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Archive for the ‘50 years ago’ Category

County Agreement on Continued Expansion – Council will not Oppose “New City” Plan – Bletchley Gazette, February 1965.

Bletchley is to expand at its present rate – something like 500 houses a year – until 1981, giving a population of upwards of 40,000.

Subject to agreement by the County Council to this, and to the immediate preparation of a new town map to accommodate the 40,000 plus, Bletchley Council is not to oppose the “New City” proposals for North Bucks or the county acting as acquiring authority for land within the prescribed area.

As regards North Bucks, negotiations are still taking place as to where the “New City” would be sited. The government did not want to commit themselves to one particular place, since they were discussing this with the Bucks County Council.

Council offices

Council offices

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Chaos in Side Streets – Because of Bletchley Road (now Queensway) Parking Restrictions

The main result of the County Council’s parking restrictions in Bletchley Road was “Chaos in the side streets” said Cllr. E Edwards at Bletchley Council’s meeting.

The previous Saturday, said Cllr Edwards there were 75 cars crammed into Park Street alone. People from Park Street and Albert Street probably had to park 100 yards from their own front door.

Cllr. F. Bowman said the parking scheme was not satisfactory and was not solving the problem. He suggested that the pavements were so wide that possibly 6ft. could be taken off both sides, a hardcore surface provided, and the space used for parking. In fact, he said, the Bletchley Road pavements were wider than those of London’s Oxford Street.

Bletchley Road (Queensway) 1960s

Bletchley Road (Queensway) 1960s

 

M.P. Appeared to be Shaving While Driving – Witness Tells Magistrates.

Labour M.P. for North Bucks Robert Maxwell was alleged by a witness at Bicester Magistrates’ Court to have driven his Rolls-Royce at over 60 m.p.h. while shaving.

In his absence, Maxwell, who pleaded not guilty, was fined £25 and ordered to pay £9 costs. His licence was endorsed.

Imposing the fine the chairman of Bicester Magistrates commented on the delay in hearing the case due to three applications by the defence for adjournments. “We are sorry the defendant could not appear so I could have said this in his hearing.”

Mr. Maxwell stated to the Bletchley Gazette, ” I am astonished at the savageness of the fine, and the refusal of the Magistrates to adjourn the hearing to a time when I could be present and give evidence in support of my plea of not guilty”

P1293 MaxwellMr Maxwell (far right) on a happier occasion

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50 Years Ago

Siren Will Not Cease

The fire siren in Bletchley will continue to wail each time each time the alarm is raised.The Council asked the fire brigade, in view of the fact that Bletchley now has a full time station staff, if they would stop using it. But the Chief Fire Officer replied that as the full time firemen are still supported by part time personnel the use of the siren would still have to continue. Eventually the siren will be sited on the new Fire Station in Sherwood Drive.         ( the siren used at the moment is the old air raid siren at the council offices).

Centenary Tribute To Akroyd Stuart

The centenary of the birth of Herbert Akroyd Stuart, who developed the world’s first operational at Bletchley, was marked when a stone tablet was unveiled on the site of his old workshop by the Chairman of Bletchley Urban District Council, Cllr. Charles Head. The tablet was provided by the Bletchley Co-operative Society, the tablet being on the Denmark Street wall of the society’s Victoria Road Branch.

Now Bletchley Can Really ‘Go Places’

The football world is jealous of Bletchley for securing Mr. Bob Morton (formerly a Luton Town player) as player-manager, said Club Chairman Mr. George Malster, at the Football Club’s annual meeting on Tuesday. The was was clear for Bletchley really to go places, he said, provided they gave Mr. Morton the complete control of the side, and did not meddle at all.

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Bletchley – City

Govt. Planners Suggest 100,000 by 1981 Two Town Centres?

Government planners have chosen the Bletchley area as the site for a possible new city which, “in the very long term”, might house a quarter of a million people. They foresee that the present population may explode from its present figure to something near 100,000 by 1981.

This tremendous news was given when the report of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government’s study on expansion in South East England was published together with a White Paper.

The use of the words “Bletchley area” would seem to imply that the big expansion would be more than just a growth of the present Bletchley town. Cllr. H. J. Price thinks the new development would be shaped like a figure eight, having two centres, one of them being the present town centre. The second part of the city, in some people’s view would run out towards the M1.

But the County Planning Officer , Mr Fred Pooley , is insisting that Bletchley itself will not be part of the proposed city, The town will retain its identity, he says.

About Bletchley the report says; “The area is near the main lines of communication (including the M1 and the main railway line, which is being electrified ) between the West Midlands and London. “It would be difficult to find an area which would be more attractive to industrialists”.

Most in Favour

Most local people seem to be in favour of the proposal. Market-day shoppers on Thursday talked of little else.

A Bletchley Road shopkeeper said that there had been hardly any other topic of conversation among customers – and most seemed to welcome the idea.

Most housewives were, naturally enough, mostly concerned with the better shopping facilities expansion would bring. One woman – a newcomer to the town – said she was looking forward to the prospect of having a greater variety of shops – not just supermarkets.

A young married woman who recently came to Bletchley from London said : “This is marvellous news. I have been missing the shops and having somewhere to go in the evening. Apart from one picture-house there’s nothing here is there? ”

 

Bletchley Road in the 1960s

Bletchley Road in the 1960s

 

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50 Years Ago In Bletchley

Top Ten

Best selling ‘pop’ records in Bletchley last week were:

  1. I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
  2. She Loves You – The Beatles
  3. Glad all Over – The Dave Clark Five
  4. You Were Made For Me – Freddie and the Dreamers
  5.  I Only Want To Be With You – Dusty Springfield
  6. Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa – Gene Pitney
  7. With The Beatles – The Beatles (L.P.)
  8. Stay – The Hollies
  9. Twist And Shout – The Beatles (E.P.)
  10.  Dominique – The Singing Nun

Compiled from lists supplied by Messrs Carlow Radio Ltd, Headoms, Weatherhead, Leech and Hainge and the Co-operative Record Centre.

 

Young Brickies At The Panto.

Two hundred and fifty children of Bletchley employees of The London Brick Company travelled to Oxford in six coaches on Monday to see Jimmy Edwards in ‘Merry King Cole’. After the pantomime the children, who were from 8 to 14 years old, were given a delicious tea. The trip was organised by Mr. C.W. Watts and other members of the Management Committee.

Job Advert

Job Advert

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The December 14th Bletchley Gazette was full of adverts for Christmas goodies from the likes of Fine Fare, Weatherhead’s, Vigor’s, Salmons and the Co-op.  And the party season had started, with photos from the Good Companions, the Conservative Club and St Andrew’s Church.

There were some news stories too:
Miracle escape for two when concrete floor collapses.  Block of offices under construction at the  corner of Bletchley Road and Leon Avenue came down at lunch time  on Wednesday 11 December 1963.

Sir Frank Markham was given permission to open a debate in parliament on proposals for closure of local branch railway lines.

Councillor Charles Head, Chairman of Bletchley UDC, threw the switch to bring Bletchley’s Christmas illuminations into action and turned round expectantly, then roared with laughter. Most of the lights had not come on! But while he was helping Father Christmas handing out gifts to local children, one by one the lights eventually lit up.  Apparently the time switches were set for 4.35 but the ceremony was conducted ten minutes early.

Bletchley Road illuminations 1963

Bletchley Road illuminations 1963

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Dumped His Rubbish On Roadside 

A pile of rubbish found on the grass verge at the side of the Watling Street including a cardboard box, a number of tins, a fruit can, part of a fireside companion set, some old newspapers – and an envelope bearing the name and address of the person who dumped it! (perhaps to-day’s ‘dumpers’ are a bit more careful).

 

Excavator Holes 11,000 volt Cable

Factories Brought to Standstill

An 11,000 volt underground electricity cable was holed by an excavator working on the Bilton factory estate, Bletchley.

But miraculously driver Joseph Taylor, was not injured. In fact he didn’t even get a shock. Said Mr Taylor: “The Excavator just touched the cable but I didn’t feel anything”

When the cable was damaged shortly after 10.30 a.m. electricity supplies to factories on the Denbigh industrial estate and Rowland Bros. Simpson Road were automatically cut. Repairs were completed in the evening, and power was restored.

 

 

Bletchley Witnesses at Train Robbery Hearing 

Two Bletchley men gave evidence in the Great Train Robbery hearing at Aylesbury on Monday.  One of them described how a signal had been tampered with so that although it was set at green a red light was showing. He was Mr. Frank Mead a railway technician of Pinewood Drive. He said he found four telephone wires cut. On the signal gantry he found four batteries and some wire. The batteries were connected to the signal lamp to give a permanent red light. The green light was covered by a fur- lined glove.The other man was a signalman and noticed some irregular readings on the indicator in his box.

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