1985

Ernie Wise made the first ever UK mobile phone call. Clive Sinclair finally proved that he’d lost it with his latest invention the Sinclair C5. We saw the first-ever televised debate in the House of Lords and newly privatised BT announced plans to phase out its famous red telephone boxes.

Curmudgeons everywhere took great delight (?) in the launch of BBC1’s new soap EastEnders. It’s been unremittingly grim ever since. And after 12 months, the miners’ strike ended.

1985 was the year of two football disasters, the Bradford fire where a wooden stand erupted into flames at the Valley Parade stadium killing 56 people and injuring more than 200 others. In Brussels, the Heysel Stadium disaster saw the death of 39 football fans as a wall collapsed following a charge by Liverpool supporters at the European Cup Final.

Discovery by British scientists of the hole in the ozone layer. And another boffin – 13-year-old Ruth Lawrence – achieved a first in Mathematics at Oxford University. Following on from their efforts with Band Aid, Geldof and Ure put on the Live Aid pop concert at Wembley Stadium (which was mirrored in Philadelphia) and raised over £50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia. Geldof famously swore at TV anchorman David Hepworth live on the BBC. Although he did not say, ‘give us your fucking money’, he did use the f-word to encourage Hepworth to give out the phone number for donations, rather than the postal address.

1985 saw further inner-city rioting, this time in Brixton (sparked by the shooting of Cherry Groce) and perhaps more infamously at Broadwater Farm, Tottenham (sparked by the death of Cynthia Jarret), where PC Keith Blakelock was killed. And finally, the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed at Hillsborough Castle.  Treasury Minister Ian Gow resigned in protest at the deal.  He was to be blown up by the IRA in 1990.

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