PICTURE PAST: May 9, 1969 – Multi-million-pound telephone exchange prepares to go live

At a reunion held by the 1st Axbridge Guides Company, Miss A. Colridge-Smith entertained past and pr

At a reunion held by the 1st Axbridge Guides Company, Miss A. Colridge-Smith entertained past and present members with a slide show. Picture: WESTON MERCURY - Credit: Archant

Weston’s multi-million-pound automatic telephone exchange was set to formally open remotely. The story appeared in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald.

The Bliss family blather on oblivious of the departing guests who think they are escaping from a mad

The Bliss family blather on oblivious of the departing guests who think they are escaping from a madhouse. Picture: WESTON MERCURY - Credit: Archant

Potholes were becoming a problem in one village 50 years ago.

The potholes in Wick Lane, in Brent Knoll, were getting deeper, the parish council was told.

- The new £530,000 automatic telephone exchange at Weston was set to be formally opened by remote control from a hotel almost a mile away.

The 'long distance' opening was to be performed by the mayor, Cllr P F Hess from the Grand Atlantic Hotel.

Bristol City foward Alan Skirton presents a trophy to S. Durston, captain of Whirlwinds C (Worle Sch

Bristol City foward Alan Skirton presents a trophy to S. Durston, captain of Whirlwinds C (Worle School) who beat Western Aces in the under-14 floodlit football league championships. Picture: WESTON MERCURY - Credit: Archant


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Sixty guests were expected to be present to represent the townspeople and those who built and equipped the new exchange which was located by the library in Boulevard.

It cost £100,000 to build - more than £1.6million in today's money - and a further £430,000 - or £7million - to install the automatic equipment.

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The new exchange replaced two manual exchanges, one at the Head Post Office serving 2,600 subscriber and the other in the Boulevard which served 5,300 people.

- A Weston bricklayer died in Frenchay Hospital, in Bristol, after falling more than 10ft from a parapet at the Gateway supermarket in Yatton.

The new £530 000 automatic Telephone Exchange at Weston-super-Mare is to formally opened next week.

The new £530 000 automatic Telephone Exchange at Weston-super-Mare is to formally opened next week. Pictured is the new switchboard. Although the system is automatic, there will be a staff of 31 operators to assist. Picture: WESTON MERCURY - Credit: Archant

The man, who was in his 50s, was working on extensions to the High Street building and was inspecting brickwork when he fell.

- The 'vicious and unprovoked assault' of a young man in Cheddar Gorge was heard at Axbridge magistrates.

A 19-year-old pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm for the crime.

The victim had been visiting the village on a youth rally and was walking through the gorge when another group of youths approached.

Spring in the air at Grove Park with dancers from the local Children Calling presentation adding a f

Spring in the air at Grove Park with dancers from the local Children Calling presentation adding a fairy touch to blossom time. Picture: WESTON MERCURY - Credit: Archant

The defendant reached out and attacked the victim, 'seizing him around the waist, dropping him and struck him a violent blow on the nose'.

- One man died after a van left the road near a hump-back bridge and crashed into a deep pond.

The occupants of the van had been travelling on Hutton Moor Road to attend a party when the crash took place.

One person was charged with taking and driving a van without the owner's consent and death by dangerous driving - for which he pleaded not guilty.

Ads 9th May 1969 Edition. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Ads 9th May 1969 Edition. Picture: WESTON MERCURY - Credit: Archant

The deceased was a passenger in the van, which was thought to be travelling too fast down the narrow road.

Front Page 9th May 1969 Edition. Picture: WESTON MERCURY

Front Page 9th May 1969 Edition. Picture: WESTON MERCURY - Credit: Archant

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