From the Darlington & Stockton Times of October 16, 1920

THE D&S of 100 years ago told how Gilling West had come to a standstill as Lord Barnard married Sylvia Straker of nearby Hartforth Grange.

“The weather was beautifully fine, with brilliant sunshine showing to advantage the autumn tints of the well wooded countryside,” began the lengthy report. “Although difficult to access, Gilling was early a scene of activity with motor coaches, motor cars and other means of conveyance converging on the village in the rapid succession. The lengthy highway through the village was thronged with motor vehicles and the queue of cars was finally over half a mile in length.”

This was the 10th Lord Barnard, Christopher Vane, in matrimonial action. His elder brother, Henry, had been died of his wounds in a French hospital in 1917, and so Christopher – himself twice wounded and the recipient of the Military Cross – had inherited the title and the Raby estates on the death of their father in 1918.

“The bride was charmingly attired in old parchment duchesse satin, skirt artistically draped, with corsage of softly blended chiffon, embroidered in fine diamanti,” said the paper, recording every single sartorial detail. “The Court train was of white and gold brocade, weighted at hem and sides with bands of cloth of gold tissue, held in place by two handsome gold and diamanti ornaments…”

The D&S said how after the reception at the Grange, the couple motored to London and then honeymooned on their Shropshire estate.

“The bride’s travelling dress was of Indian red crepe de chine, finely pleated skirt and long travelling coat of Indian red velour cloth trimmed with natural racoon,” it said.

It then devoted thousands of words to a list of wedding presents. Suffice to say that the happy couple would never again go short of fish knives and cigar cases, cigar cutters and cigarette holders.

From the Darlington & Stockton Times of October 15, 1870

IN its edition of 150 years ago, the D&S reported on the “death of an eminent native of Barnard Castle” who had died in New York.

He was Thomas Ewbank, who is so eminent that he has a Wikipedia entry of his own.

He was born in Barney in 1792 into a long established Teesdale family. “At the age of 13, he was apprenticed to Mr Cust, plumber and patent shot-maker,” said the D&S. “During an apprenticeship of seven years, he became familiar with neighbouring scenes to which a worldwide celebrity has since been given – scenes which left an impression upon his memory, giving a colour even to his scientific writings never to be effaced.”

Aged 20, he went to London where he worked making cases for preserved meats. Aged 29, he emigrated to New York where he made lead, tin and copper tubing, so successfully that he was able to retire at the age of 45.

He devoted his time to scientific and literary pursuits. He toured Brazil in 1845, and was made the US Commissioner of Patents in 1849 by President Zachary Taylor.

He wrote numerous booklets, pamphlets and papers on subjects “ranging from the ingenuity of spiders to the design of steam engines”, according to his entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.