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Burnley got their FA Cup campaign underway sixty years ago and came home from Second Division Lincoln City with a 1-1 draw and a Turf Moor replay to come three days later.

The New Year hadn’t got off to the best of starts for some 40 Burnley residents living at Hapton Valley Gardens. If you recall there were problems with a bad smell from the National Coal Board’s Rowley Tip during 1959 and here we had a repeat with the Hapton Valley Tip. The small hamlet at Hapton Valley Gardens was made up of twelve brick and five wooden bungalows and many of the residents for whom it was causing major problems were aged between seventy and eighty . The NCB had visited the residents and agreed with them. In a letter sent to all seventeen bungalows they confirmed that they were working on the problem.

Burnley Central Station – a Victorian monstrosity

Despite the closure of a number of mills, there were six trade unions representing no less than 20,000 cotton operatives in the Burnley area and they had requested a 10% rise for their members. That rise would mean an increase of £1 per week for men and 14s per week for women.

Car parking was still a problem in town and was discussed at a Council meeting. Alderman P. Henry, chairman of the Watch and Fire Brigade Committee said: “We need more thoughtful parking with a view to avoiding unpleasant consequences. There is still too much thoughtless and indiscriminate parking especially in the central area.” The chairman was authorised to accept a tender for work on a car park at Mount Pleasant whilst a one way system, the first ever in Burnley, was to be set up in St. James’ Row and Coal Street.

The Council also had concerns for the town’s maternity hospital and the main railway station. They agreed unanimously to send a letter to the Minister of Health stressing the urgency of building a new maternity hospital. There were concerns that mothers and babies might have to be moved seven miles by ambulance to the rest home at Grove House, and that after only three or four days in Bank Hall following the birth. Councillor J. Cassidy said of the matter: “I cannot emphasise too strongly the extreme urgency with which we as a local authority look upon the need to replace Bank Hall Maternity Hospital.”

As for the station, the Council welcomed the introduction of the new diesel train service to Preston and the West Coast (Blackpool that was, not San Francisco), but were unanimous on calling on the British Transport Commission for a long needed improvement to the Central Station. The Town Clerk was requested to write asking for such an improvement in order to keep railway transport in line with the tremendous improvements in the central area, and the proposal brought Councillors to their feet. It was declared that the only change in fifty years had been the renaming of the station from Bank Top to Burnley Central and Councillor J. E. Parkinson hit the nail on the head when he said: “It is a Victorian monstrosity, ill lit as in the days of a bygone era. People have to go down a tunnel which is dripping with water. It really is a shocking place to have.”

But the stunning news in the town was that of Mrs Stuttard, a 64-year-old swinger. “Modern girls may, in certain quarters, be frequently seen walking around and carefully balancing a pile of books on their heads to improve figure and deportment,” wrote the Burnley Express. However, Mrs Stuttard believed swinging was the answer and incredibly this lady gave a demonstration to the Burnley Old Aged Pensioners Association. She said: “You can get a few nasty cracks in the initial stages but after thirty years of swinging I’m still able to stand as straight as a ramrod.” Mrs Stuttard admitted to being able to perform in twelve different positions but warned: “Never go on for too long, people get bored.” I had a vision of a Burnley version of Donald and Jacqueline from the sit-com Benidorm but Mrs Stuttard’s swinging wasn’t quite so risqué. She kept fit by swinging two wooden clubs, held in her hands.

It was nice to see that former Burnley Cricket Club professional Collie Smith, tragically killed in a road accident in August 1959, was to be remembered with a cricket match to aid the Collie Smith Memorial Fund. The touring M.C.C. team (England toured under that name at the time) would play a one day game against the West Indies on 15th February. The West Indies team would include several of Collie’s former test team mates including Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott.

The Christmas and New Year festivities meant Burnley were forced to return the bulk of their allocated tickets for the trip to Sincil Bank for the cup tie although it was believed that in the end around 4,000 supporters made the journey from Lancashire. The Burnley team, having had special cup tie training during the week, travelled on the Friday and stayed in a village just outside Lincoln on the Friday night. Jimmy McIlroy was fit again but unfortunately was confined to his home with a heavy cold. Burnley immediately contacted the RAF to ask for permission to play Ian Lawson again, Lawson was at the time on National Service.

Burnley have created such an impression by their football on tour through the country this season in their away games that many people have gone so far as to fancy them as cup winners. Will this be the Wembley year? It didn’t start that way as we fought out a 1-1 draw. Many thought that Burnley had been presented with a passport into Round Four of the FA Cup when they were drawn at Sincil Bank, but Lincoln City almost took it off them and stamped it with their own special mascot – the Lincoln Imp.

It was not only the result but the way in which Burnley played that gave their supporters the impression that here again were the old unpredictables in one of their most tantalising moods, and the display did no good to Burnley’s reputation. In fact they disappointed the Lincoln people, whose remarks were scathing and their surprise considerable.

We started well enough and it seemed as though the home goalkeeper might prove himself a hero in defeat particularly as Ray POINTER, with his usual quick thinking agility, pivoted onto a headed pass from Bobby Seith following a John Connelly corner and shot Burnley into the lead. That should have led to Burnley going on to win comfortably but that wasn’t the case.

We had dominated the first half but into the second half the Lincoln attacks came down the middle and the left wing with one sudden raid bringing them level. Ron HARBETSON shot and it was helped into the net by a desperately sprawling Jimmy Adamson. Even the little ball boys (who looked nearly as cold as Burnley’s all white strip) jumped up and down in wild delight.

After that, Burnley were fortunate to survive. They disappointed their supporters and themselves. It ended all square with Turf Moor set to stage the replay on the Tuesday night.

The teams were;

Lincoln City: William Heath, Ronnie Allen, Jeff Smith, Fred Middleton, Dennis Gratton, Bob Jackson, John McClelland, Ron Harbetson, Andy Graver, Albert Linnecor, Ron Smillie.

Burnley: Adam Blacklaw, John Angus, Alex Elder, Bobby Seith, Brian Miller, Jimmy Adamson, John Connelly, Ian Lawson, Ray Pointer, Jimmy Robson, Brian Pilkington.

Referee: Mr R. T. E. Langdale (Darlington).

Attendance: 21,893.

The reserves also drew 1-1 on their travels but they had to come from one behind at Deepdale to secure a point in the Central League with a goal from Gordon Harris. The big news there was a first reserve game for Colin McDonald on his way back from a broken leg.

FA Cup Results

9 January 1960

Aston Villa 2 Leeds 1
Bath City 0 Brighton 1
Blackpool 3 Mansfield 0
Bournemouth 1 York 0
Bradford City 3 Everton 0
Bristol City 2 Charlton 3
Bristol Rovers 0 Doncaster 0
Bury 1 Bolton 1
Cardiff 0 Port Vale 2
Chelsea 5 Bradford Park Avenue 1
Crewe 2 Workington 0
Derby 2 Manchester United 4
Exeter 1 Luton 2
Fulham 5 Hull 0
Gillingham 1 Swansea 4
Huddersfield 1 West Ham 1
Ipswich 2 Peterborough 3
Lincoln 1 Burnley 1
Liverpool 2 Leyton Orient 1
Manchester City 1 Southampton 5
Newcastle 2 Wolves 2
Newport 0 Tottenham 4
Nottingham Forest 1 Reading 0
Rotherham 2 Arsenal 2
Scunthorpe 1 Crystal Palace 0
Sheffield United 3 Portsmouth 0
Sheffield Wednesday 2 Middlesbrough 1
Stoke 1 Preston 1
Sunderland 1 Blackburn 1
Watford 2 Birmingham 1
West Brom 3 Plymouth 2
Wrexham 1 Leicester City 2

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