Bowling into controversy

January. As photographs arrived from the Test Match against Australia in Adelaide, Aussies were outraged and Britons horrified. For they showed the hideously bruised bodies of Australian batsmen who had come up against a new, and ferocious, attack by the England bowlers.

The so-called "Bodyline Tour" threatened to break all cricket relations between the two countries, dominating the headlines even in a Britain ravaged by the Depression and reports of new Japanese savagery in Manchuria.

Harold LarwoodChief culprit (or hero, depending on your view) was England's Harold Larwood who had developed a style of fast, short-pitched deliveries on the leg side. His rising deliveries, aimed directly at the body, not only took wickets but left the Australians battered and bitter. Australian captain Billy Woodfull took one blow close to the heart.

Outraged, the Australian Cricket Board of Control cabled the MCC in London demanding an end to this dangerous practice.

March 1. Kidnappers climbed into the nursery of Charles Lindbergh's 20-month-old son took him from his cot and left a note on the windowsill demanding a $50,000 ransom. Lindbergh and the the child's nanny made a frantic search of the New Jersey mansion before he told his wife: "Anne, they have stolen our baby."

Few clues were left by the kidnappers. The illiterate ransom note read: "We warn you for making anyding public...the child is in gut care."

The event started the most intensive manhunt in history, with 100,000 officers and civilian volunteers searched along the Eastern seaboard.

August 29. Adolf Hitler was reported to be under heavy pressure to mount a putsch after his attempts to become German Chancellor were frustrated by the Chancellor already in office, Franz von Papen, and President von Hindenburg. The president lectured Hitler on the street violence caused by his Nazi Storm Troopers. Hitler maintained that he would only seek power by legal means.

May 10. The assassination of the French president, Paul Doumer, left the country in a state of national shock. The president had gone from the Elysee Palace to a charity event at the Rothschild Foundation .

As he talked to author, Claude Farrere, a large man pushed through the crowd, pulled out a revolver and started firing' crying: "This is only the beginning." The assassin was disarmed and the president rushed to hospital, but his wounds proved to be fatal. He died 14 hours after being admitted. The gunman was declared insane.

January 6. In India Congress leaders were rounded up following the Government's declaration that the party's Working Committee, often called "Gandhi's Cabinet", was illegal. Gandhi himself had already been arrested but he had prepared himself for jail. He went into prison with a pair of sandals, a mattress, warm clothing and a portable spinning wheel. About 100 of his colleagues were expected to join him.


In brief

January 2. Wolverhampton shopkeepers invited personal friends. "in these hard times", to buy their stock as an investment to help clear the shelves in the January sales.

  January 16. In West Bromwich a man who went to help at the scene of an accident between a car and a horse and cart was killed when a passing motorcyclist hit him.

January 20. In Wolverhampton women packed the Windsor Room at Reynold's Cafe to hear a local solicitor talk to the National Council of Women on divorce in the country.

  February 2. In Walsall a greyhound protest meeting condemned plans to turn Fellows Park into a racing track because it would be "detrimental to the social, domestic and moral interests of the community."

February 12. A bill to improve youth courts, was put forward in London, included the banning of whipping of under 14-year-olds.

February 24. In the United States Malcolm Campbell beat his own land speed record at Daytona reaching 253.4mph.

March 4. In Wolverhampton firefighters battled for eight hours with a blaze which practically destroyed the Wearwell Cycle Company in Colliery Road in a 10,000 fire.

April 4. Scientists in Pittsburgh, USA, isolated Vitamin C.

June 18. An attempt to assassinate Mussolini in Rome resulted in two men being executed.

July 5. At London Bridge station the first main-line electric express train ran to Three Bridges in Sussex.

July 8. In Britain a rector from Stiffkey was found guilty of "disreputable association with women."