Lancashire nostalgia in 1970: Entering Europe, Chingle Hall and chain letters

MP Michael Jopling gives his thoughts on Britain joining the Common Market
MP Michael Jopling gives his thoughts on Britain joining the Common Market
Share this article

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1970:

Why I’m backing the Market bid - MP

The biggest obstacle to Britain entering the Common Market is the effect membership will have on our balance of payments. It could be too big a price to pay, said Westmorland MP Mr Michael Jopling.

Although forecasting dearer food prices, Mr Jopling said he favoured entry into Europe. He was speaking at a half-day conference organised by Southport Conservatives.

“We do not know how much the drain will be on our balance of payments,” he added. “It could be between £100m and £1.100m. Until we have negotiated to get the best bargain it is impossible to say whether or not we should join.

“Everything is open to negotiation and I think other countries want us in, but realise we can be asked to pay an impossible price.

“Going into Europe would be the best thing for Britain in an age of big nations and power policy and the development of the new world.”

The Government had estimated in a White Paper that prices in shops would rise by 18 to 26 per cent, which meant the cost of living would rise by four and a half to six and a half per cent.

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1970 here

Haunted house gives up secrets

Chingle Hall, one of Lancashire’s most famous haunted houses, has been reluctant over the years to give up all its secrets. But gradually the 13th century house at Goosnargh, near Preston, has revealed many of its ancient mysteries - reminders of a time when Lancashire was a county of fear and religious persecutions.

The present owner Mrs Margaret Howarth and her sister Miss Ann Strickland have always been fascinated with the Hall’s past. And have been delighted with the discoveries made there.

The white cruciform hall, guarded by a moat and set well back from the road, is riddled with the secret hiding places of the past - designed to hide people as well as inanimate treasures.

Priest holes abound at Chingle. And during recent alterations another has been found - the fourth.

Chain letter craze promising great riches hits the Fylde

A “get-rich quick” fever is sweeping Kirkham and the Fylde.

Enticed by claims that some people are making hundreds of pounds almost overnight, people from all walks of life are being gripped by a chain letter craze.

But people are very reluctant to talk about their money-making attempts, mostly because they believe it could bring an end to the system and jeopardise their chances of reaping the profits.

The chain letter craze appears to have started in the Kirkham area. One local story says that it started after someone brought a letter from Cheshire to Kirkham.

For a total investment of £4 the letters promise a potential reward of £2,000. This is done by paying £2 for a letter which contains a number of instructions and a list of eleven names and addresses.

These letters are headed with the eye-catching words: “Two thousand pound profit.”

The letter concludes “When your name reaches the top of the list you will have received £2,000. Sell your letter within 24 hours and that way no one will have to wait more than two weeks for his potential £2,000.”

The letter warns that letters should not be sent by post as this would be illegal.

The craze has caused a shortage of £1 postal orders.