Saturday, November 26, 2005

100 years ago

Within the previous few days details of an uncommon operation performed at the Stockton Hospital had been published in the British Medical Journal. The operation consisted of opening a man's body near the heart in order to get at that organ, to knead it, in order to restore pulsation to bring about respiration that had failed. The operation, of which there had been very few of a similar character recorded, was entirely successful. Dr T Rudolph Smith, who had performed the operation along with Dr Daglish the House Surgeon, was the son of Sir Thomas Smith, the well-known London physician, who was one of the doctors in attendance on the King when he underwent the operation for appendicitis.

50 years ago

Within the space of only a few seconds, York's new telephone exchange in Hungate was brought to life by a team of 21 Post Office engineers, who switched more than 5,000 subscribers from the old Lendal exchange to the new centre of the city's telephone network. The operation went smoothly and according to plan. With the switchover, about 26 sub-exchanges in the York district became automatically metered, and the emergency 999 service was extended to a number of outlying districts. The vertical panels in front of the engineers had been fitted with cords through special wedges, which prevented complete circuits until the wedges were pulled out. By pulling the cords they were able to "cut" in 200 subscribers at once. Within the first half-hour, subscribers were using "Tim," the speaking clock innovation in York at the rate of one a minute! During the same period, more than 50 people found they had dialled wrong numbers and heard the recorded "Golden Voice" telling them so.

25 years ago

The Benson and Hedges international open golf tournament would return to Fulford the following August as one of the richest tournaments on the European circuit and was likely to draw its strongest field yet. Prize money had been increased by £10,000 to £90,000 for the August 20-23 event, the ninth at Fulford in the tournament's 10 years. With the celebrity pro-am competition hosted by the comedian Eric Sykes preceding the main tournament on August 19, it would be a week of Benson and Hedges sport in York. On August 18 the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup, one of the premier events in the flat racing calendar, would be run on Knavesmire. Mr Leonard Owen, Benson and Hedges director, said: "To help to ensure the availability of top American and European golfers our tournament will be played two weeks later than usual."

Updated: 08:51 Friday, November 25, 2005