Days Gone By: A look back at the events which made the news on December 14, 1967
12:00 14 December 2015
A look back at what was making the news on this day in 1967.
Events in Greece in the aftermath of a military coup featured in the main front-page report in the EADT of December 14, 1967. The story told of claims by the young King Constantine that he had set up his own government in the north of the country. Significantly, however, it went on to add comments from the military junta suggesting the 27-year-old monarch had been sent fleeing from village to village.
At home, Labour MPs were calling for force to be used to bring a swift end to the Rhodesia independence dispute.
Locally, the paper reported an end to a bus strike in Colchester and there was news of proposed protests being urged by publicans over the breathalyser drink-driving test – introduced in the UK just a few weeks earlier. The licensees wanted to halt rush-hour traffic to make their point.
There was also a picture story about a 16-year-old girl with ambitions to become an actress who had won a bet by stripping down to her bikini and plunging through the ice into the chilly water of a Bury St Edmunds lake.
And the WRVS in Ipswich was being urged to “step out of its rut” and to demonstrate it was the leader in voluntary work.
The countdown to Christmas was gaining momentum and advertisements reflected this with intriguing suggestions for festive gifts. These included a novel timing device to help people battling to give up smoking and women shoppers were informed that men would no longer be regarded as “cissies” if they used after-shave lotion. There were also plenty cut-price booze promotions to get readers into the festive spirit.
British Rail, meanwhile, was encouraging people to “Come You On” – to take advantage of bargain train tickets.
National and international news - Revolt in Greece is led by Constantine
This was the main international story in the EADT on December 14, 1967. It reported how the young King Constantine of Greece had apparently rebelled against the country’s military rulers to set up his own government.
A broadcast from the king’s headquarters in Northern Greece claimed that 90 per cent of the army and all air and naval units had rallied to his side. But the military junta later denied this and said they had crushed the rising and sent the 27-year-old monarch fleeing from village to village.
In Brussels, the foreign ministers of France’s five Common Market partners were meeting to consider tactics to support Britain’s membership application. This followed President De Gaulle’s rejection of British hopes of early negotiations.
At home, Labour MPs were calling for the use of force to solve the problem of Rhodesian independence. The feeling was that sanctions had failed and the issue must now be tackled by sterner means.
A bus strike in Colchester might have ended much earlier had it not been for “irresponsible remarks” made at a council meeting the previous week when a number of busmen were in the gallery. This was the claim by the vice-chairman of the borough transport committee, Mr J R Wheeler.
The busmen went back to work and services gradually returned to normal but Mr Wheeler felt that the remarks could have put busmen’s representatives in the wrong frame of mind. He would not enlarge on the “irresponsible remarks.”
Also in Colchester the Licensed Victuallers’ Association was to ask its national federation to accept a resolution that at a certain time on a particular day members of all associations throughout the country should stage a two-minute traffic hold-up during rush-hour in protest at the drink-drive breathalyser test – introduced in Britain a few weeks earlier.
The Colchester association said it was concerned about the loss of individual liberty, which had existed since Magna Carta.
Meanwhile a 16-year-old Bury St Edmunds telephone girl was unable to resist a friend’s bet when a Christmas dinner and ten shillings (50p) were at stake. Spurred on by well-wrapped onlookers, Valerie Whight stripped to a black bikini at the side of Hardwick Lake, broke through the inch-thick ice and splashed around in the water.
After her chilly encounter, Valerie, who lived at Mere View, Great Livermere, and wanted to be an actress, said it had all had been worthwhile: “The water was not as cold as it looked.”
In Ipswich, the borough organiser of the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service said it was time for the WRVS to step out of its rut and to show it was the leader in voluntary work.
Speaking at the organisation’s first general meeting for five years, Mrs G M Gray said: “We must be efficient, willing, cheerful and without any prejudices. It is up to us to poke our noses into as many fields as possible.”
TV programmes included a couple of Thursday favourites: Top of the Pops, which featured The Scaffold (Thank You Very Much), The Monkees (Daydream Believer), Tom Jones (I’m Coming Home), The Beatles (Hello Goodbye) and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich (Zabadak). Then on to The Man from UNCLE, starring Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo, and David McCallum as Ilya Kuryakin.
At the cinema, James Coburn was starring in the X-rated Waterhole 3 – “in Technicolor.” Also on offer were Girl with Green Eyes, starring Peter Finch and Rita Tushingham, and the French double academy winner A Man and a Woman with Anouk Aimee and Jean-Louis Trintignant.
On stage at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds the Tinkler School of Dancing was performing in aid of the Save the Children Fund to be followed shortly with a four-week panto run of Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp.
The countdown to Christmas carried on apace and readers were being encouraged to get into the festive spirit with a series of offers on booze. The Wine Shop in Water Street, Lavenham, had Queen Anne Scotch Whisky at 44s 7d (equivalent to £2.23p) and Gordon’s gin at (£2.30p).
In a special feature under the headline “Gifts for him”, readers were urged to avoid playing it safe by giving shirts, handkerchiefs, ties or scarves. Instead, anyone shopping for the man in their life was advised: “Now that men are no longer considered ‘cissies’ if they use pre-shave and after-shave lotions, deodorants and talcs, they gracefully and gratefully accept man-sized packs of these.”
Other more practical suggestions included a soldering gun and a magnetic spring coin holder “for those evasive sixpenny bits so necessary for parking meters.” Or for those men struggling to kick the nicotine habit there was a Swiss-made cigarette case with a built-in timing system that limited smoking via a timing device. It explained that “this can be set from 15 minutes for those with little will-power, and up to two hours for the stronger-minded man.”
Women were not forgotten and PV Arthey in Sudbury had sewing machines at pre-devaluation prices ... “any machine held on small deposit for Christmas.”
And the Footmans store in Ipswich was pushing the Hoover brand – not so much the vacuum cleaner but other domestic equipment: steam iron for £4.90p, fan heater (£8.26p) or electric blanket (£10.20p).
British Rail Eastern Region was urging readers to get on board – or, using the words of Allan Smethurst TV’s Singing Postman “Come you on!” Bargains galore” with day returns (any day – any train) from Ipswich to London (except Fridays) – £1.30p, to Norwich (75p) or Clacton (55p). Paytrain singles between Ipswich and Woodbridge (10p), Cambridge (47p) Saxmundham (20p).
Lloyds Bank was announcing the opening of a new office “to meet increasing demand for its services” at Eastgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, under the supervision of Mr C W R Cross, manager of the Bury St Edmunds branch.
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DAUNT–PORTER – On December 11, 1967, at St Andrew’s Church, Marks Tey, Edward, only son of the late Mr Gordon Daunt, and Mrs Nina Daunt, of Greenstead Road, Colchester, to Jane Elizabeth, younger daughter of Mr and Mrs R Porter, of Church Farm, Marks Tey.