PIPE BURST: Classrooms at Whitfield’s award-winning, ultra-modern village school were wrecked by an old-fashioned pipe burst, with staff returning from the Christmas break to find it “extensively flooded.”

PILOT PASSES: One of Ponteland’s most colourful characters, the much decorated Spitfire pilot Tom Hughes of Darras Hall, died at the age of 89.

HONOURS LIST: Former Haydon Bridge High School pupil, David Frost, was made a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, while Slaley shopkeeper Margaret Ward and Vindolanda founder Patricia Birley were made MBEs.

TOUGH STUFF: A rare plant, the shining lady’s mantle - said to have mystical powers - was flourishing in Tynedale despite the fact it had been moved twice to different locations by botanists.


HOUSE PARTY: It was reported that Hexham was to be featured live on TV in millions of homes, as part of the smash hit “Noel’s House Party” hosted by Noel Edmonds.

PINT PULLER: At 74-years-pld, Jenny Crosby was still going strong after pulling pints from the pumps of pubs in Hexham for the previous 36 years.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Hundreds of homes and businesses throughout Tynedale were either flooded or left without water after water mains and domestic pipes burst in the wake of Arctic weather.


WINTERY WEATHER: Heavy snowfalls blocked roads at Allenheads, Nenthead and Alston.

MAIL MOUNTAINS: Record numbers of Christmas cards were posted in Hexham. Some 350,000 cards and letters - five per cent more than the year before - were reported to have been handled by the town’s post office during the run-up to Christmas.

CHEATED DEATH: A train collided with a car that had stalled on a level crossing on the Newcastle - Carlisle line near Gilsland. Miraculously, none of the four people in the car or the train’s 57 passengers were injured - although some were said to be suffering from shock.

CABLE CALLS: Calls were made by some Hexham rural councillors for overhead electricity cables running alongside Hadrian’s Wall to be replaced by underground wires.


VILLAGE BATTLE: Mickley residents vowed to fight to the bitter end to preserve their village, which at that time looked likely to all but disappear due to the proposed rehousing of the bulk of its population elsewhere. Mickley’s four representative on Prudhoe Urban Council intended to take the matter up with the Ministry of Town and Country Planning, it was reported.

TAR MUCHLY: Allendale’s annual New Year’s Eve tar-barrel ceremony was revived after having been observed only in subdued form during World War Two. More than 2,000 people, 29 of whom were sporting barrels of blazing tar instead of hats, turned out for this post-war event.

SHELTER SCHEME: Prudhoe urban councillors agreed to have two new bus shelters erected in the town, outside the Half Way House and at Road Ends.

FUND BOOST: Langley’s 170 residents had raised £555 for their village’s welcome home fund for men and women returning after serving in the armed forces during World War Two.


MENU CHANGED: A new menu was introduced at Hexham’s poorhouse. The main differences between the new diet and its predecessor were that children were to be given milk pudding every day, Monday’s meal of soup and cheese was to be replaced by hotchpotch, and Friday’s dinner of coffee, bread and cheese was to be replaced by fish ad potatoes.

BAZAAR SUCCESS: A bazaar held at Prudhoe Wesleyan Church raised £400 for church funds.


POPULAR CLUB: Membership of Haltwhistle Clothing Club was reported to be at an all-time high.

METHODIST FUND-RAISER: A sale of work held by Catton’s Methodists raised £24.


SHOP BREAKING: Henry Bratley, a 19-year-old sailor, and John Molloy, a 33-year-old labourer, pleaded guilty for indictment for feloniously entering the shop of Matthew Bell and stealing eight pence worth of fruit loaf.

WORKHOUSE TREAT: Inmates of Bellingham Union Workhouse were regaled with their New Year’s dinner of “good old English fare” - roast beef, plum pudding, and “copious amounts of strong ale.”

RAILWAY EXTENSION: A new railway was being contemplated extending from the railway station at Riding Mill to Slaley and the places lying to the west.

JAIL BREAK: A woman, Mary O’Neil, who had escaped from Newcastle Gaol in July, was apprehended in Liverpool and locked up again in Newcastle.