Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, Oct 24, 2013)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, October 23, 2003

A family car dealership with an 84-year history in Alnwick plans to move to a new £1million out-of-town showroom. Blackshaws Garage plans to close its present site close to the town centre on Bondgate Without and relocate to a purpose-built showroom and workshop visible from the A1 on the Lionheart Enterprise Park. First established on Tower Lane, Alnwick, in 1919, by JC and EW Blackshaw, the garage moved to the current site in 1925 making it one of the oldest family-run businesses in the town. Garage owner David Blackshaw, whose grandfather and great-uncle founded the company, said: “It’s quite exciting, but I’m anxious as well as there are still a lot of hurdles to jump. It’s not an easy process and it can be a little frustrating that it takes all the time.”

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, October 20, 1988

A killer horse bug is threatening to sweep across the area. But local stables and hunts are determined to keep the highly-infectious disease, called strangles, at bay and many equestrian events planned for the near future have already been cancelled. Rothbury vet Paul Freeman said that strangles is a very contagious disease which affects young horses. Although it is not a danger to humans, it can be transmitted by them. “There is no vaccine for strangles,” said Mr Freeman, who added that the best way to fight the disease is to ‘avoid contact with other horses’. Mr Freeman explained that when a horse has the disease, which can be fatal in bad cases, it tends to have a very runny nose and then develops abcesses under the chin, which would eventually burst.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, October 25, 1953

Conversion work on a 100-year-old Alnwick shop at the junction of Bondgate Within and Market Street was suspended on Monday after warnings that part of the three-storied building carrying an ornate oxidised copper dome had begun to sag and cracks had appeared in the walls. The weak section was seen to move on Saturday night and a stretch of the Great North Road running alongside as well as part of Market Street was immediately roped off while police operated single-line traffic. Weekend emergency meetings were held between builders, architects and Alnwick Urban Council officials and in a statement issued afterwards, Mr Gladstone Beaty, the council surveyor, said that steps had been taken to securely link the threatened breakaway piece into the new structure,