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EYEWITNESS IN MANCHESTER FLASHBACK
HEADLINES FROM MANCHESTER UK ON THIS DAY...SUNDAY THE 15TH OF AUGUST, 1948


Cars parked at King Street West, Manchester (Picture courtesy of the Museum of Transport)
This moody night time shot shows the site now occupied by the National Westminster Bank. The date is probably some time after 1948, but when exactly? Does anyone recognise the makes of car? The second one from the left looks like a Ford Popular, but what about the others? And what about that long queue of people standing on the street at the rear? What were they queueing for? Cigarettes?

Answers in an e-mail please to



The weekend of Sunday the 15th of August, 1948 was cool for the time of year, with midday temperatures of around 60-65 degrees celsius. Despite the lack of hot weather, the Galleon swimming pool, East Didsbury was advertising for summertime bathers.
The Tudor IV airliner "Star Lion" returned to its birthplace - the Avro aircraft factory at Woodford, Cheshire - after 148,000 trouble-free miles of flying. BSAA (British South American Airways) had 16 more Tudors on order.

Reports about the Tudor - Manchester's flagship post-war aircraft, successor to the Lancaster bomber - were upbeat.

But at the start of this year, on January 29/30, 1948, a BSAA Tudor IV had disappeared on a flight from the Azores to Bermuda, with six crew and 20 passengers on board. Five months later, in January 1949, another Tudor was to disappear, this time on a flight from Bermuda to Jamaica, and on the 20th of that month, the aircraft was withdrawn from service.


Sergeant John Scotford, aged 31, was acquitted of driving a lorry through Salford without due care and attention following an accident in June, in which a boy was fatally injured. After the acquittal, Sgt Scotford was praised by his superiors for his long experience as a driver.
By the weekend of the 15th of August, 1948, the painting and decorating of the 60 foot high domed reference room at the Central Library was complete. The job had taken only a fortnight, but the putting up and taking down of the scaffolding added an extra month. The reference room was to re-open on August the 21st. The Central Library was built 15 years earlier at great expense to the Manchester ratepayers.
Sunday cinemas, cricket and bowls were blamed for falling attendances at Altrincham park band concerts.

Entertainment on offer in Manchester this weekend included "The Kid From Stratford", starring Arthur Askey, currently showing at the Palace Theatre. At the Hippodrome, Ardwick Green, you could see Frankie Howerd, Jean Adrienne and Eddie Leslie in "TA-RA-RA-BOOM-DE-AY".

At the Gaumont cinema, "Forever Amber" (in Technicolor) starring Linda Darnell and Cornel Wilde, had its first Manchester showing on Sunday the 15th of August. The New Oxford & Market Street, was showing "Woman in White" with Alexis Smith, Eleanor Parker and Sydney Greenstreet.

At the Manchester News Theatre, audiences could marvel at the latest inventions in the film: "This Modern Age". Some of your questions were answered by "The Answer Man" and the programme also included Disney cartoons, comedy, the Olympic Games and World News.

If you fancied a day at the seaside, you could go an a trip to Blackpool for six shillings and thruppence (6/3). The train departed Manchester Victoria at 11 am, and returned from Blackpool at 8.50 pm.


NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES THIS WEEKEND
Cricket dominated the national headlines, with England doing very badly indeed.

At the Oval cricket ground, London, England were out for 52 against Australia, the lowest representative side to date this century. Bad batting and hostile fast bowling were blamed for the English defeat.


Members of the Tobacco Workers Union were protesting against government cuts in cigarette supplies.

General Secretary Percy Belcher said the public would have to adapt to a more aromatic flavour of tobacco, as leaf tobacco was in short supply. In Manchester, black marketeers were offering "any price" for a packet of cigarettes.


In Scotland, rising floods swept away five railway bridges carrying the main line between Berwick and Edinburgh.

The floods were described as the most disastrous farming catastrophe in 50 years.


In Berlin, the Airlift, was in full swing, with a constant stream of aircraft carrying supplies to West Berlin, currently under Communist siege.

That weekend, a Skymaster crashed on landing at Tempelhof airport, but the crew of two escaped unhurt.


Words by Aidan O'Rourke based on reports in the Manchester Evening News. Picture courtesy of the Museum of Transport, Manchester
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