Picture Past: August 25, 1967 – children ‘steal explosives’ from Weston quarry

PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 August 2017

The annual RSPCA Donkey show held on Weston Beach.

The annual RSPCA Donkey show held on Weston Beach.

Archant

Children were thought to have stolen explosives 50 years ago, the Weston, Worle and Somerset Mercury reported on August 25, 1967. Here are some of the headlines from that week in Weston-super-Mare.

Wedmore Harvest Home Carnival Parade. Wedmore Harvest Home Carnival Parade. "Emergency Ward 13" earned a special commendation.

• Police issued a warning to parents after detonators and a roll of instantaneous fuse was taken from a Weston quarry.

Police believed it had been taken by children, and could be extremely dangerous.

One boy had already been found in Weston Woods with a small amount of explosive materials, similar to that taken from the quarry, in Upper Bristol Road.

Some of the 500 parhioners and guests who attended Mark Harvest Home.Some of the 500 parhioners and guests who attended Mark Harvest Home.

• Many South West resorts had complained about a marked drop in seasonal business, put down to the credit squeeze and pay freeze.

But Weston managed to avoid the worst of it, with tourism bosses reporting a drop in visitors just below the average.

Many hoteliers said they had received a surge in last-minute bookings in the final weeks of the summer.

Weston Harriers Gymkhana and Brent Knoll. Left to right: Christine Weir, winner of the jumping with Margaret Huxtable 2nd, and Jane Minifie 3rd.Weston Harriers Gymkhana and Brent Knoll. Left to right: Christine Weir, winner of the jumping with Margaret Huxtable 2nd, and Jane Minifie 3rd.

• In the week leading up to the bank holiday weekend, 3,000-4,000 visitors were making their way by train to Weston. Extra trains had to be put on to take them home again.

• One of the men who served on HMS Birnbeck during the war recalled how armaments were dropped around Sand Bay in 1944. Detonators and bombs were discovered on the beach in 1967, and Victor Ashmore told his story to the Mercury.

He said: “Scientists of HMS Birnbeck would produce some new form of weapon or wish to try out some new method and whatever it was would be taken from Birnbeck to Weston Airfield and there loaded on a Lancaster Bomber.”

Don Trapnell junior on Delcia, judged the best Weston donkey of the year at the annual RSPCA Donkey show held on Weston Beach.Don Trapnell junior on Delcia, judged the best Weston donkey of the year at the annual RSPCA Donkey show held on Weston Beach.

Those bombers dropped the weapons by Sand Bay at high tide.

Mr Ashmore then got onto a tug boat to collect the remains of the bomb to take back to scientists for inspection. Weapons tested at Birnbeck included the famous bouncing bomb used in the Dambusters raids, and the anti-submarine weapon the Hedgehog.

Mr Ashmore may not have been able to reveal some of the technical aspects of what happened at Birnbeck as many secret Government files were not released until 1974.

Wedmore Harvest Home Carnival Parade. Harvest Queen Rosemary Hobbs with her attendants, Valerie Binning (left) and Christine Kennedy.Wedmore Harvest Home Carnival Parade. Harvest Queen Rosemary Hobbs with her attendants, Valerie Binning (left) and Christine Kennedy.

• Professional Weston cyclist Roger Claridge came first in the general classification in the Mackeson race.

He turned professional in 1961 but in 1962, a crash left him with a shattered leg and it looked as though his career was over – but he returned eight weeks later.

He rode in the Tour of Britain in 1965.

Wedmore Harvest Home Carnival Parade.Wedmore Harvest Home Carnival Parade.

MORE: Picture Past from August 18, 1967.

Some of the 500 parhioners and guests who attended Mark Harvest Home.Some of the 500 parhioners and guests who attended Mark Harvest Home.

Burnham and Highbridge Round Table's Donkey Derby. Helen Morris, of Weston, hoping for a hot tip from one of the mounts!Burnham and Highbridge Round Table's Donkey Derby. Helen Morris, of Weston, hoping for a hot tip from one of the mounts!

Burnham and Highbridge Round Table's Donkey Derby. The finish of the Burnham and Highbridge Round Table's Donkey Derby. The finish of the "Victoria Street Gallop," won by Janice Hughes.

Weston Harriers Gymkhana and Brent Knoll. Young competitors in the egg and spoon race.Weston Harriers Gymkhana and Brent Knoll. Young competitors in the egg and spoon race.

Three Weston-super-Mare schoolboys have found a novel way to occupy themselves during the summer holidays, by caring for some of the animals housed at the RSPCA centre in Locking Road. They are 13-year-old Richard Main and brothers Terry and Derek Hewlett aged 14 and 12, of Milton.Three Weston-super-Mare schoolboys have found a novel way to occupy themselves during the summer holidays, by caring for some of the animals housed at the RSPCA centre in Locking Road. They are 13-year-old Richard Main and brothers Terry and Derek Hewlett aged 14 and 12, of Milton.

Some of the well turned out horses at the annual RSPCA Donkey show held on Weston Beach.Some of the well turned out horses at the annual RSPCA Donkey show held on Weston Beach.

Ads 25th August 1967 Edition.Ads 25th August 1967 Edition.

Front Page 25th August 1967 Edition.Front Page 25th August 1967 Edition.

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