Top Picture: The poster for the 1948 Olympic Games.
Bottom Picture: The ‘state of the art’ television cameras which were used to televise the events.
Happy New Year Everyone
Well here it is at last, Olympic Year 2012 so I thought I would just take a look back to the last time the Olympic Games were held in this country. I know that 1948 is quite a few years outside my normal remit but I will justify it by saying that actually a lot of us had been born by this time and some of us were all of just over 2 years old! As all the pieces start to fit together for this years massive event just take a look at the arrangements that were undertaken in 1948 and then compare them to all the razzamatazz and security being undertaken this year.
The 1948 Olympic Games in London.
Though World War II had been over for three years, Great Britain and Europe was still suffering very badly from the aftermath of war. When it was announced that the Olympic Games would be resumed, there were many heated and emotional debates as to whether it was wise to have a festival such as this when many European countries were still in ruins and in some cases the peoples were near to starvation. It was decided that to limit the United Kingdom's responsibility to feed all the athletes, it was agreed that the participants would bring their own food with them and that any surplus food after the seventeen day event would to be donated to British hospitals.
There was no money and no spare labour in the country to build any new facilities for these Games, but as Wembley Stadium had survived the war almost it tact, it was judged to be more than adequate for the need so the Stadium was adopted to be the home of these Olympics. No fancy Olympic Village was erected; the male athletes were housed at an army camp in Uxbridge and the women housed at Southlands College in dormitories and they were all bussed in every morning.
Logically enough it was decided that neither Germany nor Japan who were the aggressors of World War II, were to be invited to participate.
The Games ran well but there was one major controversy in the relay race. Though the United States had won the 400-meter relay by a full eighteen feet, a judge ruled that one of the U.S. team members had passed the baton outside of the passing zone. Thus, the U.S. team was disqualified. The medals were handed out, the national anthems were played. However the United States representatives officially protested against the ruling and after a careful review of the films and photographs taken of the baton pass, the judges decided that the pass had actually been completely legal; thus the United States team was the real winner. This started a chain of events which involved the British team having to give up their gold medals and receiving silver medals (which had been given up by the Italian team). The Italian team then received the bronze medals which had been given up by the Hungarian team.
As I said earlier on there had been much debate as to whether or not to hold the 1948 Olympic Games, however as the Games continued it became very obvious that they were turning out to be very popular and after all a great success. Approximately 4,000 athletes participated, representing 59 countries.
Some little known facts about the 1948 Olympics:-
These were the very first Olympic Games to be televised and broadcast to be shown on home television sets. The problem was that very few people in Great Britain actually owned television sets and the strongest signal was only to be found in the London area so reception in the Home Counties and beyond was poor.
During this Olympiad a women’s canoeing event was held for the very first time and it was won by Karen Hoff from Denmark.
After much discussion starting blocks to facilitate the start for athletes in sprint races ( the 100m to 400m) were allowed to be used for the first time.
The Empire Pool was the first covered Olympic pool in history. The Empire Pool (now known as the Wembley Arena) was built for the 1934 Empire Games and originally housed a swimming pool, as reflected by its former name, "The Empire Pool". The staging of the swimming events for these Olympic Games was the last time that the pool was to be used as a swimming venue.
Many countries, including Burma, Ceylon, Lebanon, Puerto Rico, Syria and Venezuela, were represented for the first time. On the other hand, there were no athletes from the USSR.
How things have changed!!!!
Stay in touch,
I've discovered the players who came to perform at Manor Court. They were the Isiris Players , Britains first all female professional theatre company. The company was founded in 1927 and was led by Nancy Hewins. In 2004 Imogen Stubbs performed a fictional version of the companies wartime story at the Gielgud theatre.
News and Views:
Great news for the lovers of the childhood favourite Creamola Foam, Barry has put me onto a company who are now producing it. Creamola Foam (often mis-spelled Cremola Foam) was a drink produced from the 1950s up until 1998 in Scotland. It was very popular in Scotland and Northern Ireland where it was sold and there has been a huge demand from the public to bring it back. The drink was supplied in tins and was made by adding water to the powder causing the mixture to froth up. It was available in orange, raspberry, lemon, and cola flavours. Recently a sweet maker in Dunbartonshire recreated Creamola Foam despite the fact that the original recipe has been forgotten. It has been suggested that an old tin was found in a shop in Orkney during renovation and that he had it analysed to find out the secret ingredient that caused the mixture to fizz up. This has resulted, so far, in six flavours of Kramola Fizz (orange, raspberry, lemon, lime, cherry, and cola) which taste very much like the original. It is only being sold in a dozen shops in Scotland which sell out of it very quickly making it difficult to get hold of. It is, however, also available to buy online from fizzshop.co.uk.
On this day 7th January 1960-1965.
07/01/1960the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific.The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was North by Northwest. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
7/01/1962the number one single was Moon River - Danny Williams and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Avalanche had buried 16 villages in Peru and rescue work was proceeding slowly.
07/01/1963the number one single was The Next Time/Bachelor Boy - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Black & White Minstrel Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
07/01/1964the number one single was I Want to Hold Your hand - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Steptoe & Son (BBC) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Anti-US demonstrations over Panama Canal.
07/01/1965the number one single was I Feel Fine - The Beatles and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.