JOIN the Bury Times as we travel back 50 years to the headlines on April 12, 1969, when new car parks, an urgent need for midwives and a mystery illness were the talk of the town. BRAD MARSHALL takes a look back in the archives...

WORK is progressing on the two big town centre car parks which are part of Bury's redevelopment scheme.

The first site on Angouleme Way is currently being prepared for the park on the south side of the road which when completed will accommodate 200 vehicles.

The other ­— and larger ­— car park is to be a two-tier structure, and is being built on the other side of the town centre development, on land bounded by Cross Street and Clerke Street.

If needed, it will be possible to add a further two decks at a later date.

Both car parks are due to come into use later this year and together will provide facilities for 600 vehicles.

AN ENTIRE ward at Fairfield General Hospital cannot be used for antenatal patients because of a lack of midwives.

Unless staff can be found this state of affairs will continue despite the tremendous pressure of maternity cases who could well take advantage of the facilities.

Ward 18 was opened for antenatal patients in November and has 22 beds.

But because of staff transfers and others leaving it lies almost dormant, except for patients who are "sleeping out" from other wards.

To reopen the ward hospital bosses say they desperately need two or three midwives on a 24-hour basis, plus around five other staff.

The hospital has had little success in recruiting staff and currently has no midwife superintendent to train cadets in theory.

If this continues bosses say they may have to screen patients to keep numbers down.

ACROSS town at Bury General Hospital child admissions have been restricted, and the children's ward isolated following the outbreak of a mystery infection affecting five children.

A hospital spokesman said: "There is some infection that we cannot tie down.

"It has the symptoms of gastroenteritis and dysentery, but it's not responding to treatment. We are trying to restrict child admissions."

Children at Booth Hall Children's Hospital in Blackley have also been afflicted with a similar infection, and the two hospitals are liaising closely the spokesman added.

GRASS fires, which have been more numerous this April than in years past, have been brought to a halt as rain reached Bury on Thursday night.

Up to Thursday Bury Fire Brigade had received 67 calls to grass fires this month.

The total number of calls covering all types of fires in April last year was 185.