May 22 – On this day in Cambridgeshire history

May 22 – On this day in Cambridgeshire history

Each weekend, Mike Petty and I look at the archives of the Cambridge News and recount some of the stories that occurred on this day in history.

Sixteenth world record for monoplane pioneer


Ken Wallis.

Autogyro pioneer Ken Wallis has just notched up his 16th world record.

Flying from Waterbeach, Ken completed his remarkable record-breaking flight to mark the 75th anniversary of the first public viewing of a monoplane built in Cambridge by his father and uncle.

“It seemed that the anniversary should be marked in some way, so I made an attempt upon the one world record not held by my autogyro aircraft”, he said.

Pair of pedagogues pursue passion for pottery


Derek and Margot Andrews.

When Margot and Derek Andrews gave up their teaching jobs to set up as potters at Prickwillow they didn’t set out to make a fortune.

But they have achieved their own independent world where they make a living by their craftwork.

Now, after five years, they find that most of their orders come from people who look around the workshops; a number arrive on boating holidays and more come in groups in the evening.

This is something they never originally envisaged and they now serve cups of coffee to visitors.

Read Mike Petty’s Cambridgeshire Scrapbook to search for other stories.

Setback for spectators as ballerinas tiptoe away


Sadler’s Wells ballerinas before rehearsal in 1982. Peter Morris/Fairfax Media/Getty.

Hundreds of disappointed ballet enthusiasts had to be turned away from the Big Top on Jesus Green when the opening performance of the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet was cancelled.

City council entertainment staff headed by Mr John Wilkinson were standing by as ballet-goers trudged through the squelching grass only to be told the bad news.

Most people took it in good part, though there were complaints from those who had driven from as far as Bishop’s Stortford and Hatfield.

They were not interested in refunds, they wanted another chance to see the ballet.

But most of the 1,200 tickets have been sold and the company’s schedule means that no replacement performance can be held.

Pye states Post Office ban should be overturned


Printing a circuit board for a television receiver at the Pye factory in Lowestoft, England, on August 24, 1957. Fox Photos/Hulton/Getty.

Plans by the Pye Group to tour the country with their new mobile 625-line television transmitter and studio have been blocked by the Post Office which says they do not have a licence.

It was launched in Cambridge when the Mayor, Ald Hickson, became the first public figure to appear on the system.

The whole of the television industry has been devoted to the development of the new equipment which was featured at the last Radio Show.

Pye has called for the ban to be immediately reversed.

Subscribe to Mike Petty’s YouTube channel to listen to some of this talks.

Two injured as whirlwind topples double-decker


Bus blown over by whirlwind that swept through Sutton.

The whirlwind which swept through Cambridgeshire last night caused extensive damage at Sutton.

A double-decker Eastern Counties bus was lifted up by the miniature tornado and thrown down onto its side shaking up the passengers and injuring at least two.

The bus was just leaving Sutton on its way to March, and was travelling along Ely Road carrying 14 passengers.

The driver was uninjured but the conductor was knocked unconscious.

Breakdown crews from Cambridge and Peterborough tried to move the bus off the road. Traffic was diverted through Mepal airdrome.

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Bridge opens on Isle trunk road at Thorney Toll


New bridge on the Isle trunk road.

The new concrete bridge over the water course at Thorney Toll will soon be open for traffic.

Not only did the old bridge, with its width of 24ft fall short of present-day requirements, but, for some time past, it has shown signs of weakness beneath the heavy loads that passed over it.

With the classification of the route as a trunk road and the reconstruction of the Great White Way in concrete, the provision of a new bridge became essential.

The old structure was vested in the Thorney Drainage Board and an arrangement was made under which they made a contribution in respect of liability and the county council undertook to build a new bridge and to be responsible for its future maintenance.

At the same time, it was decided to remove the old toll house which stood beside the bridge and the building was purchased and pulled down in order to improve the alignment and afford a better view of approaching traffic.

It was decided to build the new ferro-concrete bridge in the same position as before and so a temporary bridge had to be placed across the river and, for some time past, a single track structure has carried the traffic

Now, the new bridge has been almost completed and one half of it has been brought into use.

It is twice the width of the old with a 10-ft path on either side which can be reduced to allow the winding of the roadway should this be necessary in the future.

Follow James Milner on Twitter to receive regular updates each weekend.

House still standing after ‘devastating’ accident


The damaged house in Trumpington.

An unusual accident occurred at Trumpington when a student of St John’s College was returning from London in a De Dion Bouton two seater car.

On coming round the bend on the main road, the car ran into a house with devastating results.

Bricks were scattered right across the road and a gaping hole in the wall was so big that it is surprising that the whole front of the house did not collapse.

Fortunately, no one was in the house and the front room was empty of furniture as the tenant had packed preparatory to leaving.

Take a trip down Memory Lane to search for, share and colourise photos.

Monoplane master gives ‘sensational’ exhibition


Pioneer aviator Gustav Hamel pictured in a plane circa 1913. Mirrorpix.

The principal attraction for Cambridge residents yesterday afternoon was the visit of Mr. Gustav Hamel, the well known aviator, with his monoplane, and 6,000 people assembled in the Rock Meadow, Cherry Hinton, over which Mr. Hamel gave a sensational exhibition of flying.

Mr. Hamel showed that he was a complete master of his machine, an 80 h.p. Morane-Saulnier of compact build.

He circled above the field, skimmed the ground and then looped the loop to the accompaniment of loud cheering.

Opportunity was given to fly with Mr. Hamel and the fee fixed with £5 5s. There were six bookings.

No innovation without taxation and regulation


Cambridge Union Society discussed the regulation of motor traffic.

Motorists rushed about the country and, to remedy the dust nuisance, they should be taxed, the money being spent to improve the condition of the roads.

There should also be a ‘smell limit’. But village boys ran out, cap in hand, after a car to get the sweet, sweet smell.

Noise was the only guarantee of safety, yet some would like a car to steal along like a robber in the night.

In France there were no speed limits and the percentage of accidents was smaller.

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