Picture Past: January 19, 1968 – Cat Stevens performs in Weston
PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 January 2018
‘Frogmen’ would be visiting Weston-super-Mare, along with musician Cat Stevens 50 years ago. This is the news from the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald on January 19, 1968.
• Weston Borough Council slashed £60,000 from its programme for the year, and £200,000 from the 1968-69 budget.
Its budget-cutting followed the Government urging councils to reduce spending.
A plan for toilets in Grove Park was axed completely, while spending on the Town Hall extension, a bowls pavilion in Clarence Park, and Worle library was deferred.
Improvements to the Winter Gardens pavilion and a wind screen for the open air pool were also deferred, and would be reconsidered in October.
• Gas use for the past week had exceeded the previous record set by the South West Gas Board.
The increase was attributed to the growing popularity of central heating and radiators.
• ‘Frogmen’, divers for the Ministry of Defence, would search the area around Birnbeck Pier to see if there were more mines after a huge number were discovered on Weston’s beach.
Another 24 explosives were found at Wick St Lawrence.
• Shipham Parish Council was trying to ban parking on the village green.
Action was being taken after one homeowner was overheard saying he was going to lay a tarmac parking space on the green near his home.
The parish council was powerless to do anything about it, until its claim the green was common land was resolved in three years’ time.
The council wanted to ask Axbridge Urban District Council for a by-law banning parking on the green in the meantime.
• Chart-topper Cat Stevens would be performing at the Winter Gardens.
He had several hit records by that time, including I’m Gonna Get Me A Gun and I Love My Dog.
His performance followed Pink Floyd’s, although they were not as well-known at the start of 1968.
• A railway museum was closing after five years.
Robert Smallman founded the museum at Uphill and Bleadon’s old station site, and it featured the smallest railway engine in Britain.
Although it received 5,500 visitors in 1967, he was too busy to keep it open.
• Part of one of the most popular footpaths in Weston disappeared when about 100 tons of rock fell 60ft to the ground in the disused quarry in South Road.
It collapsed during heavy rain and the path was closed.