Picture Past: July 24, 1964

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 July 2014

Sunday morning traffic came to a halt on the main Bristol-Weston road when gas cylinders started exploding in a fire at the John Howard & Co. Ltd. depot. Firemen duck to escape the blast as the cylinders explode.

Sunday morning traffic came to a halt on the main Bristol-Weston road when gas cylinders started exploding in a fire at the John Howard & Co. Ltd. depot. Firemen duck to escape the blast as the cylinders explode.

Archant

'IF YOU'RE old and sick, you've had it' was the warning from a medical spokesman this week in 1964.

His quotes were contained in one of many reports in the July 24 edition of the Weston Mercury & Somersetshire Herald.

Here are some of the stories it included:

* More than 10,000 signatures were collected for a hospital campaign. Doctors, patients and organisations signed the document calling on the Government to reverse its decision on the provision of a new hospital in the town. A medical spokesman said: “The postponement means that at Weston, if you’re old and sick, you’ve had it, chum – you die alone in your home.” When it was built in 1928, Weston General Hospital was supposed to serve a population of 43,000. By 1964 it was serving 87,000 and patients were waiting up to two years for a non-emergency operation.

* ‘Angry’ coach drivers caught in ‘chaotic driving conditions’ were refusing to return to Weston. It was reported there was already a big drop in the number of coaches bringing people to the town, and public relations officer Edward Turner said everything possible must be done to ease traffic congestion.

* Gas and oxygen cylinders exploded at John Howard civil contractors’ depot in New Bristol Road. No-one was hurt in the fire.

* Weston’s Liberal Association strongly denied it was planning to make a pact with the Weston Labour Party.

* St John’s School, the oldest in the town, was to close its doors for the last time. It was due to be amalgamated with two other schools, having first opened in 1846. The boys were to move to Walliscote School, and the girls to Winterstoke School.

* Health expert Dr John Boycott told a Parliament committee that he believed Weston’s beach was in the top 10 in the country for cleanliness.

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