As the ’80s drew to a close, we witnessed the Kegworth air disaster which resulted in the death of 44 people.  Sky (or is that KY?) Television began broadcasting the first satellite TV service in Britain.

Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses was published and Ayatollah Khomeini placed a fatwa (order to kill) on him.  The IRA bombed the Tern Hill Barracks in Shropshire, injuring 50 soldiers of the Parachute Regiment and six people died in the Purley rail crash.  1989 also saw the Marchioness disaster and another bombing of an army barracks, this time at the Royal Marine School of Music in Deal, Kent – 11 soldiers died.

On 15 April, the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool at Hillsborough, Sheffield was abandoned after 6 minutes.  Liverpool fans in the pens behind the goal at the Leppings Lane end of the ground were killed in a crush.  94 people were pronounced dead on the day. Eventually, the total would rise to 96.

The BBC accused Shirley Porter, Conservative Leader of Westminster City Council, of gerrymandering.  In unrelated news, 1989 also saw the introduction of electronic tagging to monitor and supervise crime suspects.  The House of Commons was televised for the first time and the Guildford Four had their convictions quashed for the 1975 terrorist attack in the town.

At the start of the new football season, plans were announced for property tycoon Michael Knighton to buy Manchester United for the princely sum of £20 million.  After juggling a ball at the Stretford End, he couldn’t juggle his finances any further and the deal collapsed.

And finally, and so chronologically neatly, it was the beginning of the end for one Margaret Hilda Thatcher.  Sensing trouble ahead, she re-shuffled her cabinet, as Nigel Lawson resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer – replacing him with John Major and moving Douglas Hurd to Foreign Secretary.  In December, she defeated Anthony Meyer in a leadership election, but the end was nigh – within 12 months she was gone.

Fragments from a Diary – October 1989

Fragments from a Diary – November 1989

Fragments from a Diary – December 1989

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