PICTURE PAST: July 4, 1969 - RAF officer saves daughter from sunk boat

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 July 2019

Weston Airport from the air. Present trends indicate that Weston Airport will soon be playing a part in the expantion of the aviation industry and could become the light aircraft centre of the South West.     
Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Weston Airport from the air. Present trends indicate that Weston Airport will soon be playing a part in the expantion of the aviation industry and could become the light aircraft centre of the South West. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Archant

The Queen Mother paid a visit to North Somerset 50 years ago. News of her arrival appeared in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald.

An exiting start in the donkey derby held by the 1st Burrington and Wrington Scout Group at Churchill.     Picture: WESTON MERCURYAn exiting start in the donkey derby held by the 1st Burrington and Wrington Scout Group at Churchill. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Weston's Playhouse Theatre reopened, five years after it was severely damaged in a fire.

The High Street venue was destroyed in the blaze but rebuilt with almost 700 seats.

The project cost £230,000 and took two years to complete.

Doors opened with a performance by the Brian Rix Company, as it staged comedy Let Sleeping Wives Lie.

Uphill Primary School's Parents and Friends Association fete.     Picture: WESTON MERCURYUphill Primary School's Parents and Friends Association fete. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

- Felton had its own royal occasion when it gave a warm Somerset welcome to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who visited St Katherine's Church.

Parishioners, schoolchildren, scouts, brownies and everyone connected with the church or parish greeted the smiling royal visitor with tremendous cheering as she arrived at the picturesque small church.

She saw a special flower festival arranged for the occasion.

The Queen Mother flew to Bristol in an Andover of the Queen's Flight and was greeted by a crowd of more than 100 people on the observation platform.

Uphill Primary School's Parents and Friends Association fete.     Picture: WESTON MERCURYUphill Primary School's Parents and Friends Association fete. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

- A car crashed as it swerved off the road and ploughed into a wall outside the Lord Nelson in Cleeve.

The driver, a young man from Wrington, died from his injuries.

The accident happened at around 1.30am while he was driving towards Weston.

Norman Febry, aged 25, suffered a fatal head injury.

Windwhistle Primary School family sports day.     Picture: WESTON MERCURYWindwhistle Primary School family sports day. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

- An RAF officer from Locking swam ashore from a submerged sailing dinghy and saved the lives of his daughter and another officer who were trapped in the boat.

A nine-hour air and sea search for the three missing people had been launched.

Flight lieutenant John Beckett, his 11-year-old daughter and flight lieutenant George Smith left Knightstone Causeway in an Albacore dinghy about 6.30pm on the Monday.

Later, Mrs Beckett had become anxious about their safety and reported them missing to the police.

Windwhistle Primary School family sports day.     Picture: WESTON MERCURYWindwhistle Primary School family sports day. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Flt Lt Beckett's car and boat trailer were found parked at Knightstone.

The boat had been blown towards the mouth of the River Parrett near Bridgwater.

Beckett swam for help and headed towards Steart Island where he was found by a postman.

A helicopter was sent to the boat where his daughter and friend were rescued.

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