Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, October 9, 2014)

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

10 YEARS AGO – Thursday, October 7, 2004

Battling against gale-force winds and a violently pitching boat in a storm-lashed sea, an RAF Boulmer rescue team risked their lives to pick up a seriously ill sailor. So heroic were the RAF crew’s actions in facing 65-knot winds and a nine-metre swell that they have received a national bravery award. They were presented yesterday with the Edward and Maisie Lewis Award by the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society for an outstanding air/sea rescue. The Society praised the RAF crew in a citation which read: “The crew of Rescue 131 were tested to the limits of their physical courage and showed outstanding concenctation and consummate professionalism.” The drama started at 10.30am on December 27 last year when the four-man crew was scrambled in atrocious weather on a rescue call.

25 YEARS AGO – Thursday, October 5, 1989

Full-time firefighting in Alnwick could soon be a thing of the past if proposed sweeping changes of the town’s fire service are implemented. Under a scheme revealed last week by Northumberland chief fire officer, Mr Jeffrey Ord, Alnwick would lose its station as a 24-hour manned station and instead operate a daily manning service. Twelve jobs would be lost in the shake-up, a move which would cut costs by £120,000 per annum and reduce the station staff to 14. Between 6pm and 8am, firefighting cover would be maintained by crew members on standby at home, the equivalent of a retained system. That means it could take up to five minutes longer to respond to a fire than at present. The lengthy review of fire-cover standards in the county is the result of nearly two years of work, carried out on Home Office orders.

50 YEARS AGO – Friday, October 9, 1964

Amble Urban Council Town Development Committee is to recommend that the Chief Constable of Northumberland be invited to discuss the town’s parking problems with members. This decision was made following the discussion of a further letter from the area traffic superintendent of the United Automobile Services Ltd, endorsing a copy of a letter he had received from the Chief Constable. In his letter, the Chief Constable stated: “I have discussed with my local officers the congestion problem created in Queen Street, Amble, caused by vehicles being parked on both sides of the street. As I am sure you are aware, this congestion is of long standing and efforts to remedy it have been made on a number of occasions. It seems there can be no solution to this problem.”