Monday, June 20, 2005

100 years ago

Walter George Deeth, motorcar driver for Mr R Hague-Cook, was charged at the Police Court with driving a motorcar beyond the limit allowed by the law. The prosecution said that acting Sergeant Gamble saw a motorcar belonging to Mr Hague-Cook being driven at a rapid rate. He timed the car, numbered AJ 243, with a stopwatch over a measured quarter of a mile, and found that the defendant did the distance in 26 secs, which worked out to a speed of 34 miles 1,083 yards an hour. The sergeant pulled the defendant up, and asked him what speed he was going, Deeth replied that he knew he was going a little bit over the limit. The prosecution asked that the full penalty of £10 should be imposed as a deterrent to others. In accordance with the law, notice had been sent to the owner of the motorcar.

50 years ago

The people of Britain drank more than 11,000,000 gallons of wine during the previous year - an increase of 17 per cent on the figures for 1953. Sherry maintained its lead as the most popular drink, but there was an appreciable increase in the consumption of French and Empire wines. In the "good old days" wine had been drunk by the fortunate few. While more people were drinking wine than ever before, they drank only a moderate quantity per head. In fact an annual consumption of 11,000,000 gallons represented less than two bottles per year per head of the adult population. Until the previous year people bought low-priced wines, but an increase in the sale of the more expensive vintages seemed to indicate that the British public was evolving discriminating palates. The younger generation were showing a new awareness of wines, and each year the number of wine-lovers grew larger, coming from all walks of life.

25 years ago

The National Union of Teachers urged the Government to end the "uncertainty and confusion" surrounding its plans to replace the GCE O-level and CSE exams with a new 16-plus exam. It also called for teacher participation and control in drawing up the new exam policy, and warned against Government intervention in deciding the syllabus. Britain's biggest teachers' union said it deplored the inadequacy of written information published about the proposed exam. It claimed the result had been confusion among examining boards, teachers and the media. The education secretary said he had not chosen a name for the new exam, which he estimated thousands of youngsters might be taking by 1985 at the earliest.

Updated: 09:00 Monday, June 20, 2005