ROYAL DIG: HRH Princess Anne visited the site of the £550,000 Historic Dilston archaeological dig, which was aimed at preserving the former ancestral home of Tynedale’s Radcliffe family.

SEA SICK: Bardon Mill couple Geoff and Liz Mills recounted the story of their horror holiday. The pair were aboard the “ship of doom,” cruise liner the Marco Polo, which was hit by an outbreak of Norovirus.

POLICY IGNORED: Planners unanimously agreed to give the green light to a major new development at Hexham’s Egger chipboard factory, despite concerns from local residents.

GOOD GOD: A shrine unearthed at Vindolanda to the Roman god Jupiter was described as one of the most important artefacts discovered at the site – and the heaviest.


BELT BATTLES: Tynedale Council had a choice to make regarding the future development of Hexham –foster growth over the next 25 years or hamper development by extending the greenbelt.

EXPENSIVE EDUCATION: A report found that educating Byrness First School’s nine pupils cost £5,822 per pupil per year – four times more than the average first school in the county.

WISH GRANTED: The tiny village school in Gilsland cut all ties with local government, opting to go it alone as a grant-maintained school.

SPY CAMERAS: The Courant ran a story explaining how speed cameras worked. Retired police inspector Norman Wicks referred to the cameras as “spy cameras”.

RAT RUN: The Otter Burn in Prudhoe was described as an open sewer. The burn, in Western Avenue, was infested with rats. The town council agreed to pay for it to be cleaned.


SMOKING BANDIT: Audacious and strong thieves stole the one-armed bandit, a tape recorder, four bottles of spirits and a huge haul of 34,000 cigarettes from the Bridge End Inn in Ovingham.

HAY FIRE: A large quantity of hay caught fire at Walwick Grange farm, Chollerford. It took fire crews several hours to bring the blaze under control.

GREEN PARKING: A parking ban on Stamfordham’s centuries-old green was causing misery in the village, it was claimed. Furious residents argued that the land was common ground – and a publican said he would drape the “welcome to Stamfordham” sign in black because the “welcome” no longer applied.


HIT TWICE: A soldier appeared in court after he drove his army truck into a telegraph pole and then into someone’s garden. He was ordered to pay 10s fine for the offence and £1 for driving whilst under the influence of alcohol, as well as £2 17s 3d court costs.


TRESPASS TALES: William Telford was fined 10s for trespassing on the railway lines at Hexham. He said he was walking down the line to tell three young men to come back.

DRIVING OFFENCES: A fine of £1 for truancy was imposed on John Little from Allendale, who had attended school 54 times out of a possible 82. He was out doing other work such as cattle driving.

TOWN FETE: Prudhoe Station villagers held their annual fete. The events they put on included foot handicaps, marathon race, and many other interesting events.


TRAP SPRUNG: A deranged prisoner being transported to a lunatic asylum kicked the front of the trap out, alarming the horse so that it shot down the bank from Allendale. The prisoner, a policeman and three guards were thrown on to the road.

CLEAN WORDS: Dr Joseph Parker, of Hexham, wrote in The Idler: “It is no use attacking swearing. Attack the swearer; make him a clean-mouthed man; and to make him clean-mouthed he must first be made clean-hearted.”


BISHOP’S BLESSING: The Lord Bishop of Durham was expected to preach at Warden Church, which had been undergoing renovation.

NEW CHAPEL: The foundation stone of the new Wesleyan chapel in Gilsland was laid by E. M. Bainbridge, Esq. of Newcastle.

SCOTTISH TRIP: 1869’s annual trip for Hexham Working Men’s Institute saw between 400 and 500 people take the train to the Scottish capital. It was reported that the weather was fine, everyone had a good day, and the train ran on time.

CASE CLOSED: A very valuable silver pencil case was lost by the vicar of Stamfordham. The vicar offered a 5s reward to whoever found it. A 10-year-old beggar girl, described as “poor, ragged, half naked and half starved,” was lucky enough to find the case. However, a shopkeeper claimed it was his and demanded she gave it to him. The “arrogant coxcomb” then took the case to the vicarage and received the 5s.