Leeds nostalgia: Leeds mum and young son who narrowly escaped runaway lorry

A Leeds mum, her four-month-old son and 15-year-old niece narrowly escaped death after a pop wagon crashed into their house on Elsworth Street, Armley.

Rita Eyre, pictured, was feeding son David in the lounge of their home, sitting about two yards away from the wall, which the lorry partly destroyed.

Niece Susan Savage was also sitting close by.

The story appeared in the YEP in January 1970.

Only moments before, reports the Evening Post, the child had “been sitting with his golliwog” on the couch under the window.”

The lorry had been waiting outside the fish and chip shop of Josephine McSharry, in Scott Street, waiting to deliver lemonade prior to the incident. Britain’s heaviest man in 1970 was 38-stone Arthur Armitage, from Southfield Road, Knottingley. The 40-year-old made the papers on January 1 after losing his job as a clerk at a bookmakers near his home. Arthur said: “I have been made redundant. I haven’t got another job but there are plenty of bookmakers in the town.”

Arthur became a clerk when he grew too heavy to carry on his trade as a bricklayer.

A spokesman for the firm where he worked said the business had been taken over by another, which led to staffing changes.