THE Abbot of Ampleforth, the Rt Rev Basil Hume, aged 52, has been chosen as the next Archbishop of Westminster, head of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain.

He succeeds Cardinal Heenan, who died a short time ago.

Abbot Hulme, a Benedictine monk, was elected Abbott of Ampleforth in 1963 after eight years as a housemaster at Ampleforth College, one of the top Roman Catholic schools in the country.

On Tuesday, Abbott Hume was attending a course at St George’s House, Windsor. When told of this impending appointment, on February 5, he said: “I’m shattered.”

He added: “I think that when my name first appeared in the Press as a possible candidate, I really was rather surprised. I hadn’t cut any figure in public life. I wasn’t known.

I confess I was rather shattered. I recognise that I have an awful lot to learn.”

It had come as a surprise to him that the Vatican had appointed a man who was not a bishop.

Abbot Hume is the son of the late Sir William Hume, who was not a Catholic. His mother is a Catholic from France who still lives in Newcastle. He began his education at Newcastle Preparatory School and at the age of 10 went to Gilling Castle before going to Ampleforth. Abbot Hume, baptised George Hume, took the name Basil on entering the Benedictine order.

• AN argument over whether Jesmond Gardens, the only public park in Malton and Norton, should be maintained by Ryedale District Council, or sold, took place at a meeting of Ryedale District Council policy and resources committee.

Coun Mrs Stella Low (Malton), the only woman on the committee, said that morally the gardens belonged to Norton.

It was Norton rates that had created them and the Ryedale Council would make a mistake if it did not return the gardens to Norton Town Council.

She moved and Coun G Pearson seconded that the land should be leased to Norton Town Council at a peppercorn rent for 50 years.

Eight councillors voted for this and eight against. Coun Folliott Ward, chairman, gave his casting vote in favour.

• A NEW mascot for Pickering Football Club has been made by Mrs Blenkhorn.

It is a great blue pike with a white chest wearing a tiny blue and white supporters’ beret. It almost dwarfs the team captain.

A rose graces its tail and a set of white teeth give it a decided resemblance to Jaws.

From the Malton Gazette & Herald, Thursday, February 19, 1976