A trip down memory lane, we take a look back at the stories to have hit the headlines 10, 25, 50, 75, 100 and 125 years ago. Do you remember any of the events?


ROYAL VISIT: Prince Edward made a flying tour across Tynedale. The Duke of Wessex was first given a guided tour of Hexham Abbey. Children from St Mary's, the Sele and Hexham East told him about some of the activities they had enjoyed at the Abbey. He then visited the Vindolanda and Roman Army museums, before ending the day in Allendale, looking around The Forge.

DIVING TRAGEDY: Tynedale's sporting world was shocked to the core by the tragic death of a former world quadrathlon champion from Stocksfield. Dr Ruth Fletcher (60) was taking part in a routine dive near Seahouses when she surfaced unconscious. She was airlifted to Wansbeck Hospital and was later pronounced dead. Dr Fletcher was twice crowned world champion of quadrathlon, which involves running, swimming, cycling and kayaking.

CASH APPEAL: Hexham MP Guy Opperman called for Tynedale to be given a slice of £2.5 billion set aside to improve school buildings. Earlier that year, Michael Gove, then Education Secretary, had met with headteachers from Hexham, Prudhoe, Ponteland and Haydon Bridge, promising the state of their buildings would be given high priority by the Government.

STEEL RAID: Police appealed for information after £8,000 worth of steel was stolen from a field near Haltwhistle. Among the metal taken were 35 steel cross arms and 500 steel bolts.


ECONOMY BOOST: It was reported that year's Hexham Jazz Festival and other events held over the same weekend yielded a £500,000 boost for the Tynedale economy. Peter Cutchie, artistic director at Hexham's Queen's Hall, told the annual meeting of the Beaumont Street arts centre's management committee that £200,000 was spent on hotel and guesthouse rooms in Hexham, Corbridge, Slaley and the surrounding areas. A further £350,000 was estimated to have been spent on things other than accommodation.

SHEEP PRICES: Tynedale farmers were dealt with a blow when sheep prices plummeted at Hexham Auction Mart after the European Commission announced it was probing claims that BSE could be passed on to sheep. Prices averaged £10 less than the previous week. Hexham's MP Peter Atkinson raised the matter in the House of Commons, drawing attention to the local situation.

HEALTH QUIZ: Northumberland health watchdogs who quizzed the public on their knowledge of the health service in Tynedale came up with some startling findings. At the recent Tynedale Health Fair, locals were presented with 11 questions. The highest score was eight. For example, 40 per cent thought Hexham General Hospital didn't supply a casualty service overnight. Only 15 per cent got it right.

PROTEST MUSICAL: Children at St Mary's RC First School were so concerned about litter in their proposed playing field that they performed a protest musical. Pupils, staff, and parents also wrote to the county director of education pleading that something be done to tidy the site up for its proper purpose.


TISSUE TIME: Prudhoe was preparing for a facelift before Princess Anne's visit to open Kimberly-Clark's factory later in the year.

CODE COMFORT: Hexham received its first postcode to help in Royal Mail's sorting process.

REFUSE REFUSED: Villagers at Whittington rubbished an unofficial tip near their homes. They branded it an eyesore.


BREAD RATIONING: The first week of bread rationing left bakers with shops full of unsold bread as careful customers saved their tokens.

MOONLIGHT SERENADE: Switching off street lights on summer nights was an idea being discussed in Corbridge. The aim was to save fuel.

ON THE BUSES: Buses were banned from parking in Corbridge Market Place as rowdy revellers broke the peace and quiet. The short supply of beer at the time appeared to ease the problem, though,


SOLDIERING ON: Hexham's War Memorial hospital was up and running in Eastgate, caring for the sick and injured.

WINGED MENACE: Flies were annoying the people of Tynedale this week. The Hexham Courant advised readers that rooms in their houses should be doused with Jeyes Fluid to keep them away.

ROAD WORRIES: Corbridge was pressing for an official speed limit as drivers weren't obeying the 10mph recommended speed. The corner at the Wheatsheaf was deemed particularly dangerous to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.


DRY SEASON: Farmers at Matfen were struggling to cope with a drought. Meanwhile the rural council was advising water-users to "prevent waste".