Picture Past: March 22, 1968 – vicar accidentally overhears other people’s phone calls
PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 March 2018
A budget was blown out of the water 50 years ago – and so were some anti-submarine bombs. Here is the news from the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald in March 1968.
Hutton vicar HR Haines complained that when he tried to place calls from his home, he could often overhear other phone conversations from around the village.
A villager told him this would no longer be the case when the Weston exchange was completed.
• Weston was set to be greatly affected by proposed tax laws, announced in Government budget proposals.
The borough council was facing up to the fact its budget for the year would not be adequate in light of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement.
The proposals included increased tax on confectionary, a rise in fuel tax and cost of vehicle licencing. It was forecasted some Weston hotels would close for part of the year unless they could get some relief.
• The M5 motorway section being built between Edithmead and Avonmouth would be delayed for a year because contracts had become too bunched together, the Minister for Transport announced.
Weston’s MP David Webster, who was a front bench spokesman on transport for the opposition, said it was a sign motorists were being issued with considerable taxes, but the motorway programme was being slowed down.
• Strong winds and changing tides halted efforts to clear a large number of missiles from the area between Birnbeck Pier and Sand Bay.
Some had already been found and destroyed, including 10 anti-submarine bombs.
• Letters sent just two miles away from Wrington were taking two days to be delivered. Complaints were made to the parish council about the length of time it took.
• Bleadon appeared to have lost the latest round in the fight to prevent the re-opening of the South Hill Quarry.
Church Commissioners said they were willing to give a lease to a company which wanted to extract limestone.
The parish council said it would keep trying to prevent it from happening.
One parishioner said: “I know we have big money against us, but the parish council have 99 per cent of the village behind them.”
• There was urgent need for a breakers’ yard in Weston to break down motor vehicles.
• Rock group Procol Harum was due to perform at the Winter Gardens.