1983

1983 saw the broadcast of the first British breakfast time television programme, seatbelt use for drivers and front-seat passengers became mandatory.  Mass murderer Dennis Nilsen’s was brought to trial and Ian MacGregor was appointed as head of the National Coal Board. Indo-British film Gandhi won eight Academy Awards, and we saw the introduction of the pound coin and the first use of wheel clamps in Britain.

Lester Pigott rode his ninth Derby winner – Teenoso.  In June we had a General Election and Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government was reelected with a landslide victory (42% of the popular vote) and the redevelopment of the London Docklands began in east London.  38 prisoners escaped from the Maze Prison in  Northern Ireland by hijacking a van and Neil Kinnock was elected leader of the Labour Party, then went for a walk on Brighton Beach and promptly fell over.  All-powerful Margaret Thatcher hatched a plan to abolish the Greater London Council – democracy eh?

Despite protests from an estimated million-plus people against them, the first US cruise missiles arrived at RAF Greenham Common.  The Brinks Mat gold bullion robbery.  The first heart and lung transplant carried out in Britain at Harefield.  An IRA car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s, killed six people.  And finally, compact discs were first marketed in Britain.

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