Rolling back time as society celebrates 50 years

It was the year when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, Harold Wilson was Prime Minister, and a harsh winter was the worst since 1917.

Friday, 21st June 2019, 10:05 am
Updated Sunday, 14th July 2019, 1:40 am
Jane Glass, Chair of Alnwick and district history society, and member Andy Griffin

But on the local front in 1969, the Alnwick and District Local History Society was formed, and celebrated its anniversary with an exhibition and a journey back to its inaugural year, with member Andy Griffin.

Activities recorded within the exhibition, organised by Peter Carter, were of talks and outings; the Society’s bi-annual magazine, The Bondgate, and books written by members.

in his talk, Andy detailed chronologically the main political and cultural events of 1969, interwoven with society activities.

Its first committee meeting on April 13, was chaired by Miss Appleyard. Subs were set at 15/- and today are £10, exactly the equivalent.

Mr Gard, custodian of county records, was the first speaker at a meeting attended by 45 to 50 people.

Aln and Breamish Local History Society invited the new Society to attend a joint meeting to hear Sir Edward Collingwood speak. In May, Miss Pringle talked about William the Lion, who was captured at Alnwick in 1174. In June and July, there were outings to churches at Edlingham, Whittingham, Eglingham, Bolton and Old Bewick, and to Warkworth Castle.

In the outside world, Rupert Murdoch bought the News of the World on January 2, later purchasing the Sun.

Concord and the Hawker Siddeley Harrier “jump-jet” vertical take-off were introduced, and the QE2 made her maiden voyage.

Enoch Powell was sacked from the Shadow Cabinet after his Rivers of Blood speech, and there were riots in Northern Ireland. On the plus side for reformers, the death penalty was abolished.

In Northumberland extreme cold weather killed many sheep. In summer, Alnwick held a medieval fair, and maypole dancing.

There was a serious rail accident near Morpeth. Six people were killed, and more than 100 injured.

The Beatles were rarely out of the news. They gave their last live performance, and two got married: Paul to Linda Eastman and John to Yoko Ono.

On the book front, the most popular was children’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, while in sport, Matt Busby retired as manager of Manchester United after 24 years, and Tony Jacklin won the British Open Championship.