JOIN the Bury Times as we travel back 50 years to the headlines on April 26, 1969, when school holidays, a gas works fire and an Easter fly-tipping plague were the talk of the town. BRAD MARSHALL takes a look back in the archives...

NEW moves are to be made to alter Bury's July "Wakes" school holiday fortnight.

At present Bury schools close for the Wakes holiday, reopen for two weeks, and then close again for the whole of August.

Many people, including educationists, teachers and parents feel strongly that the two week return to school is a waste of time and should be scrapped in favour of a continuous holiday.

But so far there has been no agreement over how this should be done.

The latest impetus for change comes from the Education Committee who suggest that the summer fortnight, which currently starts on the first Saturday in July, should be switched to the third Saturday ­— giving schools an unbroken holiday.

Representatives from industry, commerce and trade unions have been invited to a meeting at the Town Hall to speak with neighbouring local authorities about the impact of the present holiday arrangement.

The committee has put off making a decision over local school holiday arrangements from 1970 until talks have taken place.

While the local authority can alter school holidays, it has no jurisdiction over the town's holiday dates which are fixed by agreement within the various industries.

To fit in with family holiday arrangements however, the schools always close during the town's holiday fortnight.

MEN dismantling a gas holder scrambled clear when thick black smoke gushed from the huge, disused container, just yards from two other gas filled holders.

Just after 8.30am on Thursday morning, Mr Michael Mills was cutting away sections of the holder's steel cover with an oxyacetylene torch when smoke billowed up from the 90 feet deep container.

Built in 1865, the holder is located at Bury Gas Works in Elton and has a capacity of 559,000 cubit feet.

Fortunately there was more smoke than fire and although a vast pall of smoke rose high above the district, the worst was over in 15 minutes.

Bury fire brigade rushed to the scene and firemen pumped thousands of gallons of water into the holder while others hosed the remaining half of the cover.

A spokesman for the brigade said sparks falling onto the old tar deposits in the holder had caused the fire.

A spokesman for the North Western Gas Board added that there was no danger and the fire was soon under control, and production of gas was not affected.

WITH a shrug of his shoulders a quick check on his footwear and clothing, and a freelance photographer, Mr David H W Howe will be off on the first leg of the "Daily Mail" Transatlantic Air Race.

While the prize for the fastest time can be left for challengers like Stirling Moss, using motorbikes and speedboats, Mr Howe from Unsworth will be travelling the age-old way ­— on foot.

His idea is to go at a snails pace and pick up the £5,000 prize for the most meritorious loser, all for charity.

He will take the first steps of his journey at 9am on May 5 from the GPO tower in London to the Empire State Building in New York.

There his race will finish on the 86th floor after he has walked up every flight of stairs, and he predicts the feat will be over by Tuesday night.

Mr Howe is now searching for a sponsor and will donate any prize money to a charity of their choice.

AFTER a DIY-packed Easter Holiday, Tottington has become plagued by indiscriminate fly-tipping.

The tippers are said to have come from as far away as Whitefield and have dumped heaps of household rubbish, including tables, chairs, mattresses and beds.

Councillors and residents have been left outraged by the incidents and are calling on people to make use of the council's waste disposal services and tips or risk a £100 fine.