Friday, April 23, 2004

100 years ago: According to columnist TT, "we are altogether too mealy-mouthed with regard to correcting children." He believed that a cane had a "marvellous" moral influence. His comments were prompted by the recent drowning of a child in the River Ouse. After a call to stop children playing near the river, TT said that the Chief Constable would do well if he revived in the person of one of his officers the old "river guard" of a few years ago, who, with a light cane in hand, devoted himself to clearing youngsters away from such highly dangerous spots.

50 years ago: Before the war, Military Sunday in York was the occasion for thousands of people to throng the streets to watch the parade. This year it would be held on May 2, when it would be known as Thanksgiving Sunday. Nine bands and almost 1,000 troops would be on parade, and a special service would be held in York Minster. Afterwards the parade the troops would re-ensemble in Dean's Park before marching through the streets past the saluting base, where the Earl of Scarborough, Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding, would take the salute. The Royal Signals band would play in the Minster, and the band of the 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment would provide the music at the saluting base, with the bands of the 1st Battalion Cameronians, 1st Battalion Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, the Royal Air Force Regiment, the Yorkshire Hussars (TA), the 5th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (TA), 4th KOYLI and the drum and fife band of the Army Apprentices' School, Harrogate also playing on the day.

10 years ago: "The earth definitely moved," declared a reporter in reference to his meeting with Dirty Doris, the latest adults-only craze sweeping the country, "but the electricity between us did not last long as she threw me aside for another eager and willing victim." Doris was a lifesize fibreglass model, with a male counterpart whose name was "best left to the imagination." The hydraulically-powered effigies were both proving popular in pubs, clubs and universities, where they tried to throw flesh-and-blood 'riders' to a huge inflatable four-poster bed. Performance wasn't just judged on length of time challengers stayed on board, "which in my case was just as well" added the reporter, but also on style and skill, judged by audience response. The managing director of the Harrogate firm that supplied them said the men were usually the first to have a go, but once the women got on it was hard to get them off again, one of them setting a record of two and a half minutes before she was thrown.

Updated: 16:30 Thursday, April 22, 2004