Other Important 1970s Events

1970

  • Infant and Junior School
  • Stumpy, Bendy and me break time record for sliding down local chalk slope on corrugated asbestos board
  • The Milton Sisters Gang capture Stumpy and me and bury us up to our necks in school sandpit
  • Brookman reads Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital and Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book at age 7 
  • Puffer compared to a ‘young Peter Lorre’ for performance in school production of Little Lord Fauntleroy
  • Gordon ‘Sputnik’ Mahoney’s parents are called up the school after he refuses to obey teachers, saying he only takes orders from Commander Straker and Lieutenant Gay Ellis (characters from Gerry Anderson’s UFO)
  • Cor!! comic launched 
  • Gerry Anderson’s UFO / Here Come the Double Deckers! / Catweazle
  • Watney Cup

1971

  • Junior School
  • The Milton Sisters bite the heads of four platoons of mine and Stumpy’s 00 scale Airfix Foreign Legionnaires which guard the contents of our desks. Reinforcements prove futile and we are forced to withdraw long-standing military presence
  • Brookman is the mastermind behind perfectly legitimate brainwave enabling Stumpy, Bendy and me to get first three places in Egg and Spoon Race challenge against arch-rivals and enemies
  • Brookman sent to headmaster after trying to unionise dinner monitors
  • Puffer compared to a ‘young Charles Laughton’ for performance in end of term play
  • On the Buses is highest-grossing UK film
  • Cannon – a Quinn Martin Production / Jason King / The Persuaders! 
  • Apollo 14 and 15

1972

  • Junior School
  • Stumpy and me each get 4 buttoned high-waisters with flares the size of yacht sails
  • Five years after first screening, Bendy finally realises that cast of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons are puppets
  • Brookman thrown out of Cubs for trying to unionise members – joins Woodcraft Folk as a result
  • Puffer compared to a ‘young Orson Welles’ for performance in end of term play
  • Brookman’s dad buys ZIL limousine
  • Stumpy’s dad buys Vauxhall VX490
  • Mrs Appleby sings in MOR band Mulberry Wine
  • Hai Karate Oriental Lime Gift Collection, including soap on a rope, becomes the ‘must have’ present
  • Mutiny on the Buses / Papillon
  • The Reg Varney Revue / The Protectors / Kung Fu
  • Starman / Metal Guru 
  • 100th FA Cup Final
  • Apollo 16 and 17

1973

  • Junior School
  • Me and Stumpy prevented by parents from joining BUFORA (British UFO Research Association)
  • On school trip to Hertfordshire stately home, Bendy gets head stuck in ornamental cannon
  • Brookman causes uproar on same school trip by getting into heated argument with tour guide over validity and relevance of the aristocracy
  • Puffer compared to a ‘young Sydney Greenstreet’ for performance in school end of term play
  • Puffer introduces us to studying form and odds. Over the following years he develops a thriving gambling racket, the profits from which he uses to add to his burgeoning collection of smoking jackets, cravats and cigarette holders
  • Gordon ‘Sputnik’ Mahoney tries to recreate the concept of the Dambusters’ bouncing bomb from the top diving board at Luton swimming baths. Being unable to swim proves a fundamental flaw in his plan
  • Skimpton Road dog track closes down
  • On the Buses board game released
  • Holiday on the Buses 
  • Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?
  • Can the Can / Cum On Feel the Noize 
  • Brut 33 launched as an everyday cologne

1974

  • Junior and Middle School
  • The Milton Sisters crush mine and Stumpy’s clackers in school woodwork bench vice
  • Bendy develops habit of moving in slow motion and making accompanying sound affects as he becomes convinced he is The Six Million Dollar Man
  • Brookman has crisis of conscience after his re-evaluation of Trotsky’s assassination
  • Puffer comes to attention of Dunstable Repertory Theatre after starring role as Toad in school production of ‘Toad of Toad Hall’
  • Mrs Appleby sings in MOR band Avocado Stone
  • Cor!! merges with Buster
  • Jenny Hanley joins Magpie / Roobarb / Police Woman  
  • Westpark Mustard breaks greyhound racing record
  • Rumble In The Jungle
  • Evel Knievel Grand Canyon jump attempt

1975

  • Middle School
  • 1st Spud Gun War
  • Stumpy and I hallucinate after wearing too much Hai Karate and drinking too much Cresta at school disco 
  • Stumpy and I hauled before headmaster five days running for various misdemeanours
  • Bendy ambushed by Milton Sisters and has appendage of his plastic Merry Monk model permanently disfigured by lit cigarette 
  • Brookman has crisis of confidence over worsening Soviet – Sino relations
  • Puffer recites specially written poem in school assembly to celebrate Miss Wake’s long service entitled ‘A Walk Amongst the Hemlock’ – causes uproar of mirth from pupils and uproar of fury from teachers
  • Puffer lands major supporting role in The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner at Dunstable Repertory Theatre
  • Stumpy’s elder brother forms prog-rock band called Moth 
  • The Milton Sisters sit Staniforth the Name-Caller on top of the turned-on park drinking water fountain for twenty minutes
  • Jaws
  • Hong Kong Phooey / The Sweeney
  • Thrilla In Manila
  • First Cricket World Cup
  • Grundy v Bustino – The Race of the Century

1976

  • Middle and Upper School
  • 2nd Spud Gun War
  • Start of Buchanan Gang’s Reign of Terror 
  • Stumpy’s dad takes Stumpy and I to see Papa Keetch & The Merchants of Boogie Woogie perform at local Schooner Inn function room
  • Stumpy, Bendy and I hauled before headmaster for producing ‘subversive, crude and vulgar’ comic strip which has proved roaring success in the playground
  • Due to our continuing small stature, Stumpy and me and a few others are still riding customised Raleigh Tomahawks whilst everyone else has progressed to Raleigh Choppers
  • Bendy gets stuck out on manor house ramparts for over two hours at night during school residential trip to Netherswell Manor.
  • Brookman begins year exchange sabbatical to Novosibirsk
  • Puffer delivers tour de force reading of Emile Zola’s ‘J’Accuse’ as centrepiece of end of year assembly
  • Gawper Allsop and Smiler Morton are suspended for 2 weeks after coating ball bearings in chocolate and then pretending they are chocolate raisins when offering one to Mr Jensen. Jensen almost breaks tooth when crunching into one
  • Stumpy’s elder brother disbands Moth and joins prog-rock band called Fog
  • The Green Man incident – The Milton Sisters cover Staniforth the Name-Caller in Copydex glue and then throw him in a huge pile of grass cuttings
  • Rentaghost / Yus, My Dear
  • Pawneese wins the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes 

1977

  • Upper School
  • End of Buchanan Gang’s Reign of Terror 
  • Me (guitar), Stumpy (bass), Bendy (vocals) & Gusty Burton (drums) form punk rock band The Snarling Ferrets
  • Bendy grounded for four weeks when his Dad finds and plays demo cassette of our songs which is littered with foul-mouthed expletives
  • Brookman returns from year exchange sabbatical to Novosibirsk in time to compete again in annual inter-school chess championship (he wins again)
  • Puffer stars as Henry IV in School Drama Club production
  • Puffer starts to wear a monocle and carry a gold-tipped cane
  • Puffer causes uproar when in a recital of ‘Ozymandias’ at school assembly he dedicates the meaning of the poem to Mr Butler, the despotic Head of Year, and his cohorts
  • The Brookmans do not attend our street’s Silver Jubilee party, instead running up the red hammer and sickle flag in their garden, opening all their windows wide and blaring out Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony to try to drown out the celebrations
  • The Milton Sisters form punk rock band Ingrid & The Severed Hydra 
  • Bedford Trucks awarded major contract by British Army for TM trucks
  • The Professionals
  • Stranglers / Pistols / Clash / Damned / Jam
  • Rattus Norvegicus / No More Heroes

1978

  • Upper School
  • Stumpy and I wear false moustaches to try get into local Arts Centre re-screening of Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter. We are refused entry
  • Bendy breaks record for longest grounding by his Dad for the ‘Legs Akimbo 2’ Betamax video incident
  • Bendy goes for two whole terms under alias of Robert Saxby and fools Mr Nish (Combined Science) into thinking that is his name. Rumbled at Open Evening and is grounded again
  • Brookman breaks record in end of year school report by getting 10 Es for Effort & 10 As for Attainment
  • Brookman organises Bedfordshire-wide paperboy strike
  • Brookman stands for Head of House on outright Communist platform – receives 10 votes
  • Puffer stars as Coriolanus in School Drama Club production
  • Gusty Burton draws up revised code of conduct for our gang and all honorary members which we solemnly swear allegiance to – this includes ignoring any signs which state ‘Do Not Touch’, ‘Do Not Enter’, ‘Keep Out’ or ‘Danger Of Death’
  • Smiler Morton beats challenge laid down by Gawper Allsop and smokes 200 Gauloises unfiltered cigarettes non-stop throughout the day. We visit him in hospital where he spends four days in an oxygen tent
  • Big Mo joins our school and forms Student Revolutionary Party. Quickly forms alliance with Brookman’s Student Co-Operative Alliance to create powerful Communist cabal
  • The Milton Sisters capture Little Johnny Judkins and with a pair of clippers radically razor his side parted hair. Backfires on them when the actual result looks better than his usual haircut from his mum 
  • Cadbury’s discontinue Aztec Bar
  • Cheggers Plays Pop / Armchair Thriller 
  • Post punk
  • Black And White

1979

  • Upper School and temporary summer jobs
  • Stumpy and I perfect our ‘library of excuses’ and go whole year without handing any homework in
  • Bendy gets hold of copy of Maths multiple choice mock exam answers before we sit exams – he still fails 
  • Brookman wins inter-school chess championship for record 10th year
  • Brookman devises and perfects ‘The Brookman Doctrine’
  • Brookman and Big Mo are the masterminds behind the ‘Siege of 5th Form Block’ where they overthrow the Student Council and make various far-reaching demands for total pupil power. Siege ends when 5th Form Prefect Special Forces storm the building
  • Puffer gives greatest ever performance as King Lear in School Drama Club production
  • Puffer kidnapped by Milton Sisters in last week of school. We pay a heavy price for his release. Puffer doesn’t talk about time in captivity but speaks in strange falsetto voice for three days afterwards
  • Apocalypse Now / Quadrophenia
  • Shoestring / Tales of the Unexpected / Minder
  • Live (X-Cert) / The Raven
  • Troy wins The Derby
  • We (main gang and honorary members) bury Stumpy’s time capsule in solemn ceremony up Blow’s Downs. Johnny Judkins performs specially composed bugle accompaniment. Puffer recites ‘So We’ll Go No More a Roving’ by Lord Byron.