10 Years Ago

Pothole Problem: Weeks of sub-zero temperatures in Tynedale revealed hundreds of new potholes on the district’s already heavily pock-marked roads. Repair work on the potholes and damaged roads was expected to cost millions of pounds.

National Names: Potential plans for the redevelopment of Hexham Bus Station revealed the possibility of an underground car park and more national retail chains.

Schools Open: Staff at the district’s high schools worked relentlessly to ensure that the buildings were open for students to sit exams despite ongoing adverse weather conditions.

Winter Worries: An unprecedented demand for winter essentials brought shortages throughout Tynedale. Bread, milk, salt and grit flew off shelves, while many clothes and outdoor shops awaited a backlog of deliveries.

25 Years Ago

Base Backed: The fight to save the military presence at Otterburn received a boost from an all-party committee of MPs, who said they could only see national parks being free of military training if park status was removed from military areas.

Budget Reduced: Parish councillors signalled a year of austerity at Allendale by voting for a budget £7,000 less than they had projected – but only after a furious row, and by a single vote.

Cafe Concerns: Rebel councillor Geoff James found himself once again facing the wrath of fellow town councillors at Haltwhistle when he attacked a scheme to set up a community cafe in the town centre. Coun. James said the idea was ‘pie in the sky’.

Pepper Protection: Northumbria Police chief constable John Stevens called for the county’s police officers to be issued with pepper sprays. Mr Stevens urged the Home Office to allow his officers to become the first in the country to use the sprays, which, he said, would provide officers with much-needed extra protection.

50 Years Ago

Better Bridge: The Government reversed its decision that Haydon Bridge’s new bridge should be unlit, following protests from the local parish council and Hexham MP Geoffrey Rippon.

Hot Cat: A cat started a fire at a house in Birtley by knocking over bedding that was airing in front of an electric fire.

Seventies Style: Hexham hairdresser Donald Donalde returned to the sharp end of business after seven years as he was eager to try his hand at the new Seventies hairdos. “My special cut will encourage that hair to wave as it has never waved before,” he said.

75 Years Ago

Ship Plea: Tynedale residents were urged to raise £10,000 further to the £414,000 in National Savings they had already generated so that the district could adopt HMS Loch Eck as a successor to HMS Tynedale, which had been lost through enemy action.

Farmers Fined: Bellingham magistrates fined a Falstone farmer £5 for misusing petrol. His offence was to make a 10-mile round trip by car to a hunt ball at Kielder. Another farmer, from Wark, was fined £30 for under-paying three shepherds by a total of £500 over two years.

Bravery Medal: Major John David Hensen, of Hexham, was awarded the Military Cross for continuing to direct an attack against German forces in France despite being severely wounded.

100 Years Ago

Cemetery Consultations: Hexham Urban Council voted to hold a poll of ratepayers to canvass views on whether the town’s West Road cemetery should be extended to the west or to the south.

Park Paths: Cuttings from trees in Beaumont Street and Priestpopple, Hexham, were placed across unauthorised footpaths in the Abbey Grounds to try to stop pedestrians using them. The Hexham Courant reported: "The making of footpaths all over the Abbey Grounds is spoiling the appearance of that delightful park, and they are entirely unnecessary as only a few yards are gained by deviating from the proper paths."

125 Years Ago

Hard Labour: Three men appeared at Hexham Petty Sessions charged with sleeping in coke ovens at West Wylam. They were each sentenced to two weeks’ hard labour.

Fallen Woman: A young Acomb woman slipped on an icy pavement in the village, sustaining a blow to her head that rendered her unconscious for several hours.

150 Years Ago

Train Terror: The Hexham Courant reported an accident of ‘a very alarming character’ occurred to a train between Hexham and Newcastle. A carriage managed to get off the line and was dragged along for a considerable distance. The mishap was remedied as speedily as possible. No passengers were injured.