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1963 THIS WAS THE WEEK THAT... The Great Train Robbery, strikes, and water chaos were making headlines It was feared that a strike by building workers could harm progress of the new Heads of the Valleys road and the development of the Severn Bridge, pictured here under construction with drivers queuing for the Aust ferry beneath it.

Byline: ANDREW MELVIN

MINUTES after picking up 40 passengers for a day's cruise to the Mumbles, the paddle steamer Cardiff Queen ran aground.

South Wales day-trippers were forced to wait as the steamer remained stuck in the Avon Gorge, near the Bristol suspension bridge.

She was due to call at Cardiff, Penarth, Barry and Ilfracombe, and was able to set sail again after 90 minutes.

Around 100,000 postmen were in line for pay rises that would cost the Post Office an extra pounds 2ma year.

Seventeen-year-olds would see their salaries increase by 3s to pounds 5 6s, while those over 25 would be 4s 6d better off, taking home pounds 11 15s.

American housewives had French President Charles de Gaulle to thank for some of the cheapest chickens ever to appear on supermarket shelves.

Policies backed by de Gaulle meant that imported US chickens became more expensive in European shops, and the resulting glut in America had forced prices down to 26 cents (1s 8d) per pound.

South Wales bank staff were among those considering whether to strike over a 3 1/2 % pay increase offered by the Trustee Savings Bank and seven other firms.

In the wake of what would become known as the Great Train Robbery, a teamof detectives raced 40 miles from Nottinghamto the village of Ranby to see a lorry believed to be connected with it.

The abandoned vehicle had been spotted by a farmer, and officers said it contained evidence left behind by the gang that had stolen what was believed to be pounds 2.5m.

Banks were still calculating their losses, so the figure was expected to rise.

Meanwhile, train driver Jack Mills, injured in the raid, had discharged himself from hospital - he would never fully recover, and never returned to work before dying in 1970.

Days later, police found the robbers' hideout, an isolated farm that they had left in a hurry.

Two hundred jobs were due to be created at a pounds 2.5m mill proposed by Guest Keen and Nettlefolds (South Wales) Ltd at Tremorfa, Cardiff.

The mill would be the most modern of its kind in the world, and would dramatically increase the capacity of the firm, which already employed 1,000 people.

Pop singer and political campaigner Screaming Lord Sutch was stopped by police when he and two others tried to drive cars into the Houses of Parliament.

An experimental hovercraft passenger service across the Bristol Channel had proved such a success that a regular car ferry might be operating by 1966-67, its owners said.

Although a new type of hovercraft would have to be built, the firm hoped that it could develop a terminal at Weston-super-Mare and another at one of three points between Cardiff and Penarth.

A doctor hit out at the fact that even though Cardiff was suffering a housing crisis, he had been trying for four years to sell a four-bedroom house in Cowbridge Road East.

At a planning inquiry, he said nobody wanted to live in the area because it was a "hotch potch" of shops, businesses and homes.

Pontypridd teenager Leonard Thomas celebrated his 17th birthday in style. At 10.15amLeonard, who had never had a driving lesson on an open road, had a provisional licence. At 3.30pm he sat his driving test and at 4pm he was a qualified driver.

He had practised driving inside the enclosed yard of the motor body repair shop where he worked, and gave car hand signals as he rode home on his bicycle.

Mr Whippy and Mr Wall were at war - two ice-creammen were in court after a feud over who could work in EbbwVale. When one of his competitors started selling ice-cream on his patch, the Walls' driver kicked his rival's van, took the keys from the ignition and let down his tyres.

He was ordered to pay pounds 19 5s 6d.

The Church in Wales sold Cardiff's Castle Arcade to a local property company for a figure "substantially in excess of pounds 250,000".

Residents of Riverside, Cardiff, were told that 81 of their houses were unfit for human habitation. The decision came as part of a compulsory purchase order from Cardiff council for six acres of land, and meant that some residents would be entitled to more compensation for having to leave their homes.

The amount of bananas and other fruit imported via Barry Docks was set to increase by a third following a move by shipping line Geest to charter larger ships.

In Germany, demonstrators were held back by police as they tried to mark the second anniversary of the Berlin Wall. However, Berliners were allowed to lay wreaths at Checkpoint Charlie, the main crossing point, to honour the 65 people who had died trying to escape from East Berlin.

Drivers were reminded that a 50mph speed limit would be enforced on all roads in England and Wales for a weekend, except on motorways and roads with lower limits.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 12, 2008
Words:829
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