Monday, May 3, 2004

100 years ago: Whitby was rejoicing in the discovery of radium on its beach. One columnist wondered if this possibly accounted for the remarkable good health of Whitby folk, and all the time "in our ignorance we have been subscribing it to the fresh North Sea breeze, to the air from the moors." Perhaps it was the radium, he continued, that had preserved the snakes so long in this district, headless indeed, but who wouldn't lose their heads at the thought of a beach impregnated with an element of this value. If the other watering places along the coast don't wire away at once for a professor to come down and make similar discoveries on their shoreways and in their spas they may just as well put their shutters up, he added. Whitby was to be congratulated on being up-to-date "at last," and more bath chairs in procession on the sands were expected next summer.

50 years ago: Attempts to make Selby Toll Bridge free received another setback in a letter from the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation to Selby Urban Council, saying that high costs would postpone the work. The letter says that after further careful consideration, the Minister had reluctantly come to the conclusion that the high cost of abolishing the toll and replacing the bridge made it necessary to postpone these improvements "desirable thought they may be."

10 years ago: A champion of champions was settling into his new home behind bars after being snapped up by an East Yorkshire prison. Foston Sambo, a Gloucester Old Spot boar, was bought for a record breed price of £4,200 by Everthorpe Prison's head of farming and industry at an auction in Derby. The pig joined the busy working farm at the 400 acre prison which already boasted 130 cows and a herd of 120 breeding sows. He was a top-notch example of the breed, bought by the prison from a dispersal sale as it had a policy of preserving rare blood lines, and he would quite possibly be shown at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Updated: 08:42 Monday, May 03, 2004