Sunday, May 6, 2012

October 24-30, 1940

“Keep him tied to the bed post,” was the only solution one parent could suggest following his son’s recent jaunt.

Three Swindon boys appeared at a special Juvenile Court hearing after four days spent on the run, travelling by train and spending the nights on railway stations.  They were eventually caught on Tuesday night alighting from a train in Bath, where they yet again attempted an escape only to be recaptured.

The boys were found to have in their possession a service revolver, reported missing from Didcot, a torch, an electric lamp, £2 8s 6½d in cash and a 2s postal order.

They told how they had left Swindon on Saturday, taking a train to Oxford.  Returning to town, they spent Sunday in Swindon before walking to Wootton Bassett and then on to Lyneham before taking the train to Chippenham and finally Bath.  They said they obtained a lift for part of the journey.

“One parent expressed the opinion that the escapade of the boys had been planned a week before,” reported the Advertiser.  “Another parent said that her son had been free from trouble until he came to Swindon.”

Sporting fixtures this week saw two local firms go head to head when Compton’s First Netball team played Wills’s Senior team at Gorse Hill school ground.

And just ½ inch separated the personal best jumps of two school girl athletes.  Josephine Saunders of Poughcombe Farm, Ogbourne St Andrew cleared 3ft 10ins at Colville House School sports but was beaten into second place by Thelma Gantlett who skimmed the bar at 3ft 10½ inches.

The Advertiser photographer captured all the action and a line up of the teams along with high jump competitors Thelma 15 and Josephine 14.

As local firms considered moving their pay day forward to Thursday instead of Friday the GWR revealed some amazing facts and figures about pay day at the Swindon works.

On Friday morning a large, four wheeled iron safe, drawn by a mechanical tractor and escorted by ‘picked men’ made the short journey from the bank to the factory.  According to the report ‘others precede and follow it, mingling inconspicuously with the ordinary pedestrians.’  The likelihood of a successful hold up was described as being extremely small.

“In the brief space of five minutes – from 12.25 to 12.30 each Friday afternoon, about a ton of money, totalling sometimes close on £50,000, is paid out to the 12,000 employees at the Great Western Railway Works, Swindon,” reported the Advertiser.

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