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After a 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday the Burnley fans were hoping for a performance at home as good as the one in the previous Turf Moor game when Wolves were beaten 4-1. The Clarets very definitely didn’t disappoint when Nottingham Forest were the visitors on 21st November 1959.

It had been a reasonably quiet week in Burnley and while local councillor Mr W. Smith and his wife Marie were only too keen to show off their modern home there were problems elsewhere in town with a bad smell that was getting worse. The Smiths lived in a small terraced house in Barley Street, Padiham and earlier in the year had decided to make theirs a contemporary ‘all electric’ home. Mrs Smith was delighted with the result and said it had made housework much easier. “Compared with the dust I used to have there is none now,” she said. “We have no draughts and the house is altogether much cleaner and warmer.” She added that over the past months she’d only ever had to do some light dusting such were the improvements and Elizabeth Ann reporting for the Burnley Express was taken with the new look and admitted it looked newly decorated and not a few months old. She particularly enjoyed the look of the television in a special cupboard above the electric fire.

Councillor & Mrs Smith enjoy their all electric modern home
Councillor & Mrs Smith enjoy their all electric modern home

The Smiths might well have been snug in their new look home, one which surely many people would wish to copy, but for residents in the Queens Park Road and Brunshaw areas there was a big problem with what they claimed was a stench emanating from the National Coal Board’s Rowley Tip. They had a spokesman, unnamed of course, and just referred to as a resident. He was furious and said the matter was being taken to Ministerial level. He said: “We cannot keep on breathing these fumes. It is hydrogen sulphide and it is highly poisonous.” He continued: “Our idea is to get the matter up to Ministerial level and then something will be done. We will get it there – make no mistake about that.” A petition was sent to local MP Dan Jones claiming the smell had been present for several years without action and was now getting worse. The smell, it was claimed, was atrocious.

It was a mixed bag in the court rooms again. Two men were found guilty of stealing four bottles of whisky, one rum, one port wine to a total value of £11 15s 8d from their employers Taylor Anderton. One of them had also stolen £57 10s worth of cigarettes while the other had taken £41 2s 8d in cash. They were both sent to prison for 12 months. Two other Burnley men got into trouble when they knocked a cat off a wall. For one of them it was his wedding day and he was with his best man. Now, that would have been the end of it had the owner of the cat not protested. She did, and so they kicked her husband unconscious. The groom also punched his mother-in-law to be (nothing like getting it in early) but she said it was stress and he didn’t really know what he was doing. The groom had previous convictions but it appears the best man was the main instigator. Mr W. R. Lambert (presiding) told him: “This was a brutal assault without provocation and we have seriously considered sending you to prison.” Neither of them were sent down, the best man was fined £20 and the groom £10.

There was trouble for one young boy too. A shopkeeper had suspected he was stealing from the shop so she arranged for a policeman to hide in the shop to try and catch him. He did, twice, the first time for taking 2s 8d and the second time 2s 4d (exactly 25p in total in today’s money). The boy already received 7s 6d per week pocket money but had wanted some more to buy fireworks. He was fined two weeks pocket money (15s) by the court and put on probation.

Job wise there was some bad news with pit closures at Reedley and Salterford. “It was a nasty shock,” said Mr H. Bennett the secretary of Prosperity Lodge. There were, thankfully, no job losses with all 450 men transferred to other pits in Burnley. While the miners moved to new pits, there was news for the home helps who were in dispute with the Corporation. Dan Jones was taking up their problem and ready to offer help.

The news wasn’t quite so good for one man in town who fell to his death from a local bus. After hearing the conductor call: “Last stop before the library”, bus driver Mr Clifford Gregson, completing a Saturday evening Barnoldswick to Burnley run, slowed down on the dual carriageway section of Church Street to draw up at the bus stop near the Odeon car park. Mr Gregson said he suddenly heard a bang and it was a 74-year-old man who had fallen and was lying on the pavement severely injured. He’d tried to jump off before the bus stopped, his wife tried to pull him back by grabbing his coat. The injuries were so severe that on arrival at hospital the man had died having suffered a depressed fracture of the skull.

A committee had been set up for BURNLEY WORLD REFUGEE YEAR. It was supported by all the churches, the political parties, industry and commerce, the professions, the trade unions and all persons of goodwill.

WANTED – 3,000 BURNLEY CITIZENS TO GIVE £1 EACH was the slogan as the town got ready to play its part.

Christmas was obviously on the way with the Co-op having a big advert locally. Top of the list for Christmas gifts were a men’s cavalry twill coat for £10 and children’s gift parcels at 2s 6d. The churches were holding their sales of work right across town but there was one very poignant advert in the Burnley Express. It just read: Two boys aged 15 and 13 (both Methodist) whose parents are dead in urgent need of a foster home – I hope those boys found a home.

Onto local football and Burnley inside forward Jimmy McIlroy had been signed up by the Daily Express to write a series of articles. In them he was ready to tell readers how the game could be improved, discuss the future of international football and write of his own experiences against continental teams. Many of Burnley’s players had been off on their travels again playing in representative games but Harry Potts had been able to say ‘same again’ when naming his team. Young forward Andy Lochhead was named as twelfth man. Supporters though were hoping that if Burnley were awarded a penalty that Jimmy McIlroy would not be entrusted with the spot kick. McIlroy had missed a penalty for Northern Ireland against England at Wembley in the week and this was his second successive miss in representative matches.

Nottingham Forest were the visitors and they were very much on the receiving end as the Clarets secured a massive 8-0 win against the Midlands team with Jimmy Robson becoming the first post-war Burnley player to score five in a game. Probably the spontaneous reaction of Burnley officials to this phenomenal score would be the wish to be present in certain boardrooms throughout the country to study the effect of First Division counterparts and their associates as the result came over the usual loudspeakers. No doubt the feeling in the gilded – or even not quite so elaborate – retreats was that Burnley had at last applied what they often promised, to give someone a hiding, and ‘poor old Forest’ were the team fated to take it.

While it was not quite so simple as that, the Turf Moor side proved that they can not only find a way to goal but apply the finishing touches necessary to improve the goal average which is an important factor in final championship reckoning. It was not without its touch of irony that Burnley were able to compile this post-war record total in a league engagement against the side which had beaten them by the heaviest score for years two seasons ago. This was 7-0 during the flu-bound period of 1957.

It all started after just three minutes. With John Connelly (at inside right) co-operating with McIlroy (at outside right), Charles Thomson parried a shooting effort with his right hand and ROBSON, in a poaching role, was there to put the ball in. Then Brian PILKINGTON raced from inside his own half to finish with a storming cross shot into the far corner of the net. These two moves had revealed a lack of covering accuracy in the Forest defence.

Some of the Burnley shooting at times had more force than accuracy and once Pilkington had the doubtful pleasure of re-collecting the ball from his centre when Connelly’s drive merely swung back across goal with the Forest defenders looking almost as surprised as the wingman. McIlroy prompted and prodded midway twixt defence and the advanced positions and Jimmy Adamson and Ray Pointer whirled through for ROBSON to crash in number three with Brian Miller starting the move for number four from ROBSON to complete his hat trick. ROBSON then got his fourth and Burnley’s fifth as he received the ball from Connelly. 5-0 was the half time score.

One of the most spectacular goals was the first after the interval with Pointer showing one of those unexpected flashes of opportunism for which he is becoming well known. John Angus hoofed a long dropping pass into the goal area. Thomson should have had it, and probably thought it was his, but POINTER rushed in, headed it, and landed in the back of the net with the ball. ROBSON helped himself to the seventh, also a header, and the Nottingham men continued to play as though not seriously disturbed by the debacle, taking quick throw-ins and snappy goal kicks trying to prove to each other that this could not be happening to them, or perhaps they had just lost count. POINTER netted the eighth from Pilkington seven minutes from the end and Miller assumed the role of attacking centre half in an unavailing attempt to persuade his colleagues to bring the total nearer double figures.

The crowd gave the players an ovation at the end, and no doubt will treasure the experience, being able to say in years to come: “I was there.” To Burnley went the honour, to Robson went the glory and to Forest a sense of condolence for being the victims of the onslaught.

With an away game to come a week later at Fulham the win had taken Burnley to fourth in the table. We were a point behind Spurs, who had beaten Everton, and two points behind leaders West Ham and Preston, winners against Wolves and Bolton. Down at the bottom, Birmingham had climbed out of the relegation places with a win against Blackpool which meant Luton were joined by Leicester in the bottom two.

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.

Nottingham Forest: Charles Thomson, William Whare, Roy Patrick, Geoff Whitefoot, Bob McKinlay, Jim Iley, Billy Gray, Colin Booth, Tom Wilson, John Quigley, Stuart Imlach.

Referee: Mr H. P. Hackney (Barnsley).

Attendance: 24,349.

The reserves couldn’t complete a double, going down 3-0 at the Victoria Ground against a Stoke reserve team who had now won seven successive games. The scorers for Stoke were Bentley(2) and Anderson.

First Division Results

21st November 1959

Birmingham 2 Blackpool 1
Burnley 8 Nottingham Forest 0
Chelsea 1 Arsenal 3
Leeds 1 Sheffield Wednesday 3
Leicester 0 Fulham 1
Manchester United 4 Luton 1
Newcastle 3 Blackburn 1
Preston 1 Bolton 0
Tottenham 3 Everton 0
West Brom 2 Manchester City 0
West Ham 3 Wolves 2

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a ga pts
1 West Ham 18 11 3 4 37 23 1.61 25
2 Preston 18 11 3 4 37 28 1.32 25
3 Tottenham 18 9 6 3 39 20 1.95 24
4 Burnley 18 10 3 5 44 31 1.42 23
5 Wolves 18 10 2 6 52 38 1.37 22
6 Fulham 18 10 2 6 38 40 0.95 22
7 Blackburn 18 9 3 6 33 29 1.14 21
8 Manchester United 18 7 5 6 43 37 1.16 19
9 Arsenal 18 7 5 6 31 29 1.07 19
10 Chelsea 18 8 3 7 36 36 1.00 19
11 Bolton 18 7 4 7 22 19 1.16 18
12 West Brom 18 6 5 7 32 28 1.14 17
13 Sheffield Wed 18 7 3 8 24 22 1.09 17
14 Manchester City 18 8 1 9 37 38 0.97 17
15 Newcastle 18 6 3 9 32 35 0.91 15
16 Nottingham Forest 18 6 3 9 18 30 0.60 15
17 Everton 18 5 4 9 30 36 0.83 14
18 Blackpool 18 5 4 9 24 30 0.80 14
19 Birmingham 18 4 5 9 23 34 0.68 13
20 Leeds 18 4 5 9 27 42 0.64 13
21 Leicester 18 4 5 9 26 42 0.62 13
22 Luton 18 3 5 10 15 33 0.45 11
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