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After the win against Manchester City a week earlier it was back on the road for Burnley in 1959 with a trip to Kenilworth Road to play strugglers Luton Town.

The big news in town was the improving water situation after the weather finally became much more as what you would expect in Burnley. Downpours were for once greeted with cheers and already extra men had been called into the works department to start switching back on domestic supplies. There was a word of warning though for residents from our water guru Jack Shepherd who, whilst delighting at the rain, said we still had a tremendous amount of leeway to make up despite the increased stocks in the reservoirs.

Plant Manager Mr J. Snijders receiving the first pint at the new Mullard's club
Plant Manager Mr J. Snijders receiving the first pint at the new Mullard’s club

Water, or the lack of it, might have been the major problem in the town but for Burnley Golf Club there was a more pressing problem, that of sheep from a neighbouring farm. The golf club took George Robinson of Copy Farm to court to claim an injunction plus damages of £50 after his sheep continually trespassed on golf club land. An agreement that Robinson had made with the club in 1952 to keep his sheep off had been broken. The golf club won, in a sort of way, but they didn’t get their damages with the court awarding only a token £5.

That wasn’t the biggest news in the Burnley courtrooms though with a high profile case brought against local butchers F Lord & Son, better known to Burnley fans as Bob Lord’s Butchers. A retired post office worker said he was eating beef stew for his tea when he noticed a big, hard piece in his mouth. He assumed it was a piece of gristle and put it on the side of his plate. “My teeth are bad. I only have three at the top and I can’t chew things,” he told the court.

His wife confirmed she had gone to Lord’s Butchers in Howe Street to buy some dripping. “I noticed the stew on the counter and it looked very nice,” she said. “I bought three quarters of a pound for tea. We had stew and green salad. I noticed my husband was having a bit of difficulty at one time but I didn’t attach any importance to it,” she added, aware of her husband’s teeth not being very good. She continued: “I scratched it with my thumb nail and an end came out. To my horror it rolled out. It was a bandage.”

She then wrote a letter to the Public Health Department, sending the bandage with the letter. That led to the court appearance with Lord himself failing to turn up. For a second time they’d tried to get an adjournment but this time Mr G. J. Hacking (prosecuting) was having none of it. The firm was fined £25 with £9 7s costs for selling meat not of the quality demanded by the purchaser. The summons had been brought under a section of the Food and Drugs Act, 1955. A plea of not guilty had been entered.

Whilst on the subject of food the Burnley Express was promoting ‘The Daily Bacon Diet’ to provide healthy food for locals. “There’s nothing like a cooked breakfast for ‘get up and go’ energy,” it read. Apparently in 1959 bacon was the sizzling, tempting, exciting start to the day we needed. What on earth am I doing sixty years later eating porridge every day for health reasons when I’d love an occasional cooked breakfast?

Burnley Improvement Committee met and granted, subject to conditions, approval for piped television to local company ARDAL. That decision, and the subsequent introduction, proved lucrative for my mum and dad. They were asked if they would have a box on the house wall and for that received a fee from ARDAL of 1s (5p) per year.

Local and renowned opera singer Jean Reddy looked all set for an international career on the stage but announced that she was giving it all up to become a nun. She was going to join a strict enclosed order and would never again be allowed out. Everyone was shocked apart from her parents and her best friend who supported her. Jean promised to give a farewell appearance in January 1960 before getting into the habit.

Finally ‘Ighten Leigh’ in Padiham Road had stood empty for three years but finally had been put to good use with the opening of the new Mullard’s Club. More than 600 Mullard’s employees attended the official opening.

And now onto the football and well done to John Connelly who scored England’s first goal against Sweden at Wembley. John had now been selected to play for the Football League against the League of Ireland at Ewood Park next week.

On the team news ahead of the Luton game, Ray Pointer was fit despite his clash with the boundary wall in the Manchester City win and Harry Potts was able to name an unchanged team as early as Thursday morning. Jimmy Robson was fit but would have to have a match test with the reserves against Central League Champions Wolves.

Ahead of the game at Luton there was a presentation of a handsome piece of pottery to the Burgermeister of Spandau which had been Luton’s twin town since 1950. It was of interest to Burnley who had opened the new stadium in Spandau during the German tour of 1951. On that occasion we beat Spaundauer Sportverein 4-0 with two goals each from Bill Holden and Les Shannon. It is True there were no Gold medals for winning the game but we did Keep the Pressure On throughout and To Cut a Long Story Short it was an easy win. But could we beat Luton? The answer was no.

In a dull afternoon at Kenilworth Road, Burnley gained a point but no glory. Indeed the casual observer could not have been ridiculed had he inquired (in hushed tones of course) which side was holding up the remainder of the league table from the foot. The Turf Moor team were somewhat flattered by their dividing of the spoils, but at least it broke the sequence of defeats on this cramped arena where a restriction of nine-a-side might provide a more entertaining encounter. Both teams had a complex at the start, the Town suffering from the effects of their position and their visitors being extremely pitch conscious.

Burnley played as if they had an unpleasant duty to perform and did not quite know how to bring it to a successful conclusion. After a first half when Luton missed most of their chances they did scored a goal by Alan BROWN after nine minutes which livened the enthusiasm of both the Hatters players and spectators. Burnley did no more than show promising glimpses of adding to a crackerjack shot from POINTER on the half turn and just inside the post. That came midway through the first half.

That’s how it finished and if this match was an example of Luton football it was no wonder the attendance was so small. Burnley must have been thankful their visit to Kenilworth Road was over and perhaps allow them to show better ideas on larger grounds. Herr Burgermeister of Spandau expressed the hope that the next twenty matches would bring Luton victories. A happy thought for Lutonians, but a prospect on this display that could be exceedingly remote, and that went for Burnley too.

The draw meant Burnley dropped one place in the table to seventh but now we were four points behind leaders Spurs. And the prospects weren’t good with Champions Wolves, in second place, the next visitors to Turf Moor.

Luton meanwhile remained bottom of the league but had now been joined by Birmingham in the bottom two.

The teams at Luton were;

Luton: Alan Collier, Seamus Dunne, Alan Daniel, Alan Brown, Terry Kelly, John Groves, Billy Bingham, Robert Morton, David Pacey, Gordon Turner, John Warner.

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

Referee: Mr G. W. Pullen (Bristol).

Attendance: 15,638.

Meanwhile the reserves turned in an excellent performance at Turf Moor with Andy Lochhead scoring the only goal of the game ten minutes from the end to defeat Wolves. The star though was goalkeeper Jim Furnell, showing once again there would be no fears if he had to replace Blacklaw in the first team.

First Division Results

31st October 1959

Arsenal 3 Birmingham 0
Blackburn 1 Manchester United 1
Blackpool 0 Preston 2
Bolton 1 Leeds 1
Everton 6 Leicester 1
Fulham 1 West Ham 0
Luton 1 Burnley 1
Manchester City 1 Tottenham 2
Nottingham Forest 3 Chelsea 1
Sheffield Wednesday 2 West Brom 0
Wolves 2 Newcastle 0

League Table

Pos Team pld w d l f a ga pts
1 Tottenham 15 8 6 1 36 17 2.12 22
2 Wolves 15 9 2 4 45 29 1.55 20
3 West Ham 15 8 3 4 27 19 1.42 19
4 Blackburn 15 8 3 4 28 21 1.33 19
5 Preston 15 8 3 4 33 27 1.22 19
6 Fulham 15 9 1 5 33 35 0.94 19
7 Burnley 15 8 2 5 31 29 1.07 18
8 Arsenal 15 6 5 4 25 22 1.14 17
9 Manchester City 15 8 0 7 35 31 1.13 16
10 Chelsea 15 7 2 6 31 31 1.00 16
11 Bolton 15 6 3 6 19 17 1.12 15
12 Manchester United 15 6 3 6 35 32 1.09 15
13 Sheffield Wed 15 6 2 7 20 18 1.11 14
14 West Brom 15 4 5 6 26 24 1.08 13
15 Nottingham Forest 15 5 3 7 17 21 0.81 13
16 Everton 15 4 4 7 24 25 0.96 12
17 Blackpool 15 4 4 7 20 26 0.77 12
18 Newcastle 15 4 3 8 21 30 0.70 11
19 Leeds 15 3 5 7 21 33 0.64 11
20 Leicester 15 3 5 7 24 40 0.60 11
21 Birmingham 15 3 4 8 20 28 0.71 10
22 Luton 15 2 4 9 12 28 0.43 8
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