policemen on the streets of the West Midlands
Rioting took a firm hold on the streets of Handsworth and Wolverhampton
in July as wave after wave of stone and petrol bomb attacks hit
police, shops and cars bringing devastation and setting the streets
Five policemen were hurt, three rioters treated in hospital and
nearly 100 people arrested during a five hour orgy of destruction.
Daylight revealed shocking scenes of mob rule in which 50 shops
were wrecked and looted with the damage bill running into an estimated
A full report on the trouble was called for by Councillor Edwin
Shore, chairman of the West Midlands police committee.
"No one in the West Midlands is free from blame for what happened,"
he said. "I believe politicians locally and nationally have let
the people down, especially in the run-down inner areas."
Dougan looks to future: Former Wolves soccer star Derek Dougan
was masterminding a plan to expand Wolverhampton Stadium at a cost
of more than 4 million. Five-a-side football, indoor and outdoor tennis
courts, saunas and an eight-lane running track were all to be included
in Dougan's April dream of a super stadium.
The celebrity thought up the scheme after failing to persuade
Wolverhampton Wanderers to include community sports facilities in
their new stand complex. He had already held talks with Employment
Secretary, James Prior, about the possibiity of a 2 million aid
package for the scheme from the Government, on the pretext that
it would be providing a service for the high numbers of jobless
in the town.
Dougan, one of the most popular men ever to play for Wolves, had
also had secret talks with town clerk, Kenneth Williams.
He was given support by the town council's leisure committee -
as long as suitable financial backing could be found.
Suspension for Sandwell sweethearts: Teenage sweethearts Jayne
Clee and Glenn Mills were suspended from their Sandwell school in
October - for stealing a kiss in the corridor.
The two 15-year-olds had been going out together for six months
and were spotted in mid-kiss by the headmaster of Tividale Comprehensive
School, Mr W Harding.
After being made to wait outside the headmaster's office for several
hours, the two were handed a letter suspending them from school.
In the letter to the teenagers parents, Mr Harding said: "It was
a very definite kiss in full view of other pupils in the school
as they were going into lessons.
"I do not consider such behaviour to be appropriate to young people
of their age and I consider such behaviour in school to be likely
to bring the name of the school into disrepute."
Jayne and Glenn, both from Tividale, were told they would have
to appear before a meeting of the school governors.
The youngsters angry parents hit out at the "Victorian" attitudes
at the school. Mrs Joan Clee said: "Surely there is nothing wrong
with them having a peck on the cheek before going to their classes."
Brum HQ closes . . . Midland Red announced in April that it
was shutting down its Birmingham headquarters with the loss of 170
But the bus company's central works, which employed more than
300 on the same site as its headquarters, was remaining open pending
reports on the possibility of it being saved.
It was decided to carve up the company into four operating divisions
for buses and one coach travel firm.
They were also creating 49 new jobs, possibly from the Birmingham
The five sections were to operate as companies in their own right.
Bunkered - family tries life underground: A Staffordshire family
went underground in April to spend two weeks in a bunker designed
for nuclear war.
Robert Farmer, his wife Margaret and their 11-year-old daughter,
Sarah, from Hednesford, were among 256 people who applied to test
the shelter and received 750 for giving up a fortnight of their
Their only outside contact with the world was a radio, to be switched
on for about two hours a day.
The family were closely observed with a TV camera by the Derbyshire
manufacturers of the 11,000 shelter.
Mr Farmer planned to spend the fortnight teaching his daughter
to play chess, reading and keeping a diary of the family's reactions.
A spokesman for the company said they were making a serious study
to see what a family experience if they spend a fortnight in isolation.
"The Farmer family will not come out of the shelter unless there
is an emergency," he added.
Hazel a slimmer role model . . . Fashion conscious slimmer,
Hazel Jones, from Ashmore Park, was held up as a shining example to
would-be slimmers after shedding 80lbs. Hazel, aged 48, even earned
the nickname, Twiggy, after slimming down from nearly 16 stone to
nearly nine. At the first meeting of a new Weight Watchers Club in
Pendeford, Wolverhampton, she was presented as an example to would-be