Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, May 15, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, May 13, 2004

The vast majority of first-school headteachers in Northumberland have this week backed plans to overhaul the county’s educational system. The Northumberland First School Headteachers’ Support Group gave its overwhelming support to proposals to abolish the three-tier system in favour of a primary and secondary schools set-up. The heads said the options in Northumberland County Council’s Putting the Learner First document would release extra resources, allow first schools to teach all of Key Stage 2 and lessen the disruption for children because they would only have to change schools once. Peter Ayres, headeteacher at Wooler First School for more than 25 years, said: “We’ve got to look at both sides of the argument to enable the county council to make a reasoned judgement.”

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, May 11, 1989

Two cuddly kittens have been snatched from the jaws of death by an unlikely foster father – a three-year-old Doberman. Pepi, of Jubilee Crescent, Rothbury, came to the rescue after the fortunate felines used up most of their nine lives when their mother abandoned them in a coal bunker. Just one day old and stiff with cold, the kittens were rescued by Mrs Joy Nardo, Pepi’s owner, who took them inside to try to revive them. Recalling the drama, Mrs Nardo said: “I heard a crying noise and when I looked in our coal bunker, there they were, lying next to each other. I rushed them inside, thawed them out and took them down to the vet, but I didn’t think they would pull through. “They were pathetic little things but Pepi took to them straight away. He licked and looked after them as though they were his own.”

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, May 15, 1964

A meat factory which could process something like a quarter of the fatstock at present sold through auction marts in Northumberland and which is likely to make Alnwick one of the most important meat-marketing centres in the country is expected to be in operation next year. In an interview this week, Mr Gladstone Beaty, surveyor to the Alnwick Urban District Council, told me that Union International had made considerable progress with their plans to build a factory and slaughterhouse on a six-acre site on Alnwick’s industrial estate and hope to be in full production in 1965. The factory, which will be operated by one of Union International’s subsidiary companies – possibly the British Beef Company – will have a maximum throughput of 150 cattle or their equivalent in sheep and pigs, a day.