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Malta’s weekend bus services are becoming so overcrowded that the Government has issued a warning to passengers not to make unnecessary journeys. Since the weekday service between 1130am and 2pm was suspended due to fuel shortages Saturday services have become extremely busy. Describing certain routes as “severely overcrowded”, the Government notice warns against non-essential travel, saying that it “cannot guarantee there will be sufficient buses on Saturdays to carry all passengers.”
An enterprising horse-owner, realising that people still have travel from one place to another whatever the restrictions, has started his own ‘omnibus service’ – a coach drawn by two horses – offering transport between Castile Place, Valletta, and Mannarino Road, Birkirkara. The service operates hourly from each terminus between 9.15 am and 4.15 pm. Traditional Karozzin are also appearing on the roads again but cab drivers are said to be demanding very high fares for their trips. (1)
TROOPS WARNED AGAINST USING DAMAGED FRUIT & VEG
A notice has been issued to troops in Malta warning against the use or consumption of damaged fresh produce. According to the advice, no bruised or over-ripe fruit should be used and all fruit and vegetables should as far as possible be cooked. Uncooked vegetables and fruit such as tomatoes, lettuce, grapes etc. should be disinfected by standing in a good red solution of potassium permanganate for one hour, or by plunging into water for 15 seconds. The use of boiling water may spoil the appearance of the fruit or vegetable but does not alter the flavour. It is thought the safeguards could help to reduce incidents of stomach upsets among troops serving in Malta.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 7 JULY TO DAWN 8 JULY 1941
Weather Sunny and hot.
2321-0023 hrs Air raid alert for five enemy BR 20 bombers which approach the Island singly from the north east and drop 100kg and 250kg high explosive bombs in various locations. One bomber flies past the Island and turns to approach from the south west, crossing the coast near Zurrieq to drop four bombs on the Hal Far dispersal area; no serious damage is caused. Bombs are also dropped near Naxxar in the sea off San Pietru, to the north of Sliema and off St Paul’s Bay. Heavy anti-aircraft guns fire a barrage at 18000 feet; no claims. Fighters are not scrambled due to the raider’s unusual direction of approach.
2354-0027 hrs Air raid alert for a single bomber which approaches from the south west, crosses the coast and drops five bombs on Hal Far. No fighters are scrambled. Searchlights illuminate the raider briefly and anti-aircraft guns engage; no claims.
Civilian casualties Paola Carmela Attard, age 22; Charles Borg, age 55; Eliza Borg, age 28, Anthony Cappello; Joseph Cappello; Salvatore Cappello; Publio Cini, age 52; Anthony Coleiro, age 30; Saviour Galea, age 42; Mary Grima, age 3; Saviour Tanti, age 70; Victor Tanti, age 2; Joseph Zerafa, age 33; Paul Zerafa, age 22; Mary Zerafa, age 15.
OPERATIONS REPORTS MONDAY 7 JULY 1941
AIR HQ Arrivals 6 Wellington. Departures 1 Catalina. 69 Squadron Marylands reconnaissance Palermo, Taranto, Augusta and Syracuse, and special patrols. One Maryland to Middle East escorting Hurricanes. 148 Squadron 6 Wellingtons night bombing raids on railway goods yards at Tripoli starting several fires.
HAL FAR One Fulmar on protective patrol over Catania; no engagement.
1st Bn CHESHIRE REGIMENT All ranks still confined to barracks under ‘Exercise Asia’.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal Section busy on unexploded bombs. Bomb Disposal UXB reported 5; dealt with 3 (1 x 15kg HE, 2 x 250lb HE).
(1) When Malta Stood Alone, Joseph Micallef, Interprint Malta 1981
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