PICTURE PAST: May 23, 1969 - 1,400 chickens die in fire

PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 May 2019

Weston Football League trophies were distributed at the Winter Gardens Pavilion.  Cheddar, pictured with skipper Dick Barr, were 1st division runners up.     
Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Weston Football League trophies were distributed at the Winter Gardens Pavilion. Cheddar, pictured with skipper Dick Barr, were 1st division runners up. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Archant

More than 1,000 chickens died in a fire despite crews best efforts. The story appeared in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago.

Mr. and Mrs. Middle pictured with their ponies and some young visitors to Bournville Junior School Spring Fair.     Picture: WESTON MERCURYMr. and Mrs. Middle pictured with their ponies and some young visitors to Bournville Junior School Spring Fair. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

A football club president called on more people to support a football team.

Weston Association Football Club president Mr A Usher called for people to provide practical and financial support to the team.

- Weston's youngest-ever mayor, Cllr David John Driver, forecasted a bright future for the town at his first address at the mayor-making ceremony.

The newly-installed mayor predicted the approaching year would see further significant developments to assist the prosperity of the town.

Weston Football League trophies were distributed at the Winter Gardens Pavilion. Chairman Doug Atwell presents the League Trophy to Dave Faulks, captain of 1st division winners Highbridge, watched by the team and League president, Mr. Fred Harding.      
Picture: WESTON MERCURYWeston Football League trophies were distributed at the Winter Gardens Pavilion. Chairman Doug Atwell presents the League Trophy to Dave Faulks, captain of 1st division winners Highbridge, watched by the team and League president, Mr. Fred Harding. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

He spoke of two new factories, the construction of a Worle library, the new Weston Playhouse, important improvements at the Winter Gardens and Knightstone Theatre.

- The future of Weston's lifeboat station was to be discussed in June 1969 when four members from the RNLI headquarters paid a visit.

The members were expected to be greeted by the mayor and shown around the station before discussing the boats.

Weston's temporary large boat was badly damaged in a storm, the two remaining in-shore rescue boats were not equipped with radio.

Weston Football League trophies were distributed at the Winter Gardens Pavilion.  Roy Wilmot (Locking Villa) receiving from Secretary Mr. C.C. Vardon the 2nd division cup.      
Picture: WESTON MERCURYWeston Football League trophies were distributed at the Winter Gardens Pavilion. Roy Wilmot (Locking Villa) receiving from Secretary Mr. C.C. Vardon the 2nd division cup. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

The crew was promised new radios were to be fitted to aid them in future rescues.

- A human chain was formed to rescue hundreds of chickens when a fire broke out at a poultry farm near Highbridge.

However, in spite of the best efforts of firemen and volunteer helpers, nearly 1,400 laying hens were killed.

The fire swept through two wooden chicken houses at the Southport poultry farm which began in a pig fattening unit for 60 pigs - which was empty.

125 Vintage vehicles stopped for a breather on Weston sea front during the 60 mile South West coast run. Motor cycle competitors line-up for the home journey.     Picture: WESTON MERCURY125 Vintage vehicles stopped for a breather on Weston sea front during the 60 mile South West coast run. Motor cycle competitors line-up for the home journey. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Another 4,000 hens in two other poultry houses were also under threat.

Four fire engines attended the blaze but were hampered by the lack of water.

- A Weston police officer was commended for bravery by Windsor magistrates after they heard of his successful attempts to stop a car which was trying to drive away from an accident.

The officer's car had been hit but the driver made moves to drive away, but he grabbed the steering wheel, pushed the driver's foot off the accelerator and tried to take out the ignition keys.

It's It's "Heave ho! my hearties!" as Weston Pool lifeguards Karen Savage, Annette Johnson, and Eileen Balaam take up the strain to haul in reluctant-to-be-rescued colleague Ivor Hughes. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

He was punched in the face several times by the driver and passenger before the car stopped.

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