Looking back: Near-death experience for Saffron Walden woman

PUBLISHED: 17:42 15 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:42 15 February 2017

Cleaner Eileen Dye almost died after a car crashed into a pub while she was outside.

Cleaner Eileen Dye almost died after a car crashed into a pub while she was outside.

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A near-death experience was front page news for the Reporter this time 30 years ago.

Sir Alan Haselhurst in 1987Sir Alan Haselhurst in 1987

In February 1987, the cleaner of The Hercules pub in Newport, Eileen Dye, was inside the building when a Sierra crashed through the wall, missing her by inches.

She described the encounter as “frightening”, and noted that if she had been hoovering, she might not have jumped away and would have been hurt.

It had just collided with a Fiat before careering off and smashing into the pub.

Ironically, the Hercules had only just been redecorated the week before, and the landlord had been out buying doormats to stop mud getting on the new carpets.

In music news, popular Saffron Walden pop group Cri-de-Coeur got through to the semi-final of the third Cambridge Rock Competition.

The musicians beat five other bands to progress, even though they had a stand-in guitarist because their normal player had broken his wrist.

Historic farm buildings were dismantled by the owners of the Museum of the Working Horse, Ted and Chris Wilson, in a bid to save them from destruction.

The two hundred-year-old buildings were due to demolished as part of Stansted Airport’s expansion, but the father and son team decided to save the old structure, rebuild it later on, and make it an attraction at the museum in Finchingfield.

With the general election coming up in June of that year, it was reported that Sir Alan Haselhurst’s opponent, Neil Lynn, had been outed as an organiser and supporter of the British Movement in the house of Commons.

This was a far-right organisation, described in the piece as the successor to the National Socialists.

Mr Lynn did not win, and MP Sir Alan Haselhurst – at that time just Alan Haselhurst – has continued to hold the Saffron Walden constituency seat to this day.

Fireman had to don decontamination suits when ammonia leaked from an architect’s office in King Street, bringing Saffron Walden town centre to a standstill.

Around two litres of the toxic gas poured out, causing an awful stink.

There was only one person in Donald N Purkiss’s office at the time – his partner Clifford Craske.


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