Bread rationing in Lancashire, Bing Crosby comes to Preston and a big band contest hits a sour note

A half century of song and still hitting the high notes. That is the proud record of Preston Cecilian Choral Society whose new season sees them embark on their Golden Jubilee journey. Pictured are members of the Cecilians in vocal session at a rehearsal at Shepherd Street Mission
A half century of song and still hitting the high notes. That is the proud record of Preston Cecilian Choral Society whose new season sees them embark on their Golden Jubilee journey. Pictured are members of the Cecilians in vocal session at a rehearsal at Shepherd Street Mission
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These are just a few of the lighthearted stories that were being read in 1977, along with some pictures of your memories

Bread on ration as housewives panic

The battle of the bread was on in Lancashire. Anxious housewives and husbands reacted swiftly and in some cases angrily to the news of a national bread strike.

Crucial talks were being held in London to head off the strike but it was not known whether representatives of the union and employers’ federation would be sitting down together.

Shops were soon operating a system of rationing. Restrictions were placed on the number of loaves per customer after many shoppers demanded six or seven loaves in a bid to beat the strike.

Panic buying began as soon as shops opened. Outside, queues had formed for up to an hour before opening.

Many shops had sold out their first deliveries before 9am.

One man was stopped leaving a check-out desk at the Market Street Co-op with 20 loaves in his basket.

“It’s unbelievable,” said one shop assistant. “People have just gone mad. When we told them they were restricted to two loaves they became abusive and threatened to report us to the Consumer Protection Society.”

Twelve bakeries in Preston will be hit.

Bing’s in town, but no autographs

The legendary Bing Crosby arrived in Preston to prepare for his sell-out concert at the town’s Guild Hall.

The 73-year-old Old Groaner disappointed fans at Preston Station when he refused to sign autographs.

But his beautiful wife Kathy explained when the star gave autographs it usually triggered off a riot.

“He would be terribly upset if anyone was hurt,” she said.

Bing, his wife, and 19-year-old son Harry were late when their London train, the Clansman, developed an engine fault.

But there was still quite a reception party of fans and pressmen for the man who has sold more than 300 million records.

Bing was not very talkative but said he kept on singing in concerts because he was an entertainer who loved show business.

Big band contest hits a sour note!

A “cheating” row has blown up over a big band contest.

The annual event seemed orderly enough. But now it’s hit a sour note with allegations that the popular band which won the top trophy for the fourth time in eight years “bent the rules”.

Preston man, Mr Michael Potter, a spectator at the weekend Kendal Youth Band competition, claims the Yorkshire-based Brighouse Royal British Legion band was being conducted by three separate bandmasters throughout its display.

He also says several members were over the 21 age limit. And he alleges that some of the trumpet players in the 45-strong band had no reeds in the instruments but were “miming” and only there to bolster the size of the display.

“It was blatant cheating,” said Mr Potter, of Queensway, Bamber Bridge.

“No other band was conducted or helped in any way and they shouldn’t have been allowed to get away with it.”

A former chief bugler in the French Foreign Legion and member of a British Army band for 10 years, Mr Potter claims that Brighouse should have been disqualified.

No one was available for comment at the Brighouse British Legion headquarters.