FROM this newspaper 100 years ago. - The Bishop of Richmond, preaching at the cathedral on Monday night on "The divine gift of language - its use and abuse," said he believed there was less swearing in some sections of society now than when he was a boy, but there were still some people who could not speak without an oath.

Some youths used the most fearful expressions and one wondered where they picked them up. Where was it that young girls - for the police told him that girls were by far the worst - picked up such language? What was being done in day schools, boarding schools and voluntary schools? Such language was a terrible cancer in their midst and was corrupting young life in the city.

Other forms of misuse of the divine gift of speech were telling lies, provocation, insincerity and slang, and he suggested that even expressions such as "awfully jolly" and "awful fun" should be avoided for plain and simple speech.

From this newspaper 50 years ago. - A 1791 half penny token of Birmingham Mining Co and a seven-chambered American revolver have been unearthed during recent alterations to the Golden Lion Hotel, High Street, Northallerton.

Workmen found the gun, ivory-handled and in a leather holster, buried under a paving stone behind the bar. From what can be recalled of other changes to the bar passage, it appears the gun has been hidden for 70 years, its approximate date of manufacture.

From charring at the front of the holster, the gun appears to have been fired through without being withdrawn.

From this newspaper 25 years ago. - Motoring representatives are reported to have said "this is a bit of a sneaky one," when told that North Yorkshire Police were proposing to use unmarked cars in an effort to prevent - or detect - motoring offences.

We find this hard to believe, though it is difficult to put a remark of that kind in the wrong context.

Few speeding motorists will argue that when a police car is in sight they tend, either characteristically or in self defence, to brake until the speedo needle is the correct side of the limit. Few motorists who cherish honesty will deny that they sometimes exceed speed limits, particularly on motorways.

Should this not be regarded as sneaky? The police emphasise that they would sooner prevent offences than detect them, but the behaviour of some motorists creates a sense of challenge which a conscientious police man must accept. Who is not aware of the extent to which a motorist will occasionally go to conceal or banish signs of excessive alcohol when he is driving? Isn't this sneaky?.