Picture Past: October 28, 1966
PUBLISHED: 15:33 28 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:33 28 October 2016
'Rat-hunters' were preventing fires in Weston-super-Mare in 1966. The odd story was included in the October 28 edition of the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald. Here are more stories from that week.
A Weston man who had served as a mess boy during World War Two met the German U-boat captain who rescued him during wartime fighting.
The remarkable story involved James Oxton, who was aged 16 when the ship he was on was torpedoed, and he and four others were left on a raft in the Atlantic.
They floated there for eight days, with only malted milk tablets and a small supply of fresh water, when they were spotted by Captain Gustav Janssen, commander of a German submarine.
Because of the submarine’s size, only Mr Oxton and one other man were taken on-board, while the other three were given supplies which lasted them until their rescue 43 days later.
Picture Past: October 28, 1966
Front Page 28th October 1966 Edition.
Ads 28th October 1966 Edition.
Work is ahead of schedule on the £210,000 by-pass for Axbridge, which follows the route of the former Cheddar Valley railway line.
Weston-super-Mare Girl's Grammar School speach day. Girls assembled for the prizegiving.
Weston-super-Mare Girl's Grammar School speach day. Miss D.E.L. Spicer presenting a prize to headgirl Ann Vennall, pictured with her deputies Catherine Hough and Judith Dodgson, and headmistress, Dr. Mavis Beal.
Sally Alford was popular among autograph hunters after opening the St. John's Church Autumn Fayre, held in the Church Hall.
S. MacGregor receiving the Boys' Club shield on behalf of his team (M. Pope and R.K. Porter) for the best performance in the 30 mile walk in aid of YMCA funds. The presentation was made by the Mayor (Cllr. R. W. Thomas) and also pictured are the other winners - C. Birks, Jane Pattenden, M. Pope, R.K. Porter, K. Tyler and brothers J. and N. Vanstone.
Churchill School pupils gather for the prizegiving.
Churchill School Prizegiving. Head girl and boy Margaret Irving and Paul Hockey receive their prizes from Somerset C.C.C. captain Colin Atkinson, watched by headmaster Mr. Desmond Foster and Cllr Lt. Col. J.M.Lee (chairman.
The Mayor (Cllr. R. W. Thomas) with Soccer teams from the Weston and County Council branches of NALGO who met at the Baytree Road ground in the first round of the S.W. District NALGO Cup competition.
Mr Oxton spent two years in a prisoner of war camp, but he wanted to thank Captain Janssen for saving his life. They finally met in October 1966.
* A craftsman from Weston was given the honour of creating a new Royal Coat of Arms.
Mr EW Denner was commissioned by the Queen to replace a plaque from the 17th century, which had been destroyed by fire.
* The number of people who were unemployed was at its highest number for a ‘number of years’.
In total, 670 people were unemployed. The number of job vacancies had gone down.
* ‘Rat-hunters’ had resulted in the number of fires at a Weston tip to drop from one a week to none in a year. The fires were being caused by young people rummaging around in the tip.
But when a teenager was given permission to use a gun to shoot rats, it was done on the agreement he would put out any fires. A team of eight young men were preventing fires from spreading.