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Sixty years ago Burnley faced Turf Moor games on successive Saturdays against local rivals Blackburn Rovers, one in the league and one in the cup, and in the first game recorded a second league win of the week following the Tuesday night 2-0 victory over league leaders Tottenham Hotspur.

The town was gearing itself to flush out the pirates back in 1960, those who were not paying their television and radio licence fees, with the arrival of a detector van. People in the Burnley area had 33,689 combined television and radio licences and a further 16,150 radio licences and yet when the van arrived for a week’s trial previously there was a large uptake in new licences. The van would cover the area from Colne to Simonstone and action would be taken against those found to be using televisions or radios without a licence. The picture shows the town’s Postmaster Mr H. D’Eath with the Mayor, Councillor Miss Edith Utley checking out the equipment alongside a technician (left) a Post Office worker and the van driver (centre of picture).

The Mayor checks out the recording equipment

The town’s health service, and in particular the maternity section, got a big boost when the Minister of Health revealed a list of new hospital projects costing a total of £20 million. The main project locally was that of the building of a new maternity unit at Burnley General Hospital that would cost £250,000. It was a massive boost for the town given that only in December the Ministry had indicated there would be no priority for Burnley but pushed by the Manchester Regional Hospital Board, who supported the build, the Ministry had a change of mind.

There had been eight years of uncertainty for Sion Baptist Church and the Sunday school. The two buildings on Chapel Street had to be demolished for the building of the town’s inner ring road and the roundabout by the side of the new Keirby Hotel. The positive news came with the announcement of a new church and Sunday school building on the Hill Top site, just a stone’s throw away from the present building. The cost, including furnishings, would be £75,000 and this would become the first Baptist Church to be built in Burnley since Immanuel Church in 1909. It was hoped the new Church would be ready for use within two years.

The sad death was reported of local businessman Mr Frederick Lord at the age of 83. Born in Middleton, Mr Lord was brought to Burnley at the age of three, and for a time was in textiles and then worked as a barber, before he became interested in haulage work. His business prospered and in 1934, when he sold out, the firm had thirteen vehicles. Later he turned himself to the meat trade. Mrs Lord had died 18 months previously and Mr Lord left two sons and a daughter – Arthur, Gladys and Robert. His younger son Mr Robert W. Lord was by then the managing director of his butchering business F. Lord and Sons Ltd. Interestingly, in 1960, that’s how it was reported locally with no reference whatsoever to the position his son held at Burnley Football Club.

You would think someone called Morris might be a good driver, but for Mr John Millar Morris that wasn’t the case unfortunately. Driving his Morris car along Trafalgar Street in Burnley he had his attention distracted for a split second and that was enough for him to collide with a stationary shooting brake. He admitted that he’d fallen from the high standards he’d set in fourteen years of motoring and was fined £5 by Burnley Magistrates.

Mr J. O. R. Illingworth, a solicitor acting on behalf of Massey’s Burnley Brewery, confirmed to the Licensing Sessions that the new Keirby Hotel was close to completion. He also confirmed that some of the bars would open their doors on 7th April.

The 1960 Burnley Festival of Music and Drama was underway in seven different buildings in town – I think the challenge was to find the seven buildings. A couple of clues – the whole event got underway with the ballet section competition at Ebenezer school whilst the drama section was to be held at the Palace Cinema. It really was a cultural time and up at Towneley Hall they had just taken delivery of their costliest ever picture. ‘The Temple of Minerva’, a water colour by Turner had been purchased at the Agnew Galleries in Bond Street, London. Towneley received a grant of 40% from the Victoria & Albert Museum, but no value was made public. Meanwhile, also at Towneley, a display of Czech glassware had opened and there to open it was Dr. Jan Snobil, the First Secretary to the Czechoslovakian Embassy in London.

A couple of weeks ago we reported the shocking theft of raincoats, some of which had been recovered by the police. The result of this was that two Burnley men, both in their 20s, were at Burnley Quarter Sessions facing charges of the theft of 198 raincoats and 105 coat hangers from T. Haythornthwaite and Sons Ltd., and also breaking and entering the New Hall Street Working Men’s Club and Institute. Representing the two men, Mr J. N, Coffey told the court: “They are ashamed of what they have done and realise the harm and shame they have brought on to their families.” It did not good, and the Recorder Miss Rose Heilbron QC told the men: “I would not be doing my duty to the public if I overlooked these offences.” She sentenced them both to nine months imprisonment. One of the men also asked the court to take into consideration the theft of 854 units of electricity to the value of £4 1s 8d.

It was penny pushing time again, this time at the Wheatsheaf Hotel where Burnley players Bobby Seith and David Smith helped raise £11 2s 5d for spastics but onto the football and the argument over the removal of boys’ prices for the cup ties raged on. One angry mum wrote to the Burnley Express over the club’s view that boys under the age of 16 should be in bed. She wrote: “Regarding the Burnley Football Club’s attitude towards the boys who went to try to see the Burnley v Bradford City cup tie. Mr H. Smith (speaking on behalf of the club chairman) has been quoted as having said: ‘Boys should be in bed at that time!’

“Maybe they should and normally the majority of them probably are, but there’s an exception to every rule. For them to go and watch their own club in such an important match is, to them, an event in their young lives! Does the club realise that these boys are the true supporters of the town’s football team? In rain, hail or snow their voices are raised in encouragement while the adult voices are heard in derision! The directors want to remember that the boys of today are the men of tomorrow or are they only interested in present day football?”

Burnley’s cup progress had left the players in demand by television. Jimmy Adamson was the latest to appear and was asked of the prospects of a league and cup double. Adamson said they would accept one if they were runners up in the other.

For the game against Blackburn, the club confirmed that all tickets were the same colour but supporters should use the turnstiles designated. Turnstiles 1 to 34 were in Brunshaw Road, 35 to 38 at the Bee Hole End and 40 to 52 could be reached via Belvedere Road. It was a big game. Not only were the points needed but it was the big local derby and thankfully we got the points in the cup rehearsal even though it might not have been the best of games.

Maybe this dull derby could have been anticipated, but for a meeting of two First Division sides from neighbouring towns, with all the tradition of local rivalry and club competition extending over the years, the match was more of a football farce than feast. The crowd were prepared to be enthusiastic, but even they, the long suffering customers, became disillusioned before the finish, and many were moving to the exits ten minutes before the final whistle to put an end to the sufferings of the remainder.

Burnley won, and that was the comfort that the home spectators derived from the scramble. It became obvious that neither side was prepared to give away any secrets in view of next week’s glamour match, and it was to be hoped, for the sake of Saturday’s sufferers, that the expectations of a rousing cup tie were justified.

Passes went astray in lamentable fashion: constructive play was more hopeful than actual, and it is doubtful if there had been a match at Turf Moor all season when the general standard had touched such a rock bottom level.

The highlights for Burnley were how Alex Elder played Bryan Douglas with some ease and how John Connelly was much too quick and much too clever for Blackburn full back Dave Whelan. Such was the dismal show that the local press failed to report on the goal other than to say it was scored by Jimmy ROBSON in the first half whilst Connelly almost doubled the lead in the second half when he hit the bar direct from a corner.

As the supporters left they said to each other: “Wait until next Saturday,” and that is what everyone had to do. For Burnley though the points were vital, no matter how disappointing was the game.

The teams were;

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

Blackburn Rovers: Harry Leyland, John Bray, Dave Whelan, Ronnie Clayton, Matt Woods, Mick McGrath, Bryan Douglas, Peter Dobing, Derek Dougan, Edward Thomas, Ally McLeod.

Referee: Mr A. E. Ellis (Halifax).

Attendance: 32,281.

Never mind the negative reporting of the day, this was a vital win for Burnley and more so because the two teams above us, Spurs and Wolves, both won leaving us still in third place. The big change in the league was Birmingham’s big win over Nottingham Forest taking them out of the bottom two where Leeds again joined Luton.

The reserves made it a double with a 2-1 win at Bolton. It was a game of some fierce tackling but Trevor Meredith and Walter Joyce got the vital goals with Bolton’s coming from an own goal by John Talbut whose back pass was the only ball to beat man of the match Jim Furnell all game.

First Division Results

5th March 1960

Birmingham 4 Nottingham Forest 1
Burnley 1 Blackburn 0
Chelsea 3 Luton 0
Leeds 2 Blackpool 4
Leicester 5 Manchester City 0
Manchester United 0 Wolves 2
Newcastle 3 Fulham 1
Preston 0 Arsenal 3
Tottenham 4 Sheffield Wednesday 1
West Brom 1 Bolton 1
West Ham 2 Everton 2

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a ga pts
1 Tottenham 32 17 9 6 69 38 1.82 43
2 Wolves 32 19 4 9 79 55 1.44 42
3 Burnley 31 18 4 9 68 46 1.48 40
4 Sheffield Wed 32 15 7 10 57 38 1.50 37
5 Bolton 31 14 7 10 40 35 1.14 35
6 Preston 32 13 9 10 58 59 0.98 35
7 Fulham 32 14 6 12 61 63 0.97 34
8 West Brom 31 12 9 10 58 46 1.26 33
9 Newcastle 32 14 5 13 67 63 1.06 33
10 West Ham 31 14 4 13 60 64 0.94 32
11 Arsenal 32 13 6 13 56 62 0.90 32
12 Manchester United 32 12 7 13 73 63 1.16 31
13 Blackburn 32 14 3 15 53 57 0.93 31
14 Chelsea 32 11 8 13 62 69 0.90 30
15 Blackpool 31 11 7 13 44 50 0.88 29
16 Leicester 32 10 9 13 53 62 0.85 29
17 Nottingham Forest 32 11 6 15 41 61 0.67 28
18 Manchester City 31 12 3 16 63 66 0.95 27
19 Everton 32 9 8 15 52 58 0.90 26
20 Birmingham 30 9 5 16 42 56 0.75 23
21 Leeds 31 8 7 16 50 75 0.67 23
22 Luton 31 7 7 17 36 56 0.64 21
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