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6:10am Wednesday 25th April 2012 in Way we were
100 years ago
The iceberg which tore the starboard out of the Titanic had also ripped the bottom out of the Board of Trade regulations.
Passenger lines were ordering lifeboats faster than they could be supplied. But it was not sufficient to have boats.
There had to be the trained men to handle them. Our Mercantile Marine was poorly furnished with men.
This matter needed to be set right, not by panic reforms, but by wise precautions, gradually applied, so as to increase the number of men without unduly disturbing existing contracts and our power to compete with other nations.
To have more British sailors on our ships would be a much more useful precaution than an increase in the number of lifeboats.
50 years ago
A crime committed more than 400 years before had been detected by Dr JS Purvis, Director of the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research, York.
The crime? A forged entry in the Archbishop of York's Register, dated about 1534.
The object? The age-old desire to avoid paying taxes. Dr Purvis had discovered the forgery while examining ecclesiastical documents.
It appeared that a clerk was induced to make a false entry in the register claiming that a certain man was exempt from paying his tithes on the grounds that his grandfather had been excused.
But Dr Purvis was able to prove from other documents that this was a successful evasion of tax. The Director had read thousands of wills in the course of his work at the Institute.
Most of the wills and other documents - they dated from the 14th century and covered subjects from coalmining to a recipe for waterproof glue - had now been examined, and for the past two years Dr Purvis had been compiling an index which would be published later in the year and be available to all the important libraries in the country.
25 years ago
Britain's most famous vet, Thirsk's James Herriot was finding his name in big demand.
Hard on the heels of his local town council deciding to cash in on his worldwide reputation, the All Creatures Great and Small author now found his name being suggested for a new local authority.
The Mayor of Ripon, Councillor Rowland Simpson, was proposing a new district council which would include the city as well as Thirsk, Easingwold, Boroughbridge and surrounding parishes.
He had suggested the name of Herriot District Council for the new authority. The involved parishes were to be invited to a special meeting to discuss the plans.