Tuesday, February 14, 2006

100 years ago

At the half-yearly meeting of the York Tramway Company, held at the Station Hotel, the chairman said that the gross receipts had not improved on the previous year, in fact there had been a small diminution. However, working expenses had been kept down in the same proportion. They had also replaced a portion of the tramway over Ouse Bridge, completing the total replacement of the whole line. The light rails, laid originally some twenty-five years before, had been taken up and sold, and now a very much heavier rail was laid along the whole length. This was, of course, an important matter in view of the apparent determination of the York Corporation to exercise the powers they had under the Tramways Act to purchase the tramways.

50 years ago

Ultra-modern radar equipment coming into use at RAF control centres throughout the country would give almost instant warning of impending enemy air attack when aircraft were still more than 200 miles away. An Air Ministry spokesman said that the new equipment would replace the out-dated operations table, on which plotters charted the progress of hostile enemy forces. This system that proved highly successful in the Second World War was now far too slow for following highflying 600mph jet aircraft. The new device was a glass-covered table map some six feet wide. From below, a radar scanner projected an accurate picture - with a few seconds time lag of all air movement within a radius of more than 200 miles. Each aircraft appeared on the map as a white blob and its progress could be carefully charted by the movement of the blob across the table.

25 years ago

Urban Cowboy, the film featuring teenage heartthrob John Travolta, had bitten the dust after only two days, so there was no Valentine's Day treat for York's Travolta fans. Urban Cowboy kicked off at ABC 3, with Starting Over, starring Burt Reynolds, and only 50 people saw the two films throughout the day. "Business was unbelievably bad," said Mr Colin Bayes, the manager. "I rang the booking office in London and they decided to take both films off at once." Urban Cowboy and Starting Over had been replaced by the Mel Brooks' film, Blazing Saddles and Monty Python And The Holy Grail. Despite the fact that both the replacement films played the Odeon only five weeks before, Mr Bayes thought they would be "much more commercially successful" than Urban Cowboy.

Updated: 12:26 Monday, February 13, 2006