Retro: November 1964 - Runaway train crash


A RUNAWAY locomotive and tender crashed 30ft into a Bradford street on November 10.

The 150-ton train raced about a mile down the track from Laisterdyke and through the Adolphus Street goods yard at about 50mph.

It demolished a porter's mess room and then smashed through a 6ft wall onto Dryden Street, off Wakefield Road.

The driver, fireman and guard all jumped clear moments before the crash.

Driver Arthur Wilby, 60, of Sunnyview, East Ardsley, was treated for shock; fireman Edward Bedford, 26, also of East Ardsley, suffered facial cuts and guard Arthur Wrightson, 50, of Morley, had arm injuries.

Several rail workers reported they came just feet from death as the runaway train thundered past them.


Prime Minister Harold, pictured far right, Wilson promised to renationalise steel production, to seize land for community use and to scrap prescription charges and to give the Commons a free vote on capital punishment, which was duly abolished on November 9.

Hosepipe use for washing cars was banned in Leeds from Saturday November 7 in a bid to conserve water stocks, as the city's water reserves dropped to 52 days, falling at a rate of five days per week.

The National Coal Board brought an abrupt end to a 'free coal for pensioners' scheme in Aspley, Huddersfield. Workmen digging the foundations for the widening of Somerset Bridge had been bringing coal up from 25ft and allowing local pensioners to take as much as they could carry but a Coal Board official announced: "All coal in the UK is the property of the coal board, even if you find it in your back garden."

Yorkshire woman Miss Pauline Foulds, of Littlethorpe, near Ripon, won three gold medals at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Miss Foulds, who was paralysed from the waist down following a riding accident, won the medals for swimming.

Prime Minister Harold Wilson told the House of Commons MPs would be paid 3,250 a year, that they should get 4.5 pence mileage allowance and Lords get 4.5 guineas a day attendance money. The Prime Minister's salary also rose from 10,000 to 18,000, in line with recommendations made by the Lawrence commission, which had been charged with reviewing MPs wages.

A Yorkshire Evening Post reader complained in a letter to the paper: "If women had helped plan the block of flats where I live they would not have put the oven next to the pantry or had hot water pipes running through it. Nothing can be kept in it in summer. Tinned food becomes lukewarm and the morning's milk is sour by evening.

A Roman Catholic church collapsed in Garforth, Leeds, 10 days before it was due to be opened.


Sir Winston Churchill celebrated his 90th birthday and received more than 60,000 birthday cards and had a birthday cake weighing 120lbs.

Films on at the cinema included: It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, starring Spencer Tracy, Phil Silvers and Buddy Hackett, who engaged in a treasure hunt across America based on the dying words of a thief; The Gorgon, starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee; The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, starring Terence Morgan; and The Curse of the Living Corpse, billed as 'more terrifying than Frankenstein, more deadly than Dracula'. Elvis Presley also starred as the restless, reckless, roving Roustabout in a film of the same name.

Born this month were: US actress and Ally McBeal star Calista Flockhart, UK comedian Alistair McGowan and US actor Don Cheadle.


Australian javelin thrower Reg Spiers shipped himself from London to Perth in a wooden crate. The 22-year-old had travelled to England to try out for the Tokyo Olympics but failed and then lost all his money. With no means of return, he built himself a wooden crate and spent 63 cramped hours being flown half way around the world.

Lyndon B Johnson defeated Republican challenger Barry Goldwater with over 60 per cent of the popular vote to win a second term in the Oval Office as US president.

Investigators concluded their report into the Pacific Airlines Flight 773 crash with one word: murder. The US Civil Aviation Authorities board made the finding based on a garbled flight recorder message and said one of the passengers had probably shot the captain and first officer. The twin-engined F-72 jet was on its way from Reno to San Francisco and went down with three crew and 41 passengers 26 miles from its destination.

AND FINALLY...</strong

Budding aeronauts Philip Hill, 33, a watch repairer of Horsforth and Donald Pullan, 34, of Barwick-in-Elmet, prepared to take to the skies in home made flying machines. Mr Hill had spent two years building his glider, while Mr Pullan and three friends had spent 100 constructing the gyrocopter, a fraction of the 1,800 it would have cost them to buy off the shelf.

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