GRITTER GRIPES: Northumberland County Council came under fire “once again” for failing to ensure roads were kept clear after Tynedale awoke to a whiteout, with much of the district blanketed in snow.

FEES PROTEST: Students from across Tynedale joined in the nationwide protests against the planned hike in university fees. Dozens took unauthorised leaves of absence on Wednesday to join a protest march in Newcastle.

CHOO CHOO: The clocks went back 60 years when the Peppercorn Tornado steam engine thundered through the Tyne Valley. People turned out in their hundreds to see the iconic locomotive pulling the largest number if carriages seen on the line for years.

NEW HOSPITAL: A £27 million national centre of excellence - the new 40-bed Ferndene Centre for young people - was just months away from opening in Prudhoe.


ROAD RAGE: Furious motorists blamed Northumberland County Council for creating traffic chaos at the Bridge End roundabout roadworks, after two mile queues formed along the A69 in both directions thanks to a failure in the traffic management system.

HOSPITAL HOPE: Plans to buld a new general hospital in Hexham moved a step closer after the NHS Trust submitted outline plans for the new “23.3 million hospital to the Northern and Yorkshire Regional Health Authority.

HISTORY LOST: Parish councillors at Acomb lost their fight to keep the old wellhouse in the grounds of the Hermitage, with owner Mr Lance Allgood earning permission to dismantle it and re-erect it as water feature at his home - Nunwick Hall, Simonburn.

BIG BOAST: A meeting at the Beaumont Hotel on Wednesday evening heard that Hexham could rival the Metro Centre as a shopping centre. Town centre manager Martin Garratt made the claim.


TAR BLUNDER: A three inch layer of tarmacadam was out down on Wentworth car park instead of a three quarter inch layer which was scheduled. No one realised this mistake and it resulted in an overspend of £10,173, Hexham Urban Council was told.

MOST CONVENIENT: A site at Black Bull Lane in Haltwhistle was deemed to be the best of three suggestions for a new public convenience, according to the county planning officer. Locals asked for it to be put up as quickly as possible.


MODERN STYLE: Hexham councillors planned to build 600 new houses in the town, with bigger rooms but smaller gardens. Many of the most modern improvements would be seen, including built-in bookshelves. The aim was to ensure that there would be more room in the houses than there had been before.

TOO CASUAL: Major H. B. Portnell MBE, recently returned from Paris, where he had served on the British General Staff, addressed the Hexham Rotarians and condemned the "take it or leave it" attitude he had noticed since returning to Britain. He told Rotarians that an unfortunate casualness seemed to have arisen on public transport and in shops.

PARTY TIME: The Corbridge Carol Party singers were invited to broadcast carols on the BBC on Christmas Eve for the third time.


HORSE TRADER: William Wren, of no fixed abode was charged with stealing 4lbs of horse hair, value 4/6, from Brocklea Farm, Bardon Mill. Wren was jailed for a month and magistrates agreed that this was a light sentence.


HORSE KILLERS: Messrs Henry Bell and Sons, of Hexham, applied for a licence to kill horses at their manure works at Tyne Green, which was granted.

NO FOUNTAIN: Hexham Urban District Council turned down an application for the erection of a water fountain in the Market Place, because the council's works committee could not commit itself financially to such a plan.


STILL COLD: The Established Church in Newborough was cleaned and "neatly coloured", improving the internal appearance - but the heating system remained defective.

FATAL ACCIDENT: Station master at Wylam, Mr Augustus Townsend, was killed n a "frightful accident" on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, leaving behind his wife and four small children.

SOMETHING FISHY: Two tramps, John Glass and William Turnbull, were apprehended for stealing a kippered salmon from Mr Weallans fishmongers on Fore Street.

CLOTHES TORN: Two casuals named Thomas Taylor and William Smith were charged before magistrates with willingly destroying their clothes in the workhouse.