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MANCHESTER EYEWITNESS
WEEK NUMBER 50 SATURDAY, DECEMBER 13TH, 1947


Two serious railway accidents took place this week in and near Manchester. On Wednesday, a runaway train hauling petrol tankers broke past the buffer at Victoria and careered onto the station concourse. The engine came to a halt embedded in the wooden floor just near the right hand end of the booking hall. The driver was taken to the Jewish hospital and died the next day.

The train, the 6.50pm from Neville Hill (Leeds) to Ordsall Lane got out of control on the down gradient outside Manchester. A goods train was blocking the "through" line, so a signal man switched the train to the first empty line, which led to platform six at Victoria Station. Had the motor-spirit ignited, most of the station might have been wrecked. A crane and oxy-acetylene gear was used to remove the engine.

And in Bolton, on Tuesday a train of wagons which an engine was drawing jumped the points near Daubhill Station, careered for half a mile, and crashed into wagons at Crook-street sidings. These wagons in turn ran into three brake vans, which were hurled past the buffers through a stone wall and into Crook-street. The fireman and driver were injured and taken to Bolton Royal Infirmary.

On the first weekend without the basic petrol ration, the roads were empty all over Lancashire and Cheshire. The Preston to Blackpool road was "busiest" in the country. In one hour, an AA scout counted 40 private cars and 80 commercial vehicles.

On the Manchester to Chester road 10 private cars and 10 commercial vehicles passed by in the space of 60 minutes.

The Bells of Peover, a popular Cheshire resort for Manchester car drivers, was deserted.

Meanwhile, city centre hotels were busier than ever. At the Manchester University Students Union dance, there were only half a dozen cars instead of the 50 - 100 cars normally parked outside.

In the early hours of Monday morning, a gang ran amok in the graveyard of St Mary's Parish Church, Prestwich and smashed 28 tombstones. It is the worst act of violence in the church's history. Lancashire County Police have been carrying out exhaustive enquiries. The damage is estimated at 3000.

Manchester shops still have plenty of goods for sale, despite the fact that there are only 15 shopping days left till Christmas. Products available include Christmas cards for threepence halfpenny each or 3s 4d for six. Marsh's, King-street have leather bound five-year diaries at 15s, Harold Gilbert, St Ann's Square, are selling "Neolite" hair brushes for 19s.

Manchester, with its electorate of 499,159, is to have only eight parliamentary seats instead of the nine it claims. The CLAYTON division will disappear. HULME will be merged with MOSS SIDE. BUCKLOW in Cheshire will merge with WYTHENSHAWE and there will be a new CHEADLE division.

One third of the Belisha beacons in the Manchester area are in need of repair. The new ones, which are illuminated and made of plastic, can only be seen in certain parts of the city. The pedestrian crossings were first introduced by Mr Hore Belisha, Minister of Transport from 1934 to 1937.

Dense fog blanketing Lancashire and Cheshire today immoblised Ringway Airport. The fog was especially thick in the Manchester area. The forecast is for moderate northerly winds, with a further risk of fog.


SOME OF THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES THIS WEEK
The Fleetwood trawler Dhoon is stranded under a 500 foot rock off Iceland.

Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh will receive allowances of 50,000 a year - subject to income tax.

The Great War Trial in Nuremberg opened on Monday

For the finest of
CHRISTMAS CHEER
send
FRUIT & FLOWER GIFTS
from
DINGLEYS
Oxford St., St Peter's Sq., Corporation St.

Text by Aidan O'Rourke

Based on reports in the Manchester Evening News

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