NEW ERA: Hexham breathed a sigh of relief, as department store chain Beales clinched a £250,000 deal to buy stricken store Robb’s, safeguarding more than 100 jobs. The post office and food hall were also set to be retained.

DELAYS DAMMED: Tynedale residents and businesses were waiting in limbo for months as officials battled with an “atrocious” backlog of planning applications. Councillors derided the poor performance figures for the area.

BULLIED OFF: Hexham youngsters were so scared of being bullied they refused to use the Sele play area in the evening, with children calling for a park warden to patrol the park.

BIG BILL: Acomb First School was left facing a hefty repair bill after heartless thieves broke in during the half-term holiday and ransacked a classroom, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.


BATTLE ON: Parents and governors from two Tynedale schools, Humshaugh and Beaufront, vowed to fight plans to close the schools that they said would devastate their villages.

FLOOD FUNDS: Following five major flooding incidents in the previous two years, Tynedale Council embarked on a £100,000 scheme to prevent further disasters, with a series of works approved by the council’s environmental services committee.

FEATHERS RUFFLED: A lovesick peacock named Wellington's ear-splitting early morning, woebegone squawks irritated the fed-up villagers of Falstone so much that at least one villager allegedly offered to pay someone to shoot him. His owner described the noise as: “Like someone strangling a Tom cat.”

DRUG MISUSE: A conference at Morpeth highlighted current and proposed initiatives against drug misuse in Northumberland, with the government’s new strategy for tackling drug use outlined.


SAFE SEAT: Hexham MP Geoffrey Rippon retained his seat with a substantially increased majority at the 1970 election. Clifford Watson, then 18, became Hexham’s first teenage voter when he cast his vote at the election.

GAS CONCERN: Bellingham Parish Council expressed concern about CS gas being used during Army exercises at the Otterburn training area.

STAR FAIR: Newcastle United footballer Bryan “Pop” Robson judged a children’s fancy dress competition at Ovingham Goose Fair.

SEWER EXPLOSION: The Corbridge-Riding Mill road had to be closed for five hours, after new sewers laid underneath it exploded while being tested under pressure.


BRIDGE PLANS: Plans were drawn up for a traffic light controlled alternate one-way system on the bridge across the River Tyne at Corbridge.

DEPOT CLOSURE: Hexham Group Hospital Supply Depot, set up in 1939 to produce surgical supplies needed during the war, closed.


RECORD PRICE: A dairy cow from West Wharmley was sold for a then record-breaking £105 at Hexham Auction Mart.

SWEET JUSTICE: A Hexham confectioner was fined 10 shillings for not closing his Meal Market shop on time. Hexham Magistrates heard that the shopkeeper had been selling sweets at 8.45pm.


ROYAL VISIT: Narsulla Khan, the Shadzada of Afghanistan, stopped off at Hexham while visiting various towns and cities in Northern England.

ANTIQUARIES INJURED: Several members of the Archaeological and Architectural Society of Durham and Northumberland were injured in a road accident while on a field trip to Blanchland. None were seriously hurt.


PROLIFIC BEES: A hive of bees at Mr Newton’s Roehouse, near Stocksfield, had swarmed three times that summer, on May 27, June 6, and June 8 respectively. It was said the circumstance was perhaps unprecedented that year.

CURIOUS CASE: A cow, belonging to John Gillespie, was over-due by one week with her second calving, but had, for the previous month, made five pounds of butter weekly, an occurrence considered to be extremely rare.

HIGH ESTEEM: Mr G. T Wardle, the station master at Falstone, was presented with a handsome gold watch, in token of the high esteem in which he was held by the inhabitants of the village and the neighbourhood.

BURIED ALIVE: An inquest was held at the Dr Syntax Pub in Prudhoe on the body of Abraham Walton, a 62-year-old quarryman. Mr Walton died after being buried by a large quantity of earth, “frightfully injuring” both his legs. The jury returned a verdict of “accidental death.”