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Remember When: Magic dust gives a boost to giant broccoli

Welcome to Remember When, our weekly delve into the Advertiser archives to see what was making headline, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years ago this week

Staff reporter

Staff reporter

Remember When: Magic dust gives a boost to giant broccoli

These All Saints pupils were all on board for cruising on the SS Navasa for their school trip 45 years ago

1978: Magician Don Ricardo, better known as ‘Don the Magic Bunny Man’, was claiming a vegetable in his garden was the biggest in Berkshire.

The blue sprouting broccoli measured 3ft 6ins across and showed no signs of stopping growing.

He was going to feed it all to his rabbits, which were kept busy entertaining children, but as it was so big instead presented it to Advertiser staff – with a warning.

He advised he’d sprinkled it daily with magic ‘woofle dust’ and was unsure what effect this would have on reporters...


1978: Four members of the 2nd Maidenhead Boys Brigade were all smiles after being presented with the highest prize possible in the organisation’s junior section – the gold award.

Gary Martin, David Shaw, Roger Best and David Ealing were presented with the accolade at the 2nd Maidenhead group’s junior section annual inspection.

David Ealing also won the Munden Cup for being ‘top boy’ for attendance and inspection at meetings.


1973: There were smiles all round as 29 All Saints’ Junior School pupils set off on a 10-day adventure on a floating school – the SS Navasa (main picture).

They were going on an educational Atlantic cruise visiting Spain, Morocco, Gibraltar and France. The trip would include projects on each country visited.


1973: Preliminary work had started to eliminate the traffic ‘pinch’ at the junction of Shoppenhangers Road and Braywick Road.

Gardens in front of Courtlands disappeared under the road-widening project to allow traffic to filter left in Shoppenhangers Road.


1988: Maidenhead Cllr Maureen Mallett was accusing the district council of wasting taxpayers’ cash in Belmont Road.

She said work to put in a five-inch kerb on one side of the road was ‘totally unnecessary’ and would cause a hazard by forcing cars to park on the carriageway.


1973: Police frogmen helped recover a 220S Mercedes car from the Thames by the relief road bridge near Marlow.

The driver escaped by swimming through the shattered windscreen after the car plunged into the river while he was negotiating a narrow track off Quarry Wood Lane.


1988: Flood-wrecked Cookham was left counting the cost after violent thunder storms left a trail of destruction and damage in the village. Insurance estimators guessed the bill would top the £1million mark.

Twice within a 12-hour period the village was hit by torrential downpours with hailstones ‘the size of golfballs’.

Floodwater was waist deep in some areas while the destruction included collapsed walls, overflowing septic tanks and devastated homes.


1983: You can lead a duck to water but you can’t make it swim.

That was the problem facing Denise Hill with two ducklings she had hatched from abandoned eggs.

After placing the eggs on a radiator and frequently turning them, to her surprise they both hatched.

But Rocky and Sam, as her children named them, showed no sign of wanting to swim. Attempts to introduce them to water – warm or cold – had proved unsuccessful.

“They just don’t seem interested in swimming at all,” said Mrs Hill.


1983: The days of the Wild West were brought to life for children at Braywood First School when they were visited by a member of the Arrowhead Indian Hobby Club.

The group was dedicated to perpetuating the culture of the Native Americans.

Visitor Jan McDonald, who had spent some time with the Native Americans in the US, showed pupils examples of crafts such as costumes and moccasins, some decorated with beads made from porcupine quills.

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