Leeds nostalgia: On this day 70 years ago...

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Seventy years ago today, Spanish dictator General Franco closed his country’s border with France.

The move was pre-emptive, as France had already announced it would be closing its border from midnight on February 28.

A story in the Yorkshire Evening Post said: “The British and French governments have received a note from the United States, which discusses the possibilities of an interim administration in Spain, which might be set up if the Franco regime should come to an end.”

In other news, US major general Leslie Groves, chief of the US Army’s atomic project, said it would take Russia “another generation” to develop the A-bomb.

His comments followed the recent high profile theft of material from a research facility in Canada, wherein it was alleged the Russians stole detailed information relating to the US nuclear programme.

He added: “If we gave them unlimited help, the Russians could have the atomic bomb in five or six years.”

Meanwhile, it was also reported in the YEP there were 2,349 “mental defectives” in Leeds - approximately five people per thousand of the population.

Of those, it said 846 were in certified institutions and 1,429 were under supervision in their own homes. Of these, 36 were said to be earning a living without assistance, while four were employed in the armed services.

The article went on: “Work done at Meanwood Park Colony included £6,200 worth of laundry, sewing (£385) and agriculture (£1,527), while 28 high grade patients were allowed to work as daily domestics in neighbouring houses.”

In Harrogate, there were calls for the ‘freeing of hotels’ from Government rules which saw them requisitioned during the war as living quarters for civil departments.

And finally, wintry scenes were widespread across Yorkshire following heavy snowfall.

DROUGHT 1976

Julie Greensmith
Fir Tree Green, Moortown, Leeds

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