1968 MONDAY JANUARY 11
Howard Winstone, Millicent Martin and Sunday football were among the stories making the news in South Wales more than 50 years ago...
Howard Winstone is a wanted man
Victorious Howard Winstone, at last conqueror of the world featherweights, is a wanted man.
His triumph over Japan’s Mitsunori Seki, at the Royal Albert Hall, brought offers for him to defend his proud title in America, Spain, Mexico and possibly Japan.
A so-happy Winstone, his burning ambition finally fulfilled, had top promoters queuing at his dressing room door after champion of the Orient Seki had been stopped by the referee in the ninth round with a badly cut eye.
So Winstone, Wales’ first world champion since Jimmy Wilde lost the flyweight championship in 1923, has the world on a string... and he plans to sit on his golden rainbow until the time is ripe for him to come out of the glory clouds he has fought so hard to reach.
He is only the third Welshman ever to win a world title and completes a unique Welsh hat-trick, Freddie Welsh, Wilde and Winstone.
Apology given after sympathy card error
Raymond Gower, MP for Barry, apologised to a Radyr housewife for sending her a letter of sympathy on the death of her mother – who was still alive.
Jacqueline Parkins, 30, of The Green, Radyr, was stunned when she read the letter of condolence on House of Commons notepaper – only the night before she had spent a happy evening with her 54-year-old mother in Cardiff.
Mrs Parkins said: “I just couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a terrible shock and the letter looked so impressive.
“I realised a terrible mistake had been made but I immediately rang my mother to make sure she was all right.
“My husband Keith telephoned Mr Gower about it. Mr Gower said he was sorry and there must have been a mistake but it was the first time in his 17 years as an MP.”
In his letter Mr Gower wrote: “I am sorry to learn of the death of your mother.
“I realise words are inadequate but I trust you may find strength to bear your loss.”
Mr Gower said: “I am terribly sorry. This was a genuine error. I can appreciate it was distressing. In 17 years I have written thousands of letters to constituents.
“It has never happened before. My secretary got the name from the newspaper.
“It was quite easy to make a mistake between Perkins and Parkins.”
Not one but two life boat ships...
Ships in distress in the Bristol Channel will soon not have one but two lifeboats racing to their aid from Barry Docks.
A new £44,000 lifeboat had just completed rigorous capsizing trials at Lowestoft, Suffolk, and will team up with the station’s present boat, Rachel and Mary Evans.
Both will be put out together to all calls as part of extensive comparison trials between the new 14-knot steel boat, Arthur and Blanche Harris, and the 30 year old wooden boat capable of only nine knots.
“We do not know yet how they will compare in our short choppy seas with their frequent sandbanks,” said Barry’s coxswain Melvyn Hobbs.
“In this sort of sea we do not know quite what the advantages of the new boat will be.
“But if she is successful. I expect she will be kept here.”
Sunday football now on
Competitive Sunday football was to be played for the first time at the weekend.
The history-making Welsh League game (Tonyrefail v Abergavenny) was being held at the Welfare Park at 2.30pm.
Butcher John Burrows, the Tonyrefail secretary, said: “We are delighted Abergavenny have agreed to play here on Sunday.”
The match has received official blessing from the Welsh FA and was approved initially at Welsh League level and submitted by the league for FAW approval.
Tonyrefail have been at the forefront of the Sunday football battle.
As long ago as July they asked Welsh League clubs to play matches on Sundays.
“The continental Sunday must come to this country some time,” added Mr Butcher.
New Peter Pan for city’s New Theatre
Millicent Martin, was coming to Cardiff to star in JM Barrie’s Peter Pan at the New Theatre. The famous children’s story was to run for a week at the Theatre.
Millie is the 37th actress to have played Peter on the stage and joins such names as Anna Neagle, Gladys Cooper and Margaret Lockwood.
Faithful Wendy is to be played by Mia Martin – no relation to Millie. Apart from her acting ability, Mia was selected from more than 60 auditioned for her height. She is one inch shorter than Millie, who is one of the shortest actresses ever to have played Peter.
Dark times forecast
Will Paynter, general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers, said that 1968 would be one of the blackest years they had experienced – “not only in the mining industry, but in the country as a whole”.
Mr Paynter was speaking at Ystradgynlais at a conference attended by delegates from trade unions and other organisations to protest at the impending closure of Ynyscedwyn Colliery, Abercrave.
Mr Paynter said there must be alternative employment where pits were closed.
The Octupus Ride risk in Newport
Police at Newport had been alerted to watch for young children who were risking their lives playing a game they called – The Octopus Ride – hanging on to the rear of lorries travelling to and from the Old Town Docks.
A police spokesman warned: “This is a silly and dangerous practice and could result in very serious or tragic consequences.”
The children, mostly boys aged between seven and 11, wait at the top of the Octopus Bridge for heavily laden lorries travelling between Dock Street and the Old Town Dock.
As the vehicles pass children hang on to the tailboards and cross the bridge before letting go.