Picture Past: September 22, 1967 - ancient elephant bones in cave
PUBLISHED: 16:00 23 September 2017
Ancient animal bones discovered in a cave were included in an article in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago. Here is the news from September 1967.
• The Mercury’s history column said it was improbable the lost cave of Hutton would ever be rediscovered.
The cave was first found in 1760 after extensive mining was carried out for lead, calamine and ochre.
There were a great number of bones inside, with some coming from a huge extinct species of elephant, a tiger, hyena and large kind of bird.
Dr Catcott, one of the country’s earliest geological experts, could not explain why there was such a huge variety of animal bones, because people did not fully understand how climates and land masses had changed.
The explorers had to retreat when the roof started to cave in, and it was not until 70 years later when the cave was explored again.
However, the walls were collapsing and some of the bones were hastily removed before they were destroyed.
• Weston was left ‘out in the cold’ when it was excluded a planning document for the South West’s economy.
The South West Economic Planning Council published the document, but had almost completely disregarded Somerset and Weston.
• Fears Steart Island, off Burnham, was disappearing into the Bristol Channel appeared to be well founded.
A survey confirmed 450ft of the island had been lowered by 3ft in the past three years.
But it was warned any work done to reverse the trend could be pointless, because the estuary was so unstable the situation could change of its own accord.
The town’s councillors were relieved to discover the changing conditions would not result in higher waves in Burnham.
• An extension to the three-form entry comprehensive school in Worle was given the go ahead.
The work would cost £163,000.
• August 1967 had been the driest August in 26 years.
• A royal coat of arms requested by the Queen was completed by Weston craftsman EW Denner. The plaque would be installed at Shepton Montague Church near Bruton, which had been gutted by fire.
• Police panda cars would be introduced in Weston following a successful trial in Taunton.
• The history of Axbridge was told through re-enactments watched by some 1,500 people.
The event featured Romans, and the Battle of Sedgemoor.