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6:20am Thursday 26th April 2012 in Way we were
100 years ago
Further surprising developments in connection with the dispute between the White Star Line and the firemen who refused to sail on the liner “Olympic” had led to the abandonment of the voyage to New York.
A few days earlier, minutes before the last gangway was removed 285 firemen and greasers - practically the whole complement of the stokehold - left the vessel.
The reason for their action, they asserted, was that the collapsible boats which had been placed on board the liner were unserviceable.
They insisted that these should be replaced by wooden lifeboats, and that two additional seamen should be assigned to each boat.
The managers of the White Star Line had just telegraphed the following message to the Postmaster-General: “Regret to inform you that after shipping a satisfactory engine room crew, the deck crew and hitherto loyal men in the engine room refuse duty, asserting that they would not sail with substitute men.
Under these circumstances we have been compelled to order the Olympic to abandon the voyage.”
50 years ago
There was fashion news in headgear for the male of the species, and it was only fair that the men of the house should have a new hat this season, as well as the mistress.
Mere males were less expensive to fit out than two females.
Their spring collection, in cool and comfortable straw material and lightweight 2oz felt hats, ranged in price from 3s 6d to 4s, with a tremendous choice of shapes and colours.
Vivid or muted shade Italian straws offered a variety of weaves with fanciful bands and trimmings.
A toast-coloured Milan straw with a telescopic crown shape was trimmed with green raffia decorated with vineyard figures.
One novelty was a hat made of thermo-plastic material which looked like a fine-weave gauze.
In either natural or truffle brown colours this material could be washed with soap and water, and was crushproof.
More and more men were buying hats these days. There had been a steady upswing in trade since the mid-50s.
25 years ago
Snakes alive! The sudden warm weather had brought out more than the tourists.
Strensall Common, on the outskirts of York, had been taken over by poisonous adders who were slithering out of hibernation in abundance.
The police and Army were informed after a woman reported seeing four, and later returned to say her dog had been bitten by one. The animal was not injured.
The common's range warden had confirmed that the Army ranges were teeming with snakes. But the advice was to keep calm. The snakes, also known as vipers, only ever attacked in self defence and their bites were rarely serious.