RETRO: How South Yorkshire celebrated staying in Europe in 1975

Fashions were somewhat different back at the polling stations in 1975.
Fashions were somewhat different back at the polling stations in 1975.

YES, YES, YES - KEEP BRITAIN IN EUROPE!

That was the overjoyed exclamation from the media more than 40 years ago as South Yorkshire celebrated with a resounding "yes" vote to stay in what was then the European Economic Community back in the summer of 1975.

How The Star reported the 1975 referendum.

How The Star reported the 1975 referendum.

Faced with the same vote as yesterday's EU Referendum, the outcome couldn't have been more different.

In the South Yorkshire polling area, 377,916 voted yes (63%) to staying in with 217,792 (37%) voting no - a 160,124 majority 41 years ago.

Yesterday, voters delivered the opposite verdict with Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster all delivering a resounding leave vote.

"It's Yes All The Way!" screamed The Star front page of June 5, 1975, "All regions say the same - let's stay in," it continued.

Pupils and staff at one South Yorkshire school had their own forecast of the referendum - the result wasn't particularly accurate.

Pupils and staff at one South Yorkshire school had their own forecast of the referendum - the result wasn't particularly accurate.

The area saw a 62% turnout with the count taking place at Doncaster Racecourse.

The Star reported how there was a 40 minute delay to the count getting under way with police having to "burgle" one ballot box to retrieve the voting slips after the key was lost.

The county was one of the last places in the UK to declare a result and the reporter tasked with covering the event wrote: "It may have been a racing setting but there was no haste to be 'first past the post' during the previous six hours.

"Accuracy was emphasised by the 15 teams of 10 tellers who efficiently, if monotonously, did their job, looked over by seven supervisors and the eagle eyes of a number of South Yorkshire MPs who looked in during the count. Not many stayed until it was all over."

The Star's front page of June 6, 1975.

The Star's front page of June 6, 1975.

Among those who had campaigned for a leave vote back in 1975 were Richard Caborn, later MP for Sheffield Central, who was leader of the Get Britain Out movement in the city.

He said: "The Prime Minister (Harold Wilson) in recommending a yes vote went against the wishes of the majority of the Labour Party."

Miners' leader and Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner had also voted against staying in, with Scargill blaming "a biased Press" for the way the vote went.

However, the mass media coverage that has being a trademark of the 2016 campaign wasn't replicated back then.

By Saturday June 7, two days after the vote, The Star's coverage of the referendum had been relegated to the bottom of the front page, with news that Candid Camera star Jonathan Routh was to marry a Sheffield girl taking more prominence.