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That Was the Year That Was - 1925 | by brizzle born and bred
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That Was the Year That Was - 1925

Monarch – George V


Prime Minister – Stanley Baldwin (Conservative)


carmaker Vauxhall Motors of Luton is purchased by American giant General Motors


Vauxhall is one of the great names of British motoring and can trace its history back more than 100 years.


It has produced some of the UK's most popular vehicles, such as the Victor, Cavalier and Corsa, as well as the Bedford van.


It was in 1903 that the first car to bear the Vauxhall name was manufactured, although the company that built it had been formed in 1857.


In December 1925, Vauxhall Motors became a wholly owned subsidiary of America's giant General Motors Corporation (GM). The move led to a big expansion of production, which in 1925 was only around 1,400 cars from a workforce of about 1,800.


There was also a move into commercial vehicle production, with the first Bedford vehicle – a two-tonner – appearing in April 1931. The Bedford was an instant success, spawning a whole succession of buses and vans.


For the growing number of families now venturing on to the roads, Vauxhall produced the Cadet in 1930, with prices starting from £280. Other successful models included the 10-4, a variant of which appeared at the 1938 motor show priced just £189.


Dolgarrog lives lost in 'terrible' dam disaster in Wales


On 2 November 1925, Dolgarrog was devastated when two dams burst, sending a torrent of water and boulders crashing down towards the village below.


The flood killed 10 adults and six children in the Conwy Valley community. Many more watching a film in the village theatre survived. Had the building not been on higher ground, the death toll could have been far greater.


The flooding was triggered by a failure of the Eigiau Dam, owned by the Aluminium Corporation, which was breached following two weeks of heavy rain. Today, the only building left standing of the old village is the now-empty Porth Lwyd Hotel.


"Cows were seen hanging from the trees and the aluminium works were submerged under 5ft (1.5m) of mud," The investigation led to improved construction requirements for dams in the UK, as part of the Reservoirs (Safety Provisions) Act in 1930.


The Dibble's Bridge coach crash


The Dibble's Bridge coach crash was a fatal accident that occurred on 10 June 1925 on the B6265 road, at Dibble's Bridge, below Grimwith Reservoir 1.6 miles (2.6 km) east of Hebden, in the civil parish of Hartlington in Craven, North Yorkshire, England. Seven people were killed, and 11 others injured.


The accident occurred when a 30-seater coach carrying a party of members of the York Municipal Employees' Guild and their families on an outing to Bolton Abbey from York suffered brake failure as it travelled down a 1:6 (9.5°) (16.67%) gradient from Fancarl Top to the bottom of the valley downstream of Grimwith reservoir. It gained considerable speed and failing to negotiate the sharp bend at the bottom crashed through the parapet of Dibble's Bridge, landing on its roof. Many of the passengers were pinned beneath the vehicle, five being killed instantly, whilst two others died within half an hour. A number of other passengers were injured.


A witness at the inquest described how a man from the coach took a stone from a wall and put it under a wheel, the driver then got out to "do something underneath the vehicle". Later the witness saw that the coach was moving, and it went down the hill at speed until it hit the right hand side of the bridge, before striking the left hand side and falling a distance of 16 feet from the bridge. One of the witnesses from the coach testified that the driver had said "the brake has been burnt out" before he hit it two or three times with hammer, and later saying "It's all right now". A motor engineer explained that the condition of the brakes was caused by the lining of the brakes being slowly burnt away. The brake lining and had been changed recently and this was only the second trip since. A consulting engineer who examined the coach after the accident said the brake drums were oily and in his opinion the primary cause of the accident was oil on the rear brakes and the burning of the linings on the front brakes.


The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, and suggested that a sign be placed at the top on Fancarl Hill saying that heavy vehicles must change to low gear and advise the passengers to walk down; and that steps be taken to widen the bridge.


In 1975 the same thing happened again another fatal accident happened at 4pm on May 27, 1975 when a coach carrying elderly women on a day trip to the Yorkshire Dales careered down a steep bank on the B6265 road, Dibbles Bridge, near Hebden.


A total of 33 people, including the driver, were killed.


The Enduring Mystery Behind Percy Fawcett’s Disappearance


Lieutenant Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett DSO was a British geographer, artillery officer, cartographer, archaeologist, and explorer of South America. Fawcett disappeared in 1925 during an expedition to find "Z"—his name for an ancient lost city which he and others believed existed in the jungles of Brazil.


The enigma of Fawcett’s disappearance was one of the biggest stories of its time. The explorer had been extremely famous; his adventures were followed by thousands of newspaper readers, and his exploits had formed part of the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1912 novel The Lost World. Though hundreds of people have followed Fawcett’s route since, no evidence of the party’s fate has been found.


Percy Fawcett was born on 18 August 1867 in Torquay, Devon, England, to Edward Boyd Fawcett and Myra Elizabeth (née MacDougall). Fawcett received his early education at Newton Abbot Proprietary College along with Bertram Fletcher Robinson. Fawcett's India-born father was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS); his elder brother Edward Douglas Fawcett (1866–1960) was a mountain climber, an Eastern occultist, and the author of philosophical books and popular adventure novels.


Fawcett attended the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich as a cadet, and was commissioned as a lieutenant of the Royal Artillery on 24 July 1886. On 13 January 1896, he was appointed adjutant[5] of the 1st Cornwall (Duke of Cornwall's) Artillery Volunteers, and was promoted to captain on 15 June 1897. He later served in Hong Kong, Malta, and Trincomalee, Ceylon, where he met his future wife Nina Agnes Paterson, whom he married in January 1901 after having previously ended their engagement. They had two sons, Jack (born 1903) and Brian (1906–1984), and one daughter, Joan (1910–2005).


Fawcett joined the RGS in 1901, in order to study surveying and mapmaking. Later, he worked for the British Secret Service in North Africa while pursuing the surveyor's craft. He served for the war office on Spike Island, County Cork from 1903 to 1906, where he was promoted to major on 11 January 1905. He became friends with authors H. Rider Haggard and Arthur Conan Doyle; the latter used Fawcett's Amazonian field reports as an inspiration for his novel The Lost World.


Fawcett has been proposed as a possible inspiration for Indiana Jones, the fictional archaeologist/adventurer. A fictionalised version of Fawcett aids Jones in the novel Indiana Jones and the Seven Veils.


A taste of life in Britain in 1925


Women felt more confident and empowered, and this new independence was reflected in the new fashions. Hair was shorter, dresses were shorter, and women started to smoke, drink and drive motorcycles, motorcars. The attractive, reckless, independent ‘flapper’ appeared on the scene, shocking society with her wild behaviour. Girl Power 1920s-style had arrived!


Families were on average smaller in the 1920s than during the Victorian era, with families of 3 or 4 children most common. Children’s toys were often homemade. Whip-and-top and skipping were popular pastimes. Carrot tops, turnip tops and wooden tops were whipped up and down the streets and pavements as there was little traffic. Comics such as “Chicks Own”, “Tiny Tots” and “School Friend” were available for children.


The male half of a courting couple could expect to pay 5d for a pint of beer in 1925 - the modern equivalent of about 73p today, using the retail price index. A small bar of Cadbury's chocolate was more expensive - £1.45 in modern money. The average male weekly wage was about £5, roughly £103 nowadays, and a pint of milk cost 3d (44p) in the Midlands, where Florence and Percy met.


For couples with cash to spare, a trip to see one of Noel Coward's three West End plays was quite the thing, but as the Charleston had just flapped its way across from America, many preferred to go dancing.


A daily newspaper - costing 2d - detailed the duties of George V and his Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. Winston Churchill as Chancellor also announced Britain's return to the gold standard and knocked sixpence off income tax.


Benito Mussolini assumed full dictatorial powers, and in Russia Leon Trotsky was fired by Joseph Stalin and effectively placed under house arrest.


In sport, England's most prolific batsman, Jack Hobbs, scored his record 2,000th test run at the age of 42, and Sheffield United won the FA Cup.


By the end of the year, after Florence and Percy had said their vows, Margaret Thatcher, Peter Sellers, Paul Newman and Blues legend BB King had all been born, and the first-ever television transmitter had been created in England.


1925 UK Events


George Lloyd, Baron Lloyd of Dolobran, becomes British High Commissioner in Egypt.


League of Nations conference on arms control & poison gas usage.


Noel Coward's "Fallen Angels" premieres in London.


In the United Kingdom, the first Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadrons are formed.


The first in-flight movie is shown on a scheduled flight: First National's The Lost World on Imperial Airways service from London to the Continent.


The Royal Navy cruiser Vindictive launches a Fairey IIID floatplane by catapult. It is the first catapult launch of a standard British naval aircraft from a ship at sea.


Frank T. Courtney makes the first flight in the United Kingdom by a rotary-wing aircraft, demonstrating the Cierva C.4 autogiro for the Royal Aircraft Establishment near Farnborough Airfield.


Sir Henry Fowler succeeds George Hughes as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.


9 April – Administration of Estates Act abolishes the legal rule of primogeniture in England and Wales and the remnants of gavelkind in Kent.


May – Britain returns to the gold standard (the gold bullion standard rather than the specie standard). In his first budget as chancellor of the exchequer, Winston Churchill returned Britain to its pre-1914 monetary system, whereby sterling was fixed at a price reflecting the country's gold reserves. The move resulted in massive deflation and overvaluing of the pound. This made British manufacturing industries uncompetitive, which in turn exacerbated the massive economic problems Britain was to face in the 1930s.


1 May – Cyprus becomes a Crown Colony.


29 May – last communication from the British explorer Percy Fawcett, a telegram to his wife, before he disappears in the Amazon.


10 June – Dibbles Bridge coach crash: a tour coach runs away following brake failure and falls off a bridge near Hebden, North Yorkshire, en route to Bolton Abbey, killing seven passengers.


1 to 30 June – the second-driest month in the EWP series (and driest of twentieth century) with an average rainfall of only 4.3 millimetres (0.17 in).


27 July – the BBC's Daventry transmitting station on Borough Hill, Daventry in central England opens as the world's first longwave broadcast radio transmitter, taking over from its Chelmsford facility.


31 July – "Red Friday": the Government announces that it will grant a subsidy to the coal industry for nine months to maintain existing wage levels while a Royal Commission conducts an inquiry into the industry's problems.


5 August – establishment of political party Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru, initially focussing on Welsh language issues.


7 August – National Library of Scotland established by Act of Parliament to take over the national responsibilities of the Advocates' Library in Edinburgh.


2 October – in London John Logie Baird successfully transmits the first television pictures with a greyscale image.


London the city's first double-decker buses with covered top decks are introduced.


2 November – Eigiau Dam disaster kills seventeen in the North Wales village of Dolgarrog.


3 November – Alfred Hitchcock's first (silent) film, The Pleasure Garden, completed (but not released in the UK until 16 January 1927).


7 November – The Morning Post, a Conservative London newspaper, publishes a leaked report of the Irish Boundary Commission's (limited) proposals for altering the border between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland, which are contrary to the Free State's view; publication effectively ends the work of the Commission.


16 November – carmaker Vauxhall Motors of Luton is purchased by American giant General Motors for $2.5 million.


1 December – Locarno Treaties signed in London.


3 December – a settlement on the boundary question between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland is presented in London. Controversially, there is no change to the border, in exchange for the Free State's liability for service of the U.K. public debt in respect of war pensions being dropped. The agreement is approved during this month by the U.K. and Free State legislatures.


10 December – Austen Chamberlain wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the Locarno Pact.


16 December – construction of the Queensway Tunnel beneath the River Mersey begins.


Construction of the Royal Tweed Bridge in Berwick-upon-Tweed begins.


Clough Williams-Ellis begins construction of Portmeirion in North Wales.


US newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst buys the medieval St Donat's Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan.




1925 was the 32nd season of County Championship cricket in England. There was no Test series and the focus was ostensibly upon the County Championship (won by Yorkshire), except that the season was dominated by Jack Hobbs who scored a then-record 16 centuries and 3,024 runs. Along the way, he equaled and then surpassed the career record for most centuries, previously held by W. G. Grace. Wisden decided to honour Hobbs thus: "the Five Cricketers of the Year are dropped in favour of one player, this time Jack Hobbs, in recognition of his overtaking W. G. Grace as the most prolific century-maker of all time".


Football Honours


First Division - Huddersfield Town

Second Division - Leicester City

Third Division North - Darlington

Third Division South - Swansea Town

FA Cup - Sheffield United

Charity Shield - Professionals XI

Home Championship - Scotland

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Uploaded on March 4, 2019