1988: Starts charitably…ends with Lockerbie


1988 began on a charitable note – in January the first ever Comic Relief fundraiser was broadcast and in early February the first ever Red Nose Day raised £15 million for charitable causes.

In the football world there was a major upset in the FA Cup in May when the ‘Crazy Gang’ (Wimbledon FC – featuring Vinnie Jones, Dennis Wise et al) beat the otherwise mighty and all-conquering Liverpool FC in a true David v Goliath encounter. Real Roy Of The Rovers stuff!

Still in football, there was a European tournament – Euro 88 – held in West Germany in June. The impeccable Holland side of Gullit and Van Basten helped the Dutch convincingly beat the Soviet Union 2-0 in the final.

In December the Health Minister, Edwina Currie, started a furore when she announced that the vast majority of British eggs in the shops carried salmonella – and almost destroyed the entire UK egg industry with one pronouncement. She was promptly forced to resign. Of course, many years later it transpired that she had been absolutely right.

Also in December came the tragedy and shocking outrage of the Lockerbie bomb. A terrorist had placed a device on Pan Am Flight 103 from Heathrow to the USA. The bomb exploded over Scotland and brought down the plane over the small town of Lockerbie. All 243 passengers and 16 crew from the plane died – and 11 people on the ground from Lockerbie itself. A little known fact is that John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) and his wife had been booked to take Flight 103 but delays caused them to reschedule. The same is true of actress Kim Cattrall – who only missed the flight to do some extra Christmas shopping in London.

The world of music was dominated by Acid House and its attendant rave parties – people meeting in vast warehouses to take drugs such as Ecstasy and communally freak out in great numbers. It was not my scene tbh – and 88 was yet another year in which I did not buy a single record! However, it’s interesting to note that this was the year in which CDs outsold vinyl records for the first time. (It’s a long way from today’s digital downloads kids!)

Up on the silver screen, the box office hits included Rain Man, Die Hard, The Accused and A Fish Called Wanda. This was also the year that introduced horror fans to Chucky in the original Child’s Play. Also, another film from 1988 I should definitely mention featured good old Clint Eastwood in another Dirty Harry classic – The Dead Pool. In a small way I owe a debt to this particular movie as it (very obliquely) actually inspired one of the key aspects of my novel LOVE, GUDRUN ENSSLIN. (Buy and read my novel to find out how amigos!)

OK, here’s a pic of yours truly in 1988. (For some reason this was the only pic taken of me through the whole of 1988. I guess at least it shows I was kind to the geese of Arundel!) See you all in 1989 on the next blog post.

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