PICTURE PAST: June 6, 1969 – Steamer crashes into Birnbeck Pier
PUBLISHED: 16:00 08 June 2019
A steamer collided with Birnbeck Pier after a cross-channel trip from Cardiff. The story appeared on the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald’s front page 50 years ago.
The dangers and difficulties for pedestrians and vehicles in negotiating a Weston junction were stressed at a council meeting.
A letter from the Bristol Omnibus Company referred to delays experienced by the drivers trying to get on to the main road at the junction of Bournville Road and Drove Road.
It was agreed to approach the Ministry of Transport to discuss improvements to the junction and the possible installation of traffic lights.
-- Bottles and crockery were smashed and passengers jolted when a channel steamer, Westward Ho!, collided with Birnbeck Pier.
The mishap occurred when the vessel was approaching the pier to berth after a trip from Cardiff.
The boat was coming up to the pier at around 8.15pm when the current caught it, shaking it.
The Westward Ho! bow was damaged and was taken back to Cardiff Dock for repairs.
-- Plans to improve facilities at Weston General Hospital and provide more beds at the Royal Hospital costing thousands of pounds were shelved.
It was likely the plans were to be postponed for at least two years by the Regional Hospital Board.
The major part of the work was to have been at the general hospital, where there was an urgent need to extend the busy accident and emergency department.
The scheme would have also provided a new sterile supply department.
At the Royal Hospital the need for more beds was severely felt.
-- An old-established family leather goods business in Regent Street was at threat of having to sell up to make way for a major shopping development.
It was the only shop on the block between the Victoria Hotel and the new development at the corner of High Street, then owned by the Borough Council.
It was planned to pull down the block so the road could be widened and the area behind it, at the Regent House car park, would be developed.
-- Weston Lions Club was looking for people willing to assist it, either physically or financially, with the winter carnival in November.
The club hoped Westonians would welcome a revival of the tradition which was popular in previous years.
In 1969, the event was to be staged on November 17 and, after covering expenses, the surplus proceeds were to be distributed by the club to local charities.
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