LANDMARK COURT CASE: Health campaigners at Bellingham won a spectacular David and Goliath victory over the powerful Northumberland Primary Care Trust. A group of patients took on the trust because they were furious at savage cuts to funding at the GPs' surgery at Bellingham. When the trust refused to back down on the cuts, the group - the Friends of Bellingham Surgery (FOBS) - took it to a judicial review. After detailed legal arguments in the High Court, the Friends agreed an out of court settlement which obliged the trust to reconsider cuts to the funding of rural practices.

DISRUPTION CAUSED: Residents of eastern Tynedale are facing 18 months of disruption, it was reported, under a massive water mains upgrading programme. People living in Prudhoe, Ovingham, Ovington, Stocksfield, Horsley, Whittle Dene, Wylam, Ryton and Crawcrook would all be affected by the £32 m "Main Event" being carried out by Northumbrian Water.


HOMES' SELL-OFF: A surprise Government document brought back the prospect of a widespread sell-off of Tynedale's council houses - just months after councillors of all parties decided against it.The document outlined the prospect of the Government slashing housing grants given to Tynedale and other local authorities unless they began transferring their housing stock to housing associations.

TENANTS GET REPRIEVE: Kielder residents celebrated as the Forestry Commission called off its controversial plan to auction off their homes. Just five days before the seven houses were due to come under the hammer at a London hotel, Commission chiefs withdrew them from the sale.


ROAD REQUEST: Allendale parish councillors revived their calls, unanswered thus far, for a road linking their village with Hexhamshire.

TEAM TROUNCED: Bardon Mill's football team were beaten 9-1 at home by a side from Carlisle's Raffles estate.

BLACKOUTS CAUSE CHAOS: Powercuts were continuing to cause disruption to businesses and households throughout Tynedale, though Haltwhistle's Crown Paints factory remained unaffected due to its having an electricity generator of its own, it was reported.


RESCUE PARTY: Allendale's menfolk battled their way through four miles of snowdrifts up to 5ft high south of Sinderhope to deliver food to Allenheads, which had been cut off from the outside world by snow for the previous 10 days.

PLAQUE PROPOSAL: Bellingham's Royal British Legion branch decided to have plaques with the names of villagers killed during World Wars I & II added to its South African War memorial.

ALSTON STAYS ORDERLY: At Alston's annual brewster sessions, it was reported that for the third year running no incidents of drunkenness had come to the attention of the police there.


PHARMACIST TURNS TO DRINK: Allendale chemist J.A. Baty, of Shield Street, was granted a liquor licence allowing him to sell medicated wines.

SOBRIETY SOARS: Drunkenness was on the decline in Hexham. At the town court's annual brewster sessions, Supt R.H. Taylor reported that there had been just 109 convictions for drunkenness locally during the past year, down 41 on the year before. Declines in drunkenness were also reported at the magistrates' courts at Bellingham, down 11 to five, and Haltwhistle, down two to 42.

HAVING A BALL: Hexham's Queen's Hall ballroom was given its official opening by local dignitary Loftus Bates.


COUNCIL SPENDING SPREE: County councillors agreed to spend £1,023 on having a bridge over the River West Allen, at Whitfield, widened. They also gave the go-ahead to the £1,500 purchase of Haltwhistle Town Hall.

VETERAN'S GUN THREAT: An elderly Crimean war veteran who, while the worse for drink, threatened to shoot a policeman was fined 10 shillings by Hexham magistrates for drunk and disorderly conduct.

VACCINATION FEARS: Alston district councillor G.W. Storey, a stocking manufacturer by trade, was fined 10 shillings by the village's police court for refusing to have his son Harold vaccinated, fearing that vaccination might make the child ill.