Looking Back: A busy month for Saffron Walden Common 30 years ago
- Credit: Archant
The big international news in September 1986 was the hijack of a Pan Am jet in Pakistan, which ended with 22 people killed and more than 150 injured.
In England, two passenger trains collided in Staffordshire, killing one person and injuring 75 others. An investigation found one of the trains had misread a signal and failed to stop at a junction.
But in Saffron Walden, the Reporter was covering news of cubs and rounders on the Common, a costume design prize and a Stansted “Duckathon”.
Saffron Walden cubs gathered on the Common in September 1986 to play games and music. Unfortunately, torrential rain put a dampener on events, but the 130 cubs still managed to enjoy a sing-along under a tree.
Later in the month, the Common was once again home to another event with the finals of a fancy dress rounders tournament.
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Doreen Graves and her sister, Vanessa Wright, suffered a collision while playing for SIACO and had to be treated by St John Ambulance. Fortunately, the injuries were not serious but the game was abandoned, with opponents Peasland declared the winners.
The tournament was organised by Martin’s newsagents and raised around £1,500 for St John Ambulance.
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Theatre design student Anne Curry, of Church Street, Saffron Walden, won first prize in a national costume design competition in September 1986.
The then 21-year-old’s winning design was for a character from Highlander, a West End play which opened that year.
Anne won £100 for her college – Trent Polytechnic – as well as six weeks work experience with Morris Angel and Son, the costume designers who organised the competition.
More than £2,000 was raised in the Stansted “Duckathon”, which took place in the grounds of Bury Lodge Restaurant.
Around 1,000 plastic ducks were blown across the lake at the restaurant, which was run by husband and wife team Gerry and Jo Lane.
John Boumphrey’s jazz band, stalls and cream teas added to the event and money raised went to the Licensed Victuallers National Homes.