NOSTALGIA: Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, December 3, 2015)

Take a look at the stories of yesteryear. Belford takes a step back in time, The Alnwick Playhouse is due to be reopened and concerns over Alnwick’s future.

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Belford will take a historic step back in time this weekend at its Victorian Market. Tomorrow evening there will be a parade of floats through the village.

At 6.15pm in the market square the Snow Prince or Princess will be chosen to switch on the Christmas lights at 6.30pm.

There will be more than 25 stalls, organised by Belford Development Trust, in the Blue Bell Hotel and outside in the square tomorrow evening and Saturday. Shops will be open until late and local author Steve Newman will be signing copies of his books in Belford Craft Gallery on Friday evening.

Saturday evening features a ceilidh in the Blue Bell from 8pm to 11pm. On Sunday children will be singing carols between 5.30pm and 7pm with Belford Middle School Orchestra and other musical groups.

Thursday, December 6th, 1990

Alnwick Playhouse is nearly ready for its big night. The finishing touches are being applied this week in preparation for next Wednesday’s official opening ceremony, with the Duke of Northumberland. Most fittings are now in place, with only the fire escapes and the new Playhouse sign needing installation. Playhouse manager Steve Cowton said that ‘The fire escapes need finishing off, but I’m confident everything will be finished in time. We are looking forward to a grand opening night’. However, he was quick to scotch rumours that all tickets for ‘A Christmas Carol’, the Northumberland Theatre Company production chosen to christen the re-vamped building, are sold out. “We still have plenty of tickets left for Friday and Saturday, so I’m sure everyone in the town will want to join in this historic occasion.”

Friday, December 3rd, 1965

Alnwick was a historic town but it was also a live concern, members of the B and P Club were told by the chairman of the council, Coun H Reavell, at their 25th birthday dinner at the White Swan Hotel on Saturday.

“We cannot make ourselves a museum to allow one or two people to gaze at it once a year. We must let them see that we are alive and not living in the past,” he said. Coun Reavell was replying to the toast of Out Town, proposed by Mrs E Forster, who said that while a little more industry was needed if the town was to prosper, no one wanted to see it becoming a Peterlee or a Cramlington New Town. Coun Reavell said he welcomed the opportunity to tell a very lively organisation what was going on. He said the Alnwick Town Plan and the Alnwick Centre Redevelopment were two separate entities.