Picture Past: August 16, 1968 – Thieves use explosives to blow safe open
PUBLISHED: 16:43 18 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:43 18 August 2018
‘Deplorable’ funding decisions and diving regulations made headlines in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago. Here is the news from the August 16 edition in 1968.
• The Government was accused of making a ‘deplorable’ decision when it chose how much money to provide for flood relief in Somerset.
The Government provided £175,000, a decision which was described as ‘insulting’, ‘totally inadequate’ and a ‘miserable and mean’ sum by North Somerset’s MP Paul Dean.
Fundraising efforts were underway to help people return to their homes and to get the county’s infrastructure back to normal.
Axbridge Rural District Council was presented with figures which showed the financial help available would fall far short of the number of claims received, even after insurance payments were made. The council made an emergency resolution ‘deploring’ the Government contribution.
The Government said no more additional funds would be forthcoming.
• The development of the Oldmixon estate, which had been slowed down by Government restrictions, was worrying traders.
They said they did not receive a reasonable income at their businesses because house-building had been restricted.
The five business owners wanted their rates reduced, but Weston Borough Council refused the applications.
• Thieves used explosives to blow open two safes in Bridge Road in Weston. They took £200.
• The diving boards were going to be removed from Cheddar’s swimming pool because the water was not deep enough.
The parish council wanted funding from the ministry of housing and local government to improve the pool, but it had to meet new diving standards.
Its 10ft high board had already been removed, but the other two would need to be as well.
When asked if he ever hit his head while diving, Cllr Packer said ‘now and then’. Perhaps missing the point, he said: “But I don’t think there was any damage to the bottom of the pool.”
• Operation Neptune was launched in Weston to raise the necessary money for the National Trust to buy Woodspring Priory.
Weston was set a £15,000 fundraising target, although £4,000 had already been collected in the town.
Weston’s mayor said: “By your support, you will be able to join in the preservation not only of the coastline for the nation, but an amenity for Weston on our doorstep.”
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