12. "We want the King" was the cry from the crowds as the Duke
of York was proclaimed monarch following the shock abdication of
King Edward V111.
Midlanders were still reeling over the royal rumpus which led up
Edward quitting the throne for love of Mrs Simpson - and in Wolverhampton,
special measures were taken to ensure people heard Edward's adbication
message to the world.
The 10pm radio
broadcast of the new "Mr Windsor" was relayed to Wolverhampton Rotary
Ball at the Baths Assembly Rooms and at the Gaumont Palace, the
Queen's and Dunstall cinemas.
During the royal
delivery there was complete silence at the Wolverhampton Rotary
Ball and afterwards the guests in
the supper room
toasted the health of the new King George V1.
Mayors and chairmen
of urban councils across the West Midlands read out the proclamation
of the new king, on his 41st birthday, and a crowd asembled in Wolverhampton's
Queen Square to hear it read.
was preceded by a fanfare from the Borough Band, followed by a second
fanfare from army buglers.
the business of the police court was delayed due to the reading
of Edward's proclamation.
restricted the attendance at the Dudley reading, but despite blustering
wind and pouring rain, a crowd of several thousand gathered in Birmingham
for the reading which included a fanfare by the Birmingham Police
fan joins the action: A
filmgoer had an amazing escape when he fell 20ft from the balcony
of a Walsall cinema in July, smashing the seat where he landed in
the stalls - and then calmly got up and walked off.
when the man fell onto the seat at Walsall Picture House, no one
was sitting in it. The manager told the Express & Star that the
matter was reported to him but when he went into the theatre the
man had gone.
But later the
police found the victim wandering about and he was thought to be
suffering from loss of memory. He was taken to West Bromwich Hospital.
the King abdicated in 1936, I
was five and my father was highly amused to hear me singing when
I came home from school: "Hark, the herald angels sing/Mrs Simpson's
pinched our King"
Enid Jones of Fordhouses, Wolverhampton
of perpetual youth:
may not have held the secret of eternal youth but they felt they
had the next best thing - loads of active men aged eighty and over
in key positions in the town.
In fact the
town was so proud of its longevity record that in July it threw
out a challenge to the rest of Britain to produce more physically
active octogenerians than they had.
that no other town had as many men so old who looked so young and
carried on work of such great responsibility.
They had created
records of years in office that would be difficult to surpass, was
the boast - and the locals put it down to the pure air in the high
altitude of the High Town.
perky pre-pensioners were: The oldest postmaster in England, the
oldest land tax collector living, the oldest municipal officer still
holding office in the British Isles, and the oldest captain of bellringers.
The oldest postmaster,
Mr JE Hall, aged 86, boasted that he didn't have an ache or pain
anywhere, had good hearing and didn't wear glasses except at night.
He said he only
smoked in company and hadn't tasted beer for ten years He was also
known as the town's wag - full of fun.
The clerk to
Bridgnorth Rural District Council, Mr WJ Pitt, weighed in at a mere
80 and Mr J Buston, also in his 80th year, was still riding to hounds.
Cooksey was in his 88th year and was the oldest municipal official
in the country - and John Overton, in his 86th year, gave up 60
years unbroken service as captain of St Leonard's bell ringers.
A miner case
scare sent crowds from miles around flocking to Broomhill, near
Cannock in December, after two miners were reputed to have seen
strange lights and shadows on tombstones in the town cemetery.
It must be said
they were on their way home from a night at the local working men's
club at the time.
the Broomhill ghost story persisted and increasing numbers went
sightseeing at night in the cemetery.
Some said the
weird effect was caused by lighting from a street lamp - others
put it down to moonlight playing tricks.
party of visiting German ex-servicemen gave the Nazi salute at Wolverhampton's
war memorial in May - but on the run-up to the second world war
the gesture had not yet become associated with the worst excesses
of the Third Reich.
The German visitors
were being entertained in Wolverhampton and were taken to see the
town's war memorial. They paid their respects to their fallen former
enemies with the Nazi salute.
plight of the Midlands overworked children raised concerns at the
annual meeting of the National Council of Women in July. A delegate
said the Midlands was one of three areas where children in factories
worked especially long hours.
It was pointed
out that long hours led to absence of concentration. Accidents to
young children in factories had risen from 17,100 in 1933 to 21,767
in 1934. The meeting heard that in some cases children had to walk
two miles to their factories.Delegates demanded legislation to limit
children's working hours.
ambitious "Satellite Town" was planned by Wolverhampton Council
in August on 750 acres of land at Pendeford, complete with model
factories, a shopping centre and a school.