Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, October 16, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, October 14, 2004

A former Seahouses RNLI volunteer was crowned a hero after rescuing a crew of ex-pats from their sinking ship just off the Greek coast, more than 1,300 nautical miles from home. Mick Hoyle, who served with the Seahouses lifeboat for two years, was on a sailing holiday in the Ionian Sea aboard 36-foot yacht Santa Maura with five other RNLI volunteers and a firefighter from Redcar when his expertise was called upon. The 35-year-old and friends were taking part in the Ionian Regatta alongside 200 other yachts when they received a Mayday call off the island of Levkas. The crew immediately went to help the £35,000 boat and the two British couples, who now live in Greece,on board. Their boat got into trouble when she got caught in gale-force winds and begain rapidly filling with water.

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, October 12, 1989

One of Northumberland’s leading conservationists fears that opencast mining poses the greatest potential threat to the county’s countryside and wildlife. The Northumberland Wildlife Trust had a major input in Losing Ground, a report just published by the Royal Society for Nature Conservation. This report paints a bleak picture of continuing habitat destruction through Britain and condemns the failure of Government policy and legislation to halt the unremitting trend. Hugh Watson, the Trust’s conservation officer, says the county is no exception to the widespread pattern of habitat loss on a large scale and he highlights opencast mining as the most significant single threat. “In terms of mining, I think few people in Northumberland realise just how extensive coal seams are in the county,” he said

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, October 16, 1964

If a party of young boys on an outing to Amble had stuck to their fishing, a double drowning tragedy would not have occurred, said the North Northumberland Coroner, Mr CIM Percy, at an Amble inquest on Monday. Instead, they began a game under the south pier in which, said Mr Percy, they ‘trifled with death’. The result was that one of the boys was swept off the pier and drowned and a young man, the leader of the party, lost his life trying to save him. Mr Percy returned a verdict of accidental drowning on Peter William Noble, 14, of Edenbridge Crescent, Longbenton, and Robert Stewart Holmes, 27, of Weldon Crescent, Longbenton. “Mr Holmes was the first man into the water and his only epitaph must be that he died a very unselfish and courageous man,” said the Coroner.