New motor: A great grandmother from Bellingham swapped her walking stick for a gear stick, at the age of 98. Thomassina Potts couldn’t believe her eyes when the main prize in the raffle turned out to be a car. The Volkswagen Golf GTI had been painted with designs by youngsters from Bellingham’s drop in centre, Bell City. She couldn’t drive, but planned to give the car to her grandson.

Homes threat: A dozen pensioners’ bungalows at the east end of Hexham were set to be demolished to make way for a new £1m houses-to-let scheme. It was reported that residents at the ageing Holmedale accommodation, on Springfield Road, would be offered alternative accommodation in the town.

Television star: Haltwhistle chef Daniel Graham competed in the final of Masterchef: The Professionals. Although he was pipped to the title by fellow competitor Steve Groves, Daniel impressed head judge Michel Roux.

Super hospital: Controversial plans to build a £200m super hospital at Cramlington were given the go-ahead by the NHS North of Tyne board. It followed assurances that the scheme would not affect Hexham General Hospital, which would continue to deliver high quality care.


SAFE HANDS: Haydon Bridge lollipop lady Jean Jewitt celebrated 25 years of service. She started in 1969, and moved her pitch to Church Street after the subway opened under the main road.

Oldest ploughman: At 88 years old, Wallington farmer Tom Foster was believed to be the oldest ploughman in Britain. Although he used modern machinery, he recalled the days when he would feed and groom his horses at 6am.

Big attraction: There were fears that the Northumberland County Show was to leave Corbridge, because committee members believed it had outgrown the showfield at Tynedale Rugby Club.

Wall path: Despite strong opposition from farmers and archaeologists, plans for an 81-mile Pennine Way-style footbath along the line of Hadrian’s Wall were given the go-ahead.


RETAIL THERAPY: New supermarkets were being planned for Hexham. The Moore’s Group was about to open a store in Priestpopple which, it boasted, has 6,500 of shopping space, and could accommodate 1,000 shoppers at a time.

Bypass protest: Prudhoe residents formed a protest committee to oppose plans for a new £350,000 inner relief road.

OVERTURNED LORRY: Bates Bank in Prudhoe was strewn with tinned steak and kidney pies and apple dumplings after an eastbound lorry overturned.

One lane of the road was blocked for three hours afterwards. The driver was unhurt.


LIGHTS WARNING: Cyclists riding without lights were becoming so serious a problem in Haltwhistle that the police would have to take urgent steps to prevent the matter getting out of hand, said Supt. William Goodfellow at petty sessions held in the town.

Eight cyclists were fined for this offence.

PLAQUE HONOUR: Bellingham Rural District Council was presented with a plaque by the army to mark its achievement in raising £70,000, some £25,000 more than its target figure, during Salute the Soldier Week.

NEW CLUB: The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes held a public meeting at Corbridge Town Hall to discuss its planned establishment of of a new social club at the village’s Gresham House, which it had bought in the recent past.


PRIVY PROBLEMS: Bellingham’s toilet facilities came in for criticism from a sanitary inspector. Mr Haworth told the local council that there were too few houses with sanitary conveniences of their own. “This is not conductive to cleanliness,” he said.

MEMORIAL MOVE: A war memorial previously sited in Hexham’s Fore Street was relocated to Beaumont Street.


BUSY BADGERS: A colony of badgers at Staward Pele, near Langley, had raised several wasps’ nests, it was reported. A Courant report stated: “There is no doubt that the badgers have been waging successful war on these terrors to nervous folk.”

LAID OFF: A dozen workers were laid off at Fallowfield lead mines at Acomb, due to “slackness of trade,” it was reported.


Colliery tragedy: A two-and-a-half year old girl drowned in a tragic accident at a colliery near Wylam.

New beginnings: The Rt Rev. David Chadwick, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, opened a new church near Leadgate.