Leeds nostalgia: New Year’s Eve in 1948...

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New year’s Eve often instils a sense of purpose and renewed enthusiasm to overcome whatever obstacles we have encountered during the year. So it is today and so it was 70 years ago.

A quick glance at the front page of the Yorkshire Evening Post reveals other parallels, because while the politicians of today are bemoaning the effectiveness of the government of the day, they were also doing that in 1948.

Winston Churchill, a member of the pro-Tory Primrose League, griped: “It may be that 1949 will be a year of destiny in which once again people may go to the polls. If they do, we shall, without doubt, bring to an end one of the most incapable governments this country has ever had in modern times.”

In complete contrast to more modern times, “switch happy” householders across Britain were warned to be on guard against wasteful use of electricity in what was dubbed ‘the Kilowatt Gap’. “If the battle is lost, there will be chaos in industry and commerce”, warned the article.

The YEP itself was making the news, expanding from its usual eight pages a day to 12 on three days of the week, beginning in the new year.

In other news, it was reported thieves stole £14,500 worth of cigarettes from a lorry held up by a breakdown near Bury St Edmunds. Thieves towed the lorry to an isolated location, bound and gagged the drive and made off with their haul, at the same time releasing the driver.

And finally, it was announced by the government that controls on prices as they related to wines and spirits were to be abolished from January 1. The wines and spirits concerned were brandy, champagne and other sparkling wines, vermouth, port, sherry and all high-strength sweet wines.