Hest Bank 1965-66

After finishing in mid-table the previous year, Hest Bank were hoping to improve as they entered season 1965-66 but all the teams in Division 2 of the North Lancashire League would have to measure themselves against newly promoted Newton who had won Division III by 15 points, scoring 217, conceding 34, whilst only losing 2 games.

Four victories and three draws in their first seven games seemed to indicate an improvement in the team but Hest Bank then faced a confident Newton side at home at the end of September.  All doubts about their position at the top of the league were put aside as the villagers handed out a 6-1 thrashing to the Lancaster side and followed that with a convincing 5-1 defeat of Ingleborough in the 1st round of the Junior Charity Cup and a 2-2 home draw with first division side Cartmel in the 3rd round of the Senior Challenge Cup.  A first round Lancashire Junior Shield defeat against Norcross & Warbeck, 1-5, and a heavy 1-11 loss at Cartmel in the replayed Senior Challenge Cup tie seemed to affect the team’s confidence as they then lost their first league game of the season, 0-1, at home to Bulk St Annes.  Six league victories in succession scoring 27 and conceding 11 with only a 2nd round Junior Charity Cup defeat at home to Storeys by 2-5 put Hest Bank proudly at the top of the league as Christmas approached with Galgate Reserves two points behind and Newton adrift in third by seven points.  Could anyone break the “Bank” in the second half of the season?

The story of how the “Moby Dick”, Morecambe’s famous floating tourist attraction, came to be set on fire during a “mischief night” incident was told by Chief Inspector Wright at Morecambe Court in December 1965 when nine local youths faced a charge of doing £98 worth of damage to the vessel.  The youths admitted boarding the vessel and throwing fireworks around and were each fined £5 with £10 18s costs.  The Chief Inspector pointed out that the £98 was only the cost of replacement as the owner of the vessel had estimated a cost of between £300 and £400 to bring it back to its original condition.

On January 1st 1966 the electric train that pulled out of Morecambe Promenade Station at 11.10pm was the last to run on the service that had linked Lancaster and Morecambe for nearly 60 years.  The train, bound for Lancaster Castle Station, rang down the curtain on the service that the Minister of Transport had decided to close despite much local opposition.  On the same night the last passenger train between Wennington and Lancaster Green Ayre also ran leaving Wennington at 7.53pm and arriving at Green Ayre at 8.07pm.

It didn’t turn out to be a happy New Year for Hest Bank as they lost their first five league games of 1966 to Nairn-Williamsons, 2-5, Lancaster Moor Hospital Reserves, 2-5, Ingleborough, 0-1, Royal Albert Hospital, 2-3, and Storeys 1-2.  Even a return to their best form in winning the next five games couldn’t put them back on top of the league as both Newton and Nairn-Williamsons were finishing the season strongly.  A visit to Ryelands Park saw them come away with a 2-3 loss to Newton and they finished the season with a 5-1 victory against Storeys and a 1-1 draw at Burton Thistle.  Another two points would have ensured promotion to the top division but it had still been a fantastic effort.

 The eighth staging of the World Cup was held in England from 11 July to 30 July 1966. England was chosen as hosts in August 1960 to celebrate the centenary of the codification of football in England. England won their first (hopefully not their last) World Cup, beating West Germany 4-2, and becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.

The 1966 World Cup had a rather unusual hero off the field, namely a dog called Pickles. In the build up to the tournament the Jules Rimet Trophy was stolen from an exhibition display. It was later discovered wrapped in some newspaper as the dog sniffed under some bushes in London.  The FA commissioned a replica cup in case the original cup was not found in time. This replica is held at the English National Football Museum.

Prime Minister Harold Macmillan claimed the credit for the economic boom, boasting that, “the luxuries of the rich have become the necessities of the poor”. Certainly homes were filling up with such consumer durables as washing machines, fridges, record players and hair dryers, all available on Hire Purchase.  But the great symbol of affluence as in almost every decade since its invention was the car.  The runaway popularity of motoring would not only change the landscape of Britain for ever, but would also have far-reaching consequences for the wider environment.  During the sixties the number of car owners in Britain doubled from 5.6 million to 11.8 million.  The careless driver, investing in one of these little beauties in 1965, would have been reassured to learn that “The Triumph Herald’s bumpers are covered in rubber instead of dents”.  A sum of £583 would buy you a Morris Minor Traveller but you would have to fork out £1,298 for a Rover 2000.  How many of the young men who played for Hest Bank would turn up to play on a Saturday afternoon driving one of these?

Hest Bank 1965-66

Back Row (L-R): P. Johns, C. Wilson, T. Rickerby, K, Stanfield, J. Mason, L. Taylor, D. Harvey

Front Row (L-R): J. Allinson, K. Sowden, D. Wilson, D. Furey, C. Stebbings

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Design: David Ainsworth