Picture Past: August 30, 1968
PUBLISHED: 16:13 01 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:13 01 September 2018
A Worlebury radio enthusiast became embroiled in the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union.
William Holley spent much of his free time listening to radio transmissions around the world.
He was one of many ‘hams’ who assisted the Czech people to organise their underground movement when the Soviet troops invaded by relaying messages.
He started handling messages the day after the invasion, as the Czechs found it easier to broadcast to other countries rather than through their own radio enthusiasts.
The messages were all sent in Morse code, and the Russians attempted to jam the signals, though Mr Holley said they were not as efficient as might have been expected.
It was not the first time Mr Holley became caught up in world events. In 1959, he received a Canadian transmission which said the Russians had sent a man into space. Yuri Gagarin’s feat was confirmed the next day.
He usually used his radio to reunite family members from around the world.
– There was a stinky problem in Banwell. People living in Riverside usually enjoyed the fresh country air, but they were holding their noses against the smell from a sewage station across the road.
– A coach carrying 22 Boys Brigade members toppled into a ditch between Weston and Brean. No-one was hurt.
– Blagdon Water Park had 40 rare fish stolen from a tank.
– Councils were given powers to put down their own zebra crossings rather than ask the Government to do it.
Weston Borough Council’s RP Sheppard said the authority could no longer hide behind someone else for its omissions.
– There were encouraging signs Worle would get its new library. It would cost £36,120 and was a priority in the borough’s library needs.
– The Mercury’s Looking Back column, similar to Picture Past, reported how in 1943 there was alarm in Bleadon because of rumours of a ‘mystery monster’.
Some residents would not venture out of their homes at night in case they encountered the creature, and the rumour mill kept turning, until the animal had grown from the size of a rodent to a rhino.
It turned out it was a grey squirrel – a species not yet known to live in the district.
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