Picture Past: September 20, 1968 – Not enough phone equipment to be installed
PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 September 2018
A shortage of telephone equipment and vandalism made headlines in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago. Here is the news from the September 20 edition.
• Vandalism was costing Weston thousands of pounds every year.
Vandals were smashing toilets, wrenching pipes from the walls of the public conveniences, wrecking swings and play equipment, and slashing deck chairs and throwing them in the sea.
The Mercury said: “Another distressing aspect of this craze for destruction is the public are being denied the facilities the corporation (Weston Borough Council) would like to provide.”
• People in Weston who wanted to get telephones in their houses would have to wait.
A spokesman for the General Post Office said there was a considerable shortage of equipment in Weston, and so no new telephones could be installed for private use.
However, businesses would still be able to get telephones.
• A fire destroyed a store at the light engineering firm Hares & Sons on the Oldmixon estate.
When firefighters arrived, the flames were ‘roaring’ through the asbestos roof.
One eyewitness said the roof sheeting made exploding sounds, similar to machine gun fire.
• Several buildings in Weston were struck by lightning during a storm.
In one case, Weston Decorators Supply was hit, and Graham Wilkinson was thrown across the room.
• A new system of first and second class mail was working efficiently in Weston, according to the town’s assistant postmaster.
• The Playhouse theatre would no longer re-open with a variety show, but instead would have a repertory company with a star name.
The changes were made by Weston Borough Council, as the theatre was being rebuilt following a devastating fire.
The Knightstone Theatre was supposed to have a repertory company, but it would have an old music hall feel instead.
• Worle was the fastest-growing area in Somerset, and there were warnings at an education meeting children would be left high and dry without school places if new ones were not built soon.
• Three young members of the Axbridge Caving Group discovered a new Mendip cave at Nordach near Charterhouse.
• A weather forecast service, specifically for Weston, and available by phone was suggested by the council’s finance and general purposes committee.
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