50 Years Ago – 3 February 1971

3 February 1971

Geoffrey Rippon (in main image above), the Government’s chief negotiator to join the European Economic Community, rejected suggestions that had been made that the UK wouldn’t be given full voting rights without paying a large initial financial contribution.

Aston University students raided administrative offices and took over the phone systems, blocking all incoming and outgoing calls. Thirty students were involved in the action and they also conducted a sit-in at other offices in the university.

A number of car part manufacturers in the Midlands warned that they might suffer financial trouble if the all-out strike at Ford continued. Smethwick Drop Forgings, one of the largest suppliers to Ford, said “they are our biggest customer and this is a serious blow. We are not very happy about it at all because Ford represents a big slice of our work”.