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Posts Tagged With :   1973

The Queen, For Once Was Just A Mother

The Queen, for once, just the mother worrying if everything was perfect

The national state of emergency was briefly shelved yesterday was the Queen, and some 50 million others, watched her only daughter being wed. It was coincidence of course, but the stunning sights and sounds, and the tangible happiness, in Westminster Abbey smacked of the British genius of sounding a flourish when times look black or, at any rate, dim. It was above all else, a happy wedding. It was, you might say, a damned close run thing, but whatever passing, political trivialities were going on outside, they failed to seep into the Abbey.

The happiness kept breaking out all over. Princess and and Capt Mark Phillips were away on a cloud of their own making. They could hardly stop talking to each other once the Archbishop had tied the knot and the final prayers had been said. It was the primates 69th birthday. It was Prince Charles 25th birthday. There were moments, waiting for the bride, when he looked thoughtfully at the rose damask faldstools (freshly vacuumed by Mrs Gwen Henderson, of Clapham) in the knowledge that he, the future King, would probably be the next and only member of his family to kneel there this century.

But his sense of fun Bubbling over any shared it with the Queen Mother. She in turn, leaned over Prince Philip’s empty chair to try and bring a smile to the face of a daughter, the Queen. And the Queen tried to smile. Heavens, how she tried, but here was a moderate noted, among other things, for her composure and her private sense of humour, visibly running short of both. Of course it was not just another family wedding will stop but the Queen, for once in a life, was just another mother, worried to know that it would go without a hitch.

Her almost legendary calm went out of the nearest high window. Unlike most people in the Abbey, she did not have a TV monitor screen to watch her daughter’s smooth passage to the Abbey, Prince Philip’s reassuring pat on the arm at the West door, Anne’s look of determination.

She craned forward, impatient for the first sites other daughter. Unlike 500 million TV viewers, she couldn’t see the Princess glide serenely up the nave, her train no more than a wisp of mist on the blue river of carpet. It was not until Princess Anne and her father came into view through the arch of the choir screen that Queens saw that all was well. And she permitted herself an almost audible sigh of relief. She sighed again, a huge, happy side, when the couple had said most firmly, “I will.” She sang all the hymns without, incidentally, having to read the words.

For a time, she was every bit wedding day mother, alternately apprehensive and happy. The cloak of monarchy returned only when the National Anthem began.

It was a rare moment, almost the entire Royal family, including the husband at her right-hand sang in God save the Queen. Herself apart, the only other person in the Abbey not singing was the Queen Mother who stood, her eyes closed, looking quite blissful.

It was, in many strange ways, a unique wedding. No other bride, on her wedding eve, has had four Alsatians sniffing through the church for explosives.

While Capt Phillips was asleep in the Cavalry Club, with a new ceremonial sword presented by the makers of my razor blades, six special Branch officers were cat napping in camp beds in the transepts. While doubtless trusting in the protection of the Almighty, they made doubly certain by closing the major part of the Abbey Church for nine days during which it was search vaulted roof to crypt. They were discreetly present yesterday, made an anonymous buyer Moss Bros for the trifling sum of £6-£20 a head. They were the only ones who moved when, at 12:15 PM a door banged.

Nothing else marred the flawless royal tapestry which was woven with threads of scarlet and gold, white plumes, and glittering mitres.

Chief among the reigning guests was Prince Rainier of Monaco, with Princess Grace all in white, looking as serene and beautiful as she did when she rained on the screen. Ex-King Constantine of Greece and his Queen sat among Hanovarian princes, princesses, moregraves, and moregravines who are distant cousins of the Royal family.

Mr Peter Phillips and his wife Anne led their family group to the north side of the sacrarium. Alongside them, facing the Royal family, were Capt Phillips sister, Sarah, his aunt Flavia, and his grandmother, Mrs Evelyn Tiarks. First take her seat on the bright side was 90-year-old Princess Alice, one of Queen Victoria’s two surviving grandchildren. Then came the Kents, the Ogilvy’s, the Gloucester’s.

Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon sat with their son, Viscount Linley, very much on his best behaviour between them. Almost unnoticed, Capt Phillips and his best man Capt Eric Grounds, entered through a cloistered door from the deanery, where they had changed into their regimental number 1 uniforms. They chatted together until the flourish of trumpets announced the arrival of the bride will stop the Queen caught the grooms eye, and gave him the closest thing to a Royal wink.

Then came their bride, and all the pomp and the colour paled against the dignity and a transparent happiness will stop in about K of lilies was tapped a sprig of White Heather in Scotland, the place where she would most like to live.

Yesterday was her day and she led all the way, with beauty and grace.

As the Dean of Westminster, Dr Eric Abbott, says “the special character of any wedding service is given to it by the bride and bridegroom themselves.” And that became obvious from the moment Prince Philip will his daughter to the groom’s side. A shy man, he gave a shy smile as the last words of the hymn ‘Glorious Things Of Thee Are Spoken’ died away.

Prince Philip put his daughter’s right-hand into that of Mark Phillips. Ting Grounds slipped the wedding ring from the little finger of his right hand, the homeless safe place and are no pockets in his dress uniform. As with the Queen’s ring, it was made from a nugget of Welsh gold, mined at Dolgellau. As it lay on the prayer book, Princess following the Archbishop plighted her troth.

In the hushed Abbey, she spoke firmly “I, and Elizabeth Alice Louise, take the, Mark Anthony Peter to my wedded husband.” And with the final words “and thereto I give thee my troth,” she turned and looked her husband full in the face. The Archbishop pronounced them man and wife.

After the national anthem, the bride and groom went to sign the register, or, rather, four registers. One, the royal marriage register, which is kept by the Lord Chamberlain’s office, two Abbey registers, and the Abbey’s own distinguished visitors book. Then, all tension gone, the Queen looked down at Prince Edward, the page, and Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones, who had been left at the altar steps and looked a bit uncertain about the next move. She gave a little sideways nod to tell them to follow the newlyweds.

Then, as is the way with all weddings, the couple wed look so young and vulnerable a few minutes earlier, he merged to face their families, the sea of faces, the whole world with the happiness they could scarcely contain.

Nixon Woos a Doubting Congress

President Nixon faced 75 Republican congressmen over breakfast yesterday to try and convince his own party that he is genuine in his desire to clear up the Watergate scandal. The meeting was the second of a series of three planned to rally a doubting Congress. By Friday he hopes to have talked to all the 234 Republican members.

During breakfast in the White House state dining room, the republican congressman questioned President Nixon about his handling of the scandal. The atmosphere was informal and the congressmen did not wrap up the questions they threw. But just at the time when Mr Nixon is trying to gain credibility, his own right hand man Chief of Staff, General Alexander Haig, has become involved in contradictory statements over the missing tapes.

New Soviet Missile Threat

American intelligence sources claim the Soviet Union is perfecting a new naval missile that can hit war ships more than 400 miles away. The Russians recently resumed testing their longest range ship fired missile in far northern waters after a seven month lapse.

Analysts estimate the new missile identified as the SSNX-13 will probably be ready for Soviet naval vessels in about a year. That would increase the threat to an American fleet already vulnerable to missile attack.

A senior US Navy research official has told congress that our most critical threat is presented by the anti- ship missile. The Soviet navy already has at least 5 types of anti-ship missile, but none of them are as far ranging or as sophisticated as the new version which can change direction to follow target ships if they try to escape.

Happiness is a Honeymooner

Princess and and a husband today fly off for a West Indies in the sunshine honeymoon after spending their first night of marriage together above a stable

After their wedding pageantry that Keep a 30 million British TV viewers and a well TV audience of 550 million, the couple last evening said goodbye to their parents and drove off together. But it was only an 8 mile chauffeur driven journey that took them to the home of Princess Alexandra and husband Mr Angus Ogilvy at Thatched Lodge House at Richmond Park after they had said be our guests.

The bedroom above and overlooking the stable block of the 17th-century white painted house in Royal Parkland, with flowers waiting to greet the bride, had been prepared. They are, they shared their first moments of privacy after a day of Royal ceremonial, solemn moments at Westminster Abbey, and then the toast and good wishes at the wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace.

Princess and, radiant in a white, regal wedding gown, and Capt Mark Phillips, handsome in his Dragoon Guards dress uniform, have captured the hearts of the viewers and procession route crowds.

Today, with all the worries and tensions of the public wedding behind them, they drive for 30 min to Heathrow airport, London, to travel first class on British Airways flight 695 to Barbados and the waiting yacht Britannia.

The Two Savage Sisters

Dolores and Marian Price had the IRA’s cause instilled in them from childhood.

Their father Albert a life-long IRA man now in Eire, is still on the security forces list of wanted men.

One of their aunts was blown up and partially blinded by a bomb she was carrying. Dolores and Marian both highly intelligent student teachers, soaked up their fathers bitterness and extreme views.

Their home in the Anderson Town district of Belfast is in the very heart of the rebel area, described by the girls themselves as being a Catholic ghetto.
As soon as they were old enough, they joined junior republican organisations and graduated to the women’s section of the IRA, the Cumann Na Mban but it was too tame for them.

They wanted real action and found it at the barricades, wherever there was a fight or ambush there were the two pretty young girls and their boyfriends.

Even the most ruthless IRA provos marvelled at Dolores tenacity. Seamus Twomey invited her to join the elite brigade staff.

Training to become a teacher and taking religious studies and art as her two specialist subjects was an ideal cover for her real ambition, to be a provo leader and to forge a link between the world’s anarchists.

Marian, an intelligence officer, was not ambitious for promotion. She was happy enough with the fighting, sniping at soldiers or cuddling in a car with her boyfriend and running away minutes before the bomb hidden under a seat was due to explode.

She practices rifle shooting on secret ranges in the hills and later her sister Dolores became a crack shot with an Armalite riifle.

The two sisters planned and executed the daring escape of internee James Brown, 2nd in command of the Belfast provo brigade.

They sprung him after he had been moved to a hospital for an appendix operation. Neither sister ever expressed pity or sorrow for the fact that 216 were injured in the London blasts.

Sympathy for the victims was no part of their code.

Peace Hopes Rise

Ambulance strikers in bid to break deadlock

Hopes rose last night for an early settlement to the ambulance drivers strike in County Durham. The 325 strikers asked council chairman Councillor Don Watson to intervene to try to break the deadlock between the men and the health committee.

And then both sides got round the table for the first time since the strike began Monday.

But late last night Councillor Robson warned that there was no possibility of a settlement before tomorrow. Earlier the men had accused `county medical officer Dr Stanley Ludkin of using smear tactics to try to prejudice public opinion.

They denied his claim that pickets delayed admission of a patient suffering a coronary thrombosis to a Chester-Le-Street hospital on Tuesday.

Meanwhile the first casualty handled by the volunteer ambulance drivers in Durham died in hospital yesterday.

Housewife Mrs Margaret Walton daughter of a county council health official was knocked down outside her home in Hylton Road Ferry-Hill on Monday.

There were more angry scenes at depots throughout the county yesterday as irate pickets challenged volunteer crews reporting for duty.

A crowd surrounded a volunteer male nurse at the Wheatley Hill depot and threats were made after he refused to give his name.

The men have planned a mass meeting and protest march tomorrow. The strikers will walk from their temporary headquarters in a local working men’s club and demonstrate outside County Hall.

Ambulance men in 13 more areas have joined the dispute and the federation of Ambulance Personel demanded yesterday that the Government should intervene immediately to prevent a worsening service throughout Britain.

The call came in a state by the Unions general secretary Mr Ernest Alan-Brook who wants Social Services Secretary Sir Keith Joseph to step in.

Ambulancemen in 24 areas, nearly a 5th of England’s ambulance authorities, are now operating accident and emergency services only.

I Copied Secret BBC Files

I copied secret BBC files, says studio manager
by Dennis Ellam

Studio manager Keith Crowe took BBC documents from the secret files at his work, photo copied them overnight then returned them the next morning. Among them were libellous memos, it was alleged yesterday.

They were written by his boss, Mr John Gordon, Belfast High Court was told.

Mr Crowe, 43, is seeking damages from Mr Gordon and the BBC for seven alleged libels circulated to senior executives in confidential memos and reports.

Mr Crowe took them from a filing cabinet in administration offices at BBC’s Belfast headquarters where he worked on music programmes. “I took the papers, made a photostat of them, then returned them to the BBC the next morning” said Mr Crowe. “It did not involve any secrecy as I was known at the BBC offices. I simply went up in the lift and went into the office were the files were kept.”

Mr Crowe denied he had also examined the secret files kept on his colleagues at the studio.

Mr Donald Hartridge now a studio manager for the BBC in Manchester, said “Mr Gordon and Mr Crowe had a ‘heated exchange’ over a girl studio assistant, Miss Christine Gilbert.”

Mr Gordon had excused her from work on early morning programmes but while he was on holiday Mr Crowe was in charge of the rota and he placed on one 6.30a.m shift.

Six Die in Blast at Ammunition Factory

Gunpowder keg clue as six die in blast at ammunition factory
by Aubrey Chalmers

Six workers were killed yesterday when an explosion ripped through an ammunition factory.

Four women and two men died as the gun cartridge plant blew up. Another 20 were injured, some seriously, as the building collapsed. Many were trapped under rubble when the roof and walls caved in. And last night experts sifting through the debris for clues to the mystery blast said a 30lb, gunpowder container was at the seat of the explosion.

The blast rocked the filling plant at the Imperial Metal Industry works at Witton, Birmingham, Britain’s biggest manufacturer of sporting gun cartridges.

More than 40 workers were in the section at the time. They are mainly engaged in maintenance and machine minding work as the materials are fed into the cartridges automatically. Although the material is flammable, it is extremely difficult to explode except when specially detonated.

Managing director Sir John Elstub said “No known cause, like lighting a cigarette or match, would cause an explosion of that magnitude in that building.”

Workers talked last night of the terrible scenes at the factory. Maintenance man Benny Baxter said “There was a terrific explosion and glass and rubble showered everywhere. Then women started pouring out. They were covered in blood and screaming and crying.”

Mrs Heulwen Riley, 45, was walking past the factory when it exploded. She said “It knocked me off my feet. Sobbing women raced out and I went in searching for the injured. I scratched away at the debris with my hands.”

Two women who survived with minor injuries were Mrs Jacqueline Storey, 25, and Mrs Ivy Kelly, 57.

Lat night a spokesman for Birmingham City police said “We have no evidence at the moment of a criminal act being involved.”

Fans Stone Train

A football special train was ‘bombed’ with stones by rival fans as it sped through a station at 50 miles an hour, a court was told yesterday.

Windows were smashed and three passengers and two railway policemen were injured by stones and flying glass.

The train was carrying 300 Birmingham City supporters home from the First Division game against Leeds United at Elland Road.

Mr Peter Fingret, prosecuting at Wakefield West Riding Juvenile Court, said a gang of Leeds fans went by train to Northampton, near Wakefield, and waited for the Birmingham train to pass through.

They decided to bomb it with stones and ballast from the track. Two passengers were cut on the hand and arm and another got glass in his eye. The two policemen were hot on the arm by stones. One of the youths later told police: “Some of the Birmingham lads held scarves out the train windows to torment us.”

Ten youths aged 11 to 16 admitted endangering the safety of passengers , throwing stones at the train and also causing damage totalling £58.50. All were ordered to spend 34 hours at an attendance centre. Seven were also fined £25, and three £10, and all ordered to pay £6.85 costs.

Another five who did not take part in the stone throwing were each fined £5 with £1 costs for for trespassing on the railway.

Court Told of Lovers who Left Dead Baby

Lovers Stella Miller and Robert Clifford strolled from their flat hand in hand swinging their arms.

They appeared as if they did not have a care in the world, a court was told yesterday. But behind them in a cot lay the tiny battered body of Millers 20 month old son Mark covered in 88 bruises.

The couples morning stroll was to a nearby phone box to call an ambulance said Mr Martin Collins QC, prosecuting at Liverpool Crown Court.

Yet when ambulance men arrived at the flat Clifford greeted them with the words “ He’s dead.”

They found Mark’s chest and stomach covered in bruises and weals. The night before he added a neighbour at the flats in Greenway Road Specs, Liverpool, had heard a baby crying and Clifford shouting.

There was then a loud scream from the baby and then no more noise said Mr Collins. It was the next morning that the couple were seen strolling from the flat and seeming not to have a care in the world.

Miller,21 , and Clifford, 26, both plead not guilty to the murder of Mark.

The case before Mr Justice Kilner Brown is expected to last nine days.

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