Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, March 6, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, March 4, 2004

A Seahouses firefighter helped put out a blaze at his parents’ house in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Fisherman Matthew Stephenson had no idea it was his mother, Judith, and father, Jim’s, house on fire in King Street when he received the call just before midnight on Tuesday night. But as he walked the short distance from his home in Main Street, the full extent of the situation quickly hit home. “The initial call was for a house in Mayfield right behind my mother’s house, but as I got halfway down the street, I could see the house on fire in King Street and then I knew,” said Mr Stephenson, a retained firefighter and father-of-two. “It was a shock, but we haven’t really got a lot of time to worry about it and I didn’t have a chance to speak to my parents until it was put out.”

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, March 2, 1989

Part of the notorious A1 is to become dual carriageway – but killer stretches further south look set to remain untouched. Improvements to the A1 trunk road are planned for Brownieside, north of Alnwick, by the Department of Transport, involving construction of a dual stretch of road. The work, which will cost £2.2million, is due to start in spring 1991 with a view to completion the following spring. But any hopes of imminent work further down the road were dismissed by a Department of Transport spokesman. Department press officer John Gilbert told the Gazette: “There are no plans for other work on the A1 at the moment, the Brownieside improvements were decided upon after a series of long-term traffic surveys.”

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, March 7, 1964

Acklington RAF Station, opened in 1938 as a gunnery school, is to be rebuilt as a permanent RAF base. A massive redevelopment programme is planned in which all the temporary buildings dotted about the camp will be abolished and replaced by modern buildings. An Air Ministry Information spokesman told the Northumberland Gazette this week that the rebuilding programme will cost about £2million and will take from five to six years to complete. The spokesman added: “Because Flying Training Command has a long-term requirement for the station as No 6 Flying Training School, they have decided to go ahead with a rebuilding programme during the course of the next few years.” First news of the project was given by Air Vice-Marshal PT Philpott at a passing-out parade at the station on Friday morning.