Looking back at the local athletes who went for Gold in 1948 Olympics
Olympic fever is sweeping Britain as the country – and our local athletes – prepare for London 2012.
However, it is not the first time local competitors have joined the battle for gold in their home country, as Chief Reporter Sarah Carey discovered when she looked back to the 1948 Olympics.
IT MAY have been 64 years since Olympic fever gripped the nation, but one thing hasn't changed – then, as now, our reporters were bringing all the latest news back to the residents of North East Lincolnshire.
The front page of the then Grimsby Evening Telegraph, of Thursday, July 29, 1948, chronicled how more than 70,000 people – dressed in shirts and summer dresses – attended the opening ceremony at Wembley.
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Among them were Queen Mary, Princess Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince Bernhard, the Shah of Iran and the Secretary General of the United Nations Trygve Lie.
Many of the crowd had stayed up all night to see some of the 72 runners and watch the Olympic Torch make the final stage of its 2,000 mile journey from the Greek village of Olympia.
And, as the last notes of the trumpeted fanfare faded, thoughts turned to cheering on our British Olympic hopefuls, including a number of athletes with connections to North East Lincolnshire.
As it turned out, the biggest success for the area came from a Meggie-by-marriage.
US-born Major George Blissland Moore, of St Louis, Missouri, celebrated taking the silver medal in the modern pentathlon by heading over to visit his in-laws in Lindsey Road, Cleethorpes.
The 28-year-old had married his wife Dorothy (nee Green) at Old Clee Church in 1945 and, relaxing in an armchair and playing with their four-month -old daughter Kim, he said he was looking forward to "no more strenuous training."
He said: "I want to be around the house more and live a normal life."
The Major, who taught US Army cadets literature, also shared his top tips for keeping fit:
"Eat lots of beef steaks and drink eight pints of milk a day."
"I only ever smoked a little, but I gave it up altogether. In the United States we believe that tobacco is bad for strenuous sports".
"Drinking doesn't mix with strenuous sports. I drank only on the odd occasions when it was okay to relax."
There were also plenty of home-grown athletes hoping to bring home medals.
In 1939, a prophecy was made that Cleethorpes-born 5,000 metre runner Jack Broughton would become one of Britain's top-line runners.
However, on departing for Wembley, the 27-year-old ex-Grimsby Harrier confided that he did not believe his chances would be very good, which unfortunately proved to be the case – as he came in eighth.
A report in the Telegraph on Tuesday, August 3, said: "He did his best and failed, yet his appearance at Wembley is itself a singularly high honour."
The third local hope came in the form of British weightlifting champion Malvern Espeut, who married Paula Parker, the principal of the Venus Academy of Physical Culture, Grimsby.
However, a report printed ahead of the games revealed the athlete had been "claimed by Jamaica", where he had been born.
It said: "Until he reported in London last week, he lived and trained in Grimsby.
"He is reported to be the holder of three British records and has represented Great Britain on the continent and in America, where he gained third place in the World Games in Philadelphia last year."
In the end, Espeut failed to make the top three – ranking ninth overall.
But it wasn't just athletes who brought the Olympic fever to North East Lincolnshire.
Jill Drewry – the 17-year-old daughter of Grimsby Town director, Councillor Arthur Drewry – made the draw for the second round of the Olympic soccer tournament.
She told the Telegraph: "I was very excited about this altogether novel experience.
"It was a thrilling moment and I was not nervous – only very excited."
Share your memories:
Do you remember the 1948 Olympics? Let us know by calling 01472 372236 or e-mail email@example.com
Keep checking your Grimsby Telegraph every day this week for more on Local Newspaper Week.