A trip down memory lane: Do you remember these stories that made the Hexham Courant headlines 10, 25, 50, 75, 100 and 125-years-ago?


BLOOMING SUCCESS: Staff at Halls of Heddon nursery had reason to celebrate, for they won best trade stand at the Gateshead Flower Show on the year of the business' 90th birthday. The family-run company, which has premises in Heddon-on-the-Wall and Ovington, beat off stiff competition from around 15 other nurseries with a colourful display focused on the dahlias in which it specialises.

SHORT-CHANGED?: Tynedale was set for a cut of government funding designed to boost broadband provision but eyebrows were raised at the comparatively small sum allocated to Northumberland. The county was in line for around a £7million share of £363 million destined for rural areas in England and Wales to improve internet connections.

'POOR SERVICE': Women using Hexham swimming pool felt they were being led down by operators, North County Leisure. Hot on the heels of the decision to close down women-only sessions, questions were being asked about popular aquafit classes - favoured by females.

HOLIDAY VILLAGE: An ambitious scheme hatched by the Duke of Northumberland to turn the hamlet of Harlow Hill into a Centre Parcs style holiday village was dramatically trimmed. The original scheme put forward was for 40 holiday homes and was then reduced to just 12.


HOUSE BLAZE: Hexham firefighters rescued an 84-year-old woman after a fire broke out in the kitchen of her Holmdale home. The woman was taken to Hexham General Hospital after the fire - believed to have been caused by fat in a frying pan.

MASSIVE CHIMNEY: The price of cleaning up the Egger UK chipboard factory at Hexham was to be a massive chimney stack - more than half as tall as anything else on site. Tynedale Council's planning committee agreed it was a price worth paying for removing the characteristic blue haze and much of the steam that envelops the plant when it granted approval for the 150-foot high structure.

SLIME TIME: Huge crowds were drawn to the Dipton Mill Inn, Hexham, to witness the quality of local slugs. The Dipton Mill Slug Show was in its sixth year and although the quality and enthusiasm was as high as ever, the number of competing slugs was dwindling.

A69 BYPASS: Not far from Haltwhistle, the long-awaited A69 Bypass was taking shape. Construction work on the pioneering road was ahead of schedule - thanks to recent spells of hot weather.


FUNDING BOOST: Hexham General Hospital and Prudhoe Hospital were given £110,000 to spend on new building schemes.

TOP SHOW: Records were smashed at that year's Allendale and Falstone agricultural shows. Allendale's attracted a record turn-out of 5,000, while Falstone saw record numbers of entries in all classes.

BOY SAVED: A nine-year-old Hexham boy, Gary Handyside, almost hanged himself, accidentally, while playing with a length of rope at the town's Priestlands Den. He was rescued by a passer-by, James Foxton, also of Hexham.

BLACK HOLE?: A hole over 50ft across and over 600ft deep appeared suddenly at the old witherite mine at Settlingstones, near Newbrough.

AERIALS APPROVED: The Independent Television Authority was given the go-ahead to erect 150ft-high aerial masts at Morralee Fell, near Haydon Bridge, and Catton.


NEW HOMES: A tender was awarded for the construction of 82 houses on a former allotment site off Cuddy Lane, Hexham. Following the completion of the estate, no new houses were likely to be built in the town for a further two years, it was reported.

BOW OUT: Two long-serving local bosses retired. West Wylam and Prudhoe Co-operative Society general manager and secretary, Mr W.T. Hunter, of Prudhoe, retired after 56 years' service and Hexham railway station manager, Mr E.P. Turnbull, did also, after 45 years' service with the London and North-East railway company.

MERGER MOOTED: Plans were afoot to merge the two Riding Mill parishes then extant - Broomhaugh and Riding.


COP DIES: A former Blanchland man, Matthew Barron, died, aged 67, in Pietermaritzburg - the capital of Natal in Southern Africa- where he had been chief constable for nine years.


HOTEL BID: Allendale coachman John Shields' bid to open a 21-bedroom hotel in the village was turned down by Hexham magistrates after objections from villagers - 285 out of the less than 400 people living there at the time signed a petition opposing the application.

PREACHER PASSES: The Hexham Methodist Circuits' oldest preacher, Mr J. Graham, of Barrasford, died at the age of 80 after 53 years' preaching.

CHURCH FUNDRAISER: A bazaar at Ninebanks Board School, West Allen Valley, raised £95 for the parish church, St Mark's.