THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: From the News Letter of October 1955

Family shocked as US bomber part falls into house

Friday, 16th October 2020, 6:00 am
Alexei Kosygin with US President Lyndon B Johnson at the 1967 Glassboro Summit Conference
Alexei Kosygin with US President Lyndon B Johnson at the 1967 Glassboro Summit Conference

The News Letter this week in 1955 reported that a small weight, believed to be from the trailing aerial of an American Air Force bomber, had fallen on a house in Belfast on the night of Monday, October 10, 1955; after cutting a four square-inch hole the roof, it went through a ceiling, the floor of bedroom, the ceiling of the room below, a padded dining room chair, and the ground floor, finally burying itself in the foundations.

The house at 87 Saint Leonard’s Street, Newtownards Road, was occupied by Mr and Mrs Robert Long and their two children, none of whom was injured.

Mr and Mrs Long were in one room, their children being asleep upstairs.

Victoria Park foreman John Nicholl keeping an eye on boaters taking to the water in the park in July 1980. Picture: News Letter archives

When Mr Long heard the noise of the weight crashing through the roof, and saw the damage it had caused to the unoccupied room, he thought it was an explosive of some sort and the family left the house for time.

Soviets inspect Ulster-made machinery

The possibility of Russia buying Ulster-made textile machinery to help the development of its own textile trade was envisaged by Mr A Kosygin, Deputy Premier of the Soviet Union and leader of a team of industrial experts who toured the United Kingdom before leaving Belfast this week in 1955.

Mr Kosygin, who had spent two days inspecting light industries in the city, had just visited the textile machinery factory of Messrs James Mackle and Sons.

Pictured during the Twelfth in July 2002 are Eve Johnston, George Williamson, Elizabeth Johnston, Andrew Williamson and Elizabeth Williamson. Picture: John Rush/News Letterarchives

Questioned afterwards on the possibilities of an expanded trade in textiles between the two countries, he replied: “I do not deal with foreign trade specifically, but as to textile machinery, what I have seen today will be considered when we discuss plans for the expansion and development of our own textile industry.”

Later, at a luncheon given in his honour by Sir Graham Larmor, managing director of the Ulster Weaving Company, Mr Kosygin said: “We have looked through the factory of Messrs Mackle – or rather, the group of factories – and we have been able to see for ourselves that the machinery the firm produces is certainly advanced machinery.”