While England’s World Cup heroics featured little in the pages of the Buxton Advertiser & Herald in 1966, there was no shortage of local sporting stories to make the headlines.
It was a challenging year for Buxton Football Club, starting with the departure of player/manager Norman Curtis in mid-January after a four-year spell in charge.
His replacement Stuart Diamond guided the Bucks to 14th place in the Cheshire League and the final of the Derbyshire Senior Club, where they were beaten 2-1 by Heanor Town.
Despite declaring at the club’s AGM that “it’s time we were back on top”, Diamond’s men failed to sparkle, making their worst start to a league season for 12 years.
A rare highlight was a 2-0 win over league leaders Wigan Athletic at the Silverlands, ending the visitors’ remarkable 52-game unbeaten run.
A 76-year club record was smashed at Buxton Cricket Club as Alan Burgess and Jack Youren hit an unbeaten opening partnership of 216 during a league fixture.
Chapel-en-le-Frith were pipped to the Derbyshire & Cheshire League title by two points by Bredbury, while the annual county cricket fixture at The Park saw Derbyshire thump Warwickshire by eight wickets.
Out of 48 riders listed to compete in the Tour of the Peak cycle road race, only 12 completed the 84-mile course, battling strong winds, heavy rain and strenuous stretches of Mam Tor and the Snake Pass.
Buxton continued to live up to its reputation as the entertainment capital of the Peak. The likes of The Who, The Hollies, Manfred Man and the Small Faces all graced the stage at the Pavilion Gardens Ballroom, while the Opera House had a licence to thrill with its screenings of James Bond blockbusters such as Dr No and Thunderball.
However, the year was to end with uncertainty over the future of the Gardens complex. Hit by financial problems, a special committee was formed to discuss how to slash running costs. One suggestion was to move the market into the building!
That same year, decisions were taken to move Buxton’s library into the Thermal Baths, and remove the veranda fronting the building due to it being deemed unsafe.
And the town’s new Cavendish Hospital was completed - seven months ahead of schedule.
For the first time in 1966, the High Peak division had a Labour Member of Parliament, with Peter Jackson claiming a narrow majority of 814 over Conservative Alan Walder.
Cllr Noel Ratcliffe was appointed Mayor of Buxton for the municipal borough’s 50th anniversary year.