WE looked back through our archives to find out what made The Hexham Courant headlines in Tynedale up to 150 years ago.

10 years ago

HARMLESS: Alarmed residents alerted the police when two people were spotted walking through town with three boa constrictors and one speckled kingsnake wrapped around their necks and arms. The owners pointed out that the snakes were not venomous and were in fact friendly and affectionate.

RAIL BOOST: The Department for Transport was considering making the Tyne Valley railway line a designated community rail service. Although the line, one of the oldest passenger services in the world, was to continue to be run by the railway company Northern Rail, a new body made up of local councils, community groups and other volunteers was to help decide how it should be run.

WAR ANNIVERSARY: Special services, vigils and candle-lighting ceremonies were taking place to mark the centenary anniversary of the First World War. Hexham Abbey hosted the commemoration service for the whole of Northumberland. The Lord Lieutenant of the county, the Duchess of Northumberland, arranged the service to be attended by civic dignitaries and representatives of organisations throughout the county.

25 years ago

WIND PLANS: No fewer than eight wind farms were proposed in and around Tynedale, including three that could have been the biggest in Europe. A new survey revealed plans for three within Tynedale, in addition to one which was to be built at Kirkheaton. At the time there was only one wind farm in Northumberland, at Blyth. 

CLASS ROW: Broomley First School found itself involved in a row over class sizes after announcing a new plan to meet Government targets. The school, which had 33 children in its year two class and only 25 in reception, wanted to take three pupils from the bigger class and teach them with year one in daily sessions. This would win the school a grant of £11,500 for keeping both groups of pupils below the government's class size target of 30.

Record crowds were at Slaley Hall in 1999 to see Bernhard Langer chipping the ball out of a bunker in dramatic fashion during the Compaq Grand Prix eventRecord crowds were at Slaley Hall in 1999 to see Bernhard Langer chipping the ball out of a bunker in dramatic fashion during the Compaq Grand Prix event (Image: Newsquest)

FACTORY EXPANSION: Specialist paint manufacturer Hammerite, one of Prudhoe's largest employers, was to expand its loading area.

PARK FACELIFT: The Heritage Lottery Fund had already put £176,000 towards the cost of the £500,000 revamp at the Abbey grounds, the Sele and the gardens at Hexham House, before it added a further £232,000.

50 years ago

BANK EXPLOSION: Two engineers were taken to hospital after the boiler they were installing at Midland Bank, Haltwhistle, exploded. 

FEET ONLY: Ovingham Parish Council was writing to Northumberland County Council to seek advice on how to prevent cyclists and horse riders from using the public footpath across Ovingham Bridge.

75 years ago

DROUGHT BITES: With 200 hours of sunshine in three weeks, water restrictions were in force in the Hexham district.

UNDER THE HAMMER: At an auction sale, a house at 35 Elvaston Road, Hexham was sold for £2,720, 3-5 St Wilfrid's Rd for £800 and 5-7 Eastgate for £405.  

100 years ago

FARMERS GATHER: The first annual dinner of the English Blackfaced Sheepbreeders' Society was held in the Queen's Hall, Hexham.

FUNDRAISING: A door-to-door collection was held at Prudhoe to enable local schoolchildren to go to the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley.

125 years ago

CAPHEATON CHURCH: The stone-laying ceremony for the new £410 United Methodist Free Church at Capheaton was carried out by Alderman Berkley of Dudley.

WESLEY ANNIVERSARY: The 117th anniversary of the visit of the Rev. John Wesley to Saugh House, Cambo, on his way from Rothbury to Hexham on his 79th birthday was celebrated with an open-air meeting round an old hawthorn tree.   

150 years ago

HEXHAM YMCA: A Young Men's Christian Association was formed at Hexham.

VILLAS BUILT: The first meeting of Bellingham Petty Sessional Division was held in Bellingham Town Hall.