William shortly before
that fateful night.
The last third of the century was an era marked by trials, tribulations
and tragedies involving the Royal Family and the first of these
was on August Bank Holiday Monday at Halfpenny Green Airfield in
Staffordshire where hundreds of families had turned out for an air
Prince's plane engulfed
Prince William of Gloucester and his co-pilot were killed when
their Piper Cherokee crashed and burst into flames just seconds
after taking off in the Goodyear air race.
Horrified eye witnesses told how the plane banked sharply to port,
hit a tree and then plunged into a ditch near a corner of the airfield.
Would-be rescuers tried in vain to reach the 30-year-old Eton-educated
prince and his co-pilot 43-year-old Vyrell Mitchell
First at the crash scene were 31-year-old Brian Bishop, of Gardeners
Close, Kidderminntsre and 18-year-old Derek Purton, of Chelmsley
As sightseers started to arrive in the area an all-night police
guard was mounted both to keep them away and keep watch on the wrecked
plabe which would undergo rigorous Ministry of Aviation investigations.
Officials from the Ministry issued an appeal for amateur cine
and still film of the crash and reported a good response.
The body of the Prince was taken to Wordsley Hospital near Stourbridge
where a post mortem was carried out.
News of the tragedy was broken to the Queen at Balmoral. She immediately
declared a period of official mourning until the funeral and cancelled
all her engagements.
Five injured as Staffords are lured into Armagh booby trap:
In the year that the Bloody Sunday massacre shocked a nation by now
used to seeing wars fought out on the television, another atrocity
in the province on a Sunday struck particularly close to home.
frisking marchers on Bloody Sunday
On October 15 five soldiers from the Staffordshire regiment were
hurt, one very seriously, when they were lured into a booby-trapped
house in Armagh.
A second booby trap, wired to a shotgun, was also found in the
The five men who were injured were the Staffords' first casualties
since the regiment started its first stint in Ulster.
Most seriously hurt was Colour Sergeant John Morrell - married
with three children - who had to be airlifted to hospital in Belfast
The colour sergeant was with a patrol which was alerted after
a tip off to Armagh CID that a number of terrorist gunmen were holed
up at two houses in the Drumarg Park area of the town.
Regimental Secretary Colonel Hugh Cook said: "The tip off was
obviously a trick to lure our men into the terrorists trap."
And referring to the second shotgun booby trap he said: "This
is the sort of thing the Germans used to do in the last war.
"Fortunately our men spotted it before it was too late and disposed
Nude poser for police: Stafford police were called in after
a series of nuisance phone calls to women in the Weeping Cross area
of Stafford asking them to pose for nude photographs.
Eight housewives in one street - Widecombe Avenue - were asked
to pose by a man claiming to represent a West Bromwich model agency.
Some of the women were asked to give endorsements about their
"I was asked what sort of figure she had and what she would look
like in the nude," said mother-of three- Mrs Jill Jones.
"I think this man is a crank."
Sunday games atmosphere is getting worse:
Several years ago, disgusted by the vindictiveness of certain
elements at first class league games, I started attending Saturday
and Sunday junior league games.
In general the atmosphere of these games was much to be preferred.
Unfortunately I have noticed recently the same vindictive element
In a recent junior league cup match the referee had a hard time
to keep the game going. He had no option but to send three players
off and he booked several more.
One of the spectators present ran on to the field twice to molest
players while the referee's back was turned.
After the game this same lout approached the referee on his way
to the changing room, insulting him and trying to goad the referee
into retaliation. To his credit the referee kept a cool head and
I wold urge the amateur league associations to try and provide
some form of supervision in these kind of matches.
Lover of the game, Wolverhampton.
Crash forces ace Banks to quit: Goalkeeping superstar Gordon Banks
lost an eye when his car crashed in Staffordshire.
Banks, at the time the England goalie, underwent an operation
at Staffordshire Royal Infirmary to save his sight after glass splinters
were removed from the eye.
Early reports suggesting that the Stoke City keeper might be out
for just a week proved wildly optimistic and he was sadly forced
to give up the game.