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MANCHESTER EYEWITNESS
ISSUE NUMBER 12 SATURDAY, MAY 31ST, 1947


High temperatures were recorded on Whit Monday in Manchester, reaching about 70 degrees by late afternoon. Despite heavy rain in the morning, thousands travelled by bus and tram to the parks and fun-fairs. The railway stations were quiet, with only the normal weekday service to the Lancashire coast from Victoria. Lower Mosley-street bus station was busier, however, with crowds on their way to Blackpool, Llandudno and Buxton.

The Church of England Whit Monday procession took place in the centre of Manchester, watched by large crowds of onlookers. 10,000 schoolchildren paraded through the streets holding posies and banners, accompanied by clergymen in their vestments and choristers dressed in white and scarlet. There were brass bands, trumpet fanfares, and the bells of the Town Hall pealed out as the procession made its way along the cobbled streets of the city centre, earlier drenched with rain, but by midday basking in bright sunshine.

On Whit Friday, the Roman Catholic procession took place in Gorton. 40,000 people waited an hour in the sticky heat while the Catholic children of the St Francis School walked through the district, carrying out a 70-year old custom.

There was a coach crash at Allostock, near Knutsford, Cheshire on Tuesday, in which two people died. While police diverted traffic, contractors forced apart the interlocked wreckage of a motor coch, a 10-ton lorry and a saloon car. The coach was returning to Staffordshire from a Whit Monday visit to Morecambe.

On Friday, a 24 year old bachelor was accused of the murder of an ex-Moston couple after their bodies were discovered buried on Brun Moor, near Saddleworth. The couple had been shot. At 5.20 a.m. on Friday morning, the accused man, John Edward Gartside, from Diggle, was cautioned and charged with the murder of Percy and Alice Baker. The accused had nothing to say, offered no objection to the remand and was granted legal aid.

Visitors to Heaton Park, recently re-opened after its wartime occupation by the R.A.F. were concerned when they saw a sign warning them not to touch any "object giving rise to suspicion" but to report it to the authorities. Though the R.A.F. has issued a certificate saying the park has been cleared of explosive objects, the Corporation is taking no chances and has put up the notice.

A total of 516 "slum ships" entered the port of Manchester in 1946. Though more and more vessels tying up at the Docks have installed airy sleeping quarters and crews' recreation rooms, many of the forecastles on older vessels are dark and ill-ventilated. And there is also the problem of vermin: 250 vessels, 190 of them British, were rat infested. Nearly three thousand rats were destroyed on vessels and docks.

Experiments are going ahead at the A. V. Roe works, Manchester, and at the aircraft experiment establishment at Boscombe Down (Hants) to develop the Tudor 8 as one of the first airliners in the world with four jet engines. The Tudor has aroused much controversy: B.O.A.C. declared themselves not satisfied with initial flying tests, but British South American Airways are confident that the aircraft will make the grade.

The good weather has brought a gay parade onto the streets this week as women get out their favourite tub frocks and white shoes. The sunshine has made many of them long for a new summer dress, but an eye must be kept on the coupons, which have to last the whole year.

For those unable to resist the temptation, here are some fashions currently available at Robert Lomas Ltd, Oldham Street, Manchester:

Double breasted coat in off white zibliline cloth - size 9: 13-7-7 (18 coupons) Two piece in rayon - ruched bodice, trimmed with self loops. In Royal, Turquoise and Pink. Sizes 38 and 40: 7-13-2 (10 coupons) Fancy check cotton house coats, with buttons all down the front, short sleeves in various colours (7 coupons) 89/9

There were long queues at Victoria Station today as travellers waited to get on trains to the coast, as temperatures rose still further. The long-delayed Whitsun holiday rush, has finally got underway. All trains and buses making for the sea and moors were crammed to capacity.

Twenty-five minutes before the 10 25 from Victoria to Blackpool was due out, officials had to close the platform. The train left finally with 14 packed coaches. Masses of hikers also headed for Derbyshire on buses from Lower Mosley-street and trains from London Road station. Large numbers of private parties, especially in north Manchester, hired coaches from local companies, and set off for Llandudno, Windermere, Llangollen, and Blackpool.

Manchester had its hottest day of the year on Thursday. By 4 p.m. the temperature was 82.2 degrees, the highest since May 29, 1944, when it reached 83. Manchester was one of the few places to escape heavy thunder, but rain showers broke the dry spell which lasted since Monday.

The Air Ministry predicts that the fine spell of weather will continue over the weekend. Heavy rain fell in Manchester on Friday afternoon, accompanied by thunder. Today, the temperature rose steadily until it reached 80 degrees at 3pm, compared with 73.7 at the same time yesterday.


And here are some of the national headlines this week

Britain must produce or bust" said Mr Herbert Morrison at a Labour Party conference debate on Wednesday. He urged employers bow to the inevitability of planning, managers should think of themselves as servants of the community, the middle-classs should realise that Labour represents all elements including theirs, he urged workers to reject unofficial strikes, and said the "drones" should be scorned as "parasites".

121 people were feared dead on Friday in the blackest 24 hours in aviation history, as five separate air crashes occurred, three involving US planes. The accidents happened in New York, Tokyo, Iceland, Alaska and Holland. And on Saturday came news of yet another accident, as a Skymaster plummeted to the ground in Maryland, bringing the death toll over two days to 172.

Text and photos by Aidan O'Rourke

Based on reports in the Manchester Evening News

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