60 Years Ago On

April 17, 2017

60 years ago
Two ground crew stationed at RAF Abingdon were charged, 60 years ago this week, in connection with the crash of the RAF Beverley at Sutton Wick, just outside Abingdon, on March 15th 1957. The accident resulted from a valve incorrectly fitted to the fuel system, and killed 15 RAF men on board, and two civilians on the ground. The accident occurred soon after the plane took off from RAF Abingdon, heading for the Middle East.
60 years ago
At Trinity Church there was a good gathering to watch excerpts from The Messiah on Palm Sunday. Easter was even later in 1957 than 2017.
60 years ago
People were reminded not to forget to get their chest X-Rayed as part of a mass national campaign to catch Tuberculosis early. Everyone X-Rayed received a badge as they queued up in Abingdon Market Place. Back then the badge was a prize worth having.
60 years ago
Anybody celebrating their Diamond Jubilee could have got their wedding gifts from Beadles in Ock Street. Has anybody still got any such gifts from Beadles?
60 years ago
And you could have gone to the Cinema and watched ‘Three Men in a Boat’ and tried to see if there were any views of Abingdon. It can still be watched on Youtube.

In Jerome K Jerome’s original book ‘THREE MEN IN A BOAT (to say nothing of the dog)’ it says …

Windsor and Abingdon are the only towns between London and Oxford that you can really see anything of from the stream. All the others hide round corners, and merely peep at the river down one street: my thanks to them for being so considerate, and leaving the river-banks to woods and fields and water-works.”

“At Abingdon, the river passes by the streets. Abingdon is a typical country town of the smaller order—quiet, eminently respectable, clean, and desperately dull. It prides itself on being old, but whether it can compare in this respect with Wallingford and Dorchester seems doubtful. A famous abbey stood here once, and within what is left of its sanctified walls they brew bitter ale nowadays.”

Thanks to the Herald microfiche from the library for the old adverts, and the BBC for a still from a news real of the crash.)

Also to mention that I finished by sixty sixties blog this Bank Holiday morning.

Filed under: heritage

2 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. hester  |  April 17, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Happy Birthday, Backstreeter – some of your readers may have missed the clues!

  • 2. Mark  |  April 17, 2017 at 10:56 am

    My Grandmother’s brother, John Matravers, was one of the civilians killed in the Sutton Wick air disaster. He was 19 years old and was working for the Southern Electricity Board, taking a meter reading in one of the houses.

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