Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, March 20, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, March 18, 2003

The new £3million Lesbury bridge will be officially opened on Tuesday. The bridge opened to traffic last week, but Northumberland County Council chairman Coun John Morris and pupils from Hipsburn First School will officially cut the ribbon at 2.30pm. The scheme has been short-listed for the Robert Stephenson Awards 2004, which recognise civil-engineering excellence. The original 15th-century stone bridge, which will be retained as a footpath, was unable to be strengthened due to its ancient-monument status. Coun Mick Scullion, county council executive member for highways and operations, said: “This fantastic new bridge not only eases traffic problems in Lesbury, but it has safeguarded the future of the original ancient structure.”

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, March 16, 1989

Opportunity knocks for the Alnwick area now that the European Commission cash aid has been made available. But although the Europeans have designated Alnwick and Amble as an area ‘in industrial decline’, only when the British Government takes similar action will Euro-aid be forthcoming, so attention now switches to Westminster. The European Commission announced last week that the Alnwick and Amble ‘travel to work’ area will now be eligible for regional development funding, cash it could last claim in 1984. When Alnwick lost its assisted-area status, Euro-aid was reduced and eventually stopped. But now, after an intensive campaign, a Commission change of heart means the area can again apply for cash help to promote economic growth and tackle unemployment.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, March 20, 1964

Rothbury Rural Council is to press Northumberland Education Committee to build a primary school which has been promised for ten years. Coun Mrs F Proudlock, speaking at Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the council, said that a new school for Longframlington had been on the list of proposed schools for ten years or more. “I think it is disgraceful that Longframlington has been pushed to one side year after year,” she told members. “It is the second biggest village in the rural area and I think Longframlington should have a school.” She added that 51 children travelled by bus from Longframlington to school at Swarland and that in two years’ time, there would be many more.