MINE FEARS: The possibility of seven years of mining from an opencast coal mine on the doorsteps of villagers in Whittonstall moved a step closer when a formal planning application was submitted.

MISSED MEALS: Hard-up parents in Tynedale were being encouraged to claim free school meals even if their child didn’t want it – for they could be also attracting cash to pay for music lessons, instruments, and school activities.

PLAN ERRORS: The Duke of Northumberland’s submitted plans for the development of Prudhoe town centre still contained major errors that had been repeatedly pointed out by residents, it was claimed.

BOWLER MOURNED: One of Hexham’s most celebrated craftsman, monumental mason and skilled bowler Stan James, died at the age of 85.


CEILING COLLAPSE: While diners were tucking into a festive meal at the Cheviot Hotel in Bellingham, a large chunk of the ceiling – as big as a car – came crashing down in the restaurant, caused by 36 burst pipes in the attic, with virtually every ceiling in the hotel soon following.

PLANNING PROTEST: County planners granted permission for double the number of lorries to operate at Humble’s Gill, Prudhoe’s landfill site, despite protests from the town council.

MERGER RISK: More than 1,000 jobs in Prudhoe were hanging in the balance, with the town embroiled in an international business wrangle involving the giant Kimberly-Clark Group.

AXE FACED: Prudhoe’s East Centre was facing a cash crisis that could close it down.


SERVICE SUBBED: District councillors in Hexham agreed to carry on subsidising the Corbridge-Allenheads bus service to the tune of £11,500 a year. The United Bus Company had threatened to stop running buses along the route if such subsidy was not forthcoming.

ALFRESCO PLANS: Plans were drawn up for the construction of an open-air swimming pool in Haltwhistle.

RECORD CLAIM: Harry Bell, landlord of Bellingham’s Cheviot Inn, claimed that his 37-year-old horse, Dick, was the oldest in the country.

SKIING ACCIDENTS: Two teenagers, one from Stocksfield, the other from Sunderland, broke their legs while skiing at Allenheads. The North Pennines village’s ski slopes were reported to be very busy.

RARE BACON: Bacon was reported to be in short supply in Hexham. A meeting of Hexham Urban Food Control Committee heard that 13 different members of one town family had been unable to get hold of their weekly bacon rations the week before.

HOUSING SHAKE-UP: Hexham Urban Council proposed scrapping its council house priority waiting list and instead considering individual applications for homes on their merits.

LIBRARY PLANS: The Worker’s Educational Association’s Hexham branch announced that it intended establishing a 10,000 book library in the town.

BOWLS BACK: Bowls enthusiasts agreed to revive the Prudhoe and District Bowling League, which had been in abeyance for several years.


PULLING PUNTERS: A fancy-dress ball in aid of Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary was held at Ovingham School. It raised £25.

BENEFIT EVENT: A benefit concert and cake contest held at Corbridge Town Hall raised £65 for some local orphans.


COAL CARVE-UP: Poor people in Bellingham were given coal and provisions by the village’s seasonable benevolence committee. Some 48 impoverished parishioners each received 14cwt of coal, and 30 of them were also supplied with meat or groceries.

SALE SUCCESS: A sale of work held at Hexham United Methodist Free Church raised £30 for church funds.


CLOTHING STOLEN: Mary Forster and Mary MacPherson, aged 19 and 18, were charged on remand with stealing a petticoat at Haydon Bridge, the property of lodging housekeeper Ann Robson.

SHOOTING COMPETITION: Members of the Corbridge half of the eleventh Northumberland (Sandhoe) Rifle Volunteer Corps had their annual New Year’s Prize Shooting at their range near Corbridge.

NEW WORLD: A Courant correspondent witnessed the starting of a new threshing machine at South Acomb, and paid tribute to manufacturer Mr W.M Trotter for his “complete success.”

ANNIVERSARY MARKED: The anniversary of Hexham Wesleyan Sunday Schools were celebrated, with 106 scholars attending the Market Street Sunday School treated to a plentiful supply of tea and spice cake.