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Remember When: Strikes, stand-pipes, maggots and the very first Red Nose Day

Welcome to Remember When. This week Bradley Collings delves into the Advertiser archives to see what was making headlines, 30, 35, 40 and 50 years ago.

Bradley Collings

Bradley Collings

Remember When: Strikes, stand-pipes, maggots and the very first Red Nose Day

Matthew Brassington, Wendy Bignold, Lorna Balls, Carolyn Chapman, Joanne Wilson, Sally Cooper, Benedict Prynn and Sarah Collins of Furze Platt School’s Amnesty International Group in 1983.

1968: Mark Pryme’s box of maggots missed out on a day at his primary school’s pet show and ended up on the end of his fishing hook instead.

Mark, seven, turned up to St Luke’s Primary School in Maidenhead a week too early for the pet show.

He discovered he was also a year too young to enter, as the show was exclusive to junior children.

The unlucky youngster broke his collarbone playing judo, but turned to fishing after giving up martial arts.


1978: Knowl Hill’s 140ft chimney at the Star Works was reduced to rubble by two steeplejacks.

Wally Candy and Martin Smith chipped away at FH Warners’ monument at the former clay works and scaled the heights, despite both having previously fallen from such a height at work.

Martin said: “To us it is the same standing on a brick four inches off the ground or a hundred feet off the ground.

“You just get used to it, like any job.”


1983: Members of Furze Platt Comprehensive's Amnesty International group, who had written letters calling for the release of a political prisoner in South Korea, found out she had been freed (main picture).

Cho Ki-Suk was released after being arrested in June 1981 for distributing anti-government leaflets and inciting students to demonstrate.

The group, mainly sixth-formers but also fourth and fifth-formers, were fighting for Cho Ki-Suk’s right to exercise freedom of speech.

Over 100 letters to various ministers were individually written and some were sent to the South Korean Embassy and the country’s Prime Minister.


1983: A recycling revolution got underway in Bray, with a bottle bank opening in the village car park after a six-month trial.

Containers for clear, green and brown glass were set up to help save the environment, with profits shared between nine local authorities.

Bray Parish Council did face some opposition from the public initially, but the scheme aimed to deploy cranes to empty the skips regularly, to avoid them overflowing with rubbish.


1983: More than 200 households had their water supplies cut during a three-week strike by water and sewage workers.

Courthouse Road in Maidenhead, Holyport, Waltham St Lawrence, Fifield and Oakley Green were all affected, with some families having to last two weeks without a mains supply.

Stand-pipes were set up for people to collect water from, though many people needed to cross a main road or walk up a muddy grass verge to access it.

Baths, showers, washing up and drinking water became a long-drawn out task for families, although doctors and dentists were unaffected by the strikes.


1988: The first Comic Relief Day saw children at Cookham Dean School have fun while raising funds for charity.

Rev John Copping borrowed headmaster David Hall’s wacky spectacles and added a hat and red nose, as he gave the pupils a giggle on his visit to Classes 1 and 2.

Puzzle pursuits, colouring and red-nose wearing were amongst the pupils’ sponsored activities, which helped raise an estimated £700.

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