Leeds nostalgia: Park lake deaths at Roundhay in 1948 spark new police patrol

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Police in Leeds installed a ‘water guard’ at Waterloo Lake, Roundhay, after one man died and a woman had to be rescued from the water on consecutive days.

Chief Constable J W Barnett added the posting was temporary and would have to be approved following liaison with the council’s parks department.

On this day 70 years ago, he said two officers would be on patrol around the lake, both of whom had passed their life saving certificate.

He said: “The arrangement is so far a temporary one. I have not had time to consult the Watch Committee and the matter will have to be discussed between the Watch and Parks committees.”

On the world stage, the first Olympics since the notorious 1936 Berlin Olympics, got underway in London. The games had endured a 12-year hiatus, following the outbreak of war in Europe. It was known as the Austerity Games, as rationing was still in place and no new venues were built, events mostly taking place at Wembley Stadium. It was the second time London had hosted the Olympics, having had them in 1908 also. Some 59 nations were represented by just over 4,000 nations. Russia was invited but declined to attend. America won the most medals.

In other news, five ambulances were destroyed when fuel tanks exploded at the West Yorkshire Riding County Depot. Firefighters managed to save two vehicles. And finally, the Crescent Cinema, Pontefract, which was being redecorated with new seating for 1,000, was damaged by fire. Firefighters turned up to find the screen on fire with seats badly damaged and plaster falling from the ceiling. The blaze was spotted at midnight and was still going at dawn.