This year marks the centenary of the armistice to end the fighting in World War One, and to mark the anniversary I am writing regularly about the part Hexham and Northumberland played in the Great War, as told by Brian Tilley in his brilliant book Tynedale in the Great War.
Many of us will remember ARP Warden Hodges in the beloved sitcom Dad’s Army, and one of the many fascinating anecdotes in the book reveals that the police in Hexham were just as passionate about keeping out the lights as Mr Hodges. The number of prosecutions for breaches of lighting restrictions was extremely high, suggesting that Hexham’s police were tougher than anywhere else in the country when it came to maintaining the blackout. For example, a woman from Prudhoe was fined half a crown for having the wrong type of light on her baby’s pram. However, as strict as Hexham’s police were, following lighting restrictions was vitally important in order to prevent devastating damage in air raids.
I wholeheartedly recommend getting hold of a copy of Tynedale in the Great War by Brian Tilley, which gives a fascinating insight into life in our region during the Great War- the book is available from Forum Books in Corbridge and elsewhere.