Our gift to the world
Stilton cheese, Blu-Tack, Baz's Bonce Blower (ABV 12 per cent) and DNA fingerprinting – there's lots of inventions which Leicestershire can be proud of. Traffic wardens, however, may not be top of everybody's list of Best Ever Things To Come Out of Leicester.
But yes, we're responsible. At least, former chief constable Sir Robert Mark was.
In the 1960s, he came up with the idea of employing traffic wardens to dish out fines, leaving his officers to get on with the business of catching criminals.
They first went on patrol in March 1961, marching smartly out of the City Police headquarters, in Charles Street.
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At first, they went on patrol with police officers and, from April 5, went out on their own.
Parking fines were £2 each (£34 in today's money).
By 1978, there were plans to increase the number of wardens in Leicester to 80.
Look to the left and you'll see some of them, posing for the Chronicle camera – with some already practising their Stern Face. Particularly the lady fourth from the left, who appears to be about to write someone a ticket.
Wardens were told to "blitz" certain parts of the city for four-hour stretches to catch motorists trying to park but not pay.
The black and yellow caps, black ties and fluorescent jackets have now been hung up for good and a new breed of council parking attendants was launched in January, 2007. In the last financial year, traffic wardens in Leicester issued 42,274 penalties, for parking offences both on city streets and in car parks.
Drivers handed over a total of £2.7 million in fines over the same period. Also in the past year, 6,474 tickets were challenged, and 1,643 were cancelled.
In Leicestershire, however, the service is running at a loss.
From April, 2011, to the end of March this year, it cost County Hall nearly £1.1 million to issue and process 25,202 penalties.
The fines generated £808,000 and, with £84,000 collected in parking permits, it meant the operation ran at a loss of more than £200,000.
Incidentally, traffic wardens are not the only parking-related first for the city of Leicester.
In 1962, Britain's first multi-storey car park was also claimed by the city – at Lee Circle.
2Woo hoo! Daisy Bale from Leicester is celebrating after scooping £18,750 on the pools. That's more than £83,000 today.
And what's she up to? Buying a house? The average property price in 1978 was £13,820, so the money would have bought a mansion. No. She's off to Blackpool to blow it on a week of high living in the bright lights of Lancashire.
Good for you, Daisy. Today's Lottery winners have considerably bigger dreams – and bigger budgets. This week, a survey carried out to mark 18 years since the Lottery asked the 3,000 millionaires what they spent their money on. Hot tubs were bought by a third of them, 29 per cent went for a walk-in wardrobe and 30 per cent hired a cleaner. Some 59 per cent binned off the day job – and who can blame them? – while 10 per cent went straight out and bought a caravan. How very rock 'n' roll.
Playing the pools has fallen since the Lottery was brought in.
Custom & Excise figures show taxes levied on the pools slumped from £342 million in the year the Lottery was launched to £69.8 million in the 1998-99 tax year. In 2010, a survey of 35,000 people for the Gaming Commission found 59 per cent played the Lottery but four per cent bet on the football.
3When it comes to odd sex symbols, Peter Sellers has to be one of the unlikeliest. Married to Britt Ekland, he also claimed an affair with Sophia Loren and Princess Margaret.
He was the first male centrefold in Playboy in 1964, and one of the biggest film stars in the world in the Sixties. Revenge of the Pink Panther, being serialised here in the Chronicle, was his swansong as Inspector Clouseau.
Pink Panther films were Elvis' favourite and he would always have them shown on the Presley touring plane. But Sellers and Orson Welles fell out while filming Casino Royale. "He's not a very bright man," Orson told reporters.
4The Chronicle took a look at a new exhibition about Victorian childhood in this 1978 edition. Among the toys featured was a whip and top, which, oddly, is featured in the Christmas toy collection being brought in by Dominoes, in Leicester High Street, for a festive 2012.