Picture Past: December 8, 1967 – couple divided by war and Soviet occupation reunited after 27 years
PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 December 2017
Weston Borough Council's housing estate at Preanes Green was completed.
A couple’s long-awaited reunion and redundancies made headlines in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago. Here is the news from December 8, 1967.
Crowds around the tree at the switch on of the Bournville Traders' Association illuminations and lighted christmas tree in St Andrew's Parade.
• A couple who had been separated for 27 years were finally able to start a new life together in Cheddar.
Polish couple Michal and Maria Kalinowski had last seen each other in 1940 when he left his 21-year-old bride behind to go to war.
He became a Russian prisoner, but was eventually released under amnesty.
He travelled through the Middle East to join the Polish unit fighting under Britain’s Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery in the desert.
Blazing Yule logs and an illuminated tree brought the Christmas atmosphere to Axbridge where a large crowd gathered for a television recording. The occasion was arranged for BBC television who were recording their "Songs of Praise" programe.
His service took him to Italy and then to England where he was demobilised in 1945 – but Maria was still in Poland.
He managed to buy some land in Cheddar, where he built a farm, and the couple continued to write to each other.
Finally, 22 years after the war ended, the Foreign Office said Russia, which occupied Poland as part of the Soviet Union, had allowed Maria a passport and she was able to travel to England to join her husband.
They were planning to build a bungalow together in Cheddar.
Ads 8th December 1967 Edition.
• Redundancy notices were given to 25 men at Westland Aircraft Limited’s factory on the Oldmixon estate.
Another 10 men over the age of 65 were also given a week’s notice.
The helicopter firm said no more redundancies were planned.
• The BBC’s Songs Of Praise programme was filmed in Axbridge, where an 80-strong choir performed on the church steps.
Father Christmas with Jonathan Bailey, Kerry Tucker, David Underhay, Lance Tucker, Philip Tomms and David Wyatt at the switch on of the Bournville Traders' Association illuminations.
• Some interesting facts about Weston’s postal service emerged in the paper’s history section.
It said how just over 100 years ago – in the 1860s – it was announced the donkey which carried letters between Weston and Cross two days a week was to be replaced by a horse doing the same work three times a week.
Letters sent to Weston had to be addressed as ‘Weston, near Cross’, because Cross was an important stage posting station.
• Worle’s Preanes Green estate was finally finished after two and a half years. It had 340 houses.
Balloons for the police ball. Pictured are Beverley Allsop and Anita Quick (seated) and Carol Forsyth, Margaret Quick, Susan Rue and Brenda Payne.
• Christmas stock shows were cancelled throughout Somerset owing to the foot and mouth outbreak. Weston was one of the first in the area to cancel its show.
MORE: Picture Past from December 1, 1967.
Mothers and their children at the annual party held by the Infant Welfare Clinic at Highbridge Town Hall. The Mayor and Mayoress (Cllr. and Mrs. C.D. Curtis) looking at gifts with Julie Buxton, Veronica Bonner, Jennifer Lane and Jane Bisset at Holy Trinity Church Christmas Bazaar. The annual competitions of Mid-Somerset Battalion of the Boys' Brigade, held at Weston-super-Mare, attracted more than 200 entrants, one of the highest entries in the event's history. Begun some two-and-half years ago, Weston-super-Mare Borough Council's housing estate at Preanes Green, incorporating 340 houses, as well as shops and garages has been completed. Begun some two-and-half years ago, Weston-super-Mare Borough Council's housing estate at Preanes Green, incorporating 340 houses, as well as shops and garages has been completed. Pictured with gifts at the Christmas bazaar held by the Church of Our Lady of Loudes, Milton, are Louise and Sarah Barber with Vanessa and Jackie Maloney. Weston-super-Mare Technical College prizegiving. Cherilyn Bull (left) shows Mary Vowles her Royal Society of Arts medal. Looking on are other award winners. Boys assembled for Weston-super-Mare Grammar School prizegiving. Weston Youth Orchestra in rehearsal for their first concert which will be held at St. Peter's Church on January 5th. Rose Maybud (Susan Follit), in bridal costume, with the Professional Bridesmaids in Churchill School's production of "Ruddigore" this week. Front Page 8th December 1967 Edition.