Picture Past: August 23, 1968 – Playhouse theatre being rebuilt

PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 August 2018

The new Weston Playhouse nearing completion.

The new Weston Playhouse nearing completion.

Archant

Progress on the Playhouse theatre and an explosion at a bar made headlines in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago. Here is the news from August 1968.

The new Weston Playhouse nearing completion.The new Weston Playhouse nearing completion.

• The walls of new the Playhouse theatre had gone up, four years after it was destroyed in a fire.

The auditorium had started to take shape, and about two-thirds of the exterior was complete.

It was expected the roof would be on by the beginning of October so the electrics could be installed without being hindered by bad weather.

• A siren which was used in Weston to call part-time firefighters to the station was likely to be abolished.

Three thirsty lads at Mark Harvest Home.Three thirsty lads at Mark Harvest Home.

It would be replaced by bleepers, which could be kept in the firefighters’ pockets.

The issue had arisen as people were awoke by the siren at around 6.30am on Sunday morning.

Firefighters were called to the Princess Alexandra Hotel, in Meadow Street, where there had been an explosion under the bar.

The bar was wrecked in the blast, the windows were blown out and glasses and bottles of beers were smashed.

All smiles as they wait for their luncheon at Mark Harvest Home.All smiles as they wait for their luncheon at Mark Harvest Home.

However, it was largely business as usual elsewhere in the hotel, as staff hastily cleared up the mess. The cause of the explosion was unknown.

MORE: Last week’s Picture Past.

• A defence unit was going to be formed in Congresbury to deal with any emergencies.

The unit was to be formed in response to a gas explosion in the village, in which a woman died.

Burnham on Sea Summer Carnival procession. Brian  the snail and Dougal were among characters in the winning tableau, Burnham on Sea Summer Carnival procession. Brian the snail and Dougal were among characters in the winning tableau, "The Magic Roundabout," by the Rosewood Close Gang.

It was thought the people in the unit could provide immediate aid when needed.

• The Christmas lights which had been a fixture in Weston High Street for a number of years were going to be discontinued indefinitely.

The High Street Traders Christmas Lighting Association had organised the illuminations since 1961 but rising costs meant the committee was going to disband. It was thought the situation would not be reviewed again until at least 1970.

• Rail fare increases would come into effect in September, it was announced by the British Railway Board.

Competitors in the barrel jumping race at Weston Harriers Open Gymkhana.Competitors in the barrel jumping race at Weston Harriers Open Gymkhana.

The price of a second class ticket from Weston to Bristol would increase by a sixpence to six shillings.

The cost of a second class single ticket from Weston to London would rise from 37s 3d to 40s.

• People affected by Somerset’s devastating floods were asking for £600,000 in damages claims.

The claims showed how the Government’s financial offer of £175,000 would not go far enough to meet the need.

A group of lady servers ready to feed the hungry at Mark Harvest Home.A group of lady servers ready to feed the hungry at Mark Harvest Home.

Entries in Burnham on Sea Summer Carnival procession.Entries in Burnham on Sea Summer Carnival procession.

St Peter's Church Milton. Cub Scouts Happy Families Fete. Scouts and Cubs at one of the competitions.St Peter's Church Milton. Cub Scouts Happy Families Fete. Scouts and Cubs at one of the competitions.

Burnham on Sea Summer Carnival procession. Cooper Arms Carnival Club, Highbridge, entered the Burnham on Sea Summer Carnival procession. Cooper Arms Carnival Club, Highbridge, entered the "Hobo's fishing trip" and won a first prize.

More pictures from East Huntspill Harvest Home celebrations. In fancy dress are Wendy Baker, as the Queen of Hearts, and Caroline Gillard (Buttons and Bows).More pictures from East Huntspill Harvest Home celebrations. In fancy dress are Wendy Baker, as the Queen of Hearts, and Caroline Gillard (Buttons and Bows).

More pictures from East Huntspill Harvest Home celebrations. Behind the scenes at the luncheon as this industrous group of ladies tackling the washing up.More pictures from East Huntspill Harvest Home celebrations. Behind the scenes at the luncheon as this industrous group of ladies tackling the washing up.

More pictures from East Huntspill Harvest Home celebrations. The Harvest Queen was 17-year-old Janet Baker, attended here by Margaret Puddy and Maureen Ganfield.More pictures from East Huntspill Harvest Home celebrations. The Harvest Queen was 17-year-old Janet Baker, attended here by Margaret Puddy and Maureen Ganfield.

More pictures from East Huntspill Harvest Home celebrations. This decorated wagon is overflowing with harvest produce, Gay Baker pauses beside it with her decorated bicycle.More pictures from East Huntspill Harvest Home celebrations. This decorated wagon is overflowing with harvest produce, Gay Baker pauses beside it with her decorated bicycle.

Ads 23rd August 1968 Edition.Ads 23rd August 1968 Edition.

Ads 23rd August 1968 Edition.Ads 23rd August 1968 Edition.

Front Page 23rd August 1968 Edition.Front Page 23rd August 1968 Edition.

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