ARMED RESPONSE: Armed police closed off Hencotes and told residents to stay indoors as they laid siege to a flat. Officers from Northumbria Police's armed response unit were supported by taser stun guns and police dogs.

INQUEST VERDICT: An inquest into the death of a father and daughter who drowned in Kielder Water when their dingy capsized during a race recorded a verdict of accidental death.

BIG NAMES: Television superstats Ant and Dec visited Allensford to launch an ambitious new youth village, created by Dec's brother, Father Dermott Donnelly.

BETS OFF: More than 500 people signed a petition protesting against a proposed betting shop in Hexham's Historic Market Place, with claims there were too many betting shops already in the town.


NO WAY: The Secretary of State for the Environment, refused to grant planning permission for the building of a new Safeway superstore and petrol station at Bridge End, Hexham - against the advice of the planning inspectorate who conducted a public enquiry into the scheme.

ROAD BLOCK: Motorists on the A696 to Otterburn were reported to soon to find themselves up against a new hazard in the future - 94-tonne Army transporter loads blocking the road.

BROKEN DREAM: After flying all the way from Germany for her daughter's wedding in Hexham, adventurous Scout leader Gerda Schach missed the ceremony - because she fell out of a tree.

SOMETHING FISHY: A fish detective was appointed to try and find out why hundreds of salmon and sea trout died each year in the Wylam stretch of the River Tyne.


SUPPORT WITHDRAWN: Bellingham rural Council withdrew its support for the proposed Kielder reservoir development. Councillors turned against the plan after they heard strong representations from the North Tyne Valley Preservation Society.

ARMY PLEDGE: The Ministry of Defence offered assurances that exercises involving CS gas at Otterburn army training area would not affect people living nearby.

ROUNDABOUT RUMPUS: Haydon Parish Council criticised the design of a roundabout recently built in Haydon Bridge, saying it was dangerous and did nothing to alleviate the village's traffic problems.

HOTEL THEFT: A 4ft African spear and a brass Saracen's helemet were stolen from Otterburn Towers Hotel.


MP HONOURED: Hexham MP Clifton Brown, Speaker of the House of Commons, was given an honorary degree by Durham University.

RETURN HOME: A couple who had fled to Bellingham from the Channel Islands when they were invaded by the Germans returned home to Jersey.

PENNY PILES: Collectors in Hexham had raised more than £2,300 for the Red Cross Penny-a-Week fund over the previous three years, it was revealed.

OPEN-AIR DRAMATICS: Two alfresco performances of Shakespeare's A midsummer Nights Dream, featuring a 40-strong cast, were staged at Greenhaugh Hall in aid of the Tarset Welcome Home Fund.


WINNING DANCE: A team of teenage girls from Allendale won a Morris dancing competition at the North of England Music Festival in Newcastle.

LAKELAND OUTING: Hexham firm A&G Little held a works outing to Keswick.


THUNDERSTRUCK: A pair of cows were killed by lightning during a thunderstorm at Wark, said to be the most severe experienced there in living memory.

RIVER RESCUE: A four-year-old Fourstones boy who had fallen into the River South Tyne was rescued by a passer-by.


FINE BAZAAR: The annual soiree of the United Prestyterian Church in Otterburn was held under "the most favourable circumstances." Upwards of 300 people partook in tea.

LAND VALUED: Mr Donkin, auctioneer, brought to the hammer the estates of Hindley at Hoppen near Stocksfield. The 366 acre site was up for £7,000, which advanced to £12,000.

SUDDEN DEATH: Mr Robert Mason, station master at Greenhead, died very suddenly. He was reported to be in good health during the day. However, a goods train shunted some cattle trucks which were required at the station, and in trying to prevent them going too far he overexerted himself and on returning to the house he threw himself on the bed and "expired almost immediately" at the age of 69.

EXTRAORDINARY RUN: Mr George Robinson of Seal House almost simultaneously hooked two salmon while fishing at Anick Grange.