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Archive for April, 2017

Wilton Hall ‘packed’ for Symphony Concert!

Five hundred and sixty people attended a Symphony Concert at the Wilton Hall, Bletchley. It was the first of its kind in the town and the organizers were very pleased and evenly astonished at its success, especially at seat prices ranging up to 12s 6d.

The London Mozart Players opened the season and it was hoped that many more well-known orchestras would come to the venue. People came from a 20-mile radius, but Bletchley’s musical enthusiasts supported the event in strength. The 35 strong orchestra filled the stage at the hall, but there was a noticeable concern for the conductor hoping he would not fall backwards off the stage as many feared.

One little girl in the audience who had only been playing the violin for three months thought the concert was ‘smashing’!

. . .

Before any of you want to know where you can buy some ‘bargain price’ tickets for the next concert, unfortunately, I have to tell you the first concert was held in 1967!

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In 1957 the Bletchley Gazette reported that two-thirds of Bletchley’s hospital patients went to the Aylesbury  group of hospitals and two third go to the Northampton group.

I remember having to go to Aylesbury by train, changing at Cheddington, or to Northampton by train. This meant very often a  wait in the cold on a railway station whether an outpatient, patient or visitor.

We are very fortunate to have a new hospital, served by a regular bus service.

A similar situation applies with shopping trips, which in 1957 involved a rail journey to either Bedford or Northampton but now a simple bus or car journey to CMK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘TOWN HAS A SOUL’

On June 2, 1967, the Bletchley Gazette reported the opening of the £1,000 Scented Garden for the blind on the Spring Bank Holiday. Robert Fisher said the oft-heard assertion that Bletchley was ‘a town with a soul’.

It was a specially proud day for the 15 members of the Toc H, for the scented garden was undertaken as a project two years earlier, this was to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the movement. The garden was officially opened by Sir Henry Floyd, President of the North Bucks Association for the Blind.

At the opening ceremony and dedication a short service was taken by the Rev H. Hedley.

 

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Wilton schoolboys scattered when Norwich Rotarian, Mr Alfred Warminster paid a surprise visit to their headmaster,  fellow Rotarian K. R. Smith. In fact, Mr Warminster literally dropped in from the sky and landed his glider on the school playing field where 20 boys were throwing the discus. Mr Warminster, a member of the Norfolk Aero Club was attempting a 400 kilometre flight, but when he reached Bletchley he started to lose height so decided he should look for a safe place to land. Mr West, games master, dispersed the boys with a megaphone when he saw the glider approaching.

Mr Smith the headmaster said his wife had warned him earlier that day after looking at his horoscope that morning, she said it mentioned that he had ‘better look out’!

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In the Bletchley Gazette’s, February 3rd, 1976 edition, a front page report highlighted the success of one of Bletchley’s cyclists Goz Goodman. Goz was the son of Dick Goodman, also a well known local cyclist, both of them were active members of the North Bucks Road Club.

Goz Goodman holding the Golden Wheel Trophy and the British Professional Championship Cup.

Twenty-eight year old Goz had recently become the British Professional Cycling Champion, at the time it was hoped he would compete in the 2,900 mile Tour de France cycle race to be held in the following July. He was being tipped as one of the favourites among home-based professionals for selection to ride in the race, which was to be run on a national team basis as opposed to trade teams that were run in the past. It was hoped the team would be led by the famous Tom Simpson, the 1963 World Champion.

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Roman Coins are Treasure Trove – Coroner seizes them for the Crown

Mr Adrian Knight of Simpson Village and other members of the Bletchley Archaeological Society had been watching the progress of a gas main being laid across the district.

He was in the field walking along the trench when he saw coins, 268 altogether. The coins were silver but had a coating which indicated they had been in some kind of container, he came to the conclusion they were from the First Century.

Dr Jarvis said the place where the coins were found was probably a civilian settlement outside a fort. A quantity of pottery was also found. He said that the wages of a Roman Legionnaire was about 300 denari a year, representing a whole years wages of a craftsman.

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The eight members of the jury each gave their fees of 2s. 6d. to the Bletchley Archaeological Society’.

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After finding the coins were treasure trove, North Bucks Coroner, Mr E. T. Ray ‘seized’ the coins on behalf of the Crown; they will now go to The British Museum.

 

Bletchley Gazette, June 9th, 1967

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A ‘RENT-FREE’ FIRST WEEK

Rents of Bletchley Council Houses have gone up by 4s., this week with the beginning of the new financial year. Water charges have also risen by 4d. in the £, but the general rate has gone down by 6d., the net effect of these variations on the average rent-and-rates is an increase of 3s. 9d a week.

”For many of the tenants, however, the new year begins with a ‘rent-free’ week, and as the last year ended with one, some tenants are now enjoying the unusual experience of having two such weeks in succession.”

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It just goes to show what the value of the £ was worth in 1967. Fifty years later on we are all faced with Brexit and you can’t help but wonder what the future has in store for us!

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