10 years ago

Care cuts: Plans to close four day care centres for the elderly in Tynedale were given a hostile reception at public meetings across the district. A 1,000-name petition against the proposals was raised in Prudhoe.

virus alert: Two cases of swine flu were confirmed in Hexham. A young woman picked up the virus after a trip to Spain and, upon her return, her younger sister caught it too. The girls and their parents were taking a course of Tamiflu tablets to check the symptoms.

Gone walkabout: Hopper the runaway wallaby was spotted 12 miles from its home at Kielder Bird of Prey Centre. The cheeky marsupial, spotted at Greystead, was missing for three weeks after he tunnelled out of his compound.

noise nuisance: Early morning slurping noises were disrupting the sleep of Corbridge residents. Residents complained to Northumberland County Council about the disturbance caused by the council’s gully machine as it sucks out debris and water from the village drains.

25 years ago

future projects: Three of the biggest developments seen in Hexham in the last decade were all approved by Tynedale planners. The scheme for the relocation of Hexham Auction Mart’s operations to Tyne Mills, and the development of a new Co-op store on the Mart’s town centre site were welcomed – but the third scheme, a new Safeway store on land at Bridge End only went ahead by nine votes to seven.

animal advocate: An undercover visit by an RSPCA inspector to a property in Haydon Bridge unearthed a massive collection of over 300 rare and exotic stuffed animals, and led to the owner facing 197 charges at Tynedale Magistrates’ Court. The defendant had constructed an elaborate natural history museum in an outbuilding in his garden, and charged the public 75p a head for entrance.

drug deal: Police who swooped on a suspected drugs dealer in Prudhoe found LSD, amphetamine and cannabis resin, a jury at Newcastle Crown Court was told. The two defendants pleaded not guilty to all seven charges.

50 years ago

Rubbish squad: Corbridge councillor Noel Dixon advocated police traps for litterbugs to combat the ‘filthy’ state of the village in summer.

Turned down: The ministry of Housing and Local Government turned down a loan sanction application by Hexham Urban Council to buy a warehouse to convert into a swimming pool.

TV star: Maggie Fitzgibbon, star of the BBC serial The Newcomers, arrived in a vintage car to open a fete at Minsteracres.

75 years ago

A 58-year-old farmer from Make Me-Rich, Capheaton, was fined £1 at for carrying explosives on a bus. The explosives were intended for blasting rock on his farm.

Costly extinction: A report from the Public Health Committee revealed that destroying sewer rats in the Hexham Rural District had cost approximately five shillings a rodent.

Record Breaker: The Hexham District’s Salute the Soldier Campaign was a record breaking success. A total of £413,875 was raised and earned a telegram of congratulation from the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Peace work: A 22-year-old pacifist from Allendale was jailed for three months with hard labour for failing to take up work as an agricultural labourer.

100 years ago

Union men: At a meeting in the town’s Royal Hotel, members of the Hexham Farmers’ Association agreed to affiliate with the National Farmers’ Union.

Suffer alone: At a house at Low Stonecroft, a family of with diphtheria had been isolated rather than taken to hospital, Hexham Rural Council was told.

Born Lippy: At Ingoe, a piglet was seen struggling to steady itself on its hind legs – while successfully sucking a cow’s udder.

125 years ago

Tram horror: An Ovingham cattle salesman had to have his foot amputated after he was run down by a tram in the middle of Newcastle.

Steeling himself: A steelworker, who got into a drunken brawl at Haydon Bridge on his way to a job at Middlesbrough, was sentenced to a month’s hard labour at Hexham Petty Sessions.

150 years ago

Daredevil: A large concourse of townspeople assembled in Hexham Market Place to witness the tight rope performances of the ‘African Blondin’ acrobat. The performer walked along the rope blindfolded and in chains.

Bad Impression: A Cumberland man was charged for being drunk in Hexham. The man thought he had not made a good appearance to his wife’s mother, and that her daughter had married a man who got drunk.