Monday, 26 April 2010

Coming Soon - 1987: A Traumatic Year For Beckindale...

Henry Wilks is horrified to find "No Nukes Here" daubed on the side wall at The Woolpack. Jack Sugden leads opposition to the proposed nuclear dump. Is nuclear waste really only as injurious to health as having one cigarette a year? A skeleton at the village hall states his preference. Alan Turner is featured in The Hotten Courier - but is the photograph what it seems? And Sandie Merrick is terrorised by Eric Pollard...

Remember 1987? If not, let me remind you...

Ever since the term "yuppie" had been coined in America in the early 1980s, the decade seemed to have been set on a chaotic course for 1987. It was the election of Ronald Reagan as US President in November 1980 which had brought about the term a year or two later - and its accompanying ethos.

The yuppie "thing" spread to the UK, and it seemed that by 1987 people were either revelling in dosh, doing quite nicely, or poor as a church mouse (I have to say that my family were in the latter category, but, I must admit, not as poor as in the previous decade). A clamour of voices was raised against the whole yuppie circus.

And then 1987 dawned. A sleek, shoulder-padded beastie. Apparently the summit of Planet 1980s.

But this year was definitely not what it seemed.

This year suddenly turned into something very different indeed, with Black Monday sending shock waves through the financial world in October - and an awe inspiring gale in the same month...

The Times reported on the stock market crash from America:

A black man on a bicycle seized the mood when he shouted at the brokers: "Freedom! The Reagan revolution is over. Death to Yuppies."

A tubby broker bellowed back at him: "Whoever dies with the most toys wins. We start over again tomorrow."

And on the gale in England:

Eighteen people died and hundreds were injured as yesterday's storms, the worst in memory, left a trail of destruction as they cut across southern England.

The year which had seen Margaret Thatcher win her third term in office had suddenly gone completely off its rocker. It screamed and it howled.

And, even in the cosy fictional world of Beckindale, big issues were all the rage as the villagers were faced with the prospect of having a nuclear waste dump sited on nearby Pencross Fell.

And, whilst Nick Bates was caught smoking by his mother, Archie Brooks briefly joined Amos and Mr Wilks at The Woolpack, and Jackie Merrick and Kathy Bates enjoyed their romance, Eric Pollard, removed from his position as manager of Hotten Market, was out to get his revenge on the woman who had caused his downfall - Sandie Merrick.

And he was armed with a poker.

Mad and bad 1987 was here.

We'll be exploring some some of the highs and lows in Beckindale soon.

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