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Crime potato rations Ringway Airport flooding: News from Manchester 1947



A "man of substance" appeared in court last Monday accused of attempting to obtain a refund of 15s 4d from the LMS under false pretences, as well as travelling without a ticket. In view of his professional status, the prosecution described the offence as "a mean and despicable attempt to steal money by false pretences". The man, from Sale, Cheshire, was found guilty and fined a total of 2 and order to pay 7 9s costs.

Also in court was a woman from Tyldesley charged with the attempted murder of her husband while he was asleep. The woman was granted legal aid and remanded in custody. And at the Manchester County Magistrates Court, a 17 year old girl asked permission to marry a 27 year old office clerk from Stretford with whom she had eloped. The girl's father was said to be against the marriage, as he considered that the man would be unable to support her.

In Salford, two 18 year old youths were accused of breaking into homes in Broughton and stealing property worth 26 10s. They were remanded in custory.

Various train services from Manchester were cancelled in order to give priority to coal and freight trains, and on Tuesday leaders of Lancashire cotton industry feared that the cut in the local coal allocation will mean the closure of mills on two weeks out of three, with fewer clothes available. Investigations were made this week by coal allocation officers as to why the North-west region is not receiving its full allocation of coal.

Work on Ringway Airport's waiting room in the city centre restarted yesterday after a month's break due to the bad weather, but only two men were on the job, one of them the foreman. A shortage of material may make it difficult to regain the time lost.

There have been reports of massive amounts of fruit being stockpiled in the cellars of grimy warehouses in the area bounded by Smithfield Market and so-called "Black-Market-street". Racketeering continues, with fruit being sold above the controlled prices. The public have been ask to report offenders.

Later in the week, it was heard that the 2 lb potato ration will remain for the weekend, with very few fresh vegetables available. Though cauliflowers from Cornwall and Italy at at 2s 3d and 2s 6d were in plentiful supply, most of the demand was reported to be for the cheaper swedes. Lemons were on sale on Market St for half a crown for half a dozen.

On Wednesday, there was more snow, with Manchester caught in an easterly air stream from Scandinavia. The icy roads caused death in West Didsbury when a man was run over by a double decker which had gone into a skid. A verdict of accidental death was recorded, with no negligence on the part of the driver. There was criticism of the length of time it took for the ambulance to arrive at the scene of the accident. The man died in hospital.

It has been announced that Stockport Infirmary is to increase its charges for private ward accommodation from 5 5s to 7 7s a week.

There was a threat of flooding as the Mersey and Irwell rivers rose during the middle of the week, but by Friday, the danger had eased. Flood water is causing havoc in other parts of the country.

It was announced on Thursday that Manchester Corporation will spend 10,000,000 on the construction of 50 new schools and modernisation of 200 existing ones. Building will take place from next year through to 1953.

The coming week's forecast is for a freshening east wind and snow from the south-west.

Text and photos by Aidan O'Rourke

(Based on reports in the Manchester Evening News)


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