visitor - King George tours the Rover aero factory at Acock's Green
As the second
world war loomed, King George headed for Longbridge to see how
the fastest "bombing machines" in the RAF wree shaping up for the
took a keen interest in the Fairey battle bombers at the Birmingham
Austin "shadow" factory and also studied the machines turning out
aircraft parts during a tour of Rover's factory at Acocks Green.
The King stepped
from the royal train at Longbridge sidings and a short while later
was watching the various parts of the air frames for the Fairey
battle bombers being produced.
The King had
a long talk with Mr G Ledgard, general manager of the factory about
the "shadow" scheme and was told that three parts of the British
Mercury V111 engines were being built at Longbridge.
were being made in another four factories which the royal guest
was to visit later.
During the day
the King toured five of the shadow factories where fighting aircraft
were being made.
It was a continuation
of his series of visits to aircraft and munition factories involved
in the armament programme.
The King also
spoke to workers along the assembly lines, congratulating one on
the way he was carrying out his task.
He then visited
a section where the testing of engines was so loud workers had to
wear special ear plugs. The King was offered cotton wool but didn't
up to cheer the King as he went through the factory gates where
a large crowd was waiting to catch a glimpse of him.
to the Express & Star's front page from Saturday, January 22,
1938, recording the queues at Molineux for Wolves' fourth round
FA Cup clash with the mighty Arsenal. Wolves lost 2-1.
a natural light show:
thrilled in January to the Northern Lights which hung over Britain
for two hours.
said the brilliant display in the sky was due to "the outsize in
sunspots" which had made their way to the other side of the sun.
also had some side effects. It was responsible for delaying express
trains on the Manchester to Sheffield line after electrical disturbance
hit the signalling apparatus.
got the best display of the aurora borealis where the sky was spasmodically
lit up by strange lights.
& Star reader reported them over Sedgley and said the sky was filled
with "bright red, luminous, feathery clouds."
at Wolverhampton's Goldthorn Hill, said there was a deep, red glow
in the sky like the reflection of the glare from a blast furnace
impressions were aroused among Cannock Chase people.
One person thought
there was a big fire at a local colliery and phoned the fire brigade.
In some quarters
it was said the world was coming to an end
. . . or fairyland? Wolverhampton's
first nursery class got underway in February and was thought by
some to be going into fairyland mode when they actually taught 20
four-year-olds to behave with "sweet obedience" instead of naughtiness,
being managed without threats or raised voices, and combing their
hair and cleaning their teeth without protest.
mums only had to take a peek into class attached to Redcross Street
School to see the children put into an environment which gave them
the surroundings and conditions to develop their minds and bodies.
Some said the
new system was encouraging mothers to shelve their responsibilities
- while others thought it was giving the child a good start in life.
but the kitchen sink:
"Tin Pan Alley" took on on a new musical meaning in February as
two Wolverhampton girls belted out some popular songs using wine
glasses, pots and pans, spoons, empty biscuit tins trays and saucepan
lids as their instruments.
They tried a
couple of overtures, and a well-known military march before heading
into the popular "Little Old Lady".
An Express &
Star reporter thought the first first few bars were pretty bad,
but felt the girls improved as they progressed.
young people of today!" is a complaint we often hear, but a couple
of news items from 1938 show the battle of the generations is nothing
a pair of runaway lovers from Dudley, 21-year-old Leonard Merris
and Iris Jones, 17, hit the headlines when they eloped and were
married at Gretna Green.
Then in June
a Wolverhampton headmistress was confronting the problem of growing
Miss W Cordon
of Graiseley Senior Girls School reported that girls in the town
as young as 14 were wearing make-up "to attract older boys with