Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, May 21, 2015)

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

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Gordon Laidler couldn’t complain about being short-changed after Newcastle United’s final game of the season against Chelsea at the weekend. That’s because the Alnwick District Council rent collector caught the French star Laurent Robert’s shorts after the enigmatic midfielder had performed an impromptu strip on the St James’ Park pitch following Sunday’s 1-1 draw.

Gordon, 55, of Wagtail Road, Rothbury, who has a season ticket in the front row, was right on hand when Robert began flinging his clothes to fans. Another man grabbed onto the shorts as well, but he was happy to let Gordon keep them. Gordon said: “I was just the nearest one to them basically. Robert took all his gear off and I thought I might as well have his shorts. It is just a memento from him.”

Friday, May 18, 1990

Ellingham villagers worried that the planned improvements to the A1 at Brownieside will leave them cut off are hoping that the layout of the new road will be determined at a public inquiry. With the Department for Transport unwilling to change its plans, which include the closure of the main route to Ellingham, the villagers are now pinning their hopes on an independent inspector to keep the road open. The DoT’s proposals for the £4.7million A1 upgrading scheme, which will involve the construction of three miles of dual carriageway between North Charlton and Ellingham Lodge, include the closure of The Avenue (the U2028), the direct link from Ellingham to the A1. Instead, the department wants villagers to use an alternative route involving the U2031 and U2027 roads via the Tynely crossroads.

Friday, May 21, 1965

A campaign to abolish what he describes as a ‘cruel system’ ended in Mr Bill Johnston, of Warkworth, sending colour photographs of blood-stained sheep to Mr Fred Peart, Minister of Agriculture. After sheep have been certified as eligible for the guaranteed payment, their ears are punched to prevent a double claim. Previously, small punches were used, but the holes tended to close up. As a result, a half-inch punch was introduced by the Ministry with eight spikes that put a dye into the sheep’s ear. Mr Johnston, who is managing director of the Alnwick Farmers’ Livestock Auction Mart Co, has sent the pictures to Mr Peart asking if anything can be done to stop ‘this sickening business’. He has also sent pictures to Viscount Lambton MP and Mr RW Elliott MP, who will raise the matter in the House.