Looking Back

Berwick swimming club trophy winners in 1987

Berwick swimming club trophy winners in 1987

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10 years ago

Fire and accident cover in the Berwick area is now in the hands of one Green Goddess and one breathing apparatus crew as the first in a series of threatened 48-hour strikes by firefighters went ahead from 6pm last night.

The national stoppage, the first in 25 years, was confirmed as pay talks between the Fire Brigades Union leaders and the local government employers association broke up on Thursday. During the walkout Northumberland’s normal cover of 23 modern fire engines will be reduced to five poorly equipped and outdated engines operated by young soldiers with only two weeks’ training.

25 years ago

Around 300 Scremerston residents were evacuated from their homes as a gas explosion sparked off a major alert .

Flames raged 30 feet into the air and 10 feet horizontally at the gas pressure reduction station as a team of firemen from Berwick tackled the blaze for almost an hour.

Meanwhile a team of 40 policemen called into the area closed down the A1 bypass for three hours and the Scremerston bypass amid fears of a ‘flashback’ - an ignition of gas in underground pipes. One and a half hours after the explosion emergency services got the blaze under control.

50 years ago

The last vessel on the books of Berwick Shipyard was launched, sideways, into the River Tweed yesterday. She is the ‘Albacora’, a luxury yacht being built for a French business man.

The 120 men of the yard, and a number of invited guests, cheered and applauded as the yacht slid smoothly into the water at high tide.

Yesterday Mr L Messenger, a director of the Fairmile Construction Company Ltd., confirmed that this was the last vessel on their books at the present time. “Negotiations are in progress, however, and we hope to secure contracts for vessels to be built at Berwick,” he said.

100 years ago

Saturday was Mayor’s Day throughout England, and at Berwick Alderman M Logan and Mr M Ross were re-elected mayor and sheriff respectively.

Alderman Plenderleith was re-elected deputy mayor, and Mr John Bate, solicitor, under mayor.

The four gentlemen are Liberals, Nonconformists, and teetotallers. It is a unique event in the history of the Borough for the four offices to be filled by the same gentlemen two years in succession.

Alderman Plenderleith remarked to those present that the press might have as a sub-heading to their reports “That which has been shall be.”

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