From the Darlington & Stockton Times, March 11, 1967

YOU could feel the times a-changing 50 years ago in the D&S. For instance, Mr L Gownsberry – what an unusual name – was pictured collecting milk from the bulk tank of the Potts family at Craggs Lane Farm, at Tunstall.

“He can take 3,000 gallons in his tanker to Langley Bridge, Durham,” said the D&S. “In a few minutes, 500 gallons can be loaded. The bulk tank system is superseding churns on many of the larger dairy farms in the area.”

There was a chance to win a “Space Age TVette”, worth £60 14s 9d, by calling in at Northallerton Tyre Services and ranking eight tyre safety features in order of importance. It appears that a small, portable Philips television was called a “TVette” but, disappointingly, the word never caught on.

The D&S also claimed that “feet had never looked livelier than they had in 1967”. It was considered saucy for bits of skin to be visible through the “gay coloured leather”.

“Shoes are stripping down, putting plenty of foot on show; there is more than a peep of open toes on pumps and sandals. By day or evening striptease sandals are pretty and pacey, with straps that go off at a tangent of shapes,” said the D&S before employing another word that never caught on. “Playing hide and seek, feet go cagey – with cage shoes barred with strips ribbing sides airily and prettily, or strapsbanding shoes cagily marching in twos and threes over the foot right on up to the instep.”

March 10, 1917

MR and Mrs G Hartley of South Woods Farm, Thirsk, had received a letter from Lt TH Blair of the West Yorkshire Regiment telling how their son Herbert, 20, had been accidentally shot in France.

“It was under exceedingly unfortunate circumstances,” wrote the lieutenant. “We had finished lunch, and he was sitting on an oil drum reading your letter when I, with another officer, was coming towards him. In fact, I was going to ask him to do something for me, and had I been half a minute earlier I should have got the shot.

“When about three feet from him, a soldier belonging to the NF (Northumberland Fusiliers?) took out a revolver to clean it, and it accidentally set off, with the result that your boy was wounded through the left side, just missing his heart by an inch or two.

“The poor lad, did not at first realise that he had got it. When I saw the doctor he gave me more cheerful hopes and said although serious he thought he would pull through as he had lived a clean life.

“I can't express in words how extremely sorry I am at losing him for a time as I feel I have lost a personal friend for the time being.”

It looks as if Herbert pulled through and survived the war.

March 9, 1867

YOU may remember three weeks ago we told the shocking story from 150 years ago of Louisa Kay Yates, the young servant of the Methodist schoolmaster in Hurworth. A blood stain had been found on the schoolmaster’s hearth and a baby had been found buried in the ashpit of the house next door. An inquest had been held – “Louisa Kay Yates, aged only 16 years was present but she appeared so utterly prostrated by the sense of her position that she was altogether insensible of what was taking place,” said the D&S – which had concluded that the baby had died while Louisa was delivering it unaided.

She was therefore committed to stand trial at Durham Assizes “charged with endeavouring to conceal the birth of her child by secretly disposing of its dead body”.

The D&S report of the Assizes hearing was brief.

“Prisoner pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four months imprisonment with hard labour,” it said.