10 years ago

Poor taste: A right royal rumble erupted in Acomb, where a sign at the newly reopened Queen’s Arms pub included a sketch of the monarch with a tattoo, a chain around her neck and a Popeye-sized forearms. Those in opposition to the sign, including local councillors said it was in poor taste.

River tragedy: Hartlepool man Andrew Weatherill died in a canoeing tragedy on the River Tyne near Riding Mill. Despite a major rescue operation, involving a helicopter from RAF Boulmer, the 33-year-old was pronounced dead at hospital.

Pay protest: Snow plough and gritter drivers were planning to take strike action over pay, sparking fears over road safety with more wintry weather set to follow.

Sky high: A Ponteland teenager achieved his dream of gaining a private pilot’s licence, despite an astonishing list of setbacks which included a broken back. Despite suffering a catalogue of injuries and illnesses, James Moon (17) had set his sights on the Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence.

25 years ago

Health vow: Doctors and health experts pledged that the public in Tynedale would not suffer if the proposed switch by many GPs to a co-operative night calls scheme went ahead.

Birds-eye: A taste of East Africa was on the way for West Woodburn. For the Redesdale village was set to become home to a herd of up to 18 ostriches. The district’s first ostrich ranch was being set up at a local farm.

Cash chance: Tynedale Council set aside £20,000 to improve security in the homes of elderly residents, but had only received one claim, leaving £19,000 in the kitty.

50 years ago

Transport fears: A public inquiry was held into British Rail’s proposed closure of the Haltwhistle to Alston railway line. At the inquiry, held by the North-East Transport Users’ Consultative Committee. BR promised that it would not close the line or reduce services until a satisfactory road linking the towns was built.

Under age: Seven Haltwhistle teenagers were fined for drinking in two of the town’s pubs on New Year’s Eve, 1970. The youngsters, aged between 14 and 16, were fined between £1 and £ each by Haltwhistle Magistrates.

Toilets targeted: Public conveniences at Wark and Otterburn were attacked by vandals.

75 years ago

Sounding out: Ovingham’s White Swan Inn had its licence for music and singing renewed by Hexham magistrates, despite objections from villagers, who had complained over alleged noise.

Record attendance: A meeting of Riding Mill Beekeepers’ Association attracted a record turn-out of 70.

Abbey revamp: A £13,000 restoration scheme was launched at Hexham Abbey.

Drunkenness down: Drink-related problems were reported to be on the decline in Hexham and Bellingham. At 1946’s annual brewster sessions, the police reported that only four people had been convicted of drunkenness in Hexham, the previous year – an all-time low. It was also reported that, for the second year running, no cases of drunkenness had been recorded in Bellingham.

100 years ago:

Devastating discovery: The corpse of a newborn child, wrapped in brown paper and string, was found on the Sele in Hexham, near the footpath to Bellman’s Close.

False economy: A Hexham baker was fined £2 by the town’s magistrates for selling short measures of bread.

Memorial unveiling: A war memorial was unveiled at Stocksfield.

125 years ago

Roaring blaze: A three-storey building in Hexham town centre, at the junction of Battle Hill and St Mary’s Chare, was severely damaged by fire.

Sad passing: A farmer from Melkridge, near Haltwhistle, was found dead in the River Tyne at Tynemouth.

150 years ago

Timely purchasing: Even in 1871, advertising was big businesses. Courant readers were being encouraged to buy a new watch from J. Garland in Newcastle, for just one guinea. It wasn’t a toy, the advert stated, but an elegant watch which kept the correct time, and had the appearance of a 20-guinea gold watch.

Casting out: The salmon fishing season was under way, and there was an abundance of fish in the River Tyne, it was reported. Salmon caught so far ranged between 26.5Ib and 15.5Ib.