Good point at the Hawthorns
By Tony Scholes
Updated Saturday, 23rd January 2010
After the home win against Chelsea a week earlier, the Burnley team of fifty years ago claimed a valuable point from a 0-0 draw against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
There was some good news in town from Barden Mill. Nearly twenty firms in the town were in the process of winding down their operations under the Government's compensation scheme. Over 700 weavers had already lost their jobs and there was an expectation that hundreds more would follow within weeks.
Although in no way compensating for those job losses, the Barden Mill Company were expanding their operation and it was all thanks to a high degree of specialisation in fabrics for foundation garments, the bed manufacturing trade and the slipper making trade.
Double shift work was underway and a short term increase in employees of about thirty with a further forty jobs long term.
That was good news, and there was further good news with a case of out with the old and in with the new at Padiham Fire Station. Going out was a 21-year-old fire engine to be replaced by a brand new streamlined appliance with the most up to date pump escape in the county. It was capable of doing the job twice as fast and twice as efficiently as the old engine as well as having a 50ft aluminium extension ladder (the previous engine's ladder was made of wood) and a capacity for four hoses.
The new engine would also allow firemen to don their gear inside the cab as they travelled. They soon got the chance to try it out when an emergency call came in from Slade Lane. Out they went in a blizzard through drifts and ice on dangerous roads, but it proved to be a false alarm and they weren't able to find a fire.
Some months ago we reported that Jean Reddy the local but world renowned opera singer was giving it all up to join a convent as a nun. She'd promised to do a farewell concert before getting into the habit and she did just that.
Over 800 turned up at the Palace Theatre, Nelson to hear Jean before she bade her final farewell and left to enter a convent of an enclosed order in Hereford.
In court one poor 12-year-old boy was up for breaking into a shop and stealing £1 3s 8d and then taking a mantel clock from the spiritualist church in Hall Street. His dad said he' been unfairly suspected of stealing for so long that he'd gone and done it.
However, probation officer Miss Audrey Mills said: "I got a straight forward story from the boy that he had very little money, mainly because his father was out of work, and that he committed the offence just to get some money.
"He has no regular spending money and in the past his father has not taken a lot of interest in the boy. I think he could do more for the boy and since this offence I think his attitude has changed."
Mr Tom Cook (presiding) gave him a conditional discharge under the supervision of a probation officer during payment of 15s costs (at 2s 6d per week). He told the boy: "See that you don't do anything like this again or you will be in serious trouble."
An 18-year-old found his fiancée had been out with his best mate (the reports went no further than going out). He wasn't best pleased so smashed a pint glass over his head twice and the victim needed hospital treatment for lacerations that required stitches.
I suppose the moral of the story is don't go out with your mate's fiancée if you don't want to end up in stitches. The aggressor was fined £2.
Down in the town centre a man head butted a pub waiter for no apparent reason. It brought a lump on the waiter's head and the head butter went to court where he was fined £20 at £ per week and was given three months imprisonment if he defaulted with the payments.
Norman Cobb, a 65-year-old from Cheetham Hill in Manchester, appeared in the Burnley courts but pleaded not guilty to taking a wallet out of another man's back pocket as the crowds left Turf Moor after the cup replay against Lincoln.
Despite witnesses seeing the event Mr Cobb continued to plead his innocence but got nowhere and the magistrates found the case proved. Mr Cobb had a long list of similar offences read out dating back to 1934. Cobb was committed to custody for sentence at the next Burnley Quarter Sessions.
There was a bitter blow for Lowerhouse Cricket Club who learned that 1960 professional Des Hoare, the Western Australian fast bowler, was not coming. Not only that he didn't bother to tell them, but passed a message on to former Burnley pro Wally Langdon who had recommended him.
Mr Langdon said he was really upset by it and Mr Leslie Eastwood was quick to absolve Mr Langdon of any blame. Indeed he said the Lowerhouse club were grateful to him for letting them know. "No wonder he is upset," said Mr Eastwood.
They were very disappointed with Hoare but immediately set about the search for a new professional for the season starting in April.
The Burnley Express, ahead of the game, reported that Jimmy McIlroy was still out injured and that Brian Pilkington hadn't recovered following the Chelsea game. That meant a first appearance of the season for 19-year-old Gordon Harris.
They stressed the importance of Burnley winning the game but in the end we came home from West Bromwich with a point from a 0-0 draw.
The general accepted and inspired rule for winning a league championship is 'two points at home, one away'. Of course it does not work out like this because of the keenness of the competition, but everyone left the Hawthorns highly satisfied with a point, except perhaps the supporters of West Bromwich Albion.
From the Burnley point of view the result was creditable. For once the defence took the brunt of the battle and came through with honours. The forwards disappointed. There was a lack of striking power in attack, and they enjoyed only one period of superiority, this being in the last twenty minutes of the first half.
Both McIlroy and Pilkington were missed sorely against a team steeped in experience, some of whom were playing in league football when members of the Burnley side were in short pants and junior school.
Indeed that shrewd sage of football tactics and administer of remedial magic Ray Bennion remarked to me that it must have been the youngest Burnley side to take the field in claret and blue. Probably he was correct.
Overall it was a grim struggle and any side that can come away from the Hawthorns with a point can be commended.
One Burnley player had an enjoyable day as he celebrated his 21st birthday. Mr Bob Lord (chairman) and Mr Reg Cook (vice-chairman) had planned a surprise for Jimmy Robson on the return journey. A birthday cake with 21 candles was carried in and duly placed before the embarrassed player while the team sang tribute to his majority.
The teams were;
West Bromwich Albion: Jock Wallace, Don Howe, Stuart Williams, Charles Drury, Joe Kennedy, Bobby Robson, Alec Jackson, David Burnside, Ronnie Allen, Derek Kevan, Derek Hogg.
Burnley: Adam Blacklaw, John Angus, Alex Elder, Bobby Seith, Brian Miller, Jimmy Adamson, John Connelly, Ian Lawson, Ray Pointer, Jimmy Robson, Gordon Harris.
Referee: Mr J. W. Hunt (Portsmouth).
Attendance: 23, 400.
Burnley remained in second place in the league but Tottenham's lead was now four points after they beat Manchester United. Wolves were just a point behind us with Sheffield Wednesday and Preston a further two points behind.
Birmingham and Luton were still in the bottom three and there was now a three point gap before the clubs above them.
Click HERE to see the League Table
First Division Results 23rd January 1960
Birmingham City 2 Preston North End 1
Blackburn Rovers 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
Blackpool 0 Sheffield Wednesday 2
Chelsea 1 Leeds United 3
Everton 6 Nottingham Forest 1
Luton Town 4 Fulham 1
Manchester City 1 Arsenal 2
Newcastle United 0 Leicester City 2
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 1
West Bromwich Albion 0 Burnley 0
West Ham United 1 Bolton Wanderers 2