BIG FREEZE: Tynedale looked set for a white Christmas, with the district shivering in the lowest December temperatures for almost 30 years.

RETAIL WOES: The cold saw the retail recovery being enjoyed by many Tynedale shops take a knock, as many shoppers stayed snowbound in their homes in the last weekend before Christmas.

IT’S CHRISTMAS: 18-year-old Andrew Hart, from Prudhoe, joined Rage Against The Machine and Joe McElderry in the battle for Christmas number one, with his internet sensation It’s Christmas attracting 200,000 views in two weeks.

SITTING PRETTY: The giant Janus Chairs on the northern shore of Kielder Water, named for the Roman God of gates, doors, beginnings and endings, were unveiled for the first time.


WIND DROPPED: Hopes for more than 100 jobs for Tynedale were blown away when plans to build what would have been the largest wind farm outside of California were put on the back-burner after the company behind the plans missed out on a government contract.

ON STAGE: Michael Turner, a six-year-old boy from Hexham, was enjoying a new lease of life after a kidney transplant helped him star in a performance of Noah’s Ark for his school play.

BIG BIRD: The Storrow family at Willimoteswick Farm near Bardon Mill beat their previous top weight turkey with a 65kg bird – twice the weight of the family’s youngest member, three-year-old Callum Storrow.

HOSPITAL HOPES: Hexham MP Peter Atkinson spoke in the House of Commons about Tynedale folk’s “optimistic hopes” for a new hospital in Hexham.


BELLINGHAM SNUBBED: Bellingham rural councillors criticised Northumberland and Durham Travel Association for omitting the town from its 1970s gazetteer.

LABOUR HOPE: Prospective Labour parliamentary candidate Jack Miller told a meeting in Hexham that he thought he had a good chance of becoming Hexham’s first Labour MP. His confidence turned out to be misplaced.

WINNING QUESTION: A West Woodburn man, Mr J. Hamilton, became the 10,000th person on the BBC radio programme Gardener’s Question Time, then 22 years old. He won gardening books and a £5 voucher.

SCHOOL GROWS: A £35,000 extension was built at Mowden Hall School.


MONTY’S TABS: A cigarette case autographed by Field Marshall Montgomery fetched £30 at a gift sale in aid of the Red Cross held at Hexham Auction Mart.

WEAK WHISKY: A Hexham landlord was fined £20 for selling watered-down whisky and gin. Both spirits were found to contain about 30 per cent added water.

GUARD GOODBYE: Hexham and Corbridge’s Home Guard companies held a series of social events to mark their being stood down.

FLOWER POWER: A Hexham couple were fined £2 for growing too many flowers at the town’s Tynedale Nursery.


FIRE FATALITY: A 19-year-old Haltwhistle woman was one of 10 people killed in a fire in Newcastle.

GOALS GALORE: Stamfordham Football Club celebrated its revival after being closed for five years by thrashing Throckley 13-0 and Wylam 4-0.


HALL PLANS: St Andrew’s Church, Corbridge, held a public meeting to discuss plans for building a parish hall.

ERA’S END: Elections for a new parish council brought to an end William Rowell and his father’s 60-year spell as Slaley’s parish guardians. The Courant commented: “Probably there will be few, if any, cases similar, where father and son have acted as guardians for the same parish for so long a period.


CANCELLED PARTY: A “congregational soiree” at Hexham Abbey, announced for the Christmas week, was unavoidably postponed until further notice, with no reason given in the news section, althought the ‘local gossip’ section reported that it was due to the fact that the reverend’s mother had died.

TRAMPS FINED: Two tramps, John Scott and John Turner, were brought before the Rev. Dixon Brown at Haltwhistle, charged with begging at Melkridge. The men were given seven days imprisonment each.

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: Courant correspondent Ariel gave a Christmas message to readers, writing: “I will not weary my friends with any lengthened remarks on this highly favoured festival, though I could not have finished my weekly budget appropriately without a reference to it, however brief that may be. Though I cannot send to my readers my wishes written on pretty paper with a nice border of red-berried holly, they will be none the less hearty and warm.”