10 Years Ago

No Snow: Northumberland County Council was relying on global warming to prune the cost of tackling winter conditions, it was revealed. Its budget strategy for keeping highways open was based on the assumption there would be no snow. A series of mild winters persuaded the former Labour administration that harsh winters were a thing of the past, Coun. Horncastle claimed.

Rural Rescue: A man who broke several ribs after falling from a ladder in heavy snow was rescued from his remote home – in the bucket of a JCB excavator. Five foot snow drifts meant that ambulances, and even a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter were unable to reach 62-year-old Lewis Moncrieff at his home between Alston and Nenthead.

Pitch Planning: Planners were shown the red card for introducing draconian rules on when football could be played at Haltwhistle. New rules meant that if a game went into extra time, or kicked off late, a formal planning application would have to be made for play on the Burn Field pitch to continue.

School Safety: Campaigners determined to improve dangerous road conditions in front of Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School were fobbed off with a token gesture, one resident claimed. A stretch of double yellow lines and a new school bus bay would not be enough to prevent another serious accident.

25 Years Ago

Revenue Revaluation: Businesses in Tynedale, struggling to get out of recession, suffered a hammer blow at the hands of the taxman. For the revaluation of business premises in the district by the Inland Revenue saw proposed rateable values rocket by as much as 300 per cent.

Cold Customers: Pensioners in Bellingham were left in the cold because the electricity supply into the village could not cope with additional central heating demands. Power supplier Northern Electric said the system would have to be upgraded to be able to deal with extra bungalows.

Tourist Train: A famous tourist attraction was set to track its way to Slaggyford, but a group of enthusiasts said it could take up to five years. Plans to bring steam trains, owned by the South Tynedale railway, to the closed Slaggyford station were revealed.

MORE HOMES: A housing increase was afoot in Prudhoe after the secretary of state for housing granted planning permission for a development of 540 homes at the Broomhouse Lane site.

50 Years Ago

Reservoir Approval: Bellingham Parish Council gave its approval in principle to plans to build the Kielder Reservoir.

Water shortage: Riding Mill residents had their water supplies cut off three times within six days.

Funding Landmark: Prudhoe’s West Wylam Community Association reached the £3,000 mark in its campaign to raise funds for building a community centre.

Train Crash: An empty passenger train travelling from Haltwhistle to Hexham crashed through level crossing gates at Warden after over-running the signals. The driver was unhurt.

75 Years Ago

Food facts: A meeting of Hexham Rotarians heard from Prof R.W. Wheldon, of King’s College, Newcastle, that Britain’s farms were now able to provide five-sevenths of the country’s food, an increase of three-sevenths on their output a few years earlier. The amount of land under crops in Northumberland was three times what it was before the war, he said.

BRAVE MAN: Captain John Joicey Straker, of Hexham, was awarded the Military Cross for bravery while serving on the Continent with the Army.

ON THE GRID: Bellingham Rural Council called for the provision of at least 20 cattle grids in its area, following inquiries by the county council.

100 Years Ago

Manure talk: Hexham Gardener’s Society was given a talk on artificial manure by Mr R.A. Harper Gray, an adviser on agricultural zoology.

School dance: A dance held at Byrness School raised more than £8 for Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

125 Years Ago

Mickley Mystery: A Mickley couple were hoodwinked by two acquaintances who, while in disguise, tricked their way into the couple’s house pretending to be a detective and a ‘dangerous anarchist’.

Railway Rumpus: Hexham ratepayers circulated a petition urging the North Eastern Railway Company to improve Hexham station, which, they said, was inadequate for the number of trains that called in at it.

150 Years Ago

Deadly Disaster: A Nenthead man died in a lead mine after a large stone, forming part of the roof, fell from a height of six feet on to him, killing him instantly. An inquest concluded a verdict of accidental death.