IT was a 'hoodlum's playtime' at a school in Bury which was struck by vandals who left behind a trail of litter and debris in their wake.

On December 4, 1965, the Bury Times reported that St Thomas' Junior School was announced as the fifth in the town that had been broken into by intruders who gained access into the building by forcing open a rear door before entering the headmaster's room.

The yobs threw red and blue ink on the walls, cupboards and floors, scattered books, pencils and erasers on the floor, ripped the back off a piano and damaged two shields.

They also stole all the keys to the school during the incident, on Tuesday, November 30, 1965, and although the caretaker had most duplicates, one classroom had to be forced open for the children to get in.

Two bunches of keys were later recovered in Rochdale Road but up to the time of print, a number of teachers' desks and classroom cupboards were still locked.

Headmaster Mr Pickles said at the time: "So far we have only broken open one drawer and one door. Quite a lot more are still locked but we shall leave them over the weekend in case any more keys are found."

St Chad's Junior School in Fishpoos and St Gabriel's RC Secondary Modern School were both targeted by vandals who damaged school books, desks, tables and cupboards.

Bury police investigated the incident, saying at the time: "There is nothing to link these together at present."

Readers were also treated to a photo of Bury's newest residential care home Killelea House, in Brandlesholme Road, which was almost completed and ready to take in its first residents early in the New Year.

The 95,000 home — named after former Bury Mayor James Killelea, was set to house 54 people in single room accommodation.

On a slightly more festive note for the time of year, readers of the newspaper on December 4, 1965 had a rather bizarre offer in the advert section from household goods retailer Vandors.

It offered Bury readers – for the second year running – a free turkey with every washing machine, refrigerator or television purchased from the company until December 22 of the same year.

The turkeys were 'delivered on customers' request' — but it is unclear in the advert as to whether the bird would come live or ready to put in the oven.