Picture past: epidemics, unemployment and new housing

PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 February 2020

Burnham Society's pantomime Cinderella. Cinderella (Valerie Hooper) in her coach, drawn by Susan Leigh and Delyse Parsglove, with Gwen Allen (Godmother) and Sandra Day (coachman).     Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Burnham Society's pantomime Cinderella. Cinderella (Valerie Hooper) in her coach, drawn by Susan Leigh and Delyse Parsglove, with Gwen Allen (Godmother) and Sandra Day (coachman). Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Archant

Unemployment in Weston continued to rise.

Burnham Society's pantomime Cinderella.     Picture: WESTON MERCURYBurnham Society's pantomime Cinderella. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

The number of unemployed people in the Weston-Axbridge area was 968, compared with 884 in January 1969.

Of the 945, 745 were men including 380 aged over 50, 195 women, 16 boys and 12 girls.

The Mayor, Cllr. David Driver, presenting Jane White withwithher cycling proficiency certificate. Looking on are the Mayoress, Mrs. D.J. Driver, and other recipients.     Picture: WESTON MERCURYThe Mayor, Cllr. David Driver, presenting Jane White withwithher cycling proficiency certificate. Looking on are the Mayoress, Mrs. D.J. Driver, and other recipients. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Unemployment in the area increased to 4.8 per cent, almost double the national average of 2.5 per cent.

Weston and District employment committee was told fewer women had been employed in shops and distributive traders over the Christmas period and those which were employed were not kept on afterwards.

Members of the Daly-Hayden School of Dancing held their dance at the Royal Hotel.     Picture: WESTON MERCURYMembers of the Daly-Hayden School of Dancing held their dance at the Royal Hotel. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Sixty-five people died of flu and pneumonia during an outbreak of the disease which hit Weston over the festive period.

During the epidemic, people died from an 'extremely severe' type of flu.

Hornets forward Ken Harrhy gets in a quick, clearing kick after a line-out in the game with Welsh side Cwmbran at Hutton Moor.     Picture: WESTON MERCURYHornets forward Ken Harrhy gets in a quick, clearing kick after a line-out in the game with Welsh side Cwmbran at Hutton Moor. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Council medical officer Dr D McGowan told the health and housing committee 23 people died from influenza and the rest died from pneumonia, of which there were many more cases than usual.

Dr McGowan said the strain of flu from the outbreak was much more severe than in the outbreak in 1951 and 1957, but the epidemic was abating.

Displaying a scrapbook of Victorian greeting cards included in a Weston Museum exhibition is Miss Jeanette Irving of the Borough Library staff.     Picture: WESTON MERCURYDisplaying a scrapbook of Victorian greeting cards included in a Weston Museum exhibition is Miss Jeanette Irving of the Borough Library staff. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

He said: "The epidemic started shortly before Christmas and shot up considerably in a comparatively short space of time.

"Doctors and hospital staff were swamped with cases, and were still extrememly busy.

Ads 23th January 1970 Edition.      Picture: WESTON MERCURYAds 23th January 1970 Edition. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

"The first death from the flu occurred on December 12, then until January 8 there were 21 further deaths.

"Only two of the influenza victims were under 55, we were led to believe this would a milder type of outbreak, in fact, it was extremely severe, very severe indeed."

Ads 23th January 1970 Edition.      Picture: WESTON MERCURYAds 23th January 1970 Edition. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

A housing society proposed building 44 new homes in
Weston.

The scheme proposed by Condominium Housing Society at the former tennis courts at Westcliffe Lawns would comprise of 26 bed-sits, eight two-bedroom apartments and 10 three-bedroom flats.

Front Page 23th January 1970 Edition.     Picture: WESTON MERCURYFront Page 23th January 1970 Edition. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

The scheme would see tenants take part in a co-ownership scheme, with those occupying the flats repaying the mortgage on the building over a 40-year period.

Although the tenants would never own their units outright at the end of the repayment period, they would only have to contribute to the upkeep of the building.


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