Saturday August 25th We start this story in Blackpool, where I am enjoying my annual summer holiday with my Gran. We went every year for the last week of August from 1976 to 1983, then again in 1985 and 87, each time staying at the Kenbarry Hotel on Albert Street, which was run by a bloke called Barry. Barry just happened to be the son of one of my Gran’s next door neighbours, which meant we were always welcome. I never found out who Ken was. The last time I went there it was closed for refurbishment and had changed its name to The Blackpool. I understand it was also once the subject of a reality TV programme of some kind. But presumably under different management. This may well have been the same summer that I got an autograph from Darth Vader. It’s also likely the same week Gran bought me a Palitoy Star Wars Cantina. I almost certainly visited the Tower, the Doctor Who Exhibition and the Pleasure Beach. Coral Island was still new, having opened in 1978. The arcades had Space Invaders machines, but this was still an exciting novelty. Everything else is a mystery. Sunday August 26th OFFICIAL UK SINGLES CHART: TOP 25 No 1: We Don’t Talk Anymore - Cliff Richard No 2: I Don’t Like Mondays - Boomtown Rats No 3: Bang Bang - BA Robertson No 4: Angel Eyes - Roxy Music No 5: After the Love Has Gone - Earth, Wind and Fire No 6: Gangsters - The Specials No 7: Duke of Earl - Darts No 8: Money - Flying Lizards No 9: Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt 3 - Ian Dury and the Blockheads No 10: Ooh What a Life - Gibson Brothers No 11: Just When I Needed You Most - Randy Vanwarmer No 12: Hersham Boys - Sham 69 No 13: Is She Really Going Out With Him? - Joe Jackson No 14: Angel Eyes / Voulez-Vous - ABBA No 15: Gotta Go Home / El Lute - Boney M No 16: Street Life - Crusaders No 17: Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller - Showaddywaddy No 18: When You’re Young - The Jam No 19: The Diary of Horace Wimp - ELO No 20: Cars - Gary Numan (NEW ENTRY) No 21: Morning Dance - Spyro Gyra No 22: If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me? - Bellamy Brothers No 23: Love’s Gotta Hold On Me - Dollar No 24: Lost in Music - Sister Sledge No 25: Duchess - The Stranglers Other notable singles in the Top 75 this week No 32: Beat the Clock - Sparks No 35: Strut Your Funky Stuff - Frantique No 36: Spiral Scratch EP - Buzzcocks No 38: Don’t Bring Me Down - ELO (NEW ENTRY) No 39: Can’t Stand Losing You - Police No 42: In the Brownies - Billy Connolly No 43: Rock Lobster - The B-52’s No 53: Good Times - Chic No 54: Breakfast in America - Supertramp No 56: My Sharona - The Knack No 58: Bad Girls - Donna Summer No 59: Silly Games - Janet Kay No 62: Are “Friends” Electric? - Tubeway Army No 65: Highway to Hell - AC/DC (NEW ENTRY) No 70: Getting Closer / Baby’s Request - Wings (NEW ENTRY) No 74: The Prince - Madness (NEW ENTRY) OFFICIAL UK ALBUMS CHART No 1: The Best Disco Album in the World - Various Artists No 2: Discovery - ELO No 3: Breakfast in America - Supertramp No 4: Voulez-Vous - ABBA No 5: I Am - Earth, Wind and Fire No 7: Some Product - Sex Pistols No 8: Parallel Lines - Blondie No 9: Outlandos d’Amour - The Police No 10: Highway to Hell - AC/DC No 14: Replicas - Tubeway Army No 21: Do It Yourself - Ian Dury & The Blockheads No 26: Manifesto - Roxy Music No 28: Bat Out of Hell - Meat Loaf No 29: The B-52’s - The B-52’s No 31: Risque - Chic No 33: Out of the Blue - ELO No 38: War of the Worlds - Jeff Wayne No 39: Lodger - David Bowie No 42: Go West - Village People No 43: Drums and Wires - XTC (NEW ENTRY) No 45: The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle - Sex Pistols No 52: New Boots and Panties - Ian Dury & The Blockheads No 53: Back to the Egg - Wings No 56: Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield No 57: Plastic Letters - Blondie No 59: A New World Record - ELO No 60: Mingus - Joni Mitchell No 75: The Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd Monday August 27th Lord Louis Mountbatten is assassinated by the IRA and 18 British soldiers are killed in County Down. I remember talking to Gran about it as we walked round a department store (probably Lewis’s) in Blackpool. Gran explained that Lord Mountbatten was Prince Philip’s uncle and was therefore a member of the Royal Family. I struggled to get my seven-year-old head around why someone would want to kill a member of the Royal Family and who these IRA people were that I kept hearing about. Here’s a BBC documentary about it from 2019. Thursday August 30th Star Wars Weekly No 80 – features a Green Cross Code Man ad on the back. The Green Cross Code Man was, of course, played on TV by the real Darth Vader, David Prowse, whose likeness appears in the ad. Friday August 31st BBC 1’s Nationwide broadcasts a special film following Kate Bush on tour. Saturday September 1st Probable date for return home from Blackpool. I like to think that Mum and Dad moved house while I was away, and everything was miraculously ready for me upon my return. No one has any memory of whether or not that’s true. But Mum told me that, when she asked for time off work to move house, her boss at the sweet factory refused. So she told him to go to Hell, walked out and did it anyway. The following week she was sent a letter of apology and asked very nicely if she wanted her job back. This may have had something to do with the enormous respect many of those who worked there still had for her father and grandfather, who had both worked in senior blue collar positions at the factory before her. In the evening: an exciting new series of Doctor Who begins with Part One of Destiny of the Daleks. Written by Who veteran Terry Nation, it promises thrills galore as the Doctor and his newly-regenerated companion Romana return to Skaro, the home planet of the dreaded Daleks, where a mysterious excavation is taking place which threatens to alter the fate of the entire galaxy. Looking back on it now, this story’s pretty rubbish, but at the time, it was event television. Not only was it the first story to feature the Daleks for four years, it was also the first story to feature Lalla Ward as Romana, and the first story script edited by Douglas Adams, who would become much more famous for other things as the years wore on. It also introduces the Movellans, one of the very few species of black aliens in Doctor Who (though, typically, one of them is a white woman blacked up). 2000 AD Prog 129 Strips this week include Judge Dredd (Battle of the Black Atlantic), Black Hawk, ABC Warriors, Disaster 1990 and The Mind of Wolfie Smith. The comic had merged with sister publication Tornado only two weeks before. There’s a nice blog here which details one man’s mission to read every available edition of 2000 AD. Prog 129 is about halfway down this page. Sunday September 2nd After almost a year of inactivity, the Yorkshire Ripper claims another victim, his eleventh murder in four years (though at the time it was assumed to be his twelfth). Barbara Leach was discovered in an alleyway in Bradford in the early hours of Sunday morning. In context, the infamous hoax letters and tape were sent over the period of 1978 to 1979, with the tape arriving on George Oldfield’s desk on June 17, 1979. This threw the Ripper hunt completely off course, and by August 1979 the police believed the Ripper’s home town to be Castletown, near Sunderland. They were wrong, but only two people actually knew that. OFFICIAL UK SINGLES CHART No 1: We Don’t Talk Anymore - Cliff Richard No 53: Slap and Tickle - Squeeze OFFICIAL UK ALBUMS CHART No 1: In Through the Out Door - Led Zeppelin No 2: Slow Train Coming - Bob Dylan No 73: No. 1 in Heaven - Sparks
Saturday August 25th - Sunday September 2nd, 1979
TERM 1: Week 0
TERM 1 (Sept - Dec 1979) Week 0 (Aug 25 - Sep 2, 1979) Week 1 (Sep 3 - Sep 9, 1979) Week 2 (Sep 10 - Sep 16, 1979) Week 3 (Sep 17 - Sep 23, 1979) Week 4 (Sep 24 - Sep 30, 1979) Week 5 (Oct 1 - Oct 7, 1979) Week 6 (Oct 8 - Oct 14, 1979) Week 7 (Oct 15 - Oct 21, 1979) Half Term (Oct 22 - Oct 28, 1979) Week 8 (Oct 29 - Nov 4, 1979) Week 9 (Nov 5 - Nov 11, 1979) Week 10 (Nov 12 - Nov 18, 1979) Week 11 (Nov 19 - Nov 25, 1979) Week 12 (Nov 26 - Dec 2, 1979) Week 13 (Dec 3 - Dec 9, 1979) Week 14 (Dec 10 - Dec 16, 1979) Week 15 (Dec 17 - Dec 23, 1979) Christmas (Dec 24 - Dec 30, 1979) New Year’s Eve (Dec 31, 1979)
TERM 1 IN LINK FORM
Destiny of the Daleks Sep 1, 1979
Cars Gary Numan
ITV Returns Oct 24,1979
The Path of Least Resistance The Human League
Iran Hostage Crisis Nov 4, 1979
Life of Brian Debate Nov 9, 1979
That's me on the left with the bowl haircut. The boy on the right was called Neil Keegan - he was at the Kenbarry the same time as me at least two years running. Very probably August 1979 Me and Neil Keegan with one of the waitresses at the Kenbarry Hotel. I think her name was Berni. She was Swiss. Or Swedish. Or French?
Saturday August 25th We start this story in Blackpool, where I am enjoying my annual summer holiday with my Gran. We went every year for the last week of August from 1976 to 1983, then again in 1985 and 87, each time staying at the Kenbarry Hotel on Albert Street, which was run by a bloke called Barry. Barry just happened to be the son of one of my Gran’s next door neighbours, which meant we were always welcome. I never found out who Ken was. The last time I went there it was closed for refurbishment and had changed its name to The Blackpool. I understand it was also once the subject of a reality TV programme of some kind. But presumably under different management. This may well have been the same summer that I got an autograph from Darth Vader. It’s also likely the same week Gran bought me a Palitoy Star Wars Cantina. I almost certainly visited the Tower, the Doctor Who Exhibition and the Pleasure Beach. Coral Island was still new, having opened in 1978. The arcades had Space Invaders machines, but this was still an exciting novelty. Everything else is a mystery.
Saturday August 25th - Sunday September 2nd, 1979
TERM 1: Week 0
TERM 1 IN LINK FORM
Destiny of the Daleks Sep 1, 1979
Cars Gary Numan
ITV Returns Oct 24,1979
Iran Hostage Crisis Nov 4, 1979
Life of Brian Debate Nov 9, 1979
That's me on the left with the bowl haircut. The boy on the right was called Neil Keegan - he was at the Kenbarry the same time as me at least two years running. Very probably August 1979 Me and Neil Keegan with one of the waitresses at the Kenbarry Hotel. I think her name was Berni. She was Swiss. Or Swedish. Or French?
Sunday August 26th OFFICIAL UK SINGLES CHART: TOP 25 No 1: We Don’t Talk Anymore - Cliff Richard No 2: I Don’t Like Mondays - Boomtown Rats No 3: Bang Bang - BA Robertson No 4: Angel Eyes - Roxy Music No 5: After the Love Has Gone - Earth, Wind and Fire No 6: Gangsters - The Specials No 7: Duke of Earl - Darts No 8: Money - Flying Lizards No 9: Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt 3 - Ian Dury and the Blockheads No 10: Ooh What a Life - Gibson Brothers No 11: Just When I Needed You Most - Randy Vanwarmer No 12: Hersham Boys - Sham 69 No 13: Is She Really Going Out With Him? - Joe Jackson No 14: Angel Eyes / Voulez-Vous - ABBA No 15: Gotta Go Home / El Lute - Boney M No 16: Street Life - Crusaders No 17: Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller - Showaddywaddy No 18: When You’re Young - The Jam No 19: The Diary of Horace Wimp - ELO No 20: Cars - Gary Numan (NEW ENTRY) No 21: Morning Dance - Spyro Gyra No 22: If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me? - Bellamy Brothers No 23: Love’s Gotta Hold On Me - Dollar No 24: Lost in Music - Sister Sledge No 25: Duchess - The Stranglers
Other notable singles in the Top 75 this week No 32: Beat the Clock - Sparks No 35: Strut Your Funky Stuff - Frantique No 36: Spiral Scratch EP - Buzzcocks No 38: Don’t Bring Me Down - ELO (NEW ENTRY) No 39: Can’t Stand Losing You - Police No 42: In the Brownies - Billy Connolly No 43: Rock Lobster - The B-52’s No 53: Good Times - Chic No 54: Breakfast in America - Supertramp No 56: My Sharona - The Knack No 58: Bad Girls - Donna Summer No 59: Silly Games - Janet Kay No 62: Are “Friends” Electric? - Tubeway Army No 65: Highway to Hell - AC/DC (NEW ENTRY) No 70: Getting Closer / Baby’s Request - Wings (NEW ENTRY) No 74: The Prince - Madness (NEW ENTRY)
OFFICIAL UK ALBUMS CHART No 1: The Best Disco Album in the World - Various Artists No 2: Discovery - ELO No 3: Breakfast in America - Supertramp No 4: Voulez-Vous - ABBA No 5: I Am - Earth, Wind and Fire No 7: Some Product - Sex Pistols No 8: Parallel Lines - Blondie No 9: Outlandos d’Amour - The Police No 10: Highway to Hell - AC/DC No 14: Replicas - Tubeway Army No 21: Do It Yourself - Ian Dury & The Blockheads No 26: Manifesto - Roxy Music No 28: Bat Out of Hell - Meat Loaf No 29: The B-52’s - The B-52’s No 31: Risque - Chic No 33: Out of the Blue - ELO No 38: War of the Worlds - Jeff Wayne No 39: Lodger - David Bowie No 42: Go West - Village People No 43: Drums and Wires - XTC (NEW ENTRY) No 45: The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle - Sex Pistols No 52: New Boots and Panties - Ian Dury & The Blockheads No 53: Back to the Egg - Wings No 56: Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield No 57: Plastic Letters - Blondie No 59: A New World Record - ELO No 60: Mingus - Joni Mitchell No 75: The Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
Sunday September 2nd After almost a year of inactivity, the Yorkshire Ripper claims another victim, his eleventh murder in four years (though at the time it was assumed to be his twelfth). Barbara Leach was discovered in an alleyway in Bradford in the early hours of Sunday morning. In context, the infamous hoax letters and tape were sent over the period of 1978 to 1979, with the tape arriving on George Oldfield’s desk on June 17, 1979. This threw the Ripper hunt completely off course, and by August 1979 the police believed the Ripper’s home town to be Castletown, near Sunderland. They were wrong, but only two people actually knew that.
Saturday September 1st Probable date for return home from Blackpool. I like to think that Mum and Dad moved house while I was away, and everything was miraculously ready for me upon my return. No one has any memory of whether or not that’s true. But Mum told me that, when she asked for time off work to move house, her boss at the sweet factory refused. So she told him to go to Hell, walked out and did it anyway. The following week she was sent a letter of apology and asked very nicely if she wanted her job back. This may have had something to do with the enormous respect many of those who worked there still had for her father and grandfather, who had both worked in senior blue collar positions at the factory before her.
Monday August 27th Lord Louis Mountbatten is assassinated by the IRA and 18 British soldiers are killed in County Down. I remember talking to Gran about it as we walked round a department store (probably Lewis’s) in Blackpool. Gran explained that Lord Mountbatten was Prince Philip’s uncle and was therefore a member of the Royal Family. I struggled to get my seven-year-old head around why someone would want to kill a member of the Royal Family and who these IRA people were that I kept hearing about. Here’s a BBC documentary about it from 2019. Thursday August 30th Star Wars Weekly No 80 – features a Green Cross Code Man ad on the back. The Green Cross Code Man was, of course, played on TV by the real Darth Vader, David Prowse, whose likeness appears in the ad.
In the evening: an exciting new series of Doctor Who begins with Part One of Destiny of the Daleks. Written by Who veteran Terry Nation, it promises thrills galore as the Doctor and his newly- regenerated companion Romana return to Skaro, the home planet of the dreaded Daleks, where a mysterious excavation is taking place which threatens to alter the fate of the entire galaxy. Looking back on it now, this story’s pretty rubbish, but at the time, it was event television. Not only was it the first story to feature the Daleks for four years, it was also the first story to feature Lalla Ward as Romana, and the first story script edited by Douglas Adams, who would become much more famous for other things as the years wore on. It also introduces the Movellans, one of the very few species of black aliens in Doctor Who (though, typically, one of them is a white woman blacked up).
2000 AD Prog 129 Strips this week include Judge Dredd (Battle of the Black Atlantic), Black Hawk, ABC Warriors, Disaster 1990 and The Mind of Wolfie Smith. The comic had merged with sister publication Tornado only two weeks before. There’s a nice blog here which details one man’s mission to read every available edition of 2000 AD. Prog 129 is about halfway down this page.
OFFICIAL UK SINGLES CHART No 1: We Don’t Talk Anymore - Cliff Richard No 53: Slap and Tickle - Squeeze OFFICIAL UK ALBUMS CHART No 1: In Through the Out Door - Led Zeppelin No 2: Slow Train Coming - Bob Dylan No 73: No. 1 in Heaven - Sparks
Friday August 31st BBC 1’s Nationwide broadcasts a special film following Kate Bush on tour.