From the Darlington & Stockton Times of April 30, 1921

ONE hundred years ago, the D&S reported that interest in bee-keeping was growing. Mr WR Walker of Eggleston had immediately sold the two hives he had advertised in the paper several times over. One purchaser from Darlington had travelled “nearly 50 miles there and back in order to make sure” he could claim a hive, while a gentleman from Shildon “cycled more than 20 miles and became the purchaser of the other stock”. The paper doesn’t say how he got it in his saddlebag to get it home.

The D&S felt its readers needed cheering up because it had started a “Smiles Awhile” column.

“A sailor wandered into a shop in Portsmouth. ‘I say,’ he said to the man behind the counter, ‘could you take that yellow tie with the pink spots on out of the window for me?’

“’Certainly, sir’, replied the assistant. ‘We’re pleased to take anything out of the window at any time.’

“Thanks, matey. It’s jolly good of you,’ said the sailor, ‘because the thing bothers me every time I go past your shop.”

No? The second Smiles Awhile story went: “An old man taking his holidays aboard a fishing boat contracted rheumatism and on arrival in the Brest roads was unable to land. Moreover, some days elapsed before a doctor boarded the steamer.

“‘Whatever made you signal you’d a case of smallpox?’ the doctor asked after examining him.

“‘Because nobody on this boat could spell rheumatism,’ replied the old salt.”