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Derrick Smith 2022
Derrick Smith

Growing Up - Or Getting Older

Burton Latimer Conservative Club - "The Cons"

I have tried to join together what happened in the twelve months from January to December 1962 but there is some slight overlapping as some reports and stories started or finished before or after these dates.

It’s a simple historical look at what happened on a local, national and international level, with emphasis on the local. It’s intended to be a view on reports in the press as TV was still in its infancy. There is only so much you can get from the Internet so I am very grateful to the staff at Kettering Library who have given me access to all national and local newspapers.

I have taken some editorial licence and added a comment here and there but everything is as reported during that year. My aim was for a story about the Sixties beginning and ending with the Beatles, as 1962 was a good year for them and us.

The story could be based around a group of teenagers growing up in the Sixties. But my only problem was where would I find a group like them. And then a light bulb moment.... It Was Us!

OK, so it was 60 years later, but we were still meeting on a Friday, the chat was still the same, booze, birds and life in general. In fact Fridays had not changed at all. We had just got older, not wiser. More rounded in the middle areas, but not in our conversations, more cynical probably but generally more laid back. We were a group of teenagers with dodgy haircuts and clothes, we had full or part time jobs, we had a bit of cash in our pockets. The world, or at least Burton, was our oyster. It was the year we discovered the wonder drink - Watneys. OK, so it was never the best, but it got us started. We found you could drink gallons of the stuff without being sick. Some other beers made you feel like Superman and then you would wake up with the dreaded hangover but 24 hours later you were OK and back on the juice.

A look back at 1962 when a group of young men living in a small Northamptonshire town found that Friday night and weekends was the best time of all. You had finished work or school. You had money in your pockets from work or part time paper rounds, bread rounds, Butcher deliveries, Esso Blue paraffin rounds and anything else you could do. We didn’t get pocket money as the majority of our parents could not afford it, so if you wanted to go out on Friday night, the best night of the week, you had to earn it. Life was for living. For having fun. For going out with your mates. For drinking. For chatting up the talent. The 50s had been a decade of just getting through and hoping that something better was round the corner. And it was, but we had to make it.

So this is dedicated to all the boys and girls who made Fridays something special even up to today and do accept my apologies for any one I have missed out. John Dohnalek. Johnnie Johnson, Richard Barlow, John Cooch, Derrick Smith, Derek Turner, Jack Long, John “Nobby” Nobles, Philip Sturman, Jim Lutener, Mick Cook, Harvey Waite, Glyn Wright, Len Litchfield, Tony Granger, Paul Mobbs, John Bonham, John Wooding, Bob Cox.

The oldest Friday night boys at the time were Pop Bailey and Alan Cartwright who were John D’s grandad and uncle. There were so many who came out for a brief time who left for work, marriage or illness. Will there ever be a group like us again. Probably ... but different.

Times change as we know. We already see groups of lads out on Fridays in town so the spirit lives on.

At the beginning, the jewel in the crown for us was Burton Conservative Club in Church Street where we would start. Not because we were Conservative but they were the only ones who would let us in to drink!

From there we discovered a group called The Young Conservatives which we joined. Not because of political leanings but because they had the better looking girls, better built, who had their own money, so we didn’t have to put hands into pockets too frequently. We started to travel off from there to far flung towns. Finedon, Irthlingborough, Wellingborough, Keyston, Northampton, Leighton Bromswold, Desborough, Loddington, Orlingbury, Broughton. Driving home was never a problem as the breathalyzer had not been invented. The more wealthy ones among us bought a car so getting out was not a problem providing you could cram at least five into each one. Sunday was The Chequers at Wellingborough for the jazz which always featured Don Wilson with his group. Did anybody ever find him, as the cry that went out was always “Anybody seen Don Wilson?” Monday was The Green Dragon at Higham Ferrers, I remember one Sunday we went to Billing to see a group featuring Leon Roy Wallis who was the brother of Shani Wallis. He stripped almost naked whilst drumming and never missed a beat. Magic...

Saturdays were pictures in Burton although if you were flush it was Kettering as the Granada had a bit of luxury. “The Cons” as the club became known, was to become a focal point in everything we did or organised. It was where we discovered the delights of the Indian Tic Tac-Toe machine (below*) and the fact that you only lost money, not win any.


At the end of 1961 into 1962 we had snow in Christmas week with London and the South East having 14 inches, there were 10 inches in Jersey.

And on the coldest New Year’s Day for 75 years with heavy snow forecast, which turned out to be the largest amount recorded since records began, four young men set out from Liverpool on 15th January to drive to London in a van for an audition at Decca records. The journey took approximately 10 hours so with no sleep they were tired and not in a generally good mood. The outcome of this was that they failed the audition and Decca said they would not be signing them as guitar groups were on the way out. So back to Liverpool and The Cavern Club. On 24th January a young man passing by the club hears them play and decides to go down and have a look. He sees something in the four and more importantly likes the music. At the end he approaches the group and says he can make them into something so they sign a contract with Brian Epstein. The rest is, of course, history...

Snow continues and several climbers are rescued from the Cairngorms where drifts are 5/6 ft. Death toll of climbers reaches double figures.

TV was becoming the Nation’s no. 1 occupation at home but the standard of programmes was poor and the Radio Times decided to improve matters over the year starting with a programme which would become one of the greatest partnerships of all time. The one-off was called “The Offer” starring Albert and Harold Steptoe (above*) At the same time the BBC announced a new programme based in Kirby which a spokesperson said they had high hopes for. It was called “Z CARS.” The critics loved it, as did the viewers.

Melody Maker readers chose their ideal panel for Juke Box Jury. The winning four were Cliff Richard, Jane Asher, Helen Shapiro and Fidel Castro. The latter was voted on to keep the others in order and do as they were told (young people were not that daft).


The bad weather throughout January starts to die out with only a small amount of snow although some areas still experience 6/7 inches. However in these areas postal workers went on strike. (Note - it will be seen from these reports that the unions would take their people out on strike at any opportunity.)

One of the biggest stories which started in January and ran through to February was the trial of James Hanratty who was charged with the murder of Valerie Storey in a lay by just off the A6 near Luton. Following a six week trial he is found guilty of murder and is sentenced to death by hanging at Bedford Prison. He appeals the conviction. There is more to come on this ...

The Chancellor in his budget for 1962/63 decided on an increase of 2.5% which was £5611 million a total increase of £111 million over the year. At the same time he increased tax on cigarettes by 10% which was expected to bring in a further £900 million.

In the early Sixties, strikes caused misery for millions of people. A point in question was that in concerted action, miners at the Yorkshire coalfields came out along with the railwaymen in a pay dispute. The railmen soon went back when offered 3%. However no sooner was this carried out, 2500 men and women at steel plants came out after being refused a 5% increase.

In the print world, the big news was the first issue of the Sunday Times colour supplement (above*) is printed and, 60 years later, is still going strong.Uproar at the Weekly & Warkton Felons dinner held at the Masonic Hall when Councillor Mr A. A. Barlow, President, inadvertently discloses in his after dinner speech that the new sports pavilion at Weekly Glebe will cost approximately eight thousand pounds over the agreed budget. This will run for the next 8/9 months.

A report from the Ministry of Health said that three-quarters of men and almost half of women smoked, resulting in a huge increase in lung cancer. Interest rates at the bank were 5% with the average working wage at £728.00 pa with the majority of working men on much less. For women it was £416 per year. Housing market locally was strong with Terraced Houses from £750. New estate semi-detached houses from £1750-£2000. Cars offered for sale by Stan Firman of Burton: New Morgan Sports Car at £775... New Comma Cob Van: £442… 1959 Ford Thames Van: £225... 1947 Ford Anglia: £49.

The Evening Telegraph advertised 47 jobs for Groundsmen, Caretakers, Typists, Plumbers. Kettering Borough Council decided to increase council house rents by four shillings resulting in near total non-payment.

Burton Latimer Gala is cancelled due to lack of support but there will be a further meeting if things improve. James Fallon of Burton Latimer appears in court charged with 12 cases of stealing goods by breaking and entering empty property. Found guilty, he amazes Magistrates when he asks for a further 138 offences to be considered. Cheeky thieves break into Mobile Radio Wellingborough and steal every radio. The ET reported they were obviously mobile...

On an international level... the first LED light is invented. Audio cassettes are tried and a video game called Space War is introduced. “Dr No” becomes the first James Bond film. The building of the Berlin Wall is finished. President Kennedy is voted Man of the Year.

And Finally ... an artist in New York paints a canvas of a tin of Campbells soup and becomes an overnight sensation and one of America’s most popular, sought after and richest men.


Weather for March is forecast to be cold winds and then snow towards the end of the month. It does not disappoint. Temperatures get to only 2°-3°. It will turn out to be the second coldest March on record. It’s no surprise then when the postmen decide to strike over working in this weather. Big surprise of the month is Eric Lubbock, Liberal Party, winning the Orpington by-election. The government does not know what to say, as in a further blow, the Conservatives shed 15000 votes in Blackpool North but hold on with a much reduced majority. Bank Rate reduced to 5% after the above results.

A pit explosion at Hopton Valley Mine kills 16 men. The miners want an immediate strike but union officials say wait and see. Miners at Driffield main colliery say “Bugger that” and strike immediately. 90% of mines join in.

The Government give notice that they will resume Nuclear Bomb Testing which leads to the following report in the ET a few days later: “An unexploded bomb has been found at Upper Dean nr. Kimbolton. It is not known if it is a nuclear device but, to be on the safe side, police say it is being kept in the shed at the back of the station - just be safe.”

Kettering High School give notice that they are to move from Bowling Green Road (shared with the Grammar School) to a new site in Lewis Road which will give them a purpose built school thus ending a dramatic period in many young men’s memories.

Kettering Council reveal they have received a large amount of letters concerning the poor planning in the town centre especially around the Market Place This follows a report in the ET from Sir Gyles lsham and several others that the area is now vulgar, terrible and out of keeping. (Some things still haven’t changed then!)

A plane crash at Chelveston American Air Base kills four of the seven man crew. American General in charge of the base announces that discussions are taking place to close the base.

There was uproar of a different kind at the Lantern Public House in Corby. Having been drinking for most of the day Susan Ellis, 61, smashed a tray of drinks over the landlord’s head and was arrested, appearing in court three days later. She was fined £1 for the damages and £1 for failing to leave the pub when asked. On leaving court she was overheard by the police officer to use foul and abusive language to the Magistrate by calling him a stupid old c... She was fined a further £5 for offensive language and being unable to pay was sent to jail for five days.

A school survey of senior pupils at schools in Rushden showed that 90% of pupils did not know that Paris was in France.

Pupils from Tresham College in Kettering produced their first magazine from the new premises.

The main front page headline ran.... KETTERING IS A CRUMMY HOLE... After 60 years some things never change!!!

Shops were advertising offers:

Civils Supermarkets from Northampton offered English Eggs @ 3d each.

Red Salmon @ 3/- per tin

Tetley Tea bags box @ 2/6

All supermarket offers were poor according to the press as they tried to claw back money spent on Christmas deals.


The main news this month was that there will be no reprieve for James Hanratty despite allegations of a major miscarriage of justice and further proof that he did not commit this crime. He is hanged at Bedford Prison still protesting his innocence. Strange matter on this was that on the day after his death a key witness for the prosecution is found having committed suicide.

The weather in April was forecast to be cold at the beginning of the month but, due to it being a late Spring, was expected to reach up to 18°/20° towards the end.

Despite the pound remaining high and the Chancellor saying there is high confidence in the economy the unions call more strikes. 45,000 Ford workers strike over a pay dispute. Another 22,000 Midlands car workers join in. Rolls Royce engineers come out in sympathy together with 100 BEA pilots who want pay clarity. Two days later Rolls Royce announce 3,000 workers are to be made redundant and plants closed due to excessive wage demands from the unions who make no comment. Government announce arrest warrants against spies Burgess and Maclean only to discover they have already gone to Moscow and are living quite openly. “BIT LATE” say the Daily Mail headline...

Be ready for traffic jams reports the Mirror as Government say that eight million cars are registered in the UK and that six million are expected on the road this bank holiday.

Commons vote to ban smoking on buses is defeated in Commons.

Harold MacMillan, Prime Minister, announces that Mr Khrushchev should play by the rules in relation to nuclear weapons. The following morning The Times headline reads... “WHAT PLANET lS HE ON AND WHAT ARE THE RULES!!!!!”

In sport John Ritchie (above*) declines new terms at Kettering Town He looks for a big move and goes to Stoke City on better terms where he becomes their all-time top scorer.

Northampton Saints finally win 14-2 against Llanelli after no win for over 12 months.

Thompson & Barlow announce the opening of their new store in Corby. The manger will be Brian Joiner.

The Cliff Richards film “The Young Ones” breaks all records at the Granada and is retained for a further two weeks.

TV offerings were Wednesday BBC: Big band concert, Panorama and Television Dancing Club. ITV gave us Coronation Street, The Vigilante and Rawhide.

Kettering Co-op: Sport coats from £5 15s ...Slacks £3 12s 5d, Electricals: Hoovermatic £93 13s 3d. Wringer/Washer £63 19s., Keymatic £122.13s., Parnell Spin Washer £89.11s. and TV rentals from 10s 3d per week

Advert in ET for a detached pine lodge at Heacham in Norfolk. 3 beds, 2 bathrooms with WC, mains gas, electric and water, large gardens and garage. £1500

To the great relief of many residents of Barton Seagrave the Stirrup Cup pub is given its licence to open.

Club nights were the same…Trades offer Free and Easy. Windmill had The Debonairs, Miniature offered Ted Wildes and the Rialto Players. Works had The Carlton Players and Vic Riches was at the Central Hall. Sounds a lot of fun on a Saturday night!

Duke and Duchess of Gloucester open their home at Barnwell for the day. Admission was 2/6d. Only £36 was taken on the day, not covering expenses.

Police called to Brierleys Discount store following a sale advert that, for one day only, all items would be sold at 1/-. Reported that people were fighting to get in and two people got stabbed.

Burton Latimer man 63-year-old Walter Turner is fined £50 and banned from driving. This is as reported in the ET which if correct is a very high fine of one month’s wages. Perhaps a misprint from £5. Plans are put on show at Burton Council offices for moving the war memorial to the council offices due to works at the Church Street junction.

Kettering Town Football Club had a good month as results show:

Kettering 4 - Weymouth 1;

Kettering 4 - Cambridge 1, Curran hat trick;

Kettering 4 - Bath City 0.

Most popular show on TV during the month was Z Cars, showing the BBC got it right for once. The first three months of the year turn out to be one of the worst years on record for air crashes and loss of life as a Boeing 707 crashes at ldlewold Airport in New York killing all 95 on board, and a Caledonian DC7C crashes in Cameroon en-route to London killing all 111 on board. But....U2 pilot Gary Powers is exchanged for the Soviet spy Rudolph Abel.

And Finally... News comes through that Marilyn Munro is being investigated for singing "I wanna be loved by you and nobody else but you” to President Jack Kennedy at his birthday celebration. This will run with major ramifications later in the year.


This was a month when it seemed everything was happening according to the newspaper reports and it has been difficult to pick out the interesting from the mundane so have included much more this month than normal. I hope you find it interesting.

The Prime Minister Harold Macmillan said the weather was like the economy... improving slowly. In fact, temperatures were getting warmer and would be at 60° by 23rd May.

There would be less rain throughout the country which was great news for Albert Augustus King who achieved immortality when he tunnelled out of Dartmoor prison where he was serving 12 years for safe breaking. It is not known if he was ever found. A pools winner of £139,248. living in Lanarkshire says he will share his winnings with local people. The police are forced to remove him from his house due to the number of people calling and asking when do they get their share? He is moved to a safe house. (What a numpty!)

Thrapston Silver Band perform a charity concert at Burton Latimer cinema in aid of the poor. Tommy Dodds the owner and promoter said turnout was poor. Only 25 turned up, receipts were £13 so, as he lost money paying the band, there was no money for the poor.

Pat Neal issues a denial that Wicksteed Park is to be sold to J LYONS group. The following night the offices are broken into and 4,250 packets of fags disappear!

Keith Barwell a pupil at the Grammar School (who would become a multi-millionaire later in life and owner of Northampton Saints) writes to the Evening Telegraph saying that the absence of local people from the Aldermaston march held in the town was because at night they switch their brains off and the TV on. The letters page for the next few days is very interesting ... it is thought that Keith may have been called in to see headmaster J.K. Dudley!

Success on the sporting front as Privy Counsellor owned by Major Sir Gerald Glover from Pytchley wins the 2000 guineas at Newmarket at odds of 100-6. And another local businessman is also in the news. Mr Frank George of Weetabix purchases a racing pigeon called The Flying Dutchman for a world record amount of £800.

Interest rates at Building Society going down to 3%.

An unfortunate headline in the ET ... (Is Kettering as black as it is painted?)

Courts were busy... Alfred Thomas Granger of High St Burton Latimer was fined 15/6 for letting his dog bite the rent collector. Granger in his defence said she was the only man she ever bit.

Ernest Alfred Sturman 9 Miller Road Burton Latimer was fined £2 for speeding.

Roy Elson 42 Finedon St Burton Latimer was fined £13 for using a car with no insurance or road tax.

Cedric Bates 10 Woodlands Drive Burton Latimer was fined £1 for failing to stop.

John McDonald 12 Kingsley Avenue is fined £2 for stealing bag of coal.

And in Kettering… Antony Robert Booker 121 Mill Road Kettering bound over for one year but cleared of the assault of William Armstrong Booker. In his defence Booker said he was sorry... but wished he had hit him harder. Ralph Babb 121 Linden Ave Kettering up before the court again for taking and driving a motor vehicle with no insurance, no road fund licence and no driving licence. Case was held over for further offences to be considered. Court was told these amount to a further 28. We will no doubt here more about Mr Babb. As it seems he appears in court almost every month.

Mr. J. T. Prickett if fined £52. 9s 7d for repairs to property caused by an accident. (Big fine this when you consider average weekly wage was only £58 00 per week.

Glyndwr Keith Wright of 200 Polwell Lane Barton Seagrave appealed against a disqualification concerning riding a motorcycle at 70mph in Windmill Avenue as it would help his career if he could drive.

For June the Granada (above*) was offering Bruce Channel, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, The Barron Knights and Frank lfield
You could hire a car from Hamblin’s Garage £7 for a small one or £10 for a large one for a week. In better news it was reported that beer consumption was a record 8,988 million gallons. Consumption rose generally by 40% but it was rumoured to be up 80% on Fridays at Burton Conservative Club. Well done the Friday Boys!

And finally... It was reported that Burton Darby & Joan Club were off to Southsea for a week. Mrs. M. Patrick hoped they would all be good and behave themselves. It was reported in the ET as an aside ... At their age they really could not expect much else!


The month started off warm and sunny but with sharp overnight frosts. Temperatures moved from -5° in Norfolk to 27° in Yorkshire of all places. Overall it was the sunniest June for five years and driest with less than ¼ inch of rain throughout the country.

Another plane crashes. Air France Boeing 707 crash killing 102 passengers and 10 crew members. The year becoming the worst on record with a further six months still to go.

The Minister of Transport Earnest Marples introduced a 50mph limit on all trunk roads to try and stop a large increase in road deaths. Local man Tom Bradley is chosen to be MP for NE Leicestershire.

On the official first day of summer and 2500 people visit Wicksteed Park causing havoc on the local roads.

On June 11th it is Corby Pole Fair and 15000 turn up on a warm Saturday causing gridlock around the town.

On the sporting front Kettering batsman Brian Reynolds hits the fastest century ever for the county. In the National Cricket Averages published in June county batsman Albert Lightfoot is top with 60.68. lt is the first time anyone from the county has achieved this.

In the county match, Northamptonshire set Lancashire a huge target of 237 to win in 150 mins. They fail. England win First test v Pakistan by an innings..

The Derby is won by Larkspur. Saturday it’s England v Brazil in World Cup quarter final. No coverage on BBC or any other. England 1 Brazil 3

On the local front it was announced that artist Ralph Hartley has two water colours accepted for the Royal Society summer exhibition and one for the Royal Academy summer exhibition. Quite a coup for a local man.

United Counties ask for a fare increase in order to keep buses running. County Council agree, which will raise £65,000 per year.

Kaycee Clothing results show a profit for the first time since 1952.

Local man Tony Rowney wins national Mr. Adonis competition.

Car Sales and Motor Cycle sales increased. Grays of Thrapston offer 1961 BSA 250 C15 for £200, Ariel Arrow Super Sport for £195; Wardles offer Austin Healey Sprite for £622; Cresta Garage: Singer Vogue Estate for £705; Stan Firmin at Burton Latimer still churning them out - 1960 Hillman Minx 1600 for £702, 1960 Ford Consul for £575, 1938 Vauxhall for £20, 1956 Humber Hawk for £220; Derngate Motors offer NEW Morris Minor @ £416 00.

Builders were busy. 4-Bed Detached House, Hall Lane, Kettering @ £4600. 3-bed semis at Rockingham Road, Kettering @ £2250.


The weather for July was mainly dry and fair throughout the month. Highest temperature was recorded of 27.2°at Cannington, Somerset. By the end of the month farmers were complaining about the lack of rain (as usual) but at the end of the month some areas in the south east had very heavy amounts of rain causing the farmers body to complain to the Government. Goodness only knows what they thought they could do but at least it gave them something to moan about. Some things never change!

July was a quiet month for news. It seemed that all of Europe was on holiday.

London had smog during the month which the Government blamed on the smokers of cigarettes.

A carry over from June as late news was that Marilyn Munroe was found dead at home from a drug overdose. The FBI was accused following her problem with the Kennedys but no further action is taken.

On the 11th of this month the first pictures from USA to England are sent via the Telstar satellite. This opens up easier access for all sorts of information say the Government.

Government give the go ahead for colour TV to start in 1964.

Enoch Powell reported an increase in Government expenditure of 11% resulting in an increase to £429 million.

The courts were busy as usual. Patrick Mckenna of Regent St Kettering was fined £2 for stealing from an empty property. Police found items in a pram he was pushing.

Ralph Babb again...Fined £5 for motoring offences.

Arthur Jolley from Burton Latimer fined £2 for letting his dog worry pullets.

A learner motor cyclist in collision with a car in Victoria St Kettering flew through the air a distance and was caught by a passing pedestrian. Stanley Litchfield was charged with careless driving.

Four youths who knew how to get cigarettes out of a machine without paying were each fined £2 at Kettering Court. All the defendants were aged 12.

It was proposed to build a new school adjacent to the infant school in Burton.

Burton Latimer Blind Association breaks away from Kettering Association. Mr H J Capps is reported as saying that Kettering could not see a way forward.

Dianne Knighton, above, 18, crowned carnival queen. She works at E K Coles.

Marie Oram and Sheila Harris are her attendants.And Finally....Bob Dylan announces his arrival on the music scene releasing Blowing In The Wind which becomes a classic. Never to be forgotten...What a legacy.


After a couple of quiet months on the news front August really gives it the lot. So much to choose from. So here goes.

The weather was just sunshine and showers. But not quite as a sudden storm hits the country and in one day The Lake District has most floods for 10 years with roads impassable. The storm breaks records across the Midlands with 2.85 inches of rain and trees uprooted. lt was all over in 24 hours. However it does not stop the drivers as it is estimated 8 million cars will hit the road over Bank Holiday.

The headline of the day was Barton Seagrave youth Gwndwr Keith Wright of 200 Polwell Lane, a bulldozer driver was fined £5 for speeding. He pleaded guilty. His Solicitor, Leslie Hales, defending said that Wright was not tearing around. He was late for work as his motor bike had broken down that morning. He had only just got his licence back following a previous disqualification.

The Government decided to extend the M1 to Lutterworth and award the eight million pound contract to George Wimpey.

Strikes were again in the news. One million building trade workers go on strike and get a pay rise of 1d per hour which will cost 10 million pounds per annum. They strike again in 1963 for a further 2d. Bricklayers at Stewart & Lloyds walk out on strike again and in two days 500 men are out,

Isaac Porter Whitlock, Queensway, Burton Latimer fined £5 for having an offensive weapon, £2 for obscene language £5 for court fees, Bound over to the amount of £10. He said in his defence he was plastered and could not remember the incident.

Working Men’s Clubs were offering the usual fare. Windmill had The Debonairs, United Trades had a Free and Easy as did the Works and Town Band. Cinemas were the same. Savoy was showing its usual X films. “Circus of Horrors” and “Horrors of the Black Museum”. Granada was slightly more upmarket with “A Kind Of Loving”. TV was not much better although BBC did have its block buster Steptoe and Son at 8.45 followed by Boxing.

ITV had a film at 7 30 “Town Without Pity” and at 9.15 This Week.

Kettering Town Football Club offered early purchase of season tickets for every game at £4 17s 6d for the stand and £2 12s 6d for the ground.

Kettering Central School announces that it will close at the end of July

Ford open their new plant at Halewood Liverpool.

Sam Walton opens first Walmart store in America in Arkansas.

The USA exploded the largest hydrogen bomb ever built at 1.4 megatons 248 miles up in the atmosphere over the Pacific.

Martin Luther King is arrested and jailed causing riots throughout America.

ln Sport ... Rod Laver wins Men’s at Wimbledon and Karen Susman wins Ladies.

Strange one...Fred Baldasare becomes first man to swim the channel under water. How Bizarre!

Major pile up at Wicksteed cycle track resulting in several riders being taken to hospital.

Average house prices were £2950 with inflation running at 3.6% which gave the following price comparison. Gallon Petrol: 4s 11d, Pint beer 2s 1d, 20 cigs 4s 6d, Pint of milk 8d, Daily Mirror 3d, Cola 9d, Heinz Tomato Soup 1s 3d, Del Monte Fruit Salad 1s 9d Average R V in Kettering was £35

Mopeds were in fashion as cheap method of transport. Garley Cycles offer N S U moped £52 17s 6d, Frank Cook offer lsetta Trojan 200 90 mpg, £6 road tax, Front door opening £349. (Glyn will remember these.)

Jazz at the Nags Head featured Ronnie Ross and Bill Le Sage. Rolling Stones give first performance at the Marque Club being support to Long John Baldry.

Five farms at Pytchley and Orlingbury go to auction by Oxford University and are sold to Mr J. W. Thompkins for £110,000.

Burton Latimer Gala on 2nd July raises in excess of £400. David Mayes raises the most by an individual by having his back/whatever else washed by several young ladies calling themselves The Washer Women.

Burton Latimer Council to close toilets on the A6 due to vandalism.

Tragic accident at Geddington when Corby man John Thomas Campbell trying to flag down a taxi was hit and killed by the driver.

B. A. Evans builders of Burton Latimer were sued for £130 10s 8d for work carried out at Alconbury Air Base for relaying floor installed incorrectly.

Party of eight Burton Scouts drive to France under leader George Ramsbottom in his Dormobile only to find the area under a forest fire. All returned safely.

W. D. Evans (Hilly Farm and Station Road) announce the closure of the chicken hatchery with a move to Kibworth.

Morris Cars launch the 1100 with two-page adverts for all dealers. It costs £480 plus tax.

Bob Mclntyre killed at Oulton Park riding 4 cylinder Gilera.

Price of milk to go up by ½d

Peter Stokes of Alexandra St fined £2 for giving a lift to lsaac Whitlock who was also fined £1 as he was an unauthorised passenger.

Sgt. Frank Spokes (seen above in1963) arrested a 16 year old boy outside Station Road chip shop for a breach of the peace. Fined £10. That's a big fine. What did he do to get this? Was it you as no name given?

Mick Tilley of Kettering fined £5 for speeding, £3 for failing to stop and a further £5 for threatening police officers when they finally stopped him.

Headlines in ET: “Monster Rat escapes from Wellingborough fairground.” Police advice is “Do not touch, leave alone. Call the police. lt was 4ft long, weighs 25 lb, it could eat and kill your cat. It is worth £140 and called Cuthbert.”

Man found dead on a double decker bus. Conductor of the bus found the man in the late afternoon saying he boarded in the morning and thought he liked travelling on the upper deck as he had been round the journey for several hours... so he left him to it.

Louis le Bellair, 55, a French Policeman, ate 6ft of sausage to win a bet from a colleague. He then ate a further 1ft and dropped down dead of indigestion.

You couldn't make it up!

In America £1,500,000 taken in Americas biggest robbery. Police looking for five men and one female.

Big Bob at Nags Head finally gets his man and puts Ronnie Scott on at the Nags Head.

Kettering Town 0 Wisbech 4 - The Friar calls it a humiliation on front of a gate of 3690.

On 23 August John Lennon marries Cynthia Powell

On 17 August The Tornadoes release Telstar. A single by Joe Meek.

And finally ... A United Counties double decker bus has its top ripped off under Northampton Road bridge. When questioned by the police the driver of the bus gave the excuse – “l didn’t see it.”


The weather during the month was very normal. The only thing not to be normal was the chance of the first winter frosts expected on the 17th. As the Met office reported nothing of any consequence on the approach to Autumn.

But nothing was ever going to be normal again in Alabama. The big news of the month came from America where a black student, James Meredith, was escorted into an all-white college causing riots to break out and the National Guard to be stationed on the campus. It finally has to go to the USA court of appeal which orders the college to accept him. Eventually John F Kennedy orders in the troops. CNN reported the event as the greatest day in American History.

At home, ERNIE (remember him?) pays out £1,250 000 in Premium Bond draws - (none were mine ).

Record entries in the Burton Horticultural Show at the Britannia club. One man, Mr Alf Turner, dominates the show.

Burton Latimer Racing Pigeon Racing Club race from Durham is dominated by another one man show when Mr F George takes first, second and third prize.

Three youths found with a shot partridge in Weekly Hall Woods were fined £3 for trespass, £3 for not having game licence, £1 for shooting out of season and 10/- for shooting on Sunday.

Man in court for entering Kettering Betting shop with a hand pistol. It is reported that on walking through the door he uttered those amazing words “This is a stick up”. This was in Gordon Turners in Field Street. He pleaded guilty in court to stealing £68 and was sent for trial.

Local health authority announce that £1,900,000 to be spent Kettering General providing one of the most modern hospitals in Britain.

Two Kettering brothers were fined £15 and £10 respectively for causing actual bodily harm to taxi driver Arnold Gutka. Peter Ronald Page and Roger Page pleaded guilty. Both defendants had previous convictions. Terence Page their brother in court for causing general free-for-all at the cinema with four others. They were all bound over and fined £15 each and told to sort themselves out. Knowing them they would probably be sorting out others before themselves!

Two Burton Latimer teenagers appeared at court in Great Yarmouth accused of throwing deck chairs into the sea just after midnight. Cedric Bates of Woodland Drive, Malcom Bellamy of Whitney Road were both fined £3 for damaging council property. They admitted the offence saying it was just a bit of fun.

Burton men Mr H Grice and Mr K Woodcock sweep the board at the town flower show. Mr Grice won 23, Mr Woodcock 16 and Mr Mutlow four. All Mr Woodcocks prizes were for his Dahlias.

Mr F H Bayman of 21 Spinney Road completes a ride from Coventry to Birmingham and return on his 1914 550cc Triumph Motor Cycle which he has just renovated.


Just to ramp up the atmosphere about weapons in Cuba it is disclosed that President Kennedy received a note from Mr Khrushchev on Friday in which he said the President was a product of a man in a high state of agitation overwrought by the prospect of an atomic bomb.???

Railway men get improved pay offer after many strikes and arguments. Mr Beeching offers 5% which they refuse but accept 6% for 450,000 railway men. It will cost £18,000,000. Beeching is slated in the press as he admits he has no idea where its coming from. Fares will have to rise and jobs and track go. Unions are unmoved.

Ford workers join the fun by striking over dismissal of shop steward. 1,200 come out in sympathy. Admiralty clerk John Vassall is jailed for 18 years for supplying Russian agents with secret information. Snow falls in Britain despite the Met office saying it would not happen. Many roads in the north are blocked. The AA says it’s too early and blames the Met Office who presumably will blame someone else. The first Bond film “Dr No” is released to ecstatic reviews.

Alf Ramsey is appointed Manager of England football.

It is given that there are now 46 million people in Great Britain of which 5,521,000 are over 65.

On the home front ... Burton Latimer Council suspends decision on new playground equipment due to vandalism.

Earnest Marples Minister of Transport announces big increase in spending on roads for 1963/68 of £590 million.

The Motorcycle Show at Earls Court is well attended the latest from British factories. Only scooters featured in the press report.

Reliant Robin was only £450.

175 Sunbeam Scooter 100cc £119.

100cc Automatic Scooter £94. 10s

Sad news was that the old Grammar School in Gold Street Kettering (left*) is to come down for development of a new store for Sainsburys. Sheer Vandalism says Mr Heath of the Preservation Society.

Quite agree!

Austin Healey Sprite( two- seater) in accident south of Market Harborough. Police called and discover driver Barry Bagshaw and passengers David Budworth and Leslie Davies. Driver arrested for endangering lives.

Car crash at Newport Pagnell puts two Burton Latimer women in hospital. Dilys Morgan and Christine Davies detained with concussion.

Neville Bird, 32, license of Horse & Groom Burton Latimer appeared at Kettering Magistrates Court after police discovered, in their words: “Quite an arsenal of weapons.” Bird admitted having an automatic pistol, a revolver, a .22 rifle, 21 rounds of ammunition and no firearms certificate. He was fined £12 on each charge and all weapons were confiscated. Inspector Stokes said that a shooting had taken place and a 12-year-old girl was wounded in the leg.

Terrance Page was in court again and warned that if he appeared before the bench again he would find himself in jail. Mr. Hutchinson said “Pull yourself together. We have seen enough of you in this court.” It is not recorded what Terry said but he was sent down for two days.

Derry Robinson, waste collector, 51 Highfield Road, fined £1 for having an underage employee in his HGV. P & H, Wellington Street, fined £2 for allowing it.

Burton man, Roy Searles, 76 Finedon Road, fined £15 for four vehicle offences. He pleaded guilty. When questioned, he replied “It’s the luck of the draw.”

Good news – Jacqueline Goode, 12 Queensway. Alison Hobbs, 10 The Crescent and David Dicks, 16 Queensway raise £1 15s. 6d for Rushton Hall School for the Blind.

Burton Latimer Gala made a profit this year of £198 which was £27 down on 1961 although the amount allocated this year is £200. The recipients were: British Legion, TB After Care and Burton Clubs Blind committees £15 each; Old Peoples Welfare Committee £10; Girl Guides and Brownies £2 2s., Old Folks Parcels: £100.


The weather was generally cold, dull and quiet after a very wet start. Hailstones fell throughout the Midlands during the middle of the month giving up to 5cm in places. There were heavy snow showers also in the middle of the month giving a foretaste of the winter to come.

The big fashion news was announced by the Daily Mirror that Teddy Boy suits were the new in thing in fashion and were selling in thousands.

Burton Latimer Working Men’s Club in Finedon Street open their new extension as a dance and concert hall intending it to be a centre of excellence for dancing. Guests were 80 year old Fred Oram and 74 year old Frank Whitehead. lt is not known if they did the first dance together!!!

The BBC launched a new show ‘That Was The Week That Was’. The papers after the first showing were all for it. One even said: “With this show the BBC have opened the way for all sorts of rubbish on Saturday night.” Thank goodness it became one of the most watched programmes of all time.

Man named as John Charnley has become the first man in the UK to have a whole hip replacement. Government figures for the previous 12 months show that life expectancy for 1962 was 71 years.

Average wage for the 12 months was £728 per year for men and £416 for women.

It was noted that John Dacre who was post master at Burton for 40 years had died.


Generally sunny although cold. Smog blankets southern areas especially London which is known to have had several hundred people die although the final figure would never be known.

The County reported its worst foggy nights for over 20 years.

This month will always be known as the start of the Big Freeze which lasted for three months. Snow started to fall on Christmas Eve and continued to fall and freeze for 67 consecutive days. 16 inches fell in the Thames area with bitter cold a freezing winds. 8ft of snow fell in Kent with similar amounts throughout the Home Counties. Traffic came to a standstill. Milk froze in the bottles and food was unable be sent to shops and markets. Points froze on the railway tracks and 18 people died when two trains collided due to frozen points. It would be March 1963 before things got back to normal.

Just to finish off the year on a down news day: Another airliner crashed in New York killing 25 of 51 on board. This had been one of the most tragic years for loss of due to plane crashes.

Reported in the Evening Telegraph that police raided Hadley’s book shop and warehouse in Northampton during the month and seized 927 books classified as obscene. Mr Hadley said that the books were not obscene in opinion as the majority were taken by the police evidence and he had not seen them again. A police spokesman said they could not comment on the matter as the books in question were being reviewed. (Further checking court notices for 1963 - there is no notice of any court proceedings in this case.)

County farmers were told by N F U that cows with horns were becoming rare. (As you can see it was a quiet news month!).

Registration of new cars in September was 54644 compared to 47456 in 1961. Total figure for the year was 621,329.

Stewarts and Lloyds suspends £18 million pound project at Corby due to poor sales. Redundancies are inevitable and unions vote for strikes. Authors note: lt has amazed me in this research how quickly unions have taken strike action this year without winning anything, especially at the steel works.

In December, W.D. Evans' Station Road hatchery, seen above, wins a contract to provide 500,000 chicks per annum to the Italian market.

New Telstar satellite launched to provide more powerful communications throughout Europe.

Bad news for us boys... price of a pint to go up to give transport workers a pay rise.

Burton Latimer housing committee announce plans for redevelopment of Croxen’s Yard which will later become Latimer Close.

Jobless total rises by 21,500. Unemployment in Kettering rises - 286 people out of work.

With the weather forecast over the Christmas period to be poor Lester Piggott decides not to carry out his intended rides in National Hunt which he said he would try and instead goes to the Bahamas ... well you would wouldn't you!

Bad news is that the Mayor’s new Daimler leaks and he has to use an umbrella inside...

And finally ... Police eventually stop a driver after a chase over several miles in Northampton during the early evening. When the driver finally got out of the car it was a women known to the officers. As they began to question her she ran off and leapt over a wall and into the river Nene. Despite their efforts the officers could not find her and they are now dragging the river for a body.

Fashion in 1962 was becoming a year of gradual change. It was not yet the Swinging Sixties but the year was marked by meaningful changes, especially for women.

Women's fashion was beginning to become more fitting but the lines did not try to accentuate the curve (DS ...What a pity). Shoulders were widened and the bosom received more attention (DS... All in favour of this one!) Skirts and dresses had become slightly shorter stopping just below the knee, but as the year wore on they started to begin at the knee and sometimes just above. Very racy for the time but better times were coming.

Stiletto heels gave the legs a better look. (All in favour of this one as well)

The big change for boys and girls fashion was colour. We were getting away from drab cloth (greys and black) to reds, greens and even yellow.

Boys were still relatively conservative wearing blazers and coats with shirt and ties. Going to a dance it was always suits, blazers, ties. Suit lapels started to get wider as did the tie which became a lot more colourful. But the biggest change of all came from America (where else?). Levi Strauss who made working trousers in America for cowboys decided to sell a new range in England as a fashion item. Men bought them for work still but the girls went mad for them as they became fashionable. Jeans were here to stay. The rest, as they say, is history.

Top Twenty Records released 1962

1 - Stranger On The Shore - Acker Bilk

2 - Can’t Stop Loving You - Ray Charles

3 - Mashed Potato Time - Dee Dee Sharp

4 - Roses are Red - Bobby Vinton

5 - The Stripper - David Rose

6 - Johnny Angel - Shelley Fabares

7 - Loco Motion - Little Eva

8 - Let Me In - The Sensations

9 - The Twist - Chubby Checker

10 - Soldier Boy - The Shirelles

11 - Hey Baby - Bruce Channel

12 - The Wanderer - Dion

13 - Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler

14 - Palisades Park - Freddie Cannon

15 - Breaking Up is Hard To Do - Neil Sedaka

16 - Wolverton Mountain - Claude King

17 - Slow Twisting - Chubby Checker

18 - Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley

19 - Sheila - Tommy Roe

20 - Twisting The Night Away - Sam Cooke

Car of the Year: The Ferrari 250 GTO was voted the car of the year and, in all honesty, would probably win it today.

The also-rans, if you can call them that, were:

Bentley S3 Renault *

Ford Cortina Saab 60

Lotus Elan Triumph Spitfire

MG MGB Triumph Vitesse

And, would you believe it? ... the Trabant 600

We started with the Beatles who played their first gig under their new name (previously The Quarrymen) with their new line up of McCartney, Harrison, Starr and Lennon at the Cavern Club, Liverpool in early 1962 having failed their audition for Decca records in January of 1962. That year also saw the first gig at the Marquee Club of a group who would become the best Rock ‘n’ Roll band in the world. On 12th July 1962 The Rolling Stones featuring Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith “Keef” Richards, Mick Avory, Ian Stewart and Dick Taylor filling in for Alexis Korner who had been offered a well-paid one night gig elsewhere. Reviews were mixed apart from Melody Maker whose reviewer Neil McCormick said: “This group will be the greatest Rock ’n’ Roll group in the world.” He was right but it needed Charley Watts and Bill Wyman to complete the line-up.

But to finish 1962, a young man age 18 was working as a gas fitter for EMGB. Seven years later he was opening day three at Woodstock, the greatest of all rock venues in front of 500,000 fans (it is thought). The song was “With a Little Help From My Friends”, and it made young Joe Cocker a superstar.

I could not have done this without a lot of help from my friends so l hope you have enjoyed a look back at 1962.

Thank you alll - DERRlCK.

Acknowledgements: The Cons image: Derrick Smith; Tic-Tac-Toe image: Catawiki; Steptoe & Son image: BBC; Sunday Times image: Press Gazette; John Richie image: Wikipdia; Granada image: Tony Smith's 'Kettering'; Kettering Old Grammar School image: Tony Smith's 'Kettering Revisited'. The other images are from the BLHS archive

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