Picture Past: November 17, 1967 – Football club releases players after getting into debt
PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 November 2017
New drink-driving laws, financial troubles at Weston Football Club, and disappointment for motorway users were all making the headlines in Weston five decades ago this week...
• The first North Somerset driver ever to fail a roadside breathalyser test appeared in court 50 years ago this week – but escaped censure amid uncertainty over the time of day when he was arrested.
The 21-year-old driver had been arrested in Redhill after driving his car into a telegraph pole at 12.02am on October 9, 1967 – just two minutes after new drink-driving legislation and roadside tests came into force.
The arresting police officer later told the court: “I saw the defendant and asked him if he was the driver and he said ‘yes, I’m afraid so’. His breath smelled strongly of alcohol and he was sick on the grass verge.”
However, the driver escaped a conviction on a technicality.
That was because his arrest came so close to the introduction of the new laws, that magistrates said police were unable to prove that his drink-driving had been illegal – because if the officers’ watches were as little as two minutes fast, the driver’s breathalyser rating of one-and-a-half-times the legal limit would have been delivered prior to the introduction of the new drink-driving rules.
• Weston’s Chamber of Trade was at loggerheads with the council over plans to relocate a town centre taxi rank.
The council wanted to move the rank from Alexandra Parade to Richmond Street – and criticised the chamber for being ‘dictatorial and selfish’ by opposing the idea.
• Financial difficulties in the shape of debts of £2,500 saw Weston Football Club decide to withdraw its second XI from the Somerset League.
Seagulls players were unwilling to play without pay, leading the club to make its professionals available for free transfer.
• The Ministry of Transport warned Somerset authorities that plans to extend the M5 beyond East Brent were facing delays.
The Government said other plans for the area were viewed as being ‘more important’.
• Two high-value burglaries hit Weston within the space of a week, with £3,500 worth of jewellery taken from a house in Uphill and £1,200 of spirits and cigarettes stolen from a warehouse in Rectors Way.
• ‘Deep concern’ was expressed by people in Bleadon over the prospect of the village quarry reopening.
• Weston was described as a ‘musical desert’ over its lack of orchestral music concerts.