Picture Past: August 19, 1966

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 August 2016

Three of Weston's many thousands of visitors taking advantage of the warm spell for a splash in the tide.

Three of Weston's many thousands of visitors taking advantage of the warm spell for a splash in the tide.

Archant

Traders said the summer season had been the worst since World War Two, while there was a crime wave in North Somerset. This is the news from Weston-super-Mare in 1966.

Susan Board, Worlebury (1st), Lesley Nash, Weston (2nd) and Christine Weir, Biddisham (3rd) were winners in the handy hunter class at Banwell Hunt children's gymkhana.Susan Board, Worlebury (1st), Lesley Nash, Weston (2nd) and Christine Weir, Biddisham (3rd) were winners in the handy hunter class at Banwell Hunt children's gymkhana.

Weston was one of the warmest places in the country, 50 years ago this week.

However, there remained concerns the warm weather would not be enough for traders to recoup their losses in what they said was a ‘disastrous’ season and the worst since World War Two, more than 20 years earlier.

The maximum temperature reached 70 degrees, with 22.5 days of sunshine over two days. But overall, hoteliers said it was the wettest summer they could remember.

Another ran a ‘rain insurance’ scheme, where people would receive £1 every time the rainfall measured one-tenth of an inch or more between 10am and 6pm. The hotel had paid out ‘a considerable amount’.

* The phone exchange at Banwell went automatic for the first time. This followed a new exchange being plugged in to by-pass the manual exchange in the centre of the village. Instead of the 12 women who ran the switchboard 24 hours a day, a single engineer would oversee things.

* Workmen discovered an underground cavern more than 50ft deep near a centuries-old house in Congresbury.

It was thought it might lead to a secret tunnel.

* An unusual crime wave hit North Somerset – lawnmower theft. Rotavators and hedge-trimmers had also been taken.

* A scientist from Weston was given the highest civilian award from the United States Air Force.

Frederick Sansom was given $2,000 in recognition of his work developing computer programmes.

* Axbridge Rural District Council decided £350 was too much to spend on land for a car park in Wedmore.

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