Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tyranny on the Golf Links and Other Tales from Alnmouth; Heritage

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tyranny on the Golf Links and Other Tales from Alnmouth; Heritage

Article excerpt


FOR the last three years, John Yearnshire has been reading a lot of local newspapers. Most have been more than a century old, but as far as John is concerned, old news is good news.

It has provided him with the material for his latest book on his native Alnmouth in Northumberland.

His previous book was on the social history of the village and his new offering is titled Around Alnmouth: What the Papers Say.

And the papers say some pretty peculiar things.

"I came across some unbelievable stuff," says John, now retired after 20 years of specialising in forensic science in the police force.

Given his police career, it was a tri-fle awkward when John unearthed an item in the Alnwick Mercury in 1894, concerning two men who were summoned for being drunk and disorderly after fighting outside the Red Lion Inn at Alnmouth.

For one of the combatants was John's great grandfather, carter William Yearnshire.

Another court case from 1912 involved John Hannah, a quarryman from Doddington Quarry near Wooler, who was charged with using abusive language to the annoyance of passengers in a carriage on the North Eastern Railway at Alnmouth Station.

The court heard from an architect on the train that the defendant "a little the worse for drink" entered the compartment and wanted to enter into conversation, but as he used profane language the passengers paid no attention to him. Cue more profane language, it was said. In his defence, Hannah denied using bad language and said he entered the compartment and said "good evening gentlemen" to which there was no response.

He then sat down and said: "What are things coming to on the railway", got up, and left the carriage saying he would not be found dead in such company. Fined 20 shillings.

Feathers were also ruffled by the setting up of a golf club in 1869 in Alnmouth, with players taking to the links.

A letter writer complains about the "nuisance" golfers. "You are bawled at from the front of you to get out of the way, and from behind you not to stand there. Impatient golfers send their missiles into the midst of you. …

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