Remember When: Gunpowder, gun-fighting and a gung-ho girl with a will to win

Welcome to Remember When, our weekly delve into the Advertiser archives to see what was making headlines, 30, 35, 40 and 45 year ago this week. If you recognise your younger self in any of the pictures please get in touch to share your memories.

Natalia Bartkowiak

Natalia Bartkowiak

Remember When: Gunpowder, gun-fighting and a gung-ho girl with a will to win

1968: TV newsreader and presenter Michael Aspel was the star guest at a wine and cheese garden party at Altwood Hayes, in Altwood Road.

He helped organise a tombola at the event, which raised £300 for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Children.

1973: The Convent of the Nativity performed a school musical production of Rumplestiltskin to an audience of 400.

The roles were performed by children aged between eight and 10, with the main parts played by Nichola Ayre, Sally Buckley, Heather Dunnington and Fiona Kemp.

1973: Thirteen French students visited Cookham through the Euro-Language scheme, arranged by a Mrs Godfrey of Slade House.

She organised French and English lessons for the visitors, who were staying with families in town, taught by Mademoiselle Jenny Chaix and Mrs E. Thomas. The stay lasted three weeks.

1973: Actress Wendy Craig attended the Furze Platt scouts donkey derby at Laggan Field, signing as many autographs as possible for the 2,000 people at the event in between starting the races.

The scouts expected to make £200 profit and the day’s activities also included Morris dancing and the hiring out of a pony on which Wendy Craig arrived on.

1978: Furze Platt Comprehensive School performed ‘Bang!’ –  a children’s opera written by Grant and Rutter on the events of the Gunpowder Plot conspiracy (main picture)

Fifty students took part, directed by their teachers Philippa Collins and Ted Allwright.

1983: Marlow experienced a canoe race along the Thames as part of BBC sports competition Superstars.

Top athletes from a range of fields of expertise participated, while 1966 World Cup winner Alan Ball watched from the sidelines and former England Rugby Union captain Roger Uttley refereed.

Andy Ripley won, followed by David Hemery, and the competition for third place in the finale ended in David Duckham capsizing, but safely re-emerging. 

1983: Holy Trinity School in Cookham successfully raised £350 at a Wild West-themed fete and fancy dress parade.

The highlights included mock gunfight performances of the ‘Incident at Dhobi Springs’ by the Alamo Western Club and the Cookham’s fire station jets spraying the public in the summer heat.

1983: A swarm of an estimated 25,000 bees gathered on a wall in Brock Lane, off Queen Street.

Geoff Galliver, an amateur beekeeper, set up a nucleus hive which enclosed the bees and he was able to take them home to Odiham, near Basingstoke,

1983: Nicola Dilley, a 14-year-old Furze Platt student, crossed the finish line of the Plymouth School track and field championships with a broken arm.

Determined to continue the course despite a tumble in which she was injured 200 metres in, she ignored her coach’s pleas to stop and was not treated by the St John Ambulance until after she finished the 800-metre race.


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