IT HAP­PENED THEN

His­tor­i­cal high­lights from May

Let's Talk - - Contents - Compiled by Peter Sar­gent

1937 80 years ago

The coronation of King Ge­orge VI and Queen Elizabeth took place at West­min­ster Abbey. It came after the ab­di­ca­tion of the king’s brother Ed­ward VIII the pre­vi­ous De­cem­ber. This was the first coronation to be filmed and broad­cast on the ra­dio.

The Ger­man air­ship Hin­den­burg burst into flames while moor­ing at Lake­hurst, New Jer­sey, in the USA. A to­tal of 35 peo­ple, pas­sen­gers and crew, were killed in the dis­as­ter.

Neville Cham­ber­lain be­came prime min­is­ter of Great Bri­tain, suc­ceed­ing Stan­ley Bald­win.

1947 70 years ago

US Pres­i­dent Harry S Tru­man signed an Act of Congress to give $400 mil­lion worth of mil­i­tary and eco­nomic aid to Greece and Turkey. Both were threat­ened by com­mu­nist in­sur­gen­cies, and Tru­man sought to counter these.

Bri­tish film di­rec­tor David Lean’s bril­liant ver­sion of Charles Dick­ens’s novel Great Ex­pec­ta­tions was screened. It starred John Mills and Va­lerie Hob­son. Other films you could see at cine­mas in­cluded Al­fred Hitch­cock’s No­to­ri­ous, star­ring In­grid Bergman and Cary Grant, and Scar­let Pim­per­nel, with Les­lie Howard and Merle Oberon.

1957 60 years ago

Bri­tain tested its first hy­dro­gen bomb at Maiden Is­land in the Pa­cific Ocean. The first bomb was dropped by for­mer Nor­wich man, W/Cmdr Ken­neth Gil­bert Hub­bard, fly­ing a Valiant. Op­er­a­tion Grap­ple

was part of a series of tests which led to Bri­tain be­com­ing the world’s third of­fi­cial nu­clear power. The H-bomb tests were de­nounced as “un-Chris­tian” by Canon L J Collins, Pre­cen­tor of St Paul’s, Lon­don, while Labour Party leader Hugh Gaitskell called for their post­pone­ment.

Ip­swich Town was pro­moted to foot­ball’s Di­vi­sion Two, scor­ing more than 100 goals in the process. Man­ager Alf Ram­sey, in his sec­ond sea­son with the club, steered it to the Third Di­vi­sion South ti­tle. It was a poor sea­son for Nor­wich City; bot­tom of the same league, hav­ing to ap­ply for re-elec­tion.

Lord Mayor of Nor­wich, Arthur South, opened the Vic­to­ria Bowl­ing Club’s green at Traf­ford Road with a match against a team of ex-lord may­ors. At 150-years-old, the Vic­to­ria was said to be the city’s old­est bowls club.

Young Prince Charles ar­rived at Holkham Hall in Nor­folk to stay with the Earl and Count­ess of Le­ices­ter. The nine-year-old prince was re­cov­er­ing from an op­er­a­tion to re­move his ton­sils and ade­noids.

1967 50 years ago

Prime Min­is­ter Harold Wil­son an­nounced Bri­tain’s ap­pli­ca­tion to join the Euro­pean Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity. Talks were due to start on June 6. Ire­land also ap­plied to be­come a mem­ber. “This is a his­toric de­ci­sion which could well de­ter­mine the fu­ture of Bri­tain, of Europe, in­deed the world for decades to come,” Wil­son told Par­lia­ment. French Pres­i­dent Charles de Gaulle – ‘Mon­sieur Non’ – poured cold wa­ter on the plan, cit­ing the UK’s close links with the USA as an ob­sta­cle.

War loomed once again in the Mid­dle East. Egypt closed the Straits of Ti­ranto, be­tween Si­nai and Ara­bia, to Is­rael, blockad­ing the Is­raeli port of Ei­lat. Syria and other Arab na­tions mo­bilised their armed forces, while the USSR backed Egypt. Time was run­ning out, warned Is­rael.

Glas­gow Celtic be­came the first Bri­tish foot­ball team to win the Euro­pean Cup. The ‘Lions of Lis­bon’ de­feated In­ter Mi­lan 2-1 in the fi­nal, played in the Por­tuguese cap­i­tal.

De­spite the late with­drawal of top band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch, the Nor­wich Rag Bar­be­cue in Earl­ham Park was a great suc­cess. Some 8,000 peo­ple saw The Kinks and Chris Far­lowe per­form in fine weather.

About 1,600 Birds Eye work­ers went on un­of­fi­cial strike in Great Yar­mouth. After a week­long stop­page a deal was struck be­tween management and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Trans­port and Gen­eral Work­ers’ Union, and the strik­ers re­turned to work.

A quar­ter of a mil­lion peo­ple wel­comed solo round the world yachts­man Sir Fran­cis Chich­ester home to Ply­mouth. He had set out aboard Gipsy Moth IV 275 days ear­lier. Asked by re­porters if he had any fu­ture ad­ven­tures planned, the 65-year-old sailor replied: “Not for a week”.

The Road Safety Act be­came law. Po­lice gained pow­ers to con­duct road­side breath tests on driv­ers sus­pected of drink driv­ing.

1977 40 years ago

Queen Elizabeth II be­gan her Sil­ver Ju­bilee year cel­e­bra­tions in Glas­gow. Events would cul­mi­nate the fol­low­ing month.

Star Wars made its cin­e­matic bow. Ge­orge Lu­cas’s ‘West­ern in outer space’ starred Har­ri­son Ford, the late Car­rie Fisher and Alec Guin­ness. It was the high­est gross­ing film of its era.

Liver­pool Foot­ball Club won the Euro­pean Cup for the first time with a mem­o­rable 3-1 vic­tory over Ger­many’s Borus­sia Moenchenglad­bach in Rome.

Sir Fran­cis Chich­ester aboard The Gipsy Moth IV at Greenwich, Lon­don.

The Hin­den­burg

Sir Alf Ram­sey.

Prime min­is­ter Harold Wil­son.

Sir Arthur South.

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