Leeds nostalgia: A flood, a fire rescue and the start of bread rationing - this week in June 1946

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Seventy years ago this week, one Leeds baby had a lucky escape after being rescued from a burning house by a good Samaritan.

Painter Ernest Smith, of Miles Hill View, later demonstrated how he climbed up a pipe and then over a roof to reach the flat on Street Lane after he spotted flames.

Upon entering the property, he found an 11-month-old baby boy of Dr and Mrs H Feldman. He then tackled the fire, allowing Mr Feldman to take the baby outside. The fire was out before the NFS arrived. The story actually appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Post on June 19.

And just to prove freak weather events aren’t just a feature of modern life, June 24, 1946 saw a freak cloudburst, which left several inches of silt on the roads surrounding Glasshoughton.

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It put the coke works of the Yorkshire Coking and Chemical C0 completely out of action. It left one of the building’s main conveyor belt 4ft under water.

Cokeworks manager T P Carr, commenting on the flood in Glasshoughton in June 1946

In Ferrybridge, the town square was under 18 inches of water and in Pontefract, farm animals had to be rescued, including some pigs from Bondgate Farm, after they were spotted swimming in 2ft of water. Other local livestock owners reported many chickens drowned in their pens.

Cokeworks manager T P Carr, said: “I have been here 27 years and have never seen anything like it.”

Meanwhile, the Cabinet decided to implement bread rationing from July 21, with a 10oz daily basic allowance. Food minister John Strachey said expectant mothers and those with children of a ‘growing age’ would receive 12oz, while those carrying out heavy manual work, such as coalminers, would received 16oz.