NOSTALGIA: Looking back 10, 25, 50 years ago (published Gazette, Thursday, Jnauary 7)

Take a look at the stories of yesteryear. A new minister takes a round-the-world tour, an airmen is named in the New Year’s Honours and a boating tragedy at Amble.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

A hero airman responsible for saving hundreds of lives has been honoured for years of “outstanding professionalism”.

Master Aircrew Ron Webb, from Embleton, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for a distinguished career within the Search and Rescue Force.

Ron , stationed at A Flight 202 Squadron, has served for more than 27 years as a Search and Rescue Radar/Winch operator, playing a leading rescue role in a number of high-profile disasters, including the Alexander Keilland Oil Rig and the Lockerbie bombing.

Undertaking rescues where his own life was put at risk hehas been described by colleagues as an “inspiration”.

He said he was “completely shocked and stunned” on being told about the award.

Friday, January 11, 1991

It should only take half an hour to travel the thirty or so miles from North Shields to Alnwick, but it took the new minister of St James Church three months and twenty thousand miles to complete the journey.

The Rev David Herbert and his wife Diana decided before moving to the town to take a round the world trip of a lifetime.

Their first port of call was India, where they stayed for a month, then it was two weeks in Thailand, three weeks in Australia, a week in Fiji and two weeks in Canada for a white Christmas.

It’s all a far cry from their new home on Swansfield Park Road.

Mrs Herbert said: “We have always wanted to go to India, as I have been involved with an agency that helps development in the Third World, and David’s father was also in India after the war.”

Friday, January 14, 1986

Two men lost their lives in a boating tragedy at Amble at the weekend.

It happened as darkness fell over the RiverCoquet on Sunday.

James Henry Hewitson (39), of Links View, North Seaton Colliery, and his friend, Ronald Hook, also 39 of Seaton Avenue, Newbiggin, were aboard their motor boat, Endurance, beached at The Braid.

Two Ashington men, believed to be weekend fishermen, pushed the boat off into the darkness, it was being taken to a new mooring further up river.

That was the last time they were seen alive. On Monday the body of Mr. Hewitson was found on the north shore and nearby lay an upturned dinghy.

Mr. Hook is still missing. A search has been going on all week. Police have dredged the harbour area and combed the banks.