bowled over: Pressure was mounting on North Country Leisure to think again about its plans to convert Hexham’s indoor bowls hall into a ten pin bowling alley. More than 100 people gathered for a meeting in the hall, where there was unanimous agreement to fight the proposals.

Amazing area: Tynedale was announced as the best place to live in the whole country, according to a survey. Levels of satisfaction with everything from the quality of life to safety and public order issues were significantly higher in the district than anywhere else in the country.

Shop selection: Car parking problems were not deterring shoppers coming to Hexham, according to the findings of a major traffic study published. Instead, feedback said the town did not have the same shopping attractions as many other major centres in the region.

Snowy season: The first snow of the winter brought treacherous driving conditions across Tynedale. Rural areas such as Otterburn and Kiln Pit Hill were the worst hit.

25 years ago

Field Manoeuvres: Tynedale’s biggest crowd-puller, the Northumberland County Show, announced it was leaving its traditional home at Tynedale Park, Corbridge, for its own showfield alongside the A69 trunk road.

Power Out: A major electrical fault left hundreds of homes in the North Tyne and Rede Valley without heating and lighting in one of the coldest spells of the year. More than 1,500 people were cut off, when a massive fault developed on the main overhead line through the North Tyne.

GAS PANIC: A Bellingham family had a lucky escape when a gas cylinder they had been using for cooking exploded, and blasted windows out of their home. A family with a a three-week-old baby, and a pensioner in Hexham, were also left in the cold after gas engineers cut off the gas supply to two houses they didn’t know existed.

Squirrel saga: One of Britain’s most loved yet most threatened animals was under threat in Tynedale. After grey squirrels were spotted at Bellingham, there was a danger that the reds would disappear over the coming years.

50 years ago

Road redevelopment: A roundabout was opened at Stagshaw two months ahead of schedule, replacing the crossroads that had been there previously.

Bridge boost: Northumberland County Council gave the go ahead to a £6,500 scheme to widen the bridge over the Guessburn at Stocksfield.

Abbey Anniversary: The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Rev. Hugh Ashdown, suggested that a piece of music or religious play be commissioned to mark the 1,300th anniversary of the founding of Hexham Abbey.

New bridge: Hexham Rural Council urged that a new bridge be built over the River Derwent at Ebchester to accommodate the extra traffic it predicted would be generated by an opencast mine the National Coal Board intended on opening at Whittonstall.

75 years ago

Monty memento: A silver cigarette case inscribed with Field Marshal Montgomery’s autograph went under the hammer at a farmers’ Red Cross gift sale held at Hexham Auction Mart.

Farm feature: Haughton Mains Farm was featured in a BBC World Service Christmas Day broadcast, it was reported.

War memorial: A war memorial at Kohima, India, was engraved by Hexham craftsman Mr M. Cresswell.

No Thanks: Corbridge parish councillors voted against accepting a German cannon offered to the village as a war trophy, saying they would rather have something to admire than an object of loathing to commemorate the First World War.

100 years ago

League revival: The League of Pity’s local branch, an offshoot of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, was revived after five years’ inactivity.

Eggs off: A Christmas market held at Hexham was reported to be the ‘worst held within living memory, supplies being extraordinarily short’. Eggs, butter and poultry were in short supply.

125 years ago

Manure furore: Offensive smells caused by the discharge of manure and bird droppings at Prudhoe and Stocksfield railway stations was discussed at a meeting of Hexham union Rural Sanitary Authority. Medical officer of health Dr Boustead said that while such smells might be a nuisance they were not injurious to health, adding that some might even consider such smells healthy.

150 years ago

Christmas Cracker: Hexham’s butchers displaying their Christmas meat, known for its good quality, were told it was one of the finest displays ever.