Leeds nostalgia: Ghandi shot... and Leeds last link with oldest railway

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Seventy years ago today - January 30, 1948 - Mahatma Ghandi was shot dead on his way to a prayer meeting in New Delhi - his Hindu killer was seized shortly afterwards.

The news made front pages all around the world. The story was broken by All-India Radio, which reported the spiritual leader was shot three or four times, at about 5 o’ clock.

The stories appeared in the YEP in January 1948 - see more stories HERE.

Several shots were fired at point blank range into ‘the Father of the Nation’, who collapsed in a pool of blood, despite relatives and friends attempting to shield the world’s most famous pacifist.

‘Mahatma’ means ‘great soul’, and his philosophy of peaceful resistance is credited with bringing about the end of British rule of India in 1947, just a year before his death.

Just days earlier, on January 20, Ghandi had escaped another assassination attempt, this time from a coconut bomb, which went off at one of his prayer meetings.

Thousands gathered on the streets outside his final resting place as the whole of India and indeed the world mourned his death.

In other news, the last link Leeds had with the oldest railway in the world was dismantled, as the final girder in the bridge over Holmes Street, Hunslet, was taken down by workmen. Blenkinsop’s engine ran over it to Middleton Colliery some 136 years earlier.

And finally... reports in the Yorkshire Evening Post about chronic overcrowding in some Leeds houses, with up to 38 people living in one eight-bedroom house and many others forced to live in squalid conditions in the cellars of houses, as the above picture, taken by YEP photographer Len Chetwyn, shows.

The report contained an interview with a mother and father, who lives with their baby son in a rat-infested cellar.