FILM bosses at Pinewood Studios were counting the cost of a huge blaze in 1984, which destroyed its iconic “007 Stage” shortly after actors had left for a lunch break.

The cause of the fire was not known at the time, but at one point the flames reached up to 100 feet into the sky, with air and gas bottles exploding continuously. The price of rebuilding was put at several million pounds, but studio bosses were confident the future of Pinewood was guaranteed despite the setback, a spokesperson told the Observer: “We still have 16 other stages which are larger than any outside of Hollywood.”

One hundred firefighters spent nearly two hours fighting the flames, with four of their number being treated for smoke inhalation.

When Ford worker John Eley visited the Ford Escort Enthusiasts Rally 35 years ago a friend persuaded him to enter his own car… and he ended up winning the top prize.

John, of Common Road. Langley, told the Observer: “I was really chuffed and surprised to win- I had never won anything with a car before.”

He bought the Escort 1300E in January 1975, when it was only six months old, and after 50,000 miles his pride and joy would still manage 40 mpg- passing its MOT first time at its last test.

The Royal Mail was celebrating the anniversary of the first stagecoach from London to Bristol in 1784, by repeating the same journey along the A4 Bath Road 200 years later.

A planned stop at the historic Pelican Inn, Colnbrook (witnessed by this author), was planned for the early hours of August 1, with John Parker at the reins.

By using 24 different horses he hoped to break the world record for single-handed driving, which stood at 108 miles.

The miners strike came to Slough in 1984 when South Wales NUM (National Union of Mineworkers) representative, Bill Hyde, spent three weeks in the town collecting cash and tinned food for his fellow members back home.

Postal workers at Slough sorting office had collected £58 for a sick colleague, but when they went to present the money to Sohan Singh he told them: “Give it to the miners instead.”

After Slough Sub-Aqua Club undertook a three-mile sponsored swim, they presented a cheque for over £450 to the Heatherwood Hospital special baby unit.

Hospital sister Anne Wheaton, who received the money, told the Observer: “I am most impressed, particularly as I cannot even swim!”

Slough’s TS Lion Sea cadets canoe team won the Berkshire District Canoeing Shield, for the first time in 1984, after beating seven other squads in a total of five different


The competition, held at Henley, included a 500-metre sprint, a 1,000-metre relay, and a staged river rescue.