 16, 1990

Residents and workers had to be evacuated when a factory on Hadston Industrial Estate burst into flames, causing more than £150,000-worth of damage. It is believed the fire at Eurobatex Ltd, which manufactures wetsuits, started just before the factory opened on Monday morning. Toxic smoke from nearly three tons of blazing rubber filled the air. Various solvents and about nine drums of adhesive were also in the building and a number of small explosions were heard. Firemen from Alnwick, Morpeth, Amble and Ashington were called to the scene and the flames were under control within an hour. Divisional officer for Northumbria Fire and Rescue Service, Mr Ron Buckingham, told the Gazette some factory workers had spotted flames on the first floor, before evacuating the premises.

Friday, March 19, 1965

More than 70 Alnwick business people declared their unswerving opposition on Tuesday night to any attempt to alter the centre of their historic town, which is in danger of being lost to them under the hammers of demolition squads. Plans by a London finance company to knock down the heart of the town, including both the Northumberland Hall and Town Hall – the ancient headquarters of the Alnwick Freemen – and put up new and up-to-date buildings, have brought fierce protest from many of the townspeople. Many feel the proposals would destroy the town’s character and mean the end of many of its long-established businesses because of the high rents likely to be charged. Supporting them in their struggle is well-known Northumbrian, Sir John Craster, who attended Tuesday’s meeting.