Picture Past: March 1, 1968 – Farce as Weston bridge cannot be crossed with prams
PUBLISHED: 16:00 03 March 2018
Spending taxpayer’s money on flower arrangement classes made headlines in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago. Here is the news from March 1, 1968.
• A farcical situation had become clear involving Weston’s new bridge.
People crossing the bridge, which went over Beach Road, on one side walked up a slope, which was ideal if they were pushing prams.
However, once they crossed, they would discover it was steps on the other side. Councillors described it as ‘ridiculous’.
• Somerset County Council was facing making a number of redundancies.
Staff costs had reached £14million, nearly half of its expenditure, having grown by 20 per cent in four years.
One councillor, Mrs DA Edwards from Weston, called for an end to ‘frivolous spending’ and said some educational classes should be cut.
She said: “I see there are such things as horse riding and flower arrangement. I arrange my own flowers.
“No-one taught me how to do that. To think of paying tutors for that sort of thing is really wasting public money.”
• The problem of bombs on the beach in Weston was the subject of a Ministry of Defence survey, which would be debated.
• The Grosvenor Hotel, in Knightstone Road, was sold at auction for £17,000.
It was bought by hotelier Mrs TM Edwards. Bidding started at £12,000 and reached the final total in minutes.
• Gas production in Weston came to an end with the final coal delivery.
The gasworks in Drove Road were to become a storage and distribution centre.
About 25 per cent of staff had transferred elsewhere in the company, or had new jobs.
• A group of Weston volunteers, most members of the civil defence movement, would go it alone when the corps was put on a ‘care and maintenance basis’ by the Government.
The movement started during World War One, but as the Cold War progressed it became clear nothing could be done in the event of a nuclear attack and funding was removed.
Weston volunteers decided they would form their own emergency organisation and carry on training people in first aid, rescue and firefighting.
• Just as Weston AFC was showing better form, four players went down with the flu. A reshuffled side lost 2-1 at Bath.
• A suggestion was made to turn Axbridge’s Hunting Lodge into a museum.