search the wreckage of the Birmingham pub bombings
On November 21 Birmingham was rocked to its roots with shock
and horror as two massive blasts wrecked pubs in the town centre,
killing 19 people, and injuring nearly 200 in a massive IRA bombing
The bombs exploded in the popular Mulberry Bush and Tavern in
the Town at a time when both inns were packed with young people
enjoying a night out.
The first warning police had of the horror to come was at 8.l4pm
when a man with an Irish accent telephoned a city newspaper saying
there was a bomb in the 17-storey Rotunda office block which housed
the Mulberry Bush pub.
Two minutes later the horror started.
Hard on the heels of the Mulberry Bush bombing came the second
blast at the Tavern in the Town and death and injury took their
toll of the young casualties - aged between 18 and 25 years.
As Birmingham counted the cost of lost young lives rescue teams
and emergency services quickly raced to the scene of devastation.
Within hours police were able to establish that the bombs were placed
inside the pubs. The double outrage was the worst so far in a long
campaign by the IRA across mainland Britain.
But a short while after these atrocities, as the city reeled with
the shock of it all, bomb disposal experts rushed to Ladywood, in
a Birmingham suburb, following a report that a suspicious parcel
had been found in a doorway. The experts diffused two parcels saying
they were "quite large ones."
Then, shortly before midnight, a petrol bomb was thrown at a house
in Witton Road, in the city, but luckily caused no damage. Every
available ambulance in the area was utilised after the blasts -
and taxi drivers helped by ferrying many of the injured to hospital.
The West Midlands deputy Chief Constable, Colin Gaskell, described
the carnage as "appalling".
Earlier 1,000 police had mounted a security operation at Birmingham
airport before the removal of dead Coventry bomber, James McDade,
The Birmingham blasts were revenge following a ban on a funeral
being held in the region for McDade, who had been killed a week
before while planting a bomb in Coventry city centre.
Just days after the Birmingham carnage, a 500-strong crowd had
to be held back by police as six men appeared at the city's Victoria
Law Courts charged with the murder of a girl killed in one of the
bomb blasts. Armed police were on duty in and around the courts.
On the road to stardom
- 16-year-old Lenny Henry entertains classmates at Dudley's Bluecoat
School after hearing he had won a spot on TV's New Faces talent
show, so launching a career which went from strength to strength
Powell's shock 'vote labour' call to voters: Former Wolverhampton
Tory MP, Enoch Powell, made waves in Birmingham when he erupted on
the Election scene in February with a "Vote Labour" message.
The message, said by some to be strong enough to either destroy
the Heath Government or Powell himself politically, was launched
in the city's Bull Ring Centre at a public meeting.
The Conservative rebel said the over-riding issue of the election
must be to save Britain from being swallowed by a European super-state.
The message was wrapped up in an "elegant cotton-wool of words,"
it was reported - but there was no doubt about its meaning. The
meeting was organised by the "Get Britain Out of The Common Market"
campaign which urged Tories to vote Labour.
Poster accused Edward Heath of pro-European conviction, said to
conform to Mr Powell's "political contempt" for Mr Heath whom he
accused of "one long epic of deception" over the Common Market.
An Express & Star political journalist said Powell's efforts
to make the Common Market a major issue of the campaign was a personal
gamble. It could mean his own political suicide.
Mr Powell gave a clue to his dramatic move in Birmingham with
the words: "If there be a conflict between the call of the country
and that of the party, the call of the country must come first."
heroes Kenny Hibbitt (left) and John Richards hold up the League
Cup for the fans after Wolves' 2-1 victory over Manchester City
at Wembley in March.
Strike hits oil supply: Hundreds of West Midland garages
were expected to run out of petrol in April because of a strike
by loaders at the Kingsbury oil terminal at Tamworth.
Local deliveries of fuel were not being made and 30 men employed
by Warwickshire Oil Storage had gone on strike because they wanted
an increase in shift payments.
Amoco garages in the region had already been hit by a strike by
administration staff, fitters and mechanics and some garages had
not had any deliveries since before Easter.
Amoco, which supplied 52 garages in the Midlands, said the latest
dispute by loaders was the last straw.
And Shell warned that motorists could be paying 60p a gallon for
fuel before the year's end.
It was also claimed that other oil prices for power and heating
may be raised again because of rises in the cost of Middle East
crude oil in the pipeline.
Leo the lover: Panto star Leo the lion had his contract curtailed
in February after his amorous activities on stage at Wolverhampton's
Grand Theatre caused a few red faces in the audience.
The big cat Casanova was sent home in disgrace, but with a twinkle
in his eye. Because it was later discovered that the two lionesses
in the panto were expecting.
Leo originally appeared in a jungle scene with the lionesses in
the theatre's production of Robinson Crusoe.
But he was banished to his circus home in Peterborough after his
feelings for one of his female co-stars got the better of him during
And it was all too late for Lena and Julie, the two lionesses
who fell for Leo's fatal charm. The animals' trainer, reported that
the two female big cats would be giving birth within four weeks.
Nightclub owner denies racism: Wolverhampton night club owner,
Cliff Spence, found himself caught up in a race row in April after
claims that he was operating a colour bar.
But he spoke out against the alleged racial discrimination at his
six-month-old Noddy's Nite Spot in Piper's Row.
The Race Relations Board in Birmingham said that two complaints
had been received about the club, but Mr Spence strongly denied
"If any West Indian thinks I am practising racialism that is utter
bunkum," he said.
"I know nothing about anyone being turned away because they are
"Blacks and whites have been turned away, but because they were
Mr Spence went on: "It's ridiculous to say I have been practising
But coloured nightclubbers in Wolverhampton threatened to boycott
Noddy's when it re-opened under its new name of New Club 67.
Molineux men bring back the League Cup : Goalscoring heroes
Kenny Hibbitt (left) and John Richards hold up the League Cup for
the fans after Wolves' 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Wembley